Thursday, July 31, 2008


I wrote somewhere else that I may be the only regular purchaser of budget clothing in this country who doesn't have a t-shirt with Che Guevara's face on it. And I probably lean further to the Left than 75% of the people on the High Street, though my politics are more complicated and nuanced than my detractors would have it (I threw the only copy of the Morning Star I ever bought into a waste bin when I read something about the latest wonders of the Chinese Communist Party). Che's image has become a capitalist icon now, and principally--the irony is savage--at the budget end of this despicable, dehumanising system; those cheap Che t-shirts in Primark are able to be sold at such "affordable" prices because they're produced by exploited labour in places like India. What would the man himself had made of it? If his book "African Dream" is any indication he'd have been out in the country in one of those beleaguered nations organising revolutionary armies to rise up against their oppressors. Not that killing anybody is any sort of an answer, in my own humble opinion. That just perpetuates the cycle of anger and violence. Was Cuba, in the end, in any better a condition than America? I mean after Che and his buddy Fidel had finished with it?
Well, maybe, actually. We always measure the state of the Cuban revolution by capitalist standards of wealth and the accumulation of useless objects, which is a little silly, really: like saying chalk fails in its purpose because it doesn't taste like cheese. But I'd still prefer to pitch my tent in the United States because at least there they live with the illusion of freedom. And that's a pretty sexy damn dream when you think about it.


Ralph Murre said...

A damn good dream, indeed, and what happens without dreaming? In and old song sung by Nancy Wilson and written by I don't know who, she sings (and this is my memory of the lyric):

Happy talk, keep talkin' happy talk
Talk about things you'd like to do
Y'gotta have a dream
If you don't have a dream
How y'gonna have a dream come true?

As a bona fide Grumpy Old Man, it's easy for me to lose sight of such wisdom, both yours and the song writer's.

Bruce Hodder said...

Yeah, you're right. I remember that song by a guy called Captain Sensible, but that was later than Nancy...