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Today's Inspiration

November 22, 2009
Nov. 22, 1963
via peterfeld

Nov. 22, 1963

via peterfeld


Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as president by Judge Sarah Hughes aboard Air Force One, Nov. 22, 1963.

via - peterfeld


Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as president by Judge Sarah Hughes aboard Air Force One, Nov. 22, 1963.

via - peterfeld

November 2, 2009
Oh man, we all knew this episode was coming, so let’s dive in…
AND GET CONTRARY:
But for us now, that afternoon Dallas is more illustrative of something else: the swift and unscrupulous pace of history. Particularly, recent American history and how it is so phenomenally compressed. In just one generation, the psychic trauma of RFK and JFK has been largely erased. So maybe Don Draper’s aloof attitude is enlightened rather than repressive: “Everything’s going to be OK. We’ll have a new president. And everyone is going to be sad for a little bit.
Oh I could go on, and I do! click for more going-on about THE episode.

Oh man, we all knew this episode was coming, so let’s dive in…

AND GET CONTRARY:

But for us now, that afternoon Dallas is more illustrative of something else: the swift and unscrupulous pace of history. Particularly, recent American history and how it is so phenomenally compressed. In just one generation, the psychic trauma of RFK and JFK has been largely erased. So maybe Don Draper’s aloof attitude is enlightened rather than repressive: “Everything’s going to be OK. We’ll have a new president. And everyone is going to be sad for a little bit.

Oh I could go on, and I do! click for more going-on about THE episode.

September 28, 2009
…Just a fun couple enjoying an evening at the Waldorf.
• footnote - by Natasha Simons

…Just a fun couple enjoying an evening at the Waldorf.

• footnote - by Natasha Simons

12:18am  |  12 notes   |  Conrad Hilton |  Kennedy |  history |  current events 
September 10, 2009

Red-eyed with grief over her grandfather’s death, Sally Draper hugs the floor as she watches the first televised self-immolation of a Buddhist monk. A spate of these suicides by fire will ensue in reaction to the ongoing war in Vietnam. In Buddhism and other Eastern warrior cultures, the practice of self-immolation is simultaneously a form of denouncement and of devotion.


Sally’s being glued to the television in the wake of a death and her parents’ inability to comfort her signifies an ongoing distancing of Sally from her surroundings, and, importantly, the atmosphere of 50s still pervading her home. Her witnessing such a tragic event at an early age can no doubt have an effect on her consciousness, especially in a time of grief. Another fictional character of some infamy witnessed, and became obsessed by, the very same Buddhist self-immolation: Merry Levov, from Philip Roth’s American Pastoral. 

If Sally Draper were just a few years older she could be going the way of a violent sixties radical. Could this be her baptism into political consciousness by fire? 

• footnote - by Natasha Simons

2:56pm  |  16 notes   |  current events |  history 
September 8, 2009
Did you catch the brief, hard-to-hear audio of Kennedy addressing the nation in the last Mad Men episode? (It plays over the L-cut from Peggy’s mother’s home to the Drapers’ house, where young Sally is in front of a TV set.)The audio in question was a section from this televised address to the nation, June 11, 1963:
"This is one country. It has become one country because all of us and allthe people who came here had an equal chance to develop their talents. We cannot say to ten percent of the population that you can’t have that right; that your children cannot have the chance to develop whatever talents they have; that the only way that they are going to get their rights is to go in the street and demonstrate.”
And the kicker to the speech’s inclusion in the episode is that it was simulcast on all the networks—precisely the kind of profile that trust-funder wants for his idiotic sports league earlier in the show (all three networks covering the gala, etc.). This kind of structural brilliance happens approximately once per episode, and you can’t do a thing but doff your vintage-looking cap to the show’s writers.
• footnote - by Seth Colter Walls. 

Did you catch the brief, hard-to-hear audio of Kennedy addressing the nation in the last Mad Men episode? (It plays over the L-cut from Peggy’s mother’s home to the Drapers’ house, where young Sally is in front of a TV set.)

The audio in question was a section from this televised address to the nation, June 11, 1963:

"This is one country. It has become one country because all of us and all
the people who came here had an equal chance to develop their talents. We cannot say to ten percent of the population that you can’t have that right; that your children cannot have the chance to develop whatever talents they have; that the only way that they are going to get their rights is to go in the street and demonstrate.”


And the kicker to the speech’s inclusion in the episode is that it was simulcast on all the networks—precisely the kind of profile that trust-funder wants for his idiotic sports league earlier in the show (all three networks covering the gala, etc.). This kind of structural brilliance happens approximately once per episode, and you can’t do a thing but doff your vintage-looking cap to the show’s writers.

