Yesterday I posted a Q & A session between myself and myself regarding this current season of Mad Men. For the most part I found myself to be agreeable and myself to be interestingly inquisitive. I would hang out with myself again. I smell good.
Anyways, after posting said post, my good buddy Pete Bloom emailed me. Pete is easily the smartest person I know, he lives and works in England, which I believe is east of here, and on a good day, I can understand 65% of what he writes in emails. Pete likes to use big words and phrases like “social superiority,” “supposed advantage in retrospect” and “the need for an ‘id’ in any revolution.” Like I said, he’s smart. A Ravens’ fan, but smart nonetheless.
Pete had some interesting thoughts on Mad Men.
On Don and whether or not he has changed or is in the process of changing:
For Don I think there is a growing awareness that there is no ‘me’, no authentic ‘Dick’ or ‘Don’ – simply the person that you are based on the performances that you give. This realization is making him more comfortable with the ‘truth’ of himself – that he is a social climbing ad exec who finds his identity in the sense of genuine creativity and social superiority he gains from his work.
On my thought that Sally is in some way Don’s conscience:
I am not sure therefore that Sally is his conscience. Instead she is at an age where finding yourself does not mean holding dear to a pre-defined ‘core’ of who you think you are or should be but rather continually putting poses to cope with the new awareness life is providing you with due to experience. In this respect, both Don and Sally are on similar paths of maturity just separated by years of experience and perhaps wisdom.
On why Don was asked to come back to the office:
It didn’t matter about any of their psychological or sociological reasons for wanting or not wanting Don back. It was money. It was money that humbled the partners and money that humbled Don. And that is one of the greatest insights Mad Men makes, that behind the facade, the publicity, the existential angst and the enjoyment of all the hollow consumption can provide, underneath this noise loud and soft plays the unending rhythm of greed, calculation and privilege.
Now I didn’t necessarily agree and think that money played a part in Don coming back to the office and felt that it had to do more with Don needing to anchor himself, to re-establish himself as Don Draper. He was rudderless and getting back to work was integral to him getting himself back on track.
To which Pete replied:
I didn’t mean to assume that it was about money for him MORE that what he could and couldn’t do was still determined by the old standbys of money and privilege.
Pete also had some questions.
(1) Why the hell is Peggy still living as a slum landlord/class adventurer when Abe left her exactly because she wanted to move uptown?
I’d have to assume that part of it is that people tend to keep on keeping on as slum lords because the properties they are slum lords of aren’t exactly brimming with quality resale value. Maybe she has the building on the market and is just looking for a buyer? Maybe she just hasn’t had the time to put it on the market? Maybe she’s just stubborn and determined to make it work? Maybe there’s a bagel place around the corner that she just couldn’t live without? I would think that she could at least afford to rent a place uptown and rent out her apartment in the building. Then she could farm the landlord duties out to someone else. I still think she got bamboozled by Abe into buying a place she wasn’t really a fan of and then screwed by him when he ditched her with it. He’s out gallivanting around the city looking like Frank Zappa and she’s stuck dealing with plugged shitters and busted fridges. Peggy is a month away from filming a MTV True Life episode I’m a Unwilling Slumlord. On the plus side though, knowing how to fix a broken shitter is a skill that just keeps on giving.
(2) Do you buy the Meghan/Don romance or is it more two people who for two different reasons need to be married?
Both. I do think they love each other, but also that they need each other. Or at least needed each other in Megan’s case. Or maybe saying she needed Don is a little unfair. Maybe she relied on him. Actually, that doesn’t sound much better. Back it up- yes, I buy their romance and I think one of them (Don) needed to be married because he’s terrible at taking care of himself. Although maybe Megan literally did need to be married for green card reasons. I’m not sure if that was ever brought up. It could have been brought up in French and my limited knowledge of French caused me to miss this. Thanks a lot high school. (shakes fist angrily in the air.)
(3) If Don and Sally bought a dog and went around the country solving crimes and running out on Diner checks – that would be in the running for greatest American TV show ever right?
The set up would be different. Sally would be the product of a one night stand and Don didn’t find out about her until he was released from prison when she was ten. Sally then ran out on her mother to be with her father, who right away, she felt a kinship with. They didn’t buy a dog, but found a dog at a rest stop in western Pennsylvania, named him Ketchup and then hit the road. Running out on diner checks was born out of necessity. Solving crimes came about by accident when they found themselves in the middle of a grizzly murder at a seedy hotel in Tennessee and solved the crime before the local coppers did. It was the house keeping lady and an unfortunate crime of passion. They were of c0urse offered a gig as private detectives in Tennessee shortly after but couldn’t resist the allure of the open road. They also couldn’t resist running out on diner checks. They did get caught every once in a while- but it was nothing that either some sweet-talking or some dish-washing couldn’t remedy. Ketchup had an excellent sense of smell, he was an important member of the team, which is why the show is called Ketchup, If You Can. #sixseasonsandamovie
(4) Even better imagine if they did “Mad Men: Baltimore” with Omar, Bubbles and Bunk starting their own ad firm. Now that my friend is entertainment!
Well their first ad campaign would center around Honey Nut Cheerios. The cereal’s importance when it comes to domestic bliss would be pitched by Omar, who would paint a glorious picture of walking up in the morning, hungry for one thing…some Honey Nut Cheerios. Then imagine his dismay when he found his current man lover had finished it without telling him. The pitch? Honey Nut Cheerios…worth risking your life for.