January 27, 2009

"I'm done. I'm done, I hope you write whatever you want. I don't give a damn."

If you portray a historical figure in a movie, should you be prepared to defend him or answer historical questions about him? Benicio Del Toro, who portrays Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh's "Che" thinks not. I'd say that's fine. What I don't like is actors mouthing off about things they don't understand very well, and it looks like Del Toro is doing the complete opposite.

Now, I can certainly understand that the Washington Times would have loved to lure him into saying something stupid about Che, but give him credit when he won't go there. He took the high ground, apparently, and wanted to present himself as an actor. Respect that. Don't bully him into walking out. And don't preen about getting that reaction from him. But you did get your Drudge link and big traffic.

I call foul!

UPDATE: The Washington Times reporter writes to me and I respond.

77 comments:

Synova said...

Mr. del Toro seemed excited to discuss the picture, which he co-produced...

Not quite the same thing as an actor doing an acting job, I think.

Tibore said...

"At the same time, Mr. Soderbergh seems to harbor few illusions about just who Guevara was.

"I don't know that there's any place for a person like me in the society that he was trying to make," the director said. "I'm the poster child for a lot of the [stuff] that he was trying to eradicate." "


Well, that admission may not be much more than a sop to those who directly suffered from Che's actions. But at least it's an admission that ultimately, Che Guevara was a monstrous creature.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, pick up the flag. No foul. Not when del Toro is a co-producer and claims to have read Guevara's writings.

I find it funny, myself, that many, perhaps most, of the people who glorify Che by wearing his T-shirt would have been put to death by the real Che Guevara.

AJ Lynch said...

You were once an umpire?

An umpire calls foul while a referee (b-ball) whistles foul.

Tibore said...

"Mr. del Toro doesn't deny that Guevara's persona had some darker aspects. "We have to omit a lot of stuff about his life," he said, "but we're not omitting the fact that he's for capital punishment, which is the essence of that.""

Oh for the love of GOD! All the issues about Che he could've brought out as an example of evenhanded treatment, all the bad things that this poster child for revolutionaries did, and this is the example Del Toro uses?? "Capital punishment"??

Most people call what Guevara did murder. That he did it with the power of the Cuban state behind him doesn't change that!

El Presidente said...

Ah, the perils of the hagiographer.

Raul told me not to have Ernesto killed. I should have listened. If he would have grown old, gray and saggy like Brezhnev, no one would remember him. Instead, snuffed in the prime of life and forever to be remembered thus.

As a revolutionary-- too revolutionary.

As a friend-- not friendly enough.

If not for Ernesto, I wouldn't have to import my Coca-Cola and I could export my cigars.

El Presidente said...

And there was that one time when Che was at band camp . . .

El Presidente said...

Che and Javier Arzuaga never did get along.

traditionalguy said...

An effective,violent, selective, cold blooded killing machine? That sounds like the job description of every gang member from organised crime down to crips and bloods. O J simpson never lost his skills he learned growing up around Oakland gangs. It also sounds like Mao's theory of political power.The weird thing is they don't care who they kill, so long as the Power of a Killer belongs to them. Now we can see why there will always be a need for the United States Marine Corps that outkills them for us and is proud to do so. Now tell me again about the great dead ducks crisis.

Tibore said...

"What I don't like is actors mouthing off about things they don't understand very well, and it looks like Del Toro is doing the complete opposite.

Now, I can certainly understand that the Washington Times would have loved to lure him into saying something stupid about Che, but give him credit when he won't go there. He took the high ground, apparently, and wanted to present himself as an actor. Respect that. Don't bully him into walking out. And don't preen about getting that reaction from him. But you did get your Drudge link and big traffic.

I call foul!"


Professor, I'm not so sure about that. I see your point about having actors only discuss what they know, but if we're talking about the central issues regarding Che Guevara and his activities in Cuba and Bolivia, then that's something you'd expect an actor portraying a historical figure to know. You can't portray Jesus' life, for example, without acknowledging the crucifixion any more than you can portray Hemingway's without acknowledging the fact he was an author. If someone was portraying Che, then he'd damn well better be aware of the prison camps and executions, since that's a central aspect to that figure's life. If someone can find positive aspects to illuminate, fine. As long as we don't forget the negative ones, any factual characterization that happens to be positive is fair game, and helps us understand the figure.

