Ratchet of the Earth | The New Engagement

Ratchet of the Earth

By Adriana Garriga-Lopez
Ratchet of the Earth cover art by Tim Sullivan

Original illustration by Tim Sullivan.


Welcome! Welcome! ¡Bien venidos y bien venidas!

On behalf of the Committee for Radical Friendship and Political Reconciliation between Peoples through Art

De parte del Comité de Amistad Radical y Reconciliación Política Entre Pueblos a través del Arte, y en el espíritu histórico de sanación entre Puerto Rico y los Estados Unidos

And in the spirit of historical healing between the United States and Puerto Rico

We present to you this act of kinky catharsis!

¡Les presentamos este acto de kinky catarsis!

el cual es solo una ínfima parte de la fantasía de venganza contra los Estados Unidos de esta, su dominatriz boricua, Kiki de las Nueces.

This represents only one small aspect of the complex revenge fantasy of this, your Puerto Rican dominatrix.

Now, I offer you my proposal for what I like to call tropical sadomasochism.

Les presento aquí mi propuesta para un sadomasoquismo político-tropical.

Esta es mi víctima voluntaria. This is my willing and eager victim, Ashley Smith. Say hello, Ashley. [Ashley says hello.]

She knows what she’s getting into. We’ve already worked this out and she’s agreed. She’s consented. Remember, we do this is in the spirit of historical reconciliation! Ok.

Ella sabe la que hay. Ella ha consentido a ser parte de esta pieza de arte. Recuerden que hacemos esto con la intención de producir sentimientos de reconciliación, ok? Gracias, Ashley.

[Ashley Smith is secured to an X cross with wrist and ankle cuffs. There is a flag hanging next to her. There is a table full of torture implements and sex toys on display, including several whips and paddles.]

If Ashley wants me to slow down or hit her more softly, she will say “I am sorry.” Let me hear you say “I’m sorry,” Ashley...

Si Ashley necesita que yo me apiade de ella o que le pegue menos duro, me dirá: “Lo siento.” Dímelo. Practica, Ashley. Bien. Si Ashley quiere que yo pare me dira, “Te amo!” Esto me asustará demasiado, llevando a una pausa.

If she wants me to stop altogether she will tell me: “I Love You.” This will scare the shit out of me and I will stop.

But you have to help me out because, you know, I get carried away, plus I can’t hear too well. Pero ustedes me tienen que ayudar porque a mí se me va la mano… así que si la oyen pedir perdón o decir que me ama, me avisan, ok.

But if she apologizes (loudly) for the terrible wrongs of colonialism, expropriation, monopolization, environmental degradation, proletarianization, privatization, political persecution, and forced migration imposed by her people on mine, I may take some pity on her.

Pero, si me pide perdón a viva voz por los terribles abusos imperialistas de expropiación, monopolización, persecución política, degradación ambiental, proletarianización, privatización y migración forzosa impuestas por su pueblo sobre el mío, puede ser que me apiade de ella.


Gracias, Ashley, por prestar tu cuerpo para este despojo.

Thanks for surrendering your body to this dispossession.


[Salsa song “El Tiburón” by Willie Colón plays over sound system while I work Ashley over with various implements]


Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Adriana Garriga-Lopez is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College in Michigan and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York.

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