Anyone under 40 will not remember, and certainly find no modern relevance in Radar O’Reilly, played by Gary Burghoff in the M.A.S.H. TV series, 1972-1983. He was a 20-something corporal in an Army surgical hospital unit in the Korean War. It was a comedy.
Everyone else in the camp was older than Radar, who was straight off the farm in Iowa, a true innocent.
A comedy that hasn’t weathered all that well with age, MASH re-runs are still available on some cable networks, and YouTube, but after 35 years, Radar is the only character that has maintained his meaning in world that has otherwise passed that kind of story-telling by.
It was Radar who coined the term “adultery” to refer to mature people, grown up’s, who probably in his world, were still in their 30s’, such as the surgeons and an old crusty camp commander who appeared to be over 60. He looked up to them and learned from them. People had to grow more quickly in those days, and can still be found among the military veteran community, which is why we should treat them better and listen to them more intently.
So, I wonder if Radar’s adult-equation would work out so well today?
You see, JFK had only been dead 7 years when the film version of MASH debuted. And JFK, the president of the United States, had been only 46 when he was shot, and 43 when he was elected.
A decorated war hero, Lieutenant Kennedy commanded several PT-boats in the Pacific War, having one sunk from under him. He was 26 at the time. So no one thought he was a kid when he was elected in 196o. He was only young.
Oh, he did have his kid moments, only I’m not talking about his appetite for pretty girls, but in his first meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna in May, 1961, just four months after his inauguration and just only turned 44. JFK got a back-handed welcome to the realities of the Cold War when he received an unexpected slap down from Nikita. Historians debate the outcome of those talks…Bay of Pigs, the Berlin Question (bet you didn’t even know there was one), the U-2 incident, and Laos-Indochina….but in a private meeting much like the recent Trump-Putin discussion, Khrushchev apparently laid down the law in very stark terms to JFK (we call it a “reality check’ today), and though never made public, it was reported long after he died that JFK’s legs buckled and he had to be helped to his car.
In less than two hours John Kennedy had that arrogant, privileged Harvard air of self-confidence slapped right out of his mouth. But unlike today, he dusted himself off and within 2 years would have the USSR remove its missiles from Cuba.
These were the kinds of people Radar looked up to in 1972.
Recently, a CNN White House reporter, Kaitlin Collins (26) was denied admission to a White House event, and apparently based on the fact that she continued to bellow out questions (there’s a tape) and refused to leave the White House room they had been admitted to, after the president departed, and the press corps had been asked to leave. I can’t say who led this display of bad manners, but Kaitlin’s voice can be picked out above the others.
After being refused entry to the next event, rather than do what mature people do when having had their hat handed to them, she found a camera, and said she had been “banned”, prompting Bill Shine (55), assistant communications director to meet with press at the White House and say “No” she was not banned, asking that she accuse them out loud they had ever used that word, “ban”
Personally, when kids act up, I’m in favor of using terms like “Time Out”, “Go to your room”, at the very least to publically acknowledge just who they are, younger people acting like spoiled children. It’s supposed to be a part of training children.
The media reaction was predictable, circling the wagons when one of their own appears to be under assault. If a female, as in this case, the sisterhood also gets riled up, so Fox News joined in. Molly Hemingway (44, same age as JFK at Vienna, and my youngest son today) offered this tip-toe response,
The White House should not ban a reporter for asking questions they don’t like. It would also be good for the media to reflect on the healthiness of their move from generally biased reporting to outright propaganda and
#Resistance. There are many ways to threaten 1st Amendment.
…which simply overlooks the whole issue of immaturity, (lack of adultery) and lack of experience, and resulting lack of any standard of good manners, which we’ve seen all around us now for many years.
True, working for CNN, it could be in Miss Kaitin’s job description to be an obnoxious little pest, for it does seem the #Resistance media wants to capture that demographic-which-shouldn’t-be-a-legitimate-demographic. We’ve seen some prominent, (Red Sate and National Review) and even iconic news groups (Time, Newsweek) take major nosedives with adult readers, just in order to cater to those people. True, I’m only guessing the ages of many of their writers, but from the language, and the total absence of historical context, I have to believe, in another time, they would still be interns, and working at some car-wash part time to make ends meet until they’s earned their spurs. This is no way to run a media organization if you want to move into the next generation, which, I’m already told by reliable sources who interact with them daily, want nothing to do with the worldview and values of spoiled millennials. This may not be a good business model…for unless they grow up, the millennials will be disrespected and by-passed by the generation(s) coming behind them.
I think this lies at the root of the problem, not spoiled, ill-mannered children, but the difficulty the grown-ups today have in teaching them when all the proven methods have been shelved.
It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.
Oh, I’m three years younger than Radar O’Reilly.