It is a pleasure to release the third installment of the Cliffhanger story, The Curse of Fort Seven Mile
titled “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta.” These stories are part of an ongoing project I have to contemplate a philosophy for the next century dealing with themes that go well beyond the typical action adventure story. They are specifically constru
cted to cover difficult aspects of our culture and weave them into the motivations of the present through a mythological means greatly underutilized in modern entertainment. The Cliffhanger series allows me to cover very difficult subject matter similar in manner to one of my favorite books, The Republic
, by Plato where he uses Socrates as a character canvas for concepts of a philosophic nature to articulate the thoughts of their day. Using the modern Cliffhanger as a type of modern Zorro/Batman character it allows me to explore difficult contemporary subjects that just aren’t getting coverage any other way. A fine example of that is in our modern drug culture.
It is hard for people to understand the motivations of terrorist groups like ISIS or the drug cartels on the Mexican/American border. In many ways, I see the drug cartels as every bit as dangerous as ISIS. Like the Islamic extremists of late, the drug cartels routinely cut the heads off their enemies and incite terror all over the south western states and all across Central America. Terrorist cartels run Mexico and it gets very little press coverage leaving most people uninformed as to their motivations. What drug cartels and ISIS have in common is a sense of collectivism where the gang of thugs for which they are members are considered part of a family unit—and they partake in deity worship. In the ISIS case it’s Allah, in the typical drug cartel it’s Santa Maurte. This latest Cliffhanger story puts readers into the minds of a typical drug cartel member and covers some very provocative ground intellectually. I’m very proud of the way the story has come together and how it fits into a much larger philosophy which is of course the intention. The following description is what the “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” is all about. I changed the spelling a bit to avoid a direct insult of a goddess that is quite popular today.
The Los Ebola drug cartel is executing a young woman as part of a sinister plan to enact terrorism, drug addiction, and social unrest through-out America. Of their prime concern is the drug trafficking lanes lost recently to a rival cartel into the neighborhoods of Fort Seven Mile. The goddess of their religion, Santa Murata demands to be fed the blood sacrifice of an offering to turn their luck back to a favorable standing.
Yet the bandit Cliffhanger has other plans and uses his flaming bullwhips under the cover of darkness to enact justice against the blood thirsty desires of the skeletal deity and her otherworldly plans for global insurrection. But first a damsel in distress is in need across railroad tracks as a freight train looms upon her intent on creating a corpse. In spite of Cliffhanger’s heroics a forbidden technology is brought forth that will point to an answer that is more mysterious than the question—who is Cliffhanger?
It is exciting even though the subject matter is quite serious, to tell stories like this. There is the typical swashbuckling aspect which is consistent to what they are becoming known for. That’s entirely on purpose. I’ve always thought that classic westerns were wonderful vehicles for instructing contemporary values and that is something missing from our culture. Cliffhanger as a series of stories is certainly modeled after my love of westerns and the villains are often dirty politicians, and drug cartels, but something that extends this into the work of philosophy is that the primary villain is a philosophy of collectivism as opposed to just an individual functioning from greed. That takes this work out of the realm of whimsical fantasy and makes it a platform for philosophy.
In the “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” a concept is explored that permeates all collective based cultures—the concept of sacrifice, and the belief that something must be given up to something so that something else can happen. So far in the overall story arch of The Curse of Fort Seven Mile, sacrifice has been a consistent message. In the first installment, the police union wanted the community to sacrifice money to their requirements of a collective bargaining agreement to bring safety to Fort Seven Mile after a series of deaths and tragedies grabbed headlines. In the second installment, “Latté Sipping Prostitutes” a teacher’s union expected a sacrifice on behalf of the community in order to care for the children attending their schools. In this installment, “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” the belief in sacrifice isn’t disguised behind altruism like it is in typical political efforts previously described—it is quite literal and cuts straight to the thoughts of the typical drug trafficker.
To write this story I reflected back to personal experience. The first adults I knew outside of my family professionally were hit men, money launderers and drug traffickers. Even though I was never part of their criminal activities I was recruited and had their trust, and they’d tell me things. I learned what being a “heavy” was before I had a driver’s license and would hear stories of bringing enforcement to their targets. It was a good experience that I would never trade away even if I disagreed with the way those people made their living. What we all had in common was a love of the dying order of manhood where bravery and valor were still traits men admired in each other—even if they were politically and ideologically opposed. I learned close-up how those types of people thought and it sent me on a life-long quest to understand all the nuances.
Drug cartels in Mexico tend to name themselves after dangerous diseases and superstitions. Their real life belief in Santa Maurte is a mix of Mayan culture and the Catholic influences of the Spanish conquistadors. She is a grim reaper like figure that is commonly found at drug festivals, paraphernalia shops, and flea markets. She also has many shrines dedicated to her along southern American highways. They are much like ISIS in their desire to incite terrorism among their targets. They don’t often see themselves as evil, but as opportunists who are fighting for some noble cause. They see America as a corrupt and evil place largely because they were raised in socialist cultures south of the border taught to hate capitalism. They see America as a place that lacks spiritual direction and have no problem with poisoning the culture of North America so it softens the great capitalist nation for their subtle invasion—a revenge for the Spanish-American war.
It might be noted that the leader of the notorious Zetas drug cartel was captured recently in the city of Monterrey. Alejandro Trevino-Morales nicknamed Omar was the head of one of the most violent modern drug cartels. He was so dangerous that the Mexican government had a $2 million dollar reward for his capture and it’s beyond question that he’s directly responsible for many killings, beheadings and general terrorism inflicted among many innocents. But in the cartel business, it will be the next man up. Omar’s capture will do nothing to curb the supply of drugs coming into America because the demand out-weighs the risk of supply. Just before the arrest of Omar Servando “La Tuta” Gomez leader of the Knights Templar cartel was arrested. Yet the drugs continue because the cartels are built from the foundations of collectivism and sacrifice where their actions in this life are measured toward the aims of the afterlife—and that makes them dangerous. They actually believe that they will gain some measure of success in their post life years because of the violence and terror they inflict on behalf of their deities.
To really comprehend terrorism in general you have to understand the ridiculous nature of the fuel which feeds them—which is the notion that by sacrificing themselves or others to a cause of greater importance—that they gain redemption in the afterlife. Their definition of greater importance is defined by the parameters of collectivism not the individual motivations of property rights. Their hatred points straight back to the gulf between socialists and capitalists.
In The Curse of Fort Seven Mile stories Cliffhanger is an unfettered capitalist and the hints as to what extent are first shown in “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta.” It becomes clear toward the end of this story and in the next couple of installments why Cliffhanger is viewed as a villain by the collectivist organizations so far shown, first the police union, then the teacher’s union, and now a drug cartel. Cliffhanger is fighting for something philosophically foreign to collectivists and they hate him for his success. It is in that conflict that I am proud because it’s difficult to frame in a way that can become part of a story and the necessity of entertainment value. The essence is a long forged contemplation that can be brought forth through such a charismatic character. Some will hate him, some will love him—and the reasons why there are different interpretations of the same character are why this can only be a work of philosophy intended for a new century of understanding as the old modes of instruction have contaminated the minds of many with improper thinking and lost values misplaced due to their notion of sacrifice and its social necessity.
Read the “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” by clicking the link below:
CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
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