Thursday, July 7, 2011

Don Draper and the Hipsters

Having joined approximately 13,000 (as of this writing) others who Facebook-shared this The Oatmeal comic, "What Would Don Draper Do?", I am now ready to relate to both readers of this precious, precious blog that the comic reminded me of one of several perfect moments from Mad Men:

Hipster: You invent the lie. You invent 'want.' You are for them, not us.

Draper: Well, I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.
This is such an exquisite moment because of the eloquence of the exchange and for how it reaches the viewer. I think I speak for all passionate fans of Mad Men -- now and always -- when I say I can relate to both sides of this exchange, the suited businessman and the rejectionist hipsters. The exponents of youth culture in the 1960s made much of their departures from the formulas and conventions to which they were born; the avatars of the establishment made much of brushing these complaints aside as unserious, immature, irrelevant, and feckless. All of us, Mad Men viewers and non-viewers alike, now inhabit the society that these two factions have squabbled into shape ever since. They are both right and they are both wrong: whatever we might think or project or hope, we were born to a particular moment in time, and history is not undirected but it is indifferent.

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