Mad for Mad Men: Ditching Addiction (Not by Choice)


Don't worry, nobody is more disturbed by this than I am, so.

I just finished watching all 92 episodes of Mad Men, and I'm here to reconfirm what should really be no surprise to anybody at this technological stage of life: binging is a real thing. Binging used to refer to food. It still does. But maybe more than that, this kind of binging has taken over the original meaning. What does that say about us as a culture, that media has become more prominent in our diet than actual food? Well, personally, it sickens me. We are all sick, sick fucks, and were I crazier or more motivated, I'd be out of here, folks, on the first ship to wherever we're supposed to live after Earth, but super early to the party, maybe even too early.


Anyway. There were times over this last month and a half that I wanted to leave work, a conversation, a workout, a relationship (just kidding about that one), to crawl into bed and watch this fucking show.


Logically, there's nothing about it that should appeal to me. I'm not even sure why I began. I find Jon Hamm's face very appealing. His body hair and shape, though, leave more to be desired. That's just me. Every time (well maybe not every time) I'd look at Don Draper's face and reflect on his attractiveness, I'd wonder what long-buried issues I hold that drew me to this character. I wondered if, instead of daddy issues, I have childhood teacher issues. As in, he kind of resembles the handsome Baptist teachers I had who were, more or less, in one way or another, cads. (Except for one.) I'm disturbed writing this, but it's 2am and whatever the lyrics are to the Matchbox 20 song even though it's a song about 3am.


Don Draper is the biggest alcoholic and liar ever. Why was I rooting for him? Because, as one guy said while talking shit to him in one of the last episodes, he's handsome? There was a lot of that - seeing how differently attractive versus not-as-attractive people are treated. It's bothersome to recognize, but it's human nature. It's yet another way we're all sick fucks. Today I drove past a man walking around the foundation of his new home being built. I wondered what immediate and unconscious judgments or assumptions I'd make based on if this person were black or white or brown or otherwise. I found that there's always something.


And my god, the way women were treated. These days, it's more PC on the surface, that's for sure. Although I'd like to think there's a deeper shift happening in how women are regarded. It's still quite fucked. But the way Peggy and Joan came up through the seasons was pretty sick. Unfortunate when Joan had to hook up with that nasty ass dude, but hey, she got a partnership out of it. I, too, would ask for a lot if I felt forced into a version of prostitution. Yet, Don the Cad was the only one who was distraught about it. I guess there's a reason I was stuck on this fool. But everyone has decent qualities! Even sociopaths and serial killers. The bar is set low and also happens to be in everyone's office.


Which brings me to the drinking. If I drank a fraction as much as these mother fuckers did - and at work! - I would be soooo ugly. Drinking shows up on this mug real fast, and I'm too vain to become an alcoholic just for what it'd do to my face and love handles, aside from the fact that I tire of everything after a while. But wow, the drinking. Morning, lunch, evening, celebration, sadness, boredom, sleep-aid. It was a lot. I felt drunk watching this show. Surprisingly I did not watch this show while drunk. Hmm.. That can't be true, so scratch that.


Another unrelatable-to-my-life-thing: it's all white people! I haven't seen that many white people since Nadya's bachelorette in Bozeman, Montana! (Five months ago.) It was all whites until the last two seasons when black people showed up. The only time someone who resembled me was in the show was at some weird Chinese restaurant as a waitress dressed in a cheongsam. Eye roll af. I wonder what I'd be doing with my life if I grew up in a world where people who looked like me were as prominent in the media as people who didn't look like me. But that's neither here nor there, as is the nature of hypotheticals.


I'm not sure if my mind is mush or better for it. Having seen all seven seasons of Mad Men, that is. I liked how they wrapped everything up, I gotta say. I was pleased, although it doesn't take that much to please me when it comes to television or movies. Once I'm invested, I'm fuckin' committed. Like my ex told me, I can be loyal to a fault. Until I set your car on fire with you and your belongings in it. Just kidding, checking to see if you're still with me. I'm not even with me at this point. Don Draper is with me. For better or for worse. Except not, because he can't stay committed to anything except a steady dose of alcohol and philandering. Well, I guess he's committed to that. Spoiler alert: I think he breaks his commitment to even that.


See? Nothing lasts.


Oh! I know who he reminds me of - them old Hollywood actors. I loved those AMC and TMC movies growing up, which I'm sure contributes to some of my issues which aren't necessarily issues issues per se, but you know. Rather, you dont' know because I'm not getting into it because it's now 3:15am. Anyway, Gregory Peck is/was my ultimate, and come to think of it, Don Draper is like Gregory Peck gone bad, real bad. Don is Greg if Greg developed narcissism and an uncontrollable addiction and channeled his lowest vibrations. So perhaps the loyalty on my end is more out of wondering whether this son of a bitch is ever going to get his shit together, because isn't that all we ever want? For those we care for to get their shit together, which is ultimately the reflection of our desire to get our own shit together?


Am I experiencing grief or withdrawal or emptiness or relief? All can exist together. We know that. I just finished making that ridiculous as fuck collage of Don Draper. I feel sick now. Goodnight world.

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