It's when someone dodges the questions of a figure's negative acts that you start to suspect hagiography. And that's the case here. Where's the acknowledgement of the other central aspects to Che? Acknowledgement of his belief in "capital punishment" isn't it, not unless you hold an incredibly loose definition of what "capital punishment" is.

An actor acknowledges the central life events of a character when he or she portrays a genuine historical figure. It's a necessity. And that acknowledgement requires knowlege of that figure's background. If the actor does not know and acknowledge these facts, then he/she is not playing the figure. Rather, the actor is playing a fictional character who happens to share a figure's name.

Revenant said...

So he does a puff piece on a totalitarian revolutionary who personally murdered a bunch of innocent people, but he hasn't got the balls to answer any tough questions about his decision to do so?

What a pussy.

ricpic said...

I guess if you're cute like Benicio that nullifies glorifying a sickeningly sadistic killer.

EDH said...

What did you expect?

Doesn't Benicio del Toro mean "benevolent one of the bull"?

rastajenk said...

I'm an usher for a major league baseball team, and my section is one of the priciest in the stadium (sweeet!). One day last year a young adult came in wearing a Che shirt. I usually don't engage the guests much more than hello-enjoy the game-watch out for foul balls, but to this guy I said, "Now that's what you call ironic." Flew right over his head, it did. Fun stuff.

SteveR said...

I don't give him a pass, either he's well aware of the truth and chose to play the role anyway, because its a good role that comes with lots of good Che/Bad America points or it was a strict career move.

The latter could apply if he really didn't know anything about Che except that he's seen cute young girls wearing T-Shirts.

In none of these cases would the truth be a bad thing especially as co-producer.

Rather than takinfg a principaled stand he just doesn't want to deal with any thought that someone might disagree that Che was a type of historic figure worth glorifying.

Yeah capital punishment makes him no worse than many Americans.

dbp said...

He is a coproducer on the film, so bears some responsibility for the content. The content; the official paper of the Cuban Communist party gave the film a good review--so I will hazzard a guess that the film is pro-Che'.

If a similar film was made with a Pino in front of the name, my guess is that the actor would be villified.

AJ Lynch said...

I wonder if this movie will draw more paying customers than the many Iraq War-Bush-is-Evil flicks did?

traditionalguy said...

Give an actor a break. All the best parts from Richard III to Mephestopheles are just acting jobs. The Castro brothers were able to parlay their great acting skills into Marxist Myths re-enactment roles played out in Cuba with a little help from their NYT co-believers in The Heroic Avengers of the Proletariat myth.To bad so many extras had to die.Maybe it's payback if the NYT also dies on the 50th anniversary of the opening of that performance.

Fred4Pres said...

Che thought Black people were lazy and prone to drinking

So perhaps Mr. del Toro can work on his method acting by sampling a few of the Dope of Greenwich Village's Drunken Headed Cookies?

Scrutineer said...

He took the high ground, apparently, and wanted to present himself as an actor. Respect that. Don't bully him into walking out. .... I call foul!

You seem to have skipped over this part of the Times story: "Mr. del Toro won top acting honors at Cannes this year. In his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to Guevara."

If del Toro is going to implicitly praise Geuvara by dedicating an award to him, then the actor has some responsibility to defend his position. It's too late to take the "high ground" and pretend he's just an actor rather than a cheerleader.

Skyler said...

He dedicated his award to Che.

It's fine to be an actor portraying an evil man. I'd say if the money is good it's even okay to portray him benevolently.

But to make public comments dedicating an award to him, but then refusing to acknowledge the real evil, well, that just makes you a "useful idiot."

Original George said...

Che

Total U.S. gross: $852,000.00

Widest release: 35 theatres

In release: 45 days.

---

My Bloody Valentine 3D

Total U.S. gross: $38,400,000

Widest release: 2,534 theatres

In release: 11 days

Check it out....x

Once again, the forces of capitalism win.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ironically, my Grandmother and Aunt were quite well aquainted with Dr. Che. They know him from when they lived in Mexico City and had a summer home in Taxco and later Tecisquapian (sp?), from the 1940's through the late 60's.

Dr. Che was in some of the same social circles and attended many cocktail parties. He disappeared for a while and when he later turned up in Cuba, they were all very surprised. It seemed out of character from the Dr. Che that they had martinis with.

blake said...

I agree with you in principle, Althouse, but in practice this looks like the Stewart Dodge.

You know, where you make a baldly political statement and, when you're challenged on it, you just claim to be an entertainer.

knox said...

