Monday, August 13, 2007

"All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers"

Revolting Is Always In Fashion

The new look says he's done with revolutions, it's time to smoke one down and drink up everything that there is to consume. He's into pop culture now, strumming a guitar, singing the next crushing street anthem, or maybe some unplugged emo ballads, you know, whatever it takes to pay the bills.

He's the poster boy of sonic opiates and other other flavor addictions waiting in the corporate wings, framed in death--as he was framed in life. Someone's newest symbol, a marketing device, no longer a man, only a face in black relief against the modern red flaring sky.

All symbolism is broken down to the smallest components, then rebuilt: his face, versus his own words, dead to the living, dead on paper, dead on dead cloth. Like a shroud with a holy face's tears and agonized last moment burnt into its fibers, only a little more marketable to the now generation, and maybe to the next. He never knew this when he sat in the marshes waiting for the right moment to cause the most mayhem as quickly as possible and be off into the night, he never saw it coming, at least, this counter raid from out of the post cold war nights. Now they got him.

Now it's payday on the party's tab.

Now... he's a goldmine first, an icon second, and whatever he said will have to come last, wiki and other sources telling us about the dates, but not his times, knowing nothing about motorcycles ripping down a jungle trail at night, or what it feels like to be led to one's death with a black sack over their head, hoping it comes quick rather than slow, since that's the only mystery left to ponder.

Knowing these things isn't part of the new look--or the old look or next look, either, and they never will be. The words wouldn't matter, even if he rose from the dead to say them himself.

Really, even his own words and deeds would barely get in the way, and hardly scratch the veneer of the current rampaging green monster only painted red for effect and style. His words get romanticized and trampled by turns, but some do know them and let them rest, even their spirit. But nobody else knows the words, not the name, or even the first syllable. Very few people seem to know there was a man called El Che, even if they're wearing his face right now.

* * * * *

This little piece of prose was written at my friend Michelle's Spell, was yanked back from the distant past where it sat forgotten, was re-written, and all of this is as a result of a conversation with Trevor about his old avatar's resemblance to the iconic face of Che Guevara. "El Che" was an Argentina born revolutionary who gained his fame as a guerrilla leader in Cuba's communist revolution, and was later executed during Bolivia's failed socialist revolution, in which he also played a significant role. His image (taken from a picture of him on a motorcycle) is used to sell trendy consumer goods, from t-shirts and music, to home decor, specifically, "art", like as in the Wall Mart collection or ordered back in '94 along with a pair of green Doc's. Cash, credit or carried out by five finger discount, the irony is truly priceless.

* * * * *

I have already contacted and awarded many of you with some of the following graphics; you will still be mentioned here on this page. Again, thank yous and cheers go to everyone who gave me one of these graphics. Your thoughts count, and add up to a damn good feeling about writing, and about life in general.

It's all good like you knew it would. What else could I say that I haven't yet?

First is the "I'm Original" award, created by Edyta, a new friend I met through the famous and uber-charming Crashy, who of course was the one who nominated me for this distinction.

I am awarding this to some of my favorite blogs, originals all of them, who in turn may or may not care, but probably will, just not a whole lot. Probably.
  • Dear Bastards--Mob might actually appreciate the dark humor of this "mark of the beast" style of award. Read his reviews of horror movies and video games on Bigsuckloser, and dispair no more when searching for entertainment.
  • Contains Mild Peril* --Maybe Ultra Toast Mosha God, too, would get this--too late. He's got it. An original, from week one or two. Hilarious and sharp. Like many of you.
  • And Hijinks Ensued... --Princess Pointful writes like nobody's business. Technically, it's not her business, but her passion. Still, she writes like a professional. Intelligent, funny and sometimes--gasp--a little bit provocative.
Next are the Thoughtful and Creative Blogger awards that were given to me by Myutopia. Thanks again, Kelly. Talk to you when you get back from vacation, or sooner, maybe :), as in a few lines down, more than likely. They are highly self explanatory.

