Posts tagged "Mad Men"
Another Week Ends: Walser’s Wounds, Diet Supremacists, Homeless Christ, Hart’s Lament, Flat Circus, Mad Men, Parenthood, and The Secret Sisters

Another Week Ends: Walser’s Wounds, Diet Supremacists, Homeless Christ, Hart’s Lament, Flat Circus, Mad Men, Parenthood, and The Secret Sisters

1. Much of value comes across one’s desk during Holy Week, and this year was no exception. But the sources are seldom the expected ones. What stopped me in my tracks this week was an interview The European conducted with prominent German intellectual Martin Walser on “Kafka, Faith and Atheism” (and Karl Barth), which was picked up by The Huffington Post in 2012. Don’t gloss over! Despite the somewhat confusing allusion to Martin Luther–a generous read of which would surmise he’s referring either to the -ism that followed the man, or the way the Reformer’s understanding of vocation was culturally…

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Another Week Ends: Successful Blueprints, Redemptive Politicians, Don Draper’s Truth, Marital Advice, Humanist Blasphemy, Mavis Staples, Bono, and Dropping Keys

Another Week Ends: Successful Blueprints, Redemptive Politicians, Don Draper’s Truth, Marital Advice, Humanist Blasphemy, Mavis Staples, Bono, and Dropping Keys

1. This is embarrassing to admit. As much as I love The Replacements, it is The Wilson Quarterly that has truly been rocking my world this past week. Two articles in particular, both from their Spring issue, are worth mentioning here. First, there’s Sarah Courteau’s “Feel Free to Help Yourself”, in which the author surveys not only the history of self-help but allows herself to dabble in it sincerely. All very relevant and, well, helpful–but also not nearly as patronizing as some of us might be tempted to be. She writes, ht WB:

Self-help, along with the rest of the culture,…

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Rooting for Affairs: The Blurry Lines of Pop Culture Romance

Rooting for Affairs: The Blurry Lines of Pop Culture Romance

This one comes from our friend Liz Riggs, a writer for The Wise Guise.

Don’t most of us fundamentally agree that cheating, no matter what the circumstance, is wrong? That it’s dishonest and treacherous and infinitely disloyal? That it is the sort of indelible unfaithfulness that, simply put, changes everything?

So, if that’s how most of the world thinks, then where does all the black and white turn grey? Where do the lines blur, and how do we make sense of them?

Infidelity has always permeated culture. From the dawn of time to modern television, “stepping out” has become a ubiquitous plot point…

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The Subtle Horror of Mad Men

The Subtle Horror of Mad Men

Mad Men is a horror series. There… I said it. I didn’t believe this until recently. My impression was that it was a dark and brooding drama about the desperate and horny realities of life. This was until I had a conversation with a woman who could not watch the show. “Not watch Mad Men?” I thought… “How could you not watch Mad Men?” “You don’t understand,” she said… “Watching Mad Men to me is like watching horror movies to you.”

That registered with me because I am a notoriously scaredy-cat horror movie-viewer. I fidget, cover my eyes like a kid, and furiously…

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Another Week Ends: Schismogenesis, Megachurch Funerals, Accidental Theology, Smartphone Shrinks, Mean Professors, Nocebos, Zooropa and Elysium

Another Week Ends: Schismogenesis, Megachurch Funerals, Accidental Theology, Smartphone Shrinks, Mean Professors, Nocebos, Zooropa and Elysium

1. The NY Times published a wise op-ed from sociologist Tanya Luhrmann this past week on the the subject of “How Skeptics and Believers Can Connect”. She begins the column by recounting a disconcerting experience she had promoting her terrific book, When God Talks Back, on a Christian radio station. Luhrmann does not self-identify as a Christian, which the host of the show apparently took as a cue to berate her into converting on air (rather than dig into a book that has quite a bit of sympathetic material to relate). Now, God only knows what exactly the motivation/justification at…

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Emotional Protestants, Gracious Storytelling, Stressed-Out Athletes, Young Kierkegaardians, Antinomian Unicorns, and Church Basement Addictions

Emotional Protestants, Gracious Storytelling, Stressed-Out Athletes, Young Kierkegaardians, Antinomian Unicorns, and Church Basement Addictions

We asked those who are giving “mini-talks” this Friday (4/19) at our 6th Annual Mockingbird NYC Conference to provide short teasers of what they’ll be speaking about, and they did not disappoint! If you’re looking six and a half more reasons to cancel what you have going on this weekend (or six and a half more reasons to feel silly about not doing so), look no further:

Just Watched — Up There With the Most Grace-Centered Films of the Last Few Years, If Not THE Most

1. What Does Salvation Feel Like? Protestantism and the Problem of Emotion — Simeon Zahl….

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The Year in Television 2012

The Year in Television 2012

Since we’ve been talking so much about television this week, why not go all the way and do our annual recap? Truth be told, it was a slightly off year on the small screen, the first plateau in quality that I can remember in about ten years. A number of the top-drawer shows experienced something of a “downturn”, e.g. Justified and Louie, and new contenders were not quite as numerous. Which isn’t to say there hasn’t been plenty worth watching and commenting on. God no:

