Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Ted, Brian, and Don
Good news --- I’m blogging.
Bad news -- I’m blogging about nothing.
Ted Kennedy died. Hard to believe that the last of the Kennedy dynasty has died. Ted was not one of my favorites -- he seemed a little smarmy, and I don’t appreciate his career Senate seat. If we look back at the founding fathers ideas, I don’t think that making Congressman your “lifework” was part of the original idea. I think you were supposed to “serve” and go back to your real job. One of the many problems with our current government -- but I’m not getting started with that….
The Kennedy family had a certain tainted royalty about them. We held them up high for some reason, but their beginnings were humble. I remember at one time, after the assassination of RFK, spending a whole summer reading everything that I could about them. They were tragic -- so much sadness, but they had money and press -- a combination that made them very readable in a tabloid kind of way.
Photogenic in that Massachusetts way (my father would say the women were “horse farm” looking) , the Kennedys were a clan -- father was a bootlegger, mother was a matriarch who stood by her man no matter what he did, but is biographysized as a stoic, no-nonsense disciplinarian with her children, one son died in a blaze of glory as a war hero, and two other sons killed by assassins -- that’s the stuff of fiction -- a Hollywood like saga made for TV movie.
They were legendary. They will be written up as so, but I am not sure that history will paint them in a beautiful light. I’ll give them this --- at one time, we Americans could not get enough of them.
I’ve been watching the Braves. They are wearing me out. Chipper looks tired, I don’t know their names, and in HD, they all look like they are wearing Maybeline lipstick # 42. I love baby faced Brian McCann though -- he’s like the all American boy success story -- or at least for this season.
I have also been watching Season 1 and Season 2 of Mad Men. It’s quite the rage right now -- written up in magazines and newspapers as the “drama” of the year… winner of Golden Globes and Emmys -- but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s campy, realistic, and depressing. You don’t want to watch too many episodes back to back, or you might find yourself wanting to go out and buy a pack of Lucky Strikes and a case of scotch.
The anti-hero is Don Draper -- which has to be a play on the word “dapper” -- an ad agency’s creative director and whose ability to pull “ideas” out of the air is rather “whatever,” but he has a certain charm in that American “rags to riches” boy story --- he’s a philander, a bully, and a liar, but for some reason, I love him. The fictional ad agency that sets the drama’s background, Sterling and Cooper, is full of interesting people whose lives intertwine at work and after … most of them not necessarily wholesome activities.
This is not for the young. It’s totally an adult show. It’s a ugly look at American life in the 1960s-- where money should buy happiness, but it mostly buys them drinks and terrible decisions with sometimes rather tragic consequences . There is not a contented character on the show -- unless it’s Peggy Olson, but she has had her own “issues.” (I’m thinking Jimmy Olson of Superman fame -- but I could be making too many connections.)
I dunno. I just know I’m hooked.
Other than that -- I’m still reading.
I haven’t read anything really worthy of blogging -- I read a collection of Chris Adrian’s short stories, which made me go “huh” at the end of them, and a novel titled The Pleasing Hour. I’m still thinking about whether I liked it or not. I think not.
Adrian is a little confused -- he’s a doctor and a divinity student. His stories did not indicate the latter. I wonder what divinity school he attends?
I looked up today and realized that this is the third week of school. I keep waiting to miss it. I’ll let you know when that happens.
Meanwhile, I’m busy. Very busy.