Blake, yes. The pat Jon Stewart response is galling after a point.

And, from the article, this: the Cuban public gave its endorsement with a strong ovation ... is bullshit. What meaning does this have in a society that is not free? They clap because they're scared shitless if they don't, for all we know.

The Drill SGT said...

Che, then he'd damn well better be aware of the prison camps and executions, since that's a central aspect to that figure's life.

fixed:
Dr. Che, then he'd damn well better be aware of the prison camps, torture and executions, since that's a central aspect to that figure's life

Howard said...

I agree with Mom (Dr. A). The reporter was going for a Drudge plug.

Sure Che was a bad man. He also had more brains and balls than 99.9999% of humanity. When you see the results of the United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, etc., the Banana Wars and resulting Banana Republics, it is not so surprising that someone with his ambition would adopt Stalin and Marx. I know this does not fit in with a nice neat black and white NeroCon soundbite the WaTimes was looking for.

Look up Smedley Butler (2 Congressional Medals of Honor) and see what he had to say about US activities in Central America during Che's formative years. A good reading of Butler goes a long way to explain why Stalin/Marx had a lot of fans it that time and place.

William said...

These glorious revolutionaries bringing equality and love are just the same as those grand generals delivering order and discipline. The red beret and the huge cocked hat are a different bandage on the same wound. There are a fair number of similarities between Pinochet and Che. No one in Latin America can see this. That is why they are doomed to forver flip those two sides of the same coin......It would help if Hollywood could comprehend and dramatize the evil that is inherent in Che's posturings with the same force that they pummel Pinochet. Pablo Guzman, of The Shining Path in Peru, was inspired by Che. Pablo managed to knock off 25,000 campesinos. The FARC continue their forty year struggle for justice and drugs in Columbia. Ingrid Betancourt chained to a tree is part of Che's legacy......Napoleon was not the echo of Charlemagne; he was the prelude to Hitler. Nonetheless writers like Stendhal, Balzac, and Byron puffed his bubble reputation. I suppose the same thing will happen with Che.

Doyle said...

We should set up some kind of commission to deal with actors who hold favorable views of Che Guevara.

What? Michele Bachmann already suggested that?

Palladian said...

"I know this does not fit in with a nice neat black and white NeroCon soundbite the WaTimes was looking for."

NeroCons? Hmm. That's a new one. I'll venture a guess that NeroCons are people who like to sit on throne-like chairs eating owl eggs and lark's tongues in aspic whilst striking the viol and watching their cities burn down?

"A good reading of Butler goes a long way to explain why Stalin/Marx had a lot of fans it that time and place."

A bad reading of Butler, however, doesn't go very far at all.

I hear that fellow Hitler had a lot of fans in his time and place. Should we dedicate something to those ambitious fellows? After all, they were just reacting to all those bad conditions in Bavaria at the time. I mean, who could blame them? Murder and mayhem are excusable as long as you can come up with a good sob story.

Palladian said...

I'd love to see how long Doyle would last in Che's vision of the world.

pst314 said...

"He also had more brains and balls than 99.9999% of humanity."

And yet he badly mismanaged everything that he was given to run.

tjl said...

Why should anyone care, much less be swayed by, the political opinions and faddish causes of actors? These are people who pretend to be somebody else for a living!

Bender said...

He took the high ground, apparently, and wanted to present himself as an actor. Respect that. Don't bully him into walking out.

The high ground??? Portraying a murderous thug as a hero is the high ground?

Respect? Give him the respect that Che routinely gave to the good people of Cuba. Seize all of his property and the property of his family and then shoot everyone in the head. How's that for respect?

Doyle said...

Why should anyone care, much less be swayed by, the political opinions and faddish causes of actors?

Because obsessing about the "Hollywood left" is just what wingnuts do.

This acute concern conservatives have for the political commitments of professional actors, movie producers, etc. is 100% responsible for Andrew Breitbart being famous at all.

pst314 said...

"He took the high ground, apparently, and wanted to present himself as an actor. Respect that. Don't bully him into walking out."

If you google this you'll find that Del Toro has felt perfectly free to praise Che when speaking to a friendly interviewer, so I think the Washington Times was right to press him on the matter of Che's thuggishness.

Skyler said...

Howard, there is the old saying that two wrongs don't make a right. Even if all those things were so bad, that does not excuse, and never can excuse, murder, mayhem and tyranny.

