Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Che Guevara, Capitalist Extraordinaire

Che GuevaraErnesto “Che” Guevara has been the chic icon of trendy anti-capitalism ever since his death in 1967. He’s the prototypical revolutionary, the hip Communist that everybody loves to love.

Never mind the fact that he enjoyed summarily executing his political opponents, those deemed too “counterrevolutionary” to be accorded the privilege of a trial or other judicial process. They’re enemies of the people! Just shoot ’em and be done with ’em!

The Che who has lived on in countercultural memory is the ultimately cool revolutionary dude, the hip anti-capitalist, the iconographic essence of those guys who stick it to The Man.

But Che has also been a staple of hip commerce for a long time. When I was a hippy-dippy college student in the early 1970s, it was de rigueur for every dope-smokin’ freak to have a Che poster on the wall. Since then the trade in Che artifacts has never slackened: T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, hats, you name it: the iconography of Revolutionary Chic plasters itself across the body parts and paraphernalia of the youth of each new generation. New Skin for the Old Ceremony, indeed.

And now Che is selling CDs in Norway. Check out this banner ad that I found on one of the news sites that Fjordman linked to in his most recent post:
- - - - - - - - -
Che sells CDs!

The Norwegian text says (roughly): “Price Revolution — Lots of titles from 59.50 — Platekompaniet’s stores and on [website URL].”

The CD titles you see in the animated gif include Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, and Ecce Thump [BTW — I learned to spell that “Ecce Tharup” back in my days as a tyke].

How much more hip and cool can you get? Grandmaster Che himself, helping to flog the latest CDs released by geriatric rockers!

And then there’s that scowling Elvis-icon on the left side of the banner…

I don’t know what all of this means. It just reminds me that anything can be co-opted in the service of commerce.

Over the last decade or so, on those occasions when I have encountered a television, I have noticed that music by almost any of the progressive rock icons of the sixties and seventies — the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Who, etc. — has been used to sell cars and other commercial products.

¡Viva la Revolución!

It reminds me of a song by the Clash from the late ’70s, “Death or Glory”:

Every gimmick-hungry yob digging gold from rock ’n’ roll
Grabs the mike to tell us that he’ll die before he’s sold
But I believe in this, and its been tested by research,
That he who f***s nuns will later join the church

Welcome to church, everybody! Grab a pew and open your Little Red Book of commerce…


History Snark said...

Ironic. I just waited on a customer today wearing a Che t-shirt. I wanted to ask her if she worships him for his destruction of the environment, the murder of innocent people, or his gross incompetence in organizing and leading revolutions.

Anonymous said...

The anti-Che (h/t KilCastro):


It sickens me how many people still idolize Che and try to justify what he did. FYI: Che is Argentinian slang for dude. I just thought you'd like to know!

Mother Effingby said...

Lucky for y'all, Dymphles, they's a whole market devoted to all Ché, all the time! Ché*Mart!

and when you're through shopping for that someone special group interest, go read a moving tribute Here.

atheling2 said...

It's no great surprise anymore, who the Left adores.

They are always on the wrong side of history. Their predecessors adored Marx, Stalin, Mao...

And of course, they're always on the side of Islamofascists.

Unknown said...

I'd like to add "war mongerer" to his description.

But it's always fascinating. If you would be, let's say, adore Hitler, everyone would scream at you. But if you adore Stalin or Mao, everything's fine, even though those two have murdered more people than WW2.

Interesting logic by the left, isn't it?

KGS said...

I came across the Che phenomenon in a Finnish "five & dime" the other day in central Finland's captial city of Jyväskylä.
The store Tiimari: http://www.tiimari.fi/index.php

was selling school material, binders, pencil bags etc, that had Che's face plastered all over it.

I asked the sales clerk why they were selling school products with the serial killer's likeness on them?

The only reply I got was that "other stores in the area were selling them too.

One more point, last year in the same city tables were set up in the city's center honoring human rights day etc. etc., and one of the HR groups were selling t-shirts of Che.

