We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Che for sale

I try always to take my camera with me whenever I go out, because I never know what interesting thing I will encounter, and because I have a superstitious fear that on the one day when I don’t take my camera with me when I go out, that will be the day when an Airbus A380 flies over the middle of London, much too low, with one of its engines on fire, just when I have a perfect view of it.

Which means that when, on a recent late night visit to a local food and drink store that I don’t usually frequent, I spied the following mildly interesting collection of objects, I was able immediately to photograph them.

Okay, not an especially startling thing to see. A fizzy drink named after a murderous bolshevik who, because he died young just after being very well photographed, and because a lot of stupid and dishonest people worshipped him while concealing exactly why, is remembered as beautiful, and cool, and wise, and virtuous.

This peculiar cult of Che the Beautiful has been much discussed here, over the years, and not in a polite way. However, this fizzy drink does not by any means completely disgust me, by which I mean that the idea of it does not completely disgust me. I haven’t actually tasted Che and am in any case quite happy with the Tesco own brand version of such “energy” slop. Yes, these Che cans perpetuate a silly cult, but they also make it look, I think, rather ridiculous. For what we have here is not so much an anti-capitalist message as capitalism co-opting the iconography of anti-capitalism. Many of those seriously stupid people who not only love Che but who actually having a real inkling of what he stood for and of what he tried so ineptly to foist upon the world, well, they hate that. Their hero reduced by marketing opportunists to selling little cans of a generic fizzy drink to a target demographic of adolescent and agingly adolescent fools! Their precious revolution reduced to “the revolution of energy”, and it’s not even proper energy type energy, just stuff to keep kids awake for a few more hours. The horror. And I love that. This is the kind of thing that may eventually cut this beautiful, dead, deluded, murdering incompetent down to size.

Also, this is a photo-opportunity for the likes of us to remind ourselves, yet again, just what a bastard this particular bastard was, and just how stupid it is that so many people still worship him.

By the way, it was most gratifying how quickly google yielded up all those links. As one of the authors linked to above says, I forget which one, it is not at all hard to learn the ghastly truth about this ghastly man. Typing “Che Guevara” into google doubtless engulfs you in evil delusions. I don’t know. I didn’t do this. What I typed into google was: “truth about Che Guevara”, and most of what I very quickly found was very good and very anti-delusional.

According to one lady writer, when Che was a child he used to kill dogs for fun, a sure sign, she adds, of a psycho. Is that true? “Che Guevara killed dogs for fun” only got me back to the article I read this in. But if it is true, I think we might spread this around. Perhaps some little labels should be printed saying “When Che was a child he killed dogs for fun”, or maybe just “dog killer” because that’s quicker and simpler – and maybe tactically more effective because more cryptic and weird and disconcerting – and could then be stuck on Che tee-shirts, on Che posters, and on these little Che tins.

19 comments to Che for sale

  • Having read all of his diaries, been to Cuba twice and read “the truth”, I believe he was trying to do the Right Thing. The fact that he murdered people, led others to their deaths, etc to achieve it no doubt makes him all the more evil but his heart was in the right place and given the circumstances probably the only way that he thought it could be achieved. Unfortunately this doesn’t excuse him. Thankfully we now have an internet with sites like this to show how to do the Right Thing and keep innocent (and not so innocent) people alive at the same time.

    Having the best of intentions can sometimes make you do things more evil than just being plain evil.

  • The fact that he murdered people, led others to their deaths, etc to achieve it no doubt makes him all the more evil but his heart was in the right place and given the circumstances probably the only way that he thought it could be achieved.

    I really cannot agree with that. The fact he wished to overthrow wicked regimes counts for nothing when what he wished to replace them with was even more wicked, even in theory.

  • Owinok

    Shall we say that is comeuppance from capitalism.

