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Archive for April 21st, 2005

“So calm and gracious about it…”

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StorysmithapStoryfondanewlineap_1Wow, a spontaneous enactment of the entire story of US politics! The whole story in a nutshelll, played out on the aisles on Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kansas – a suburb of Kansas City. From CNN:

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — A man spit
tobacco juice into the face of Jane Fonda after waiting in line to have
her sign her new memoir.

Capt. Rich Lockhart of the Kansas
City Police Department said Michael A. Smith, 54, was arrested Tuesday
night on a municipal charge of disorderly conduct. He was released on
bond and is due to appear in court on May 27.

Fonda covers a wide
range of topics in "My Life So Far," including her 1972 visit to Hanoi
to protest the Vietnam War, during which she was photographed on a
North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. She has apologized for the photo,
but not for opposing the war.

Smith, a Vietnam veteran, told The
Kansas City Star Wednesday that Fonda was a "traitor" and that her
protests against the Vietnam War were unforgivable. He said he doesn’t
chew tobacco but did so Tuesday solely to spit juice on the actress.

"I
consider it a debt of honor," he told The Star for a story on its Web
site. "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."

Fonda,
who flew to Minneapolis Wednesday for another appearance on her book
tour, issued a statement through Jynne Martin of Random House.

"In
spite of the incident, my experience in Kansas City was wonderful and I
thank all the warm and supportive people, including so many veterans,
who came to welcome me last night," she said.

Fonda drew a crowd
of about 900 at Unity Temple, said Vivian Jennings, whose Rainy Day
Books of suburban Fairway, Kansas, sponsored the event.

Jennings
said the 67-year-old actress never got up from her seat and continued
autographing books after the tobacco juice was wiped off.

"The important thing is that she was so calm and so gracious about it," Jennings said. "She was wonderful."

So let’s see. A bumblefuck, set on a romantically inflected mission (a la Civil War, a la Walter Scott, the whole shebang) by anti-Fonda rantings of the usual wingnut blogs, takes his stand by splurrting on a Hollywood leftist.

This is the best part of the whole show: "He said he doesn’t chew tobacco but did so Tuesday solely to spit juice on the actress." He self-consciously performs the part of the rednecked neanderthal – that he perhaps isn’t in real life… Sound familiar? Will and Grace watching moral values voters? Tech working drones of hypercapitalism in Atlanta settling into the pews of their suburban megamadrassa, all-medieval laserlight show of anti-modern veiled and not so veiled disgust with the new… And come election day, do they vote neo-liberal or for God’s other son?

But it’s not just the spitter but also the spittee that’s playing out the script.

Let’s see: a former "radical" that’s devolved into Oprahistic memoirism. Once Hayden’s wife, but broke with Ted Turner because she found religion and he couldn’t… And best of all, there’s her reaction to the whole thing: a gob of Red Man running down her face, she "never got up from her seat… she was so calm and gracious about it."

Sounds about right, oh so familiar, to me…

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April 21, 2005 at 1:09 pm

Posted in Politics