Smedley Butler was a looney toon in his later years and an extreme isolationist. He was obsessed with creating a football team for the Marine Corps that could compete with the Naval Academy and West Point. He insisted on building a stadium and fielding a team despite being told to stop. His somewhat unstable personality was why he wasn't named Commandant of the Marine Corps despite having two Medals of Honor and a Brevet Medal.

There's no such thing as a "Congressional Medal of Honor." It's called the "Medal of Honor" and it is awarded by the President without input from the Congress.

There is a society called the "Congressional Medal of Honor Society" set up by Congress to honor those awarded the Medal of Honor by the President.

John Stodder said...

I think all that Ann is trying to say is: "You’re lucky he even performed for you bastards! Leave Benicio alone. PLEASE! All you people care about is readers and making money off of him. He's a human! Leave Benicio alone!"

pst314 said...

Doyle and friends seem to think there is something wrong with criticizing those who praise thugs and murderers.

Doyle said...

Wingnut logic:

Criticizing Bush administration war crimes = Bush Derangement Syndrome

Ferreting out Benicio Del Toro's communist sympathies = Speaking truth to power

Pogo said...

Benicio Del Toro deserves the candy-ass tag.

He's using the "But I'm just supposed to look pretty" excuse when asked to defend his work. Whatta wienie.

Just acting?
Just a movie?

You think that's why Del Toro did a film about Che? I call bullshit.

Doyle said...

Since when do actors have an obligation to submit to political interrogation from the Moonie Times?

Pogo said...

Since when do actors have an obligation to submit to political interrogation...


Del Toro: "Interviews are hard. Sads.
Do you like my hair? Jes?"

Can.
Dy.
Ass.

swampleg said...

You are wrong on this one. It is not as if he was simply handed a script and told to read the lines. This is a role he sought out and wanted to play for a long time.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98194742

It seems reasonable for him to answer a few questions about what he thought of the person he wanted to play and how accurate the movie was.

Doyle said...

It is not as if he was simply handed a script and told to read the lines.

Powerful reasoning.

tjl said...

Doyle complains about the "acute concern conservatives have for the political commitments of professional actors, movie producers"

It's not really a question of being acutely concerned. It's more a matter of trying to tune them out. They're not shy about proclaiming their faith at any occasion, however unpolitical in nature. Thus every awards ceremony becomes a leftist rant-a-thon to the point of unwatchability.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Since when do actors have an obligation to submit to political interrogation from the Moonie Times?

Del Toro has no obligation to do anything, except not whine when people mock his pretensions. :)

Tibore said...

Powerful article about Che, written by a person who knew him personally, Alvaro Vargas Llosa:

"The Killing Machine: Che Guevara, from Communist Firebrand to Capitalist Brand"

Excerpt:

"It is customary for followers of a cult not to know the real life story of their hero, the historical truth. (Many Rastafarians would renounce Haile Selassie if they had any notion of who he really was.) It is not surprising that Guevara’s contemporary followers, his new post-communist admirers, also delude themselves by clinging to a myth—except the young Argentines who have come up with an expression that rhymes perfectly in Spanish: “Tengo una remera del Che y no sé por qué,” or “I have a Che T-shirt and I don’t know why.”...

... In April 1967, speaking from experience,
(Che) summed up his homicidal idea of justice in his “Message to the Tricontinental”: “hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine.” His earlier writings are also peppered with this rhetorical and ideological violence. Although his former girlfriend Chichina Ferreyra doubts that the original version of the diaries of his motorcycle trip contains the observation that “I feel my nostrils dilate savoring the acrid smell of gunpowder and blood of the enemy,” Guevara did share with Granado at that very young age this exclamation: “Revolution without firing a shot? You’re crazy.” At other times the young bohemian seemed unable to distinguish between the levity of death as a spectacle and the tragedy of a revolution’s victims. In a letter to his mother in 1954, written in Guatemala, where he witnessed the overthrow of the revolutionary government of Jacobo Arbenz, he wrote: “It was all a lot of fun, what with the bombs, speeches, and other distractions to break the monotony I was living in.”

Tibore said...

"Howard said...
I agree with Mom (Dr. A). The reporter was going for a Drudge plug.

Sure Che was a bad man. He also had more brains and balls than 99.9999% of humanity."