  • Verity

    Yeah, right, Hektor. Che also killed children. In one of his prison camps, his guards were beating up on a little boy’s father (. The little boy – 12 years of age – ran up to Che and demanded that he stop them. Che replied, in effect, “Shut up kid or I’ll shoot you too”, and the little boy drew himself up straight and said, “I will show you how a man dies!” And Che shot him.

    The other prisoners, who had all been beaten and brutalised themselves, were so shocked that when they were eventually released, some of them years later, they wrote to relatives and friends … all of them reporting this incident, which is how the entire community of Cubans in the United States learned of it.

    This can, obviously designed with an eye on stupid people, perpetuates the freedom fighter image. According to people who knew him, Castro was a fat, violent greaser who smelled terrible.

  • Verity

    Sorry – was distracted by someone at the door. Of course I meant to write Gueverra.

  • Regarding the fact that his image has ended up on such a quintessentially capitalist thing as cans of soft drinks – I shall buy one if I see one, drink it, and keep the can much as an Amazonian tribesman would display the shrunken head of a vanquished enemy.

  • Laird

    Natalie, if I saw one I also might buy a can and keep it as a souvenir, but I can’t imagine that I would actually drink the sh*t!

  • Ian F4

    For some reason, whenever this bastard dog killer is mentioned, I always think of that line from The Rutles; “Che Stadium, named after the Cuban Guerilla leader – Che Stadium”.

  • Sunfish

    The fact that he murdered people, led others to their deaths, etc to achieve it no doubt makes him all the more evil but his heart was in the right place and given the circumstances probably the only way that he thought it could be achieved.

    The fact that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions changes not the fact that it still has signs that say “Perdition: 14 miles.” Any cause that requires that innocent people be tortured, enslaved, or killed ain’t that good a cause.

    Che killed innocent people because of ideology and because he could get away with it. May God have mercy on his soul, and may He have mercy on the rest of us by having that evil fucker stay dead.

  • CaptDMO

    Feh, this bit of capitalism vanquishing the ideals of
    the mentally challanged is NOTHING compared to the coup
    that Campbells Soup pulled off.

    They STILL make millions on a product in a can, with “artwork” made famous by some famous-for-being-famous cult leader/artist, that survived penis-envy assault by the disgruntled admirer with thinly plagerized communist manifesto in hand.

    Strangely, an apparent string of folks, with more of someone else’s money than sense, have competed in in the time honored “How much money can I recoup by getting someone else to take this monument of my stupidity off my hands” contest.

  • Am I the only one around here who sees something a bit ironic in featuring a dead guy on an energy drink?

  • Alan: not anymore you aren’t:-)

  • James Waterton

    Agree, Verity. If you have a gander at a number of other photos of Che, he doesn’t look noble, brave and handsome. He looks flabby, hairy – in an unattractive, greasy kinda way – and chronically underbathed.

  • Che is merely a pattern now, like paisley or flock. And a good thing too. For sure, some seriously wicked people probably still worship him as a hero, but seriously wicked people have a knack for finding obscure long-forgotten things to follow. To the bulk of humanity Che is merely a pattern , and all the t-shirts, posters and soft drinks have hastened his irrelevance.

  • Paul Marks

    Hektor “Che” was not tying to do “the right thing”.

    Socialism is not “the right thing” it is just theft and tyranny.

    “But he was trying to oppose the rule of people who were born rich”.

    In case anyone comes out with that line – it was “Che” who was born rich, and it was Fidel who was the son of a landowner (sent to university and so on).

    Batista was born dirt poor (and of mixed race – a reason for the RACIST “Che” to hate him) and his childhood and early adulthood was spent in great poverty and hardship (the poverty that “Che” and Fidel never experienced) – also Batista was a man of the LEFT in his politics.

    “But Batista was corrupt” – of course he was, leftist politicians (and military leaders) normally are. That does not alter the fact that Batista was a man of the left and had always been so.

    But he was not a Marxist – so he was unacceptable to “Che” and Fidel (the fact that he was “common” did not help either – to rich kids PRETENDING to care about ordinary people).

