History Headscratchers / MASH

12th Apr '18 5:36:12 PM MagBas
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* Were we really meant to feel sympathetic during Margaret Houlihan's whole 'lousy cup of coffee' rant? Each season she mistreated her nurses, went out of her way to make things difficult for others. At the very least her rant seemed like a very left field thing, at the very most it seemed like a very thin justification for basically stomping all over the people she was supposed to be responsible for.
** She never really mistreated her nurses. Not in the way that Burns, for example, mistreated his subordinates. She was just very Rules and Regulations, and she resented the fact that she was vilified because of it. Moreover, CharacterizationMarchesOn: the Houlihan of later seasons is a very different person from the Houlihan of earlier seasons.
*** But until that episode there never was any indication that she would say yes if they offered as before then Houlihan was shown to be ''very'' conscious of rank and tried not to associate with the enlisted men if she didn't have to. The nurses' actions ''are'' largely justified as her character didn't start to ''really'' soften until after this episode.
*** The nurses were officers, not enlisted.
*** And if you look at the early seasons she was willing to drop the hammer heavily on her nurses if they so much as sneezed. In one episode she said that unless Blake dropped the hammer she was going to go over his head, at which point he responded that she had gone over his head so many times that he had boot marks on his forehead. Not to mention that she pretty much ignored rules and regs when they applied to her and Frank's relationship. Her complaint that the nurses had treated her badly is like a schoolyard bully complaining that no one wants to play with them.
*** Again, CharacterizationMarchesOn. We can assume that her worst actions in the earlier seasons had been {{Ret Con}}ned out of existence by that point.
*** Moreover, by this point in the series Houlihan had broken up with Frank and was engaged to Penobscot. That's as good a time as any to re-evaluate how people look at you.
*** I think that Frank and Margaret were mutually bad influences on each other. Frank's view of class and the proper order of things made Margaret distant with her nurses (and everyone else), while Margaret's army background and what she wanted in a man made Frank army-obsessed and somewhat violent. Once Margaret started seeing Donald, Frank became a lot less obsessed with army rules, and a lot more snarky and desperate for attention. When Margaret married Donald, Frank went round the bend, but didn't revert to his army obsession. After the marriage, Margaret was able to start to progress as a character, and became more willing to socialize and mingle with those "under" her. The episode in question was just part of that process of growth - indeed, once she married Donald, I think she'd have been open to the offer of a "lousy cup of coffee", if asked in the right context.
*** She did. In a later episode, she comes into Rosie's Bar, finding two of her nurses (and half the rest of the camp) drinking in there.
-->'''Margaret''': Why didn't you two invite me?
-->'''Kellye''': We didn't think you'd accept.
-->'''Margaret''': Well that's gonna cost you both a drink!
** Still though, in her rant she complains about her nurses cooking in the tent and using hydrogen peroxide to bleach their hair, both things she has been seen doing on screen on multiple occasions.
** I kind of got the feeling that most of her mistreatment of the nurses stemmed from Frank. Like Frank would ask for an instrument in surgery, and on being handed it, berate the nurse for giving it to him instead of what he should have asked for. Then the nurse would roll her eyes or something and Margaret would punish her.



* Why is Hawkeye portrayed to be so sympathetic? He is basically a creep. I remember when he had to give Margaret a shot, and somehow lusting over her ass and humiliating her was okay. He is also condescending and cruel. He basically tortured a severely mentally ill man (Frank). Why didn't he make the completely reasonable recommendation that Frank was unstable and should be sent home, instead?
** That always bugged me, too. If he liked you, he was very loyal to you. If he didn't like you, look out! There was also a time where he drugged Frank, bandaged him up, and hid him in the OR just so he could have a party.
*** It wasn't about whether Hawkeye "liked you," though. His stunts often crossed a line, but the people he targeted were nearly always ones he perceived as bullies, either standing in the way of some planned altruism, or actually putting others in danger, eg., getting their men killed just to boost their own glory and status. The "party" you mention, for example, was raising money for Ho-Jon's schooling, and Frank wanted to stop to what he saw as an immoral and frivolous breach of protocol. (Frank didn't know [[spoiler:Hawkeye had plotted to make sure ''Father Mulcahy'' won the raffle for the weekend with Lt. Dish, so that she could help the cause without compromising her fidelity.]]) Yes, it was still an over-the-top way to sideline Frank, but it was certainly not "just so he could have a party."
** I would hardly call Frank "severely mentally ill." He was an ass-kissing bully with a superiority complex who whined when he couldn't have his way. Look at some of the things he did over the course of the show: he had no problem with Hawkeye being '''executed''' because he was a failure as a commanding officer and couldn't admit it; he had the entire camp searched because he refused to believe the men would gamble after he outlawed it; he tried to smuggle a priceless antique out of Korea; he violated military law by having an affair with Margaret; he demonstrated outright racism against blacks, Asians, and Jews; he admitted having an affair with his secretary at home; he had no issue with Radar being court martialed so he could keep the fancy gun he stole; lies to get two Purple Hearts; tried to get Henry court martialed for giving aid to Korean orphans; and certainly many other.
*** His only mental illness came after Margaret's marriage and his inability to get what he wanted again.

