Más se perdío by M.C.A. Hogarth

Más se perdío by M.C.A. Hogarth

“They don’t know,” I tell my mother.

We are sitting at a table in a bookstore cafe. Between us, my daughter looks at a book on ocean mammals. There is espresso growing tepid on the table.

“No,” she agrees.

“They don’t have our family history,” I say.

“No,” she says.

“And it’s because of our family history,” I say.

Her laugh is without mirth. “I’m sorry.”

“No,” I say. “No, don’t be. I’m glad. I’d rather know. I’d rather know to fear the state. I’d rather know how easy it is. Once you start saying that someone has too much, and other people deserve it instead. Once you give someone the power to decide that. They came for the rich, and I said nothing. But eventually, they come for all of us.”

“Yes,” she says.

Between us there is a house in Cuba that once belonged to my family and the tanks that separated them from it. Between us is the exile that drove my grandparents to Mexico, penniless, and the abject poverty that taught my mother what it was to weep outside a bakery because my grandfather couldn’t afford a loaf of bread.

Between us is history, and precedent. I can taste it in my mouth like ashes.

“You are calm today,” I say.

“Más se perdío en Cuba,” she says, philosophically.

I stare at her.

“You didn’t understand?” she asks.

“No,” I say. “I did. ‘More was lost in Cuba.’ ”

“Yes,” she says. And adds, “That is not a Cuban saying. A Spanish one, from the 1800s, when they lost Cuba as a colony. It is to say… ‘well, worse has happened.’ ”

I say, “This is not a colony we’re talking about losing.”

We finish our coffee and she asks me what I will do.

“What I always do,” I say. “Make art. And remember.”

84 thoughts on “Más se perdío by M.C.A. Hogarth

    1. Yeah. I hate having to remind myself of that – and that other options (piloting a mech, wielding a lightsaber, etc.) – are also out of reach. :headdesk: Art it is, then…

  1. So few words, so much meaning.

    Or as they used to say, ca. 80 years ago, “This is why we fight.”

    And beyond that… wow, just wow.

  2. I often wonder if it’s my very early years in Miami in the seventies where I absorbed my visceral dislike of flavours of Marxism. I surely didn’t pick it up in the culture of Massachusetts.

    1. For me it was too early for me to pin down but it has been reinforced by all the Cuban, Vietnamese, and Cambodian acquaintances I’ve had in life.

  3. In other news, I just saw Purdue running an ad called “A Boilermaker Carol.” They are trying to advertise Purdue as a school full of pretty people, especially girls, and as interested only in music, sports, and dating. Explosions not included, despite that being pretty integral to Purdue as I understand it.

    Seriously, I expect Armageddon any day. Any. Day.

    1. There was a law school in Los Angeles that emphasized in its recruiting brochures the beauty of its campus and photos of the beauty of its students, especially, as you say, girls. It finally moved from its beautiful campus in an expensive area of the city some 20-25 years ago and disappeared even more from the public consciousness.

    2. Har.

      May their efforts to recruit more men into the higher ed meatgrinder end in dismal failure.

  4. The American Left forgot what happened to Nicolae Ceaușescu. They always forget. And then it happens to them.

    But those who replace them are not always the ones we want. And a civil war/revolution/insurrection is not the way to the Promised Land.

    So pray that we can repent in sufficient numbers, that God will forgive us, and that He will heal America.

    Or don’t. Your choice. For now.

    1. “The American Left forgot what happened to Nicolae Ceaușescu. They always forget. And then it happens to them.
      for some, they just think this time it won’t happen, and certainly not to them

      1. Those ones think that they can kick the can down the road. They think that they can be Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. You see, the bill didn’t come due during his reign. It came due during the reigns of his son and grandson. It was a catastrophically bad bill, and untold numbers of people died in the civil wars that followed. But that didn’t matter to Qin Shi Huang, because he’d died while out touring the empire (probably at least in part due to mercury poisoning; I’m sure many of you here can guess why), and not under a headsman’s axe.