Here is an example of Che demonstrating his membership in the upper .0001 percentile of intelligence:

"The great revolutionary had a chance to put into practice his economic vision—his idea of social justice—as head of the National Bank of Cuba and of the Department of Industry of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform at the end of 1959, and, starting in early 1961, as minister of industry. The period in which Guevara was in charge of most of the Cuban economy saw the near-collapse of sugar production, the failure of industrialization, and the introduction of rationing—all this in what had been one of Latin America’s four most economically successful countries since before the Batista dictatorship.

His stint as head of the National Bank, during which he printed bills signed “Che,” has been summarized by his deputy, Ernesto Betancourt: “[He] was ignorant of the most elementary economic principles.” Guevara’s powers of perception regarding the world economy were famously expressed in 1961, at a hemispheric conference in Uruguay, where he predicted a 10 percent rate of growth for Cuba “without the slightest fear,” and, by 1980, a per capita income greater than that of “the U.S. today.” In fact, by 1997, the thirtieth anniversary of his death, Cubans were dieting on a ration of five pounds of rice and one pound of beans per month; four ounces of meat twice a year; four ounces of soybean paste per week; and four eggs per month...

... Unfortunately, Cuba had no raw materials for heavy industry, and, as a consequence of the revolutionary redistribution, it had no hard currency with which to buy them—or even basic goods. By 1961, Guevara was having to give embarrassing explanations to the workers at the office: “Our technical comrades at the companies have made a toothpaste ... which is as good as the previous one; it cleans just the same, though after a while it turns to stone.”"



... And here is him demonstrating his ensconsement in the upper .0001 percentile of cajones:

"Having failed as a hero of social justice, does Guevara deserve a place in the history books as a genius of guerrilla warfare? His greatest military achievement in the fight against Batista—taking the city of Santa Clara after ambushing a train with heavy reinforcements—is seriously disputed. Numerous testimonies indicate that the commander of the train surrendered in advance, perhaps after taking bribes. (Gutiérrez Menoyo, who led a different guerrilla group in that area, is among those who have decried Cuba’s official account of Guevara’s victory.) Immediately after the triumph of the revolution, Guevara organized guerrilla armies in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Haiti—all of which were crushed. In 1964, he sent the Argentine revolutionary Jorge Ricardo Masetti to his death by persuading him to mount an attack on his native country from Bolivia, just after representative democracy had been restored to Argentina."

Source: Llosa's article, also linked above.

jdeeripper said...

Lourain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge speaks in his office in Lorain, Ohio as posters of Che Guevara and Barack Obama hang on his wall.

I've seen a photo of Che with glasses and his head shaved bald.

Can't find it on the net. Not exactly an iconic image for the pseudo-revolutionary kids.

veni vidi vici said...

What a weak-tea read of that article, Prof.

He's a friggin' co-pro on the pic. He ought to be able to take a few questions about the subject of his film. Deserves the "Lameness" tag for sure (his behavior in the interview, and your read of it).

Contrast this preening nancy-boyism with the way the producers, director and actors in the German film "Downfall" handled the many questions surrounding their involvement with what many felt was a "not condemnatory enough" portrayal of Hitler in his last days, if not a somewhat sympathetic portrayal. (I have the DVD, and it gives an almost documentarian, highly ambiguous portrayal of the man and his inner circle, for those who haven't seen it; it is also one of the best films of all time).

Even on the "special features" of the DVD, there is an extended section of interviews with those involved and they go through the entire range of feeling about the film and the characters and situation they're performing. No shying away from controversy or painting their asses white to run with the antelopes; they stand up and answer the questions. Benicio del Toro is a pussified wimp; at least now it's in the open that all the "manliness" packaged bullshit he's up to on man-mag covers like GQ is just another ruse. What is it with the lack of balls in Hollywood? Is Clint Eastwood really the only man left in that business?

John Stodder said...

Since when do actors have an obligation to submit to political interrogation from the Moonie Times?

I see Doyle's instinct for ad hominem argument is only getting more knee-jerk. He's overlooking the fact that the reporter didn't exactly accost del Toro in the subway. He agreed to the interview.

Che is a political figure. You don't think Sean Penn expected questions about Harvey Milk's politics? Or Frank Langella about Nixon's? I recognize that, as an actor, del Toro's not expected to be a historian, but a question like, "How do you assess Che in light of his used of forced labor, his kangaroo courts and executions?" is not unfair. These are basic historical facts about the man.

