You remember that famous photograph of Jane Fonda in North Vietnam at an anti-aircraft gun pretending to shoot down American planes with a smile on her face? Everybody has finally gotten upset about it and Fonda herself has apologized for it.
Recently Jane Fonda announced that children in upstate South Carolina were STARVING to death. Her Yuppie friends had said they were not getting enough food stamps, I guess, so she called that starvation.
So when I see that photograph of Jane Fonda at the anti-aircraft gun I see a different picture than other people do.
Within a mile of Fonda at that time she could have seen people who were actually STARVING.
If you have actually seen and SMELLED people starving, you never use that word freely again.
I told my doctor brother that STARVATION had a particular SMELL, and I wondered if I were imagining it. Sure enough, he explained to me that it does have a special smell to it.
I have seen what was left of a village the Communist Idealists have finished with. I have seen and smelled starvation. I have gone across the deadlines of many a Communist country where there are land mines and men with automatic weapons to keep people from escaping the Workers’ Paradise.
And I myself have escaped into irony with terms like “Peace Loving Democratic Republics” and “Workers’ Paradises.”
I deal with respectable conservatives who are as treasonous as any Communist because they want to push the genocide against my race.
And humor keeps me going.
But there is a fury in me. It is a screaming, vengeful creature that wants to get out.
I am a very sensitive person. I am also a warrior who has fought very long and very hard.
I have fought in a world where the most unspeakable, horrible people, people who make Jane Fonda look like a saint, have to be treated with respect. And humor and irony have kept me going, because I HAVE to keep going.
But that is an awfully lot to be going on in the brain of one mere human being. The beast wants to be let out, and the mature, ironic man knows he must keep fighting.
All of which makes me very, very tired.
I have had two nervous breakdowns.
Oddly enough all this encourages me.
There is on person on earth who knows all my many failings, but who also knows that I will fight until the very end. And that is the one person whose approval I really need.
I think I’m a hero.