RANDOM THOUGHTS AND URGENT MESSAGES

While I’m one of the privileged ones that wasn’t really hurt by the pandemic, it does feel good to be going out from time to time and invite people over. The 2 things I miss are the zero traffic during lockdown and not having to care what I wore from the waist down.

I even went to a cinema last week by myself. There were 3 other people in the theatre. Of course, it was an old French film, “La Piscine,” with Alan Delon and Romy Schneider. I’d always heard it was very sexy and it was. I liked being in the big dark room with a proper screen and popcorn. What was strange was that to get there (it was a Laemmle Theatre in Santa Monica) I had to drive through my old stomping grounds in the 70s and 80s when I was married to Tom Hayden and my son was born.

Back then, I bought a house one block from the beach in Ocean Park for $40,000! At the time, Ocean Park was redlined which meant that banks considered it a bad investment because it was all thrift shops, laundromats, bars, and people considered to be down-and-outs. We loved it and it was one of the happiest times. Our neighbor on one side was a nightwatchman at Hughes Aircraft Co. and he worried when we moved in that property values would increase. He was right.

It’s all changed now. I think our house sold recently for well upwards of $2 million!!! Everything is gentrified. I didn’t see one laundromat or thrift shop. The community garden is still there and flourishing which made me happy, but Ocean Park and Santa Monica are almost unrecognizable.

But I have friends who live there who still benefit from the rent control we fought for way back then and it’s gratifying to know that that fight made it possible for a rich diversity of people to live there and make a go of it who otherwise might not have. We need to expand rent control across Los Angeles.

The start of the final season of “Grace & Frankie” is 3 weeks away. Costume fittings start next week. I gotta drop a few COVID-induced pounds which I can do. I’m good at it. But I’m feeling rather at loose ends because Fire Drill Fridays is taking the month of June off and then we’ll do the show once a month starting in July. I can’t do more than that while filming and, besides, I think people are experiencing Zoom fatigue.

But we went out with a bang: My last guest was Demi Lovato and on movie night we showed Spike Lee’s award-winning documentary, “When the Levees Broke,” and Spike joined me after for a discussion. Speaking of, I just bought Spike’s children’s book that he did with his wife, Tonya: “Please, Baby, Please”.

I’m so itching to get back into the streets to demand the Biden administration phase out of fossil fuels. Why oh why is he having such a hard time divorcing us from that criminally destructive industry that continues to cause millions of deaths.
2.8 million have died so far from COVID over last 15 months. Over same time frame, 3 times as many have died from fossil fuel-related air pollution = 8.7 million.

Why not treat the climate crisis as a real crisis as well? The 8.7 million deaths from air pollution is just one small part of the crisis that’s fast unfolding but we don’t feel the urgency we feel with COVID. The ocean is dying. Forests are disappearing. Billions of species have already been lost. The dangers posed by the climate crisis are far worse that the COVID pandemic and may soon become irreversible. Enough already.

Me and my friends Catherine Keener, Rosanna Arquette, Taylor Schilling, Barbara Williams and her son Liam Hayden are all going to join the big Treaty People Gathering in Northern Minnesota to protest the Enbridge Line 3 which threatens to bring tar sands oil from Canada into Minnesota under 200 bodies of pristine water. Please visit https://treatypeoplegathering.com for information on how to participate in person or from afar. You can also help by forwarding the information to your own networks of family and friends and on social media. #StopLine3

KEEP IT IN THE GROUND and put the oil workers into jobs cleaning up the mess.

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17 Comments
  1. Hi Jane –
    I found you describing this area in Santa Monica fascinating in your book, as at the time it seemed like you were kind of exposed in a community that didn’t normally have stars as neighbors. How does Biden plan to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 if he can’t adopt a stronger GND? Thank you, as always, for using your platform to wake people like me up from occasional complacency.

    Best,

    Michael

  2. I’ve always wanted to see Santa Monica! I have a portfolio book of old pictures that my grandparents took when they were there back in the 70’s. Quite the group will be attending the gathering it looks like! Keener, Arquette, Schilling and Williams, oh my!
    Are you planning on participating in a direct action during the gathering? (If you are comfortable sharing) If you are, we’re you planning more high risk or low risk for arrest? I’m planning low risk since I would have to have a parent come and bail me out.

