Cultural Caviar

The Company They Kept

April 09, 2013

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The Company They Kept

Jane Fonda uttered the words, “I will go to my grave” last week and I thought: “Finally!”

Fonda recently talked to Oprah about that “one unforgiveable mistake” she made when she visited North Vietnam in 1972: allowing herself to be photographed while perched giddily on an anti-aircraft gun, looking positively post-coital when she wasn’t pulling goofy faces.

The fact that “Hanoi Jane” now insists this infamous image “belied everything that I was” displays psychopathic chutzpah; during that same era, Fonda headlined a “Fuck the Army” comedy tour and married shameless soixante-neuf opportunist Tom Hayden. Just a few years ago, the supposedly repentant Fonda showed up at Mr. Chow’s wearing a T-shirt screen-printed with her also-infamous (and much more flattering) mug shot, her then-much-younger fist raised in a revolutionary salute across her now-much-older boobs.

Fonda’s contemporary Robert Redford kept his “progressive” politics mostly to himself until old age. A wise move: We’re more prone to indulge the elderly’s cranky outbursts.

Lefties joke ad nauseam about crusty right-wingers shouting, “Get off my lawn!” (It’s one of those fanciful sentences such as “You lie, boy!” and “I can see Russia from my house!” with which liberals construct entire worldviews.)

“They’re steeped in the seductive, romantic message that hippies were peaceful, noble idealists and even ‘patriots.’”

Ironically, Redford in his dotage now embodies that liberal stereotype of the other side, swooping down in his private jet to try to halt pipeline construction and the like (on someone else’s “lawn,” but still).

Of course, you’re allowed on his “lawn”—the Sundance Film Festival, that is—as long as you can afford to go, and few ordinary folks can.

Most average Americans can, however, probably scrounge together the ticket price for Redford’s new film. Whether or not they’ll bother is another matter.

I first wrote about The Company You Keep here at Taki’s over a year ago. It’s finally set for release and is generating lots of buzz, mostly because the aging boomer narcissists who run the media (and pretty much everything else) wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Company You Keep is about “a former Weather Underground activist who goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity.”

(I’m sure the curators of the highly regarded and widely influential Internet Movie Database meant to write “terrorist” instead of “activist,” but their fingers must have slipped.)

As I joked in 2012, that fictional premise is a stark contrast from the fates of all the real Weather Underground terrorists who now teach at major universities, hang out with the president, get lovingly profiled in The New York Times and elsewhere—do everything except disguise their identities and hide from the authorities.

Hell, they are the authorities.

Just a reminder: Unrepentant Weatherman bomber Bill “Kill Your Parents” Ayers is a highly respected “educator” and a longtime associate of Barack Obama; members of the Weather Underground and other Aquarian terrorists such as Ayers’s wife Bernardine Dohrn, Eleanor Raskin, and Kathleen Cleaver teach at various American law schools, even though not all of them have law degrees.


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