According to the opening scene of a new tv show,”Mad Men” is a term coined in the 1960s referring to men in the field of advertising. The ad men coined it themselves.
It was the era when America was obsessed with advertising & glamour, the country flush with post-WWII wealth. It was an era before civil rights, before women’s rights. The age of American excess was just getting started. In the very first episode, the characters debate how to advertise cigarettes, suggesting that despite proof of their harmful effects, there is a part of the psyche that loves the danger of smoking. As I wake up this morning, barely able to stand, utterly hung over, and stumble into the bathroom popping Tums like they’re M&Ms, I have to agree with them. There’s something sexy about pushing yourself to the limit. Don Draper, the main character of this show, spends the night with another woman, and comes into work, opens a drawer, and voila – removes a fresh white shirt from the top of a stack. In that sense it’s 1 part Sopranos and 1 part Entourage – because in addition to the american experience and sex, it’s also about glamour & youth.
From the Executive Producer of the Sopranos, Mad Men is another exploration of the American experience, of manhood in America, but this one a social commentary contrasting sharply with what we take for granted today. And for me, this is an exploration of the glory years for the world that I work in. My job isn’t all that different – minus the attractive secretaries waiting on you constantly – from what these guys do. Back then advertising was it. Now we call it integrated marketing communications, and it’s much broader – covering PR, Advertising, relationship marketing, promotions, distribution, retail, sales, tele-marketing, event marketing, viral marketing, word of mouth marketing, search engine optimization, product design, and user experience. I wasn’t sure what to make of this show at first. I got into it simply because the commercial was captivating, and because it featured an Amy Winehouse song, which got my attention. I DVRed it, and even after 2 episodes, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not, but somehow I couldn’t stop. I kept going, slowly getting drawn in. In a Happy Hour meeting earlier this week on the roof of Tia Lou’s, a friend asked me if I thought it was good tv – I told her “I honestly can’t tell anymore.”
After our meeting, I met up with Nimesh at a Martini bar called Tini Bigs, proceeded to get even drunker, and somehow made it home. Drank heavily the next 3 nights, going to Bumbershoot all-day Sunday for the Sean Paul & Fergie concert, drunk in the middle of the afternoon, and then proceeded to go out and drink some more. Woke up Sunday barely able to walk, spent Labor Day recovering in front of new episodes of Mad Men, and finally my lust for this new show was cemented. Then headed out to dinner at Joey’s – our new favorite place because of the good drinks, trendy decor, and waterfront patio overlooking the marina. And now I’m back, after 5 nights in a row drinking. It’s Monday m evening and I’m hard at work, pulling another 14 hour day. Damn I love my life.
I told ya I was trouble, you know that I’m no good.