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: