By Don Feder – BarbWire guest contributor
As she contemplates her mortality, at age 76 Jane Fonda is every bit as absurd as she was at 26, when she first picked up a protest sign and began babbling about issues of which she hasn’t the slightest comprehension.
I used to think of Fonda as evil. But while she bears responsibility for much suffering, I now see her as more deluded, fatuous and, ultimately, banal.
After a baby shower for actress Kerry Washington, Jane wrote what USA Today described as “a long and thoughtful website note” (how the MSM adore her). The actress cum-anti-war-activist, cum-environmentalist, cum-socialist, cum-feminist, cum-population-controller confessed she often gets teary-eyed these days.
She cries at the drop of a National Geographic cliché (for which we are asked to admire her exquisite sensitivity). “I ache for unwanted children in the world, for polar bears, and elephants, whales and Monarch butterflies, and dolphins, gorillas and chimpanzees.” But not for the 54 million children aborted since Roe v. Wade, thanks in part to her friends at Planned Parenthood, or the millions of Indochinese slaughtered after the Vietnam War by the communists she so admired.
What to do with her remains, after she shuffles off this mortal coil. She doesn’t want to be cremated (“uses up too much energy and gives off too many toxins”), or interred in a coffin. “Just dump me in a hole and let me morph into whatever as quickly as possible.” That way, “I will be in the earth, fertilizing some of the very things I look at now and tear up over.” At least, at that point, she won’t be spreading fertilizer over the political landscape.
Like the joke about the Buddhist ordering a hot dog, little Jane wants to be one with everything.
Fonda has no private life. Every experience (no matter how mundane or humiliating), every thought, every emotion must be shared with the world. This is the mark of the totally self-centered and self-absorbed.
At various times, the actress whose life is a series of revolving movie sets has revealed that: Her first husband, French director Roger Vadim (1965-1973), was into group sex. “Sometimes there were three of us, sometimes more. Sometimes it was even I who did the soliciting.”
Her second husband, Marxist agitator Tom Hayden (1973-1990), told her he loved someone else on her 51st birthday, precipitating a nervous breakdown. Ted Turner, husband number three (1991 –2001), cheated on her a month after they were married, she disclosed. Everyone, let’s thank Jane for sharing – or not.
For all of the endless discussions of her experiences and mental states, one wonders if the Gucci rebel has really lived at all. Her existence has consisted of causes strung together like a necklace, crafted over almost five decades.
In the beginning, there was Vietnam.
When her 2011 interview on the QVC shopping network to hawk her new “lifestyle” book was cancelled (due to protests by Vietnam vets and other patriots), Fonda insisted: “I love my country! I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who fought and continue to fight for us” – a statement of breathtaking mendacity. Try to imagine Jack the Ripper, interrupted in one of his impromptu surgeries, protesting: “But I love women! I have never done anything to hurt them.”
Jane Fonda loves America the way Barack Obama loves the Constitution. Fonda and the Obamas belong to a mutual admiration society. According to friends, Fonda predicted that there would be a civil war if Obama lost the 2008 election. Michelle Obama says the preening pinko is “a beautiful, engaged, politically savvy, sharp woman.”
In the course of her July/August 1972 trip to North Vietnam (which, at that point, was responsible for the deaths of more than 50,000 Americans), she posed with an anti-aircraft battery and made no fewer than eight propaganda broadcasts for Hanoi, during which she said that the pilots who bombed the North were “war criminals,” American troops were led by officers who were “incompetent, usually drunk….,” Vietnam was a war of “U.S. imperialism” and a “white man’s war,” and we were fighting for Esso, Shell and Coca-Cola (the white man’s beverage of choice).
She also said the U.S. POWs paraded before her – who were regularly brutalized and existed in appalling conditions in pits like the Hanoi Hilton – “appear to be healthy and fit.” When ex-POWs described their torture, Fonda called them “liars, hypocrites, and pawns,” smugly observing, “Tortured men do not march smartly off planes, salute the flag and kiss their wives.” If they’d crawled off planes and collapsed, would that have convinced her?
In a Wall Street Journal interview, North Vietnamese Col. Bui Tin explained that the U.S. anti-war movement was essential to a communist victory. “Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda… gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses.”
Fonda has apologized for one incident – the artillery photo-op – which she attributes to “bad judgment” – not for her slander of POWs, or the Vietnamese firing squads and internment camps, or the Cambodian killing fields or any of the rest. She refused to support Joan Baez’s protest of the incarceration of 100,000 Vietnamese after the war, explaining that she didn’t criticize revolutionary regimes.
