Channeling Hawkeye Pierce

Perhaps you’re old enough to recall the run of the television show, M*A*S*H. If you aren’t, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen it in reruns.

Hawkeye Pierce (public domain image via wikimedia)

M*A*S*H focused on life in an Army mobile field hospital unit during the Korean War. While the setting was serious, the show was usually funny, with the occasional moments that made the point that war is a terrible thing. The central character, Captain Benjamin Franklin (Hawkeye) Pierce, was unfailingly witty. Even under the most difficult circumstance, he always had the right thing to say, and that right thing to say was always something new…except for that one line.

Hawkeye found himself helplessly caught in the crossfire of artillery on more than one occasion. Such is the nature of being a television Army Surgeon in the Korean War. Captain Pierce would soldier on, doing the best he could while the guns rumbled and the shells exploded just off-screen. The sound of the artillery barrage was such a presence in the background that it was almost like another character in the story.

Then, as the story reached its peak of tension, Hawkeye would utter the only lines I remember him repeating. He’d ask “hey, do you hear that?” The character he was addressing would say “I don’t hear anything”. “That’s what I mean, the shelling has stopped”. Not until he said that, would the audience or the other characters realize that the artillery bombardment had stopped.

(public domain image via wikimedia)

This presidential election has been a miserable affair.  It seemed there were few places a person could go to avoid contact with the Obama or Romney campaigns.

Each side brought out the heavy artillery to destroy the other. There was a barrage of shameful ads from both sides. The parties recruited surrogates to drop the bombs deemed too unseemly for a presidential candidate to deliver.

In the end, they rained misery down upon those of us unfortunate enough to live in their crossfire. We soldiered on, suffered the attacks more than either candidate and did our patriotic duty. We got our little “I Voted” stickers.

The votes have been counted. The victor has been declared.

Hey, do you hear that?

29 Comments on “Channeling Hawkeye Pierce”

  1. Laura says:

    I don’t hear anything.

  2. Wendy says:

    Enjoy it. The 2016 campaigning will probably start in a week or two. **sigh**

  3. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    So much evidence that we need to get big money out of politics.

  4. Isn’t it great that is over so that now we can all put aside our differences to get behind President Obama and fix our nation’s problems! :- D

  5. Michelle Gillies says:

    The silence is almost deafening after such a racket.
    Great piece , Oma. As an original watcher of M*A*S*H* I appreciate the analogy and agree.

  6. Lenore Diane says:

    I echo Michelle’s sentiment. The analogy was a wonderful one, Oma. Well done.

  7. The Jagged Man says:

    Oma, I love the show M*A*S*H*and the sentiment behind those words. I just hope the parties involved in this “war” learn to play together. Thanks for sharing!

    • omawarisan says:

      They’re going to have to. They like to portray each other as a threat to us all. The truth is that the way they deal with each other is the greatest threat to the rest of us.

  8. robincoyle says:

    The shelling has stopped, but my windows are still rattling. And my nerves. Let’s hope they all play nicely now.

  9. Ms. PC says:

    I read some awesome articles deconstructing the campaigns but I have followed the social contract and refrained from posting them. It’s like the Christmas truce but spans probably 2-3 days.

  10. Debbie says:

    Well said, Oma. I suspect some citizens were more rained down on than others. Those in the important, swing states, for example. Here, in Illinois, we were pretty much ignored — by both candidates, sadly. One had it all sewn up, and the other knew it, so they concentrated their efforts elsewhere. Of course, the local and state races more than made up for it in ugly. Thanks for pointing out that the noise — thankfully — has ceased, for a while!

  11. […] to M*A*S*H Oma wrote, “Then, as the story reached its peak of tension, Hawkeye would utter the only lines I remember […]

  12. spencercourt says:

    As Debbie noted, you live in NC, a “swing” state as was Florida. We’re still counting…

  13. The Jagged Man says:

    The catch 22 of the type of shelling our politics drop on us is this: We become numb to the rhetoric bombardment so much that when something truthful comes around we say “Did you hear that…Nay me either”. Great post Oma.

    • omawarisan says:

      Thanks much!

      That’s a good point. I think truth was hard to come by this time…ok harder than usual. But when it did show up, not many of us ever knew it.

  14. Blogdramedy says:

    I guess I can remove my earplugs now.

  15. The sound of silence. I like it a lot!

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