Wouldn’t it Be Nice?

Published: September 24, 2021

By Jim Lichtman
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At Kent State University in Ohio the National Guard confronts protestors, after an ROTC building was set on fire. The National Guard opened fire on the students killing four and wounding eight.

This’ll be short but relevant, nonetheless.

The country is mired in the deepest depression of spirit not seen in decades. So divided and rage-filled that it has spilled onto passenger flights from one end of the country to the other.

We are a most imperfect union.

The ’70s marked another time of anger and division: the Vietnam War, anti-war protests, hate crimes.

Last night, I decided to turn off the news and revisit my past.

In 1970, I was a student at the University of Southern California studying film and philosophy, (guess which one worked out for me?). Five hundred of us were invited to see a new war film. We never heard of the director and the title was incomprehensible. But from the moment the first lyrics played over two Army helicopters carrying wounded soldiers, the laughs were so loud and sustained that I easily missed forty percent of the dialog.

M*A*S*H followed the zany antics of combat surgeons and nurses. For 116 minutes, I followed Hawkeye, Trapper, Hot Lips, Radar and Dish, “as they cut and stitched their way along the front lines. Operating as bombs and bullets burst around them. Snatching laughs and loves between amputations and penicillin.”

Only two shots were fired and both by a referee during a football game. Strange for a war movie.

All the characters had conflicts: Military starched Hot Lips fought Hawkeye and Trapper; Trapper and Hawkeye couldn’t tolerate uptight, Bible-thumping Frank Burns, and everyone in the camp was ecstatic when they listened, over a loud speaker as Hot Lips and Burns loudly share a cot. However, despite the bluster and bickering, they all came together to save the lives of the frontline soldiers in Korea.

I know I’m asking the near impossible, but . . . wouldn’t it be nice to follow our boys (and one lady) McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi, McCarthy, and Biden as they cut and stitch the country back together, again–snatching laughs and gaffes as they work together? Wouldn’t it be nice if they demonstrated a little respect for each other and the people they purport to represent?

Wouldn’t that be a nice change?


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