Tuesday, August 23, 2005

If I didn't say it, don't say I did.

Last Thursday I wrote this post about my desire to take a trip to South America "a la Che Guevara". It was an innocent statement that I made based on my impressions of his trip upon reading The Motorcycle Diaries some time ago.

Yesterday, someone without an email address and without a blog where I could respond left me this comment:

NeverUnderestimateTheStupidityOfTheMasses said...
How typical that an affluent 20-something would be a fan of Che Guevara. Doing anything a la "Che Guevara" would require assasinating many possibly-innocent Cubans. Maybe you rich, south American brats should do some research before you idolize murderous, socialist rebels.

...Immediately followed by a quote from Time Magazine from this profile, which is incidentally where this person got their comment from because there isn't an original thought in there.

Needless to say, I was enraged by this comment because if there is one thing in life that irks me and gets me all bent out of shape is people putting words in my mouth. I am someone who is VERY clear. I say what I mean and mean what I say. Anyway, I posted a response that at the time felt okay. But it's not enough.

I know that there is a lot in life that I don't know and as a result I go through life teaching myself on a need to know basis. Despite the fact that I know that I had the best education that my parents could afford me, this education unfortunately did not include Latin American history and as a result I didn't know the name Che Guevara until late in my teens. To be completely honest, I read The Motorcycle Diaries because I liked the movie and I saw the movie because I love Gael Garcia Bernal.

Last night I spent the whole night researching Mr. Guevara so that if I made a mistake in admiring the young man he was I could make amends and move on with my life. Even today I made some calls to a few people whose knowledge I admire and opinions I respect and asked them about it. In these 18 hours I have learned tons.

I do not idolize ANYBODY, but upon reading about his life despite the fact that he did become a murderer I admire the young man he was and I respect the fact that he had such conviction in his beliefs that he literally showed courage to his death. Do I agree with the way he did things? No. But there is a lot to be said about someone who fought (literally) for what he believed in.

I am not a communist but I understand the logic behind socialism. Maybe I'm wrong, but Mr. Guevara was no Fidel Castro. BASED ON MY RESEARCH, what I see is a man who truly believed that America was an oppressive, imperialist power (I can see how he'd think that), that there should be a classless society (not a terrible thought) and that South America should be a united continent based on its mestizo culture (once again, not an entirely terrible idea).

Did he go about it the right way? Probably not. But it seems to me that he was acting towards what IN HIS MIND was the greater good. Did he kill many people in the process (not just Cubans)? Yes. Do I admire that? No. I don't think that Che became an iconic staple for what he did so much as for what he represents and as far as I can see, what he represents is a man who saw the inequality in our society and wanted to make a change and fought for it though perhaps he lost his way in the process.

Oh and by the way, I am in the tax bracket of nowhere near rich, Dominican Republic is not in South America, though I will allow the "brat" part because in life, everything is relative ;)

Oh and according to dictionary.com, rebel means to refuse allegiance to and oppose by force an established government or ruling authority. To resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention. To feel or express strong unwillingness or repugnance.



grody jo-dee said...

how else do things get done? many forms of rebellion have led to huge changes...how about the rebellion(against england of course) that formed america?

what drives me crazy is that someone took what was obviously a fun-type comment, and turned into his/her own personal crusade. get a life people! even if you had made a more serious endorsement of che g., everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Grant said...

Nobody ever insults me, even though I deserve it way more than you. Quit hogging all my attention, you wealthy communist South American bookworm biker-chick brat! :p

Just think of the attacks you might draw if you allowed anonymous comments.

KARAKALA said...

Our United States President is a rebel. He took us to war with the wrong country.

All our politicians are rebels with a cause: to lie, cheat, deceive and wear fucking suits and ties all day.

Religion is another form of becoming a rebel. Just look at all these fanatical Christians and Muslims killing each other.

You know Annush, I think this whole world is going insane. You have the right to your own opinion.

Soon we will see the clash of civilization. And it's going to be a wonderful experience.

