Aug 22, 2009

Mad For It

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! (Claude Rains, Casablanca)

Hi, my name is Vanda and I have an addiction: I love stories. Fiction, narrative, yarn, fable, spiel, tale - they suck me in, I can't let go. Sometimes I mug the author and steal their creation; I spin the story on, invent back stories, insert new characters, and so on - all in my head.

Another bad habit I have is reading online forums. I know they are bad, and I will just end up irritable. Yet, it's a sure fire way to learn what people outside of your safe, more or less like-minded circle of friends think.

So somehow I ended up on AMC's Mad Men forum. Mad Men is a phenomenal show about Madison Avenue ad men in the early 60's. It's a character driven drama, with many richly developed characters, but another amazing thing about it is how it gets the era down. It shows the idiosyncrasies of the time slyly, neither glossing over or shining a torch light on them. I absolutely love how this show keeps going on it own path, and not falling into the predictable tv conventions.

So of course, I was surprised by the narrow mindedness of some forum comments after the first episode of season 3. Some people found it "shocking" and "sensationalist" what Betty said, Don did, and that scene with Sal... mon dieu! I wonder how these people got this far with the show. I get shocked by the show all the time, but it is not the "OMG, I can't believe what the producers just did" kind of shock, but the "I can't believe what passed for norm mere fifty years ago." I mean, everyone is smoking all the time, pregnant women are drinking, the men at work are drinking, sexism, racism, bigotry of all kind. Even small things, like one scene where Don and family go to a picnic in the park, and when it's time to leave, he just shakes all the trash off the blanket and leaves it behind. Makes me wonder what thing we do and say these days that considered "normal" will be shocking five decades from now.


Cafe Pasadena said...

You're shocked? Well, you're still so young. Wait until you get as old as blogger's such as,...oh, nevermind. But, the shock treatment has only begun.

This article makes me wonder what things we're doing, saying, eating, & blogging today which are considered "normal" or respectable will be shocking five decades from now!

baffled human said...

addiction to ... fiction, narrative, yarn, fable, spiel, tale. i'm right there too. sometimes i get a bit concerned that i can't live without them... but then decide it's okay 'cause my monkey mind could be doing a lot worse.

altadenahiker said...

Maybe we should all confess to our worst online habit. Or not.

I ran into Madmen once and quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I've never run into it again.

AmyR said...

I just ordered the first season of Madmen; I've heard nothing but good things so I will stay away from the forums.

Emma J said...

Or to think that we are living in someone's good old days now. That we are both shockingly blind and adorably quaint.

Vanda said...

"Adorably quaint." I like that.

Margaret said...

We don't have cable, so I haven't seen Mad Men. I have seen The Sopranos, I haven't seen anything. But I will Netflix it because you have me sold.

bmonty252 said...

I am often "shocked" by Mad Men in the same way that you are. I still haven't decided if I truly like the show or not, but I continue to watch it in earnest just to see what shock the next episode will bring.

goodeda1122 said...