Friday, April 21, 2006

My lunch date with Jane Fonda

I was seven years old when the movie 9-to-5 came out in 1980. It remains my favorite movie of all time. Go figure. I especially loved the story's heroines played by Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda. (see image of the trio cooking up their coup over margaritas and Maui Wowie.)

When I found out that Jane Fonda (or as my dad would say, "that communist witch") was at University of Pennsylvania yesterday for a book signing, I had to check it out. Especially since I was on campus to begin with, helping an old college chum with some anthropology field work. (seriously!)

No matter how you feel aboout Miss Jane, she's totally iconic and bound to conjure up a strong image. For me, it's of course 9to5, for some it's her workout videos, for many it's the memory of her on the cannon in North Vietman. Some even remember Jane Fonda as a two-time Oscar champ.

I arrived at the UPenn bookstore and quickly notice that Miss Jane had drawn quite a crowd. She was giving a talk which would have been fine had I not heard the exact same pitch on NPR earlier that morning. But I could listen twice. She really is interesting, and I am not saying that just because I'm liberal. Remember she's still the star of my favorite move ever.

The best part was the Q. & A. session afterwards. Naturally I had my hand up quickly. I swear to God it happened just like this:
Jane Fonda: Yes, young man in the green!

Me: Hi Jane and weclome to Philly. You looke fantastic.

Jane Fonda: You look fantastic, too!

(now at this point I totally forget the clever thing I was gonna say....)

Me, nervously: Um, do you, um have any advise--based on your experiences --for peace activists of this generation?"

Jane Fonda: Yes. Men, find your heart! Women, find your voices! And work like hell to fight for what you believe. And keep doing it!"
I hate to paraphrase, but she went on to say that the Vietman peace movement really didn't get into high gear until after Watergate. Miss Jane told me that--more than the staggering death toll--it was the Nixon scandals that really gave the peace movement real traction.

It's encouraging to know that if I keep working for peace, eventually my labors will we vindicated and rewarded.

I believe that. Jane Fonda said so!


Elsa said...

I remember that workout tape - boy am I dating myself or what!?

Anyway, I'm glad you were able to see Jane Fonda. And she said you looked fantastic - it just doesn't get better than that. :-)

Sharon GR said...

Hour two of Thursday's Radio Times on WHYY was an interview with her. You can listen here.

Anonymous said...

Well I sure hope Ms. Jane is right that will all the scandals in the Republican controlled country, people will really start to come out and change things.

I liked the movie 9-5 also, although it is not on my top ten list. Did you ever see the movie "China Syndrome" She was great in that too along with Jack Lemon and Michael Douglas.

Have a good week,

Anthony said...

I never really tuned into the "Hanoi Jane" stuff, and I'm old enough to remember lots of it.
To me, it was an American speaking her mind, and that sort of thing never bothers me, as long as it's done with intelligence - and even if it isn't, it can still be entertaining.

Granny said...

Jane was right although she herself admits she was a little over the top. I remember it too and many of the things she was accused of never happened. It was a sad time for this country and we don't seem to have learned much since.

She and I are within a few months of the same age. How come she looks like that and I look like this? (lol)

Ann (aka granny)

Anonymous said...

Isnt that nice! To bad the bitch didn't choke during lunch. Why didn't you ask her something clever like how it feels to be responsilbe for the death of three of our service men in Veitnam and the beating of others to the point of disability. She is a traitor bitch that should be slapped, shot and pissed on! Then we can send her back to the Veitnam.