Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Flashback Origin Sequence!

Hard to say what the first comic I ever read was... I have very vague memories of a Jimmy Olsen story where Jimmy wandered through a gigantic stone honeycomb he and Professor Lang found in a desert somewhere and wound up in a world where anyone who didn't have a cape was considered a slave. The Professor Lang of that world, noticing that Jimmy did not have a cape, promptly clapped him in irons and sold him at auction. Jimmy had a hard time until the light bulb went on over his head and he pinned a towel to his collar... bingo, instant emancipation.

I also have dim memories of begging a couple of pennies off of my mom to go with a dime I'd found somewhere so I could buy a 12 cent SUPERBOY comic back when I was still under the age of 10. And there was a 25 cent FLASH reprint collection I remember treasuring, as well... it had a Golden Age Flash story in it where the GA Flash fought some idiot named 'the Muscleman'.

But the first comic I have clear memories of buying off a spinner rack was CAPTAIN AMERICA #158, "The Crime Wave Breaks!" Cap and some guy called the Falcon were just beating holy hell out of a bunch of loser villains that I did not know were losers at the time... the Plant-man, the Scarecrow, the Porcupine, and the Eel... who were working for some even bigger loser named The Cowled Commander.

What was amazing to me about the book was that no one individual feature in it differed in any major way from nearly every other superhero comic on the stands at the time... it featured an unlikely four color superdude (and his partner) going up against a group of even more unlikely (even absurd) other super dudes, who were doing typical super bad guy stuff (in this comic, using their retarded powers to rob jewelry stores, and after managing to capture the heroes and knock them unconscious, instead of just shooting them in the heads, they stuck them in a steel-walled room and pumped in gas to kill them... good thing the Viper's poisons had mixed with Cap's super soldier serum to give him super strength the previous issue, right?)

But what really hit me about this comic, even at the probable age of 10 or so when I first read it, was how believable and detailed the characterizations were. Captain America, this guy Falcon, Cap and Falcon's girlfriends Sharon and Leila, their two cop buddies, the various super villains... all of them came off as real people. Oh, the villains all used the same stupid melodramatic cliches as every villain, but when Falcon swung in to join the fight and dropped the Viper on top of the Scarecrow, and the Eel freaked out about it because the Viper was his brother, it seemed very very plausible to me. (Years later, the concept that the Falcon could swing anywhere on a single wrist line he shot out of the single falconer's gauntlet he wore on one hand struck me as ridiculous, and the idea that he could do this while carrying a grown man over one shoulder was simply ludicrous... Sal Buscema made it look good, but clearly, Sam had psychokinetic powers he wasn't consciously aware of; it was the only plausible explanation for THAT nonsense.)

I wasn't noticing credit boxes then, so the name 'Steve Englehart' meant nothing much to me. Nonetheless, I started grabbing up CAP, AVENGERS, and DEFENDERS whenever I could find them, and even at 11, noticing that the characters in these comics sounded way cooler than the characters in other comics I was reading, and did cooler things. When I had a chance to buy DR. STRANGE, first in MARVEL PREMIERE and then in his own title, I was just blown away... although for me, the DR. STRANGE story that blew the top of my skull off was the SISE NEG: GENESIS two parter. Gene Colan was wonderful later on, but Frank Brunner was Teh Freakin Awesome.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The best books you've never heard of

So, I've already done one of these 'in a better world' posts today.  In it I mentioned two books that I felt, in a better world, would be classics of science fiction and/or fantasy... Robert R. Chase's THE GAME OF FOX AND LION (an absolute master piece of epic space opera) and Steven Gould's HELM.

I've just raided my bookshelves and come up with about a dozen more to add to the list.

It's possible some of these titles may already be regarded by fandom at large or SF's professional community as classics.  I don't get to talk to SF fans all that much.  I do know, though, that on the rare occasion that I run into a fellow geek, if I bring up one of these books, they generally regard me with a blank stare.

I'm not listing any obscure books by very well known authors.  I could have tossed some Poul Anderson, some Andre Norton, and even some Heinlein onto the list, and a few other books by equally famous authors... but if the author is famous, then chances are, the books are getting read.  This list is about authors whose work isn't getting read any more, as far as I can tell... or authors whose work was probably never widely read at all.

