Thursday, September 09, 2004


Surprising Jeffrey Wells column.

Longtime readers of movie critic Jeffrey Wells know that he's a liberal partisan who throws a hissy fit every time he talks about George W. Bush.

But you know what? That's okay.

Why? Well, because I don't think everything is POLITICAL. Many things in life involve small-p "politics"; it's one of the major spheres of human relationships, along with sex, economics, and philosophy (to which I include art). But not everything has to be about Right vs. Left, Republicans vs. Democrats, Springfield vs. Shelbyville. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a movie is just a movie.

And Jeffrey Wells knows movies pretty darn well, so he's a favorite stop of mine. He doesn't appreciate car chases and pool hall scenes as much as I do, but hey, it's all a matter of taste.

Anyways, his latest column caught me off guard. As someone who often reverts to Hollywood leftist groupthink, Wells surprisingly critiques the new Che Guevara movie The Motorcycle Diaries for much the same reasons I did. The difference is that he's actually seen it. Money quote:

In the movie Guevara flirts with various women, shows kindness to strangers, and cares for lepers in a hospital along the Amazon. He's an unequivocal sweetheart.

In real life Guevara was a hard-core cadre who apparently came to believe more and more in black and white moral extremes. Oppressors bad, revolutionaries good, etc. Hate, it seems, was as much of a driving force in his life as love, and perhaps a bit more so.

If you replace the above sentence "Hate, it seems, was as much of a driving force" with "Hate was more of a driving force," that statement would be just about perfect. But I'll appreciate progress when I see it.

Che was a handsome man. He joked with friends. He was probably decent and caring at times. Maybe he loved puppies; I don't know. But I do know something broke. It may be important to know the young man before we condemn the murderer-- but it's more important to know when not to confuse the two.

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