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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mad Men : The Carrousel

A new Heathcliff anonymous (or is it yoyo in disguise ???) put in THIS link on the last post :

(How about that, Thai, I am inviting you to dinner...)

I have never watched Mad Men, and had never heard of it before. I am... back in the Stone Age as far as American TV is concerned, in fact, as far as MOST TV is concerned.

This scene is particularly interesting when juxtaposed with... scenes from Nodame Cantabile (see previous post).
It is a moving scene. Sentimental, to a certain point without being maudlin.
In my mind, this scene is as American as... apple pie.
It illustrates just what being American IS, what the national aura or myth or whatever of American is :
A nice, earnest,honorable, honest young man in love with his wife who wants to do good in the world. (Hint : ALL of those words are weighted and mean something in this little equation...)
Why take exception to that ? WHO could possibly take exception to that ???

The underpinnings : this nice, earnest, etc etc young man is in an advertising conference. He is talking about.... how to EXPLOIT human psychology in order to SELL a product. (Yeah, I know, we all have to put our food on the table somehow, right ?)
So... is there something wrong with USING what we know about human psychology to SELL something ?
A lot of that depends on what kind of value/interpretation you put on the act of selling something to someone, right ? And on... WHAT you're selling ? If you're selling SHIT, and you know you're selling shit, then... the act of selling becomes a way of...duping, tricking another human being into doing something that he would NOT do if he were properly informed. And, YOU are deprived of the life sustaining possibility of.. believing IN what you're DOING (i.e... SELLING) AND the commodity/object/service that you're selling.
Along the lines of what I said in the last comment, WE have added another manifold (ah hah, Thai, I think that I have FINALLY used your word correctly, you may applaud...) when we step back to see the dimension of human spychology to incorporate it into our TACTICS, strategies, whatever, to obtain what we want. And this is NOT innocent ; there is a price to be paid for this new manifold (cynicism, insincerity, suspicion, paranoia, lots of things come to mind).
Back to apple pie.
This young man is so... EARNEST. I identify. This scene is... like well, Hemingway when in one of his novels he has a male character say to a lover, following lovemaking :"did the earth move ?", or something along those lines.
You just want to punch this character and say : lighten up !!! The sky is NOT falling ; the sun (also rises) tomorrow morning !
Which is where Nodame Cantabile comes in. You would NOT see this kind of scene in Nodame, which is fraught with emotion, sentiment, whatever. The characters may take themselves seriously, but... the SHOW does not take ITSELF seriously.
We are a very very complexed nation, in my book.
God, I went through 20 years of psychoanalysis to attempt to escape from Apple Pie.
Sometimes I think that I will be eating it.. in my grave...


Thai said...

Deb, I thought you might enjoy.

Thai said...

You have to love the conservation of energy within the motif, no?

Street Dog said...


My primary intent in posting that clip was to focus on the feeling of nostalgia. Tangents ensue. Unlike personal pictures that remind us of REAL experiences in our past, Mad Men is art poorly imitating American life in the early 60's. The Hollywood ideologic prism always refracts reality into pretty memsmerizing colors that no longer resemble the original source. The influence of film and television is strong enough that life begins to imitate art for better or worse. But salesmanship aside, the clip was about shared human experience and nostalgia.

Heathcliff? Psychoanalysis gone awry. You like the Hitchhiker's Guide pentalogy with all it's negativity about humanity? Maybe you relate to the pandimensional mice (street rats?).

In all my travels, free trade has always has an element of gamesmanship. From a Turkish bazaar to an Apple™ Superstore. You can try to socially engineer human endeavors if you wish, bon courage! Thai's clip points out some of the nitty gritty well enough.

Street Dog (Sane) in the house

Thai said...

Street Dog, I humbly encourage you to post here whenever you want (Dink can give you access), you have fan readers.

Be well

Debra said...

Street Dog...
Like many of Hell's readers over there in that parallel universe of Sudden Debt, you and I seem to not be on the same the same universe, if you will.
I'm interested in what you're saying but...
the way you're saying it, and WHAT you're saying are an... illustration of my post.
We could spend hours dissecting the "real" experience phrase.
Does life imitate art ? Yes and no...
Personally, I've always been bonkers over Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale".
And... I have NEVER seen life imitate THAT art. I could give you other examples.
I get the feeling that you are pissed that I did not "use" this link the way you intended.
But.... the FREE market ideology (and the very principle/idea of art/creativity enable me to... take hold of something and transform it, right ?
Careful in drawing conclusions about my psychoanalytic background, Street Dog.
You'll need to read the blog's past posts (follow its history) in order to comment in a pertinent way on this.
I have never read the Hitchiker's guide. (Mea culpa, I DID read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" a long long time ago when I was posing as a 1970's hippie.. Does that count ?)
We come from many DIFFERENT places on this blog.
Last but not least : this blog is about... loosening up and having fun TOO, in my book.
Nice to see you here. Welcome. Hope you have... fun.

Street Dog said...

@ Thai

Thank you, be well in mind and body

@ Debra

Blog posts are such a limiting form of communication. I'm not sure how I illustrate your post, tell me. I certainly do not take life too seriously. You picked up on that when I posted as Bozo. Even if we reside on different planes, our planes might intersect. Vive la différence! The Heathcliff moniker is a very poor fit for Street Dog, no other conclusions drawn. As to Hitchhiker's, I failed to realize the blog has multiple authors until now. Your post did not piss me off in the least. I would agree with much of what you had to say. I value a life well-lived, playing the amateur economist/philosopher is simply a fun diversion. I value your ideas and those of some of the other posters, even when we disagree. Just perusing the post titles here, I would have enjoyed commenting on many of these. So, thanks for the welcome. In the spirit of this crazy saloon, I'll have a single malt scotch, neat.

