Che Guevara

Why did Che Guevara become the icon that he is today? Even our Madiba called him “An inspiration for every human being who loves freedom” according to Wikipedia. He was not a nice man if you did not agree with him and had people executed without a fair trail. Is this another case of turning somebody into an ideal (not the person that he was) and them worshipping him?

I am also one of those people on whom the whole Che-fad is utterly lost. So much so that I flunked a job interview because of it (I’m pretty sure). True story.

I was interviewing for a place and passed initial interviews with flying colors and ended up in the “final” interview with “the big cheese”. We went through lots of stuff, I have to admit the interview was a bit strange, weird questions being asked that could have horribly ambiguous answers, basically probing my opinions rather than knowledge. But I digress…

Once the asking stage was over it was the “show him how cool our company is” guided tour. It was after hours, and I was led through their offices and pimped on the chill area, the foam guns lying around, the cool coffee machine, the foosball table, the “where serious works gets done” section, the employee-created art, all very hip and funky and “cool”.

Finally I was pointed to a huge painting of Che on the wall and told “We have that up there to remind us to be revolutionary”. For some STUPID! STUPID! reason, an action I don’t fathom until today, I uttered … “Hmmm, perhaps for all the wrong reasons”, and tried to swallow the words instantly, damn! Silence fell over the big cheese. I got a look like no other I’ve ever got before. “This one is trouble” he probably thought. Right in that moment the entire thing just fizzled out.

End of interview, I was politely shown out, given their contact details if I have any questions, and never heard from them again.

The irony of proclaiming to aspire to revolutionary ideas, and then giving me THAT reaction to one little contrary opinion, is not lost on me at all. I decided I didn’t want to work there if I was expected to toe the line and watch my mouth, and wrote it off as a learning experience to keep my big mouth shut on ideological issues during job interviews.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie The Motorcycle Diaries. It closely follows the adventures of a classic Norton 500 motorcycle in South America. The two bikers were Guevara and his biochemist friend. He was a fairly good rider, IIRC. Not sure what else he did … might have been the Manx.