Zuela by Laureano Marquez in Tal Cual
In this article, Marquez’ “Serious humor”, becomes very serious indeed. Enjoy!
Zuela, as in Thomas More’s utopia, is a non-existent country, it is an imaginary country, is what remains of a great country, or perhaps it is better to say, than it could have been a great country, which it isn’t, but it still can be .
Zuela is like those kids who seem promising, with a future ahead: children of wealthy parents with resources to provide them with an education, to make a good man out of him, but the boy inexplicably goes rogue.
This imaginary country, is the antithesis of utopia, which does not exist because its ideas are so advanced. Zuela does not exist because it is unthinkable that there may be such incapacity in the midst of extreme wealth. In Zuela money is the driving motor for everything, money buys consciences and more than one nation it is a center for unpredictable businesses: In Zuela, when the currency is devalued, for example, people instead of protesting the inflation that is about to hitm them, decdicae themselves to buying appliances in an attempt to capitalize on the debacle. Make sure that you take into account, in order to underline this contradiction that Zuela is a country without electricity.
Zuela’s prosperity is not measured by the collective progress, by the beauty of its public spaces, but by individual advancement. The residents of Zuela boast of the way they swindled the money of the collective and consider an imbecile anyone that, having the opportunity to steal does not.
The inhabitants of Zuela have a term for this type people: “He is a pendejo (dumbell)” they say. Thus, theft and fraud are the main source of wealth in this imaginary country.
Almost everyone does it, “each according to his needs, each according to his abilities.” In Zuela the law exists and is theoretically good, but the judges of Zuela are zueleños and as such they always put their individual welfare above the collective one, especially when every time a judge shows some sign of dignity, he or she is severely punished. The locals seem to accept their fate with resignation, though sometimes they protest and receive harsh repression so taht they learn taht protest will not be of any help.
In Zuela you live at your own risk. Criminals and police team up to commit crimes. Life is worth little and the streets are unsafe.
In Zuela, of course, that there are people – and a lots of it – that does not share this way of life and they exist in all sectors and an at all levels of society. For example, although there is no reliable electricity in Zuela, it does have the brightest people to solve the problem, but in general they are not payed attention to. Zuela has first-rate universities and is full of smart people who become “prophets of doom,” announcing the coming catastrophes, but they are rarely paid attention to.
Zuela has wise legislators, technically very capable and professional technicians trained in the best universities of the world and, despite their fate, an enviable infrastructure product of the time when zueleños have agreed to advance together.
But with very brief exceptions, civilians are rarely the leading actors of the history of Zuela, but it is military mentality, which too often is at their own service rather than at teh service of the “homeland”. Ordinary people are generally kind and lives off the expectation that the future will be better. But in Zuela But, like in the myth of Sisyphus, whenever there seems to be a chance to climb the hill, the stonerolls back down at them and they must begin the task again. That is, amidst all, a positive sideof Zuela: Its dwellers are accustomed to start again from the bottom each time a project of destruction of their hope in disguise, robs them of their destination. The zueleños often say in the face of each crisis “now we”ve hit bottom, but their leaders always have the ability to surprise with new and unforeseen funds. The end of this story and if Zuela will be in the end the promised land or a ruin has yet to be written, because one of the disinctive features of Zuela is that it is unpredicatble, you can expect anything, even something good.