Friday, February 24, 2006

Dear Che

I’ve read all about you in several books now; my favourite was the Motorcycle Diaries because they were your words, written young and naïve like my own age (at that time). I’d always liked Kerouac and you came like some exotic, socially conscious version of him, equally sexy in your idealist solitude, but less depressed and by the time I got a copy we all knew what bold actions you’d take later in life.

Your hero’s profile captivated me early and had me beholden anew with each turned page. Yet I can’t help but wonder with each bullet’s flight if, had you lived, your back pages would have come to resemble Fidel’s litany of American newspaper oppression. Even in youth’s naiveté you struck hard for what you believed, hard enough to fall all potential threats, including those who’d never have amounted to much – you were bold yet cautious.

So, with relatively unfettered admiration and respect, I’m glad you aren’t around to see all the hip capitalist kids wearing that copyrighted throwaway image of you that you probably wouldn’t even remember having posed for. I can only imagine that you would have been angered by such celebrity worship, and I doubt we coffee-shop revolutionaries could have stomached the real you.

Yours in solidarity,


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