Living In The Past

I had *written before* of my love for “Mad Men”, the ongoing television serial about men and ladies working in a large advertising agency in America (New York) during the 1960s. I myself lived in America in the 1960s, not in New York though, but in Washington DC, where I was posted as British military attache. However, I used to visit New York often. So, whenever I watch “Mad Men” I’m transported back to the New York of my memories.

I’m still only on “Mad Men’s” fourth season (I have the DVDs). I’m stretching the time between its episodes, for I fear my life won’t be worth living once “Mad Men” ends. Can there be other Generals like me, over whom “Mad Men” has cast such a spell?

Feeling more and more removed from today’s world with each passing day, I live more and more in the past. Hence, in the “New Age” parlance, “Mad Men” is a “safe place” for me to be. I also like “Mad Men” because its ladies are as important and as powerful as its men. This seems to me quite rare in American television, as well as in American films.

I was happy, then, to see my perception confirmed in this *newspaper piece*. It says in so many words that in your average American film of today, seventy percent of the speaking roles are male, and that this state of affairs has hardly changed in more than seventy years.

While this piece talks of American films, I feel sure this includes American television films, to which genre “Mad Men” belongs.

Since you know I’m a General, albeit a retired one, you may find it surprising that I like films in which the ladies are as important and as  powerful as the men. Generals, after all, are supposed to like films dominated by strong manly men. If these films do of necessity have ladies, they should be weak and compliant, although of course pretty.

Well, were I still an active General, with aspirations to be a Field Marshal, I of course would proclaim that I like the sorts of films that Generals are supposed to like. But, being now retired, I’m free to say what I feel.

Getting back to “Mad Men”, its lead character, Don Draper, is the paradigmatic ladies man with lots of “conquests”. Your average General would therefore normally approve of Don, except that he seems particularly attracted to ladies of the strong independent type. They are hence the more difficult to conquer, and when they do at last surrender, it’s all the more satisfying for Don, and no doubt for the conquered ladies too.

I’m attributing these feelings to Don, for they’ve been mine whenever I myself have conquered – or was conquered by – strong, independent and consequently fascinating ladies. I’m thinking now of………*Dolores*. Why now? Why Dolores? Is it because I’ll always associate her with the ‘sixties – when I was in Washington, and Don Draper was on Madison Avenue………?


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