Thursday, June 21, 2012

AMC - Home of Complete Assholes We Cheer For

AMC - Home of Complete Assholes We Cheer For

Perhaps it's time to lay it out there - AMC is full of characters we really shouldn't be looking up to... in fact, we shouldn't even consider them anything more than shit stains of human beings. But man, do we really love ourselves some assholes.

Mad Men just ended two weeks ago and in that we have Don Draper. An alcoholic complete asshole, but hey, he cared enough about Joan to tell her that she didn't have to sleep with someone to get a client. Other than that though, here's his mindset on the hard hitting issues.
hmm let me just dump my caring, stable, mature psychologist girlfriend for a literal child who is also my secretary
If that doesn't show you how Don is a really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person who only looks good when compared to the idle rich when even Mad Men cannot address as anything less than the insidious leeching scum of the earth.

Then you have Walter White. Who, well, he's making high end crystal. If that's not something you should dislike about the dude, even if it's to make money so he could leave to his family when he dies of lung cancer, I just don't know what you can really say to justify his actions.

So we're left with the following;

Don is a really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person
Walter White is a really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person
Tony Soprano is a really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person.
Dexter is a really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person... but he kills "bad" people, so it's all good.

In summary, Don, Walter, Tony and Dexter are all bad people, but we just love to watch them and cheer for them even.

But hey, I guess Mad Men gets a pass on it because it shits on middle class white people and people worship Don Draper because they don't get he is a waste, hates himself and his life for a good reason.

Mad Men would be a great show to watch if you're of the opinion that Don Draper is the villain of it. Sadly, very few people are of this opinion. He's a whirlwind obliterating the lives of everyone close to him. Though this isn't anything new. Anytime a show has a terrible self-serving person as their protagonist, like you can see in The Shield, The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, at least 50% of the people watching it miss the point entirely and start to glamorize these sociopathic brutes.

In actuality it's pretty funny.

You can see this a lot when people idolize characters like Dexter, as if he's some amazing crusader. People will idealize these characters. Like Rorschach from Watchmen, all because he doesn't compromise. Mad Men is essentially about a shape-shifting sociopath that vents his frustration by making stupid people buy useless shit. You can buy a copy of the suit he wears from Brooks Brothers for $1,000 bucks... Need I say more?

One could make the argument that the real protagonist of Mad Men is Peggy Olsen. Though that would be tossed out as she fucking left the company because they overworked here and treated her character like shit.

At best, you should watch Mad Men for the very rare socialist one-liners. For example, characters discuss how making over 80k a year is pointless because then you get taxed at 76%, a client complaining that LBJ's social security and medicare plans were a pit stop on the way to Soviet Russia, and Don Draper complaining that the capital gains tax is 48%.

Sadly though, this theme is mainly glossed over with the idea that is in your mind that "Jesus Christ, America was just as terrible then as it is now" combined with some average drama. The only thing more people know about Mad Men besides Christina Hendrick's really large breast is that people think it's funny how they drink at lunchtime and smoke a lot.

In actuality this whole masturbatory idealization of an era when being white and male was even more of a cheat code for success than it is now is pretty crazy. Advertising is inescapable enough in this country without a TV show providing a shallow excuse for the industry to pat itself on the back for being so vital and interesting. At best it's a criticism of patriarchy, advertising and society combined with a soap opera drama. But it's important to remember and always remember that Mad Men is basically "Don Draper - The Eternal Fuck-up no one should admire: The show"

Even if the intro has an ad man jumping to his death while being surrounded by hollow advertisements. But much like war movies have the effect of normalizing and creating social acceptance of war regardless of their perspective on war, popular culture that attempts to criticize or subvert a phenomenon will inevitably reinforce it through a combination of general low-level osmosis as well as via the subset who only consume the surface level of the program.

I'm pretty sure that many people miss the point altogether.

Worse than anything, the show made ordering an Old Fashion give the impression to the bartender that you're some kind of hipster Mad Men fan. I tell you, I was ordering Old Fashion long before that. But I guess it's pretty nice that people now actually know what the fuck I'm talking about when I do order one up. Before that you sort of had to be in a bourbon bar to get one. Or be really descriptive about what it is that you wanted. "Yo barkeep, give me some bourbon, but dump a bunch of sugar and canned fruit into it first cause I'm a pinkie up type of drinker."

And as long as I'm posting about Mad Men, seriously folks, start drinking old fashioneds. They are great and also don't come off as a fru-fru drink even though they have a cherry in it.

I'm getting besides the point - AMC likes assholes. And I didn't even get to the fuckers on Walking Dead who all deserve everything that is coming to them in way of zombie attacks.

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