Jonas said...

You dug the movie I'm guessing for the same reason I like Alexander the Great(the actual person, not the movie). You like the idea of an ambitious person going after what they want no matter what the cost. It shows lack of fear. The person who made that comment was just being a prick (and my guess is they know it).

"It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."

Fight Club

Tek said...

I agree with everything you said, hell, Bush is a rebel. Just stumbled upon your blog and I will be back.

lccb144 said...

I always thought it would be cool to take that kind of a road trip and yes maybe it is a result of being over-indulged as a child. And socialism gets a bad rap (peaceful socialist that I am), so you go, annush, you rebel! Don't let them get away with those stupid crappy statements. I want to call that person names now but I will refrain.

Libélula said...

First and foremost, I loved the way you responded to the comment.

Second, I admire Ché Guevara. I read his biography when I was like 19. Like everything in life, his actions had pros as well as cons. Just like you, I don't necessarily agree with the way he handled things, but this in no way belittles the thought behind his effort and what he wanted to accomplish. I admire the passion behind his actions and the fact that he was willing to die (and actually did in Bolivia) for his ideals.

“Hasta la Victoria siempre” Ernesto “Ché” Guevara.

SA-Eric said...

Spam is just wrong.

Pirate said...

Che as well as most freedom fighters throughout history have been misunderstood. We often take the less popular position because our passion is not for the quantity of friends that will surround us but for those who have no chance. Unfortunately the left in present time tend to think they are the true revelutuinaries but they arfe really the status quo that visionaries like Che, Jack London, and American Revolutionist embattled. Good blog Annush.

henry siteber said...

I can see how you feel about the post, but you really shouldn't sweat it. The post was placed in fun, not with a political agenda. Besides, you are entitled to your opinion. Screw that guy/coward.

petrow said...

i totally understand you way of thinking when you teach youself on a need to know basis, I wish i was person who could sit down learn something new and move on but i'm so speratic in my thirst that i go dfrmo water fountain to water fountain only taking enough to keep me going.

I linked you to my page, i love you politial perspective in this post, cheers to you.

you also added to my hotmail. i don't know if your supposed to ask, but i promis, no stalkers here, i'm canadian, i have beer to drink and hockey to play.

Odisea Burbujas said...

Damn! You tell 'em Annush! But like Henry said, don't sweat it ... Opinions are like assholes and everybody's got one.

Vince said...

Lovin' you something fierce right now! You're my hero.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Go Annush! Fight the power, baby!

WonderCorky said...

you know you admire Me...

you can't get around it..

I am.. Wondercorky


Edwin R. said...

You little dirty brat you! How dare you talk about being like Che! hahahaha... I say you talk about being like... Venezuelas President next... :)

mrsmogul said...

Those anonymous commenters are a pain! They are so cowardly they won;t leave their web page.

Have fun and don;t let someone spoil your post

Pia Talks said...

Hey Che was a great person. Yes it could be argued that he was a murderer, but he was killed rather young and died while still an idealist

My sister who is ms. prim and proper suburban housewife still has a soft spot for him--we all do

and the motorcyle diarys showed his transition from wealthy medical school to revelutonary (sic)

I admire Emma Goldman greatly. Do I agree with her methods? Not at all.

There's a lot to be said for romantized notions of people like them. It keeps you wanting change but not by their methods

justanothernickname said...

having money.........doing the right things..........having no money doing the right things

its that simple

vicpichardo said...

next time just delete the post. people grab on to one side or the other of a popular cause, grab a couple of borrowed statements and pump of their self worth with it. i didn't read your original post but would have understood the travel part. seems like a good idea, do it in a car though. you don't want to crack your head open.

but good for you to research the info for yourself.

Ivan T.B. said...

More than just a rebel Ernesto Guevara was a man with so many ideals. Was a man that see someting wrong with the world and instead of stay in home and do nothing (like the one who posted that), he went and did something for a change.

I´m glad you'r interested in Latin American history ;)