May 2, 2005

"There are some who are stuck back there."

So said Jane Fonda on Bill Maher's HBO show last week, referring to the Vietnam veterans who are still angry at her for her activities in North Vietnam during the war. When I pause the show to write down her quote, the freeze frame of her face is maddeningly prissy and smug. Maher has just said that since a veteran spat on her at a reading, she can say that's "penance enough." Fonda says "hundreds" of Vietnam vets have come to her readings in the last few weeks "and they've been fabulous... They have forgiven me. So there are some who are stuck back there. But most are not." Then Maher has this:
Yeah, it really is on them at this point, isn't it? If somebody can't get over something in 35 years.
Somebody? Something? Maher didn't go to Vietnam. Who is he to say get over it? Sure, there are "things" that if you're still stewing about them 35 years later, you've got a problem, but if you haven't gone to war, have the decency to refrain from telling people who have that they need to get over it.

Who is Fonda to tsk at people who are "stuck back there"? She does a big shrug and says, "Well, you know the problem is, we've never really come to terms with the war," and proceeds to lecture us on a whole string of political topics and to tout her version of Christianity that isn't "angry" and hostile like the religion of those who oppose abortion and gay marriage. The interview ends with her describing how she designed the entryway to her loft in the shape of a vagina to protest against all the doorways and hallways that are squared-off and masculine and to commemorate her performance in "The Vagina Monologues."


k said...

Oh. Geez. Ann... how can you (they) be such a parody of yourself (yourselves - themselves)? How can you possibly roll your eyes sufficiently without causing significant damage to your optic nerve, as well as the inferior oblique and superior rectus musculature!!???

k said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

K double posted, so I deleted one. There's no substance to this post, but I will leave it.

Simon Kenton said...

Wasn't it Keillor who had Hitler and Eva Braun on a talk show?

"I don't see why they can't just Let It Go. At this point, Eva and I have put all that behind us. We're moving on with our lives, in bold, positive directions. Deepening our spirituality. Sure, we made some mistakes, but the biggest mistake anybody can make is dwelling on the past. We've taken the biggest step anybody CAN take, we've forgiven ourselves. And I'm sure I speak for Eva in saying that we both ... pray ... that these people can find the same kind of self-forgiveness and ongoing spiritual progress that God has given us. Don't they understand how unhealthy it is to keep reliving the past? I just hope ... for their sakes ... that they can learn that hatred is poison, and move into a space of life-affirmation. Right, Eva?"

"Ya, mein Fuhrer."

tommy said...

I wasn't around for Vietnam but I did spend 10 years in the USAF. Jane Fonda still doesn't get why the military is so upset with her, and her statements here are a perfect example of that.

I promise I'll get over it as soon as she promises to go away.

Ann Althouse said...

Tommy: thanks.

Simon: that is incredibly funny!

vnjagvet said...

As I have noted in previous posts, I was in VN in 1967-1968, and was a member of the JAG Corps while there.

Miss Fonda's unscientific poll has led her to extraordinarily naive conclusions. She has about as much awareness as John Kerry did when he saluted and declared himself "reporting for duty" at the Democratic Convention last year.

The success of the Swift Vets for Truth was the best evidence of the sleeping but very-much-alive anger the vast number of VN Vets feel towards those who subverted and minimized their service and sacrifice.

Prissy and smug about covers it, and has these past nearly 40 years.

I am pretty sure she does not want to hear from or see the likes of me in a one on one debate. I do not think she would be looking either prissy or smug when I was finished.

All I would do is talk in a normal, matter of fact tone. And definitely no spitting. But she would understand the feelings of the young men I served with. And she would understand that there was no woman who symbolized Tokyo Rose or Axis Sally more than she during our war.

Pancho said...

Fonda's actions had direct consequences for real people. They died and I knew some of them. She gave direct aid and support to the North Vietnamese in their belief that if they could just hold on militarily they could win by wearing down the will of the American people.

Her comments are equivalent to a drunk driver who has killed your wife or child saying, "Gee I said I'm sorry, not get over it".

neo-neocon said...

To use the language of pop psychology (the language Jane Fonda uses and understands only too well)--have you ever noticed how it's usually the perpetrator of some sort of abuse who claims that the victim "just can't get over it?" The perpetrator seems to have no such problem in "moving on." Fonda will never take responsibility for what she did; she can't even conceive of it except in shallow pop psychology terms.

Donna B. said...

