You Say You Want a Revolution…

Over the Hedge

I was born in 1959, raised in a Republican household.  My father was/is an Ayn Rand Objectivist.  Today, I am neither a Republican or an Objectivist, nor am I Marxist or an admirer of Che Guevera.   My politics are pragmatic, middle of the road and frankly boring.   What I am is a half-assed humorist and a satirist.

The endlessly reproduced photo of Che Guevara is unarguably one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.   Some see Guevara as a revolutionary hero.  Others see him as a violent terrorist.  I see him for what he is today:  reduced to wearing a Bart Simpson shirt.

I think New Yorker cartoonist Mathew Diffe’s image is funny.   And I think Che wearing a beret with Hammy’s image is a further silly/ironic reductionist absurdity.   Think of a one way number line with Che on the left end, Bart in the middle and Hammy on the right end.   Doesn’t that feel like we’re headed in the right direction?

I agree.

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4 Comments

Filed under Comic Commentary

4 responses to “You Say You Want a Revolution…

  1. Kent

    Mike, I understand your premise, I don’t appreciate the use. That’s all.
    If Che was an innocuous idiot, and that was the general appeal, then I’d think this was humorous, but he wasn’t–too many think he’s cool (or his image and adding Hammy to his makes it cooler) unfortunately, and that’s because our generation (I was born in 55) thought revolution was a useful and wondrous thing. Having seen the results most recently, revolution isn’t a song nor a thing to do lightly, it’s bloody and scary and an unsure thing. Perhaps, having researched Che and read from those that were his victims or family members of his victims, I tend to take him a little too seriously, but then he was a serious murderer and shouldn’t be glorified. You didn’t have sitting next to an oven in Auschwitz, after all.

    Thanks for your post.
    Still a fan,
    Kent Book

    btw, we have a female Samoyed (dog) that reminds us way too much of Hammy.

  2. Kent, Thanks for thoughtful comments. You’re correct that Che the historical figure was not an innocuous idiot. And, had I considered the actual Che Guavera instead of the pop icon he’s become, perhaps I wouldn’t have stuck Hammy on his beret. I do take a bit of exception though to your concern about revolution. Revolutions come about for reasons beyond the self-aggrandizement of romantic revolutionaries. Revolution is almost always the result of a horrible injustice. As we can see happening in the Middle East right this very second. Yes, it’s a bloody mess, but it’s sometimes necessary. It was certainly necessary 234 years ago.

  3. This is actually an interesting cartoon, especially given the discussion afterwards. The issue for me is that, within half a generation (or less) of an important event, be it a revolution, birth, death, election or whatever, it becomes modified, commodified and reduced to a pithy quote or t-shirt. Now, some could say “at least we remember it” but the truth is that, as in the case of our beret-wearing friend, often this commodification actually tones down the truth.

    Maybe, instead of taking the cartoon as taking Che too lightly, we should actually read it as a satire on our commodification of the past. This does seem to be the way Michael meant it. On the other hand, we could always just take it as “T had cramp and wanted to draw a bit less today…”

  4. Skippy

    The only thing about Che I know is the character from Evita. My favorite character from Evita. Though I do know enough to be pretty sure he didn’t hang around Eva Duarte De Peron making snarky comments.

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