[Marxism] Fw: self-indulgence

Joanne Gullion claraescher at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 14 01:20:04 MDT 2010

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Joanne Gullion <claraescher at yahoo.com>
To: marxmail at lists.econ.utah.edu
Sent: Sat, August 14, 2010 1:56:09 AM
Subject: re: self-indulgence

Tom Cod mentioned Don Draper in a recent post.  I've just been waiting for an 
excuse to bring up my all-time favorite show on television.  Mad Men; partly an 
intensely honest look at the culture of sexism, racism and homophobia in 
post-war America, and partly a sublime, absorbing drama.  

Some critics as they describe Mad Men refer back to the so-called golden age of 
television.  Back to the days of Playhouse 90 and Omnibus.  I can barely 
remember those (live) performances as a child.  I don't know if MM is better 
than those but it is certainly as good.  

The main character is Dick Whitman who as a poor grunt during the Korean War 
deserted by switching dog tags with his incinerated lieutenant. This odd 
occurrence is made believable by the incredible writing team headed by Matt 
Weiner, former writer for The Sopranos.  With the help of the lieutenant's widow 
he completely changed his identity, becoming Don Draper; ad man extraordinaire.  
He seems to have everything, trophy wife and family in the suburbs.  But he's 
terribly conflicted about who he is and what he does.

When I first started watching it I was really shocked by the virulent sexism of 
the male characters.  But then I remember working in an office in the 
mid-sixties, and recalled seeing that kind of behavior then.  Something I've 
sort of forgotten, but was reminded of in this series.  (Not that things are 
that much better now, just more subtle)  I've heard, as well, that Madison Ave. 
was probably the worst for female office workers.  

Besides all the realistic social history, the acting, writing, and direction of 
this show make it a work of art.  

Anyway, I know some of the subscribers here remember that time period vividly 
and would really enjoy this show.  But if you have never seen it, it would be 
best to rent the first three seasons before starting on this the fourth. season.

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