Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What Your T-Shirt Says About You

I've never understood the liberal wing in America's hero worship of communist villains such as Lenin or Che Guevara. Whenever I see some kid (or adult) walking around with their Che T-Shirt it always strikes me the same way; I wonder why they just don't walk around with a Jeffrey Dahmer shirt instead. As butchers they are of a kind. That one of them spouted Marxist slogans while murdering people elevates them to some sort of sainthood?

I'll never understand it.

I'm not alone in wondering about this phenomona. Red Dusk: It's time Hollywood gave up its love affair with communism.

Noting that no less than two biopics of Che Guevara are in production, on top of the release last year of The Motorcycle Diaries, writer Bridget Johnson notes:

I'll bet the big studio execs have never thought--or cared--to do a big-screen adaptation of "The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression," by Stephane Courtois, et al. The book's 1997 publishing in France touched off a firestorm of controversy--mostly from offended French commies--and it stands as an astonishing comprehensive account of what this political ideology has wreaked on mankind in less than a century. The film version of this 800-plus-page account would be excruciatingly long and painful--too long for a 32-ounce soda and too nauseating for popcorn. So since Hollywood is all about franchises now anyway, the book could be adapted into several movies, each covering a corner of the globe and that region's own unique suffering under communism.

Name a film centered around the Hungarian invasion of 1956? How about one about the "Prague Spring"? Chinese re-education camps? A film version of Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago? Come up with one or two? None? I know these topics are all downers, but no more so than films about the Holocaust. So why aren't they being made?

Hollywood's position vis-a-vis communism reminds me of a heartbreaking section of Solzhenitsyn's The Red Wheel: August 1914. In it an educated but naive character named Varya attepts to convince a young Anarcho-Commuist that she is on his side.

"You can rely on me!" Varya said, still more earnestly and enthusiastically, still leaning heavily on the counter, noticing briefly and forgetting at once that her bare elbow had crushed a stray smut from the Primus mender's booth.

People walked behind her. None of them was a would-be customer. She stood, elbows on the counter, head in hands, staring at the desperate anarchist. She remembered more.

"A revolutionary knows only the science of destruction...All tender feelings must be surpressed with cold passion...He is no revolutionary if he feels pity for anything in this world..."

Of course! It was so obvious! He had voluntarily renounced everything in this world. But surely a sympathetic friend would not be in his way? A disinterested helper? Varya, an orphan herself, understood only too well how lonely an orphan could be.

She looked closely at him. There was so much bitterness, so much pent-up suffering in his brooding, unshaven face and his dark stare.


Yet, all her sympathy for the Communist does her little good as the man takes her into a back room and rapes her.

1 comment:

Marc Schulman said...

I've posted an excerpt from your post on my blog; also included is a comment from a teacher to my original post.

Take a look at

http://americanfuture.typepad.com/american_future/2005/03/hollywood_left_.html