Wednesday, November 5, 2008

on the mad men season finale

When I watched this season's "Mad Men" season finale, I felt disgusted and betrayed. Then, I took a step back and looked at myself.

And still felt disgusted and betrayed.

Now, if you don't watch "Mad Men" and haven't kept up with the series, don't bother reading this article. I'm not going to provide background and bring you up to speed. You may do that on your own, if you'd like. The entirety of Season 2 may be found On Demand.


So, moving on. Betty Draper. Don Draper's oft betrayed wife. Season 2 was more or less a study in Betty's loss of innocence, and descent into near madness after separating from Don.

The season finale depicted Betty's final fall into the depths of a downward moral spiral. After discovering she was pregnant and contemplating abortion, Betty runs into Don. He wants to reconcile.

She says no. Very cold, this Betty. He wants to see the kids. She says they'll make arrangements.

Later, after making more inquiries into abortion doctors (this is the mid 60s. Cuban Missile Crisis, to be exact. Abortion is still illegal. Though, "They do it in hospitals in Puerto Rico.") she drops the kids off at the Roosevelt with Don. Then, she goes out and spends some of Don's money. Ends up at a bar.

And fucks the first guy she sees. In the bar's office, no less.

I felt betrayed. How could she go out and cheat on Don? Worse, how could she fuck the first guy who made a pass at her? Couldn't she at least have fucked the Maytag repairman? Hell, she didn't even know the fucker's name!

Then, I contemplated things. Weren't my feelings something of a double standard? Don is a serial adulterer. He was fresh off screwing some nubile 21-year-old in California. And hell, he's the king of liars. He's honest to no one, not even himself. Betty going out and doing some random dude should have fallen into the "to each, their own" category. That's life.

But that wasn't the case. Maybe it's my upbringing that made my stomach turn upon witnessing Betty's betrayal. Maybe it's that Catholic ideal. Someone goes and does you wrong, you turn the other cheek. You could go for the old vengeance fuck, but you're better than that.

Maybe it's my sex. Maybe I had some ingrained reaction to what I saw: Something bred into men over millenia.


Then again, maybe not. All I know is I felt pretty fucking dirty after watching that episode.

Guess that's what I get for watching good TV.

two americas?

Two Americas: The "Real" one and the "Fake" one. I am unfortunate enough to live in the Fake one. At least that's what Sarah Palin insinuated.

The truth: There is no "Real" or "Fake" America. There's just America. Don't let this map to the right fool you. America is more PURPLE than RED or BLUE.

Sure. There are some wildly divergent points of view in this country of ours. Extremists on both sides of the coin. For example, there was that dipshit who shouted, "Bullshit!" when McCain mentioned Obama in his concession speech last night.

And there was that fraud Jesse Jackson, weeping during Obama's speech. Sure you still don't want to castrate him for calling out black dads, Jesse?

In the end, America is neither Democrat nor Republican. It's somewhere in the middle. Only when an administration like Bush's goes and fucks up for 8 years do we see such an overwhelming lean to one side or the other. A silent revolution. A sea change.

Ladies and gentlemen: These things only happen once every fifty years or so. Let's hope President Obama can take advantage of this overwhelming support.

And let's be sure not to leave it all up to him.

Don't sit on your laurels, America. Volunteer in your community. Hell, help around the neighborhood. Make a difference. Though one man may stand for change, it takes the involvement of everyone to move us forward.