Sunday, August 9, 2009

Madmen Drummers Bummers and Indians in the Summer

One week away from another season with the boys and girls at Sterling Cooper.

Rolling into 1963, just a little less than a year from the Kennedy assassination. Not far then to the Beatles arrival, Dylan gone electric and the beginnings of the birth of "The 60s." One last season to bathe in the glow of fading innocence and bid adieu to its numbing viciousness as a black and white world turns to color (on a number of different levels).

For me, an excuse to lust after Betty Draper on Sunday evenings. All pastels and skirts and smokes, suits and booze at the office and beatniks on the fringes. Not yet for the avocado kitchen appliances and living room shag carpets.

I was going on three months of age at the dawn of 1963, so first-hand memories are a hazy shade of nothing. But then again I can say the same for most of the 60s and 70s. I seem to have clear memories from that period only of the Brady Bunch, Land of the Lost, the Watergate Trial and the day my Dad died (just couple days before Elvis kicked, 32 years ago this Tuesday).

Speaking of Dad, he wasn't exactly a 'Mad Man' (though going by the show, he drank like one). He sold plumbing supplies when he worked. Not quite Don Draper. More Don Birnam. And Mom wasn't Betty Draper. She was closer to Norma Desmond. They attempted every once in a while to Be The Drapers. But the Drapers out, not the Drapers in. We were at the core a Salvation Army family living in a JC Penney neighborhood and didn't do a lot of entertaining (at least not of the Draper variety).

Still, with Mad Men there is something oddly familiar. About the setting, the clothes, the mannerisms. Not exactly comforting, but ... contemporary. The present day by comparison seems dated.

So, Betty on Sunday and Nancy Botwin on Monday. In my own private Idaho ('get outta that state you're in!' - thanks, Fred, but I think I'll stick around).

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