Che and College Campuses

I just received the following email from a student at Ohio State University:

Mr. Prieto,

I am a student at The Ohio State University, and a writer for one our student papers. I recently wrote an article about the glorifaction of Che Guevara on college campuses and around the world in general. I quote you and reference your excellent blog, so I thought you may be interested in seeing the article, which is available here.

I hope you enjoy it. Your blog really helped give me insight not available elsewhere. I thank you.

Keep up your excellent work,
Matthew Gross

P.S. My original text was changed in a few spots by my overzealous editor. Hopefully I can get more of my orginal text when the print edition comes out(this story is front page!) And thanks for taking the time to check out the story.

I urge you all to read the article. It’s a breath of fresh air coming from the usually Che loving educational arena.

Gracias, Mathew. For seeing the forrest and the trees.

11 thoughts on “Che and College Campuses”

  1. That was indeed a fine article. Just one thing could have made it better: Che in crosshairs with the slogan “commies aren’t cool” instead of the usual iconic image. 🙂

  2. Thanks for posting my article here Val, I was hoping you would.

    I encourage anyone who is interested to check out the article, and leave a comment in the comment section. Without a doubt, when the print edition comes out (later this week) Che’s defenders will voice their opinion there (one already has).

    Thanks for the kind words Mr. Prieto, like I said, your blog was a big help. Without people like you, Che’s real history would be completely obscured by his pop-culture make over.

    And if anyone wants to be a big help to me, and translate the article into Spanish – that would be awesome!

    Matthew Gross
    http://www.osusentinel.com

  3. Matthew, your article is right on the money… I couldn’t have said what needed to be said better myself…

    Now then, I am glad the subject of Che’s image has come up again…

    Inspired (or perhaps pissed off is a better description) by Val’s original article on his experience with Cafepress trying to get anti-Che tshirts printed, I attempted to do the same thing… I.E. I put together a tshirt design with the famous Che silhouette as background and a not-sign (red circle + back slash) as foreground; nothing else, no text, no insults, nada. I uploaded it to Cafepress and created a NoChe store with some tshirts… They promptly replied with the following:

    “[…] We recently learned that your CafePress.com account contains material which may not be in compliance with our policies. Specifically, designing, manufacturing, marketing and/or selling products that may infringe the rights of a third party, including, copyrights (e.g., an image of a television cartoon character), trademarks (e.g., the logo of a company), “rights in gross” (e.g., the exclusive right of the U.S. Olympic Committee to use the “Olympic Rings”), and rights of privacy and publicity (e.g., a photo of a celebrity) are prohibited […]”

    I then did a little bit of web research and came up with the following interesting links:

    This one, http://www.aleksandramir.info/texts/fitzpatrick.html, provides some fascinating background on the history of the famous image…

    This one, http://www.utne.com/webwatch/2004_164/news/11375-1.html, from UTNE, decries the fact that the rights to the image have been granted by “Korda’s estate” to “corporate interests” in the US who choose to have the tshirts manufactured in Honduras, “a country where most clothes are produced in sweatshops”. Damn those capitalist pigs… Have they no shame?

    This one, http://olm.blythe-systems.com/pipermail/nytr/Week-of-Mon-20041206/009979.html, is from one of the naive (or maybe not so naive) Che sympathizers who used to be able to sell pro-Che merchandise on the web before “Korda’s estate” shook him down.

    Needless to say, the ironies in this story are simply mind-boggling…

    What really pisses me off to no end is that these commie bastards are rubbing this pro-Che crap in my face (this, in and of itself, is OK by me… luckily WE live in a FREE country… the damn fools can wear whatever they want), AND are telling me that I can’t take the freaking image, put an X over, and make it available to others to show how we feel about this “hero” and what he really stood for…

    Now, I am not a copyright lawyer (maybe copyleft is a better term in this case), but I would be willing to bet that someone with more resources (i.e. $$$) than I could pursue this as a “fair use” case given: (1) the undeniable significance of the Che image as a political icon, (2) our first-amendment rights to free speech, and (3) the fact that manufacturing and selling anti-Che merchandise couldn’t possibly conflict with sale of pro-Che merchandise, since the prospective buyers come from two totally different groups.

    Any independently wealthy copyright lawyers out there willing to take this on?

  4. It is a proud day for my husband and I. We both graduated from Ohio State back in the early 1980s. I thought that all cause was lost at Universities in this country but that young man’s article make me hopeful for the future.

    Thank you, Matthew Gross!

  5. CHE WAS DR THAT NEVER TREATED A PATIENT. HE WAS A HUSBAND THAT NEVER CARED ABOUT HIS WIFE. A FATHER WHO NEVER CARED ABOUT HIS KIDS AND A GUERRILA THAT NEVER WON A BATTLE AND STILL A BUNCH OF RICH KIDS LOVE HIM , GO FIGURE.

  6. CHE WAS DR THAT NEVER TREATED A PATIENT. HE WAS A HUSBAND THAT NEVER CARED ABOUT HIS WIFE. A FATHER WHO NEVER CARED ABOUT HIS KIDS AND A GUERRILA THAT NEVER WON A BATTLE AND STILL A BUNCH OF RICH KIDS LOVE HIM , GO FIGURE.

  7. Thanks to everybody who took the time to check out the article and leave remarks here and in the comment section of my paper, The Sentinel. Some of the remarks have been extremely touching, revealing experiences that shed light on the reality of Che in a way I could not do through my article alone – I thank all of you for this.

    Miguel-O-Matic, that was a very interesting post…the topic of another article perhaps?

    Again, thanks to all, I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  8. Arcenio Chacon,
    please do your homework before posting.

    Look up the Battle of Santa Clara sometime and you might be surprised to learn that Che actually did win a battle.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  9. The Che Everybody Should Know

    The Sentinal, a newspaper at the Ohio State University writes:

    The Motorcycle Diaries and the leaders of the Che cult ignore the nasty truths about Che Guevara. Here is your history lesson: Che gained his initial infamy as a brute by presiding over …

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