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MASH
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

As the people who created and written the last episode of MASH said, this just wasn’t a comedy. And as funny as the rest of its episodes. But MASH was never a pure comedy to begin with. It was a show about the Korean War and America’s involvement in it. And handled a lot of life and death serious issues, but did it with a lighter touch. And as character Captain Trapper McIntire put it played by Wayne Rogers who was joking around in surgery one day as he was operating on someone and his nurse said, “do you always have joke around while you’re performing surgery?” The Captain said, “yes, because it his what keeps me sane around all of this insanity and death that is this war”. That is what MASH was about. Humans trying to do their best under horrible traumatic conditions.

Humor, is a form of communication. And a way a lot of people, funny people, or people with good sense of humors at least, use to express how they’re feeling. And it can come out at anytime and be used appropriately and inappropriately. MASH, didn’t use humor to make the Korean War look any lighter and less serious than it was. But to show how horrible and crazy of a situation that a lot of America’s Army personal had to work under as part of their service in that war. I think I would go crazy if I had to work under those conditions with a complete straight face all the time. I think I would have a better shot at keeping my sanity in solitary confinement for ten straight years. Than to try to save lives while people are being killed around me and innocent people are being killed.

This last episode was about the last days of the Korean War. A peace agreement between America and the Communist North was being worked out. And the personal at this MASH unit were waiting for the word and being told that they can go home. And how people who’ve spent a year or two-years or perhaps the whole damn war together, how they would say goodbye to each other. And get ahold of each other when they’re back in the states. This episode wasn’t a pure comedy, but again MASH never was. But what it was, was a realistic look at how Army personal enlisted and draftees perform at an Army medical hospital during the middle of a war. Trying to save as many lives as they possibly can while so many people around them are being killed in battle. And they did a hell of a job.

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MASH
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

I’ve been asked a lot in my lifetime all thirty-eight years of it by people who know me, but perhaps not very well, people who I’m friendly with. “How do you describe your sense of humor”? Because if I’m friendly with you and we get along and open up with each other, my humor will come out of lot because it is a big form of communication for me. Because I use it to basically let people know how I’m doing and how I’m feeling.

I have a real good friend who I met in high school over twenty years ago. (Damn that makes me feel old!) Who gets the same question, actually her sister asked him that the same question. Actually she asked us together one night when we were hanging out together. And I’m going to give you the same answer as I gave her and my buddy feels the same way. Because we essentially have the same sense of humor. Actually he stole mine, and I’m borrowing someone else’s, but anyway. We both have a low-tolerance for stupidity, stupid questions or people acting stupid. And we use our spontaneous sense of humor to let people know what we think of that.

I posted the video of M*A*S*H in this blog because that show had the same sense of humor. Looking for funny moments in life wherever possible and doing it in the worst circumstances possible. Thousands of miles away from home in a land they perhaps never heard of before the Korean War. And having to try to save as many lives as possible in the heart of this war. When they could’ve been killed at any time, but using that humor to keep their sanity. And joy for life as much as possible as so many people around them lost their lives.

What makes M*A*S*H the best sitcom of all time is the writing and this style of humor. And Alan Alda who in many ways was playing himself when he was playing Captain Dr. Benjamin Hawkeye Pierce the Chief Surgeon of this 4077 M*A*S*H Unit. Unlike a lot of the sitcoms of today that are cookie cutter and use each other’s material. Or lines they picked up from the last hit movie comedy or latest hit comedian. M*A*S*H used their own lines that hadn’t been written before or only heard by very few people. And the humor was based around finding the funniest and stupidest things in a horrible situation. To keep their joy of life alive.

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