Skip to comments.The Lost Country (Review of TV Show Mad Men) By Rod Dreher,
Posted on 10/09/2008 11:50:00 AM PDT by Publius804
The Lost Country
Mad for nostalgia? Don't be.
By Rod Dreher, October 8, 2008
The most emblematic scene in Mad Men, the justly acclaimed serial drama now in its second season on the American Movie Channel, concluded an episode in September. Father Gill, an idealistic young Jesuit priest serving in 1962 Brooklyn, methodically removed all his priestly garments as he prepared for bed. It was as if he were divesting himself of armor, deconstructing a façade. Wearing his undershirt and his trousers, the priest sat on the edge of his bed, picked up his guitar, and thrashed out an impassioned version of a Peter, Paul and Mary song.
My first thought: Oh God, here come the felt banners and On Eagles Wings. My second, more considered thought, was something an orthodox Catholic graybeard told me after listening sympathetically to one of my rants about how the Sixties generation ruined the Church: You know, the Sixties came from somewhere.
In his 1995 book The Lost City, about Chicago in the 1950s, Alan Ehrenhalt warned against the way nostalgia and poetic memory tempts contemporaries to falsely idealize the past. Though Ehrenhalt chastised liberals who demonize the world of the Fifties as nothing but a nightmarish corseted burlesque of Joe McCarthy, Jim Crow, and Cardinal Spellman, he rapped conservatives for idealizing it as the last good decade before the Sixties ruined everything.
We dont want the 1950s back, Ehrenhalt wrote.
(Excerpt) Read more at culture11.com ...
I thought this review might interest you.
We sure could use Joe McCarthy today, intoning in that great voice of his, to Barack Hussein Obama:
“Senator Obama, are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”
Mad Men is my second favorie show after The Office. Having grown up in the 50’s and early sixties for me it was the best of times. If I have a choice in the next life to live in any era of the past it would be the 50’s. The best of times...
Ah, to live during the time of the three martini lunch at “21”, with your secretary on your lap...
High taxes, two recessions, small houses, the shift from tight-nit neighborhoods to atomized suburban ones (thats for the Catholic SoCons out there), "consensus" politics between the "modern Republicans" and the liberal Democrats. Don't get me started on those GD awful school films about hygiene that they were STILL showing on Lawn Guyland into the 80s.
Much of what we think of as "the 60s" had its roots in the 50s. Rock and Roll, the sexual revolution (see Kinsey and Hefner), alternative cultures (see the beatniks), folk music (much bigger in 1959 than it was in 1969), among other things.
From my perspective, the 1950s were the germination of the cultural revolution, the 1960s were its springtime, and the 1970s were when it reached full bloom and became mainstream (witness high divorce rates, pot in every high school, swing clubs, disco, etc.).
And the bad things about the ‘50s really were just a continuation of the bad things about the ‘30s.
The funny thing is, there was more open prostitution in my grandparents time than there has been since the end of WWII, to say nothing of illegal gambling, which was HUGE in urban areas back in the 1920s-1940s.
The statement, "The sixties came from somewhere," deserves repeating.
I wonder how much this has to do with the weaking of the mafia over the last 30 years.
To know what the real 1950’s were.. you have to under stand the 1940’s both the war and post war...
The 30somethings of 1950’s had been the fast living party now because tomorrow you may die 20somethings survivors of the war's years...
The stereotype of the 1950’s was a thin veneer
Bump for later.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
From what I have seen of it, I would call “Mad Men” a nasty caricature, rather than an accurate depiction, of the 1950’s.
Notice that the only really decent character is the bearded beatnik with the black girlfriend.
Has Hugh Hefner ever reviewed it, I wonder?
Seriously? He's pretty much mocked by everyone as the biggest hypocrite of them all. His pomposity on the bus full of black people, lecturing them about advertising and culture was unmissable.
>>>the priest sat on the edge of his bed, picked up his guitar, and thrashed out an impassioned version of a Peter, Paul and Mary song.
The priest in question is Tom Hanks’ son. Where would Hollywood be without nepotism.
Love this show. It is appointment TV for me. As a younger woman, I am fascinated by the gender dynamics in the show. It always leaves me with so many questions about everything from that era; from TV shows to music to drinking to work etiquette. I think it is a truly wonderful show.
Paul? Ugh! I hate Paul. He’s a pretentious loser. By 1967 he’ll have long hair, a handlebar mustache, and will call everybody “man”.
Roger is the most likable character on the show. Yes, he’s a total bastard, but at least he’s not pretending.
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