Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ten-Part Series on "Che" Guevara's Life to Air on PBS Affiliate "V-Me" TV


Beginning on Tuesday, September 4, V-Me Media Inc., launched earlier this year in a for-profit partnership between the non-profit PBS and the Baeza Group, headed by Wall Street investment banker and longtime Castro supporter Mario Baeza, will air a 10-part homage to Ernesto "Che" Guevara entitled Chasing Che, described in promos as an "adventure and discovery series," produced by National Geographic and based on Patrick Symmes' 1999 book of the same name, which recreated Guevara's 13,000 mile trek across South America chronicled in the best-selling and much-hyped Motorcycle Diaries. In the V-Me docudrama, two young men will retrace Symmes and his friend's journey in search of "Che" and his friend Alberto Granados' tracks 55 years after their 1952 excursion (which ended for Granados in the leprosarium where Guevara abandoned him).

So great is the Guevara cult, or, rather, the cultists' obsession with him, that it is not enough to bring his Motorcycle Diaries to the big screen, but a few years after the release of the film there is now a 10-part series dedicated, essentially, to annotating the book and the film. Since it chronicles at best a vestigial incident in Guevara's eventful life, it is well to ask why it is necessary to recycle continually his pre-revolutionary vagabond days and not his more adventurous time as a guerrilla in the Cuban Revolution or as an improvised jack-of-all-trades in its aftermath, not to mention his other later adventure in South America, the one that ended his life. The reason is very simple: this is the only "Che" that could engage the viewer's sympathy, after, of course, you have deleted the innate racism that infuses his diary from beginning to end, his disdain for the indigenous peoples of the Americas whom he would later claim he wanted to "liberate" from bigots who thought exactly as he did all his life.

This early "Che" because he is young and mischievous and never goes beyond plotting to kill people rather than actually killing them, is certainly more "simpatico" than the other "Che," the historical "Che," if you will, the "Che" who spent 3 years in Cuba formulating theoretical guerrilla tactics but doing almost no actual fighting; the "Che" who was the Revolution's chief executioner; the "Che" who wrecked Cuba's economy and immersed the country in 48 years (and counting) of misery and want; the "Che" who shot himself in the head "accidentally" when informed of the Bay of Pigs landing; the "Che" whose highest aspiration was to produce men like himself who were "efficient killing machines;" the "Che" who went like a lamb to slaughter at Fidel Castro's orders and singing his praises, Erwin Rommel without the field marshal's act of rebellion or military genius. This "Che" is not a good subject for a hagiographic biopic. However much you focus the camera on headshots, the screams and the gore in the background wouldn't do much for his myth. So it is best to continue to concentrate on his boyhood or near-boyhood rumps as a hobo and genial con man, on which you can dab as much idealism as you want and suggest that his later conduct in Cuba and elsewhere will reflect and magnify that early idealism. The perceptive reader, of course, will detect, despite the deletions, the real "Che" in his Motorcycles Diaries, for a homicidal maniac doesn't just evolve overnight; there is, in fact, a long incubation process which went into making him the ogre he became. In the film and documentary, of course, "Che" can be recreated as the prototype for the Revolution's "New Man" by suppressing everything which "Che" himself says that does not conform to their pre-fabricated image (icon?) of him. Both the film and documentary are very good at this; that is, they are a hoax perpetrated for the benefit of the faithful, a non-fiction Da Vinci Code, as it were.

The content of this 10-part documentary -- and we will continue to highlight its length, since no contemporary historical figure has ever been accorded 2½ months of "indepth" coverage on television -- can well be imagined from the alliance of the "usual suspects" which produced it: PBS, which never encountered a pro-Castro documentary that it wouldn't sponsor or air; Mario Baeza, an Afro-Cuban billionaire who made his money in "the belly of the monster" but credits Castro's "liberation of blacks" for his success in life [note to Baeza: your ancestors were liberated in 1886]; National Geographic, which looks on "Che" Guevara as Nature's noblest creation whose "mythical status may have been borne out of his steadfast idealism and spirit of self-sacrifice;" and the author of the book and docudrama, Englishman Patrick Symmes, who retraced "Che's" footsteps in South America as a latter-day "Via Crucis" culminating in his reburial in Cuba in 1997 and who dedicated his book Chasing Che "For gusanos everywhere." Can anyone imagine someone dedicating a panegyric of Himmler "To kikes everywhere"? Of course, as Oliphant's recent cartoon has illustrated, Cuban exiles are the only group left whom the inventors of political correctness still consider as acceptable targets for their racism and whose suffering it is still acceptable to mock and demean in the media.

