Murder Chic in Manhattan


If you happened upon a bronze statue of Che Guevara on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan today, its creator, artist Christian Janowski, wants you to know that it is merely a representation of the Argentinean imperialist—it's actually a Barcelona-based street performer playing the revolutionary.

At the New York Times' City Room blog, David Gonzalez tartly explains Guevara's legacy to one clueless, yet curious, tourist snapping photos of the newly installed art work:

"That's Che Guevara, right?" said Sean Kelly, who was visiting from Ames, Iowa. "I'm kind of interested in his beliefs and the kind of stuff he did."

There were the executions when he presided over the prison at La Cabaña. Or his stated willingness to have let the missiles fly had they been under Cuban control, according to a newspaper interview cited by the biographer Jon Lee Anderson. And as several conservative commentators have noted, soon after the 1962 crisis, Che was preparing to export revolution while Cuban diplomats in New York were implicated in a plot to blow up, among other targets, department stores in New York City on the day after Thanksgiving.

When a passing bike messenger explains that Che was about "liberation," about societies where hipsters wouldn't have deliver packages to corporate fat-cats on fix-gear bicycles, but could start their own Williamsburg Social Club on that people's dime, Gonzalez helpfully adds that "For some Cubans, liberation means rolling the dice on a raft trip across the Florida Straits."

And oh, how The Times has changed: reason contributing editor Glenn Garvin on the paper's Castrophilic former Cuba correspondent Herb Matthews here.

(Via Radosh)