Thursday, March 10, 2011

Poor Che Guevara

I feel very sorry for Che Guevara. When he decided to go on his suicide mission in Bolivia, could he have imagined what would happen to him after his death? And I don't mean the mutilation of his body. I'm referring to the way his image and his name were commercialized. Che Guevara's name is now commonly used by spoiled rich brats to symbolize their boring rebellion against their parents. 

The star of a revolutionary
And do you remember The Motorcycle Diaries? The movie was such a disgrace that it would make even the staunchest fan of Che Guevara feel happy that his idol is dead and can't see how a bunch of stupid movie-makers turned a revolutionary hero into a pathetic eunuch. 

Now the Che hagiography has taken a step further into insanity. An Argentinean publishing house has released a book about Che for children. (The link is in Spanish.)

The book is very colorful and, of course, all scenes of violence have been excised from this G-rated version of the revolutionary's life.

Just look how cute Che is walking on a tight-rope with his bunch of flowers and all. 

What a way to castrate a threatening image of a revolutionary figure. I wonder which ultra-conservative organization sponsored the release of this book. If the little Argentineans are taught to see their major revolutionary figure as silly and toothless, they will be lest attracted by the romantic notions of revolutionary activity.

I found the reference to this book on this Spanish-language blog.


Anonymous said...

Could you make a post regarding "The motor cycle diaries." I've seen the movie and didn't think it was as bad as you seem to proclaim it is. Please share with us a more detailed critique. On the other hand I must share with you my disappointment with the kids book.

Clarissa said...

Gladly. I'll do it tonight.

I absolutey love the talented Gael Garcia Bernal but have you seen anybody less suited to play el Che? I'd make a much better Che Guevara any day.

Pagan Topologist said...

But it is no worse than the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree.

Clarissa said...

I don't know the story.

Pagan Topologist said...

It is a story commonly told to school children in this country. It goes more or less like this: When he was a child, George Washington was given a new axe. He went out and practiced chopping wood with it. When he ran out of wood to chop, he chopped down his mother's favorite cherry tree. When his father came home, he asked who chopped down the cherry tree. George said "Father, I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree."

The moral is supposed to be, I guess, that Washington was so virtuous that he was incapable of lying, and that children should aspire to such honesty.

Clarissa said...

I almost wept with laughter!! We had the exact same story about Lenin that was told to small kids. Only it was his mother's favorite cup that he broke.

This is too bizarre.

Pagan Topologist said...

Wow! A powerful archetype.

Clarissa said...

I wonder what a Freudian would say about this. I think there is something very oedipal in this story. Let's not forget that Washington and Lenin are symbolic fathers of their nations.

Jim said...

There's a joke based on that washington story.

A kid and his friend were goofing around and dared each other to tip the outhouse down the hill. They finally got up the nerve and did it.

Later little Johnnie's father asked him if he had tipped the outhouse down the hill, and when he dithered, his father told him the story of George washington and the cherry tree. So he fessed up.
His father started in beating the shit out of him - "B b b but Daddy! You said George Washington's father didn't spank him!"

"Yeah, well, George washngton's father wasn't in the cherry tree at the time."