27 June 2006

G-Had and Guevara

The Guardian seems a bit miffed about this new hip hop record. Not because it romanticizes suicide bombings or looks forward to the destruction of America by Islamofascism - those barely qualify as controversial topics in Guardian-land - but because the Bradford-born troubadour of terror has - shock, horror - likened Osama bin Laden to the sacrosanct Che Guevara.

Apparently thinking it self-evident, they don't bother explaining what exactly differentiates bin Laden from Guevara; apart from the fact that the latter is more photogenic and thus better equipped for selling t-shirts, I can't think of a whole lot. Both are/were megalomaniacs prepared to commit mass murder in pursuit of a nutty ideology, both have a certain appeal to angry and frustrated adolescents of all ages, and both are/were devotees of "the nihilist cult of murder and suicide" combined with a "paranoid and utopian mythology" that in Paul Berman's estimation, produce great totalitarian movements like Stalinism, fascism, Nazism, Ba'athism, and Islamism.

But to Guardianistas, especially those of a certain age - anywhere from 60s diehards to RATM teens - Che will always be the James Dean of international terrorism: lived fast, died young, and left a relatively good-looking corpse (I never went for the bearded types myself, but they seem to strike a chord with seekers after the messianic). And really, he didn't kill that many people, did he? And those he did murder were mostly obscure South Americans and Africans, nobody of much consequence, really. I mean, it's not like he killed actual Europeans or Americans like bin Laden, and maybe that's why he gets to be a romantic revolutionary while bin Laden gets saddled with all the bad press.

But now rapper G-Had has squared that particular circle and helpfully pointed out that both dudes were more or less on the same page. If the Guardian doesn't like it, it can't be all bad news.

No comments: