Burn Down Sterling Cooper

Last nights Mad Men was a pretty fantastic episode, kinda like one extended scene from Oceans 11 or the Magnificent 7 where they try to get together a team of wacky cutups, each with their own talents a skills. Pete finally came out of his weasel bubble and demonstrated in an oddly sexy interaction with his wife that he had talent beyond just whining.

Joan was brought back the most awesome way possible.

Peggy finally stands up to Don.

Sally is the voice of truth yet again: You say things and don’t mean them. Don is an ad man. A constant liar. Damn right he says things and doesn’t mean them.

But the historical context of the episode is the most interesting. Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price set out on it own on December 13, 1963, declaring independence from its British overlords, which only seemed to treat it as a financial resource, worrying only about the short term. It is only appropriate that this comes smack dab between Kenya’s independence from Britain on December 12 and Zanzibar’s independence from Britain on December 19.

There is no real reason why the men of Sterling Cooper needed to break away. They would have been paid. They would have worked until they were fired. But they needed to be their own men, masters of their own kingdom, to manage and work as they see right, not merely worrying about the bottom line or profit.

They did not want to be mined for natural resources until nothing was left.

But if the histories of Kenya and Zanzibar show anything, its that the sudden burst of elation and creativity after declaring independence will fall into power struggles and internal conflict.

Just be wary of defense pacts with Ethiopia.

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