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    • What May’s Brexit Deal Tells Us About The EU and Britain’s Future
      So, May has a Brexit deal. It’s a terrible deal, which makes the UK subject to many EU laws, and which doesn’t allow Britain to withdraw from the deal if the EU doesn’t want it to. This has caused ministerial resignations, and Corbyn has come out against it. But the interesting part is what the […]
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Mad Men Season 4 Starts Tonight: Another Ibsen Play?

So, I’ve waited since last November for Mad Men to start again.  Withdrawal symptoms have been severe.  I saved some old episodes on my DVR and watch them whenever there’s nothing good on.  And, let’s face it, compared to Mad Men, nothing on TV actually comes close.  You can watch a Mad Men scene a zillion times and never see it the same way twice.  They’re densely packed with deep, chewy introspective goodness and symbolism.  Tonight is the beginning of season four and I am in Harrisburg visiting my Mom.

“Oooo, mum, Mad Men starts tonight!”

“Oh, I don’t get AMC with my cable package.”

pause

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”

I had the foresight to set my DVR at home but I may get the shakes before tomorrow.  Luckily, episodes will be available from iTunes.  Am I willing to spring a couple bucks to satisfy my fix?  You bethcha.

For those of you not hooked yet, Mad Men is the works of Henrik Ibsen set in the Manhattan advertisement business of the 60’s  and features significant angst in the suburban enclave of Ossining- er, or wherever Betty moved to.

The relationships to the Ibsen masterpieces are pretty clear.  Don Draper is a Peer Gynt who is trying to find himself.  Betty Draper is Nora Tesman of Doll’s House, a deeply unhappy child-woman who is trying to break free of cultural norms for her sex, and failing miserably.  She also shares the role of Hedda Gabler with Joan Harris, a smart, accomplished woman who married a surgeon she doesn’t love because she thought she was getting to be an old maid.  She doesn’t get the dream all the magazines promised her.  Joan is also the Christina to Roger Sterling’s Eylert Lovborg, a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, a talent for charming the clients and the inability to say no to any impulse.  Then there’s Peggy, Don’s gifted protege who breaks with convention and becomes a career woman.  Is she a female Peer Gynt?  One of Ibsen’s poorer and lonelier, working-girl heroines?  Or did Mad Men’s creator Matt Weiner throw in August Strindberg’s Miss Julie in reverse as the theme for Peggy and Pete’s bad romance?

Many of these stories hit a critical point in last season’s finale: Betty learned Don’s secret, his real identity, and left him for Henry Francis, a Republican political operative.  Joan Harris smacked her loser husband in the head with a vase, parked him in the military and went back to work.  Don, Roger, Pete, Peggy, Lane Pryce and Bert Cooper fired themselves from the old firm and started a new one from scratch in a hotel suite.  Don headed off to a new bachelor pad and freedom from Ice Princess Betty.

So, what happens next?   Will Betty leave her Doll’s House behind or has she traded one Barbie Dreamhouse for another?  Will Don find a new woman in green?  Will Roger and Joan be able to work together without combusting?  What about Peggy and Pete?  And how will the events of 1964 affect the characters?  Will Don’s morning cough develop into something more serious?  Anyone care to speculate?

Get your Mad on.

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A Conversation on Race: Let’s Not

CB001871 On Sunday Night during the VMAs, one of my favorite singers, Taylor Swift, a pop country singer just a few months older than me who writes and performs her own songs, was giving her acceptance speech after winning the Best Female Video of the Year Award, when Kanye West randomly appeared on the stage, took her award from her, and declared that she didn’t deserve it, explaining, “Beyonce had the best video of the year!” Taylor Swift went back stage and cried, and since then Kanye West has apologized to her, but not before his behavior became a subject of controversy.

Most people deduced reasonably that regardless of whether Kanye thought Taylor deserved the award (It’s called: “You Belong With Me” is the most adorable video ever and Taylor deserved the honor hands down, but whatever), it was not reason enough for him to leap on the stage and make a public idiot of himself. Most people came out in support of Taylor, acknowledging that what Kanye did was despicable and disrespectful.

