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.
On March 23, I posted about the Enbridge Line 3 that I had visited. Now, again, I want to call people’s attention to this travesty because we must stop it. Line 3 is a proposed pipeline expansion that will bring nearly a million barrels of toxic tar sands oil per day through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior. The pipeline is a climate bomb — with a carbon impact equal to 50 new coal plants. All pipelines spill, so it is also a pending disaster to the drinking water of 18 Million people who depend on the Mississippi River. And it brings tremendous risk to Anishinaabe women in Northern Minnesota—a population most likely to be victims of sexual assault— as two pipeline contractors have already been charged in sex trafficking. For years, Indigenous women have been leading the fight to stop Line 3. As tensions have risen and construction has begun, I visited Line 3, Mark Ruffalo went on social media to get word out and Bonnie Raitt recorded a song to amplify the fight and to support the frontline water protectors. In early June, thousands will join them to lay their bodies on the line at the Mississippi River and call on the President to stop construction. We need your help to get them there and to ensure that people across the nation and the world see what is happening. Over the next few weeks we are seeking: 1) Public and private calls on President Biden to Stop Line 3, by revoking the faulty Trump Pipeline permit for Line 3. Amplifying social media such as this: For those with direct access to the Biden administration we are asking for private notes or calls. We can provide any supporting materials/arguments as needed. (Line 3 Talking Points) 2) Amplification of the call to gather. Frontline indigenous leaders in Minnesota are calling on allies to join them on the banks of the Mississippi River to StopLine 3 from June 5-8 at a Treaty People Gathering. All are welcome, we are all treaty people, and folks will be coming from across the country. We are looking for influencers to lift up this call by amplifying social media calls to gather. A full social media kit is here. 3) Celebrities who are willing to join us in Northern Minnesota the first week of June. We realize this is a big ask! But it was prominent folks who visited Standing Rock in 2016 who lifted the fight of Indigenous water-protectors into the national consciousness. The situation in Minnesota is building to a similar crisis point. My visit to Northern Minnesota in March was a major breakthrough for the movement to StopLine 3. Now that many more people are vaccinated we are working to build the momentum necessary to stop the pipeline in June.
I was waiting till I got another photo of the whole gang to go with this before posting and time got away from me, I never got the other photo, and Mother’s Day seemed to be receding. Until I just read my weeks-old blog comments with so many nice comments about Mother’s Day that I decided, screw it. I want my followers to rejoice with me that for Mother’s Day dinner, I went out as a guest of Bob and Ginny Newhart and their daughter, a son, 3 granddaughters and a grandson. And man-o-man was it fun. It’s a great idea to have a friend who’s a stand up comedian. You laugh a lot. You see, the Newhart’s are neighbors and all during the pandemic, every Friday, all of us neighbors on the cul-de-sac have pulled out our folding chairs, brought out a drink , sat, masked, 6 or 8 feet apart and carried on. We watched our 2 youngest neighbors learn to walk, two of us died (not from COVID) and the rest celebrated last week at not having to wear masks. Because they are totally fantastic, big hearted people, the Newhart’s wrote me the next day and invited me to celebrate Mother’s Day with them. Isn’t that the sweetest thing? So here I am with Bob. A few weeks late. I’m sorry I don’t have the photo of Ginny and all the grandkids. Onward!