** 1) In that episode where he gave Margaret a shot, they ended up talking about respect and he said how fantastic she really was. 2) Remember a little episode called "The Novocaine Mutiny"? Because his command was challenged, Frank was willing to see him killed "or [[FateWorseThanDeath worse]]". 3) Oh, I don't know, getting steadily crazier until he was in a mental hospital at the start of the finale tends to make a guy [[JerkassWoobie sympathetic]].
*** So talking about respect makes it okay to be totally unprofessional and lurid? Of course Frank was horrible in doing that, but does that excuse Hawkeye, magically of everything he has done to him in the past? Is Hawkeye somehow psychic and gets revenge on a future event? The guy was crazy, he SHOULDN'T have been there in the first place. Instead of adding to the stress of an unstable man he should have done everything he could to get him sent home. And in that episode as far as I can remember, Frank showed many signs of "not being all there in the head. I'm not saying Frank was nice or even a good person but since when does that excuse torturing someone? Should you only treat the people whose moral code corresponds with yours with respect(or simply respect enough not to physically assault them)?
*** I have to agree with this somewhat. The only reason Hawkeye said anything about respect was to fool Margaret into pulling her pants down. As soon as she gets her butt cheeks hanging out, Hawkeye says something like lurid and offensive. His moral code of professionalism only extended to those he liked. Frank was no saint. Hawkeye was a serious jerkass. Both of them were completely bonkers. In that episode, Frank tried to get Hawkeye convicted of mutiny, which has a death sentence as a possible outcome. Somehow, they can still work together afterward and continue to be roommates.
*** Hawkeye got lurid and offensive ''after'' her pants were down. Then she yells at him and the respect thing comes up, and he acknowledges it and suggests she try it on her mother-in-law-to-be. Then he says, "You want to do me?" because he's allergic to seriousness.
** Simple. At the start of the show, Hawkeye was an UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist[=/=]JerkWithAHeartOfGold type of character. He always expressed the writers' anti-war viewpoint, but early episodes don't really try to portray him as a great human being. Then he started to turn into Alan Alda and act like he was some sort of moral paragon. But his skirt-chasing, martini-drinking, Frank-abusing shticks lingered ([[ComedicSociopathy where else would the comedy come from?]]), so for much of the show he was essentially a self-righteous hypocrite. Not the writers' intent, of course, but you can see how it happened.
** I'm not sure if he's meant to be a [[AntiHero hero]].
*** Seconded. Closer to AntiHero, definitely. And not so much "creep" as ChivalrousPervert. :) I'd argue Hawkeye manages to stay a sympathetic character because, as deeply flawed as he is, (and ain't he just), he remains at heart compassionate, warm, giving, honest, idealistic, and loyal. His first priority at all times is the welfare of his patients, and he won't hesitate to risk his life trying to save them. He longs to make the world better, and keeps trying even though it's hopeless; when he sees an injustice, he'll go to any lengths, (including some pretty absurd ones!), trying to set it right -- and quixotry in a war zone is no small feat. He ''cares'' too deeply for his own good, even though [[StepfordSnarker he usually]] [[SadClown hides that]] [[DeadpanSnarker in snark]]. And he hates the horrors of war so desperately, it eventually [[BrokenAce breaks him]]. Yes, he can also be a real ass, and irritatingly self-righteous, and seriously pervy. But if those (rather glaring) flaws were the core of his character, he'd never have the respect of people like Potter and Father Mulcahy, and eventually Margaret -- who see past the Snarky Casanova exterior, to the good and selfless, thoughtful man underneath.
*** Also, the respect talk came ''after'' giving Margaret the shot.


