Can’t you see I’m crazy as a loon?
By Ronnie Cameron
“A brave man once requested me / To answer questions that are key / Is it to be or not to be? / And I replied, oh, why ask me? / ‘Cause suicide is painless / It brings on many changes / And I can take it or leave it if I please / And you can do the same thing if you please.” – Mike Altman
In 1983, I was taking a night class at Georgia Southern, struggling to complete my undergraduate degree. Although I cannot recall the name of said class, I distinctly remember the professor let us out early one eventful evening in February because America’s favorite television show, “Mash,” was ending its run on network television after 11 seasons.
One enduring character America came to love was Corporal (later Sergeant) Maxwell Q. Klinger, a Lebanese / American from Toledo, Ohio. His unique schtick, which added a certain comical charm to the brilliant tapestry of the show, was that he dressed as a woman to convince his superiors that he was “crazy” enough for a Section 8 discharge.
Let that sink in.
Had any officer, either permanently assigned to MASH unit 4077, or just passing through for a myriad of reasons, had mistaken Klinger’s rouse as genuine insanity, perhaps they would have granted Klinger his elusive Section 8, and he could have returned to Toledo to cheer on the Mudhens.
Officers closest to Klinger never fell for it. In fact, chief surgeon Captain Hawkeye Pierce, summed up his attitude about Klinger’s situation when he claimed that Klinger was saner than any of the crew since he at least understood the insanity of war while the others blindly accepted their fate and went along just to get along. Only a perfectly sane person would fight so dramatically to end his part in the insanity.
I find it telling that in 1983, it was perfectly acceptable for us to laugh at a character in America’s favorite television show who pranced around in various fetching dresses, including a favorite pink chiffon number, carrying an assault rifle and a sign which read, “Get me out of here. I’m crazy as a loon,” when in fact, the ones truly “crazy as loons” wore their olive drabs day to day and never worked as hard as Klinger to expose the insanity.
I find it telling that at that point in time, at least in the Mash mythos, the best way to be labeled as “crazy” and worthy of a Section 8 discharge from the Armed Services was for a man to dress as a woman.
And that’s the magic of Progressivism. We look back on our society in 1983 and scoff at such behavior. We have progressed to a point of enlightenment, pleased with ourselves that, at that point in time, during our Dark Age, we were so uber conservative and naïve that we actually put (spit, spit) Ronald Reagan in The White House.
Isn’t it wonderful that we have progressed to the point where biological men, albeit trans, and thus acceptable, slowly creep into women’s sports, and some who speak out against such enlightenment (think Riley Gaines) might be ambushed, assaulted, and briefly held hostage by radical protestors at San Francisco State University.
No more Dark Ages for us!
Isn’t it wonderful that we have progressed to the point where once iconic champions of modern feminism, those heroines who fought valiantly for equal rights, true American warriors against injustice, find it prudent to remain eerily silent as women’s sports records are shattered.
No more Reagan (spit, spit) for us!
Isn’t it wonderful that we have progressed to the point where the President can loudly proclaim a group that makes up approximately one half of one percent of the population, “shapes our nation’s soul” just a couple of days after a member of said group invaded a Christian School in Nashville and killed six people, including three children.
I’m not sure what the Pompatus of Eloquence meant by “shapes our nation’s soul,” but I’m just learning how to internalize all this progress and enlightenment. My old, ignorant self might think that’s a bizarre proclamation given the timing.
Things progress so rapidly these days, I struggle to stay abreast of all things progressive and enlightened. I truly want to be on the cutting edge and not be pigeonholed as one stuck in the Dark Ages of Ignorance.
After all, Hawkeye might have been on to something, and I can’t be on the “right” (spit, spit) side of history when our nation eventually commits suicide.
Our suicide will be progressive and edgy, but I guarantee it will be anything but painless.