In the face of a worsening climate crisis, with scientists telling us we must not permit any new fossil fuel development and begin a managed phase out of existing fossil fuel infrastructure, a Canadian Oil company, Enbridge, is pushing ahead with the largest project in its history. Known as Line 3, it’s a 1,097 mile crude oil pipeline extending from the tar sands of Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. It will expand an already existing line that Enbridge says it could operate without problem for a number of years, but it wants the new one to double the amount of oil that it’s transporting. This expanded Line 3 will have the capacity to carry 760,000 barrels per day of heavy tar sands oil through Indigenous lands, which could result in an annual increase of 193,000,000 tons of carbon emissions. The estimated carbon intensity of this pipeline is equivalent to the emissions from 50 coal fired power plants or two 38 million vehicles on the road. Articles about Enbridge say Line 3 will “provide much needed incremental capacity to support Canadian oil production growth and US and Canada refinery demand.“ But we don’t want to do that!! We can’t do that and avoid climate catastrophe! Please, there’s a new team in town –Team Biden—and they tell us we must listen to science and science says—and this is really critical—we already have more developed oil, gas and coal than we can burn and stay within our carbon budget. There’s no wiggle room. Undeveloped fossil fuels must stay in the ground. We have but a decade to reduce our carbon emissions before we reach a tipping point when we lose control. Too many of the ecosystems that support life will start to collapse. This is not a rehearsal! This is a locomotive heading right at us. Help! Please help me and all the Indigenous Water Protectors and their supporters to stop this. It’s every bit as dangerous as the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline going through Standing Rock. On his way out, as a lame duck president, Trump greenlighted a number of these pipelines, illegally, without properly considering Treaty rights, environmental justice and climate impacts. Hope is not lost. President Biden can stop these risky pipelines by reversing all of Trump’s water crossing permits granted by the Army Corps. Trump did not follow a process based on science. Line 3 is at a critical moment as I type this message to you so we need to all help now. Enbridge says they negotiated successfully with Indigenous communities. Oh yeah? Then how come 3 Tribes in Minnesota are suing them to stop the pipeline? Not only is this exactly what climate scientists are warning us must absolutely not happen but it’s ignoring Anishinaabe and Ojibwe Treaty rights, and endangering the tribes wild rice crop as well as their water, some of the only remaining clean, drinkable water in North America. The pipeline would pass beneath 200 bodies of water including the headwaters of the Mississippi. Tar sands is heavy and when it sinks it’s very hard to clean up. Wild Rice is central to the culture and history of the Indigenous Peoples of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It’s the only place it grows in the world apart from an area in Canada. This unique rice is also central to their food supply. Running huge pipelines under these lakes of rice is damaging in and of itself, even without leaks. But Enbridge’s pipelines tend to leak. From 1996 until only 2014 they’ve had over 1000 leaks approaching 1 billion gallons of oil! I know this is long and intense but there are 2 more things I need to say: 1. Enbridge was required by the state of Minnesota to put large sums of money into a special Trust that is meant to cover law enforcement costs related to the pipeline. But what’s happened as a result, is that local sheriffs’ departments are billing the trust for every minute they spend harassing and arresting water protectors. This flow of money has incentivized the police to crackdown on peaceful opponents of the pipeline and bill for it. One woman I spoke with was strip searched while a male cop watched through a crack in the door. Some I spoke with have been put in a cage. Others are crammed into cells, without sufficient protection from COVID. There are militarized drones buzzing low over protestors houses at 3am. Many have been followed by police and stopped for no reason, their identity information taken. I was followed on two separate occasions and a car in my caravan was stopped on the way to the press conference we were headed to and questioned for a long time before being released. I wondered how much extra money that officer was making from that episode. But there’s no question that local police are seeing more money than they ever have and they’re being turned into a privatized force working in the pay of a foreign corporation. This is not only a bad idea, it’s illegal and some of the best Constitutional Rights lawyers in the country at the Center for Protest Law and Litigation, are preparing litigation to challenge and end this illegal privatization of public police in what will be a pioneering lawsuit. 2. There are apparently some several 1000 workers mostly from out of state working on Line 3. The climate crisis isn’t their fault. They do some of the most dangerous jobs in industries that fueled this nation’s energy systems for the last 100 years. Along with all the coal, oil and gas workers, we need to thank them for this work and then make absolutely sure that, as the world moves on from fossil fuels because the future depends on it, the workers immediately get union or union equivalent jobs with benefits and bargaining rights. Fossil fuel stock is plummeting. 1000s of the workers are being laid off. But there are millions of jobs that desperately need doing. Not just in the green, renewable future –which aren’t unionized and that’s something that needs fixing–but our roads and dams and sewage systems and storm systems and water pipes are decaying and, as we just saw in Texas and Mississippi, our utility companies are unable to withstand extreme weather events. Oil and gas wells need to be remediated. The workers have the skills for this, and the oil companies are supposed to pay for that. Well let’s make them do it before they declare bankruptcy and leave us holding the bag. Please, let’s direct our justifiable anger at the fossil fuel company executives, never the workers. Here’s how you can help: Write a letter to President Biden to ask him to stop Line 3. https://www.stopline3.org/biden. We urge you to customize the sample letter —personal stories about why this fight is important to you are invaluable. Support the Center for Protest Law & Litigation by contributing to their work. Donations will support a funding pool to subsidize and offset legal defense of civil and human rights of persons arrested while exercising their First Amendment rights in opposition to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline AND support their work affirmatively challenging unconstitutional official and police efforts to deprive front-line activists of their fundamental First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly, free speech, community educational activities, and religious practices.
