Fire Drill Fridays

I think the first time it really dawned on me that otherwise perfectly reasonable (to my mind) people had extremely different worldviews than I did was when I was 22 and working at a video rental store.

A customer asked me if we had the movie Electric Horseman. I had to ask my boss. She said, with tight lips, that they didn’t carry any Jane Fonda movies. I thought, “Why not? I love her movies.”

I had no idea about her visit to Hanoi, or even what that meant, really, because I was 10 years old when Saigon fell. The Vietnam war was a very confusing, very distant blip on my radar as a child, so one woman’s visit there, and the controversy it stirred up, was something I only learned about later in life.

I’d like to think, though, that if I had been an adult at the time, I’d have been protesting the war, too. Would I have gone about it the way she did? No. Even she admits she has regrets about that now. But I genuinely believe that her intentions were good, and that the mostly debunked rumors surrounding her actions have gotten things so twisted that the truth will never be known.

Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Jane Fonda has lived her beliefs her whole life. She has been an anti-war, pro-feminist, environmental activist, and worked tirelessly for those causes for as long as I have drawn breath.

I really can’t understand people who are against these causes, but I’d at least respect their integrity if they were as devoted and outspoken as Fonda has been. Anyone who puts their convictions into action, and tries so hard to do what they feel is right, is pretty darned impressive. More power to them.

As you read this, Jane Fonda is most likely getting arrested for the 5th Friday in a row as part of her Fire Drill Friday protests for environmental change. She intends to do this every single Friday through January, and actually moved to Washington DC to do these protests on Capitol Hill, to raise awareness in our politicians about the climate emergency we are now in.

As polarizing as she may be, I stand with Jane Fonda in her efforts, and hope you will as well. The health of this planet and all its inhabitants are at stake. There should be no controversy in that.

First Fire Drill Friday in Washington DC

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Sometimes a Teapot is Just a Teapot

There’s such a thing as being too sensitive.

The other day the mayor of Culver City, California absolutely freaked out over a teapot, because if you squint hard enough it resembles Adolph Hitler. I kid you not. Check out the article. The sh**storm was so immediate that JCPenney actually had to pull the pot from its product line.

Culver City is in Los Angeles County and has a crime index of 11 (100 is the safest), and more than 50,000 people sleep in the streets in that county every night, so you’d think the mayor would have bigger fish to fry. But no. That kettle had allllllll of his attention for a while there.

And then there’s the “huge” scandal about President Obama forgetting to salute a marine before boarding a helicopter. He immediately realized his mistake and went out and shook the young man’s hand, but some took this incident as an outrage.

Lest we forget, the man is the leader of the free world and probably has a few other things on his mind. He’s also never served in the military himself, so saluting probably is not the gut reflex it is for your average veteran. And as this article mentions, some would debate the appropriateness of saluting when out of uniform and not wearing a hat. But the main thing I took away from this story is that many of us have entirely too much time on our hands.

Take, for example, the latest news from the city of Wildwood, New Jersey, where they are planning to ban droopy shorts on the boardwalk. Kids, today. They can’t be trusted to keep their pants up high enough to suit the older generation, apparently, and this means that legislation is required. And what if the kids don’t comply? Will they be arrested by the fashion police? One wonders.

And there are those veterans who still boycott Jane Fonda because she went to Hanoi to protest the Vietnam War. In 1972. Even though it’s long since been proven that she never passed notes from prisoners of war to the enemy as previously alleged. Are these same people boycotting Dennis Rodman for going to North Korea? Not so’s you’d notice. And that happened this year. It seems to me that your energies would be better spent focusing on current and active gadflies to our servicemen such as the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, rather than a rapidly aging actress who does not share your political opinions, but honestly, it’s so much more fun to piss in the wind of the past, isn’t it?

Before you get your knickers all in a twist, I’m not an anti-Semite, I fully appreciate the service of our men and women in uniform, I don’t enjoy gazing at the butt cracks of the nation’s youth any more than the next person, and I don’t think that Jane’s visit to Hanoi was her finest hour even if she did make her point and voice her opinion as every American, fortunately or unfortunately, has a right to do. I just happen to think that there are so many other causes to take up, so many other stands to make that are much more important than the foolishness we so often get spun up about. I just get disgusted with society in general. That’s all.