Mad Men Thread: Stanley Kubrick Meets Tom Seaver


Progess has come to SC&P via the big ass IBM 360 mainframe computer that Harry Crane has been whining about and finally scored. Jim Cutler decided to display it for all to see, and takes away the lounge that the creatives used to hang out in and do their best work. Ginsburg and the Pegster are not amused. The artist formerly known as Don Fucking Draper is so out of the loop that he doesn’t even receive the memo announcing the ceremony whereat Crane and Cutler wear hard hats for no discernible reason. It’s not a good look for either of them. Of course, Harry Hamlin dressed up in a gorilla suit when he played Michael Kuzak on LA Law so a silly hat is no big whoop for him.

The Monolith contains some heavy-handed symbolism, even by Mad Men standards, but it works. I guess I’m a sucker for heavy-handed symbolism. F orrest Wickman of Slate wrote a fine piece detailing all the 2001:A Space Odyssey references, so I’ll refrain from piling on; other than to say Stanley Kubrick was God to film buffs in 1969, so I halfway expected them to mention the film more directly, but I’m glad that they did not. Nary a hint of Richard Strauss on the soundtrack either…

1969 is the year the New York Mets went from being the lovable losers of the Casey Stengel era to winning the World Series. Star pitcher Tom Seaver is a good comp for Don Draper in some ways. He was good-looking and super talented but not known for being a drunk. Don notices a Mets pennant under a book case in Lane’s old office, hangs it up and decides to be a Mets fan. For now at least. It’s an improvement on the last thing hung in that office…

Okey doke, now that I’ve bloviated about the episode’s symbolism, it’s random and discursive comment time, but first here’s a picture of Pa Kettle Sterling peeling spuds:


3 thoughts on “Mad Men Thread: Stanley Kubrick Meets Tom Seaver

  1. Checking the specs on the IBM 360 … not bad, considering the era, but, then again, it was a mainframe and must’ve sold or leased for mainframe prices.
    And these days the average phone could outperform one.

  2. How about Don being relegated to laborer in moving the couch only to see Cutler, Roger, and the douche having a meeting in the conference room.
    The Mets pennant was thrown under the heating unit by Lane when he found out he was being recalled to London, his dreams of becoming a true New Yorker dashed.
    Though it seems he always speaks like the HAL 9000, Cutler seemed particularly mechanical when in response to the douche saying Don might implode he replied “That’s a distinct possibility”. Or as HAL would put it “This mission is too important to allow for human error” That’s my only 2001 comment.
    Only to point out that the lead scientist in 2001 is Dr. Floyd sounds like Lloyd.
    Burger Chef invented the Happy Meal only to have McDonald’s steal it. They sued, but eventually lost the case. So will it be Don’s or Peggy’s idea?
    MAD MEN does a good job of staying away from foretelling, but Lloyd’s description of the IBM business model is laughable to us now. It’s all about the machine and nothing about the software. But one of those other guys he mentions as doing the same thing he does was Ross Perot’s EDS.
    Bert Cooper is approaching Donald Sterling level doucheness.

  3. The tableau on the porch (pictured above) was a very funny homage to Norman Rockwell.
    Poor Marigold. She can’t see that the commune is just a hippie version of her regular life — the women still peeling the potatoes and fetching water, while the “enlightened” male hippie sits on his ass and runs things. Pretty true to life and one of the big reasons lesbian rights and separatism rose up strong in the early 1970s.
    You’re right about the symbolism in this one — Peggy’s color is orange, Don’s is blue. After her promotion, her orange office suddenly had a glaring blue chair in it. And Don and the computer guy were wearing the same outfit and hair, except the computer guy’s sleeves were short and the shirt was so cheap that you could see his undershirt through it. When Don told him off like he was the devil…

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