Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And they probably don't like Jane Fonda movies either

Perhaps you don't remember - I honestly don't remember parts of it - but when large segments of the U.S. population opposed the Vietnam War, some assumed that the opponents were members of the Communist Party. "Hanoi" Jane Fonda, Walter Cronkite, and so forth - you name them, they were all part of Communist Party cells.

So you would assume that after Vietnam fell, all of these so-called Communists would be greeted with warm welcomes by the Vietnamese government. Or, alternatively, the Vietnamese government would have laughed at the stupid Americans that supported them.

Would anyone have considered that the Vietnamese reaction would be - total indifference?

Take Bob Dylan, considered by many as the voice of a generation until Bruce Springsteen and Doug Fieger came along. You would think that he would be a hit in Vietnam. Not exactly:

Days after his historic and headline-generating concert debut in mainland China, Bob Dylan played his first performance in Vietnam on Sunday night, eliciting criticism but drawing only moderate crowds....

Appearing in a performance space that could hold about 8,000 people, Mr. Dylan played to a crowd only half that size...

The New York Times and its source articles identified two possible reasons for the tepid reaction. First, the ticket prices were higher than the average Vietnamese monthly salary. Second, most people in Vietnam don't know who the heck Bob Dylan is, since half of the Vietnamese population is, in the words of the popular phrase, "over 30."

And many people, including Human Rights Watch, Maureen Dowd, and others objected to the fact that the Vietnamese government had approval over Dylan's set list - something that hasn't happened since Ed Sullivan modified Rolling Stones lyrics many decades ago.

I guess Ed Sullivan was a commie too.
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