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Today's Inspiration

March 25, 2012
Hey, we’re back.
Meet you here tonight after the show? 
A little pre-game read from 1963:
"This is true of everyone, even of one who thinks himself as of no importance, no consequence at all.  After an attentive, honest examination, this person will realize that every day, often many times a day, he can choose to be a giver of pain or of pleasure.  Regardless of individual differences we all have this built-in ability.; You will notice how this ability increases by using it.  You will realize more and more how important you are as a contributor to the sum total of suffering or happiness."

Hey, we’re back.

Meet you here tonight after the show? 

A little pre-game read from 1963:

"This is true of everyone, even of one who thinks himself as of no importance, no consequence at all.  After an attentive, honest examination, this person will realize that every day, often many times a day, he can choose to be a giver of pain or of pleasure.  Regardless of individual differences we all have this built-in ability.; You will notice how this ability increases by using it.  You will realize more and more how important you are as a contributor to the sum total of suffering or happiness."

August 11, 2010
Let’s do another give away!
This time we’re offering a selection from the Personal Library of Betty Draper. Send in the receipt for your Mad Men Unbuttoned order and you’ll get a complimentary copy of Mary McCarthy’s The Group.
It’s all about the restlessness and dissatisfaction in the post-college lives of young bright women in the starting in the 1930’s. It’s the proper blend of insight and satire about ladies trying to find hapiness outside of the roles of wife/mother. There’s also a lesbian! 
A big best seller in 1963, required reading.
Favorite passage # 1

Things had never stood still long enough for her to decide. It sometimes struck her that Harold would not let her be sure of him for fear of losing his attraction: it was a lesson he had learned in some handbook, the way he had learned about those multiplication tables. But Kay could have told him that he would have been far more attractive to her if she could have trusted him.


Favorite passage # 2

But so far nursing, like most of sex, was an ordeal she had to steel herself for each time it happened by using all her will-power and thinking about love and self-sacrifice. The nurse was watching her now, to make sure that the baby was drawing at the nipple properly. ‘Relax, Mrs. Crockett,’ she said kindly. ‘Baby can sense it if you’re tense.’ Priss sighed and tried to let go. But naturally the more she concentrated on relaxing, the more tense she got. ‘Bless braces, damn relaxes,’ she joked feebly. ‘You’re tired this evening,’ said the nurse. Priss nodded, feeling grateful that someone knew and disloyal, at the same time, to Sloan, who did not know that it wore her out to have company, especially mixed company that sat there discussing her milk.


*Image above done by the magnificent Dyna Moe

Let’s do another give away!

This time we’re offering a selection from the Personal Library of Betty Draper. Send in the receipt for your Mad Men Unbuttoned order and you’ll get a complimentary copy of Mary McCarthy’s The Group.

It’s all about the restlessness and dissatisfaction in the post-college lives of young bright women in the starting in the 1930’s. It’s the proper blend of insight and satire about ladies trying to find hapiness outside of the roles of wife/mother. There’s also a lesbian! 

A big best seller in 1963, required reading.

Favorite passage # 1

Things had never stood still long enough for her to decide. It sometimes struck her that Harold would not let her be sure of him for fear of losing his attraction: it was a lesson he had learned in some handbook, the way he had learned about those multiplication tables. But Kay could have told him that he would have been far more attractive to her if she could have trusted him.

Favorite passage # 2

But so far nursing, like most of sex, was an ordeal she had to steel herself for each time it happened by using all her will-power and thinking about love and self-sacrifice. The nurse was watching her now, to make sure that the baby was drawing at the nipple properly. ‘Relax, Mrs. Crockett,’ she said kindly. ‘Baby can sense it if you’re tense.’ Priss sighed and tried to let go. But naturally the more she concentrated on relaxing, the more tense she got. ‘Bless braces, damn relaxes,’ she joked feebly. ‘You’re tired this evening,’ said the nurse. Priss nodded, feeling grateful that someone knew and disloyal, at the same time, to Sloan, who did not know that it wore her out to have company, especially mixed company that sat there discussing her milk.