** Could be a form of FridgeBrilliance, since the show was set in TheFifties, when even your more liberal types would have less enlightened attitudes towards women ("girls" well into their 30s) and the concept of sexual harassment barely existed.
*** The show was set in TheFifties and filmed in TheSeventies, when sexual harassment was only just starting to emerge on the public radar screen. ValuesDissonance for a modern viewer; crude humor at worst for a contemporary viewer.
*** On the whole "butt" thing: 1) as mentioned, sexual harassment as a concept is NewerThanTheyThink. 2) Hawkeye ''may'' have been trying to be genuinely complimentary, in his typical brash and silly way. 3) By the standards of the setting of the show, Hawkeye in general was ludicrously liberal. 4) By the standards of the time it was shot, he was fairly in line with the prevailing ideas that non-white, non-male, non-Christian people were people too. 5) At the risk of invoking the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement, is it really all ''that'' bad for him to rib Margaret a little over dropping trou, when we ''know'' he would have done the exact same thing with a male (perhaps, but only perhaps, minus innuendo)? [[UnfortunateImplications He's snarky and irreverent to everyone, but he should stop because Margaret is a woman?]]
** I always thought that both Frank and Hawkeye were playing fast and loose with sanity and decency, playing into the whole WarIsHell theme of the show. It's just Hawkeye didn't let it interfere with his work or being able to associate with people, unlike Burns, who was so hypocritically focused on proper values and the social order that it affected his surgical skills and isolated him in the camp.



* Knowing that both the movie and the television program were allegories about America in Vietnam, why didn't the writers even bother to TRY being somewhat historically accurate in its portrayal? The racial, gender, and sexual values presented in the show weren't even commonplace when the show ''aired'' in the 1970's, much less 20+ years earlier.
** The writers/cast probably [[OpinionMyopia thought their views were more widely held than they actually were]].
** More likely the writers wanted their viewpoints to be widespread. The show is a vehicle to do just that. A show originally at night is now TV-G and reruns air in the afternoon. The reason a TV program is called a program is because it is just that; PROGRAMMING. It is programming your brain with the what you are being presented. Your guard is down with no time to critical think or debate. the sounds the music and emotions all play upon your psyche. Over time the decades roll by and you look back and realize the society has been transformed as commonplace into what was originally in 1950 abhorred.
** When you watch the show now, it doesn't look like a period piece for the setting in the 1950s. It looks like it's taking place in the 1970s.
** See the post above regarding the similarities between Korea and Vietnam as wars.




