Turning the tide on Che?

One of the enduring irritants of contemporary American culture is the iconic status afforded Che Guevara, a bloodthirsty psychopath on his better days, henchman of a long-lived murderous tyranny that has both impoverished and oppressed the Cuban people, our neighbors.  Lining up and shooting children with the wrong class background was not beyond the skill set of this monster.

The depth of the Che cultural phenomenon was probably plumbed in 2004, with the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, a hagiographic film based on the first person account written by Guevara of his travels around Latin America. Strictly speaking, the movie was Argentine (Diarios de Motocicleta), not American, but Hollywood lavished an OscarTM (for best original song) and a nomination for best adapted screenplay on it, anyway, no doubt out of general tinseltown sympathy for all things anti-American. The champion song was a stinker.

But that moment may have been the apogee of the cultural arc of Che. As Hollywood knows all too well, when you're on top, there's nowhere to go but down. There is an encouraging sign that the reality of Che Guevara, actual man, not symbol, may be taking hold of at least some segments of the cultural Ruling Class.

Target, retailer to those who want chic necessities on a budget, this year featured a CD case with the famous romantic-looking picture of Che on it. No doubt this was intended to appeal to affluent suburban kids who purchase and play hip-hop music, imagining that by their choice of music they partake in rebellion, always a favorite adolescent pastime. The CD cases remained on sale until our friends at the Investors Business Daily editorial page noticed the incongruity of so honoring a monster. The IBD wrote:   
The big box retailer has jumped onto the Guevara bandwagon, selling the murderous revolutionary's image as if it had just turned its stores into Marxist rally stalls.

What next? Hitler backpacks? Pol Pot cookware? Pinochet pantyhose? Target gives this monster a pass, while using common sense on almost everything else it sells.

We can only guess it's because Alberto Korda took one glamorous snapshot of Guevara in 1960 that has delighted leftists and blown around at global anti-American rallies ever since, something Target might do well to consider.

The firm is not immune to trendy leftism. In its Community Giving program, it has given cash to artist Rupert Garcia, whose claim to fame is glorifying Guevara, something noted on Target's Web site.
Once IBD blew the whistle on Target, others joined in, including the Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastassia O'Grady and the Cuban community in South Florida and elsewhere. Yesterday, Target bowed to the pressure and did the right thing, pulling   the offensive merchandise from its shelves.

I congratulate Target on its newfound sensibility to the nature of communist tyrants, or at least one communist tyrant capable of inspiring a boycott by a regionally potent ethnic bloc. May the lesson stick. And to Investors Business Daily, I can only offer my gratitude for spotting this outrage, and vividly bringing it to the attention of the broader public. Somehow, I doubt this accomplishment will be studied at the Columbia School of Journalism as an example of a journalist who "made a difference." But it ought to be.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin
One of the enduring irritants of contemporary American culture is the iconic status afforded Che Guevara, a bloodthirsty psychopath on his better days, henchman of a long-lived murderous tyranny that has both impoverished and oppressed the Cuban people, our neighbors.  Lining up and shooting children with the wrong class background was not beyond the skill set of this monster.

The depth of the Che cultural phenomenon was probably plumbed in 2004, with the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, a hagiographic film based on the first person account written by Guevara of his travels around Latin America. Strictly speaking, the movie was Argentine (Diarios de Motocicleta), not American, but Hollywood lavished an OscarTM (for best original song) and a nomination for best adapted screenplay on it, anyway, no doubt out of general tinseltown sympathy for all things anti-American. The champion song was a stinker.

But that moment may have been the apogee of the cultural arc of Che. As Hollywood knows all too well, when you're on top, there's nowhere to go but down. There is an encouraging sign that the reality of Che Guevara, actual man, not symbol, may be taking hold of at least some segments of the cultural Ruling Class.

Target, retailer to those who want chic necessities on a budget, this year featured a CD case with the famous romantic-looking picture of Che on it. No doubt this was intended to appeal to affluent suburban kids who purchase and play hip-hop music, imagining that by their choice of music they partake in rebellion, always a favorite adolescent pastime. The CD cases remained on sale until our friends at the Investors Business Daily editorial page noticed the incongruity of so honoring a monster. The IBD wrote:   
The big box retailer has jumped onto the Guevara bandwagon, selling the murderous revolutionary's image as if it had just turned its stores into Marxist rally stalls.

What next? Hitler backpacks? Pol Pot cookware? Pinochet pantyhose? Target gives this monster a pass, while using common sense on almost everything else it sells.

We can only guess it's because Alberto Korda took one glamorous snapshot of Guevara in 1960 that has delighted leftists and blown around at global anti-American rallies ever since, something Target might do well to consider.

The firm is not immune to trendy leftism. In its Community Giving program, it has given cash to artist Rupert Garcia, whose claim to fame is glorifying Guevara, something noted on Target's Web site.
Once IBD blew the whistle on Target, others joined in, including the Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastassia O'Grady and the Cuban community in South Florida and elsewhere. Yesterday, Target bowed to the pressure and did the right thing, pulling   the offensive merchandise from its shelves.

I congratulate Target on its newfound sensibility to the nature of communist tyrants, or at least one communist tyrant capable of inspiring a boycott by a regionally potent ethnic bloc. May the lesson stick. And to Investors Business Daily, I can only offer my gratitude for spotting this outrage, and vividly bringing it to the attention of the broader public. Somehow, I doubt this accomplishment will be studied at the Columbia School of Journalism as an example of a journalist who "made a difference." But it ought to be.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin