19 Oct 2007

Good Shooting!

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A glass monument to a villain like Che? Not the wisest choice.


A glass monument to revolutionary icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara was shot up and destroyed less than two weeks after it was unveiled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s government.

Images of the 8-foot-tall glass plate bearing Guevara’s image, now toppled and shattered, were shown Friday on state television, which said the entire country “repudiated” the vandalism.

If any of the shooters should ever find themselves in the United States, they should be sure to contact the author of this blog who will be glad to buy them a drink.

One Feedback on "Good Shooting!"

Dominque R. Poirier

Che Guevara is become trendy again since some years, and not only in countries where far leftist values and anti-Americanism have gained the statute of official political doctrine.

Some days ago, as I was perusing the French version of Yahoo! Answers, a popular community-driven knowledge market website that allows users to ask questions of other users and answer other users’ questions, I stumbled across the following one, posted one month ago. English translation is mine:

“A film in Spanish language about the life of Che Guevara as pretext to teach Spanish language. Is that legal?

It really happened to my son two years ago while he was in grade 7 (public school), as a pretext to learn Spanish through dialogue listening.”

The question was not correctly written, in my opinion. “Legal” should have been changed for “ethical,” or “honest.” But the dozen of answers this question collected were all the same in their style, surprisingly enough; and they were not less excessive to the point that I found opportune to associate them to my comment.
Here they are, listed in their order of origin from #1 to #12 and I let you appreciate them:

1) “So, what’s the problem? You don’t like the Che?”

2) “Why not”

3) “It’s much more interesting than to learn with a turkey or with books (‘Where is Safia? Safia is in the kitchen!…)”

“You should complain to the European Court of the Human Rights or write to our President. Your son since then went to underground, wears a beret, know the complete works of the popular Marxist-Leninist ideology and anarchist-unioninist? One can reasonably imagine Che Guevara as an historical subject and moreover you do not cite the film, and if ever it is the Walter Salles’s film The Motorcycle Diaries about the youth years of the Che before his commitment and which tells (rather beautifully, by the way) his trip across Latin America, then it doesn’t deserve to ask a question on Yaq. Sarkozist’s policy of conciliation finds quickly its limits, seemingly…”

5) “It’s true that a film about the life of Pinochet (or Franco) should have had more class…”

6) “Hell, you are a case. Ask the question otherwise: is it unlawful to broadcast a film on the life of Che Guevara?”

7) “I don’t see what is shocking. It’s all about the life of a personage who belongs to history. The only one trouble might lie in bias… But if it is objective and limits to a mere biography, then why not? Quality remains the main criteria. One could have shown them a film of ‘Joselito,’ but I doubt the toddlers would appreciate…”

8) “You would prefer a Spanish film praising the work of Pinochet, instead? Or the stupid dialogues of a second rate TV series?
Che Guevara did trully exist; he is part of history, and of this of Spanish speaking countries more particularly. So, studying his life is nothing extraordinary; it’s even a very good mean to get in touch with and understand the Latin American culture and history.
I do not understand your indignation… Or if I understand it, then I’m afraid of the future…”

9) “I don’t see what your problem is: is it to watch a film that would entail missing hours of hard and pure courses to your son? Or, is that all about the Che?
In the former case I do not find it choking because it may be part of the curriculum (if Latin America is part of the curriculum in grade 7, I don’t know), “motivate” some ones to listen to smthg, be part of a course’s project: of style, test of a sort in the aftermath in the aim to check whether they did listen to is an axis of discussion, etc, etc…
In the later case, the Che is a prominent personage and important for the history of the Latin America; so, that he is taken as main subject of a film shown in a classroom—if ever this film is not too fanciful… Then I say yes. It has a ‘civilizationist’ character.
Well, if ever he did spend his year watching movies then I understand your problem, but in the present case you failed to mention more than one…”

10) “Che Guevara is a historical personage of first rate importance in the Latino American realm. Also, his story is thrilling: it’s the best motivation to watch a foreign language speaking movie. And this was the goal; don’t you think so?
If ever this film is the excellent ‘el Che’ of Anibal Di Salvo, then it’s a romantic documentary, but without eulogy.
If ever ‘eulogy’ is the point that disturbs you, if ever you are afraid your son votes for the left in 2012, then I don’t think so that one film be enough.
But I can say that from now on to 2012 we will have a list of films conspicuously politicized and so unlawful.”

11) “It all part of the curriculum, but I’m sure your son has been so polluted that he has put a poster of the che in his bedroom and that he preaches revolucion for you!”

12) “Maybe the thus questioned film is The Motorcycle Diaries, which tells abouta trip in South America that Che Guevara did during his youth. It is often used by professors of Spanish language in public junior high schools and colleges, but also (hell, my colleagues who teach Spanish are Cuban agents!) in private education. Don’t worry, nothing of significant concern…
Yet I wonder: in which way this should be illegal? Because it is a bit about politics and you are afraid for your son? In this case we should also go over French language curriculums. We must forbide the study of the whole works of Zola, Germinal in particular, of a part of the works of Victor Hugo and of Les Misérables in particular, of the poets of the French Resistance, of Satre, ect. All leftist people… Perhaps should we also censor Beaudelaire for progaganda in favor of drug consumption, Rimbaud for incentive to run away and to debauchery, and even Moliere for eulogy of tobacco (cf. Dom Juan Act I, sc 1)…”

Che Guevara seems to collect more enthusiasm in France than in Venezuela, David!

Readers proficient in French can read the original version here:


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