ALTERNITIES, by Michael Kube-McDowell - everyone seems to love alternate timelines, yet few people seem to have ever heard of this, probably the best exploration of alternative timelines ever (well, not counting PARATIME by H. Beam Piper, which is an anthology, not a novel).  In a parallel universe, a corrupt Senator has discovered a way to travel between universes, and has exploited it to his own advantage... but now, the President in of that particular United States wants to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union and use the 'alternities' as a secret fall out shelter for Federal elite.  Kube-McDowell handles multiple characters and a complex plot masterfully.

THE DEATH OF THE NECROMANCER by Martha Wells - All of Wells' stuff is worth reading, but this is one of the best psuedo Victorian fantasy novels ever written, and a wonderful Sherlock Holmes pastiche as well.

LIEGE-KILLER by Christopher Hinz - the worst mistake humanity ever made was genetically engineering the Paratwa - superhuman assassin/soldiers with one mind controlling two physically separate bodies.  They thought the Paratwa were all dead, but it turns out, they thought wrong...

THE REASSEMBLED MAN by Herbert D. Kastle - aliens take a sex starved, frustrated nobody and turn him into a sexually irresistible physical, mental, and psychic superman.  Now he's living the life he's always dreamed of... but there's just one catch...

AT THE NARROW PASSAGE by Richard C. Meredith - what Fritz Lieber's THE BIG TIME should have been and wasn't.

STARDRIFT by John Morrissey (aka NAIL DOWN THE STARS) - in Morrissey's expansive future, humanity has spread to the stars using technology no one really understands any more.  A young boy named Jolon Gallamor barely escapes the assassins that murdered his parents by changing his name and joining a star circus.. and that's just the start of his galaxy spanning adventures.  If there was any justice in the world, Morrissey's SF books would be as famous as Heinlein's.

EMERALD EYES by Daniel Keys Moran - time travelers, genetically engineered telepathic slave assassins, the last days of the U.S.A. as an independent nation, flying cars, cybernetically enhanced United Nations Peacekeepers, super-hackers, a future Earth ruled by the French, and the lyrics of Jim Steinman, all intertwine into one of the most awesomely epic SF stories ever written.  This is what NEUROMANCER would have been like if Walter Gibson could write characterization.

SYSTEMIC SHOCK by Dean Ing - one of the most startlingly original After The Bomb books ever written, as young Ted Quantrill fights to survive in a post Apocalyptic Steamlined America run by the New Mormon Church.

THIS FORTRESS WORLD by James Gunn - one of the coolest decadent galactic empire stories I've ever read.  When William Dane stumbles across a secret of cosmic proportions, he ends up being hounded by vicious blaster wielding Assassins across the face of the galaxy.  Only by grasping the very secret of existence itself can Dane save himself... and all of humanity!  Still one of the most fun SF stories I've ever read.

TO REIGN IN HELL by Steven Brust - not technically science fiction, this story of the rebellion of the angelic host is simply mind blowing.   Roger Zelazny would have killed to have written this.  

STAR REBEL by F.M. Busby - In a future run for profit by ruthless corporations, Bran Tregare mistakenly ends up at a training academy for starship captains, run by ruthless administrators and vicious instructors, where the credo is, excel... or DIE!  Tregare not only survives, he ends up leading a successful rebellion!

THE MAN OF GOLD by M.A.R. Barker - unless you were a hardcore fantasy gamer in the 1980s, you've never heard of Barker's epically ornate EMPIRE OF THE PETAL THRONE roleplaying system and setting.  But Barker also wrote two novels set in that world, this one and FLAMESONG.  Both are worth reading, entertaining stories of action and adventure staged in one of the most richly nuanced, intricatelyldetailed and atmospheric settings ever created.

LORD OF BLOOD by Dave van Arnam - actually a sequel to the not as good STAR BARBARIAN, this book follows the hero of that previous novel as he makes his way through the perilous pitfalls of his world's version of civilization.  Much as if Robert E. Howard had ever written a novel where Conan spends all his time getting involved in political intrigue in Aquilonia, or something.

I'm sure I have others I'm not thinking of right now.  In the meantime, though, if you enjoy science fiction or fantasy, and you come across any of these books, I strongly recommend them.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


John Rogers ringingly declares:

" amusement at how the most important, disruptive moment in most alien invasion movies is tossed over the movie's shoulder. The aliens have come from beyond the stars, they have come for our ...

 ... wait, what? No, they don't want our seawater, they don't want our brains, whatever you -- THEY CAME FROM BEYOND THE STARS?! Assuming that's not a generation ship or some self-replicating/self-perpetuating nanobot swarm, those aliens just BROKE PHYSICS.

Except, of course, in the (mainstream) alien invasion story, they didn't break physics. In every (mainstream) alien invasion story they're here. We can shoot them, and talk to them, and be dissected by them, they're wandering around in our physical universe and so are beholden to the same physics, Newtonian or Quantum, that we are. So that fictional universe has rules, the aliens just ... apparently ... know some better ones than we do?

But faster-then-light travel mucks with such fundamental boundaries of our physical universe that if they can circumvent that, they can damn well circumvent any of the boring rules which would allow us to interact, or perhaps even perceive them. There's an inherent paradox -- if the aliens are interstellar, they are certainly not walking our streets in hacked-together HALO armor gunning down humans. Unless that's, like, a thing they get off on. Which would be double-plus unbad now that I think about it.

For chrissake, in the 21st Century one country is untouchably pounding the hell out of terrorists and unfortunately placed Afghani weddings with remote-piloted drones operated by kids from half a planet away. And we don't even leave our local gravity well except for special occasions.

Those aliens would not be fight-able. They would be unknowable. They would incomprehensible. They would be soul-shatteringly terrifying. They would be terrifying sky gods who rain down destruction on a helpless human populace as if by ... magic."

Well, um... no.  No.  Not so much.

Rogers is making some very large presumptions here.  First, he's presuming that, you know, the way we currently understand the universe is the way the universe actually is.  We, the humans inhabiting Sol III, do not have the technology to make a gigantic thing full of breathable air that can carry a great many living members of our species across hard vacuum at faster than light speeds.  Therefore, we have not yet tried to do it.  Therefore, we do not know that it is impossible.

Which is to say, we do not know that the speed of light is a hard limit for how fast something can go in this universe.  Einsten says it is, and we've built up this entire structure of physics around that presumption, based on equations very few people other than Einstein have ever claimed to fully or really, even partially, understand.  

But those presumptions could be wrong.

People once created a lot of maps based on the idea that the world was flat.   We once built up a very elaborate structure of science on the basis of Aristotle, and then, later, on the basis of Galileo, and now, we've done it again on the basic of Einsten.  

But, until we actually build something and accelerate it up to lightspeed and then try to accelerate it faster than lightspeed and see what actually happens when we do... we won't know.

We once thought it was impossible to break the sound barrier.  Um... wrong.  Not impossible, just kinda difficult. Now we do it all the time.

Now, our scientists have conducted experiments that they are pretty sure confirm Einstein's theories regarding the speed of light being an absolute limit for the velocity of a physical object in this space/time.  But they have done these experiments with subatomic particles that cannot be seen or really directly perceived by any instruments we currently possess.  These experiments are largely virtual and theoretical and require interpretation and complex equations and inferences from things we can actually observe -- and all of this is why we call these things 'theoretical'.  Because we don't KNOW.

So aliens that can build space ships that can go faster than light have not necessarily 'broken physics'.  They've just done something that us humans here on planet Earth haven't done yet.  The European settler/invaders had managed to invent lots of things that the natives to the Americas had not thought up yet, including motherfucking guns.  That did not mean the indigenous American natives could not put up a fight against the European settler/invaders, as the most casual non-student of American history could tell you.

Now, it may have meant that they couldn't win, but I'm not even sure that was true.    I suspect their eventual defeat came more from their absolute inability to grasp just how treacherous, vicious, rapacious, and relentlessly avaricious the invading hordes actually were.  I kinda think they just kept saying to themselves "Okay, but eventually they'll stop.  Eventually, they'll have enough."  And they were wrong about that.  Those were Americans, by God, and if there is a defining characteristic to Americans, it's that we NEVER have enough.  Never, not ever, never.  

Now, Rogers has his own analogy -- he points out that currently, the U.S. is blowing the crap out of Afghanistan with remote control drones and the Afghanis can't do anything about it.  By this he means to demonstrate how 'unfightable', to use his word, aliens that have FTL travel would be to us.

But it's a ridiculous analogy.  The Afghanis do not regard us as 'unfightable'.  They're still fighting.  They're still killing our soldiers.  They still hope to eventually win, and have an awfully good chance of doing so, because no matter how many of them we blow up with our drones, there will still be more of them skulking in the caves somewhere, and we can't make any use of Afghanistan until we get them all... and nobody has managed to do that yet, not in four thousand years.  

So the fact that aliens have FTL travel does not make them 'unfightable'.  In fact, exactly HOW the aliens get to Earth is rarely given much explication in alien invasion movies... what matters is, they're here, and they're blowing up our shit and trying to kill us.  

It seems to me to be just as likely that aliens so far advanced over us as to be 'unfightable' would be so far advanced over us that they wouldn't want anything from us.  They' d have no reason to invade our planet or kill us or enslave us.  If we can't fight them, chances are, we don't have anything they want.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Living with fear

I recently had a short Facebook post -- I think it was two days ago -- where I essentially said that, as a free people, we had to tolerate certain things. We had to be brave in the face of certain things. We had to accept that the price of liberty was insecurity... that freedom not only isn't free, but it isn't safe, either. We can be free, or we can be secure, but we can't be both.

And yet, I'm in favor of gun control.

Which seems to be a contradiction. If I don't want to see the government start demanding ID whenever I walk down the street, if I don't want increased government tracking and surveillance of my movements, actions, and behaviors... and I don't... then why am in favor of the government more strictly regulating who gets guns and who doesn't?

Maybe, if we're going to live in a free society... if we're going to say "I don't want a government that watches me every minute of the day to keep me safe, I don't want to live in that kind of tightly controlled, observed, regulated environment"... then maybe, we also have to accept responsibility for protecting ourselves. Which means, arming ourselves.

Which sounds really nice.

But how would an armed citizenry have prevented the bombings in Boston?

There are better examples, though. Leave aside the crazy guy who dyed his hair bright red and then shot up a movie theater in Colorado, or the nut who took an assault weapon to a school in Newtown and started shooting everything that moved. Arguments have been made that an armed citizenry might have taken those guys down sooner and saved lives; I myself think that an amateur with a gun in his or her hand and stars in his or her eyes thinking about how they're going to get interviewed after this by Wolf Blitzer probably isn't the superhero you're looking for to take down that maniac with the assault weapon... 

...but maybe I'm wrong. 

Maybe if our citizenry wasn't simply armed but well trained, and disciplined, and responsible... but, you know, when I think of the general public here in America, 'well trained', 'disciplined' and 'responsible' aren't the first words that come to mind. Or the tenth. Or the hundredth. 

And that is my point, and leads to what seems to me to be a better example. Last weekend some guy was watching a movie after midnight at a local theater and when he got up to leave, three other people -- two men and a woman -- jumped him, knocked him on the ground, and started punching him repeatedly in the head and kicking him in the torso. Apparently, they would have stood there doing it all night if another patron hadn't pulled them off the guy. 

The victim of the assault maintains he has no idea why they did it, which I find doubtful... unless they were completely tweaked on something, I'm sure this guy did something to set them off. (I'm not defending their actions; he might have just looked at one of the women in a way any of the three found offensive, or said something during the movie that they overheard and found offensive. With some people, it 
doesn't take much. But I'm sure there was something that lit their fuses, however innocuous it may have been.)

Whatever the case may be, in the NRA's dream world where every American adult walks around strapped for reasons of personal protection, how would a confrontation like that go? Bad enough this guy got beat up for no apparent reason... how much worse would this have been, if everybody involved had been packing iron? And started a gunfight in the theater?

And don't tell me in the NRA's dream world where everyone goes packed at all times, we'd leave our guns outside the theater. No, no. We would take our guns INTO the theater, in case some other lunatic, this time dressed like the Penguin or Dr. Octopus, pops up in full riot gear with assault weapons and starts throwing grenades around.

I'm 51 years old and I've seen altercations get violent, or hover on the edges of getting violent, many many times in my life. In none of those altercations were any of the belligerents armed. On the occasions that violence erupted, it wasn't like in the movies, but in real life, fights never seem to be. One punch might get thrown; then both parties grapple and start shoving and, usually, rolling on the ground. 

But how much worse would these fights -- which are usually fueled by alcohol and rage over something idiotic, like a sporting event -- be, if everyone had a loaded gun on them?

