This week’s Internet has carried reports that Jane Fonda is sorry for the 1972 picture and film of her sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery, laughing and otherwise joyously carrying on. North Vietnam was the enemy during the Vietnam War, itself a huge, costly mistake that never needed to be fought. That War with more than 58,000 deaths brought out the super stupid in two Presidents, Johnson and Nixon, and their stooges – generals, secretaries of state, national security advisors…
Now Jane Fonda says the pictures and the film were huge mistakes. What was her first clue?
Jane was in the movies, going from glamour puss to excellent actress while arising from a gaggle of Hollywood brats. She believed in the Hollywood hype – I’m on film. I have money. I am famous. Everyone loves me. Nothing can happen to me. In early 1972 she won an Oscar for her role in the 1971 film, Klute. Thereafter, she went to North Vietnam for her photo shoot.
The current Internet has incorrect and omitted quotes of Jane Fonda and boyfriend (eventual Hubby), Tom Hayden. This list is incomplete but it represents her state of mind after returning from Vietnam and after the return of American prisoners of war e.g. John McCain. “Walking through the streets of Hanoi with their heads bowed in front of a woman with a bayonet might be torture,” Jane said, Daily Californian, April 12, 1973, p. 1; see Berkeley Barb, April 13, 1973, for more Jane Fonda opinions on the torture of American POWS; Holzer, Henry Mark and Erica, Aid and Comfort: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam, McFarland & Co. Hayden, Reunion, p. 455: Either Tom or Jane about the time of the 1973 Peace Treaty, “the POWS were ‘liars, hypocrites and pawns in Nixon’s efforts to rewrite history.’” Jane and Tom were among a group of myth-makers, see Susan Sontag, Styles of Radical Will, NY, 1969, “Trip to Hanoi,” p. 205, 208, “The North Vietnamese genuinely care about the welfare of the hundreds of American pilots and give them bigger rations than the Vietnamese population gets ‘because they are bigger than we are…’ and ‘they’re used to eat more meat than we are.’”
[These citations are from my novel, Bitch., 2013, iBookstore.]
The time to correct misimpression’s, miscommunications and mistakes was when the quotes first appeared in 1973, or whenever they were made. 2015 is too late to go on TV and apologize. I cannot take Jane Fonda seriously. She is not sincere. She acts like the same stupid little Hollywood girl she was in her first movies in the early Sixties.
Entertainment disapproved of that war. John Wayne’s Green Berets is the most ridiculous pro-war movie from the mid-1960s. There were no similar films except for POW and POWS-left-behind films after the peace and departure in 1975. I imagine in Jane’s own family, brother Peter, a fine actor whom I’m always happy to see on film and her father, the venerable Henry Fonda opposed the War. I doubt if Henry let his views to break up his long friendship with Jimmy Stewart. Both Henry and Peter had a maturity in 1970 which Jane has yet to exhibit.
Jane left Tom Hayden in the early 1980s, did the exercise tape thing and was the subject of wonder on supermarket tabloids: Which sexual orientation did she want? It’s publicity. She ran off to Ted Turner but wasn’t sure she wanted to do the tomahawk chop at Atlantic Braves games. CNN, the Braves, buffalo ranching and Time-Warner were all too much. She left Ted.
Now it’s all make up and plastic surgery. Today Jane looks like she’s forty years old. But what’s in her brain? She’s in her mid-seventies, and it appears she wants to compete with Anne Hathaway and Heather Graham, actresses born after Jane made her most damning statements.
Jane Fonda is not a little Public Relations’ problem. She wants to be known and respected as a good person, although much she had done has left her living on the same street as Charlie Sheen, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, and Jane is the most notorious of the neighbors. Jane cannot write another book, like the one she released in the last decade: Throughout it, anyone could read I’m lying; I’m a dishonest person. I want you to love me.
This is her conundrum.