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?


2 Responses to “M*A*S*H and S*E*X”

  1. Gene Cassidy was a faculty member having a tremendous impact (along with Stamps, Banning, Pyner, Klett etc) on Seymour High students in the 60’s!! Mostly positive if you made the effort they expected and negative if you were not living up to your potential. I still remember 50 years later when we were reviewing a chemistry test, a fellow student asked Mr. Cassidy, “why did you ask what material is used for white walls on tires. How are we going to use that? He replied, “so no one would get 100% on the test” I probably remember it only because I think I had the right answer, lead acetate. Why I still can recall the incident/answer, I have no idea. Today it seems to me, far to many teachers are encouraged/forced to be “politically correct” instead of teaching/preparing students for what awaits them in the world beyond high school. Mr. Cassidy was extremely wise, very much his own man and was not intimidated by anyone or anything. His dedication to prepare students for their future was remarkable even though his style/methods were very unusual!

  2. Hadn’t heard about that incident, but it makes me wonder if today’s kids (who are awash in the images, music, talk, and reality of S*E*X) don’t think, as my Sixties generation did, that adults are mostly hypocrites or fools!

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