If only the "Moonie Press" has the balls to ask questions like that, then thank God for the "Moonie Press." If the alleged tough-minded liberal Doyle prefers puff pieces, stick with "People," where your conscience will never be troubled.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My aunt who was about 19/20 in the early 50's, said that Dr. Che seemed to be soliciting their group in order to get money for his projects and that he was a quite handsome (slightly older than her) man. Kind of dashing in her eyes. Even though he didn't fit in entirely, they (my family and the social crowd they associated with) were fairly bohemian and even then they considered him a bit of an outsider and somewhat strange. Not threatening in the least, just strange and off a bit, and they were very non plussed when he left the area and turned up later in the news.

Strange how someone can go from being a moderately normal person to becoming a monster.

SMGalbraith said...

but give him credit when he won't go there. He took the high ground, apparently, and wanted to present himself as an actor

If actors or actresses don't want their views on any issue challenged then they shouldn't use their status or roles as vehicles for promoting their views.

Del Toro has gone around praising Che and extolling the virtues of his movement. If he wants to do this, he should expect to be challenged.

If he had said, "Look, I'm an actor. I don't the history of Che. Ask me about playing him", then he shouldn't be asked detailed questions about Guevara.

If public figures want to opine on political or other matters outside of their profession, then they should expect to be challenged.

Ask Joe the Plumber.

SMGalbraith said...

I don't the history of Che.

don't know....

TMink said...

"What I don't like is actors mouthing off about things they don't understand very well"

You mean when they go off script?

That was mean, but I expect artists to be loonies. The art comes from intense emotions and conflict for many. I assume that artists are personality disordered.

Exceptions exist of course, but in general, I listen to the Dixie Chicks music, not their political babbling.

Trey

William said...

I don't think the analogy is from Che to Hitler. The analogy is from Che to Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa was a charismatic, not totally unsympathetic figure who tried to overthrow the German state. Figures like Rosa and Hitler were wed to each other. Rosa wanted to protect the world from the capitalists; Hitler wanted to protect the world from the communists. Each one justified the other. They were de facto allies against the bourgeoise democrats, and both felt murder was a legitimate tactic.....The sin of German intellectuals is not that they glorified Rosa but that they descredited democrats. The people who honor Che do not subvert imperialism; rather they subvert democracy.

EDH said...

Hell, now I want a Che shirt that says...

Tengo una remera del Che y no sé por qué

reader_iam said...

The policy of extrajudicial imprisonment that Guevara favored would later expand to include political activists of all stripes, musicians, artists, homosexuals and others deemed to be dangerous to the maintenance of the Stalinist regime.

Mr. del Toro grew agitated when these prisons were described as "concentration camps," a phrase that Mr. Valladares freely employs.


Two words: cognitive dissonance.

Tibore said...

I don't know, reader_iam. The two words I was thinking of were "blind eye".

Daryl said...

He took the high ground, apparently, and wanted to present himself as an actor.

He was perfectly willing to present Che as a hero in his movie and at his press conference. It was only when he met resistance that he decided to take this "principled" stance.

His "principles" are 100% consistent with ignorance and cowardice. He will shut up about Che today, but tomorrow he will praise the man again.

Michael said...

One word describes the group here: DUH

JohnAnnArbor said...

Hell, now I want a Che shirt that says: "Tengo una remera del Che y no sé por qué"

I bet you could make up a bunch of bumper stickers that say that, with Che's picture, and sell a fair number to clueless people.

reader_iam said...

My two words related to the sequence as presented in the article, which is what I have to go on, and which is consistent with what I've observed in human nature. In people of all stripes, in different situations and contexts.

Michael: Duh, yourself.

Howard said...

Medal of Honor, Congressional Pile of Bloviation, whatever. They don't go into those type of accountant issues when teaching the Banana Wars and the most revered Marine who ever lived at MCRD.

Obviously Che was not a genius of industry, thanks for that bit of history. His "skills" were of a more basic nature that dweebs might not fully appreciate. Smedley Butler was not a perfect man as well. Both were ruthless killers and men. Men who no one posting on this site would dare challenge face to face.

Two wrongs don't make a right. That is brilliant, but not the topic of an adult conversation. I'm sure once back under Mommy's skirts, the warm feeling of security will wash over your flacid member.

Thanks for that tid bit Skyler.

I never said Che was right. My only point was that he was a substantial man. A man who took no shit and was willing to give his last measure of devotion to what he believed in. I'm heartened that no man commenting ventured to question his manhood... apparently there is some measure of honor among Yentas.