• footnote - by Seth Colter Walls

2:31pm  |  24 notes   |  history |  current events 
August 25, 2009
The 1964/65 World’s Fair was considered a flop. Many believed it failed because there was no midway.
Do you know about the midway? It’s a kind of honky-tonky coney island with fast rides, cheap games, and other titillating low brow pleasures that would be adjacent to the fairgrounds. A carnival where different classes and races could promiscuously mingle and wet their appetites for fun and amusement.
The organizers of the World’s Fair didn’t allow a midway to be set up because the low-class, undiginified element midways attracted. 
"New York is decaying," Don says to his British cohort. Indeed, the boisterous, heterogeneous  culture of the midway was smothered beneath New York’s decrepit aristocracy.
And on a personal note, I live in the midway of the country: Los Angeles. Hooray! 

The 1964/65 World’s Fair was considered a flop. Many believed it failed because there was no midway.

Do you know about the midway? It’s a kind of honky-tonky coney island with fast rides, cheap games, and other titillating low brow pleasures that would be adjacent to the fairgrounds. A carnival where different classes and races could promiscuously mingle and wet their appetites for fun and amusement.

The organizers of the World’s Fair didn’t allow a midway to be set up because the low-class, undiginified element midways attracted. 

"New York is decaying," Don says to his British cohort. Indeed, the boisterous, heterogeneous  culture of the midway was smothered beneath New York’s decrepit aristocracy.

And on a personal note, I live in the midway of the country: Los Angeles. Hooray! 

10:50pm  |  5 notes   |  history |  world's fair |  current events 
As for the World’s Fair, the theme of the fair was "Man in a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe". If that doesn’t sum up what’s happening this season then I don’t know what.
 Lane Pryce and his superiors were not altogether wrong when they expressed concerns about the financial part of things. After the first season, the fair was running 25% below expected attendance (70 million over two years) and at a $10,000,000 deficit. Although a surge during the last few weeks of the run brought the attendance to 51 million, the fair did not make enough money to pay back its investors (in contrast to the 1893 World’s Fair, which pulled through at the last minute). The exposition ended with the fair teetering on bankruptcy and the fair’s managers accused of financial misconduct.
Here’s the logo for the World’s Fair and an interactive map.
• footnote - by Natasha Simons

As for the World’s Fair, the theme of the fair was "Man in a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe". If that doesn’t sum up what’s happening this season then I don’t know what.

Lane Pryce and his superiors were not altogether wrong when they expressed concerns about the financial part of things. After the first season, the fair was running 25% below expected attendance (70 million over two years) and at a $10,000,000 deficit. Although a surge during the last few weeks of the run brought the attendance to 51 million, the fair did not make enough money to pay back its investors (in contrast to the 1893 World’s Fair, which pulled through at the last minute). The exposition ended with the fair teetering on bankruptcy and the fair’s managers accused of financial misconduct.

Here’s the logo for the World’s Fair and an interactive map.

• footnote - by Natasha Simons

10:37pm  |  4 notes   |  history |  current events 

In ‘Love Among the Ruins’ Don makes a reference to the upcoming World’s Fair. An international exhibition of technology, industry, and consumer goods. Coming out of the second World War, The Wold’s Fair gave the States a chance to display their influence and dominance in international trade and production. The World’s Fair is one of the last gasps for air by the business class of the 1960’s before they sucked into the undertow of the emerging counter culture. 

You simply must watch this newsreel, it captures the intense cultural friction that was was happening all over the country.

9:25pm  |  13 notes   |  history |  current events 
August 18, 2009
G-Men for Jimmy Hoffa Explained.
Don and Sal’s aliases as “G-Men” (J. Edgar Hoover’s slang for"government men") investigating Hoffa are in step with the time, as by1963 Kennedy was almost certainly having the union leader’s accountsshuffled through in hopes of finding an Al Capone loophole to put himaway for.
James Riddle Hoffa was a labor union leader; he served as GeneralPresident of the Teamsters union from 1958 until 1971. He attempted toamass a number of trades into one union, including truck drivers,airplane workers, and other transport employees. Kennedy grewsuspicious of him and had him investigated; in 1964 he was convictedof attempted bribery.His sentence was for 15 years but was commuted by President Nixon.Hoffa was released from jail in 1971. In 1975, he disappearedcompletely from a parking lot in Michigan. He was never heard fromagain and is presumed dead.
• footnote - by Natasha Simons

G-Men for Jimmy Hoffa Explained.

Don and Sal’s aliases as “G-Men” (J. Edgar Hoover’s slang for
"government men") investigating Hoffa are in step with the time, as by
1963 Kennedy was almost certainly having the union leader’s accounts
shuffled through in hopes of finding an Al Capone loophole to put him
away for.

James Riddle Hoffa was a labor union leader; he served as General
President of the Teamsters union from 1958 until 1971. He attempted to
amass a number of trades into one union, including truck drivers,
airplane workers, and other transport employees. Kennedy grew
suspicious of him and had him investigated; in 1964 he was convicted
of attempted bribery.

His sentence was for 15 years but was commuted by President Nixon.
Hoffa was released from jail in 1971. In 1975, he disappeared
completely from a parking lot in Michigan. He was never heard from
again and is presumed dead.

• footnote - by Natasha Simons

2:32pm  |  6 notes   |  history |  current events