* It bugs me how the ''good'' characters must be opposed to the war. Even Colonel Potter starts to act this way. By Season 7, he's even allowing Hawkeye to openly sabotage the war:
** In one episode, he steals a Jeep, drives to Panmunjom, berates the peace delegates, then drives back to the camp. Potter not only lets this slide, but approves of the stunt. When a major comes to confront Hawkeye about his actions, the major tells him the general said to stay at least 20 miles away from Panmunjom, but he relays the message that if the general could get away with it, he'd do the same thing.
*** In RealLife, anybody at all who tried that on would have been lucky to spend the rest of his life in Leavenworth.
*** Granting it could absolutely ''never'' have happened in RealLife, Hawkeye wasn't "sabotaging the war" at the peace talks. He was venting frustrations, yes, that the talks were still dragging on and on, making zero progress, talking and talking while more men died -- but in doing so he was essentially begging them to ''do'' their jobs: make peace. And he got away with only a warning because his frustration was shared by nearly everyone, up to and including the gastritic General Tomlin.
** In the episode where Hawkeye wins a Howitzer in a poker game. Potter tells him he has to move it out of the camp. Hawkeye says it's his and he's going to find something to do with it. After Potter tells Hawkeye he's found an artillery unit that will take it, Potter lets Hawkeye do what he wants with it (sabotage it), which still doesn't get it out of the camp. And this is portrayed as being okay and the right thing to do.
*** Kind of supports the communist sympathizer theory. The howitzer can no longer be used to kill communist soldiers, yet still puts American lives at risk by being in a non-combat unit.
*** He just doesn't like weapons in general, which, HELLO, are used to hurt the people that Hawkeye has to then operate on.
*** I think the idea was that they were going to get it out of the camp then, they just wanted to make sure it was useless before dumping it wherever.
** In ''Five O'Clock Charlie'', Hawkeye sabotages Frank's attempts to shoot down an enemy plane bombing their camp, replaces Frank's gun with various items which could potentially get him killed, and decides to destroy a nearby munitions dump, using rather vital supplies - dozens of bedsheets and gallons of antibiotics - in the process, with little regard to what that lost ammunition would mean to US troops in the sector.
*** The visiting general mentions that the munitions dump is ''barely'' legal under international law, and that it was put there to keep the ammo safe from being attacked, since the hospital is a non-target. Since it was getting the hospital attacked (legitimately, since the ammo dump stripped the hospital of its non-combatant status), Hawkeye took steps to protect the patients. Also, Charlie wasn't an enemy plane; he was a civilian vigilante who was targeting only the munitions, but kept hitting the camp instead.
*** Actually, the legality of the munitions dump never comes up (''nobody'' says it's barely legal), and it was put there because placing it near a non-combatant base would mean it could not be bombed without also bombing a protected unit under the Geneva Conventions, since it was only ''adjacent'' to the camp and in no way actually connected to the camp, not unlike the minefield that was periodically located almost on top of the camp. Charlie's status is also not never mentioned, but a civilian attacking an enemy military unit would constitute a guerilla, and therefore a legal enemy combatant. The camp's executive officer personally commanding an AA gun is an exaggeration, but it would have been perfectly legal for an independent squad to man a gun near the camp without stripping the camp of its non-combatant status, much like when a British platoon is put on patrol to flush out a sniper, and later (in that episode) an unmanned tank is placed in the compound to scare away the sniper (or in that vein, in the finale, when a tank is driven in by a wounded tanker, and draws enemy fire despite not being used - think the weapons check for a comparison), yet neither changes the camp's status.\\
\\
Also, Charlie's plane has Communist markings, something a civilian plane would decidedly '''not''' have. And judging by the quality of equipment and pilot, that target was very low on the DPRK target priority list.
*** Another thing. Allied medics stopped painting the Red Cross on their helmets by 1951 because North Korean snipers used them to aim.
*** Putting Frank in danger by replacing his gun with gag items? Give me a break. That idiot didn't need a gun and really ought not to have one, especially considering he shot BJ once by accident. He also shot himself with a stolen gun. And shot out a light accidentally. And brought a gun along to meet the Chinese when the entire deal rested on the agreement that they would not have guns. Not to mention, in that very episode, how did Frank discover his gun had been replaced by various items? Every time, he noticed when he pulled whatever was in his holster out ''and started waving it around like the moron he was.'' The first time, he apparently realized he was holding a water gun only when he pulled the trigger. Does anyone want to argue that Frank should at any time have been trusted with a firearm?
** Well, Potter's been through three wars, so I doubt he's crazy about it at that point. This being a show about a hospital that sees only the human cost of the war, it's no surprise that everyone would be sick of seeing the human suffering.
*** This quote from "Pressure Points" makes his case better than anything else could:
--->'''Potter''': Now you tell me this — if people can invent new and better ways of killing each other, why can't someone invent a way to end this... ''stupid war?!''
** Charlie's plane wasn't even a combat plane -- he just tossed the bombs out of the cockpit by hand and hoped for the best. Not to mention his strange tic of attacking exactly once, at the same time every day, which suggests he wasn't a proper soldier.
** Some situations that could have provided discussion about the need to go to war: Harry Truman takes the time to answer Hawkeye's letter; Potter, who knew Truman as a young man, acts as an interpreter of Truman's/America's policy; a UN official comes through and explains "why we fight"; Father Mulcahey explains the Catholic doctrine of a just war; a North Korean refugee or prisoner from the North or China says something about life on the other side of the line; clarify the nature of the fight by having the pilot of a Soviet built MiG brought in for treatment. They could have done all of these if they had only devoted 5 minutes a year to the other side of the argument.



