The Collision of Populations, Tequila, and Other Poisons

We labor remarkably to hone our poisons.


I am watching Lou Dobbs on CNN and he is talking about immigrants and the crumbling status of the United States and the internal rot the American empire is enduring.  A bloated border manager from a dusty Texas outcropping is featured in a discussion about the failure of various fences and fencing technologies.  The federal government is abandoning the virtual fence application altogether – and this is troubling.  Demographic profiles of Texas and California are put on screen and demonstrate an unsurprising composition of Latino populations in those states, and there is footage of people dropping over a tin-sheeted border demarcation and scampering off. 


Mexico is expanding northward.    


I think about the many reasons for one population growing into another adjacent one.  The lead reason likely is found in a more macro view – a natural need to fill vacuums.  This plays out on the kind of large scale that is reasonably overlooked by sociologists and politicians.  These vacuums might be found in undesirable jobs or in excess food or in the general continuance of more basic responsibilities and less desirable habitats.  And the expansion is unwelcomed – an odor among the cleaner and more regal indigenous people – as it is unwelcomed in other locales where the spores of other cultures are sprouting, as seen in Europe and in Africa and in Asia. 


It must be better to cleave the grind of any two populations with some kind of formidable wall.  Construction of anything is a stimulus.  The side effects of division are concepts for mathematics.


I have consumed the Mexican sun – browned where I have been, humbled in the searing where the country bowed before me, opened in the crawl of the eastern white sand beaches and in the slow slap of the bluer water.  I have negotiated nothing in markets where I am happily misunderstood, holding trinkets and bearing no fruit.  In these loose and vagrant regards I am a nihilistic embodiment of Mexico’s long-toothed and sharp-edged agave. 


There are four types of tequila.  Blanco – commonly referred to as silver or white in the English tongue – is blue agave in its purest form.  Blanco is clear and without the touch or delay of aging.  In contrast, gold tequila is adulterated with colorants and flavorings.  These gold tequilas are the cheaper tequilas used in many restaurants and found undulating in mixed drinks.  Additionally, there are two aged varieties: reposada, an early barrel-aged product that gives off a golden hue – and anejo, highlighted by a minimum aging period of one year and identified in an amber color and in flavors that are dependent on the barreling.


The effort to produce these varieties demonstrates a broader equation: the energetic pursuit in tethering the poison is greater than the ties.


The process of producing tequila begins when the blue agave plant is ripe – usually eight to twelve years after it is planted.  On average, a decade passes from germination to cultivation.  The rough leaves are chopped away from the core, and the core – which weighs between forty and seventy pounds on average – is assessed for ripeness.  Ripe cores are brought to the distillery where they are chopped up and set to roast.  The roasting converts starches into sugars and the roasted cores are shredded and the resulting juices are pressed into fermenting tanks where select yeast recipes are added to convert the sugars into alcohol.


It takes roughly 15 pounds of agave core to make one quart of tequila.


I traded voicemails with Bill Ligas, public relations director for Barton’s Capitan tequila brand, and explained my intention as a writer for Ground Report to better understand what one tequila brand may have over another.  He did not have anything for me, but Bacardi’s Corzo tequila staff pointed me to their PR agency, Harrison and Shriftman.  According to a press release sent to me by Danielle Abraham at Harrison and Shriftman, Corzo was “created for stylish, urban trendsetters with a passion for sharing fun and innovation…”  They go on to explain about the design of the bottle and of the overall experience. 


I am uncertain if bottles and the experience of the trendsetting consumer are important.


It is the people with their rudimentary shears, toiling and cutting as they are – out there under the closer Mexican sun.  They stay with me.  The poison yield continues and the patient crop holders compile their chum and glasscutters are called to make bottles and on it goes.  Where is the transcendent importance in this? 


And so fences are embellished and rhetoric is refined – because the more concrete and the more immediate is more important.  And some of us write about it and post it and look for fellowship.  This is random and anonymous activity that is without reward. 


We are rated by peers and ignored by the inebriated.