Something About a Painting

Sometimes I forget how politically divided people can be. When I do forget – I tend to open my mouth and insert my foot – even when it comes to people I think of as friends.

At issue is a painting of Che Guevara that’s on display at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Seems 71-year-old Jose Paz, a Cuban native now living in Reno, saw it and took offense.

I can’t say that I blame the old man.

Personally, I think of Guevara as a thug and murderer. I’ve never really unstood his appeal — especially by the younger crowds.

Anyway the airport’s refusing to take the piece of artwork down until the display ends May 9th. Personally, I think this is wrong and I said so when the subject came up between my co-worker, Neil and me.

He says it’s stupid to condemn a piece of artwork because the subject happens to be of a Communist Revolutionary. I can’t fault him on this because art like this as in most cases is protected speech.

My stand is thought — the airport receives funding from the U.S. Government and is therefore a federal facility. Because of this – there should be no place on the wall for Che Guevara, Boris Yeltsin or Helen Keller for that matter — since she too was a Communist.

“After all,” I insisted, “They wouldn’t allow a religious painting to hang on their walls, would they?”

“I can see your point,” Neil admitted

Eventually I apologized for getting so heated during our conversation. That’s when Neil let me in on the fact that he came to work in a bad mood and the entire story struck him wrong.

Well, I told him my little secret – I’m in a bad mood, too. We both had a laugh at our silliness.

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