          1. Yeah, but their greed makes them willing to take the risk, and their arrogance makes them think that they’re smart enough to recognize the best moment to bail out and flee.

            Spoiler – they aren’t smart enough

            1. Human beings in general aren’t smart enough. Too many variables. What’ll be the spark that causes the downfall of their regime? Will it be the truck driver that was attacked by rioters, then arrested for defending himself? Will it be the lone crazy that offs a politician and the inevitable resulting bloody shirt excuse for grabbing more control that tips the scales? Will it be the soccer mom that has a breakdown when she can’t afford food for her kids? Or will it be getting caught at any ONE of the many, MANY things they’ve always done and gotten away with?

              The early signs are no different than anything that came before, and they survived. History teaches that, at least. We can look back and say *this* was the moment everything started to fall apart with the perspective gained by sitting in our chair by the fire and reading over dusty old blogs and first person YT videos grabbed from cell phones. But that perspective is denied to the man on the ground, in the moment.

              Look around and notice the subtle discontent. Even among the faithful of the D cult. Notice the things that *aren’t* getting the attention they should?

              Before, the mob would have come for any within the fold that questioned The Narrative. Yet now, those voices are heard. How many times in the last year have we heard people *question* The Narrative from within the mob? Call me a cynic (I am), but I believe that this is permitted in as much as it is because it is both a pressure release valve and testing the waters to see if they can get away with a fast switcheroo. Biden flip flopping on “I will shut down the virus./It’s up to the states to decide,” that was not just the dementia firing, I think.

              They know they’ve lost people with their handling of the covidiocy. And the supply chain disaster. And the economic troubles exacerbated by the aforementioned two. What do you want to be that riots will be back in the news next year, and in the run up to 2024? If not that, there will be something else. A war, a manufactured controversy, something to keep attention away from what they’re trying to do and how badly things are eff’d up.

              Look, I’m trying to be optimistic about (some) things. But the current discontent in the D party smells mightily of fish. I think they’re trying to switch things up. They may lose a few seats come the midterms. But they’re aiming for keeping Trump/DeSantis out in 2024, and trying to woo voters who’ve had their bubbles pricked by the dog’s breakfast they’ve made of things now that they have the power.

              They’re not very bright, no. But they can still do a lot of damage if left unchecked. Standard caution applies. Prepare. Due diligence. And keep your eyes open. There’s much work left to do, for all of us.

              1. It may be Bacon. California passed an initiative (voter approved law) in 2018. It requires hog producers to provide much more space for their pigs in order to sell in California starting January 1, 2022. They think that California being the large market, to bully producers. What this does in increase costs, thus the price of bacon goes up. Imagine bacon at $20 a pound. Imagine a California without bacon, when large monopolies realize they make more money ignoring California.


                Bacon is the straw that breaks the camels back? Bacon?


                The new year. 2022, the year without bacon?

                New job: smuggling bacon into Cali. Do you have any bacon to declare?

    2. They didn’t forget, they assume they won’t end up like Ceausescu. These people really believe their religion, so they believe the problem with Ceausescu was that he was a tyrant, not a socialist. They’re convinced that things would be different if they were running the economy, because they’re so much smarter and more moral than every other socialist who has gained actual power. They cannot – or will not – believe that tyranny and socialism are indelibly linked. Not even two sides of the same coin but the field and relief of the same side.

      This is why they’re freaking out, they were sure that if they could just cheat their way into power in 2020 and implement their agenda people would see how great it is and flock to them. When people started running away screaming and Manchin blocked the worst of their agenda it was like several of the Ten Plagues came at once. Their options now are to either admit that they were wrong and that they weren’t nearly as smart as they believed themselves or to blame nefarious forces for their failure. Shall we ask the Americans languishing in prison for the Jan. 6 overwhelmingly peaceful protest which route most of them chose?

