M*A*S*H and S*E*X
I have been known to watch four or five episodes of M*A*S*H in a single day. My addiction began when Kate was first born and I entered that late-night Twilight Zone populated by infomercials, fifth-string FM hosts and re-runs. Nearly 30 years later, young Alan Alda is still my hero, and it’s rare to catch an episode I haven’t seen a dozen times.
Some of the messaging seems a bit forced, but considering the first shows were written in the immediate afterwake of the Vietnam conflict, it’s understandable. Other themes are perennial–including the one I watched yesterday.
Col. Henry Blake is delivering the mandatory lecture on STDs to a crowd needing information (hello, Radar O’Reilly, Ottumwa’s most famous fictitious resident) and those intent on contributing to the chaos (everyone else). The delivery of the content brought two incidents immediately to mind.
The first was from a chemistry lecture at Seymour Community High School in early 1968. The revered Gene Casady overheard a side conversation in which one class member commented to another that STD-G was alive and not so well in Centerville. Whereupon our small class received an impromptu “what DO you know and what you NEED to know” sidebar session. Casady could have cared less that the topic was more biology than chemistry. It was the only time in all my formal education that human S*E*X was discussed–a fact I find amazing, given the preponderance of evidence that it occurs.
The other happened yesterday in Michigan, when Rep. Lisa Brown was barred from speaking because she used the anatomically correct word to Voice her Vehement opposition to legislation on which she had a Valid opinion. Shortly, thereafter, one of her female colleagues was silenced for using the word vasectomy.
Oh, those pesky “V” words.
Where are the straight-talk, grow-up Gene Casadys of the world when we need them?