06. April 2005 · Comments Off on Hanoi Jane, Again… · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Media Matters Not

Ordinarily, NPR is the news venue most useful for minimizing exposure to fading celebs with mounds of baggage, flogging their new doorstop around the usual book-flogging “tour d’lame” circuit. But Jane Fonda was interviewed this morning, on Morning Edition… and I was so sunk in ennui, indifference and disinterest that I didn’t even bother turning the radio up to listen… or down so I didn’t have to. My well of “just don’t care” is practically bottomless as far as she is concerned, as a singular person. She does interest me in a mild way, as being typical of a certain sort of activist dilettante, flitting from one trendy cause du jour to the next. There never seems to be any deep and abiding commitment to one particular cause amongst this sort of person, just a vague attachment to the currently most fashionable of them, as if to cover up a lack in themselves by making an ostentatious show of “caring”.

I suppose I could go back and review her notorious propaganda trip to North Vietnam, remind myself of why practically all the older guys— Vietnam-era veterans all— in my early service life despised her, and boycotted those few movies that she did appear in, in the late 1970ies. I could recall again how very, very few of those celebrity/activists who protested the war vociferously in 1968 were still around in 1975 to help pick up the pieces and resettle the refugee population from South Vietnam that their own good intentions helped create. (Buffy St. Marie is the only one who comes to mind, incidentally.) By then, Ms Fonda had already moved on to being a diet and exercise guru and from there to being a corporate media wife, and fashionable feminist. And I— along with most the rest of the world, have moved on. A good chunk of that world, if they think of her at all, think of her as someone on their mom’s excercise tapes.

The woman has been everything by turns over the last thirty-five years, but none of it for too long, or too deeply. It’s hard to feel anything much about someone so shallow, who seems to drift according to the orbit of whatever husband she was with at the time, or the whim of fashion. Bothering even to work up a dislike feels like beating up on marshmallow fluff; a waste of energy, because it’s mostly air over a creamy and attractive surface.

Bet you the book will be on the remainders table, marked down %50 in six months.

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