Ask Benicio Del Toro, the latest actor to represent the noble warrior of Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming 4 hour epic, a running time that should be investigated by human rights groups.
According to Benicio, on the set of the film they “tell stories about Batman, and [Che] was a type of Batman. No one can deny that he was trying to stop man exploiting man.” I would like to take this opportunity to deny everything Del Toro has ever said in his entire life.
He goes on to speak of good ol’ Che as a saintly human at heart and a principled human being. “Two people who I met learned how to read and write because of him. It was really moving.”
It’s hard to keep reading the excerpts from his interview with Latina magazine (talk about niche) but he’s a Hollywood actor despite his sensual accent, so what else should I expect?
How about t-shirts of Stalin being worn in middle school? Pol Pot lunch boxes? Adolf Hitler babies….oh wait.
The iconography of Che’s face has long been a source of complete confusion for me. Blessed and cursed to be a part of this generation (I don’t even know what we’re called) I probably saw his beret-wearing image long before I read his history. But I did eventually read it, which seems to distinguish me from the rest of my age-group.
Associated with the general idea of ‘counter-culturalism’ and ‘Damn the Man!’ teen bonding cliches, this revolutionary hero whom Benicio worked so hard to understand as a human being was a serial killer, an executioner, an adept at torture, and god knows what else. He put together and sent out “suicide squads” with no hope of victory, killed and imprisoned suspected homosexuals (look for his t-shirt at the next gay Pride parade) and also championed the ideals of those who have nothing and have done nothing to deserve anything in favor of those who have anything and aren’t ‘us.’
Del Toro goes on to compare Che to Jesus, though he academically points out the difference between the two, what with Jesus turning the other cheek and all. For some reason I’ll allow that, but comparing him to Batman? That not only violates my personal spiritual beliefs but is one of the stupidest things any one has ever said.
If Batman is a metaphor for ANYthing, it is America. He is justice incarnate. He is fair, dedicated, obsessed even with the protection of the innocent and the preservation of all human life, even evil ones (and yes Benicio, even homosexuals.) Excluding this week’s Darkseid incident, Batman would never kill anyone, and certainly not point blank between the eyes without a trial to teach the other guerrillas a lesson. Not to mention Bruce Wayne is absurdly disgustingly rich. Che extolled class warfare, redistribution, all the socialistic policies that have given Cuba the booming economy and personal freedom that it enjoys today. Wayne money goes to charities, law funds, and crime fighting equipment, not stolen and horded and used to keep the little people in line.
It’s not just Benicio. For some reason, in this capitalistic society where its existence alone is a testament to our freedoms, his face has become some kind of indistinct symbol of rebellion. I strongly support and encourage the questioning of authority and sources of information, but why do we adopt such deplorable examples of humanity to display non-conformist conformity? Does original thought hold any interest for people anymore? Does human life have any sanctity in the face of a noble mission to disturb the status quo?
He closes out the interview with some more wisdom. “I think anyone who buys a T-shirt of Che has gotta be cool. If I see someone with a Che T-shirt, I think, he’s got good taste.” Conversely, when I see a good looking guy in a Batman shirt I think, “Wow I hope he’s gay.”
I wonder which one of us Guevara would brutally execute first; the conservative capitalistic fag or the sympathetic absurdly rich thespian.