Hey Emperor, I can see your dingus…

Considering the latest episode of Mad Men

I think it’s bullshit.

Up until now I have understood and enjoyed this show as a sophisticated, sometimes funny, exploration of modern American manhood, but this Psych 101 self help bookshelf bullshit has got me ticked off.

Spoilers ensue, so put down your second, or third, screen and watch the show. I’ll wait…

Some folks would like you to believe that a man is a dangerous thing, and that’s mostly true, but don’t buy it when they try to apply it to male sexuality. This is exactly what Mr Weiner and company have attempted to do. It was fairly subtle at first, with the Mystery Date reference tied together with the Speck murders and Sally in the nexus of that knot. I can even understand what started out as a glancing comparison with Don’s Lothario ways, but to turn that comparison into an explicit accusation that Don is not much different from a mass murderer is simple minded, or, at best, ill conceived.

This is the same line of thinking that says there is something wrong with anyone who is unwilling, or unable, to live inside the value system defined by society-at-large. Don is in, but not of, the culture around him. His work shapes and defines the norms, just because his life is a deviation from those norms that does not make him a deviant. But that’s what they’ve reduced him to, and that’s bullshit.

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