  3. It’s great to see you getting out and about again. Please stay safe. I wish there was a way I could come meet you while you are traveling to all these wonderful places and helping everyone you meet. I also think it’s wonderful that you’ve been able to keep in touch with your best friend from school. 😊

  4. Thank you Jane for this blog, I love knowing about your movements, you are very generous for sharing them, in March I am turning 60 and one of the gifts that I am going to give myself is to meet you in person, in Minnesota is impossible, this Sunday we have elections and we have to vote , but I will go to meet you in another public event that you are, God willing, you have inspired me and I have to tell you in person, it is very good that your friends accompany you, it is always good to have them around, I hope the event is a success and achieve the objective of It.💕💕

  5. Thanks for your random thoughts; it was such a nice surprise😊 I also went to the movies but I saw a far different movie: Quiet Place 2! There were 16 people in my theater! I read the synopsis on yours and it sounds really good. Besides, Alain Delon is easy on the eyes,LOL
    You know, when I heard you say it was the last FDF until 7/16, I was happy, grateful and kind of sad all at once. I felt you had given us so much by doing FDF’s weekly. I realize you know your “stuff” (you are SO intelligent!) but it must take a bit to prepare; what a huge commitment and “gift” to us. Thank you. I was happy because you were getting back out and able to use your “celebrity” for the most important situation we’re facing. I have no understanding as to why the climate crisis is not “top of mind”. It seems like a no brainer And the fact that we subsidize all that money to the oil companies bothers me like people voting for Trump (😡😡??!!)
    So, I discovered On Golden Pond, you and the Climate Crisis (FDF’s) when I needed it the most. I’ve had 8 months of very limited activities and the amount I learned about in that time is incredible. A whole new world opened up. I’m extremely grateful for all you’ve done and how you inspired me to learn even more.
    I look forward to hearing how it’s going with you and your friends at The treaty Gathering in MN(!!). You guys are going to crush it!
    Stay safe and Thank you

  6. I wish it was that easy. You know, a flick of the wrist, twitch of the nose (yes that was a *Bewitched* reference), and BAM all the things we could do to save the environment, our planet, and the species that inhabit it would all be fixed! Someday we’ll get there or at the very least to a point in which things are stabilized enough and keep building from there. Do I make sense anymore? I feel like I sound insane haha! On the positive note: I hope the making of the last season of *Grace & Frankie* goes well, I hope the costume fitting is fine, and continue being you, Jane 🙂

    Have a good one!
    -Ducky x

  7. Good afternoon Jane
    Thanks for introducing me to FDF initially as a G&F newby!
    Yes too many cars on the rd again .
    My husband Ian &I celebrate our golden wedding June 2nd.wow !Ian is 86 I am 68.We have 3children ,6 grandchildren .Where has the time gone .
    Please tell me is Martin Sheen contactable? I saw an interview he did and among the many reasons he has my great respect is that he wouldnt join a country club .He carries his clubs in back of his car .Since retirement ive tried the golf we have a course which looks across the Irish Sea .
    Keep up the great work and love to all on the show .
    Apocalypse now never seen it!The Way I loved.

    The UK has compulsive liar in power just now.Many mistakes made during Covid not least closing down late .Brexit a disaster !English nationalism i.e. little Englanders longing for the empire .I can feel a rant coming on .
    Grace&Frankie has kept me sane I think!
    Take Care
    I hate my name Gladys

  8. Can’t wait til you’re back marching in streets. Will be joining you. “Bodies on the line” … yrs as a criminal defense attorney, jail isn’t something I’d relish, but do-able for the cause. Best wishes for filming the final season of G&F. Thank God, literally, for the series… it was my sanity/white noise of peace and laughter thru worst times of the past yr… be it the week leading up to the election, the months following it until the inauguration… and the heights of the pandemic crisis. Nights of insomnia… G&F floated thru the house~ that and rereading My Life So Far and Prime Time, and then What Can I Do? It was manageable. I too was one who had a privileged existence in the midst of the devastation~ but the emotional/spiritual toll was still deeply painful.

  9. Hi Jane-
    A few friends and I just flew into Las Vegas earlier today from Pennsylvania. We drove through Death Valley on our way to Sequoia, Kings, Yosemite and on to Big Sur. I couldn’t help but think what a dichotomy Death Valley really is: conserved land that gives us a glimpse into how unforgiving the realities of climate can be. Driving through the Searless Valley, abandoned mining towns also show the failure to provide just transitions for workers after closures. I am so grateful for the continued preservation of lands across the US, however, protected spaces and waterways can only take us so far. As it evidenced by places like Northern Minnesota and similar stories from peoples across the country, there is still work to be done if future generations can hope to experience untouched expanses in nature!
    Keep fighting the good fight-
    Jen

  10. Jane, every day I tell myself that it was what I wanted but it is difficult to get used to not working 6 days a week full time, I already started routines first: daily exercise and there you enter the days that I do aerobics I do yours the best My watch counts them, that is, it means that I really work when I stretch, it doesn’t mark them, but I know they are necessary, I love working with you, even though it’s TV I feel you are present, just one question, what number of dumbbells are the blue ones you use? I use #3 but if you use more, obviously I have to increase, thank you very much.💕💕💕

    • Candita, the light blue are 2 lbs and the slightly darker blue are 10lbs.

  11. Hi Jane,

    I get so despondent sometimes. I recycle everything (including a lot of wine bottles during the pandemic 😂). I try to use as little plastic as possible. We buy regional and seasonal and organic wherever. Like most Germans actually. However, the German government is still using open cast coal mining and STILL trying to find a site where they can dump all their nuclear waste (been looking for years). It’s ludicrous.

    However, there has been a huge surge in support for the Green Party (general elections are in September where Merkel will step down) and it looks as if they might win. If not win then will be in the coalition.

    Let’s wait and see. Sometimes it makes no sense when we do the small stuff to help the environment and our governments get away with environmental murder.

    Take care
    Jason x

  12. Hi, Jane!
    I feel and think exactly like you that there are crisis far worse that the COVID pandemic. It’s definitely a major humanity crisis. These almost two years taught me again that the key is LOVE and HUMAN CONNECTION. Don’t you think the same?!
    😊😉
    As I’ve read your post I understood that you are eager to get back on the streets to push the Biden administration into doing something about climate crisis. You’ve told me once that you believe Biden can be pushed by activists to do THE RIGHT THING. Do you still believe this?!
    sending my love and good vibes to you❤❤❤

  13. Let’s talk movies and Santa Monica:

    I worked in downtown Santa Monica for fourteen months, spending many of my mornings and lunch breaks overlooking the Pier. And now I’m thinking of “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” I kind of wish I knew the Santa Monica you describe. I’m 27 now, and I’ve listened to various Californians describe a Southern CA from decades past that sounds so exciting, village-like, and low-key (yes, even people from Beverly Hills describe an older, pre-“everything is Prada and Gucci and …” Rodeo Drive). Joan Didion driving around Malibu in her yellow corvette. Oh well. It happened — I wasn’t there for it, and I don’t want to go on a nostalgia trip but, damn — seems like there was some fun being had.

    I’ve gone to the Laemmle once or twice (I think the last time was for Alex Ross Perry’s film Golden Exits), but my most recent Santa Monica movie-going experience was to see a print of Sunset Boulevard at the Aero (August 2, 2019 — played as a double feature with the great Sullivan’s Travels).

    COVID-19 brought on the longest stretch in my entire life of not seeing movies at a theater. I went from January 14, 2020 (Uncut Gems), to May 15, 2021 (Army of the Dead), without seeing a film in theaters. I would, prior to it, average at least one trip to the theaters a week. It was a long 487 days. One day we’ll bump into each other!

    Signing off but before I do: not that you haven’t seen footage of yourself, but are you familiar with these various Roddy McDowall home movies, circa 1965? (Some vids feature you, Julie Andrews — others have Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld, hot Paul Newman, Judy Garland, Natalie Wood. Y’all hanging out!)

    youtube.com/watch?v=iF0N8Rp11Ig

  14. Jane, I just finished season 6 of Grace and Frankie and recently saw your latest movie with Robert Redford. Just want you to know I’m a huge fan of your work, on and off the screen. Actually I’m quite smitten with you. Happy to have found this site. I wish you the best of health and well being. You are as RELEVANT as ever.

  15. I loved you in Klute. I re-watch it at least once a year. I would like to comment on the pipeline. One problem is that farmers can’t go without diesel and gas-powered equipment. Farmers do not make much money and can be wiped out by bad weather and bad crops. The cost of farming equipment costs huge amounts and requires loans. They are reliant upon reasonable fuel costs. If we do not have farmers, we do not have food. The equipment cannot run without fuel. We cannot drive to the city in electric cars because of the miles needed to travel. Farmers are the ones that hurt, not city people who can use battery or alternative power. Please keep this in mind. Thank you!

    • Terri, this is a really good point and I’m glad you raised it. Please know that fossil fuels will be around for at least 30 more years. Yes, they will become less and less necessary as our energy systems are transitioned to green energy. Farmers and all sorts of working people will need to run their equipment and for the time being it will be by oil and gas. In time it will energy derived from wind, solar, geothermal but not until those energy sources are ready and available. No one will be left high and dry.

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