May 04, 2005

PGHA: Hanoi Jane's Book Signings

How do you protest a protestor? That's sort of the question put up by Harvey's Precision Guided Humor Assignment for this week. Namely, what would you like to see happen at a Jane Fonda book signing?

And while I'm just young enough to not have any first hand memories of the Vietnam war, I do have an opinion on the subject. Most notably that most of the people who call it an illegal or immoral war forget that it takes two sides to make peace. And no matter how much we say we want to end a war, it will continue as long as the other side keeps attacking.

Surrender is not the same thing as peace.

But enough about my opinion, let's talk about Hanoi Jane.

On a personal level, I don't have any problems with her. That is; I don't hate her, I only hate the things she did. You have to admit, anyone who would leave Ted Turner can't be all bad... (although that means that she still made the mistake of marrying him in the first place.)

Anyways, getting back to the original question; What would I like to see happen at a Jane Fonda book signing?


I want no one to have her sign a book. No one to buy a copy of her book. And no one to show up.

I would like to see her just sitting there wondering if someone is giving out free ice-cream across town.

Then at her next stop, I would like to see the store manager forget that she was coming, and not have set a table up for her. I'd like to see her just sitting on the floor this time, surrounded by piles of unpurchased books.

The following day's signing would be even better, because the store chain would forget to tell her that they're not open that day, and she would be standing on the sidewalk with her face plastered to the window, trying to figure out where everybody went.

Now wouldn't all that be funny?

Basically, I would like to see the same thing happen to Jane Fonda as has happened to so many other people in history who were wrong. I want her and what she did to be forgotten. Not because what she did no longer hurts people. Not because everyone is accepting of what she did. And not because she said she's sorry (which she only said about the anti-aircraft picture, not about her protesting or other actions) and wants to be forgiven.

I want her to be forgotten because she was wrong. And for the fact that she only did those things in an attempt to be remembered for doing them.

It's sort of like the Chinese legend of the man who performed a heinous crime just to get his name in the history books. When the judge at the trial heard that the desire of fame was his motivation, he had his name stricken from the history books, and forbade his name to ever be spoken or written again.

I'm not saying that censorship is the answer. And I'm not saying that we should ignore history. But it would be nice to hear in a decade or so, "Hey do you remember that actress who went over and protested the Vietnam war?" "No, what was her name?" "I forget."

Posted by GEBIV at May 4, 2005 08:57 PM

*applause, whistles, cheers*

Best. Answer. Ever. :-)

Posted by: Harvey at May 5, 2005 11:12 AM

Dude, nice job.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at May 5, 2005 08:51 PM

I am a Vietnam vet. I would like to see an organized protest in every city where there is a book signing. I would like to see veterans fill the waiting lines at the bookstore and when they get to the signing table, to say they have changed their mind about having the book signed. The vet would politely express his thoughts to Ms. Fonda, tell Hanoi Jane to kiss his ass and then ask the bookstore for a refund. This make Hanoi Jane aware of your displeasure and the bookstore has the hassle of handling a refund for the book. It sends a message to Jane and to the bookstore. There is one problem with this idea: Most of us work for a living, have family responsibilities. Many can't take time off to stand in line to get tickets and then go to the bookstore for evening signings or can't go during working hours. If Fonda comes to my town, I'll take a day of vacation to accomplish my plan.

Posted by: Terry Smith at May 30, 2005 10:59 PM
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