Thursday, July 18, 2013

Imitatio project: Nostalgia cont'd

Second thought

Last week we were discussing Don's weird and seriously inappropriate blurting out of his secrets during the meeting with Hershey. But, more than that, it was entirely out of character. What the &*%$ is going on?

SInce we have been paying attention, we know that Matt Weiner thinks people can't change. He's wrong about that but it's obviously his big belief. (And a useful rationalization too.) Anyway, the next step, if you believe that, is that anyone who tries to do what Don Draper has done will see their personality disintegrate.

And thus the blurting out.

I think we can go further than that. If we flash back to The Hobo Code, we will see that young Dick's discovery that his father was a dishonest man had a huge impact on him. He needs to be different from that. That is why Sally calling him on his lies had such a deep impact on him.

All this is the character as Matt Weiner seems him mind you. I don't find it plausible at all myself. My father is of the Don Draper generation and my Godfather was of the Roger Sterling generation. They were guys who shed the culture they were born into to become successful just the way Don Draper does. They were born into struggling minority cultures and they left it all behind. In fact, they cut their pasts off just as brutally as Don does Adam. And they didn't disintegrate. They held together and triumphed.

And that scares the crap out of us baby boomers. We're intimidated by those older generations because we know that nothing we have done can measure up to what they did. No, they weren't perfect but they were better than we are in a lot of ways and we could do well to stop smugly dismissing them and learn something from them.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely, I totally agree, and the older I get the more I agree. When I think of my father going off to War at the age of 20 a chill goes down my spine. Because there but for the grace of God could have been me in the late 60s. We were all %($*)ng in our pants at the very thought of going to Viet Nam, yet my father and many others enlisted in the early 1940s before Pearl Harbor knowing that war was on the horizon. I should add that my father was a naturalized American citizen, he came to the US at age 8 with his family. He never went beyond the 8th grade, but spoke the King's English with no trace of an accent, and was better read and had a better grasp of American History than many graduating today from the Ivy colleges. I think the erroneous theories and assumptions of psychology, which are widely accepted, have colored Weiner's view.