Burns and Novick: Episode 6

I’m caught up with the Burns and Novick documentary on VietNam, having watched Episode 6 on Sunday night. This one focused on 1968, the Tet offensive, the riots and assassinations here in the U.S., and Lyndon Johnson’s decision not to run.

I was in Panama in 1968. We had no TV in the village, only local radio, no cell phone with real time news feeds, no newspapers or magazines. We caught up on what was happening back home when we went into Panama City for R&R.

Reading a cluster of newspaper articles all at once and seeing vivid photos of cities burning, I thought the entire country as I knew it was coming apart. It was terrifying.

This documentary series couldn’t be more timely, with Trump indiscriminately throwing gasoline on every simmering cultural fissure we have in this country — and goading the rest of the world with no strategy or purpose other than to disrupt. Whatever erupts won’t be like the VietNam war era, because it’s a different time. But it won’t be good.

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