  • Benjibopper, I awarded you both of these, and you received them graciously. You write very well about many of the marginalized voices in our world. A good novel's worth. Good luck in your endeavors.
  • Skinnylittleblonde, you deserve recognition for the way you treat people here on the interblog, and in your life. Creative just happens to be how you roll, friend.
  • Singleton, you know it--the thread, the loops, the fireballs and the tides. The unbroken circles and the great chain of forever. Creativity in every breath. And so very thoughtful.
  • The Walking Man--Very thoughtful recognition. We know all these Detroit area writers, and all of them cool and compassionate and generally great to have around. Keep taking care of them. They deserve only the best thoughts.
  • Danny Tagalong--Creative recognition. You always bring great punk rock or vintage classics to us through You Tube, and bring a creative perspective to writing each post.
  • That leaves one double nomination left: Susan Miller--although Danny can nominate you for Creative, too. You're extremely kind and very creative, and a good friend. Write!
Next is the Schmoozer Award, awarded for those who take great pains to see everyone get along and to bridge the gap when necessary. Look up the word schmooze and you will find these powerful personalities dominating the lines:

  • Myutopia--She leads discussions on books that can range toward the heated end of the spectrum, yet agrees to disagree ahead of time--ie, right in her profile. She visits her blogger friends quite regularly, and is always there to wish them well and offer a supportive word. She'll even give your poem (or mine) a quick review, and let you know (me know) to fix it before the rest of the traffic sees it. And, she's a Detroiter. In Texas. Awesome.
  • Crashy--She just knows what to say to make people feel better and is not afraid to say it. She tries very hard to write her posts to be entertaining, and helps to take care of a great group of friends who also know that she deserves every award she's ever received. And she has a lot of them. Cheers, mate.
  • Behind Blue Eyes--You don't just blog, you discuss, and your response field comes alive with people who have much more to add to the conversation. You like to see every perspective, to know how people feel, and that affects you and your writing in profound ways. You deserve awards, but really, you only need to keep being yourself.
  • Bardouble29--Thank you for inviting me to share at the poet's corner, you bring the voices together, and the muse follows. Your life really is crazy! But here's a nod of respect, and I hope to read some more of your words soon.
  • Karma Lennon--you've opened up a new world of truths, and I was glad to share my story, too. Talk to you soon. Keep listening for the sounds of other tired voices that only need to be told that somebody does indeed listen to the sounds they make. Nothing is in vain that we put into print.
Another obvious and self-explanatory award, below.

The awkward drumroll, please:
  • JR's Thumbprints--this guy has got the ultimate collection of cautionary tales. Read them and don't you dare weep. The truth needs no tears shed in it's wake.
  • Benjibopper--Rock on! Thanks for the initial award. It broke down the gates, I'd say.
  • Captian Corky--Thanks for dropping by every day, man. I always try to hit every one's blog when I can, but you have quite the itinerary to follow every day.
If you did not get mentioned, I didn't mean to exclude you. Please take any of these awards as the cost of my short sightedness or lack of manners, or print out a poem, read it to your signifigant other(s) and get lucky. On the house...
Until sometime soon, peace out, my friends.


Anonymous said...

Heh, thanks for the shout-out. Yeah, as I told you my appropriation of his "Viva la revolucion!" poster was meant to be sort of the same idea. (Maybe a bit more critical of the man himself as well, though.)

I sort of wonder what a lot of those dimestore Guevara fans would say if you asked them what they knew about Che?

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I read a good book about Guavara's early days that was republished when The Motorcycle Diaries movie came out.

It was written by his friend on that trip, and gives an interesting insight into Guavara's early days.

Ta for the shout!

captain corky said...

thanks for the award man. I'm touched. I really do like coming to read your poetry man, it's really good. You have a gift.

karma lennon said...

Thanks for the award, Eric! I am touched. :) Makes me kind of feel I'm doing some good somewhere with all my melodrama. ;) Thanks. And you are as always awesome!

Lynn@ZelleBlog said...

Wow you guys do a lot of awarding of awards.

Thats cool though.

Anyway when I first saw the word "revolting" I thought it was a pretty clever play on words.

Then I started to think about the Wal mart art issue and what happens to iconic personalities. SOmehow they end up in the marketing hopper although its not their fault. Its just the disgusting way we are.

Art is no longer valued anyway, people will decorate thier homes and lives with anything shat out of a factory.

I did not own green Docs but I had an ass kicking pair of black and floral that just made me feel stronger and less vulnerable all the time. They were like my power boots as a teenage girl. When my boyfriend would pinch my stomach and tell me I better not get fat, I would imagine putting one of those boots right up his ass.

Thats the difference between then and now, a gal learns that she cannot exist in the fantasy realm where angst is concerned.

