Wednesday, April 20, 2005

From Reuters 4/20/05:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man who said he was a Vietnam veteran spat tobacco juice in Jane Fonda’s face at a Kansas City book signing, police said Wednesday.

I thought I was going to write about good old Tom Delay and the ethics soap opera and how the republicans who want to pass this ridiculous softening of the already soft ethics rules in order to accommodate old Tom were willing to bring him up right now before the panel on ethics issues, if only the democrats would go along with the softening of the ethics rules…That’s what I thought I was gonna write about, because I love how hypocrites’ minds work.

Then Jane got the chewing tobacco spewed in her face. I’m not sure how I’d feel if the spittee wasn’t someone I admired. I have a dear aunt through marriage who considers Jane Fonda a traitor. No telling what she thinks of me since I was one of them college hippy war protesters who had nothing better to do than skip classes and storm the corridors of congress to tell the legislators that the Vietnam War was immoral. A former high school classmate of mine, who became a legislative aid to my congressman from Connecticut, told me morality was not an issue on Capitol Hill—bottom line, boy! Bottom line. Forget that ethics bullshit we heard about in chapel at our old New England prep school—this is reality boy! Show Mr. congressman a way that getting us out of Vietnam will save us money and I will pass that along.

I admire Fonda as an artist, since I have a lifelong love of motion pictures, studied the process in graduate school, and know first-hand what it takes to make any film, let alone great ones like some she has acted in. I admired her tenacity to go, along with many others of lesser reknown and publicity, to North Vietnam during our interference there, and meet the leader Ho Chi Minh, who anyone of any education knows was the George Washington of modern Vietnam.

The fact that Ho came to US leaders after WWII looking for support as an ally, and was turned away out of hand, seems to escape the sound-bite miniscule media explanations of why there was a Vietnam War, and at the very least, why Jane Fonda wanted to go there. Granted she accepts blame for posing in the anti-aircraft vehicle which was used to shoot down US planes, a mistake which was bound to happen while the North Vietnamese used her presence to further their cause without concern for her personally. My problem is with anyone today not understanding the accepted historical fact that America’s role in Vietnam was a huge mistake, admitted to by its main architect, Defense Secretary under President Johnson, Robert Macnamara, and noted in all of the subsequent history of the times.

Now I do believe there are worse things that can happen in life, than having a guy spit chaw tabacki in my face. However, having seen baseball players up close in front of me excrete from their mouths the ugly, disgusting, brown junk that they have been developing over a period of time with their saliva, onto a dry area of the ground where its real clear and shiny-wet and gross, and then I dry-heaved because I can’t get this picture out of my mind of what that looked like--I can see that the display of displeasure, by spitting this gunk into another human’s face, including Jane Fonda’s, whom this guy really hates, is bad.

Somehow, the spitting, and the republicans making deals with democrats to get a member of congress who has probably violated ethics rules, if not the law, in front of their committee to answer questions, and watching Bush saying in a speech that he told a young person last week he wished he could lower the price of gasoline, but he just can’t do that--it all starts to blend together.

What stands out for me, probably because it is so immediately obnoxious and revolting, is the spitting by a guy trying to make a point, as if that would actually end the discussion and solve the problem—and this is high-tech, modern times, Christian era turn-the-other-cheek live-and let live third millennium 2005?

Then the spitter said,

"She spit in our faces for 37 years. It was absolutely worth it. There are a lot of veterans who would love to do what I did."

What great heights we have aspired to; look how far we have come. Not so great, huh.

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