This is the first of what I suspect may be a long line of Leftists asking forgiveness from the Jacksonian populists who turned out to vote for first Nixon, then Reagan, and then Bush after being used and abused by the Democratic Party for 100 years.

The problem is they simply cannot hide their arrogance enough to fake humility.

lindsey said...

I've never liked her, but the vagina-shaped doorway makes me hate her.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike said...

While in the Marine Corps, my buddies and I intensely disliked Jane Fonda for her floundering imitation apology as much as her actions toward our predecessors.

Cloaked in the language of humility and higher causes, but aping a teenager's self-absorption and gravity. There's something not quite right about that.

EddieP said...

Jane Fonda and John Kerry still haven't a clue as to the death, pain and suffering they caused. I was a Marine before Vietnam, but I'm still mad about the treatment our guys got coming home.

One can always debate the merits of the war, but to denigrate the troops who served is beyond the pale. As we say in the South about a different war "Forget, Hell!"

Nick said...

I find her comments to be especially ironic given how people keep comparing Iraq and Vietnam... both with the quagmire talk, and also in the way that they protested it. Who can't get over something thats 35 years old again? They've made it another Vietnam because they don't want to forget it.

fuzz said...

I noted her appearance on Larry King with interest. I'd always admired her work, and wondered how her new spirituality would affect her. It hasn't done much. She's still the same smug, self important narcissist we know and loathe. What's worse, she thinks her threesomes and bulima are interesting, and her new book important.

Dave Schuler said...

Ms. Fonda appears to be combining self-promotion with a ten step program (making amends). I wonder how that will work out.

DirtCrashr said...

I think this is a common Left-liberal malaise, expecting other people to "get-over" their own viewpoint and align themselves with your's.
I missed out on Vietnam, and my dad just missed out on WWII. He was at Annapolis and bulked-up as a result of rowing (on the Crew team) he couldn't fit into the radioman's slot in the Avenger (same as Bush) he was training to crew - there was a max-size requirement, you had to physically be a small guy.
After the war he left Annapolis and became a pacifist, got a degree in Education and Theology and with my Mom became a Missionary overseas where my siblings and I were born. Nowdays he expresses resentment towards friends who did serve, doesn't believe that WWII was just (says no war is), thinks that the U.S. is equally to blame for WWII and that we were led to war by warmongering propaganda - and that the same thing is happening in Iraq.
Re: a fellow church-member who was a B-29 navigator, Dad believes he should "get over" that experience, and that his patriotism is in error. I asked him why he doesn't respect the viewpoint of his buddies, guys engaged the biggest, most intense experience of a lifetime, and he just says it was a long time ago.
As an anthropologist looking at History and Culture, it may seem a long time ago relative to Technology and Modernity, but chronologically it really wasn't so long ago. My Dad is a Socialist, and I was brought-up to mistrust American patriotism, and look-down on the Government.

pst314 said...

Would Jane Fonda also tell Vietnamese Americans that they are "stuck back there"? When they list the relatives that that were murdered in re-education" camps or who died at sea fleeing the thugs that Fonda idolized, would she tell them to "get over it" and "move on"?

Ann, I'm curious what Bill Maher had to say. Did he agree with Fonda?

Ann Althouse said...

PS314: Maher's quote is in the original post. He might have been joking, but he seemed to be saying people who can't get over it have a problem.

Neo-Neocon: Yes, "move on" and "get over it" are way overused, often very offensively.

Everyone: thanks for all the comments. I couldn't help but think when she said "stuck back there" of all the people who died back then. No way for them to move on and get over it.

Pancho said...

"We know we can't beat you on the battlefield, but we can beat you on the streets of New York Washington, D.C., and San Francisco" -- North Vietnamese camp commander, Son Tay POW camp to Commander Paul Galanti, U.S. Navy, American POW.

Thanks to Neo Neo Con for this quote today which fits Fonda's place in history perfectly.

DaveG said...

There's some irony in hearing "get over it, it was 35 years ago" from the same people that can't seem to get over a young National Guard pilot allegedly missing a physical during the same time frame.

Mitch said...

I love how she keeps reinventing herself and botching the job. She is to psychology as Michael Jackson is to surgery.

pst314 said...




When, after the fall of South Vietnam, huge numbers of people began fleeing the terror, a few American leftists condemned the Communist

After the fall of South Vietnam, a few American leftists had a change of heart and condemned the Communist atrocities that caused so many Vietnamese to flee by any means possible. Jane Fonda was one of those who denounced these human rights advocates as traitors to the revolution. So much for her humanity.