The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Sex Education #151


Jane Fonda

14 comments :

Geoff said...

ahuj9

Robert Fiore said...

I heard a Vietnam veteran said that they had no hard feelings about Jane Fonda due to goodwill stored up from Barbarella. Joan Baez was the one they couldn't stand.

justjack said...

Was she dressed like this for that Anthony Perkins movie? What was it called, Tall Story?

Fernando said...

Lord in Heaven.

MichaelRyerson said...

My problem with Jane is the undercurrent of premeditation is virtually everything she does. As for the Vietnam veteran comment, no one speaks for all Vietnam veterans.

Tom Sutpen said...

Michael:

Let's not forget that, despite her true commitment to numerous (and, I think, righteous) social/political causes, Jane Fonda has always been a movie star first. Which is to say that she thinks like one; that the fundamentally strategic survival instincts all movie stars possess (the ones who last, anyway) informs everything she does in her public life, whether we're talking about those dopey Workout tapes she made a boatload off of in the 80s, or doing what was really just an old-school Hollywood Personal Appearance gig in Hanoi (a textbook example of how badly that kind of Publicity mongering can backfire).

Her convictions might have been radical, yes, but when it came to advancing her Public profile, maintaining her presence in that business, she was really no different from John Wayne.

Tommy O'C said...

Let's not forget that, despite her true commitment to numerous (and, I think, righteous) social/political causes...

Let's not forget the image of Hanoi Jane seated in an anti-aircraft gun that was being used to shoot down American fliers, with all the thrilled enthusiasm of a school girl seated on an amusement park ride. And let's not forget the tales of American servicemen who were tortured so that they would behave before the cameras and not reveal the true horror of their confinement during her visit. As for her being a "movie star first," gimme a break. No difference between her and John Wayne? Wayne was a patriot. Fonda was an opportunistic traitor. Righteous dissent is one thing, and I'm all for it. I wasn't crazy about that war, either. But giving aid, comfort and public relations support to the enemy is another.(Would any of you have wanted to live under communist rule? Do you think you could run this blog in China, today?) There is a sound case to be made that, had the country not been coming apart at the seams, Fonda could and would have been convicted of treason.

Fred said...

Robert and Michael, most Vietnam Vets I know had no problem with Joan but can't stand Jane. The difference? Jane had no problem sitting in an NVA anti-aircraft gun and making speeches referring to American airmen as "air pirates." When Joan was asked to sit in the gun, she deferred, explaining that she was a pacifist against all weapons and killing. She also refused to work off the scripts provided here by Hanoi. The sense I got was that most saw Joan as a principled anti-war activist, while (like Tom pointed out) Jane was a self-serving actress doing the radical chic thing.

MichaelRyerson said...

Tom, I understand your point completely, self-promotion is what movie stars do. My point regarding Jane is it is all too apparent that is what she's up to. She has never mastered the art of creating a public face that plays to our 'need' to feel that underneath it all she's just another struggling actress or someone you could depend on in a jam or a lucky son-of-a-bitch who's had a little good fortune come into their lives. All poses we respond to in other celebrities, knowing full well we're probably being woofed but not minding. With Jane I can see the wheels turning. I don't like seeing the wheels. As to the wartime braincramp, as you have probably guessed I am a Vietnam era veteran but I don't get too worked up over Jane, I just don't see her as being particularly relevant. She's a piffle, an inconsequential show business twit and I can't imagine who would have been favorably influenced to the NVA's benefit by having Jane Fonda sit on that anti-aircraft gun. She was an idiot to pull such a stunt but let's not overlook the fact our collective behavior in Southeast Asia leaves something to be desired. Robert S. McNamara, Jane Fonda, William Westmoreland, guys hiding in the National Guard or Canada, My Lai, the Cambodian incursion...pretty much a clusterfuck if you ask me.

John said...

John Wayne was a chicken-hawk phony of the highest order. Jane Fonda deserves some condemnation for her conduct 40 years ago (40!); in her more candid moments, she has been known to express regret for some of it. But please spare me the fatuous comparisons with these so-called "patriots" whose idea of "service" was to make ridiculously unrealistic, fawning movies about the Green Berets.

Chris Rywalt said...

Never mind the politics. Look at the line of her thigh! Her whole left leg is a masterpiece of womanhood.

Brooks said...

Yeah, I don't see her trip to North Vietnam as self-serving PR at all. If she wanted to do the self-serving PR thing she could have gotten a lot more mileage out of the traditional show for the troops in the south.

It was an attempt to make a statement. And a damned bold one. Despite her fine lines I have to say she had some balls. It was a big Fuck You to the entire US establishment.

Perhaps not he brightest tool in the shed though - smiling on an antiaircraft gun is definitely taking it much further than was necessary. It became a giant Fuck You to all the people who got drafted into that war and were just trying to do what they were told, as well as all the poor families back home that had paid the ultimate price.

But the ultimate price for what? Freedom? Or colonialism? Unfortunately it is never clear cut.

Vladimir Estragon said...

I'm with Chris. That's a nice leg.

Flynn D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.