Monday, February 20, 2006

Capitalist Che

I have long said (along with many others I am sure) that I love the whole Che Guevara t-shirt craze. I love it because he would hate it. I love it because it goes against everything that he believed. And I really love it because all the dolts that take part in the craze are clueless of the oxymoron the merchandise represents...

In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Alvaro Vargas Llosa marvels over the same thing. he recounts Che's history and offers a comparison to Argentina’s Juan Bautista Alberdi.

"...This windfall is owed substantially to last year's Oscar-winning film "The Motorcycle Diaries," which showed the young Che on a voyage of self-discovery as he encounters social and economic exploitation: laying the groundwork for a New Wave reinvention of the man whom Sartre once called the most complete human being of our era.

It is customary for followers of a cult not to know the real-life story of their hero, the historical truth. It is not surprising that Guevara's contemporary followers, his new post-communist admirers, also delude themselves by clinging to a myth -- a myth firing up people whose causes for the most part represent the exact opposite of what Guevara was..." (Read the rest of the article)

I have read quite a lot about Che Guevara --it's sad that you can't say the same about thousands that choose to adorn his likeness. I asked a girl in a mall once (who was purchasing a "Viva La Revolucion!" shirt) if she knew who it was on the shirt. She blushed a bit and said "No" but her friends "all had it" and "he was pretty hot".

May I suggest an alternative...

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