Thursday, April 07, 2005

Presenting A New Feature...Lukewarm Gossip!

This is a time of Momentous Events, and you can rest easy in the knowledge that we will be ignoring them (on a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week basis) here. But this does not mean that we live in the year 1905.

Every thinking person has been prey to conflicting feelings of indifference and annoyance regarding the latest revelations about -- and, coincidentally enough, self-revelations of -- Jane Fonda. For those of you who are unfamilar with her life and work, they are both extensive. In recent days, Mz. Fonda has let it be known to trusted intimates and responsible members of the press that she will soon be publishing a real book. Interestingly enough, the former actress, exercise instructress, and divorcee will be taking an unusual tack in this autobiography: she will be confessing all, in lurid and possibly interesting detail, about life and love among the rich and the famous. And, displaying the individuality of mind and originality of temperament for which she is famed, she will be charting the many stages of her personal growth through the years, by revealing dark secrets about her intimate relations, not in the hope that this will diminish others, but so that she can reveal her own sensitive and deeply sympathetic nature.

Concerning Mz. Fonda's marriage to the late director Roger Vadim, for instance, we learn that all was not sweetness and light, as so many of us had hitherto believed with all our hearts. Indeed, it seems that M. Vadim was something of a cad, a heartless seducer of women, and a sexual pioneer with his early work on bed overpopulation. I cannot go into details here for reasons of propriety, but I am sure that Fonda will not allow such trifles to impede her bold literary explorations.

Fonda, again displaying her conventions-be-hanged iconoclasm, will also examine her brave battle with bulimia, which illness was both crippling and Vadim's fault. Let her example serve as inspiration to women everywhere suffering from things that are so flagrantly caused by men, yet so oddly and insidiously hidden from the public view; and as a warning to those very men, who damn well better watch it. Fonda, it will be recalled, sold millions of copies of her exercise tapes during the 1980s. Women who purchased them, and may feel aggrieved because Fonda withheld the core secret of her own weight-control technique, and thus conclude that they were bloody fools to spend all of those hours grunting and sweating and not shedding a single pound while blaming their failure to do so on personal inadequacy, should not be tempted to recriminations, which are judgmental and insensitive. They ought instead to make the effort to truly empathize through the simple expedient of purchasing Fonda's book, coming to shops quite soon. Is that so much to ask?

Also noteworthy, I conclude from headlines of stories I haven't yet researched fully, are disturbing revelations by Mz. Fonda about ex-husband Ted Turner's "toilet habits." Although I do not know yet what the particulars are, nor how many chapters of the book will be devoted to these habits, I am sure they cannot but yield immense insight into the character of that elusive billionaire. If he has been guilty, say, of putting toilet rolls in backwards, or of laying paper carefully upon the toilet seat before he sits, or of not availing himself of air freshener when required, the public has a right to know, and Fonda has a sacred duty to posterity.

Mz. Fonda will also discuss certain radio broadcasts made in her youth for the enemy during time of war, an episode in her life she now finds deuced awkward and which makes her feel quite uncomfortable at times. As we know, this incident caused her to be cast out of Hollywood, thus ending her career forever, and to be unjustly exiled for many decades, and that these years of pain have not been without heavy personal cost. We look forward to witnessing whatever emotional contortions can lead to her final moral fitness in the book.

I encourage you all to give these matters every iota of thought that they deserve.

There is an enlightening and informed discussion of the Fonda revelations here.