*Image above done by the magnificent Dyna Moe

9:38pm  |  58 notes   |  The Group |  Betty Draper |  Mad Men Bookshelf 
July 21, 2010
This is one of the memorable passages from The Group. Betty’s bath time paperback:
But so far nursing, like most of sex, was an ordeal she had to steel herself for each time it happened by using all her will-power and thinking about love and self-sacrifice. The nurse was watching her now, to make sure that the baby was drawing at the nipple properly. ‘Relax, Mrs. Crockett,’ she said kindly. ‘Baby can sense it if you’re tense.’ Priss sighed and tried to let go. But naturally the more she concentrated on relaxing, the more tense she got. ‘Bless braces, damn relaxes,’ she joked feebly. ‘You’re tired this evening,’ said the nurse. Priss nodded, feeling grateful that someone knew and disloyal, at the same time, to Sloan, who did not know that it wore her out to have company, especially mixed company that sat there discussing her milk.
*Image snapped by Meredith Blake  of the New Yorker’s Book Bench Blog 

This is one of the memorable passages from The Group. Betty’s bath time paperback:

But so far nursing, like most of sex, was an ordeal she had to steel herself for each time it happened by using all her will-power and thinking about love and self-sacrifice. The nurse was watching her now, to make sure that the baby was drawing at the nipple properly. ‘Relax, Mrs. Crockett,’ she said kindly. ‘Baby can sense it if you’re tense.’ Priss sighed and tried to let go. But naturally the more she concentrated on relaxing, the more tense she got. ‘Bless braces, damn relaxes,’ she joked feebly. ‘You’re tired this evening,’ said the nurse. Priss nodded, feeling grateful that someone knew and disloyal, at the same time, to Sloan, who did not know that it wore her out to have company, especially mixed company that sat there discussing her milk.

*Image snapped by Meredith Blake  of the New Yorker’s Book Bench Blog 

7:30am  |  8 notes   |  mad men bookshelf |  The Group |  Betty Draper 
July 16, 2010
Lessons from our primary text!
 Shepherd Mead’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying  (subtitle: “The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune”)

Beware of ‘Creative’ People.
Advertising agencies are forced to hire so-called ‘creative’ people. They are artists, writers, musicians, radio and television directors, and the like. They are sure to give you trouble. … The writers are thinking about the books they plan to write exposing advertising (and probably you) …The agency has tried to make it easy for you by keeping you away from these people. It has provided keepers or overseers called Account Executives. They are hired for their rugged good looks, their flair for wearing clothes, and their skill — sometimes brutal but always effective — in handling creative people.

 
Related: Rugged looks. 
*Dyna Moe made this piercing image
*Passage discovered by Mary Ellen Kelly!

Lessons from our primary text!

 Shepherd Mead’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying  (subtitle: “The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune”)

Beware of ‘Creative’ People.

Advertising agencies are forced to hire so-called ‘creative’ people. They are artists, writers, musicians, radio and television directors, and the like. They are sure to give you trouble. … The writers are thinking about the books they plan to write exposing advertising (and probably you) …The agency has tried to make it easy for you by keeping you away from these people. It has provided keepers or overseers called Account Executives. They are hired for their rugged good looks, their flair for wearing clothes, and their skill — sometimes brutal but always effective — in handling creative people.

Related: Rugged looks. 

*Dyna Moe made this piercing image

*Passage discovered by Mary Ellen Kelly!

April 27, 2010
A selection from Don’s office library:
“By the time they had lived seven years in the little house on Greentree Avenue in Westport, Connecticut, they both detested it. There were many reasons, none of them logical, but all of them compelling. For one thing, the house had a kind of evil genius for displaying proof of their weaknesses and wiping out all traces of their strengths. 
—Sloan Wilson, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

A selection from Don’s office library:

By the time they had lived seven years in the little house on Greentree Avenue in Westport, Connecticut, they both detested it. There were many reasons, none of them logical, but all of them compelling. For one thing, the house had a kind of evil genius for displaying proof of their weaknesses and wiping out all traces of their strengths. 