"With Chasing Che, V-Me TV fulfills its mission to U.S. Latinos — with innovative programming that reveals new perspectives and information," said Mario Baeza, founder and executive chairman of the PBS-partnered station.

H/T to the late Jorge Más Canosa, who torpedoed Clinton's nomination of Mario Baeza in 1993 for the post of Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs.

10 comments:

Vana said...

Manuel;
This is unbeliavable!! they continue to glorify that monster, as you say why not show us the real che, the monster the murderer, instead they will try to show the young the "benign" man.

Now we shall have to endure more che wearing t shirts, by idiots who have no clue to the real man.

I really should not be surprised, imagine if they did a biopic of the young idealist "benign" Hitler, I doubt it would ever be shown, but it's ok after all it's open season on us Cubans, we are fair game.

KillCastro said...

The more they try to praise the Butcher the more you realize that indeed his following is a cult. The Squaky Frommes of international communism and terrorism. The Susan Atkins of utter stupidity, the Jim Jones Cool-aid tasters. The Heaven’s Gate assholes with their brand new sneakers (just so the spaceship would not be soiled. The Davidians following a would be rock star who thought himself as the second coming and had a penchant for fucking teenage girls. . We have seen them all living some kind of vicarious high based on some fantastic myth they have swallowed because their lives is so devoid of any sense of reality . Fanaticism, the most dangerous of the ISMs and yet the most prevalent. But still no-one will put up the money to film the TRUTH about El Che. And I do not mean that simplistic almost humorous portrayal depicted by Mr. Andy Garcia but THE TRUTH So who do we blame , THEM for being total idiots or us for allowing them to get away with their idiocy and tainting the minds of the simpletons?

Charlie Bravo said...

I just substituted all the pro che books with the last Fontova book in one of the best known bookstores of this fair city of Washington DC, just to give an opportunity to the lefties in their self-education....

Charlie Bravo said...

I have a very good black friend of mine in Cuba who would like to trade places with Mario Baeza, to see if he will be such a "believer" after living in a solar in Cayo Hueso for a month.....

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Whatever one's color, it is always best to admire Castro from afar. Baeza is a fool as far as Castro is concerned but no fool when it comes to his money; he very prudently has never had any financial dealings with the Castro regime, which certainly would have disabused him of any illusions which he may have had in respect to the "Great White Father."

In a way, it is sad. Mario Baeza is the archtype of the self-made man and a living testament that the American success story is not a fiction. In other words, the fact that he stands today with the Rockefellers and the Mellons gives the lie to everything that Castro ever told the island's black population about racism in this country, which convinced most of them to remain on the island rather than immigrate.

If Baeza had embraced freedom and justice for Cuba, he would have been the perfect spokesman for our community and even a future leader for our country.

But, alas, Baeza sold his birthright for a bowl of porridge. A very big bowl, granted, but he could have had his wealth and his honor too, and he chose just the wealth.

Songuacassal said...

Well, written Manuel. There is much to be said about how this youthful, more "digestible," che is promoted in hopes to gloss over the real, vomit inducing, homicidal and hypocritical che.

If only these fools would realize that one cannot successfully create a hagiography for the devil.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

songuacassal:

Thank-you. I am glad that I can still write something to please you.

Geopatra said...

Manuel,

I'm curious what your opinion was of the series. I would like to get a hold of a the DVD series, as I haven't been able to see it.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

This cult makes a lot of money for some - and keeps the rest in the dark about one of history's most unsavory characters. Why don't we see a documentary of the early years of Hitler...wasn't
he just another nice guy who went astray? Why don't we see a documentary showing the soft side of Ben Laden too?

Anonymous said...

a lot of the comments are obviously wrote by people who are so cultured by the "american way" intolerant and unable to comprehend any ideals which may be different... I hope they show this on European tv.