    As for landowners and such.

    Remember where “Che” died – Bolivia.

    Bolivia had not been dominated by landowners since the Reolution of 1952 (it was hardly “rightwing” even before 1952 – for example there were nationalizations in the 1930s) – but “Che” still went there in the late 1960’s.

    The local peasants could not speak Spanish ( “inferior” brown indians that they were) and handed him over to the army.

    So much for “doing the right thing”.

    It is not “just” that “Che” was a murderer (many people kill – including killing childen and so on) it was that his “objectives” were SHIT.

    “Che” wanted a land (indeed a world) were everything was owned by the state – and where he and his friends would be that state (having everyone else as their slaves).

    There is nothing noble about this.

    The only good thing about “Che” is that his image is a good indication of who else is shit.

    That a Obama campaign HQ had a poster of “Che” on the wall, should have told people all they needed to know about these vermin.

    Who would be in the Whitehouse now if everyone who admired “Che” left the building?

    The cleaners, cooks and security.

    That is about all.

    It reminds me of the old story about a great literary gathering in New York City.

    The great academic and media “intellectuals” (the people with many words – but who have never let a doubt cross their minds) are assembled and a person making a speech at the front supposedly says the following…….

    “Who here voted for Reagan? Raise your hand”.

    Only one hand is raised – the hand of the janitor at the back of the hall, the man clearing up after the “great” ones who “care” about him so much.

    The crimes of the left are in the name of the poor – but they could not really give a toss about “common” people. In truth they despise us.

  • Laird

    Indeed, wh00ps. Che has descended from the evil to the farsical. Query: is this a common pattern? I’m thinking of Guy Fawkes, whose “gunpowder plot” was intended to restore Catholic rule to England but who today is remembered (as best I can tell, from this distance) as a failed populist revolutionary. So is Che destined to become the hispanic Guy Fawkes?

  • Paul Marks brings to mind a theory about Leftists I’ve long entertained: they believe that every conflict has a good guy and a bad guy. Batista and Somoza and Franco were corrupt authoritarians, therefore their challengers must be the protagonists. The Persians were the invaders, so the invaded Greeks were all-right sorts; same formula applies to the Serb persecution of ethnic Albanians.

    In truth, many conflicts are between the bad and the worse. Communist regimes have always been more brutal than the authoritarian regimes they replaced. (Hm, Communism takes hold only in authoritarian regions…) The Persians did to the Greek city states what the Greeks did to each other when they got enough military might. Some of the Albanians were innocent victims, others – the terrorist KLA – were a criminal threat.

    Of course, the first three examples are tempered by the infatuation with Marxism. Leftists buy into the promises of equal distribution of goods, but they never realize that the key phase toward this phantom goal – dictatorship of the proletariat – has the opposite effect. Marxism gives lip service to equality the way Chevy Chase’s “Land Shark” gives lip service to confections.

  • Nuke Gray

    I suppose you could market the stuff with “Checa Cola- you won’t find Che-aper!”

  • wtfo

    “Thankfully we now have an internet with sites like this to show how to do the Right Thing and keep innocent (and not so innocent) people alive at the same time.”

    Yes, because that peaceful internet thing appears to be working out so well for everyone.

    Good intentions or no, there may come a point in any conflict where people will get killed; because the other side is careless with human life, because the alternative is surrender, or simply because you’re no longer willing to suffer harm in an attempt to spare those inflicting it.

    The price will be paid as long as someone is willing to pay it, and it’s their problem to justify it afterwards. Choose wisely (or remove one’s enemies thoroughly) and you’re a hero… choose poorly, and you’re a villain.

    Those who are willing to lay down their arms entirely and resort to reasoning on the internet will live at the mercy of those who are not – be they the thugs down the street, or the statists commanding the police forces. Talking and voting is meaningless when those you wish to vote out have unlimited access to your wallet.