      Bloodshed is inevitable at this point. Socialist Millennials are being rejected just like their Boomer predecessors in the late ’70’s. But unlike the Boomers, they won’t have something like the Civil Rights movement to claim credit for when it comes to indoctrinating a new generation. The children of Millennials aren’t going to find Occasional Cortex compelling. They know this is their last chance. The best case scenario is wide-scale rioting in the cities after the Republicans sweep into power in ’24 despite even more Democrat cheating, but I think it’s more likely that they’ll cheat enough, including violent attacks against Republican poll watchers, and declare victory in an undeniably fraudulent election. At that point there’s a small chance that the courts will do the right thing and declare the fraudulent elections void, triggering the aforementioned riots. If the courts hold to their history the red states will declare the federal government illegitimate and convene a new Constitutional Convention.

            1. “Drooling Comrades, from the sky.
              Dumb Comrades, who fall and die.
              500 more, we’ll drop today,
              Per the plan of Pinochet.”

              St Pinochet of the Helicopter, ora pro nobis.

      1. Why aren’t any of the people SHOWN ON VIDEO smashing in the Capitol building doors and windows languishing in prison? The ones that brought backpacks full of weapons? The ones that attacked the Capitol Police? Why only imprison the ones caught ‘trespassing’ and ‘parading’?
        The Capitol is OUR house. Congresscritters are just the help.

        1. Old wisdom, the ones inciting the mob in pointless gestures against the state are usually paid agents of the state. Something to be always kept in mind.

          1. Have you seen the latest? 13 of the 18 ‘conspirators’ in the Michigan plot to kidnap half-Whitmer have been outed as FBI informants.

            Not quite as good as the ‘White Supremacist’ group that turned out to be ENTIRELY composed of FBI, ATF and DEA informants all snitching on each other, but close.
            There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

      2. If even you’re talking scenarios like this things must be looking pretty grim from where you are. Not that I can blame you or anyone else for thinking as such given how things have been and how things look to be going…

        1. Not grim at all. Like I said, the Progressives are doomed and they know it, and that’s great news. But like any cornered beast they’re going to lash out violently. Violence has been inevitable since the day they gained power, the only question is how much violence will we see.

          You can vote your way into socialism but you have to shoot your way out, because the socialist will never give up their power and status willingly (it might be important to note that monarchy is an early form of socialism).

  5. There will be a transformation of our spiritually bankrupt society…it will be a smaller and more local world, but I won’t live to see the details in this life…

      1. “The bureaucracy needs to expand to meet the expanding needs of the bureaucracy.” Long as there are humans in it, any bureaucracy will seek to expand and increase its control of all things not controlled by the bureaucracy.

        Smaller government only tends to happen when some minority finally gets fed up enough and says “sod this, we’ll govern ourselves” and makes it stick. Happened all of one time that I can recall right off, absent massively destructive war (smaller because there aren’t enough people left, not because it was actively *chosen*).

        *Can* we roll back the grossly overlarge bureaucratic political state? Sure. *Will* it happen? That’ll take a mortal lot of work, on the part of a good many people…

  6. What will I do? Tell stories, some with footnotes, about courage, and faith, and beauty. And horrors, and fear, and doing what’s right despite that.

    1. I hope that lives are taken that slowly once it becomes time for everyone to “see the elephant.”

  7. Saint Augusto of the Whirling Blades, please spare us your necessities.

    If we are not spared that burden, Saint Rafal of Warsaw, please protect us from the hardships of taking human lives.

  8. This touched me at heart level.
    This is the type of art that makes people die for their country, and their family, and all that is green and good in this world.

  9. Thank you for that. Taking things as they come and moving forward. And I will write and publish stories. Hopefully they are stories that remind people of what it means to have courage and to face your fears.

  10. “Once you start saying that someone has too much, and other people deserve it instead. Once you give someone the power to decide that. They came for the rich, and I said nothing. But eventually, they come for all of us.” Because that transfer of wealth is a lossy process, not just losses due to the cost of bureaucratic inefficiency, but because first the loot is picked over by the party elite, leaving almost nothing of value to “Distribute”. By the time they start robbing the last of the poor, they have already made their plans to escape before the inevitable revolution comes.

