Che is Unreal

Since I got back from Europe, I have felt oddly unsettled. This weekend I felt exhausted and twitchy, much to the chagrin of those around me. Sorry about that. I am not sure if it is the radical, public disintegration of the President's credibility, the waves of terror attacks sweeping more sectors of the world, writing a report on Richard Perle's wretched book, or the fact that many of my friends are acting weird. Maybe it's the willful collapse of Twin Cities public transit and the disarray caused in the light rail project. Maybe it was finally seeing a NadeRedux voter.

On Friday there was a great hip-hop show at the campus center. It opened with some spoken word from Suheir Hammad, then came Immortal Technique and Jean Grae. I haven't gotten hardly any music lately, so I made a choice and picked up Revolutionary Vol. I and Bootleg of the Bootleg, which I haven't listened to yet. Grae signed my CD to "the really tall guy." I appreciate it!

My only criticism would be on Grae and I.T.'s stage costumes. By some coincidence they both sported Che shirts, while I.T. also wore a military fatigue type hat and pants. I saw Technique at a peace concert benefit with Atmosphere and the Coup last year, just prior to this horrible war. He was also sporting the Che shirt then, if I recall.

Some drunk jackass hollered "cliche" several times. I wasn't sure if I should have decked the guy or argued with him. Our society today whittles down, flattens, the experiences of colonial people and the disenfranchised. From within, looking out at the Che's and Allende's, they cannot look like anything but cartoon characters. If a Latino dares to hold up Che, it can't possibly hold real meaning. Only Sean Hannity's casual dismissal of the whole reality makes sense to them anymore.

The character Fez on That 70s Show is a perfect representation of how the media, FOX in this case, bulldozes the entirety of subjective experience into one friendly, fuzzy, ignorant outsider. Really, I don't see how they could have written an actual South American from the 1970s without bringing forth all the ugly ghosts. Instead, only an unreal Latinoid can fill the role.

If Che is a "cliche," what is "real?" Where does this cultural authority of "the real" begin? Does it have its own cable network?

Commenting on this Story is closed.