Posts tagged "Mad Men"

Where Have All the Grown-Ups Gone?

Where Have All the Grown-Ups Gone?

There I was, reclining in the waiting room while my son met with his speech therapist, as I do every week. Computer on my lap—heaven forbid I sit there unoccupied—I was reading A.O. Scott’s new treatise for The Times on “The Death of Adulthood in American Culture.” I like Scott’s writing, so I ignored the instinct to roll my eyes at the prospect of yet another think-piece about stunted millennials; I had time to kill, after all. It opens with some bold claims:

Something profound has been happening in our television over the past decade, some end-stage reckoning. It is the…

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Another Week Ends: Evil Without, Fitness Within, Gilbert and Sullivan, Jesus and “My Wife”, Relentless Popes, Concessive Friends, Bad TV Fans and Worse Tinder Dates

Another Week Ends: Evil Without, Fitness Within, Gilbert and Sullivan, Jesus and “My Wife”, Relentless Popes, Concessive Friends, Bad TV Fans and Worse Tinder Dates

1. Sarah Palin this week let loose another of the brand of comments she’s known for – offensive or courageous or whatever, depending on your politics. The exact line was something along the lines of, “If I were in charge they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.” It would be a mistake to blame Palin too much; it’s hard to win primaries as a moderate these days, right or left. The more sobering news comes from the world of Stats: reporting on Palin’s comments, The Dish noted the following:

[The best recent research] reveals that vast swathes of American Christianity are…

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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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