Mad Men Memories: A 1960s Time Machine

Any babyish boomer absorbed by the anticipation of traveling through time (and who hasn't anticipation about it at atomic once?) could calmly get absorbed on the AMC series, Mad Men. I acknowledge to adequate an aficionado as anon as I stumbled aloft the aboriginal few episodes of Season One online during a snowstorm endure winter. It instantly launched a cruise aback in time to my childhood, and adored continued abeyant memories of a actual altered era, abounding with autumn gold appliances, shirtwaist dresses and, by today's standards, rather adverse animal behavior.

First, there was the smoke. Everywhere, all the time; in fact, the aboriginal episode, set in 1960, was blue-blooded "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Having developed up in a abode with a ancestor who smoked two packs a day, in apartment with nicotine-stained walls, I was jarringly reminded of a time if not alone was chain-smoking altogether adequate behavior (although the surgeon accepted and Reader's Digest was hot on the industry's heels, abundant to the annoyance of Lucky Strike and its ad men), it was commonly accomplished by doctors. One arena featured a arrogant gynecologist lighting up in the assay allowance afore assuming a pap test. While I watched, incredulous, al of a sudden a anamnesis alike of our ancestors doctor admonishing my ancestor in his appointment that he should abdicate smoking, while abolition his own cigarette in an overflowing ashtray on his desk. Yes, it absolutely was like that aback then.

Tut-tut moments like these abound in Mad Men. Addition archetype from that aboriginal adventure is if the capital character's seven-year-old daughter, Sally, is arena astronaut with a acquaintance while the two mothers sit in the kitchen, chattering and of course, smoking. Sally's arrogant mother Betty, al of a sudden apprehensive that something is afoot, amendment her babe into the kitchen. Sally appears with a dry cleaner bag over her head, no agnosticism eliciting a aggregate blow from all the parents examination out there. Rather than anon affairs bag off her head, Betty actively reprimands Sally for accepting into her closet. Ah, I realized, that's afore they started press those warnings "This bag is not a toy." Surely the fate of accouchement beneath advantageous than Sally was the catalyst abaft that campaign, abundant like ever-increasing cases of lung blight precipitated the admonishing labels on cigarettes.

I accept a ambiguous bond of the canicule afore Lady Byrd Johnson's "Keep America Beautiful" campaign, searching out from the backseat of my dad's Oldsmobile, if our highways were abounding with clutter and drivers alone debris out their windows with nary a thought. (Years later, the affecting Native American with the breach alive down his audacity was one of the a lot of able accessible account announcements in history.) Abundant like blank bench belts, a lot of of us couldn't appreciate that blazon of behavior today; if we appear to attestant it, our a lot of acceptable acknowledgment would be, "Pig!" Again, a arena from Mad Men conspicuously illustrates the mindset of the nouveau disposable generation: afterwards a comfortable ancestors barbecue on a absolute in a park, Mom, Dad and the two kids get up to accumulation into the new Cadillac. Mom picks up the blanket, all-overs off the contents--plates, cups, napkins, extra food--and leaves it broadcast on the grass. The beginning clutter blockage attack had clearly yet to ability suburbia.

There's addition ancillary to the time-traveling aspect of Mad Men above eliciting down-covered memories of my aboriginal years, and it may be the a lot of disturbing. The analysis of women in the abode about 1960 should accomplish every adolescent woman today who dismisses feminism as bizarre but passé sit up and yield notice. The aboriginal episodes in accurate appearance arena afterwards arena of the accepted crop of artistic adolescent Turks with frat boy sensibilities, aboveboard critiquing the secretaries' clothes, bodies, demeanor, carriage, speech, and accuracy (or perceived abridgement thereof). The arrant objectification of women during this time, and what our predecessors had to ensure as trailblazers in what was absolutely a man's world, comes as a shock today. As anyone who has apprehend their company's animal aggravation action can attest, any one of the above behaviors could advance to actual termination. We accept come a continued way, baby.

In the end, that is the accurate address of Mad Men. It blithely captures a time and abode that abounding of us can bethink alone aural the ambience of The Beatles, and allows us a blink into what all those alleged grown-ups were up to while we were dancing to Twist and Shout.