This is a reasonable, mature conclusion.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much to change the atmosphere in this country. Because Jimmy Carter was right, we are a Racist Nation. But not for the reasons he thinks we are. You see, when Joe Wilson screamed “You Lie!” during the President’s speech on Sunday night, he was not being racist, he was simply being an imbecile. Any person not paying attention to the color of the President’s skin would have seen this. They would have heard representative Wilson’s outburst, logically concluded, “What a tool,” and Representative Wilson would have been ignored, as all blathering idiots should be ignored, thus Representative Wilson would not have gotten a week of free press coverage, thus reporters would have instead covered the president’s Health Care speech (which is kind of, oh… I don’t know… THEIR JOBS) and things would be slightly better with the world.

(In an even better world, cable news talking heads and the MSM would also realize that no one takes boobs like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Joe Wilson seriously and would therefore not pay attention to a word they say, thus taking the public debate away from Health Care Reform, Afghanistan, and the Economy, but you can’t have everything, and unfortunately this is not Walgreens.)

We are not a racist nation because people like Joe Wilson illicitly scream, “YOU LIE!” during presidential speeches. Calling someone a liar is not racist, it is calling someone a liar. I myself have called people of all races and ages liars. For example, when the white woman in the Pantene Pro V Shampoo Commercial says that she is a Professional Cosmo and she uses Pantene all of the time, I scream “YOU LIE!” at her. But I do not call her a liar because of the color of her skin, I call her a liar because most Cosmos are brainwashed in beauty school to believe that they can only use Salon Products to maximize profits for the Parlors that train them. Thus, a Hair Stylist would never tell people to use Pantene Pro V unless she was being paid large sums of money. Whether she is liar or not isn’t irrelevant to the color of her skin because when you are calling someone a liar, you are questioning their honesty and character, not implying that they are inferior because of their skin color. Simple Pimple.

I believe it was Martin Luther King Jr. who dreamed of a world where little white girls and little black girls could hold hands and play together without anyone thinking anything of it. I believe he told us to judge a person not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. Kanye West demonstrated poor character on Sunday Night. He is Black. George W. Bush demonstrated poor character for eight years. He is white. Margaret Cho IS a character. She is Asian. Taylor Swift Demonstrated Good Character all this week. She is white. Beyonce demonstrated good character on Sunday Night. She is Black. As you can see, these folks do not have good or bad character because of their race, they have good or bad character because they have good or bad character and should be judged as human beings, not members of race or ethnicity.

To be perfectly honest, I do not need to be lectured about race relations by rich white “liberals” *eye roll* descended from slave owners, who have never seen a black person in their lives. By screaming that I am “RACIST” every time I criticize the President on policy grounds, they are diffusing their argument and in fact proving themselves to be racist. If they were truly as blind to his race as they claim to be, they would see him as a human being with flaws, triumphs, failures, hopes, dreams. They would recognize that he is not “America’s First Black President” but a President who has many responsibilities to the American people, and therefore would hold him accountable to those responsibilities at all times.

America is indeed, a racist country, because we continue to have “a conversation on Race.” I don’t care what race a person is, and I do not want to have a conversation about it. I want to have a conversation about last night’s episode of True Blood or Kohl’s big blow out sale at the end of this month. If you see a person as your equal or your better, you talk to them as you would anyone else. Therefore you do not walk up to them and say, “Oh, hey! Let’s have a conversation about your race.” I wouldn’t even say something like that to my cat. That is just plain common sense.

America needs to move forward and leave the bloody stains of slavery and segregation behind us. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. If we can learn to look at each other as people instead of black people, Hispanic people, gay people, and Trannie people, that beautiful dream of his just might come true one of these days.

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Don Draper is Peer Gynt: Discuss

Let’s go a little Mad (Men) tonight:

Mad Men season 3 starts tonight at 10PM EST on AMC.  Last season left us with some sucker punching cliff hangers.

Its all Friedans fault

It's all Friedan's fault

Will Betty Draper figure out the Feminine Mystique before or after the birth of her third, not-really-planned-or-welcome baby?

Will Peggy write the real book on Sex and the Single Girl?

Helen Gurley Brown did Sex and the City in 1962

Helen Gurley Brown did Sex and the City in 1962?

Can Don go a whole season without cheating on his wife (and will it still be fun to watch if he does?)?

Will Pete become history’s first Angry White Male?

Will Roger figure out that to his hot, young fiance, the sexiest thing in his pants is his wallet?

Will Joan finally realize that she’s the bedrock person at the agency?

It’s 1963 and Camelot is about to end with a bang.

Mix a martini and loosen your garter belts.  The times they are a-changin’ on Mad Men.