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Heroes

jane_fonda.jpgBeen listening to Jane Fonda’s autobiography MY LIFE SO FAR as read in her own voice. K gifted this to me via iTunes and I am really into it. Jane’s intelligence, passion and compassion, fearless self-examination and revelation are all things I aspire to possess and embody. I was never that interested in Jane, although admittedly my ultra-conservative upbringing led me to greet her story with a good degree of skepticism. I knew her as the 1980’s exercise chick who was married to Ted Turner for a while and who did that whole Hanoi Jane thing a long time ago.

I’m about halfway through the audio book and my perception of her has completely changed. She’s become a real person to me, and a hero. Jane’s story is one of growth and evolution … following her heart and her gut and admitting her mistakes along the way and how she learned from them. I think this is something that women leaders are especially good at … going beyond simply recognizing and admitting wrong (their own and those of society), and being willing to share their stories with each other to promote healing and harmony in the world.

 

True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.”
─ Alfred North Whitehead

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  • Bro Bri

    Actually, the Viet Nam war COULD have been won. If the US could beat the Nazis, beat the Imperial Japanese, and halt the Chinese PLA at the 38th Korean parallel, the Soviet backed North Vietnamese could have been beaten. The issue really came down to a half hearted approach to the enemy. It is akin to the concept of the “small footprint” approach advocated by Donald Rumsfeld in the Iraq War. When things went south, Mr. Rumsfeld basically handed the anti-war crowd what they were looking for. But now that the surge that could never work is working, I’m wondering if some folks might be disappointed, because after all, this *is* Bush’s war, right?

  • the robust commenting here is exciting! the secret to stirring things up: politics.

    call me ann COLter.

    come to think of it, please don’t.

  • John in IL

    Linda K said:
    That honor belongs to President Bush who has spent trillions of dollars on a war

    Trillions of dollars haven’t been spent in Iraq. Many billions have been spent but not trillions (as of yet).

  • Linda K.

    From a Baby Boomer:
    I lived through the Vietnam War, scared to death that my fiance and/or my brother would get drafted to fight a war that could not be won.

    Emotions ran high. Vietnam tore families apart. My father almost threw me out of the our house for being “a pinko commie” and for disagreeing with President Johnson.

    It was a horrible war for all of us. Jane Fonda made mistakes, but she’s a civilian. She pissed people off, but she didn’t send anyone to war. That honor belongs to President Bush who has spent trillions of dollars on a war based on a lie (the elusive WMDs)–a war that has caused the death of thousands of Americans. I don’t think our mission has been accomplished.

  • Bro Bri

    Hey, for the record, I’m not a “ditto-head” and I can’t stand Bill O’Reilly. My parting shot on the boomers was a joke (though they ARE the most self-aggrandizing generation in American history) but apart from all the other stuff JF has accomplished in her life, she was wrong on Viet Nam, and she’s wrong on Iraq IMO, and the fact she actually does have hindsight to consider her actions of that era, but has chosen not to really think things through as to what a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq would do, to me, is either loathsome or stupid.

    So, apart from that, Jane Fonda is awesome.

  • go ahead blame an entire generation and an artist if that makes you feel better about things, bri.

    i do think you are right about the “whole story,” though. the extreme sides of both political parties pump a lot of propaganda out there and omit storylines that don’t serve their purposes. a society that believes in either one too much and ceases to ask questions is doomed. to bust out another whitehead quote: “Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.”

    that’s also why i take chances listening to and seeking out sources that don’t inherently resonate with my personal programming.

    Love, Your Adoring Commie Sis

  • Bro Bri

    Col – it’s easy to have the courage of one’s convictions when the whole story isn’t told, and one doesn’t want to hear it even if it was. The plight of the South Vietnamese after the US tucked tail and bailed is NEVER discussed. Bowing to political pressure at home so congressmen, senators, and even the president could hold on to power is why those poor people only now can contribute to the global economy on a very modest scale, never mind the Khmer Rouge who came to power bringing us Pol Pot’s “Killing Fields” in neighboring Cambodia also as a result of the hasty US withdrawal.

    I blame the boomers and Hanoi Jane as one of their icons!

  • Bri
    All the best to your family as well.

  • Does she talk about one of her husbands forced her into group sex? Would love to hear her read that excerpt.

    As for her Vietnam exploits, didn’t she sit on an anti aircraft gun belonging to the Vietcog with a huge smile on her face?

  • Bri, I think if you listened to her story you might see things a bit differently. It’s easy to make snap judgments and see everything as black or white, especially when you are only hearing only one side of the issue. It’s incredibly hard to have the courage of your convictions.

  • Bro Bri

    Col,

    I’ll have respect for her when she admits the anti-war movement in the Viet-Nam era got hundreds of thousands South Viet Namese democrats slaughterd and even more sent to “re-education” camps.

    She shamlessly jumps on the anti-Iraq war band wagon now. I wonder if like so many others she’s disappointed with the new successful trend taking hold in Iraq.

    Bar – good to virtually see you. My best to the family.

  • Sure. But I think CommuCol has a better ring to it, don’t you?

  • Can I call you communist colleen?

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