web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Hasta la Victoria Siempre
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Hasta la Victoria Siempre

*revised for self-righteousness

We must bear in mind that imperialism is a world system, the last stage of capitalism-and it must be defeated in a world confrontation. The strategic end of this struggle should be the destruction of imperialism. Our share, the responsibility of the exploited and underdeveloped of the world, is to eliminate the foundations of imperialism: our oppressed nations, from where they extract capital, raw materials, technicians, and cheap labor, and to which they export new capital-instruments of domination-arms and all kinds of articles, thus submerging us in an absolute dependence.

While envisaging the destruction of imperialism, it is necessary to identify its head, which is no other than the United States of America.

This excerpt is from a speech by :
A) Mahathir bin Mohamad
B) Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

Answer : B, although I can imagine why some people might think it's by the former. Che Guevara uttered these words in the 60's, and yet little has changed today -- if anything else, the dirt has become inground. Since Pak Lah is now in New York, I might add that Che Guevara said some fine things about the United Nations, too -- he called for reform in that world body long before we did.

Am I going to be called a Communist for writing this? I'm afraid my reasons are a lot more mundane. The young gentleman lounging in this picture is Gael Garcia Bernal, hombre muy guapo y delicioso and he plays Ernesto Che Guevara in the film "The Motorcycle Diaries", which is a self-written account of Che Guevara's life-defining journey through South America when he was still a 23 year old medical student. (Yes, Che Guevara was a physician by profession, too)

Now, I really want to see "The Motorcycle Diaries" because :
-it's research for something I'm currently doing
-my husband likes Nortons and revolutionaries, both of which appear in this film
-oh for God's sakes, just look at Mr Bernal!

Oh okay, I lied. Partly. It's also because I long to be at a time when the phrase "fighting for the people", or "berjuang untuk bangsaku", meant something more than just a hook for votes. I long to be at a time when the politicians who today cry out those words believe in the words themselves. ( And because I am a post-modernist, bourgeoisie-proletariat, I want to curse and crusade from the comforts of my IKEA sofa)

Sadly, Che Guevara is now little more than an icon on a T-shirt, an Andy Warhol silkprint of an Alberto Korda photograph repeated over and over, and the hip, Lenny Kravitz lookalikes who wear them are the very product of the capitalist imperialism that he fought to his death for. I fervently hope the kids who have Che's burning eyes emblazoned across their chests would at least understand what his rebellion stood for. At a time when the public's attention span lasts no longer than 24 frames per second, perhaps it is too much to expect anybody to read about the Argentinian who shed blood for different nations.

A film, especially one with Gael Garcia Bernal, should be a good entree -- and this brings me to (eventually!) my point : do you suppose, by November, a DVD of this excellent story would already be out in the States? I should really ask a certain sister.


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