I thought Walking man was on hiatus> I liked that blog alot. And I love Benjibopper!!! The rest I mostly dont know but congrats all around!

When I was seven Che was one of my idols. Looking back I think thats kind of weird since my other idol was from Dazzler comic books.


Bardouble29 said...

Wow, thank you!! I really appreciate the nod and the award!

You rock my friend!

skinnylittleblonde said...

E-Man....your prose was wonderful & you pointed out some very valid points with reference to Ernesto "Che" Guevara. I'm embarassed to say that I didn't realize that his photos were exploited like that. I guess living in a somewhat small town & not venturing out too far, nor keeping up with pop culture keeps me in the dark.
Consumerism will swallow anything whole, including human life. Here, I often find that we are consumed with consumerism...scooping up things we don't need at all, thinking we need them & working hard to get the things that we think we want, only to find out that what we really is just a little bit of peace & harmony.
Thanks for your awarding me Eric... you are so very thoughtful~!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Re-reading you prose, I thought of Bob Marley...whose image is also used to sell countless items. Often times the consumers of these items don't even know who he was...they just think the image is 'cool.'

Behind Blue Eyes said...

eric-I love your writing, I mean, your writing besides poetry. Of course I love your poetry too, but your writing. that's where your talent really shines through to me and shows a different aspcet to your writing. Very good. What are you going to school for.

I mean to stop by the other blogs and look sometime, but I never get to it. Maybe soon.

That's the second shmooze award I've gotten and I will take it as a complement. I've been told I'm sull of shit before but I think they were only jealous. No, really that made me happy. Thanks.

Princess Pointful said...

Thanks so much, Eric! :)

There is a book I wanted to read (you've reinspired me to hunt it down!) entitled Guerilla Marketing. The cover has Che on a Starbucks cup-- you can get the theme.

SpongyBones said...

Now it's time to get started on getting them naked for next yrs awards! Just kidding! They all rock, as do you!

Princess Pointful said...

Oops, I didn't mean Guerilla Marketing- that is a totally different concept. But now I forget what the book was called!

EA Monroe said...

Wow, you have an interesting blog and lots of great writing. I like the ballad of janice and jimi.

Mob said...

Thanks for the kind words, I'll make some sort of acceptance speech later in the week.

Pythia3 said...

I love coming over here to the 313 zone of intense creative forces that sometimes whip around with hurricane force and other times the leaves barely move - but one always knows - senses the presence - something happened - I am affected in more ways than I know - or dare to know.
:) Lindy

david mcmahon said...

G'day Eric,

I read a great newspaper feature a coupla years ago about the photographer who took that shot of Che ....



eric313 said...


Thanks for your continued support and comments.

I'll get back to everyone as soon as I can.

the walking man said...

As long as there is no copyright to anything that will turn a dollar some marketing genius will figure it out and the old saying of "If you sell it they will come...and buy"

glad to see you're speaking out against the sheeple , maybe they will wake up.

If not I have this idea for silk screening T shirts with the explosion of Pompeii I think will sell.

Good writing Eric



maleah said...

THANK YOU. I always feel like walking up to every 14 year old emblazoned with that image and asking if they even know WHO it is much less anything about him. Thank you.

Lynn@ZelleBlog said...

You know, I do agree that on one hand many young people dont know what these images are about, but on the other hand I try to check my "more educated elitist" view at the door and realize that at least these dipshits are TRYING to be political, trying to say something, even if they are tripping a bit.

Could be worse, they could have Ann Coulter on their shirts! Rush on the wall!

I know some are not experts on revolution and I know that the world is inhabited by posers but I also dont feel superior because they are trying and I have had more time (AKA years) to read and learn.

It used to irk me, but now I think I am just so damn glad to see somebody, even a phony, take an interest that it chases the negativity away.

Can we afford to divide people on the left all the time into "posers" and real? I mean, I see more environmentalists heating huge homes driving huge SUV's...yes, there is a marketing issue. Of course. But I dont see t shirts with a massive carbon load killing the planet while the owners are on their hypocritical soapboxes.

I say wear your shirts, use your dumb stickers. Maybe it will foster some conversation. Maybe some kid will google Bob marley and read- and might not have otherwise.

Can't a case be made that snobbery and elitism has hurt more people?

And for the record, I know lots of people who have studied Che and many who are posers. I honestly cant tell the difference though in terms of ACTUAL ACTION!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Eric,
Thanks for the plug. I'm still trying to rebuild my blogging momentum with a few plain pieces of yarn.

eric313 said...