    1. Of course; the folks who have no respect for property rights of their targets aren’t going to suddenly develop a strong belief in them when it comes to distributing the stuff to those they are acting on behalf of.

      See also, if you can steal a guy away from his wife, stop being freaking shocked he’s not loyal when he marries you!

      1. Lenin was once thrown out his car as it was appropriated for the working class. (In the early USSR)

    2. Forced transfer of wealth is a lossy process. Free exchange is the opposite, a “gainy” process. But it’s counter-intuitive, especially the part about no one being in charge of it all. So it’s INCONCEIVABLE! that it works, or that it can’t be massively improved by putting Good and Wise people in charge of it.

      Massively improving the process by putting the Good and Wise in charge has the same sort of attraction as a mechanical perpetual motion machine where the power produced by falling weights is used to raise the weights back up again. Or the electric version where a generator is attached to an electric motor that’s used to run the generator.

  11. Some of us do see. We see the useless ruling classes robbing the productive class, we see the parallels to late 18th century France, and we try to sound the alarm.

    But the elitists brand us ‘conspiracy theorists’ and the sheeple turn away, chewing their cud. They don’t want to know. They don’t want to feel bad.
    Some folks can be taught. Others can learn by example. The rest have to piss on the electric fence for themselves.

  12. Being of Slavic descent, I know the inevitability of Ragnarok, and keep foremost in mind that all eventually fall, yet arise again (if we are recognized by our Father) in a vastly better realm. Maintaining the good fight and never forgetting the truth counts for much.

    Though of late I acknowledge my sword arm grows weary and my shield, chipped and dented, tends to sag.

    1. It is woefully weckognized that wallabies warely wear armour, wusty or otherwise.

      We like more woom in the seat.

        1. And it manages to break Vivaldi’s ‘zoom’ so I can’t set the text to 150% for better readability.
          At least I can still invert text colors to avoid the worst eyestrain.

    2. The men of the East may spell the stars,
      And times and triumphs mark,
      But the men signed of the cross of Christ
      Go gaily in the dark. . .

      The wise men know what wicked things
      Are written on the sky,
      They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
      Hearing the heavy purple wings,
      Where the forgotten seraph kings
      Still plot how God shall die. . .

      But you and all the kind of Christ
      Are ignorant and brave,
      And you have wars you hardly win
      And souls you hardly save.

      I tell you naught for your comfort,
      Yea, naught for your desire,
      Save that the sky grows darker yet
      And the sea rises higher.

      Night shall be thrice night over you,
      And heaven an iron cope.
      Do you have joy without a cause,
      Yea, faith without a hope?


  13. It’s a battle of spirit, a battle of soul,
    We fight in the body, because we are still whole
    We fight in the spirit, a more nebulous foe
    Who has long worked his mission of anger and woe

    Our weapons, the pen, the book, and the sword,
    Our battlefield hope, and the soul of the world.
    While blood shed may come it is a symptom of strife.
    What we fight for is soul, the pulse of our life.

    This soul cannot be stolen, though it can be killed,
    Not by a foe, but by what our own hands will wield.
    Our power is one they never can grasp.
    It has no hilt, no buttstock, no haft.

    Our power is truth, a bright fire within.
    Our power is hope, in the future we win.
    As we walk to that future, broken hearts held high,
    We pass through death’s valley, but our banner still flies.

  14. They don’t know, they don’t want to know.
    The more done for you the less you become inclined to do, and all to soon the idea of government is a necessary evil just becomes government is necessary.

  15. Más se perdió en Cuba, it should have the accent on the final o for the preterite third person singular.

  16. “Lo there do I see my father.
    Lo there do I see my mother.
    Lo there do I see my brothers and my sisters.
    Lo there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning.
    Lo they do call to me;
    they bid me take my place among them in the Halls of Valhalla,
    where the brave may live forever.”
    I am the lesser son of greater fathers, and though in my day I was a warrior of some strength and accomplishment, those days are long behind me. Yet while I draw breath, I will do what I can and what I must.