If every teacher in that school at Newtown had had a gun, if every movie patron in that theater in Colorado had been armed... how much worse would it have been? If everyone was firing, if bullets were flying everywhere, how many more bodies would we have?

And exactly how much of a deterrent would an armed citizenry be, to the kind of lunatic that plants bombs, or shoots up movie theaters, or shoots up elementary schools?

I don't want to be tracked or surveilled any more than I already am... in fact, I would like to be tracked and surveilled considerably less than I alrady am. 

But that doesn't mean I don't want GUNS to be tracked and surveilled considerably MORE than they already are. 

The 'right' to bear arms has no connection to safety or freedom. It's a high speed superhighway to a world where we all get to live in far greater danger, every minute of every day... not simply because the truly psychotic will have easy access to deadly weapons, but because the ordinary, everyday, average, run of the mill screw up, bully, drunk, and short tempered meathead will. 

They're pushing guns the same way they pushed the PATRIOT Act, the same way they push more observation, more monitoring, more tracking, more surveillance... with fear. "If you don't buy a gun and carry it around with you, you could be shot. Your family could be killed. If you don't let us spy on you, if you don't let us track you and open files on you and your neighbors, you could get blown up." It's all fear, all the time, and they push it for the same reasons they push everything -- because it gives them more power and it makes them more money. 

I don't want to live in a world where there's a camera on every block and Homeland Security is watching everything and listening to everything and reading everything we send across the Internet. That's crazy. 

I also don't want to live in a world where every meathead who has ever screamed an insult at me from a passing car is carrying a loaded gun. 

I'm afraid, of course I am. But I'm not THAT afraid.

What a terrorist looks like

A young couple got on the bus with me last night. They were Caucasian, in their early 20s, and they looked very... well, rural Southern. Each of them had about four mismatched cloth bags that were crammed full of whatever it was they were carrying around with them. The woman was average looking to almost pretty, but looked very worn down. The man had the kind of facial features I've come to associate with, well, shall we say a family tree that does not branch very much -- big nose surrounded by squashed looking features all clustered too close to the center of his face.

His hair was brownish blond worn cropped very close, maybe half an inch in length all over his bulbous head. His ears were noticeably protuberant, and his eyes seemed to bulge slightly when he was emotional.... which, in the five minutes they shared the bus with me, he frequently was.

He announced to no one in particular that he had just gotten out of the hospital for liver failure and found his roommate had thrown him out. "Because I didn't call the fool for three days!" he exclaimed.

My immediate presumption was that there was a lot more to the story than that... perhaps, if one substituted 'county lock up' for 'hospital' and thirty or ninety days for three, one would have gotten closer to the truth... but I honestly have no idea. As Steve Englehart's Thor has been known to intone, "A man can be too cynical."

Anyway, this guy puts down the luggage he's carrying, helps his companion with her luggage, then starts waving his arms around. "That cop said WE had suspicious bags", he declared to all and sundry. "Us! Now I know we got a lot of bags. And I know somebody just blew up the Boston Marathon thing. But I said 'do we look Muslim to you? Do we look like terrorists?"

I had to check myself, because I badly wanted to say something. My effort to remain silent was greatly aided by the fact that about half a dozen responses wanted to leap from my lips at once:

"Anyone can be a Muslim, doofus."

"Most Muslims aren't terrorists, jackwit, just like most Christians aren't."

"You look like you could be Timothy McVeigh's illegitimate son, so, yeah, you DO look like a terrorist to me."

"What does a terrorist look like, dumbass?"

But I didn't say anything, and he and the woman with him got off the bus a few minutes later.

But this is why I hope... and would pray, if I thought there was a God that listened and cared... that whoever we eventually discover is behind the Boston bombings, turns out to look like my short term busmate's second cousin.

Because otherwise, the shit's going to fly.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A free people in a free nation

Some imbecile on CNBC is ranting and raving about how at the Boston Marathon today, security was so lax that people could just walk around! Just move around, anywhere they wanted! Without showing badges or ID or ANYTHING!

Yes, fucktard. This is America, occasionally still referred to as "a free country". In a free country, people get to walk around anywhere they want without showing badges or ID or anything. And a free people, like Americans are supposed to be, don't crap their pants, hide under the bed, and cry for Daddy to make them all safe from the boogieman. For the love of everything we all hold dear, cowboy the fuck up.