—Sloan Wilson, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.


You guys! We’ve never discussed the Most Important Outfit of All: Don Draper’s uniform! The gray flannel suit.
So the gray flannel suit gets a bad wrap; the single breasted, three buttoned, narrow lapelled, tapered trouser is cultural short hand for the stultifying conformity of the 1950s and early ‘60s (with the accompanying necktie serving as a metaphorical noose. ) No other dress style of the modern era elicits with such scorn as the gray suit.  This is thanks in part to the 1960 book The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and the Gregory Peck movie based on the novel . The suit in Sloan Wilson’s story is emblematic of pervasive soullessness in the mechanized world,  making men numb to themselves and their families and their morals.

Yet the reason for the mass adoption of the suit was not likely due to thoughtless conformity. Before the late 1960’s men didn’t really own very many clothes! As men moved off the factory floor and into a corporate building the new standardized uniform became the gray flannel suit. From lowly office drone, to FBI spook, or IBM engineer, the men riding the train into Grand Central wore the same wore the same thing (sometimes accented with a brimmed hat, tweed overcoat, and a handy umbrella).
 
 The gray suit was an acceptable wardrobe to wear daily that didn’t require much upkeep nor varied season to season. And while yes, the suit was a type of uniform, to make the historic verdict that men who donned the outfit did so out of unquestioned conformity is too simplistic.
 
According a Time magazine article “The Masculine Mode,” from 1964, the American male over 30 actually preferred to dress similarly to everyone around him. “If one of his colleagues — or two of them — turns up in the same outfit he is wearing, he does not feel embarrassed, as would his wife. He feels reassured.”
In Don’s case, as for most men in gray flannel suits, their business uniform allowed them to singal a sense privilege and status that a farm boy on Madison would not generally be able to access.
Related Links:
* Somewhere in Time: Conform and Function [Ivy Style]
*Man in a Gray Flannel Trap [LIFE archive 1956]
*Brooks Brothers Don Draper Edition [Colider]

You guys! We’ve never discussed the Most Important Outfit of All: Don Draper’s uniform! The gray flannel suit.

So the gray flannel suit gets a bad wrap; the single breasted, three buttoned, narrow lapelled, tapered trouser is cultural short hand for the stultifying conformity of the 1950s and early ‘60s (with the accompanying necktie serving as a metaphorical noose. ) No other dress style of the modern era elicits with such scorn as the gray suit.  This is thanks in part to the 1960 book The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and the Gregory Peck movie based on the novel . The suit in Sloan Wilson’s story is emblematic of pervasive soullessness in the mechanized world,  making men numb to themselves and their families and their morals.

Yet the reason for the mass adoption of the suit was not likely due to thoughtless conformity. Before the late 1960’s men didn’t really own very many clothes! As men moved off the factory floor and into a corporate building the new standardized uniform became the gray flannel suit. From lowly office drone, to FBI spook, or IBM engineer, the men riding the train into Grand Central wore the same wore the same thing (sometimes accented with a brimmed hat, tweed overcoat, and a handy umbrella).

 The gray suit was an acceptable wardrobe to wear daily that didn’t require much upkeep nor varied season to season. And while yes, the suit was a type of uniform, to make the historic verdict that men who donned the outfit did so out of unquestioned conformity is too simplistic.

According a Time magazine article The Masculine Mode,” from 1964, the American male over 30 actually preferred to dress similarly to everyone around him. “If one of his colleagues — or two of them — turns up in the same outfit he is wearing, he does not feel embarrassed, as would his wife. He feels reassured.”

In Don’s case, as for most men in gray flannel suits, their business uniform allowed them to singal a sense privilege and status that a farm boy on Madison would not generally be able to access.

