Friday, January 23, 2009

Let the revolution die

If there's one thing that annoys me about some parts of the left, it's the lionization of people like Che Guevara or, to a lesser extent, Fidel Castro. These guys were anti-liberal--individual rights, human rights, the rule of law and human dignity, which are the cornerstones of my liberalism--were despised by these men. Sure, maybe they overthrew some bad guys, and maybe they wound up creating some effective social services, but even if one accepts that their motives were entirely kind-hearted one cannot excuse the means for the ends. Hell, even the ends are bad--any nation that keeps political prisoners is an enemy of liberalism.

So, basically, I won't be seeing Che, and I find Culture 11's review pretty much on the money as a broader statement of how Che was viewed. And it isn't just the murders--I recommend the film Before Night Falls if you want to see how the Che/Castro regime treated homosexuals (answer: not too well). Now, I do think we ought to drop the embargo and normalize relations with Cuba--why China and not them?--but let's not forget that the architects of this state performed monstrous acts. That they should receive anything but the opprobrium from fair-minded people (I'm excepting the dopey frat boys with Che shirts) strikes me as insane.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.