Friday, October 30, 2009

Che Guevara And The Street Gangs

(from the author's private journal)

Apparently that music the youngsters like to play in their shiney cars is called "grime". It's a word lifted from a Rolling Stone interview with Karen Carpenter. (Okay, it isn't.)

I discovered this fascinating fact during a news item on the radio about a movie (I didn't catch the name of it) depicting gang life in the Midlands. The movie has apparently been banned by some cinema chains because it glamorises guns, violence and drug abuse.

Well, congratulations idiots, now you've increased the cachet of the movie tenfold among the people you fear will be most influenced by it. Illegal downloads will be flying everywhere.It was interesting to consider the film, whatever it is called, and the lifestyle it depicts, after watching "Che Part One" last night.

One of the stars of the gang film was on the radio spouting all of the usual drivel we hear from apologists for these thugs: "It's a fact...It's the way it is...They look at a choice between a lifetime flipping burgers on the minimum wage or the guys in the gangs wearing expensive rings and driving around in big flash cars...What are they supposed to do?"(Grow up?)

So victimhood is the rationalisation they use for turning themselves into a more brutal micro-version of their own oppressors? exploiting the people in their own neighbourhoods for money and status? I don't necessarily accept that the people in the gangs are clever enough to think it through that intelligently, but supposing they did: how lazy, how pathetically cowardly, that would be.

Here's a suggestion from Amiri Baraka: "make some muscle in yr. head" if you want to escape a lifetime of poverty. I don't mean (again, necessarily), get educated and climb the Capitalist ladder--although some could, to some degree, if they stopped using environment as an excuse. I mean teach yourself how the System works, learn what the causes of social injustice are, if you don't want to play the game; then try to use the System against itself to change it. Or go for Revolution, if you really think that's the answer (history suggests it's not, but you will have to decide that for yourself). Be a MAN, not a whiney boy with a big gun shouting "It's not fair!" as you shoot down a defenceless shopkeeper.

Guevara may have been dogmatic; his methods may have been wrong (Individualism and Capitalism are far from the same thing--Capitalism transforms its subjects into drones just like Communism--but Che dismissed Individualism as bourgeois and denied the call of Spirit too)(that's why Allen Ginsberg was kicked out of Cuba). Che's vision and his courage, though, were enormous. He saw suffering and injustice and decided he would put his life at risk in a herculean effort to make it go away, for everyone. In the selfish world we live in now, where giving a shit about anyone except yourself is seen as passe and sentimental, that's tremendously inspiring.

Like I said, street gangs are just Capitalism in miniature. Uneducated avarice is what makes the whole darn Western world go round.

5 comments:

Bruce Hodder said...

The movie, I've now discovered, is called "1 Day".
I don't think I'll be going to see it, though. It's bad enough having to see these people every time I go to the Co-Op to buy my milk and Shreddies.

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