My audience, all three of you, must be overwhelmed with anticipation by now. My research, consisting of amazon.com (they better start paying me, or else), barnesandnoble.com, a few blog readings, and a trip to a Books-A-Million store, is complete. I am well aware this does not qualify for an advanced degree - this is a godam blog, so there. Over the past few years, a particular image has become quite common in this country. Somehow, a dangerous and brutal, political thug of the last century has become a pop-culture (dumb masses) icon. Apparently, most people have no idea what the man stood for, and the horrors he inflicted to achieve his goals. That doesn't matter, because he is "hip", and "hipness" trumps actual historical fact. So without further adieu, I present:
Handsome fellow? Yes. Striking pose? Indeed. Revolutionary, self-sacrificing idealist or opportunistic, sociopathic thug? Depends on the authors of the following books.
1. Che: A Revolutionary Life : John Lee Anderson
2. Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him : Humberto Fontova
3: The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty : Alvaro Vargas Llosa
4. Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro's Gulag : Armando Valladares
John Lee Anderson thinks that Che's poop never stunk, and he might have been the second coming of Jesus H. Christ. Although having visited Cuba and Russia for his research, he fails to mention that at least he had the chance to come and go as he pleased, unlike the people who actually live there. Furthermore, since he largely agrees with all things Che, he knew it very unlikely that he would be either imprisoned or shot on sight. He also made a nice little profit (Oh, Gaia! Not PROFIT!) from his work. Anderson is the type of socialist with the opinion on wealth - "O.K. for me, but not for thee." However, to understand the mental workings of a true Che sycophant, this is worth a flipping through. Just don't buy it - since true socialists loathe the idea of making more money than somebody else, it would be rude.
The next author wishes Che were still alive so he could shove not just one banana, but the entire bunch up his ass. He makes some good points, but methinks he stretches the truth a bit. I have doubts about Che having a favorite past time of shooting dogs, which he mentions. As with the above author, you have to weed through a lot of B.S. with Mr. Fontova. At times he is inconsistent. In one chapter you read about what a powerful, influential and evil mastermind Guevara was behind el Revolucion, then in the very next entry, Che is nothing more than a foolish dupe; a tool in the designs of Fidel and Raoul. Reminds me of the quandry liberals are always in when trying to describe George W. Bush. Anyway, he was sent to Bolivia because it meant almost certain death when he was no longer of use. Sounds modus operandi for the brothers Castro. However, some of the events under the direction of Che - mass executions, kangaroo trials, and overall brutality are well documented.
Book three is very short and I got to read most of it. Mr. Llosa takes a more objective look at Che and particularly the consequences of his philosophies and actions. Too short actually. It turns out that Che's image as "man of the people" was merely a ruse (as most often is), and merely wanted to replace Batista's thugs with his own. You can probably read it in less than an hour at the bookstore.
Against All Hope is what became of Cuba after the gang of three. This poor fellow spent decades in a work prison for saying things El Presidente apparently did not like. Despite its religious overtones, this is probably the best one to get. Che Guevara has been dead for four decades, but people still suffer from his actions. Michael Moore apparently never met this man, and I think he would probably decline any invitation to do so. Despite Cuba's fantastic, sooper-dooper, "free" healthcare system (as long as you belong to the Communist Party - otherwise you are rather screwed), this man will show the Cuba that people such as Micheal Moore, Jimmah Cahtuh, and a laundry list of rock stars and Hollywood Dimwits Emeriti DO NOT want you to see. Of all the books, I recommend this one.
Now, to my point (yes, there is a point here): What is up with all these idiot kids and Hollyweird types going about sporting all things Che? There are even some brain surgeons out there getting tattoos of this butthole. I just Googled "Che shirt" and everybody is cashing in on this - hundreds of online stores alone selling posters and every garment imaginable of this murderer. This is not without irony. Since Che was a self-professed Communist, just how does profiting off his image make any modicum of sense or consistency of thought? Well, people are rallying around Obama and his message of "change." Change to what? Agrarian-based, economic feudalism? Enquiring minds, the few remaining, want to know.
I have an idea. Actually a friend's idea, but he doesn't blog so I am claiming it. Print up posters and tee shirts of Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Kim Jong Mentally Ill, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Achmed Iamadinersalad, and a host of other "heroes" and sell them. If these people think Che is "cool", I bet they can't wait to get their hands on this merchandise.
"Useful Idiots" - never has there been a more applicable term for the mindless crop of today. I hope I am dead by the time they get what they are literally begging for.