  17. Okay… it turns out that William Beckford, the author of the “caliph thinks he can get occult powers by following ridiculous and horrible instructions — surprise, it doesn’t work” Gothic novel, Vathek, had issues. His family was ridiculously rich in Georgian times because they owned tons of slave plantations.

    However, he also had Fonthill Abbey, Beckford’s Tower, and this strange/cool estate in Sintra, Portugal called Montserrate. (Which actually got weirder and wilder _after_ he owned it.)

    1. Holy crud, this guy is like the man who Lovecraft and Poe wanted to grow up to be.

      So many issues. So many rumors of issues. So much money. So many buildings. He even stole workman from Windsor, by offering an ale ration as well as better wages. He even had a true love lady who died too young and a bunch of collapsing towers.

      I really don’t know why people aren’t stealing this guy for novel characters all the time, because he’s like seven or eight novels’ worth of weird and rich.

      1. One of the YouTubers I follow, Mel from Sneaker’s Corner, went to Portugal for his vacation and visited this Montserrate place. That’s why I ended up looking up Beckford — they mentioned him as an “English novelist” and I was like, “Wait, he was a fantasy novelist and it didn’t sell all that well. How come he could buy foreign estates?” So I finally looked it up, and holy cow. Once again, I feel that English lit people do a bad job of introducing authors in brief, because “fabulously wealthy Gothic novelist” was not in my list of identifiers for the author of Vathek.

        Anyway, the camera/phone work is not great, but the views are fantastic.

        1. Holy crud!! After Beckford had an affair with his cousin’s wife and with the future Earl of Devon, for years and years, and had his wife not reject him but go into exile from polite society with him…

          This guy disowned his eldest daughter for marrying to disoblige him!?!

          And he also had a beef that his older half-sister, Elizabeth Marsh Hervey, wrote more novels and more successfully than him?!?!

          She married Col. William Thomas Hervey, the legitimized son of the extremely erratic MP, Thomas Hervey, who was heir to a fortune like herself. He gambled away all their money, and then died at the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga, so Elizabeth had to make some cash quick. And did.

          Geez, these people are a freaking novel series.

          1. Okay… apparently the colonel didn’t have bupkis to do with Fort Ticonderoga, He died in Liege in 1778. But anyway, leaving her with a bunch of debt.

            And she didn’t just write diligently. She had a really long affair with some English poet.

            1. Okay… there was a guy who died at Ticonderoga… but he was Lt. George Bartman, who was an illegitimate son of Thomas Hervey, who was the uncle of Captain (later General) William Hervey, who kept a ton of journals that were published under the name of “Journals of the Hon. William Hervey in North America and Europe.”

              And William Hervey survived marching to Fort Duquesne with Braddock, and trying to capture Ticonderoga from the French, and a bunch of other non-fun things.

              Oh, and the Elizabeth Hervey chick? She had an earlier marriage, and got widowed at age 17, with some guy whose last name was Harvie! You could not make it up!

              Oh, and William Beckford’s younger daughter ended up the Duchess of Hamilton, but first her guy wouldn’t marry her until her dad gave him 20000 pounds to settle his debts. I mean, it worked out eventually and it was a social coup, but holy crud.

              The older daughter’s colonel rose to major general, but then she kicked the bucket. Which takes some of the pleasure out of being right all along.

              Here’s the letter she wrote to her dad to announce her elopement:

              “.…I have resolved upon a step which I feel assured will ensure my Happiness and have now adopted this mode of communication in preference to speaking to you upon the subject and when you receive this I shall no longer have the name Beckford”

  18. Thank you!!!!
    There are many outstanding essays (and even better conversations in comments) here in Ms Hoyt’s blog.

    But this short piece moved me, sent shivers up and down my spine, and leaves me with goose bumps.

    Thank you, with tears and resolve.

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