esmaspäev, veebruar 18, 2013

say che

Got to thinking about Ernesto "Che" Guevara at the spa in Pärnu ... him of all people. I think it was the cover of Minu Jamaica that set off the thought, how Bob Marley was one of the 20th century's lowercase jesuses, and then naturally Guevara entered my mind as another ... Or maybe I just looked in the mirror at my red eyes, chlorine-moussed hair and beard and thought, "My God, he's alive!" He's a lightning rod, Che. For some he's a revolutionary Robin Hood, for others a Red Executioner. The lefties love him because he escaped "drawing room Bolshevik" status (that's what August Rei called Johannes Vares) by having the nutsack to resort to violence and think that he could actually win ...  The discussions about his legacy always wind up in, "Oh yeah, that, well ... anyway," territory. "X killed Y, what do you have to say about that?" "Oh yeah, that, well ... anyway."  Ho hum. It seems that blood is on everybody's hands around this table. Which side are you on anyway, huh, the fruit company's or the Marxist guerillas'? The cigar-chomping dictators' or the cigar-chomping rebels'? Are you down with fruit company exploitation or world revolution?! Usually, when I am at a restaurant and given such unsavory choices, I pack up my things and find another restaurant ...

15 kommentaari:

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

ahem ... clap (hesitance) ... clap ... clap ... Bravo!
(hesitance)... Bravo!

Marko ütles ...

Well, Giuostino, in Estonia you soon run out of restaurants.

Thats the thing. Estonia's size is both its advantage and its disadvantage. We are lacking the endless choice of different restaurants, we can't just walk away as we wish. So we need to straighten things out, we need to talk them through and arrive at some sort of consensus. Obviously we can always agree to disagree, that's often the main option available in those tricky conversations.

By tge way, I noticed you are fishing for reactions on more politically sensitive subjects. Is this something that interests you, or are you working on a new book?

Giustino ütles ...

No, I was just thinking about it. I can understand where Che was coming from, but that doesn't mean that he is my hero, or that I agreed with his ideas and actions. I imagine that a lot of the Western leftwing academic intelligentsia just adore him. I am not sure how Estonians feel about him. I noticed a recent sales campaign that had a fake Che on red posters proclaiming a "revolution" in discounted goods. Kind of funny.

Marko ütles ...

I think people are neutral towards him. My generation sees him more as a kind of a pop figure, he's influence on music, fashion etc.

Päts was a revolutioner. Now if you would have seen him on a poster depicting him leading the 1905 revolution, to help the retailers to get rid of their unwanted stock - you would have had a little revolution on it's own :).

Above all Che was an extremist, so you would not find widespread support for his actions in Estonia, in think.

Marko ütles ...

Theres a minority communist party, here in Scotland. And sometimes they stage their events right at the centre of historic Edinburgh. They have lots of full sized red flags with hammer and sickle on them. And whenever they approach me for a signature on one of their petition, I just freak out. it's just the visual impact, combined wiyh my country's past and relative sensitivity towards the communists that it literally sends shivers down my spine. Not here too, I think to myself.

Luckily my partner knows the score and just tells them off on my behalf with a simple - how dare you!

egle ütles ...

I liked very much this post.
Being an argentinian, and surrounded by people who adore Che and Cuba, I always say: I would´t defend a regimen where I wouldnt be able to live. The sad thing is that most of the people who defend Che would not be able to live in Cuba more than 1 night, desprovided their Macs, fancy gadgets, etc.

Mele ütles ...

Well, Estonia does have its share of vengeful fighters against Che -- sometimes up to the point where I start doubting if they notice the difference between the historical person and the pop culture icon...

http://www.martlaar.ee/eng/2009/03/11/foundation-for-investigation-of-communist-crimes-2/

And up to the comparisons with Pol Poth (but that one in Estonian):

http://www.diplomaatia.ee/artikkel/che-guevara-ja-kasulikud-idioodid/

Giustino ütles ...

It's the same people who will go to great lengths to defend those who collaborated with the Germans. It's like I said, "Oh yeah, that, well, anyway ..." For the lefties, Che's crimes are far in the background. For the righties, it's the same with their various "freedom fighters" ...

Temesta ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Temesta ütles ...

On the 20th of August last year I went to some event, and there I saw for the first time people proudly walking around in Waffen SS (Estonian legion) uniforms. Very disturbing I must admit. Then there stopped a car and some kind of veteran from the Soviet army ,decorated with medals, stepped out from it. He approached one of the ´Nazi´s´ and they started a conversation which apparently was very funny as they were constantly laughing.
Les extrêmes se touchent. :)

Marko ütles ...

Yes, nazis are just as vile. It's just strange that the symbols of these extreme regimes can still have a profound impact on us, I mean I never really lived under Soviet occupation but the sight of them in uniforms and waving flags, does make me shaky. Am I brainwashed?

Temesta ütles ...

No, you are normal. I also know this kind of people in Belgium, who worship the Soviet Union, or even worse, Stalin himself, and I think they are despicable. I have had heated discussions with them. They rant about neoliberalism but what Stalin did was somehow forgivable. Hypocrites.

Marko ütles ...

These two veterans you saw might as well been related. It so happened that sometimes one of the siblings would have fought on one side, and the other on the other. There are many stories and jokes about these guys.

in my family that was all considered history, a closed chapter so I was never really exposed to any of this. And among people my age we rarely speak about it. It was only when I moved abroad and people here started to ask questions I started to look in to it more.

Unknown ütles ...

Well, yes, but I'm starting to get tired of it. I used to think that it doesn't matter, it's just some guy's grandpa walking around with old clothes on. But when you start seeing young guys walking with them on the remembrance days with LONSDALE clothes on, your sympathy wears out really fast. Or when they publish pictures in the main newspaper websites with a guy's tattoos that clearly have hate group symbology (I'm not talking about historical symbols, but contemporary ones). Or when eestivenelased think they are the only immigrants that should be welcome. Then your patience also wears thin.

Marko ütles ...

Oh yes, you got the skins and commies in every, hmm how should I put it lets say European country. But in my opinion the further west or east you go the starker the contrasts. In Britain and in Russia these people can be really scary and indeed pose a real threat. In that sense Estonia is more like the Netherlands or Denmark - they exist, but they dont really impact the mainstream.

Pickering among the migrants is also very common in countries with long history of immigration. I Britain its the Pakistanis vs Indians vs Pakistanis vs Carribeans vs Polishvs Irish vs Jewish vs Muslims etc. It's ongoing and it's very similar in Estonia - Russians vs Armenians vs Jews vs Germans etc. I'd say - it ain't worth it, just join in with Estonian mainstream and leave the rest to their own devices.