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Country, Wrong or Wronger

A friend of mine recently posted to Facebook about how much he hates Jane Fonda because she betrayed American POWs in Vietnam, yaddity yaddity yaddity.  My wife promptly posted a link to a page exploding that particular myth.  My friend's response:  well, okay, she didn't do that, but I still hate her.

I posted this long response to him in his FB comment thread... and then pulled it, because his family reads that thread, and they also mostly mindlessly hate Fonda for things she never did, and this probably won't do much good in that context.

But I think it's a pretty good statement of how I feel, so I'm posting it here.

* * * *

Soldiers aren't automatically heroes because they put on a uniform and get shot at.   Wars/military actions are not automatically extended acts of national heroism which cannot under any circumstances be questioned or criticized.  And the act of questioning or criticizing national policy, especially when that policy involves invading foreign countries and inflicting enormous damage on those countries and enormous harm to those countries' peoples, is not automatically a villainous or dastardly act.

I'm not saying Jane Fonda is a hero, but I certainly don't think she's a villain.  She was young and had strong opinions about something that people certainly should have had strong opinions about at the time and probably should have strong opinions about now, since the U.S. continues to invade other countries for vaguely articulated reasons, inflicting enormous damage on those countries and enormous harm on the people who live there.  Those who think that such policies and actions are wrong headed, immoral, and/or outright evil should certainly be free to state their opinions and express themselves.

With the myth that Fonda deliberately betrayed captive POWs to their captors exploded, I can see little else to revile her for.  We shouldn't have been in Vietnam, we should not have been dropping napalm on Vietnamese villages, we should not have been shooting people and blowing them up for the crime of being Communist (or, worse, for the crime of doing what they were told to do, on pain of death or torture, by a repressive Communist regime).  We simply should not have been there making war on that country and those people.  We had no moral right whatsoever to be doing what we were doing.

I don't like the fact that Fonda went over and apparently displayed sympathy for people who were killing and torturing American servicemen... but I also don't like the fact that the U.S. essentially fought the Vietnam war with slave soldiers... draftees almost entirely conscripted from America's most impoverished regions, predominantly urban blacks.  Fonda had an opinion about the war, much of which I happen to agree with, and she went to an enormous amount of personal trouble and endured enormous difficulty and inconvenience to express that view.  And because she did, she is still widely reviled... and why?  Because she said it was an unjust and immoral war, that Americans should not have been there bombing and killing and maiming... and because, while she was there, she made an effort to discover the truth about how American POWs were being treated.

What would Jane Fonda have had to do, or not to do, to not be vilified and loathed now?  Wave a flag and chant "U.S.A U.S.A U.S.A" while we were dropping napalm on a country we had absolutely no right to be in at all?  No, no, her detractors would not insist on that.

She should have just shut the hell up and done nothing, kept her subversive hippie liberal pinko Commie mouth shut, stayed in the kitchen, and baked some fucking cupcakes.   With little American flags sticking in them.  Right?

Mindless support, as is embodied in the particularly pernicious jingo "My country, right or wrong", is not heroism.  Vocal dissent that cannot be ignored, that draws attention to immorality and abuses being committed on an international scale, that creates controversy across generations and down decades... acts of dissent that exact enormous personal costs... well, maybe these are not heroism either.  But they are sure as hell more courageous than posting to the Internet.

Beyond that, and this is directly to [my friend]:  I don't think you disagree with Fonda's views.  I don't think you really think we should have been in Vietnam, that we should have been in Iraq, that we should be in Afghanistan now (and we're still in Iraq, too, and, for that matter, we're still in Vietnam, don't kid yourself).  I think you were just steeped in an atmosphere of unthinking hatred for this woman in your childhood and you have never stopped to really rationally analyze what she did in terms of what you now believe as an adult.

If I won a lot of money and decided to go over to Afghanistan and demonstrate sympathy for the Afghan people and interview American POWs to see how they were being treated, would you revile me for it?  If I visibly protested against our drone policy?  Would that make me vile in your eyes?

If I went to Gitmo and similarly interviewed the prisoners our country keeps illegally confined there (if I were allowed to) and behaved in ways calculated to draw attention to how badly those people are being abused, would you revile me for it?

What exactly is it that Jane Fonda actually did that pisses you off so much?