Top Twelve Television Series of 2012

12. Game of Thrones. I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical after…

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Why You Are Your Junk Mail: Reputation Silos and Madison Avenue’s Doctrine of Predestination

Why You Are Your Junk Mail: Reputation Silos and Madison Avenue’s Doctrine of Predestination

Besides this particular website, go to any of the others you frequent and, if you’ve done any online shopping ever you’ll find all these creepy, tailored advertisements along the sidebars of the news you are reading, or the new shoes you are checking out, or the movie you are reading up on. I recently bought a leather dopp kit for myself, and now if you are looking at anything–anything!– on my computer–sports, international news, search engines–you would think I have this obsession with leather goods and world travel. Now on my Gmail inbox–do you have this?–there are spookily, hair-raisingly accurate…

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Another Week Ends: Dumb Smart People, VeggieRemorse, Pixar Tips, Transfigured Authority, Profanity Laws, Fiona Apple and Mad Men

Another Week Ends: Dumb Smart People, VeggieRemorse, Pixar Tips, Transfigured Authority, Profanity Laws, Fiona Apple and Mad Men

1. You’ve probably heard the classic arithmetic question, “A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” If your kneejerk response is in the double digits, well, think again. Jonah Lehrer kicked off his new post at The New Yorker with a couple of terrific new pieces. “Why We Don’t Believe in Science” was the first and “Why Smart People Are Stupid” is the latest, and it in particular warrants some excerpting here. Another cogent reminder that self-knowledge (or knowledge in general) is not…

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Pete Campbell: With Success Comes Sadness

Pete Campbell: With Success Comes Sadness

Slate recently interviewed Vincent Kartheiser (aka Pete Campbell on Mad Men). In case we needed any reminders that human beings need love, not love-based-on-achievement, there’s this:

Slate: [Your character's] a man of ambition, but he seems to get more unhappy the more he achieves. He’s achieved many of his goals—Trudy had the baby, he got a bigger office, he’s dominating Roger—but he seems to get crabbier by the week. Do you understand why he’s so unhappy?

Kartheiser: With success comes a level of sadness. You think, “I’ll reach this goal, and then I’ll feel a sense of completeness, of wholeness. I’ll feel…

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Another Week Ends: Jeremy Lin, Scientism, Cosmism, Clergy Burnout, Tearjerkers, Springsteen’s Advice, 30 Rock, and Garbage Pail Kids

Another Week Ends: Jeremy Lin, Scientism, Cosmism, Clergy Burnout, Tearjerkers, Springsteen’s Advice, 30 Rock, and Garbage Pail Kids

1. The Linsanity continues! But this time the hubbub has to do with a powerful (and unexpected) instance of off-court forgiveness. Last week, Jeremy Lin invited the ESPN employee who was fired for writing an offensive headline about Lin to lunch. Newsday spoke with the journalist in question, Anthony Federico:

Federico apologized after he was fired, calling the headline’s play on words ["chink in the armor"] “an honest mistake.” Lin said at the time that he accepted the apology and added, “You have to learn to forgive.” Apparently, he meant it. A member of Lin’s family reached out to Federico via…

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Another Week Ends: Willy Loman Preaches, Complicated Mourning, Extroversion Mandates, Celebrity Marriage Formulas, Dependency Dilemmas, Kontiki, Mad Men and Rowan Williams

Another Week Ends: Willy Loman Preaches, Complicated Mourning, Extroversion Mandates, Celebrity Marriage Formulas, Dependency Dilemmas, Kontiki, Mad Men and Rowan Williams

1. A little over four weeks until our Spring Conference in NYC (4/19-21), which means that on Monday night 3/19, the “Earlybird rates” will expire ($150/couple or $100/person all-inclusive). You can’t say we didn’t warn you… If you need an extra push, earlier this week the Episcopal News Service published a generous piece about Mockingbird, which describes our past conferences in flattering terms. So pre-register today! And speaking of our little organization, in the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up department, a killer Mbird headline appeared in The NY Times recently that was just too uncanny not to share, “Nazareth Defeats Christ the King in…

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People Watching

Betty Draper anyone?

Forgiving Don Draper

Forgiving Don Draper

A laudably contrarian view of Mad Men appeared in the recent issue of The New York Review of Books by Daniel Mendelsohn, “The Mad Men Account,” raising a number of important questions before making a remarkable and even rather touching conclusion, namely, that the real subtext of the show is an attempt by boomer children to come to terms with, and maybe even forgive, their parents.

Mendelsohn still sells the series short: for example, when he claims that he was only genuinely drawn into the drama once in the entire four seasons (as participant rather than observer), it’s a little hard…

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The Year in Television 2010

The Year in Television 2010

I remember in high school once arguing with a friend about the obvious inferiority of television as a medium, that any format created solely to sell advertising could never reach the same artistic heights as, say, the silver screen. Silly rabbit… The golden age of television rolled on this year, once again significantly eclipsing anything Hollywood has been able to put together (not that there haven’t been some bright spots in cinema as well). But the seven best shows on television of 2011, both from a Mockingbird-friendly and just plain artistic point of view, were the following:

7. LOST. Like the…

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