Capitalizing on Che Guevara's image
... So it shouldn't be a surprise that L.A. artist Shepard Fairey, in his design for a Sen. Barack Obama poster, looked to Korda's Che. Fairey's Obama is not wearing a beret, and he's looking left instead of right, but his face tilts at the same angle as Che's. His jaw is set with the same willfulness and strength, and he too is gazing recognizably upward into the future (hasta la victoria siempre . . . ). Obama's eyes, though, are filled not with righteous anger but with vague and lofty hope...... Che means change
The above quote comes from an LA Times article analyzing the marketing of the “Che brand” as a money making enterprise.
I’m obviously not a fan of the Argentine. I lived through the repercussions of his delusions and maniacal social ideas.
Che’s smirk will forever be ingrained in my mind as a cynical representation of evil.
When reading the LA Times article, I was struck by two things.
One, was the lack of historical perspective of the real Guevara even though the author, who boasts of having bought his 3 year old niece a Che plush doll for Christmas, (I guess they were fresh out of Hitler and Mao dolls), ridicules Che T-shirt wearers for not knowing who the man really was. Then again, that would require objectively judging Che’s life. That’s too counterculture for counterculture LA latte-leftists.
The other, was the underlying disdain for the Free Market system that desecrates the memory of the sainted Che by exploiting his image since the Argentine would have considered it blasphemous.As Ivan de la Nuez, a Barcelona, Spain, museum director quoted in Ziff and Lopez's film puts it, "Capitalism devours everything . . . even its worst enemies." Che has proved an abundant meal.
Those heartless, greedy capitalists. They have “diluted” the essential Che-the Che-Essence, if you will:Rebels and activists the world over still take inspiration from Guevara. But the image has lost something; Che's face on a poster in 1968 isn't quite the same thing as it is on a mousepad 40 years later. Perhaps it is precisely that loss -- the shedding of Che's radicalism and ideological rigor -- that renders him so supremely marketable today. Things are not going well these days. Kids don't want revolution so much as, um, something different
Thank God. The original blood-red undiluted Che-Essence reeked of executions without trials, Stalinism and concentration camps for real Communists, Queers and Catholics.
But, fear not rebels without a clue. Even the diluted Che-Essence still stands for change. And there’s a candidate that’s been doused in this change water. He’s the torch bearer of change . Obama is not wearing a beret, and he's looking left instead of right, but his face tilts at the same angle as Che's. His jaw is set with the same willfulness and strength, and he too is gazing recognizably upward into the future (hasta la victoria siempre . . . ). Obama's eyes, though, are filled not with righteous anger but with vague and lofty hope.
Is that what happens when you dilute hate? You get righteous anger and lofty hope?