Monday, April 28, 2014
We're having a conversation!
Jim Cutler is reading Jessica Mitford's American Way of Death and says to/jokes with Harry about how they should get into the funeral business. This either hints at Cutler's propensity for long games (Mitford tore the funeral business a new one with that book — Cutler may suspect that the funeral business' thrust into the spotlight may pay off in publicity in the long run and may one day inspire a successful HBO show) — which Bert Cooper made a remark about, as he was surprised to hear some long term thinking from Cutler on the subject of Harry's computer — OR he likes the dead. This is the guy who, before the audience saw much of him, unabashedly watched Stan have sex with his late colleague's daughter and told Peggy to please not interrupt his peep session.
I say this as a person with a degree in creative writing, who, when I say I have work to do after work, means I have short stories to write, and who cares more about how every single sentence sounds than anything else (unless I am being compensated to care about something else). I say this also as someone who works in a newsroom: I have got an unmurderable bias against journalists (generally aspiring) who laud the fuck out of Joan Didion when Jessica Mitford — who one may only encounter by means of first being intrigued by the Mitford family — after a life of being denied access to the education she wanted, made herself into an investigative journalist and, after experiencing some predatory business in the planning of a funeral, dedicated herself to writing a book about the industry in order to expose her experience as part of a greater, reprehensible phenomenon. Grit! And style! I like Didion's 60s-70s work, too, and Play it as it Lays, just — I am overjoyed at the prospect Mad Men could give American Way of Death the Meditations in an Emergency bump.
Also: By some tremendous writing and canny use of the gap between seasons (as in the real life gap between season six ending in 2013 and season seven resuming three weeks ago), Mad Men has been able to obscure Don's latest, searing offenses to Peggy in order to make it appear to casual viewers like her rage at him comes from thin air*. Just as the audience may not realize they have misplaced something, so the partners fail to realize that "Lane's office," the office they offer Don, is occupied by guess who (edit: Peggy is the invisible boy!).
* - Don enabled Ted to head for Los Angeles, leaving Peggy with Lou — without support and with any dignity she may have scraped up totally crippled.