* The Korean War is actually pretty well justified from the American and South Korean point of view. North Korea started the war and, if the U.S. and U.N. hadn't stepped in, the entire Korean peninsula would be ruled by the Kim dynasty today. Consider what a sickening totalitarian police state North Korea is. Standing around in South Korea in 1950 and saying we shouldn't be fighting the North Koreans because war is bad is like standing around in the U.K. in 1940 and saying we shouldn't be fighting the Nazis because war is bad. Yes, I [[GodwinsLaw went there]], but just ''look at what North Korea is like''.
** ''Series/{{MASH}}'' was set in Korea, but wasn't ''about'' Korea ([[Film/{{MASH}} the movie]] didn't even specify where it was taking place; ExecutiveMeddling forced an opening text crawl).
** For that matter, the movie doesn't seem to have a message other than "war is bad because people get hurt".
*** Did the series really have much more of a message than that? Based on the show, you'd think the Korean War was started by American racists waking up one morning and deciding they'd like to kill "gooks".
*** In all honesty, that sums up the series perfectly.
** Already posted above, but here's a perspective: Korea was much then what Vietnam would later be. The country was split in half, one communist, one capitalist. Your choice as county ringleaders were Kim Il-Sung (needs no introduction), and Syngman Rhee, who acted much like his northern counterpart did—a dictator in what was supposed to be a democratic republic, was a big fan of cronyism, and so on. True, North Korea shot first, and UN intervention was justified. However, once [=MacArthur=] decided to push further north and worry the Chinese enough into coming into the war, the whole state of the war changed. The North Korean armed forces were smashed when the UN forces landed at Inchon and pushed north; the Chinese were the majority combatants in that war after 1951. It turned into a proxy war informed by Cold War tensions (anyone remember the Soviet Union shipping MiG pilots to Korea on the down-low?), and the next two years came to be characterized by the stalemates and needless lives lost that the show's characters complained about. Neither side of Korea endeared itself well, in retrospect; those roving forced conscription gangs in South Korea weren't just in the imaginations of the writers, and although North Korea hadn't quite slipped to the level of memetic insanity we know them so well for yet, there were on the way.[softreturn][softreturn]It wasn't so much that the war was bad, but what it was supposed to accomplish (drive back North Korean aggression across the 38th parallel) took too long and cost too many lives than it should have. Vietnam's big difference was that it was being broadcast daily and unfiltered into American homes in the middle of a huge social revolution, and was subject to even more management issues than Korea; those Movietone newsreels like one sees in "Deluge" were how most Americans saw the Korean War. And sadly, war also brings racism and cultural clashes/mismatches to the forefront, whether it's gross mistreatment of mixed-race babies by native Koreans or Americans loaded down with blood fever for "gooks" and taking advantage of their war-torn circumstances. And in the end, the armistice talks only settled on slightly adjusting some border lines, setting up a DMZ, and that's it. Much like WWI, if the last few minutes and hours of an war are spent firing even more artillery and dropping more bombs before you can't anymore, something went wrong. And from a legal/diplomatic standpoint, no proper peace treaty was drawn-up, just a cease-fire. The Koreas are still at war; they just haven't bothered firing since. Not a nice state for neighbors to be in.[softreturn][softreturn]If anything, M*A*S*H doesn't try and make a cultural comment about the Vietnam War so much as it reminds us that WarIsHell and many things in war remain constant, no matter which one. And when a war costs thousands of lives from many nations and lays waste to a whole countryside just for ''status quo ante bellum'', it's natural to be pissed about it. Especially if you're in a position to see those lives end or be irrevocably damaged in front of you, despite your best efforts to fix them year after year. The idea that it was merely a portent of things to come in Southeast Asia is hardly a surprise, as it was only a year after the Korean War ended that the french left Vietnam. Almost like a perverse passing of the torch.[softreturn][softreturn]For more on this, check out UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar.

