Have A Che Day
Mahone is on tilt, no doubt about it. While playing poker online the other day I noticed that one of the other players, a young female from California, it later turned out, was using a picture of Che in his beret (complete with red star) as the icon to represent herself at the table. Most people use pictures of themselves, maybe a baby picture, or a dog, cat, an animal totem, or a cartoon character as a table icon. Instead of ignoring this, of course, I started a polite and reasoned conversation about the subject of Che, something along the lines of "You dumb bitch! How can you honor this tyrannical murdering creep!?" Needless to say, she didn't respond well to that. During the ensuing furor, in which most people at the table got involved, she never managed to articulate exactly what was so appealing about Che as a human being.
And that's not all. The wife and I went to a major league ball game last week - great seats, a few rows back and just over the home team dugout. Several innings into the game a man, mid-thirties, yuppie-looking, and with a daughter who was maybe a ten-year-old in tow, sat down on the row in front of us, a few seats to my left. He was wearing a Che T-shirt. For the rest of the game the wife had to restrain me ("Here, dear, let me get you another beer.") from confronting this idiot. The best I could get away with was yelling out "Che sucks!" under the cover of the crowd noise anytime there was a hit.
Would someone go into a public event in America wearing a T-shirt with Hitler emblazoned on the front? Or Stalin? Or Usama Ben laden (at least outside of a meeting of the Hollywood chapter of the screen actors guild)?
Why Che, then? Best I can figure, the Che phenomena started in the sixties when he climbed to the top of the dung heap of hippie fame after being immortalized on that summa cum laude of hippie culture, the black-lite poster. The reason was simple. Aside from being an archetype of opposition to America, and capitalism, Che looked cool: long hair, a beard, and a cute beret. For leftists, the fact that Che was a murderer, who eschewed justice in all forms save his manic impulses, who sold the Cuban people into communism, is meaningless in the presence of the fact that he looked cool enough to have been a guitar player in a rock band. I will make a bet here: if you polled the people who sport Che-wear, I predict that a good sixty or seventy percent of them probably don't understand who he really is–except that he’s some kind of cool-looking dead guy - or what he did historically. The same people who rail that George W. Bush is a world-class tyrant simply because someone in his administration might overhear one of their inane phone conversations, give Che a pass, even though, under the cover of ‘revolutionary ideals’, he destroyed those who disagreed with him with the impunity of your garden-variety psychopath.
At last year's Oscars guitarist Carlos Santana made a big deal of wearing an embroidered Che Guevara T-shirt. As Humberto Fontova points out (he is the author of Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, a Conservative Book Club "Book of the Month") in an article widely available on the web, Che was, among other things, responsible for setting up concentration camps in Cuba where "anti-social" elements, like delinquents (who listened to rock music or affected western cultural values), homosexuals, and political dissidents were held in captivity without benefit of trial or appeal of any sort.
Che and Castro jailed Cubans under conditions so inhumane that even a United Nations Human Rights Commission member might consider them deplorable. According to first hand reports from survivors, the execution squads kept them awake day and night as they slaughtered their compatriots. As well, Che personally lent a hand, even putting his gun to the back of a defenseless boys head and exploding it like a melon. Che once boasted of sending several thousand people to the firing squads during the first couple of years of the revolution. At one point, Humberto also points out, some 500,000 Cubans (old and young, male and female) passed through Castro and Che's prison camps. Proportionally, this gives Cuba a higher political incarceration rate than either Stalin or Hitler had!
If you are of Cuban ancestry, or simply love freedom, perhaps the next time you encounter some idiot in a Che shirt you will punch them in the nose. If they complain, tell them you have found them guilty of violating your revolutionary ideals.
Carlos, like most left-leaning twits, is abysmally unaware of the paradox of worshiping individuals who are the very antithesis of the freedoms and culture they claim to support. Ditto
Robert Redford, the "egalitarian" actor who lives in a palatial estate high above the hoi poli, recently paid homage to Che as a sensitive young man in his movie The Motorcycle Diaries.
But if you hang on the left, you can get away with committing atrocities if you look dashing enough. In fact, if Hitler had better tonsorial skills, he'd be smiling at us today from T-Shirts covering busty-but-brainless leftist college girls. Chairman Mao, a communist tyrant who dispassionately condemned millions of Chinese to their deaths, at least had a twinkling smile that got him time on posters that adorned hippie hovels all over America. Mao's endearing and deceitfully cherubic face will ensure him a continuing place in leftist fashion. So, perhaps, given the current abandonment of Israel and the embrace of Palestine by the left, even Hitler's image can be resurrected with a little assistance from modern marketing.
A New Fashion Icon On The Way To Replace Che?
This week US forces hit the jackpot and destroyed al-Qaida leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi along with seven of his aides in a terrorist safe-house (which turned out to be mis-named) in Iraq . Military intel sources close to Paxety Pages have reported that the lower half of Zarqawi’s body was, essentially, atomized by the blast from one of the five-hundred pound bombs which were dropped on the house; therefore, what the al-Qaida leader will do with his 72 virgins - who are sure to be disappointed - is a still a mystery. It is presumed that he will now be content to occupy eternity by leading them in prayer five times a day. Since Al-Zarqawi has all the ingredients for popularity in America - he was a murderer who hates the United States and represented the forces of tyranny, religious oppression (which is okay with leftists as long as it’s not some horrible Christian oppression like prayer before a high school football game) and mindless violence - I wondered if anyone would make a T-shirt featuring him. I contacted Alan Sherbinski, owner of The Shirtary, in North Hollywood, and found that, indeed, Al-Zarqwi T-shirts are already on the market and selling briskly.
"We've been up since early this morning, when CNN first announced the news, silk-screening them," Alan informed me. " And a good move it was. We've had dozens of moms stop by on the way to school to buy them for their kids. Also, Latino rocker Carlos Santana has ordered three dozen for members of his band, road and sound crew."
Meanwhile, inside sources in Washington close to Nancy Pelosi have revealed that the House Democrat leader has intimated that she may start a move to have President George W. Bush impeached for Al-Zarqawi's murder.