“LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Johnny Depp joined death-penalty opponents gathered on the front steps of Arkansas’ Capitol here Friday to protest the state’s plan to execute seven inmates before the end of the month.”
In this week’s “you can’t possibly make this stuff up” department Hollywood’s “intellectual heavyweight” Johnny Depp showed up in Arkansas to protest the state’s death penalty.
This probably strikes some folks as a perfectly well-intentioned and reasonable humanitarian endeavor. Problem is, this same Johnny Depp has made a career of idolizing the mass-murderer and war-monger Ernesto “Che” Guevara, responsible for the following famous peace and love proclamations:
“We reject any peaceful approach…To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!”
“My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!”
“A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate! We execute from revolutionary conviction!”
“Certainly we execute! And we will CONTINUE executing as long as it is necessary! This is a war to the DEATH against the revolution’s enemies!”
Those “executions” (_murders_ actually – no semblance of judicial fairness preceded them) had reached 16,000 by the mid-1960s. This Castroite firing-squad murder tally is not difficult to find. Simply open “The Black Book of Communism,” written by French scholars and published in English by Harvard University Press (neither exactly an outpost of “embittered right-wing Cuban exiles”).
But it gets even “better.”
You see, Johnny Depp also fancies himself quite the rock and roller. A few years ago, you see, he was featured literally on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine with a Che Guevara medal hanging from his neck. A bit earlier in a Vibe magazine interview Depp proclaimed his “digging” of Che Guevara.
Actually, as a rocker-hipster fan of Che Guevara Johnny Depp has plenty of company.
“Che Guevara has given rise to a cult of almost religious hero worship among radical intellectuals and students across much of the Western world,” proclaimed Time magazine in May 1968. With his hippie hair and wispy revolutionary beard, Che is the perfect postmodern conduit to the nonconformist, seditious ’60s. “
“1968 actually began in 1967 with the murder of Che,” recalled the late Christopher Hitchens. “His death meant a lot to me, and countless like me, at the time. He was a role model.”
Alas, had Johnny Depp been born two decades earlier (and in Cuba) and had he attempted the lifestyle of a U.S. teenager or campus rebel his “digging” would have been of a more literal nature.
Depp would have found himself digging ditches and mass-graves in a prison camp system inspired by the man glorified on his “groovy!” little neck pendant. Had his digging lagged, a “groovy” Czech machine-gun butt might have shattered his teeth or perhaps some “groovy” Soviet bayonets slashed his buttocks.
In a famous speech in 1961 Che Guevara denounced the very “spirit of rebellion” as “reprehensible.” “Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates” commanded Johnny Depp’s idol. “Instead they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service!”
And woe to those youths “who stayed up late at night and thus reported to work (government forced-labor) tardily.” Youth, wrote Guevara,” should learn to think and act as a mass.” “Those who chose their own path” (as in growing long hair and listening to Yankee-Imperialist Rock & Roll) were denounced as worthless “lumpen” and “delinquents.” In his famous speech Che Guevara even vowed, “to make individualism disappear from Cuba! It is criminal to think of individuals!”
Tens of thousands of Cuban youths learned that Che Guevara’s admonitions were more than idle bombast. In Che Guevara the hundreds of Soviet KGB and East German secret police STASI “consultants” who flooded Cuba in the early 60’s, found an extremely eager acolyte.
By the mid 60’s the crime of a “rocker” lifestyle or effeminate behavior got thousands of youths yanked off Cuba’s streets and parks by secret police and dumped in prison camps with “Work Will Make Men Out of You” in bold letters above the gate (the one at Auschwitz’ gate read: “Work Will Set You Free) and with machine gunners posted on the watchtowers. The initials for these camps were UMAP, not GULAG, but the conditions were much the same.
Today the world’s largest Che Guevara image adorns Cuba’s headquarters for its KGB-trained secret police. And (“death-penalty opponent”) Johnny Depp seems delighted to flaunt this emblem from his pendants, shirts and kerchiefs.
Johnny Depp also “digs” Jack Kerouc’s famous and freespirited travelogue. “On The Road was my bible for years,” boasts Depp. Yet from his t-shirts to his pendants to his bandanas, Depp habitually flaunts the emblem of a regime that imprisons anyone who attempts travel from one Cuban province to the other without proper police-state “papers” and until quite recently still machine-guned anyone who tried to travel abroad.
“I bet you were expecting a Hollywood putz,” boasted Depp a few years ago to his obsequious Vibe magazine interviewer who seemed dazzled by Depp’s penetrating sagacity. “Bet you expected some f**cking commodity without a brain in his head!”
Nothing of the sort, Mr Depp. In Hollywood, you tower as an exceptional intellectual commodity.