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* The Korean War is actually pretty well justified from the American and South Korean point of view. North Korea started the war and, if the U.S. and U.N. hadn't stepped in, the entire Korean peninsula would be ruled by the Kim dynasty today. Consider what a sickening totalitarian police state North Korea is. Standing around in South Korea in 1950 and saying we shouldn't be fighting the North Koreans because war is bad is like standing around in the U.K. in 1940 and saying we shouldn't be fighting the Nazis because war is bad. Yes, I [[GodwinsLaw went there]], but just ''look at what North Korea is like''.
** ''Series/{{MASH}}'' was set in Korea, but wasn't ''about'' Korea ([[Film/{{MASH}} the movie]] didn't even specify where it was taking place; ExecutiveMeddling forced an opening text crawl).
** For that matter, the movie doesn't seem to have a message other than "war is bad because people get hurt".
*** Did the series really have much more of a message than that? Based on the show, you'd think the Korean War was started by American racists waking up one morning and deciding they'd like to kill "gooks".
*** In all honesty, that sums up the series perfectly.
** Already posted above, but here's a perspective: Korea was much then what Vietnam would later be. The country was split in half, one communist, one capitalist. Your choice as county ringleaders were Kim Il-Sung (needs no introduction), and Syngman Rhee, who acted much like his northern counterpart did—a dictator in what was supposed to be a democratic republic, was a big fan of cronyism, and so on. True, North Korea shot first, and UN intervention was justified. However, once [=MacArthur=] decided to push further north and worry the Chinese enough into coming into the war, the whole state of the war changed. The North Korean armed forces were smashed when the UN forces landed at Inchon and pushed north; the Chinese were the majority combatants in that war after 1951. It turned into a proxy war informed by Cold War tensions (anyone remember the Soviet Union shipping MiG pilots to Korea on the down-low?), and the next two years came to be characterized by the stalemates and needless lives lost that the show's characters complained about. Neither side of Korea endeared itself well, in retrospect; those roving forced conscription gangs in South Korea weren't just in the imaginations of the writers, and although North Korea hadn't quite slipped to the level of memetic insanity we know them so well for yet, there were on the way.[softreturn][softreturn]It wasn't so much that the war was bad, but what it was supposed to accomplish (drive back North Korean aggression across the 38th parallel) took too long and cost too many lives than it should have. Vietnam's big difference was that it was being broadcast daily and unfiltered into American homes in the middle of a huge social revolution, and was subject to even more management issues than Korea; those Movietone newsreels like one sees in "Deluge" were how most Americans saw the Korean War. And sadly, war also brings racism and cultural clashes/mismatches to the forefront, whether it's gross mistreatment of mixed-race babies by native Koreans or Americans loaded down with blood fever for "gooks" and taking advantage of their war-torn circumstances. And in the end, the armistice talks only settled on slightly adjusting some border lines, setting up a DMZ, and that's it. Much like WWI, if the last few minutes and hours of an war are spent firing even more artillery and dropping more bombs before you can't anymore, something went wrong. And from a legal/diplomatic standpoint, no proper peace treaty was drawn-up, just a cease-fire. The Koreas are still at war; they just haven't bothered firing since. Not a nice state for neighbors to be in.[softreturn][softreturn]If anything, M*A*S*H doesn't try and make a cultural comment about the Vietnam War so much as it reminds us that WarIsHell and many things in war remain constant, no matter which one. And when a war costs thousands of lives from many nations and lays waste to a whole countryside just for ''status quo ante bellum'', it's natural to be pissed about it. Especially if you're in a position to see those lives end or be irrevocably damaged in front of you, despite your best efforts to fix them year after year. The idea that it was merely a portent of things to come in Southeast Asia is hardly a surprise, as it was only a year after the Korean War ended that the french left Vietnam. Almost like a perverse passing of the torch.[softreturn][softreturn]For more on this, check out UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar.
12th Apr '18 5:22:16 PM MagBas
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* From earlier on this page: "And brought a gun along to meet the Chinese when the entire deal rested on the agreement that they would not have guns." Yeah. Let's talk about that one. "Rainbow Bridge" was always a problematic episode for me as it shows the writers' (and the main characters') anti-war views crossing the line from nobility to outright idiocy. Frank and Margaret are cast as wild-eyed paranoids and jingoistic for suggesting that the Chinese may be laying a trap by requesting that the MASH personnel go unarmed, and further alleging that Hawkeye, by agreeing is walking blithely into that trap. Then, when we get to the titular bridge, guess what? ''The Chinese troops are very blatantly violating their own conditions with numerous men armed with submachine guns.'' And still, Hawkeye takes the Chinese side by demanding that Frank disarm, when it's not yet clear that they haven't just bought a ticket to a Chinese POW camp. Then, the Chinese major is allowed to make a stemwinder speech about how it's the ''United Nations' fault'' that they came armed, as if "your planes harassing us day and night" excuses hypocrisy. I'm sorry -- I'm all for the end result, saving UN troops from the misery of POW camps and the substandard care of the North Korean and Chinese militaries of the period, but this episode makes me agree completely with Frank and Margaret.
** They only demanded the Americans come unarmed; they never said they would be too.
*** Being told to come unarmed, but finding the other side is armed, is a DoubleStandard, and also strong suggestion it may be a trap after all. Also, the 4077 work under shelling near-constantly, with doctors ducking to cover their patients from dust and debris a frequent sight in the OR, which defeats the Chinese surgeon's point.\\
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Additionally, this is likely a case of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness and/or CharacterizationMarchesOn, but it was Trapper who is gung-ho about it, while Hawkeye ''agrees it could be a trap'' ("It could be a trap, Trap").
*** My point was just that the Chinese were not "violating their own conditions" or "being hypocritical". I think the person with the itchy head forgot the conversation and made some assumptions based on the Chinese being among the "bad guys".
** See the Fridge page for a discussion on this.

