Monday, November 28, 2016

Long live Fidel?

Castro in 1951, a truly timeless photo.
Now that Fidel Castro is dead the process of reevaluating his life has begun; revolutionary, leader, torturer, killer, oppressor, man of the people, obsessed with getting the better of the USA and not caring about Cuba enough? The man the CIA failed to kill, smoker of cigars and friend of Che, he outlived most of his rivals and died peacefully (?). I don't know what to think. When I was first reading Guevara's writings as a teenager, (me being a revolutionary without a cause), their work was fascinating and seemed simple and righteous. It was all set in black and white 1950's jungles, government troops were the enemy and capitalist influences were everywhere corrupting the good, plain, simple people (who could do no wrong). Now I'm not so sure. 

None of it every happened in Scotland, it was all irrelevant really and an almost romantic distraction whilst we were failing to build a better post-industrial society, sitting around smoking dope, listening to downer rock and talking rubbish. A wistful reading, fashion and fantasy exercise and no more than that. Combat jackets, jeans and a blank stare into space because the Tories never were smashed and Socialism, with it's petty antics simply gave itself a bad name. As we grew up we only built New Labour and it drove itself over a cliff. Now that troubled but impotent generation has passed and really there is no clear direction, which is just the way that things actually are and maybe always were.

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