Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 09:15 | SYDNEY
Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 09:15 | SYDNEY

Che is cool: Should we care?


Sam Roggeveen


20 October 2009 09:12

The Cato Institute's blog reports that American clothier J. Crew got some criticism for selling a $795 'Che Guevara replica jacket'. J. Crew changed the name in short order.

I can see how the use of communist names and symbols to sell consumer goods will irritate and offend — do the people walking around Sydney in funky Mao t-shirts realise that some of their fellow citizens may have lost relatives in the Cultural Revolution? There's also the weird ideological bias of it all. Why is it unacceptable for urban hipsters to wear Goebbels t-shirts, yet Mao and Che are considered OK?

Still, there's something encouraging about the way capitalism can subvert these noxious ideas simply by commodifying them. I also love the way the iconic Che image has been mocked and appropriated. A small selection from Flickr:


Photos by Flickr users Jason Prine, hireen, Toban Black and stacyjclinton, used under a Creative Commons license.