You are right about that, Lynn--at least they may then learn who Che was, and from there they can find their own opinion on the subject.

You are also right about snobbery and elitism. We fight against such conventions of thought, and often don't notice when we slip into the roles of the ashole, completing the circle of hypocricy, as laid out by the right wing media clowns and instigators you just mentioned. That's a blueprint I would not want to follow. Much better to let others more skilled at the fine art of conservative political griping and other distraction act that pageant out.

But it is very ironic that a man who espoused the ideas of communism and later a more moderate form of socialism has also become a symbol to be used by corporations. When I get sued for copywrite infrigment for lifting that pic off the web, it won't matter who I was talking about.

I'd bet there's been more than a few republican voters who owned a Che t-shirt at one time or another. That to is an irony of our country--if it really is an important idea, you probably will have to teach yourself about it.

Sometimes, you can't help but be offensive, and others, you just don't notice being that way. At least you spoke up and let me know how you felt. Not that speaking up seems to be a problem for you.

Glad you dropped back by, anyway. Your points were valid and well made. Thanks for sharing them. But really, it's just one more piece of writing. I'll post again, I have something almost ready to go as we speak.
Peace out

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Loved the piece on Che. He is everywhere in Cuba. His face graces concrete walls and signs everywhere. "Viva la revolucion" everywhere you turn.
"Revolucion" is the flavour of the day, even in the local cigar factory, to remind the Cuban people the "why fore" in which they suffer. And trust me. They suffer. But they are intensely proud. Great people, and beautiful both inside and out.
Great post Eric.

eric313 said...


Thanks for chiming in. You know him first hand.

Yeah, I thought it's sad and ironic that he's been used as a capitalist's marketing tool. But he meant a lot to the people of Cuba, and that is important for us to know and remember. We are responsible (us in the US) for a lot of suffering and hardship. We are responsible for tormenting a neighbor who didn't want our country and it's cronies fleecing it's people and economy anymore.

It is good for eveyone to find out who he is and what he meant, even if it's only by a twist of well marketed fate that the knowledge is found.

benjibopper said...

so crazy this piece, because if you go here you will see my two anti-che iconography shouts, both done last year. great minds eh?

and thanks a billion for the award, my mantle's getting all crowded and my head barely fits through the door, but it feels good.

benjibopper said...

btw, i like both your prose and the image.

lynn: a. thanks, i love you too! also, your point about being snobbish is well-taken, and i'm always torn when things i like (e.g. organic food) go mainstream b/c on the one hand, that means progress is being made, but on the other hand, whoever mainstreams it will likely fuck it up in some way. can we really trust walmart to sell healthy sustainable food? no.

the worst thing about that image of che is that some american t-shirt company actually owns the copyright. i'm not kidding.

so, the struggle continues.

benjibopper said...

sorry, one more thing comes to mind. i believe it may have been che's daughter who recently said that in a world of heros, celebrity icons become unnecessary, because no struggle is won by one. it takes many, and people must be their own heroes, their own leaders, in abundance.

eric313 said...

I meant the fugurative "you" when I said "sometime you offend people..." which meant me, actually. And a lot of other writers. But I understand your chiming in to defend you position and glad you did.

It's all good. Just had to move the merchandise and dole it out appropriately.

I still have to check out the Che peice that you wrote, but not tonight. Got a lot to do this weekend with familly weddings coming up, and I'll be visiting with my dad for a week or so, checking out MSU's campus and using their computers.

Gotta stick it to the man somehow, besides, that's how I get my tax dollars back.

Lynn said...

Indeed. Speaking up is NOT a problem for me.

I run the risk of pissing people off and even contradicting myself at times- because as Benjibopper pointed out- we often have mixed emotions. Few things are black and white in the realm of opinion, and I guess I was just trying to speak to the other side as the chorus had the other well covered!

Sometimes I try to look at things in a more positive way as the cynic in me so often wins and hope is so damned elusive.

I am struggling to see something good about the selling out of social change.

Of course it would be better if half the t shirt wearers actually gave thought to corporate run government and the need to assert the populace as paramount but...aint gonna happen.

Ok I wont keep explaining, just wanted to make nice. Now I will go to your poems.

eric1313 said...


no need to make nice with me. I'm glad you are the way you are.

Keep telling it like it is, and I'll be happy to hear it.