For a number of years, I organized a Disco Dancing Halloween fundraiser for CED, the California Campaign for Economic Democracy. This is the same organization that profits from “The Jane Fonda Workout” supported but this particular event in 1979 was benefitting a project within CED aimed at expanding solar energy in California. Michael Jackson attended several of these events with me. He said to me at the last one he attended, that one day he would ask me for a return favor. And in 1980 he called me and ask if he could come visit me on the set of “On Golden Pond” in New Hampshire. He stayed with me for about 10 days there. That’s when we went skinny-dipping together and he did long taped interviews with Katharine Hepburn. He had just finished “The Wiz,” his first movie and he wanted to learn all he could about film acting. I write about that experience in my memoir, My Life So Far. In this photo, The Village People, Valerie Perrine and Bruce Jenner, far left, were all shooting a film together, “Can’t Stop the Music.” I must have visited their set and persuaded them to come as a package. I had a lotta guts in those days. I especially remember Bruce Jenner at that party because he was so nice to me and asked a lot of questions about my life and my work. So much has changed. But not the need for solar energy. This throwback photo reminds me how long we have been working towards breaking our reliance on fossil fuels. Solar energy has come a long way, more and more people are seeing the economic and environmental benefits of investing in solar for their business’ and homes. Most exciting however is that in this moment we actually have the ability to drastically change our energy policy and infrastructure in a way that will benefit all people and preserve life on our planet. If that sounds like great news, well it is! One of the brilliant minds at work on remaking our energy system, Shalanda H. Baker will join me this Friday for Fire Drill Friday. I could not be more thrilled and excited to discuss her new book Revolutionizing Power: An Activists Guide to the Energy Transition. I have so many questions, but I’m especially wanting to hear about the connection between energy policy and advancing civil rights. Please join us this Friday https://www.facebook.com/firedrillfriday.
A most exciting, rewarding evening last night. Grateful to my son, Troy Garity, for filming all the important moments. Wish he’d been on stage with me, he looked so gorgeous. One of my favorite Golden Globes evenings was when I was his plus 1. He was nominated for his leading role in “Soldier’s Girl.” Grateful to all my pals who did shout outs prior to the presentation. That was unexpected and I was very moved. The one thing I left out of my speech because I didn’t want it to be too long was the “My Octopus Teacher” made me fall in love with Octopii. I’ll never eat them again. Turns out they’re as smart as border collies.
Excited and looking forward to the Golden Globes Tomorrow. I am this years recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award!! It means a lot when you receive an award for your body of work. Hard to believe and very grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I hope you’ll watch …while wearing your most comfy Jane Fonda sweats. The HFPA pre-and during-awards dinner is the most fun of all the awards shows. This is what raises their money for their philanthropy. $44 million they’ve given away for film restoration and protection of investigative journalists. Sorry there won’t be a dinner this year. I’ve gotten to know HFPA’s Chair Meher Tatna and President Ali Sar when we’ve worked together on the restoration of important and classic films. Be sure to follow my socials tomorrow because we’re going to do some fun stuff behind the scenes.
I got to know Larry because I was married to Ted. We spent many fun hours with Larry. I especially liked it when he’d visit us on one of Ted’s ranches and be a totally out of his comfort zone, 100% the city slicker. Didn’t know the first thing about navigating mud or riding a horse. I had to practically carry him across a shallow creek once. And every time Larry visited, all the critters would come out, like they’d been waiting to freak him out. Once a bald eagle carrying a large jack rabbit flew so low over Larry’s head he could see the whites of the terrified rabbit’s eyes. Once a black bear came around the corner not far from where Larry was standing. It took awhile for Ted to calm Larry down after that but he also loved these encounters because they were great storytelling material when he got back to his city life. On his last visit he agreed to get on a horse but only if Ted walked alongside him, leading the horse. He had us take loads of pictures cause he needed proof he’d actually done it. One of my favorite memories was the time Ted was driving us to a spot where we were going to have a picnic. But Ted, as was his wont, got lost. (It was a 300,000 acre ranch so getting lost wasn’t hard..) You know how, when you get really hungry all you want to talk about is food? Well, it was almost two hours that we’d been driving around looking for the spot where staff had set up the picnic under a giant cottonwood tree and we starting talking about what each of us would want for our last supper. Larry’s choice for his final meal was crisp calves liver, bacon and sautéed onions with mashed potatoes. I found it an odd choice and it was certainly forbidden food for Larry who’d suffered several heart attacks. Maybe that’s why he chose it. I will miss Larry King. RIP dear friend.
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