Skip to main content

'Mad Men' and the infantilization of America, continued

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner kinda-sorta confirms my theorizing about how Depression-era generation helped create the never-grow-up culture that followed it: "One of my things is that human behavior doesn't change, but certainly the manners change, and what you're watching is the manners changing.

And I use it in every aspect of the storytelling. And it's a very fine gradation, and it's hard to do, but I think the audience felt that there was this kind of precipice, and Don feels it, too. It's not just about people saying exactly what they want. When Megan's going to follow her dreams, because that's what she wants to do, and Roger says, "My father told me what to do," and Don says, "I grew up in the '30s; my dream was indoor plumbing." We take it for granted that you can choose what you want to do. That's all part of a new generation, and very soon there's going to be a generation doing whatever it wants, and they're completely supported by the generation before them. In the Rolling Stones episode, when Don's backstage with that girl, she says, "You don't want us to have fun because none of you did." It's actually the opposite: a lot of parents really indulged their kids because of that very thing, because they grew up in the Depression."

Emphasis added. I meant to mention Don's line about "indoor plumbing" in my previous post—it's a thought that stuck with me through the rest of the season.


Popular posts from this blog


I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…