Sunday, December 10, 2006

Che Guevara and today's students

Good (or bad) ol Che has become a Warhol like icon of modern consumerism. No doubt he would turn in his grave did he know. Alas, we don't turn in our graves when we are dead, because that is part of being dead (ie we don't move about anylonger).
What puzzles me about this current fashion is that seemingly most of those youngsters (well, being safely in my 40s now, folks in their 20s are youngsters on my books) have no clue whatsoever about Che Guevara's ideals, and much of his life. Just the other day I noticed in a very close friend's bedroom a huge Che poster (red background, the lot). Thing is, my friend is a deep adherent of modern capitalism, he shows open disdain for my 'public sector' work as an educator, wants to open up a business and be a successful entrepreneur. Now, surely my friend is entitled to his views. What is puzzling about this one, however, is that Che Guevara, had he come across my friend during the Cuban revolution, would have had him shot on sight.
Well, you'd argue that at a time when Milos Foreman's songs from his musical HAIR are being abused to sell shampoo, quite possibly we should accept that Che's face graces the bedroom walls of business students. I remain unconvinced. I still think that once we choose our heroes, we should know enough about them to explain why they are our heroes. But, that's just me

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