Friday, November 23, 2007

Offerings to Pachamama


The Incans, specifically the Aymara and Queychua peoples, worshiped the goddess Pachamama, a name which translates roughly to "mother universe," or sometimes "mother earth." Mama obviously refers to the mother, but Pacha does not translate directly to earth or the universe because it never occurred to the Incans to create random distinctions between what earth/planet/universe/existence is. So for centuries now I imagine scholars have puzzled and debated over what Pacha means exactly: did they mean earth? did they mean universe?

Of course, the answer is very simple: they meant Pacha. The real question is, what do we mean? What the hell are we talking about and why?

Before each feast or festival, the Incans offered libations to Pachamama, pouring a small amount of their Chicha onto the ground before imbibing. Showing this gratitude to the Pacha is a beautiful gesture that we at Le Mixeur would like to honor. However, while scholars have trouble agreeing on the translation of Pacha, they unanimously agree that the Incan places of ceremony did not have floors made of linoleum or varnished hardwood.

The home of Lela, Liz, and Rich on the other hand, does have such floors, and they have assured me they do not want our cocktails poured upon them.

Other methods that have been used to honor Pachamama are sacrificing guinea pigs and burning llama fetuses. This brings us back to the same problem of what the hosts of Le Mixeur are willing to have going on in their home. And besides, procuring llama fetuses in this day and age can be harder than acquiring a bottle of Swedish Punsch. I know some crazy shit goes on in the labs at Bastyr, but from what I've been told none of it involves llama fetuses. You also run into problems if there is a burn ban on at the time, and, well, the list of potential problems goes on and on.

So really, if we simply suspend disbelief for a few moments, we find ourselves arriving at the only possible, reasonable way to honor Pachamama within the context of Le Mixeur, which is to, upon arriving, say a challa to Pachamama, and drop some dollars in the Mixeur's glass jar.

The cost of supplying our Mixers with such fine cocktails and surroundings is substantial, as in multiple hundreds of dollars. And while we are not at all interested in profit from this venture, or even breaking even, we do hope to offset our losses enough to be able to continue to put them on in the future (and work is already underway for Le Mixeur Trois).

So in the absence of a major benefactor, and in light of the reality that Le Mixeur is the work of starving students, underpaid social workers, and hardworking restaurant staff, it is up to you, the Mixers, to help keep Le Mixeur Enterprise Commune afloat.

We suggest you think in terms of what you might pay to BYOB to some "party" (stay tuned for future posts on why Mixers best parties).

Think in terms of what you might pay at a "bar" to watch someone pour Potter's vodka into a juice glass with one hand while menacingly waving a soda gun like a venomous snake with the other, and when the liquid miasma creeps close enough to the top to cause the ice to float, viciously injects a quick splooge of something red, or brown, or clear to top it off. Then, using the same hands he's just used to grab some hard-earned-yet-staph-infected bills from one of your comrades, squeezes a micro-lime sliver before hastily dropping it into the baneful stew.

Weigh what you think it would cost you to engage in one of these options, come to Le Mixeur, see what we have to offer, enjoy yourself, and in the end come to a decision on what you would like to contribute in order to go home feeling at peace with yourself and Pachamama. Then, because we love you and so does Pachamama, shave a few dollars off whatever figure is in your mind and leave that amount.

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