The Sixties Zeitgeist has permeatedMad Men this season. I think it’s a good thing but some of our commenters were less certain last week. But how could it be otherwise? We have the two most self aware generations in US history on a collision course: the World War II generation and the baby boomers. We hear a lot about boomer entitlement but less about the absolute certainty of Brokaw’s “greatest generation” whose motto could have been, “We won the war so we don’t have to listen.” It didn’t work out very well in Vietnam did it?
On to Mad Men’s latest, which was sort of a table setting episode. Some major things happened but they’re most likely to bear fruit down the road. But how could I help but love an episode that featured the Beatles’ trippiest song? In fact the trippiest song this side of Pink Floyd, man. The lunatic is on the fucking grass…
Enough navel gazing, onto my, hopefully, relevant comments about LadyLazarus:
The malakatude of Pete Campbell: It’s exploding week by week. Pete has always been an entitled pouty narcissist but it’s getting worse. The whole thing with his train buddy’s wife was creepy to begin with and then morphed into stalking. I think Lane needs to administer another thrashing to Pete. Speaking of Lane: where the hell has he been the last two episodes? I wonder if Jared Harris was on Napoleon of Crime sabbatical and combating Sherlock Holmes when he should have been kicking Pete’s ass again.
Megan the natural: I for one wasn’t surprised at Mrs. D quitting SCDP. Seeing her pompously pedantic pere seemed to have reactivated her acting bug. Don and Peggy, however, were both stunned. Why? Because Megan was so damned good at the ad game, that’s why. They’re both baffled because it fulfills them in a way that it obviously never will for Megan.
I gotta give Don credit for being a trooper and letting his spouse troop off to join the grease paint brigade. He’s puzzled because as a child of the depression the idea of following one’s dream was something that only happened in the movies. Damn you, Fred Astaire. I loved Don’s line about his childhood dream being indoor plumbing, which is, of course, a very nice thing indeed.
The generation gap is reopening like a chasm, which is one interpretation of Don’s staring down into the elevator shaft. Some viewers and pundits think it, and clues in earlier episodes, foreshadow someone’s suicide but I’m dubious since most of the speculation centers on Don or Pete. The former is the ultimate survivor and the latter is too much in love with himself to cut his life short. Would it surprise me if they offed Campbell in some other way? Nope. But if Don dies so doesMad Men. It would be likeThe Sopranos without Tony. Any thoughts, readers?
Turn off your mind, turn on the tune box: I adored the collquy between the rock challenged Don and his hip young wife, “When did music become so important?”
I’m inclined to agree with Megan that it was always important: the first wave of Beatlmania style fandom happened in the Forties with a skinny Italian singer from Hoboken. But people had more money and more leisure time for fangirl/boyism by 1966, which resulted in people like me spending far too much time and money on music.
Finally, Megan urged Don to play the last track on Revolver, Tomorrow Never Knows, to be in touch with “kid’s today.” Don didn’t get it and neither did many people both then and now. If she wanted him to *like* something on the elpee, Eleanor Rigby orGood Day Sunshine would have been better places to start (the greatest generation usually preferred Macca to Lennon if obliged to choose) but not as thematically appropriate as the psychedelic banshee wail ofTomorrow Never Knows. After all, Don and Megan came together in the Season 4finaleTomorrowland.
Of the beginning, of the beginning: