Monday, October 08, 2007

Che and Elvis... caught in a trap

David Seaton's News Links
Finally Che Guevara can only be compared to Elvis Presley.

Biographers list Elvis's neurosis, his eating binges, his delusions of grandeur, his paranoia. Rumors even circulate that the King had a tiny dick... You name it.

But, you're in a shop or on the street or listening to your car radio and suddenly there is the voice and all the mystery of his charisma is upon you. That's the way it is with Che too, he connects with a collective dream.

Of course Che didn't die of a drug overdose like Elvis, he died fighting for his ideas and now those ideas are back in force where he died.

History is what Elvis would have called a "Mystery Train". DS

Che's legacy looms larger than ever - Los Angeles Times
Abstract: It was a long fight, but the Cubans have finally conquered this forlorn Andean hamlet, four decades after Ernesto "Che" Guevara was executed in the adobe schoolhouse here. Cuban physicians provide healthcare, Cuban educators oversee literacy classes, and the Cuban-donated library features Che-as-superhero comic books. A monumental bust of the beret-topped revolutionary who helped Fidel Castro seize power in Cuba dominates the central plaza.(...) Sympathizers from across the globe will make the trek to this remote corner of Bolivia this week to mark the 40th anniversary of the capture and killing of Guevara, militant leftist icon and global brand, the radical chic face adorning countless T-shirts, posters, album covers and tattoos. Today, the ideological legacy of this peripatetic militant may loom larger than ever in Latin America, abetted by the election of a "Pink Tide" of leftist governments from Nicaragua to Argentina. Socialism is in, the Cubans are on the march, and Che is the defiant embodiment of it all. To his critics, Guevara was a trigger-happy megalomaniac whose bloody example led thousands to their deaths in futile uprisings that only hardened military repression from Guatemala to Chile. But to the legions of devotees who subscribe to his personality cult, Guevara is forever the doomed idealist, the poetry- loving guerrillero and "most complete human being of our age," in the words of Jean-Paul Sartre.(...) "Finally, Che's dream is coming true," said former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge CasteƱeda, a Guevara biographer who casts Che more as wayward fanatic than inspired visionary. "Cuba's export of revolution is finally succeeding in many countries in Latin America, thanks to Chavez and his oil."(...) But, 40 years later, Guevara has scored big in the contested battleground of memory, emerging as a kind of secular saint, freeze-framed at age 39 between the Summer of Love and the abyss of 1968. Hollywood sees box-office cachet in Che: Director Steven Soderbergh is filming a new biopic starring Che look-alike Benicio Del Toro. "Today Che is associated in the collective conscience with values -- his ethics, his principles, his willingness to lose his life for an ideal," biographer Pacho O'Donnell wrote recently in the Argentine weekly Veintitres.(...) "All my life we communist pioneers pledged to be like Che," said Jose Valledaris, 45, a Cuban engineer who was watering shrubbery inside the Guevara mausoleum at a former military airstrip in nearby Vallegrande, where the bodies of Guevara and six fellow combatants were dumped in a ditch 40 years ago and buried. "Now I'm here, in the footsteps of Che." READ IT ALL

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