* Aside from the general misogyny of the show, why couldn't they ever develop a consistent female character besides Margaret? They promoted a couple characters to the main cast in the course of the show, the post had nurses so they wouldn't have to stretch the truth. Kelly was the only one who was developed even a little, and I think Zale and Igor were a bigger part of the comedy than she was.

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* From earlier on this page: "And brought a gun along to meet the Chinese when the entire deal rested on the agreement that they would not have guns." Yeah. Let's talk about that one. "Rainbow Bridge" was always a problematic episode for me as it shows the writers' (and the main characters') anti-war views crossing the line from nobility to outright idiocy. Frank and Margaret are cast as wild-eyed paranoids and jingoistic for suggesting that the Chinese may be laying a trap by requesting that the MASH personnel go unarmed, and further alleging that Hawkeye, by agreeing is walking blithely into that trap. Then, when we get to the titular bridge, guess what? ''The Chinese troops are very blatantly violating their own conditions with numerous men armed with submachine guns.'' And still, Hawkeye takes the Chinese side by demanding that Frank disarm, when it's not yet clear that they haven't just bought a ticket to a Chinese POW camp. Then, the Chinese major is allowed to make a stemwinder speech about how it's the ''United Nations' fault'' that they came armed, as if "your planes harassing us day and night" excuses hypocrisy. I'm sorry -- I'm all for the end result, saving UN troops from the misery of POW camps and the substandard care of the North Korean and Chinese militaries of the period, but this episode makes me agree completely with Frank and Margaret.
** They only demanded the Americans come unarmed; they never said they would be too.
*** Being told to come unarmed, but finding the other side is armed, is a DoubleStandard, and also strong suggestion it may be a trap after all. Also, the 4077 work under shelling near-constantly, with doctors ducking to cover their patients from dust and debris a frequent sight in the OR, which defeats the Chinese surgeon's point.\\
\\
Additionally, this is likely a case of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness and/or CharacterizationMarchesOn, but it was Trapper who is gung-ho about it, while Hawkeye ''agrees it could be a trap'' ("It could be a trap, Trap").
*** My point was just that the Chinese were not "violating their own conditions" or "being hypocritical". I think the person with the itchy head forgot the conversation and made some assumptions based on the Chinese being among the "bad guys".
** See the Fridge page for a discussion on this.

* Aside from the general misogyny of the show, why couldn't they ever develop a consistent female character besides Margaret? They promoted a couple characters to the main cast in the course of the show, the post had nurses so they wouldn't have to stretch the truth. Kelly was the only one who was developed even a little, and I think Zale and Igor were a bigger part of the comedy than she was.


12th Apr '18 2:28:26 PM bitemytail
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*** It is a comedy.

