Video Virgil: Saint Che...Not

I loved The Motorcycle Diaries. Warm, funny, emotionally powerful, it takes the viewer on a visually stunning journey northward along the mountainous spine of South America with two young Argentinians, dreamy Ernesto and earthy Alberto, who rattle along like a mid-20th-century Don Quijote and Sancho Panza on an oil-spitting Rocinante, until they discover their destiny, which is to trade their bourgeois future for a life devoted to the poor.

I also loved the soulful performances of the two stars, Gael Garcia Bernal and Rodrigo de la Serna, and of all the other actors and non-actors who grace the screen. In the best sense, this is not Hollywood.

But it is also not true. Maybe Ernesto "Che" Guevara was brave, kind, and loving when young. But he didn't stay that way. In a 1967 address to his fellow communists, he highlighted the importance of "hatred as an element of the struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine."

To place this remark into the context of Guevara's actual career, see this article by Peruvian historian Alvaro Vargas Llosa in the current New Republic. After reading that essay, you may want to retire your Che T-shirt and pick up your Cervantes.

July 21, 2005 10:45 AM |



PRC Pop 

The Chinese pop music scene is like no other ...

Remembering Elvis 

The best part of him will never leave the building ...

Beyond Country 

Like all chart categories, "country" is an arbitrary heading under which one finds the ridiculous, the sublime, and everything in between. On the sublime end, a track that I have been listening to over and over for the last six months: Wynnona Judd's version of "She Is His Only Need." The way she sings it, irony is not a color or even a set of contrasting colors; it is iridescence.

Miles the Rock Star? 

Does Miles Davis belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame? Here's my take on his career ...

Essay Contest 

Attention, high school jazz listeners ...

more trax

Me Elsewhere

Edward Hopper 

Painter of light (and darkness) ...

Dissed in Translation 

Here's my best shot at taking Scorcese down a few pegs ...

Henri Rousseau Revisited 

"Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington this fall ...

Paul Klee's Art 

Paul Klee was not childish, despite frequent comparisons between his art and that of children...

Our Art Belongs to Dada 

Rent my "Dadioguide" tour of the Dada show (before it moves to MoMA) ...

more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Martha Bayles published on July 21, 2005 10:45 AM.

Remembering 50s Pop was the previous entry in this blog.

Soul Loses Its Soul is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.