At times we do believe that there is, in fact, a collective unconscious at work in the deep background of the universe. Sometimes the world itself has a mood, a feeling, a thought process, a mania, a madness. There may even be practitioners of the esoteric arts who have developed a sensitivity to this cosmic emotion, but they likely either live high in the Himalayas as prayer-flag waving navel gazers, or are sequestered beneath the Arctic ice in lairs appropriate for super-villainy. Either way, they’ll not likely drop by Café No Sé at anytime soon for a chat, so we’ll just have to go with our guts on this one.
We can’t be sure, but it seems that things around the world are getting weird. Have you felt it? Have you woken up in any of the recent days wondering if all hell is about to break loose in your little corner of the sphere? We have. And for the past few months, we’ve mentioned it to one another over a bottle of mezcal. But it wasn’t until we started receiving submissions from our writers that it became so crystal clear.
People have disaster on the brain.
Maybe it’s the earthquakes cropping up in the most unusual of places. Shit-poor Haiti expects to receive its daily quanta of boots to the head, but a terremoto that levels fucking everything, including the presidential mansion? That’s just not right.
Then, with far less drama or destruction, even the East Coast of the United States took a ride on the planetary rollercoaster. No one was killed, but you can be sure that several million heads peered out of high-rise windows over the horizon and wondered what hell is slouching towards Washington to be born.
Add to that the biblical floods and the brain-boggling hurricanes putting this hemisphere into the spin cycle. Mix in a measure of political irrationality not seen since Nero noodled his lute, and you get a very nervous, very dark Cogitatio Populi.
And don’t even get us started on the asshats running for high office in both Guatemala and parts further north, other than to say that we hope the cosmic wisdom sees fit to flatten their sorry egos long before it does ours. Or yours, for that matter!
It seems that we here at La Cuadra are just going to surf that wave. This issue starts with a thoughtful, possibly even profound, reflection on the tragedies of September 11, 2001 ten years later. That piece is followed up by some crack (and decidedly not crazy) reporting on a recent spate of violent crimes in our humble town of La Antigua. We then give you a brief break of pure beauty with an extended spread of our featured artist, Brielle DuFlon, before plunging you back into the belly of the beast with Joe Bageant’s last lonely ride into the misery of the permanent American underclass. Después de, there is a tale of misguided decisions in an attempt to help a friend drive a boat to El Salvador that almost ended with an extended stay in prison by the inimitable Logan Clark.
We round out the issue with some poetry from World War I, and (we are so happy to announce) the RETURN OF KEVIN PETRIE who once again takes readers on one of his stoned adventures — this time through civil-war- and tsunami- wracked Sri Lanka with his (possibly mythical) traveling partner, Uncle Money.
So, with all this shit coming down upon the world at once, we can think of nothing better to do than to invite you all down to Café No Sé where we might toast the beginning of the end the way any God or Goddess worth their salt would have intended: Half in the bag, and with one another. Frost opined that “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.” We don’t bother with any of that kind of prognostication, and who knows, maybe we’re plain wrong. Maybe the world just has a bad case of gas. Whatever, we will still light your smoke and keep your drink chilly as we toast whatever the hell is coming down the pike.
MJT and JPR