Related Links:

Somewhere in Time: Conform and Function [Ivy Style]

*Man in a Gray Flannel Trap [LIFE archive 1956]

*Brooks Brothers Don Draper Edition [Colider]

December 14, 2009
This is an essential O’Hara primer/love letter:
"In his hands, mundane details of city life are magically amplified. In O’Hara’s New York there is a "Heaven on Earth Bldg / near the Williamsburg Bridge" where the young of America can repair with "pleasant strangers" after a night at the movies…In O’Hara’s New York, the “drunken and credulous” latrines on 14th Street are to be preferred to the ones on 53rd Street for furtive trysts; the neon sign at the Cedar Tavern is good luck to rub ; and there is a “Paradise Bar” on St Marks Place.”
- by Ryan Ruby, it’s a worthy read, for sure.

This is an essential O’Hara primer/love letter:

"In his hands, mundane details of city life are magically amplified. In O’Hara’s New York there is a "Heaven on Earth Bldg / near the Williamsburg Bridge" where the young of America can repair with "pleasant strangers" after a night at the movies…
In O’Hara’s New York, the “drunken and credulous” latrines on 14th Street are to be preferred to the ones on 53rd Street for furtive trysts; the neon sign at the Cedar Tavern is good luck to rub ; and there is a “Paradise Bar” on St Marks Place.”

- by Ryan Ruby, it’s a worthy read, for sure.

December 3, 2009
Bert Cooper’s 1,000 page hyper Libertarian stocking stuffer.

Bert Cooper’s 1,000 page hyper Libertarian stocking stuffer.

3:54am  |  15 notes   |  mad men bookshelf |  mad men season 2 |  ayn rand 
Bert puts some socio-economic theory into practice when he hands Don an unexpected bonus. Befuddled and slightly alarmed, Don begins to stammer in lieu of gratitude Bert explains that he gave Don an extra $2,500 because of Ayn Rand. He explains:
‘When you hit 40, you realize you’ve met or seen every kind of person there is. And I know what kind you are, because I believe we are alike. By that I mean you are a productive and reasonable man and in the end completely self -interested. It’s strength. We are different. Unsentimental about all the people who depend on our hard work.’
Bert encourages Don to take two bucks out of his mondo bonus and pick up a copy of Rand’s 1957 best selling novel Atlas Shrugged. For the uninitiated, the primary lesson of Atlas is the  individual must be put first, else a society will collapse.
In Rand’s dyspeptic future, parasitic autocrats and businessmen are able to horde a nation’s wealth by collectivizing land and industry. In protest to the nation-wide swindle, the country’s best innovators go on a ‘strike of the mind’ , refusing to contribute to the economy.  Society then quickly disintegrates with oil fields set ablaze and trains derailed by striking industrialists.
Rand’s intention was to champion the ethos of unfettered ‘rational self interest’:
‘I work for nothing but my own profit—which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it’
This was the mantra of the mind mindstrikers, who’s creativity, according to Rand, was more important to society than physical labor if their creativity was not rewarded our progress would decay.
So what else would the grease the Sterling Cooper gears of a big fat check for the Head of Creative?!

Bert puts some socio-economic theory into practice when he hands Don an unexpected bonus. Befuddled and slightly alarmed, Don begins to stammer in lieu of gratitude Bert explains that he gave Don an extra $2,500 because of Ayn Rand. He explains:

‘When you hit 40, you realize you’ve met or seen every kind of person there is. And I know what kind you are, because I believe we are alike. By that I mean you are a productive and reasonable man and in the end completely self -interested. It’s strength. We are different. Unsentimental about all the people who depend on our hard work.’

Bert encourages Don to take two bucks out of his mondo bonus and pick up a copy of Rand’s 1957 best selling novel Atlas Shrugged. For the uninitiated, the primary lesson of Atlas is the  individual must be put first, else a society will collapse.

In Rand’s dyspeptic future, parasitic autocrats and businessmen are able to horde a nation’s wealth by collectivizing land and industry. In protest to the nation-wide swindle, the country’s best innovators go on a ‘strike of the mind’ , refusing to contribute to the economy.  Society then quickly disintegrates with oil fields set ablaze and trains derailed by striking industrialists.

