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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I must now retract a congratulatory statement I made last month, welcoming Hanoi Jane Fonda "into the flock," as it were--congratulating her on becoming a Christian, which some had attested to, but which Myz Fonda herself has not acknowledged publicly in the six years since the first stories came out.

Why? This morning I heard an extended interview of her by Susan Stamberg on NPR. Unsurprisingly, NPR was hawking Jane's new autobiography ("your purchase helps support NPR") and this was part of their media blitz. (Okay, this was NPR ... more of a "media drizzle," really.) I have not seen, much less read, My Life So Far,* but can guess its themes from the substance of Jane's interview. Here's the most extensive book excerpt to date. Note that it makes no mention of a conversion. Neither did the NPR interview. Neither does this 60 Minutes interview from a couple days ago that focused on the book and her life.

The NPR interview leads Jane to explain how she's been "a victim of a misogynistic society" (or words to that effect) through all her exploitative marriages. Stamberg asked her to explain "misogyny" and got five minutes on our "patriarchal civilization" and how it "victimizes" wymyn (beliefs don't get much more "patriarchal" than Judaism and Christianity, Jane). Throughout the interview, we were treated to how she was victimized by her first husband Vadim, who pimped her; her second husband Hayden, who exploited her for political gain; her third husband Turner, who cheated extensively and for whom she was just a trophy and in-your-face emblem.

On aiding and abetting: she was "hardly even thinking about where I was sitting"--she was "still laughing and applauding" when she sat at the 57mm--just a bunch of party-hearty communists having a bit of fun, doubtless telling Nixon jokes--and that she "pleaded with the cameraman not to print the pictures" when she realized what she'd done--correction, this being Jane Fonda--what had been done to her. She reiterates in the book that it wasn't wrong to visit the POWs at the behest of the North Vietnamese, to broadcast anti-American propaganda on Radio Hanoi, or to call US POWs "liars and hypocrites." None of this sounds particularly penitent to me.

Jane's 'road from Hanoi to Damascus' story is old, too. I did not realize this when I initially saw the Beliefnet piece I linked to above, but the initial stories on it began appearing in 1999. So ... she's had six years to acknowledge her conversion or do something that evidenced a life-changing event. To date: Bupkis. The initial stories related that she was led to Christ by her chauffeur. Whaddya wanna bet that dude is no longer employed by Fonda Industries or Team Fonda or whatever--nor by Turner MaxiMegaloCorp for that matter.

I will be interested to see if her memoir contains even a passing mention of her Christianity. Howard Kurtz at the WaPo hints that it does, but it seems indeed to be a passing mention--just another thing she tried on the way to re-inventing herself again, though it did apparently help break up her marriage to noted Christian-hater Turner. Does it motivate her today? Who knows? She certainly isn't saying. When asked by Stamberg what fulfills her life most these days, Fonda said, "my grandchildren." An admirable sentiment, perhaps, but hardly evidence of her new-found "spirituality." The book, it seems, is just another long whine. A reviewer on Amazon put it memorably:

"Just another wealthy, over-privileged, middle-aged teenager on a self-guided tour of her lamentable and ludicrous past. We all remember Hanoi, Jane."
She is also devoting her life today to her pet charity in Atlanta, which seems largely harmless (at least it is not a front for the abortion lobby), but which does not have a single link to even one of the countless church efforts around Atlanta that seek to address the same problems. The G-CAPP site has plenty of links to politicians, Planned Parenthood (which is a front for abortionists, among other things), etc., though. You'd think a charity-minded Christian looking to work with poor youth would, y'know, want to hook up with the churches in poor neighborhoods that actually, y'know, work with these kids. No? Oh well. She founded this charity in 1995, long before her "parallel inner life" became important. This sounds like just another Pet Cause, the kind wealthy women all over the world create to make them feel better about themselves.

I cannot--and never will--presume to judge the heart of another or the sincerity of a confession of faith, but "by their fruits shall ye know them," "if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation," "they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds," and that kinda stuff still applies. I do not presume to judge her heart, just to hear and observe her words and public actions. If her conversion is genuine--and I sincerely hope it is--I would just expect to kinda-sorta hear and see something outward-looking that confirmed it--to hear less about Amerikkka's misogynistic patriarchal imperialism and more about Jesus Christ. What does she think she is, after all, an American Catholic Bishop?

When she finally renounces all the moral and intellectual baggage of her past and turns and runs to Jesus--that is, stops trying to re-invent herself and lets God do so--then it will be time to say, "welcome, sister."

In the meantime, she will remain Hanoi Jane, American Traitor Biatch.

Hang shoes are dusty...


"If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

* Incidentally, I probably will buy the book. I collect crackpot literature and will buy it when I inevitably find it in the B&N remaindered stacks for 50 cents in about a month. This book will probably be a model of its kind--the Solipsistic Soapography--and should amuse me for an hour or two. I won't pay more than a buck, however. That's my limit price for dreck.

Update: There's a wonderful review of MLSF over at Slate:

Those who think Jane Fonda's sole raison d'ĂȘtre is to annoy conservative opinion writers should note this passage from her new memoir, My Life So Far. The year is 1970. Fonda has just engaged in her very first acts of civil disobedience, on behalf of aggrieved Native American tribes. The protests, she writes, "morphed me from a noun to a verb. A verb is active and less ego-oriented. Being a verb means being defined by action, not by title." So there. Jane Fonda aspired to something greater than liberal do-gooding; she wanted to become a part of speech. Fonda (v.): to plead for harmony and social justice until humanity can't take it anymore.

Still no mention of her "Christianity." I am definietly getting this book, however--it sounds like the apotheosis of the Searing-Peanut-Me-and-My-Hemorrhoids-Lemon-Session-Polymorphous-Perversity-It's-All-About-Me-Me!-ME!-ME!!! school of literary onanism. I will get a good laugh or six, consider it 50 cents well-spent, and take equal pleasure it the fire I use it to start in my fire pit on some cool evening.


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