Dink said...

"You like the Hitchhiker's Guide pentalogy with all it's negativity about humanity? Maybe you relate to the pandimensional mice (street rats?)."

I hadn't thought of Benji & Frankie Mouse as street rats, but I like it. Perhaps one of the best scenes in the Hitchhiker series is when they trek to go see God's final message to his creation; it turns out to be a huge sign saying "We apologize for any inconvenience". Nice!

"when I posted as Bozo."

Oh, I recall I liked Bozo posts. It also reminds me that I saw this book called "Bozo Sapien" that I was curious about. Never enough time.

"So, thanks for the welcome. In the spirit of this crazy saloon, I'll have a single malt scotch, neat."

I'll extend a welcome too. Its shockingly easy to write posts so e-mail me if you'd like to be added as an author. We pour our own drinks here ;)

Debra said...

Ha, Street Dog, so you're Bozo too ??
I take back what I said on my comment...
But, frankly what's so bad about being mistaken for Heathcliff ?
(Actually I threw it out basically as a reference to the Romantic hero...)

So.... let's party. (I'll have a.. Ti Punch, as my Daddy turned me off scotch when I was six by handing over his nightly Martini to a curious me.)

Thai said...

Thank heavens for no Heathcliff.

And re: Bozo the Clown

I suspected you two were the same person! You have the same writers voice if you will.

Indeed, I love your comments, even where their comic's edge points directly at me ;-)

Please, join us. Clowns are particularly welcome.

Philosophy (with some Scotch) is definitely the name of the game in this saloon though some like SS are a lot further down the road than others.

You can dish your musings from any viewpoint you want.

The more novel the more applause.

Personally, I have been trying to get out the nihilistic black hole that is the conservation of energy that all these econ blogs have reminded me of, any help you can share to get out would be most appreciated.

Dink is probably the sanest of us

Deb, well you know Deb. I think she has a slightly different variant on my same problem probably best stated Nietzsche

"Wherever I climb, I am followed by a dog named 'Ego'.".

SS and Cotton seem on a temporary walkabout- but you never can tell with bees.

And Okie... well I am sure you know as well as all the rest of us that Okie is (and probably always will be) a very good soul.

Please, join us. Sharp wit all the better.

Debra said...

Thanks for the link, Thai.
It was refreshing proof that America is made up of more than...10,000,000 honest, earnest, honorable, coat and tie Wasp... brokers, ad men, salesmen, whatever, with no sense of humor...

Dink said...

"on a temporary walkabout- but you never can tell with bees."

Maybe I dreamt it, but I could have sworn there was a new post last night about an Ambien-induced walkabout where the traveler never actually left the house. Well, apparently the traveler had a safe flight home ;)

"But, frankly what's so bad about being mistaken for Heathcliff ?
(Actually I threw it out basically as a reference to the Romantic hero...)"

I saw a movie version of Wuthering Heights and thought there must have been some mistake- Heathcliff was an asshole (Catherine too really). Thinking that perhaps the director had chosen some incorrect interpretation, I read the book. Nope, Heathcliff really was a malevolent, wife-beating prick.

Its reminiscent of learning that an opera (which seemed so classy in Italian)is really a low-brow sitcom (once its translated into English).

Street Dog said...

I believe I correctly diagnosed one of the early cases of sleepblogging. I think I will write this up for the Journal of Sleep Medicine and maybe a blurb for High Times.

Debra said...

Translation, please.
But remember... I'M in a different time zone...
(When I'm not in a different universe, of course.)

Debra said...

Oops, I didn't read Dink carefully enough.

Thai said...


No comment

The better news is that I am finally got caught up on all my continuing medical education (CME) and LLSA testing for the year last night and today.

It is getting out of control how much we need to complete- I mean it.

I estimate we now need to study full time for 2 full weeks a year with specialty society/state and national licensing issues, etc...

I wonder if anyone has ever done any studies that actually show all this additional continuing education and certification actually make a quality difference, etc...?

Sometimes I think my specialty does this simply to justify its status/careers, etc...

Oh well, I did not invent our system

Thai said...

And re: Heathcliff

I am on your side on this one Dink (at least from my memory of the Heathcliff character).

In fact I seem to remember that my wife and I have had this conversation a while ago: "What's up with women and Heathcliff?"

Her response let me to conclude it was definitely a chick thing.

She says it's the whole man so devoted he goes insane, is willing to die for you, etc... thing.


Deb, you will have to court Heathcliff yourself.

... Though in the spirit of cooperation if you need hand, I am sure Dink and I will lend a hand if you give the sign. ;-)

Debra said...

LOL, Thai, you mean that you have not yet realized that continuing education for doctors is a... "juteux" is the word that comes to mind, it means.. juicy source of income for all those consultants out there who have to put food on their table ???
In my book, you are obviously continuing your education by.. WORKING, and in the course of your job and the exhausting time you spend informing yourself about things like how the crows recognize individual people, obviously you are continuing your education... (No insult intended, Thai, personally I loved your link about the crows...)
Heathcliff, of course, was... Laurence Olivier, probably one of the sexiest men who ever existed. Yes, I can admit it is a "chick" thing, if you like.
The... difference between the sexes is THE difference, Thai... the one that REALLY counts...

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits