Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day and Pop Culture Go Together Like Fathers and Sons

It's Father's Day again, which means our thoughts turn to our masculine authority figures. Of course, for someone like me, it also turns to cultural references concerning said masculine authority figures. Today finds me pondering a certain episode of M*A*S*H where Hawkeye's father sends him a letter saying that he's going in for surgery. He doesn't give details, and Hawkeye gets the letter the day of the scheduled event. He's trying desperately to get a hold of his father, and when that fails, he tries to get details from the hospital. Meanwhile, Charles, who is usually an aloof character, actually becomes sympathetic. The line that strikes me most (and which makes Charles a character for whom I can, for one shining moment, have sympathy) is when he says to Hawkeye, "You're lucky. While I have a father, you have a dad." Finally it all comes right when Hawkeye learns that his father has come through his surgery okay.

So I leave you with the final lines from the episode, which Charles and Hawkeye exchange as a toast, in honor of Father's Day. (And I hope you won't mind that it's just a slight bit sexist in that it leaves out the womenfolk.)

Charles: Here's to our fathers.
Hawkeye: And their sons.

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