The Actress As Spitoon

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Memo to Fonda-Spit Cheerers: YOU ARE DUMB.

So some Vietnam vet waited an hour and a half to make a statement 30 years past its prime. In a bookstore. With tobacco spit. He is not some kind of hero, vanquishing with one mighty blow an aging actress on a book tour. If Michael A. Smith is a hero to you, you are fucked in the head.

And not because it's a low-class, redneck fucking thing to do. Although it is. Let's face it. There's spit, which is nasty. There's tobacco spit, which is really nasty. And then there's ninety minute tobacco spit, which goes beyond nasty into some new etymological territory. Smith said he did it 'cause Fonda caused Vietnam vets to be spit on, which is debatable, but I bet none of them got 90 minute tobacco spit. At most, half-hour bongwater, and that not even on purpose. Hippies and chaw are not a classic combination on the order of Tracy and Hepburn.

And not because what Fonda did in nineteen seventy motherhumping two wasn't wrong. It was. Not, you know, Westmoreland wrong. Not My Lai wrong. Not Nixon wrong. But wrong. Maybe even spit-in-the-face wrong from, say, 1972 through, oh, 1987. I think a fifteen year statute of limitations on being an idiot is fair, barring an excess of repeat offenses. Let's face it. The anti-war protesting thing was still pretty new.as an American cultural phenmenon. Or at least something we were out of practice on. There are bound to be a few fuckups along the way, a few actresses visiting gun emplacements.

Wrong? Yes. But Jane Fonda did not doublebreastedly lose the Vietnam War. Vietnam was an epic clusterfuck that made a whole ton of people look really bad. And trying to lay all of that on Fonda's head is bullshit. She's a symbol of an aspect of history, not Satan in a sheath dress.

And it's precisely because she's a symbol that you're a dickhead if you cheer on Michael A. Smith. Because Jane Fonda is the best fucking thing that ever happened to the right-wing, war-hawk dog-sodomizers who love nothing more than to throw volunteers at a lost cause just because it's the only way their dicks will get hard anymore. The right's gotten more mileage out of Jane Fonda than TED TURNER HAS.

The symbol that is Jane Fonda has become the anti-anti-war strawman since about 30 seconds after that infamous picture appeared. You want to know why the right can get away with saying war opponents are supporting and aiding the enemy? JANE FONDA. A war opponent who supported the enemy. Two separate actions, not necessarily or automatically related, but Fonda did both, and ever since, her name's been a right-wing code word for linking the two and discrediting people who just happen to think occupying Iraq is not the brightest idea in the box.

If anybody should be contemplating spitting on Jane Fonda, it's US ON THE LEFT. Not that we would - we're not allowed to even think about spitting at all, much less toward someone, since Vietnam. Another thing we can thank amateur anti-war protestors for. But Fonda's been a reliable bullet in the right-wing chamber for three fucking decades. They should send her a fruit basket and a Lexus. Put a nice card in there that says "THANKS FOR THE BACKLASH".

When it came time to discredit John Kerry with a half-assed photoshop job that all the red-state yokelfucks ate up like it was dogshit alfredo, who'd they stick him next to? Not Abby Hoffman. Not Hitler, although people probably would have believed that too. No, they put him with JANE FONDA. Dragged her moldering old meme out for one more round. Froth the mouths of the base and put yet anothe nagging doubt about Kerry in the minds of the middle, since the accusation always gets more play than the acquittal.

None of that matters to Michael A. Smith, and while all of that DOES matter to the fucks pimping him out as and throwing him hosannahs (always including the lie that they can't condone what he did, of course), it matters to them because it lets them prolong the myth, spray a fresh coat of Binaca on the Hanoi Jane corpse and wheel it around.

And somehow, Fonda, who wiped her face off, continued her book tour, and declined to press charges against Smith, is the only one who doesn't come out of it looking like a moron.

Oh, and while I'm here, a quick memo to America's headline writers. The "fond of" / "Fonda" thing? None of the genetic material on that stick can even be positively identified as equine anymore, you lazy bastards.