I think we all know Palladian would last quite a while in Che's world: every band of brothers needs a bitch for relief now and again.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If Chuck Norris ever decides on a life of crime he can count on at least one defender.

Fausta said...

Not foul at all.
Del Toro, who co-produced the movie, didn't even research the subject. He could have literally stopped the average guy on Calle Ocho and listened to what they went through.

LarsPorsena said...

Howard:
"I never said Che was right. My only point was that he was a substantial man. A man who took no shit and was willing to give his last measure of devotion to what he believed in."

So was Pol Pot.
So was Pablo Escobar.
So was Saddam Hussein.
You really want to go down this road?

Scrutineer said...

blake - ... this looks like the Stewart Dodge. You know, where you make a baldly political statement and, when you're challenged on it, you just claim to be an entertainer.

"Clown nose off, clown nose on."

The difference is that Del Toro didn't give the "I'm just an actor" excuse.

The "Del Toro" tag must be for posts in which Althouse writes something ridiculous, scans the comments, and thinks, "I'm done. I'm done, I hope you write whatever you want. I don't give a damn," instead of answering criticism.

Shanna said...

Doyle complains about the "acute concern conservatives have for the political commitments of professional actors, movie producers"

It's not really a question of being acutely concerned.


Indeed, tjl. I generally try very hard not to hear the political opinions of actors I otherwise enjoy because then I’ll be sitting their watching a Bourne movie and thinking about what an idiot Matt Damon is. It’s not enjoyable.

I like Benecio, too. I would like to see an honest portrayal of Che as well, but I’m guessing this isn’t going to be that kind of movie. There is nothing wrong with an Actor playing a good role and the villains tend to be most interesting, but not if you make them into heroes.

Howard said...

Sure Lars, I'll go down any road that is not a dead end. Your list make for strawmen that seems almost reasonable except for Pol Pot which approaches the idiotic Hitler comparison.

Khomeini or Ho Chi Minh are more accurate comparisons to Che. Do you want to be real and go down that road Lars?

Don't worry, no one will make you give up your Howdy Doody view of world history.

Bob R said...

If you are going to produce and star in Springtime for Hitler you had better be prepared to be exposed as Lorenzo St. DuBois. No harm; no foul.

Revenant said...

Rosa wanted to protect the world from the capitalists; Hitler wanted to protect the world from the communists.

No, Hitler wanted to "protect" the world from the Jews. Some of the people who supported the Nazis wanted to protect Germany from the Communists, though. The Nazi Party itself contained a lot of ex-Communists; it was, after all, a socialist party.

Skyler said...

Howard wrote: "Khomeini or Ho Chi Minh are more accurate comparisons to Che. Do you want to be real and go down that road Lars?"

Yeah, I'd go down that road. Che is at least as bad or worse than Khomeini or Ho Chi Minh. Except that he was a bit more personally involved in many of his murders.

Smedley Butler is not the most revered of Marines, if there is such a thing. He is recognized and honored for his bravery, but pretty much he is ridiculed for his obsession with making a collegiate football team without a college, building a stadium though denied permission to do so, and his whacked out conspiracy theories later in life.

Howard said...

Well Skyler, what you say about Butler may be true. Do they ridicule him for his waning days in bootcamp now? I think not since the tactics (Small Wars Manual) used by USMC in Iraq were perfected by Smedley Butler during the Banana Wars.

I'm not arguing how "bad" any of these folks were. You must admire their fortitude for taking on the most powerful country on the planet and winning. It also makes sense to examine what the US might have done to create a climate ripe for revolutions who needed to side with the devil to prevail.

In any case, these are towering figures of history are worthy of admiration, revulsion and discussion.

Skyler said...

Howard wrote: "You must admire their fortitude for taking on the most powerful country on the planet and winning. It also makes sense to examine what the US might have done to create a climate ripe for revolutions who needed to side with the devil to prevail."

No, I feel no need to admire anything about these men. Seriously, I don't, and I don't think others should either.

I also feel no need to attribute all evil in the world to what the US did or didn't do to encourage that evil. For all the imagined power of the US, we couldn't prevent the Shah from being overthrown, we didn't prevent Castro from getting in power, we couldn't force Saddam to do anything at all without using tanks. Why should anyone think that we are responsible for Che becoming a murderer? I think his own volition had everything to do with it, and we had nothing to do with it. And no, I don't admire him.