Having become a cause-junkie, after Vietnam, Fonda moved on to other crusades:
• Along with then husband Tom Hayden, she organized the Campaign for Economic Democracy “to name – and publicly challenge the ‘foul thing’ known as Corporate Capitalism,” alleged to be the source of “racism and sexism and joblessness and wars and inflation.” A political cartoon of the period showed a CED office, loaded with IBM, Xerox and AT&T equipment. A man on a phone tells a volunteer to take the Chevy to the airport to pick up Tom and Jane, who are coming in on TWA to talk about how corporations are ruining our lives.
• Fonda is a zombie environmentalist who managed to derail the development of nuclear power in this country – with her sci-fi film, “The China Syndrome” – which in turn has promoted the use of fossil fuels. In 2005, coal-fired plants in the U.S. were responsible for 40% of energy-related carbon emissions. So, opposition to the use of nuclear power (which Fonda judges to be evil) has led to the use of more fossil fuels, which has led to more CO2, which allegedly has led to more global warming (evil, evil, evil). Ideologies in collision.
• Explaining why we need fewer humans, in a U.N. speech (Clinton appointed her “good-will” ambassador to the United Nations Population Fund), Fonda revealed, “Our species alone co-opts, consumes or eliminates 40% of the Earth’s energy” – perhaps because snails don’t drive SUVs and Bambi doesn’t build affordable housing. Therefore, “We must fight to ensure universal access to family planning… backed up with safe abortion.” Decline of the human population must be encouraged and unborn children must die so the precious polar bears may thrive.
• Fonda is to abortion what Lord Haw-Haw was to fascism. In 2003, she was the recipient of Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award, named for the organization’s founder and advocate of eugenics, or – as she charmingly put it – “race hygiene.” According to Protecting Black Life, though whites outnumber blacks by 2-to-1 in Mississippi, 72% of aborted babies are black. In New York City each year, the number of black abortions exceeds the number of births, due in part to deliberately locating most Planned Parenthood clinics in minority neighborhoods. In the ’70s, Fonda gave money to the Black Panthers. Black criminals are so much cuter and cuddlier than black babies.
• She has also opposed the war on terrorism. After the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 Americans, Fonda urged us to reject self-defense and instead try to understand the “underlying reasons” for the carnage. No, not genocidal Islam and virulent anti-Americanism, the other underlying reasons, which probably have something to do with Esso, Shell, Coca-Cola and the uneven distribution of energy resources among the planet’s species.
• In 2000, there was Fonda’s much-hyped conversion to “Christianity,” but not the stodgy, repressive Biblical Christianity. (For her, the New Testament is a “metaphor, written by people a long time after Christ died, and interpreted by specific groups.”) Hers is a “feminist Christianity,” as opposed to the “fundamentalist” variety practiced over the course of two millennia, Fonda explained. “In the beginning, She created the chimpanzee and the Monarch butterfly and gave them dominion over the earth.”
Jane Fonda has an endless capacity for deluding herself. Rather than blame the three ex-husbands who all treated her appallingly, she blames society – the dreaded system – for the failure of her marriages.
“All these men loved me, I think, but they didn’t know how to join me.” Though talented, famous or rich, they couldn’t escape the masculinity trap.
In a 2004 speech to the Smart Talk Women’s Lecture Series, Fonda explained: “You see, while being ‘male’ and ‘female’ is innate (it’s difficult to deny anatomy) ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ are not. They’re not states of being; they’re acquired social constructs.” Masculinity is “conferred, the way you confer membership in an exclusive club… men have to constantly prove, over and over again, through achievement (or, failing that, through violence), through being above someone else, that you are deserving of membership.”
To believe otherwise, Fonda would have to admit that she failed miserably at making the most important decisions of her life. She behaved stupidly, not once or twice, but three times. If her judgment in personal matters is fatally flawed, what of the causes she has so passionately embraced?
If she lives so long, Fonda will spend the next 10 to 20 years involved not in self-reflection and reaching out to others, but in self-absorption. Then what?
“The wretch, concentrated all in self, living shall forfeit fair renown. And, doubly dying, shall go down to the vile dust from whence he sprung, unwept, unhonored, and unsung” – except by the polar bears and Monarch butterflies.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.
First published at GrassstopsUSA.com
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.