Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mad Men is Mighty: I watched the director and actors talk about the filming of Mad Men and the early 60's cultural context of the series. The director of this excellent show is right some situations have indeed remained the same even until this day. I worked in large corporate legal firms in Boston in the 1970's up to 2004. In very similar ways I can relate to a corporate environment which spanned decades. Much was like the machinations of the Sterling Cooper firm.

In one of my first comments about the series I sanctimoniously breathed a sigh of relief that thankfully I was working and living at a time in which those types of behaviors would not be sanctioned. The director, however, says yes, things changed but they also remained the same. This too is true. Still, I do believe profound changes have occurred so that heretofore powerless people now have at least SOME recourse.

Talk shows such as Oprah and many others make the once psychologically cornered person know that they are not alone and that they can exert at least some control to change their condition. The huge difference between the eras, I believe, is that we are allowed to at least TALK about things that heretofore were taboo. In the era of the late 50's and early 60's in which I grew up there was little talk or just a hint of talk but only on a psychiatrist's or analyst's couch which had just become fashionable and only for the well-to-do. Certainly there was not much introspection among persons in authority. Most definitely powerful men had to answer to nearly no one. Questioning authority is not the exception now it is the rule. Some of the absolutely vile, impertinent and condescending comments of those powerful men at Sterling Cooper towards especially the powerless women they work, have sex and live with would not fly. The courts are flooded with discrimination suits which attest to that fact.

While it is true human beings are human beings at all times, the social metamorphosis of the late 60's which encompassed the women's movement, the black movements, homosexuals and the like have given at least some voice and power over those strictly white men who once upon a time had usurped it all. Best of all at least in Boston one can barely find a place to smoke. That change saved lives.

I absolutely adore this show. It am transfixed!