Here's to Fonda Day

Fly for the hills, pick up your feet and let’s go
- Black Angels

Continuing on LI’s Vietnam craze, we saw Winter Soldier last night on DVD. It made us think, among other things, about Jane Fonda. Of the actors who have come out of Hollywood and gotten involved in politics – Ronald Reagan, Charlton Heston, etc. – none had a more beneficial effect than Jane Fonda. For Fonda’s anti-war work in the 70s, LI forgives her for every celebrity sin since.

Fonda helped finance the Winter Soldier trials that exposed, from a grunts eye point of view, what Vietnam was about – a racist and criminal enterprise that massacred Vietnamese, on the one side, and introduced psychosis into the American population, on the other. We have never shed the last black drop of that psychosis – the Freikorps is still alive and well in this country, as the last six years have shown. But things could be much worse. It was the sheer patriotism of such as Fonda that kept it from being worse.

She saw – as the antiwar movement in general saw – that the problem with the United States was similar to the problem faced by an alcoholic. Just as an alcoholic needs, for his own sake, to be de-toxed, so the U.S., for its own sake, needed to be severely demoralized. Stabbing the war in the back was the patriotic duty of every concerned American, and the anti-war movement, back then, was willing to grasp that nettle. We need to take a lesson – we need tribunals like the Winter Soldier tribunals about Iraq. And most of all, we need to spread the news that no patriot will enroll in a mercenary army, bent to the will of an unelected despot.

Unfortunately, the liberal side of the spectrum, now, seeing that the U.S. is embarked on another criminal adventure, in which, once again, thinly disguised massacres are the strategy of choice, still has not grasped the nettle. This is understandable. Fonda, compared to whose high standards of moral action a politburo automaton like Ronald Reagan looks like a monster, has been subject to coordinated vilification ever since she helped, in her own small way, extract the country from the effects of its governing class’ misrule. Of course, in one hundred years, when things clear up, we will, of course, see the Reagans, the Cheneys, the Bushes as the villains they are, peckerwood Richard IIIs, while it is always possible there will be a national Fonda day. Surely we owe it to her and the antiwar movement that every war since Vietnam has been fought by volunteers – and that the system is now spiraling into the purest form of mercenary violence, with duty almost wholly replaced by various compensation packages. I don’t think the era of executive mercenary wars is going to last too long – eventually, there will come a backlash. Eventually, Congress might even assert its authority, instead of acting like a bribed cop, looking the other way as the local Mafia loot a store.

Anyway, here’s to some future Fonda Day.


Brian Miller said…
Amen, roger!

"spread the news that no patriot will enroll in a mercenary army, bent to the will of an unelected despot."

I'm so sick of hearing about how the soliders are fighting for my "freedom." No! They are NOT! The war, indeed very few of the recent wars, have little to do with "freedom" in any decent, meaningful sense of the word. We need to break the rhetorical gridlock, deny the patriotic meme that associates solidering-in today's world, under today's bipartisan consensus, has anythign to do with freedom-or real patriotism.
roger said…
The socialite, Slim Keith, said of Truman Capote that he was the biggest shitstirrer she ever met.

Well, I'm not Tru, but I am trying to stir some shit with that one. I'm thinking maybe I should make some links to some of those far off, hawkish sites in a PS - then click on them, hoping that some return click will cause this post to be denounced for the Unamerican menace to decency that it is. I know that there are few better ways to get half literates to send you castration threats than to praise Fonda's anti-Vietnam war activity. But the question is, is it really my desire to revel in the heavy breathing of half literates? Hmm. No.
I guess that takes care of that question.
It is their kids I want to get hold of. To propagandize among. To turn against the whole war culture. I think this is possible.
uncle dave said…
I agree completely - just wish you wouldn't use "the alcoholic" as your whipping boy.
roger said…
Dave, you know that my lifelong policy has always been Do Feed the Bears and Buy that Alcoholic a drink -- it is just I am low on funds right now, so the alcoholic will have to buy ME a drink... which is also my lifelong policy.