Monday, July 16, 2007

Why is communism "cool"?

We see them here there and everywhere: CCCP jackets, red star baseball caps, maoist headbands, hammer and sickle t-shirts … Che Guevara, Vladimir Lenin, even chairman Mao, shining like rock stars off of some groupie’s chest.

It is as if communist iconography has suddenly become a fashion trend.

What are people thinking, as they wear these things? Is it an adornment carried with all the innocence one would associate with jolly roger pirate flags? Few who display such skull and crossbones out their apartment windows or inside their vans or upon their belt buckles really fancy themselves genuine pirates, one would imagine. It is just a pose, isn’t it, maybe even a memory of childhood games, similar to playing cops and robbers, where someone has to be the "bad guy" for the play to work.

Of course, there continue to be real pirates in our world, who prey on innocent tradesmen, vacationers and other travelers. Few of the pirate flag-waving folk that we see in our fair city, surely, would ever consider themselves in sympathy with the bloodthirsty thieves lurking today on the high seas… I wonder if the same can be said for those who decorate themselves with the imagery of an even greater evil, that of communist dictatorships.

It may be that the current trend to wear hammer and sickle gear is born from a combination of sheer innocence, and ignorance; that the kids truly have no earthly idea what these images and symbols represent. Maybe they just think that communists, like pirates, have a "bad boy" reputation any rebel would find attractive. That it is to be only a skin-deep costume, soon to be displaced by some other symbol just over the cultural horizon.

I’d still be offended by their shirts, but at least I’d be willing to help rescue their dignity by filling in the obvious gaps in their education. Here is a short video I’ve made to that effect, so that their day of enlightenment may dawn on them faster than it did for me, back when I was a young-skull-full-of-mush collegian, flirting with the eternal lie of leftist ideology: that communism is somehow good for human beings.
Here is why communism is not cool, kids:

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