Galt’s Gulch Chile: Six Characters in Search of an Author

by Terry Hulsey

Galt’s Gulch Chile is a miserable drama of six characters in search of an author, requiring only three actors to stage. Each actor has a reality persona and a second persona that he believes himself to be and which he is desperate to sell to the world. Let’s meet the cast, shall we?

Greasy Latino Parasite is the little man who feasts on unsuspecting foreigners. He’s typically busy pitching crummy timeshares in Cancun for arriving tourists, but he’s always got an eye on the prize – a money-laundering scheme, a prostitution ring, or in this case, a real estate deal sure to clean the flesh from the bones of ignorant Nortes. You can recognize him by the fat pressing from the sweaty collar of his cheap suit, and by his constant reassurance “No hay problema, ee handle you detail, ?” Of course he sees himself as quite a different character. In the mirror of his own eye he is the Hard-Nosed International Businessman. This particular variety of “businessman” has scant acquaintance with the rule of law or simple integrity, believing that in the “dog-eat-dog world” he imagines himself to rule, the Englishman’s sense of fair play is for sporting naïfs. Yet should the suggestion be broached that he is a scam artist, pimp, or funcionario to the drug trade, he is genuinely and sincerely offended, for his point of reference is not the identity of Greasy Latino Parasite, but that of Hard-Nosed International Businessman. He can’t see outside himself: Not only would it be painful, but it would offer the prospect of the most serious jail time of all – time in a Latino prison.

Small Swingin’ Dick is the wannabe international deal-maker. He’s read Trump’s Art of the Deal and Mckay’s Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, so you know he’s a savvy operator, baby. Nonetheless, he is honest, and he is sincere. But there are times during his wheeling and dealing with the natives – through an interpreter who sometimes looks angrily at the locals and says No puedo decir eso! – when the sweat prickles the back of his neck and he feels himself looking over the edge of an abyss where the vague shapes of bankruptcy and prison leer darkly upward. Nevertheless, in the morning mirror as he shaves himself, he sees Francisco d’Anconia. Should anyone suggest that with his level of business acumen he is a Small Swingin’ Dick treading water in the nude over circling sharks, he is genuinely and sincerely offended:  For he can’t imagine that anyone could look at him and see other than the conjured persona of Francisco d’Anconia.

Polly Anna Voluntary is the scribbler who evangelizes a peculiar sport that blossoms off the trunk of libertarianism. In spite of the fact that this variant has the intellectual viability of craniometry or iridology, its practitioners find it redeemed in its proclaimed ability to usher in the new anarchist Jerusalem when everybody volunteers to just get along. This ideal is held aloft as the blazing torch of freedom, without compare, yet utterly without form – a perfect Schluderiggedanken that allows them to calumniate anyone who wonders just how any society will function on the single precept of volunteering to just get along. Having arrived on the ground of this real society in the making, it was naturally found wanting when compared to this formless glowing fuzzball of an ideal. Should anyone suggest that she gained admittance through buying a picayune acre for a few thousand dollars merely to provide grist for an eternal mill of scribbling that will show how they failed, failed, FAILED to come near her non-thought, why she will be genuinely and sincerely offended. For she can’t see that anyone could mistake her for other than Ayn Trump: Loads of hot buzzwords, light on details, but sure to provide the knowledge of the perfect society – somehow – if the world would just get along with her non-thoughts.

Now some may complain that they want to know about the demise of Galt’s Gulch Chile not as a literary exercise, but to get at the truth. For some, maybe so. To them I say: There’s your truth – a morass of self-justifying claims whose moral sorting would give the almighty himself a migraine.

For others, they know the plot before the opening act; they watch it nonetheless with soft, cackling Schadenfreude, like an episode of Wile E. Coyote: The anvil descends with growing and darkening shadow around the miserable Gulch subscriber who looks up at last with woebegone eyes, and it smashes him into the earth like a pile driver.

However, for the majority of viewers, they are in it for The Narrative – the Story that will spoon feed them the knowledge of the good guys and the bad guys. This majority after all is composed of Americans, who are blind to the conflicting motives inherent in any real-world endeavor. They are blind because they are a people for whom nothing abideth – not church, not government of any kind, not family, not even a gender-based identity. For them, there is no abiding truth. For them, truth is the successful sale of this alternate, manufactured personality rooted in… nothing.