'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Chez Che 

Che's ghost has been fairly busy lately.

Walter Salles' take on The Motorcycle Diaries is going to hit the screens on the 24th of this month, and Che's family has nothing but good things to say about it. If The Motocycle Diaries turns out to be too schmaltzy, Steven Soderbergh is reportedly working on a full Che biopic due out in 2005.

In order to capitalize on the movie or perhaps in an attempt to use up the last of the world's dwindling irony reserves, a US company that, according to Utne, probably uses Latin American sweatshop labor claims now to own the iconic Che image and is suing another T-shirt vendor for producing Che shirts: (from Utne)

Cuban photographer Alberto Korda took the famous picture at a funeral in 1960 and gave a print to an Italian journalist in 1967. After Guevara's death in 1968 the photo was distributed widely in Italy, and then the rest of the world. It has been duplicated by like-minded progressives ever since. Scott Cramer's Northern Sun Merchandising of Minneapolis has been selling the Che Guevara image on t-shirts and posters for nearly 25 years. Atlanta-based Fashion Victim is threatening to sue Cramer on the grounds that it bought the North American rights to the image in 2002.

Also, via The Hey! Weblog, Che chic is growing in Argentina. Or at least Argentina wants Che's body: (from here)

If a small but growing group of Argentine legislators has its way, the remains of Che Guevara will come back home one day--back, that is, to a home that many people do not know he had.

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born and raised in Argentina, the son of a rich man. But it was with Fidel Castro's revolution that Guevara won fame and infamy. It is with Cuba that his iconic image is associated. And it is in Cuba that Guevara is interred.

The Argentines don't expect to change all that. They just want the world to know that Guevara was one of theirs.

"Some people may be in favor of his ideas, and some may be against, but all agree that Che was a figure of noble causes," said Ines Perez Suarez, a congresswoman from Buenos Aires who wants the government to ask the Castro regime to repatriate Guevara's remains. "Che is admired all over the world, and the Argentine people deserve to have him back."

Given Argentina's current status as a poster child for the neoliberal god that failed, American Leftist suggests that Argentine legislators would be better off importing from Cuba some of Che Guevara's ideas rather than his corpse.

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