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Sunday, July 31, 2005

CAT BALLOU: ONE MORE REASON WHY JANE FONDA IS AWESOME 

I wrote this for a great new site called My Left Wing. I also do cartoons for them, which you can see here. I decided to post it here for the benefit of my readers, but also to annoy my mother. (Hi, Mom! Sorry I'm such a worthless, America-hating "liberal"!)

Jane Fonda rocks. She totally rocks.

I love it when the conservative vets start in with that "she betrayed the troops! We were in combat! and she met with the enemy" garbage. What a bunch of whiners! Conservatives never tire of exploiting their pain while they ignore the pain of others.

I totally support Jane Fonda's visit to North Vietnam and she should wear the "Hanoi Jane" nickname proudly. She put basic humanity before mere misguided nationalism, and she went to Vietnam to see for herself.

And there are plenty of Vietnam veterans who support Jane's trip to Vietnam. But these soldiers aren't motivated by hatred and political advantage in the way that scum like the Swift Boats are. But they speak up when they can't put up with the SHIT of the conservatives.

And Jane is a really good actress. I don't know if she is a great actress because I haven't really seen that many of her movies. I love "Fun With Dick and Jane," and "Barbarella" is one of the signature films of the 1960s. (Well, it should be.)

Last night, I watched "Cat Ballou," and I was really blown away. I must have seen parts of it before because I was humming some of the music (GREAT MUSIC!), but I didn't remember any of the plot. It's a very compelling and entertaining western/comedy and Jane, if she isn't a great actress, must surely get credit for having the smarts to play in "Cat Ballou" and "Barbarella."

She pretty hot, too. She slowly transforms from a school teacher to an outlaw queen, and if this was a serious film, her performance wouldn't work. But it's not Sergio Leone. It's more a strange western fantasy with elements of a dime novel, a musical, and a comedy. The Ballad of Cat Ballou is performed by Stubby Kaye and Nat King Cole, not just at the beginning and the end of the film, but throughout. Every 15 minutes they show up and sing one or two more verses. And it's great!

Probably the acting highlight of "Cat Ballou" is Lee Marvin as a drunken gunfighter. He won an Oscar for this, and he's pretty damn good. Lee Marvin is awesome! Within a few years of this movie, Marvin made Point Blank and The Dirty Dozen (my favorite War World War II film). The 1960s were good for Lee Marvin.

Highly recommended.

Hanoi Jane later offered up a half-assed apology about her trip to Vietnam. She said she shouldn't have posed in the gun turret of the anti-aircraft gun with the helmet on. Of course, she was probably right to single that out as a mistake, but the conservatives that hate her weren't mollified and are a bunch of dishonest, manipulative shits anyway. And the people who support her, she let them down a little.

She should have kept her mouth shut and not apologized for ANYTHING. The shithead politicians who exploited Cold War fears until war seemed the only alternative, they should have been apologizing. The bood is on their hands.

Three cheers for Hanoi Jane!

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