3 things we learned from talking to Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda

1. She doesn’t remember the 1960s as you’d think: “I lived in France during the 1960s, so my view of the 60s is a more global view. It was a time of tremendous transition for America, but for the world as well. And it wasn’t just because of the Vietnam War or the Pill. I’m not a sociologist, so I don’t know why it was that almost everywhere in the world there was tumult, but it was. The 60s was about discord and generational splits. When I became an activist in 1970, I missed the 60s. I never was a hippie or anything. I recognize the importance of that decade, having had one leg in the 50s — which I think has been much more idealized as a time of, you know, families were together and everything was well and there were only good wars. To me, the 50s continue to be more glorified than the 60s.”

2. She can’t stress enough the importance of the Internet: “The technological stuff has changed everything. We can see it overseas even more, with the Arab Spring and so forth. I never used a computer until I was 58. I was married to Ted Turner, and he threw it across the room. He still doesn’t use one. I started blogging at 71. Since it was all new to me, suddenly my life became very immediate. I was worried about blogging because I study Zen Buddhism and I meditate, and I believe in being in the moment, and [I thought it would] keep me from being in the moment. But what I discovered was that it helped me be in the moment.”

3. Kids today don’t protest the way they used to: “One of the things that’s really interesting is there’s no leader [in the Occupy movement]. During the Vietnam War, there were all these organizations and they all had leaders; I married one. Now there isn’t, and people get really disturbed by that, but it’s really what’s so beautiful about it. It’s not ideological. … But it’s making a difference. Just like that demonstration in Seattle when the WTO met up there. That was in some ways more significant than anything that happened in the 60s.”


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