Monthly Archives: October 2010

Mad Man, California, Don’s marriage, and joy

From post World War II until the 1990s, California was the future. America was moving West yet again. From entertainment to Disney, aerospace to education, California represented the bright and warm future that the US could look forward to… dude. And for Don Draper, California is his future as well.

In California, Don has a healthy break from his past of Dick Whitman, a new wife and complete family. This is the future he wants to make for himself. I just don’t think anyone expected it to come so soon. But then again, a sudden marriage proposal is just the thing to further the plot of Mad Men for another season. Because they certainly wouldn’t rush the plot to keep things interesting for the next season.

It really seems like Mad Men has been wedding after wedding after wedding. And next? Did somebody say long lost triplets? And a tiny green space alien named Ozmodiar that only Don can see!

But what his new fiance mean? First, she is French, and France is supposed to be the cultural center of the world at this time. Furthermore, she wants to be a wife, but also has expressed business aspirations. She is a mixed bag, a middle contradiction at this time of cultural shift. But in the end, I guess she is the future or some such.

On the other hand, Betty represents the past. She is married to a moderate Republican in the era of Goldwater and Nixon. She is a child masquerading as an adult, merely wanting to be cared for and unable to deal with conflict. She only has the option of domestic life for her personal joy.

In contrast, it seems like Peggy can only get it from work. Joan claims that she “learned long ago not to get all my satisfaction from this job.” On which Peggy accurately claims “bullshit.”

Not that Joan can’t get joy from domestic life. It is just not her domestic life. She wanted to be the perfect housewife — one who wouldn’t have to work — and has failed to achieve that. Even her child, the future little bundle of joy, is not from her planned domestic partner, but from her office mate. Indeed, the deepest joy she’ll get in life, that of a child as the cliche goes, originates from her office.

And, coming back to the beginning, Don has found joy in his office as well. Then again, he met Betty when she was a model for a campaign. So who is to say that this will be any different.

And thus concludes my last Mad Men reflection of the season, though rather half-assed.

Another Evan column, and a reaction from the Dean

First, thanks to Roxanna Maisel, whose line “I know lots of things, but most of them are wrong,” I stole for this column.

The Cardozo Jurist came out yesterday, and I have another column in it. Because the paper only comes out monthly, each column needs to be a real barn burner. No time to waste precious column space on pot or masturbating. I have a list of the big wheels at the law school, and each column will address one. Last month was the Dean, this month is law journals. And you can read all about it at the Jurist website! Or here. Or whatever. (pdf: Mintz oct column)

In addition to my column, the Dean wrote a response to my column from the previous issue, in which I accused him of general cowardice when it came to gay rights. Of course my column was mean, blunt and over the top. It was written by me, Evan! However, it does raise the question of whether gay rights should be viewed as a political matter or as one of civil and human rights. I think that it unequivocally should be the latter, and there is no room for compromise. A general written statement does not have the authority of a public statement, which I guess the Dean made in this letter. So I’m glad I could force him into that position, or some such.

Also, notice the redesign of the newspaper! It looks pretty darn cool. They finally bought inDesign.