dum spiro sputo

Elaborating on his fascination with Che’s will, Soderbergh explained: “His ability to sustain outrage is what is remarkable to me. We all get outraged about stuff, but to sustain it to the point of putting your ass on the line to change what outrages you, to do it consistently year after year, and to twice walk away from everything and everybody to do it—it’s not normal.”

Soderbergh’s treatment explains the cult of Che Guevara for me. Its grounds are not to be found in the fighter’s altruism looking out for the victims of oppression contrary to their will welcoming its violation. Neither is the would-be liberator morally disqualified by the resistance of his potential beneficiaries; for what good is his intelligence, if not to warrant his authority to speak and act on their benighted behalves? Be it due to sacrificial selflessness or intellectual vanity, Che’s capacity for staying pissed off makes him stand out.

Anticipating his own political martyrdom, Cicero commented on an earlier occasion of noble failure: “ut aegroto, dum anima est, spes esse dicitur”. (Letters to Atticus 9.10.3.) To the sick, while there is life there is hope. Proverbial wisdom condensed Ciceronian dicta to expand their purview: “dum spiro spero”; while I breathe I hope. But to the truly outraged, hope is beside the point. Suffice unto them to spew forth. Dum spiro sputo.

14 thoughts on “dum spiro sputo”

          1. Have you seen videos left behind by muslim suicide bombers? They all looked like brainwashed zombies, at least that’s how they appeared to me. The Austin guy was not a zombie and he was not out to terrorize the populace. He was out to kill very specific motherfuckers. Then again, if he were prescribed proper medication and take regulary… But the ability to sustain outrage he did have, no arguing that.

            1. I see several problems with your analogy. Che Guevara commanded small bands of well-trained fighters equipped with small arms that could be, and were, precisely aimed at specific enemy targets. Joe Stack flew his plane into a building that contained about 200 IRS employees, killing one of them at the cost of his own life. His spur of the moment deed falls short of effective use of limited resources for specific targeting, as advocated by Che. A man who sustains his outrage year after year would plan much better.

              1. Fortunately for many of us this guy is not of the Che caliber. I just liked the expression “sustained outrage”. Ability to translate it into something truly horrendous is another matter.

      1. It would be more accurate to say that I am like coach potato football fans. Still, it’s morally superior to subverting the discourse of liberation and guerrilla struggle to justify personal vendetta with a whiff of extortion.

        1. As our genetic and hormonal superiors seldom tire of telling us, the personal is political. On that level, I can’t help admiring Uncle Joe for reaching out from under the Kremlin wall, to snip your gonads in the bud. As for your finely tuned olfactory receptors, extortion requires a threat to inflict an unlawful injury upon any person or property, which cannot be realized by touting matters of public record. “Was nicht verboten ist, ist erlaubt.”

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