In Impromptus yesterday, I mentioned, with revulsion but not surprise, the use by Mercedes-Benz of Che Guevara: At a promotional event, they showed the “iconic image” of the old monster with the company logo on his beret. I said, “Has Mercedes ever buddied with totalitarian killers before? I can’t remember . . .”
Now, according to this report, Mercedes has apologized — apologized to “those who took offense.” I ordinarily don’t like this kind of apology, but it’s certainly better than nothing. If a person has been wrong, he should apologize. If he hasn’t, he shouldn’t — though he may be sorry that others were offended.
Is that parsing it too fine?
The report to which I have linked says that “many political conservatives and Cuban-Americans consider [Guevara] a mass murderer who helped subjugate Cuba.” Yes, and many political conservatives and Cuban-Americans believe that Wednesday follows Tuesday.
Incidentally, to see my long-ago piece on this general matter — “Che Chic: It’s très disgusting” — go here. (Apologies for the funky formatting.) (Sorry if you’re offended!)
Also in Impromptus yesterday, I said this about Mitt Romney: “If the guy’s not a conservative, then, in the last several months, he’s been the biggest liar that ever was. Pathological. He has also been a hell of an actor. (Is there a difference between lying and acting? I’m sure there is . . .)”
An actor writes to me, “Liars tell falsehoods about the person they are. Actors tell the truth about someone they are not.”
Finally, I twice used a question mark and an exclamation point together in that column: “?!” After the second instance, I remarked, “As far as I know, whole years go by without my doing that.”
A reader writes,
When I was a child, my mother had a large question mark with an exclamation point running vertically through its center sewn on the front of one of her maternity smocks. Said it was a new punctuation mark called an “interrobang” or a “quesclamation point.” Said it meant, “I have no idea what it is, but whatever it is, it’s sensational.” (Turned out to be my younger brother, who is indeed.)
Ever since, I’ve been on the lookout for the symbol to show up on a keyboard. No sightings yet.
To recall a bumper sticker I grew up with, “Pro-child, pro-choice”!!! (?!)