Asking the individual running the tent display if she was against the death penalty she exlaimed.."why yes of course".

I followed up with the question "why then are you selling t-shirts with a picture of man who enjoyed the murdering of others", who personally managed the executions of thousands of people, including children?"

Answer: blank stare.

Conservative Swede said...

Grandmaster Che himself, helping to flog the latest CDs released by geriatric rockers!

However, the stupidity of this goes far beyond its apparent ridiculousness. Che's idea about roqueros, i.e. rockers, was to put them in concentration camps. Read this:

»In 1960 at a town named Guanahacabibes in extreme Western Cuba, Che initiated Cuba's concentration camp system. "We send to Guanahacabibes people who have committed crimes against revolutionary morals. . it is hard labor...the working conditions are harsh..."

Among the many categories of criminals against revolutionary morals were "delinquents." Please take note Che T-shirt wearers: this "delinquency" involved drinking, vagrancy, disrespect for authorities, laziness and playing loud music. Among the more hilarious manifestations of Che idolatry was the rock musician Carlos Santana's grand entrance to the 2005 Academy Awards ceremony where he stopped, swung open his jacket, and proudly displayed his Che T-shirt as the cameras clicked.

By the late 60's among the tens of thousands of inmates at Guanahacabibes and the rest of the UMAP concentration camp system in Cuba were "roqueros," hapless Cuban youths who tried to listen to Yankee-Imperialist rock music. Carlos Santana, was grinning widely -- and oh so hiply -- while proudly sporting the symbol of a regime that made it a criminal offense to listen to Carlos Santana.»

Che really rocks, doesn't he?

spackle said...

I remember some years ago I had a really bad toothache and was particularly broke at the same time. I managed to find a dental clinic on the lower east side of Manhattan. It was a total "Peoples clinic" from the time I walked in. When they put me in the chair and laid it back I noticed a poster of Che was posted on the ceiling directley above the patient so he could see his face throughout the entire ordeal. I thought I had waalked into something out of " Clockwork Orange". You know, combine a little pain with some forced viewing. When the dentist came in he looked like a normal sort of guy except for his thick Jamaican accent which kind of made me nervous. Jokingly I said to him, (reffering to the poster) so, is this how they taught interegation techniques at dental school? He didnt even crack a smile. He just asked about my tooth and went to work. Awkward!! Luckily he did a really good job and that was the last I saw of the "Peoples Clinic".

History Snark said...

I see Conservative Swede has apparently also read Fontova's book. I'll also point out that as a "revolutionary" Che was completely incompetent. He was Castro's butcher, and when the time for butchering opponents in large numbers was past, it appears Castro sent his Moron in Chief off to Africa, in the hopes of getting rid of the problem for good. That failed, so he next went to Bolivia, which had already undergone the agrarian reform the Commies spoke of.

The Bolivians took care of Fidel's problem.

As another note, there's a book out there, with the title of "Guerilla Warfare" (I think) written by Che. Avoid it. I read it, and it's incredibly long and tedious. Further, Fontova tells the tale of a Bay of Pigs veteran whose grandson came home from college with a copy of Che's book, as required reading. The old man laughed himself silly at the idea of such an incompetent military "leader" being quoted as a military authority.

Che was a moron. And that pretty much covers him.

But he had good genes. I slightly knew a girl many years ago who was a relative, and she was Hawt!

Don Miguel said...

"I see Conservative Swede has apparently also read Fontova's book."

Fontova gives a great overview and his books are relatively new and available, but if you dig around you can find other books that are by or have stories from people who fought with or against Che and Castro and that have much more detail (Fontova references a lot of them). It still amazes me how many people admire an "icon" that in reality was one of the worst human beings in every aspect to ever inhabit this earth. There was absolutely nothing redeeming about the piece of s**t!

Captain USpace said...

Che was total human garbage and his followers are idiots at best...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe loves
Che Guevara t-shirts

admire a butcher of men
who killed less than Stalin

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
be an even BIGGER fool

sing praises for dictators
avoid history and FACTS