Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jane in Blue Jeans

First thing this morning I read about how a Republican has been using the specter of Jane Fonda’s name in his new fundraising letter. To me, it's worth noting that hawkish right-wingers resist comparisons to the Vietnam War from lefties criticizing the Bush policy in Iraq, yet, it seems some of the symbols from that time are still quite useful to them.

‘Tis a pity, I tend to remember Fonda best for how she looked in rather flattering blue jeans in “Cat Ballou” (1965).

In my film buff's eye Jane will always be a beautiful young actress. The difference is I know she’s actually a 68-year-old lady who has always been a little eccentric. Moreover, she has little real influence on today’s political milieu.

So, 34 years ago a pretty actress who was then married to an antiwar activist, Tom Hayden, tried to do something to help end a war -- she appeared in some infamous propaganda photos shot in Vietnam. Basically, she did what she knew how to do best -- she posed for a lens (no, not the "Cat Ballou" promo shots you see here).

Now she says she has her regrets. No doubt. Still, it amazes me how much mileage war mongers and other political opportunists have gotten out of what was mostly a clumsy, well-meaning effort to save lives.
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