I’ve never been an Ernestophile; not that I dismissed Che or didn’t find him intriguing in his way, but he never caught my imagination the way some other revolutionaries, including Cuban revolutionaries, have. I didn’t come to Che by Stephen Soderbergh as eagerly as others. After a non-release theatrically in the United States and a question mark over its release on disc, the film was picked up by the venerable folks at Criterion for DVD distribution and is now available. I watched the whole thing in a single sitting this week, a worthy film experience.
I wish I had seen it on the big screen (it played locally for only a day or two). It’s so visually rich. It reminded me a little of Terrence Mallick (who was originally interested in doing the project) in its pacing and feel. It could have gone in a biographical direction (yaaawwwnn), but chose instead to focus on Che the guerilla, to the exclusion of much else. That focus is what made this film possible, based as it is on Che’s own diaries. The sobriety of the film is to be found in those diaries.
I have some quibbles, the editing is clunky at times, but the film was much better and different from the expectations I had for it. Demián Bichir as Fidel is fantastic. The final days of the Bolivian column are as painful to watch as the scenes of Santa Clara are invigorating. I’d say more, but all of those scenes are still tumbling around in me and haven’t yet found form. I look forward to seeing it again. A terrific film.
Haiti is now a wholly owned subsidiary of America Inc. Bottled water will soon be followed by Pepsico water bottling plants to ship the stuff out of Haiti. Progress. With imperialism every helping hand has its price.
The Democrats deserved to lose in Massachusetts. Yes, I wish they had lost to one of our team and yes I think Brown is bad news, but let no progressive dare lay his win at the feet of the left. The Dems lost this all on their own. With two center-right parties (well one center-right and the other right-center-right) governing, the best we can hope for is gridlock to limit the damage.
And don’t bring up health care either. Obama’s bill is so bad that it would be better to fail than to codify the health insurance racket in the name of reform. Far from blocking the right the Dems, more often than not, facilitate their return. Massachusetts being only exhibit #12315 in the prosecution’s brief.
If Obama goes the way of Jimmy Carter then I wonder who Reagan will be? Guaranteed that the next election will see the “progressives” anoint another savior in the Democratic Party and again try to corral the movements into the cul-de-sac to “block the right”. Desperately seeking cover for the cover they are giving these are the same “progressives” who are now counting on the defeat to be a “wake-up call” which moves Obama to the left. Fool me once shame on you…
Shouldn’t the Senate be forcibly abolished anyway? It’s an old boys club that ensures the elite get their way every time; undemocratic (even by the limited norms of bourgeois politics) in form and essence. Upper chamber? All that “separation of powers” bs is just a bureaucratic shell game. The dealer always wins.
Yes, the doings in Jacobin France certainly scared America’s ruling rich, especially it’s slave-owning component, when Robespierre’s republic did away with slavery in 1794. It took another sixty years…and a civil war to do the same thing here. In America, someone like Thomas Paine was considered an extreme radical. In France, he was a mere moderate, aligned with the Gironde, the bourgeois opposition to the Jacobins.
I would, however, beg to differ with Monty Python. “The Patrician pretenses of the “Founding Fathers” provide a fitting basis for a capitalist system of government of the few over and against the many, of the rich over and against the poor. The Greco-Roman references, from the architecture to the eagle and fasces (also Il Duce’s calling card) still on the walls of the Senate, are all appropriate for a property owners (and originally, a slave owners) republic.
Lest we forget, the “separation of powers,” hailed as a pillar of “democracy” by its apologists, was, in fact, designed by those in power to separate themselves from those without it, or rather to ensure that the latter never got any to begin with.
And while we are talking about the ample array of antiquated, un-democratic institutions of bourgeois “democracy” still in operation, let’s not forget the electoral college, the most un-democratic of all and the un-elected Supreme Court, which gives it a close run for the money.
Can you imagine a regime calling itself “democratic” having officials appointed for life? Who are these guys supposed to be, anyway, Julius Ceasar? Then again, ancient Greece and Rome, with their slave-owners “democracy,” were always the “classical” model for the bourgeoisie. Tells you something about just how “democratic” they intended their “democracy” to be in the first place.
The more I read about it the more I’m convinced that the Constitution, as opposed to the Declaration for example, was a counter-revolutionary document. It’s aim was to stop the calls for equality and restrict popular expression, then challenging the rule of the planters and big merchants. It wrote slavery into law and with it the power of the slave-owning class. The separation of powers is as you say. And there is so much more. The Bill Of Rights is an after-thought to placate the accusations of a new tyranny raised as the revolution waned. And look how limited those rights are as well. Whatever happened to life, liberty and happiness. None of those are guaranteed. France scared the shit out of them as well. Far from being sacred, it should be scrapped. The dung heap of history and all that. To paraphrase Monty Python “the Patrician pretenses of the “Founding Fathers” is no basis for a system of government.”
“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well-born, the other the mass of the people…The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government.”
– Alexander Hamilton
elian- it’s great when it comes straight from them. we ought to put that up on billboards around the country along with other choice opinions of the founders.
mnroy- yeah, it has done pretty well by them for 200 years