Rand’s intention was to champion the ethos of unfettered ‘rational self interest’:

‘I work for nothing but my own profit—which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it’

This was the mantra of the mind mindstrikers, who’s creativity, according to Rand, was more important to society than physical labor if their creativity was not rewarded our progress would decay.

So what else would the grease the Sterling Cooper gears of a big fat check for the Head of Creative?!

3:50am  |  27 notes   |  mad men season 3 |  ayn rand |  mad men bookshelf 
November 27, 2009
It has been said before of Joan, but she does seem to have some uncanny Holly Golightly traits. Particularly, with her choice of roommates.
How could have a savyy lil sex kitten like Joan have not seen this coming?
Remember when she kissed Sal at the election party and that dumbfounded look came across her face? We get the sense that Joan’s gaydar is very keen. So how did she not notice that her roomie was a big old Lezzie? The night of the big confession, Joan smiled it off and even brought men back to their apartment!
Perhaps Joan was doing what Lightly did which was to make sure there was no missed opportunity. Joan, well intentioned but sometimes clumsily, believes that she can teach girls in her life how to get the most from men.  Even if Carol chose to be a lesbian, surely, that didn’t mean that she should live in poverty as a spinster. According to Truman Capote, who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s some of the best kept women in New York were actually lesbians.
 From a 1968 Playboy interview:
Playboy: Holly Golightly alludes to her onetime Lesbian roommate and obliquely expresses a sexual interest in other women. Was Holly a Lesbian? Capote: Let’s leave Holly out of it. It’s a well-known fact that most prostitutes are Lesbians—at least 80 percent of them, in any case. And so are a great many of the models and showgirls in New York; just off the top of my head, I can think of three top professional models who are Lesbians. Of course, there’s a Lesbian component in every woman, but what intrigues me is the heterosexual male’s fascination with Lesbians. I find it extraordinary that so many men I know consider Lesbian women exciting and attractive; among their most treasured erotic dreams is the idea of going to bed with two Lesbians.
So while Joan doesn’t seem to have an enlightened view of homosexuality, she does seem to have only the best intentions for Carol. But like, Golightly, Joan, of course, abandons her roommate to find her own sort of happiness. Though, Joan’s vision of contentment more domestic than Holly’s it’s still equally as elusive.

It has been said before of Joan, but she does seem to have some uncanny Holly Golightly traits. Particularly, with her choice of roommates.

How could have a savyy lil sex kitten like Joan have not seen this coming?

Remember when she kissed Sal at the election party and that dumbfounded look came across her face? We get the sense that Joan’s gaydar is very keen. So how did she not notice that her roomie was a big old Lezzie? The night of the big confession, Joan smiled it off and even brought men back to their apartment!

Perhaps Joan was doing what Lightly did which was to make sure there was no missed opportunity. Joan, well intentioned but sometimes clumsily, believes that she can teach girls in her life how to get the most from men.  Even if Carol chose to be a lesbian, surely, that didn’t mean that she should live in poverty as a spinster. According to Truman Capote, who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s some of the best kept women in New York were actually lesbians.

From a 1968 Playboy interview:

Playboy: Holly Golightly alludes to her onetime Lesbian roommate and obliquely expresses a sexual interest in other women. Was Holly a Lesbian?

Capote: Let’s leave Holly out of it. It’s a well-known fact that most prostitutes are Lesbians—at least 80 percent of them, in any case. And so are a great many of the models and showgirls in New York; just off the top of my head, I can think of three top professional models who are Lesbians. Of course, there’s a Lesbian component in every woman, but what intrigues me is the heterosexual male’s fascination with Lesbians. I find it extraordinary that so many men I know consider Lesbian women exciting and attractive; among their most treasured erotic dreams is the idea of going to bed with two Lesbians.


So while Joan doesn’t seem to have an enlightened view of homosexuality, she does seem to have only the best intentions for Carol. But like, Golightly, Joan, of course, abandons her roommate to find her own sort of happiness. Though, Joan’s vision of contentment more domestic than Holly’s it’s still equally as elusive.