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A Very Interesting Observation…

30 August 2012 @ 14:47

…by Charles Coulombe, over at Taki Magazine, in the course of his obituaries of Ernest Borgnine, Phyllis Diller, William Windom, and Scott McKenzie [emphasis mine]:

Ernest Borgnine seemed to be immortal. Marty established his ethnic street cred and his ability to play big and ugly. Airwolf showcased his longevity. But it was McHale’s Navy that seared him into the minds of young boomers drinking at the TV font. He portrayed a wisecracking and clever naval officer who always got one over on the brass. Borgnine was himself a naval veteran of World War II. It always struck me how his generation relished making fun of the war that defined them. It is hard to imagine sitcoms based on Vietnam or Afghanistan rousing such merriment in their survivors, even if such shows could be produced.

I don’t think they would or could be.

The vast, vast majority of men who fought in WWII that I know and have known all seemed, at least publicly, to have a cavalier attitude towards humorous representations of the War [and much else]. I never heard a single one complain about Hogan’s Heroes or McHale’s Navy. In fact, many of them watched those shows — I know this because they would discuss episodes in my presence. It’s as if they believed: they were Americans, they were called to war, they went to war, they came home, they resumed their lives — end of story, all part of the normal way of things — oh, and we’ll have a few laughs along the way [see: Spike Jones].

In the last fifty or so years, the Left has successfully convinced Americans that war is not a normal part of life, that it is something that, gosh darn it, should never happen. History [Reality], of course, teaches a different lesson.

  1. M. Thompson permalink
    30 August 2012 @ 15:10 15:10

    Very true. Perhaps it is because of the distance between the Military man and the rest of society.

  2. Alex permalink
    30 August 2012 @ 18:14 18:14

    Makes sense; you can laugh about a war that you won.

  3. Pathfinder's wife permalink
    30 August 2012 @ 18:15 18:15

    I really don’t think people should start thinking of war as just something that happens.
    My dad was a WWII vet — 4 landings in the Pacific — and the rest of my family is pretty well acquainted; I’ll let you know what he said (after watching “What Did You Do In the War Daddy”, which just happened to be on that night): well, might as well laugh about the funny parts…better than remembering the truth, and that you don’t tell to people.”

    That’s why they didn’t mind Hogan’s Heroes and McHale’s Navy — which were well done comedy skits and a good escape — that’s why they didn’t like serious movies about the war (which my dad didn’t…freaking hated Saving Private Ryan, hated it — the landing scene got him a bit jumpy and he didn’t like that… and he never forgave John Wayne for Sands of Iwo Jima — really, really never forgave John Wayne for that).

    You seen some of the videos the troops put up on Youtube? They make fun of Iraq and Astan all the time. They do a better job than Hollywood. Back home nobody (left or right) wants to see them as human (which in some ways Hogan’s Heroes and McHale did do even though it was farce at least there was some humanity) — nowdays the troops are either mindless super soldier killing machines or glorious super soldier heroes of the great patriotic war against terrorism (but somehow still not living up to the glorious heroes of the great patriotic war against fascism).

    Civilians don’t see soldiers as humans anymore — none of them do on the left or the right.
    It isn’t them — it’s us.

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