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*** It is a comedy.
12th Apr '18 2:20:39 PM CrypticMirror
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** One can argue that the opposite is true; the show gave far too much attention to women who were a complete non-factor during the Korean War. There were 336,000 male US troops in Korea; there were never more than 400 female nurses in Korea. There were 36,000 US men killed in Korea, while there was only one female Army nurse killed in the conflict - and she died in a freak, non-combat related aircraft accident. To be historically accurate, a woman should have had only about 5 seconds of screen time during the entire series. The fact that women were a very disproportionate part of the series is evidence of the liberal, man-hating, bias of Hollywood.

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** One can argue that the opposite is true; the show gave far too much attention to women who were a complete non-factor during the Korean War. There were 336,000 male US troops in Korea; there were never more than 400 female nurses in Korea. There were 36,000 US men killed in Korea, while there was only one female Army nurse killed in the conflict - and she died in a freak, non-combat related aircraft accident. To be historically accurate, a woman should have had only about 5 seconds of screen time during the entire series. The fact that women were a very disproportionate part of the series is evidence of the liberal, man-hating, bias of Hollywood.
12th Apr '18 2:15:13 PM CrypticMirror
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*** It is a comedy. Why didn't "Friends" spend more time discussing the horror of the killing of the unborn?

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*** It is a comedy. Why didn't "Friends" spend more time discussing the horror of the killing of the unborn?\n
12th Apr '18 10:35:37 AM dulac
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Added DiffLines:

*** It is a comedy. Why didn't "Friends" spend more time discussing the horror of the killing of the unborn?
12th Apr '18 10:33:41 AM dulac
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Added DiffLines:

** One can argue that the opposite is true; the show gave far too much attention to women who were a complete non-factor during the Korean War. There were 336,000 male US troops in Korea; there were never more than 400 female nurses in Korea. There were 36,000 US men killed in Korea, while there was only one female Army nurse killed in the conflict - and she died in a freak, non-combat related aircraft accident. To be historically accurate, a woman should have had only about 5 seconds of screen time during the entire series. The fact that women were a very disproportionate part of the series is evidence of the liberal, man-hating, bias of Hollywood.
9th Apr '18 7:52:49 PM DoctorBob
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** Some situations that could have provided discussion about the need to go to war: Harry Truman takes the time to answer Hawkeye's letter; Potter, who knew Truman as a young man, acts as an interpreter of Truman's/America's policy; a UN official comes through and explains "why we fight"; Father Mulcahey explains the Catholic doctrine of a just war; a North Korean refugee or prisoner from the North or China says something about life on the other side of the line;
clarify the nature of the fight by having the pilot of a Soviet built MiG brought in for treatment. They could have done all of these if they had only devoted 5 minutes a year to the other side of the argument.

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** Some situations that could have provided discussion about the need to go to war: Harry Truman takes the time to answer Hawkeye's letter; Potter, who knew Truman as a young man, acts as an interpreter of Truman's/America's policy; a UN official comes through and explains "why we fight"; Father Mulcahey explains the Catholic doctrine of a just war; a North Korean refugee or prisoner from the North or China says something about life on the other side of the line;
line; clarify the nature of the fight by having the pilot of a Soviet built MiG brought in for treatment. They could have done all of these if they had only devoted 5 minutes a year to the other side of the argument.
9th Apr '18 7:49:52 PM DoctorBob
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to:

**Some situations that could have provided discussion about the need to go to war: Harry Truman takes the time to answer Hawkeye's letter; Potter, who knew Truman as a young man, acts as an interpreter of Truman's/America's policy; a UN official comes through and explains "why we fight"; Father Mulcahey explains the Catholic doctrine of a just war; a North Korean refugee or prisoner from the North or China says something about life on the other side of the line;
clarify the nature of the fight by having the pilot of a Soviet built MiG brought in for treatment. They could have done all of these if they had only devoted 5 minutes a year to the other side of the argument.
9th Apr '18 7:25:47 PM DoctorBob
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*Aside from the general misogyny of the show, why couldn't they ever develop a consistent female character besides Margaret? They promoted a couple characters to the main cast in the course of the show, the post had nurses so they wouldn't have to stretch the truth. Kelly was the only one who was developed even a little, and I think Zale and Igor were a bigger part of the comedy than she was.
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