Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Puddles of My Mad Men: "Lady Lazarus"

Once again, Matt Domino shills his weekly "Mad Men" column at the Montreal Review as well as give a brief state of Puddles address.

Hello, my Puddlers. It's a rainy Wednesday in New York, so let's get right down to it.

Last week I left my job at a magazine, which I didn't like very much but was good at. Mad Men is about work. Ernest Hemingway found the therapeutic joy in "work". I like Mad Men and I like Ernest Hemingway and the idea of the complicated healing power of work, so naturally leaving a job I didn't like, but was good at and where I enjoyed the company of all my co-workers left me with a bigger and more ambiguous set of feelings than my initial fantasy of saying, "So long, suckers. Lets see what you do now!"

Work of any kind is a difficult thing to grasp. I embrace work because I enjoy embracing other people and perspectives and use working as an office to get my through the pain and restlessness of not being able to write what I want to all day. And as I stumble with grace and efficency in my writing, so I stumble and try to succeed with grace and efficiency in an office. There are plenty of people, things and routines to get attached to and at the end of the day sometimes you wonder how something you did everyday and muttered under your breath about constantly could make you care so much. Especially when that something only lasted for a shade under two years.

This is not news to anyone who has left a job before, but it was news to me and I was affected by it. I started a new job on Monday. I'm not sure where it will take me, but it's where I am at now. I'm trying to learn on the fly and I'm getting my bearings so things should be back to normal next week. I've also been having to work on a large freelance project that has taken up a lot of my free time as well as finishing up the final edits on a story that will appear in Slice magazine in their fall issue. I will give you more information on that and where you can get the story as we get closer to September.

Now, to Mad Men.

"Lady Lazarus" was a classic episode. The "Tomorrow Never Knows" montage will go down as one of the best television montages of all time. How artfully done was that? How fantastic did that psychedellic music go with the snapshots we saw of Pete, Peggy, Don and Megan's lives? What that montage did so well was show just how "psychedelic" our daily lives can be. Sure, the John Lennon and the Beatles were under the influence of pot and LSD during the era when "Tomorrow Never Knows" was written and conceived and that very much affected out the song was performed and put together in the studio. However, like Joyce showed in Ulysses, our daily lives are kaleidoscopicthey are filled with small moments that don't completely make sense, some that lead us nowhere and some that lead us to epiphany. And sometimes those people or that person that we see who is "good at everything" and we just want to project all our desires and fears onto them.

Plus it had the second-best Mad Men crossover ever with Alexis Bledel (Rory F'N Gilmore of Gilmore Girls)  making an appearance as the sexy, disturbed and repressed housewife who sleeps with Pete Campbell. The second-best crossover you say? Well, this was the best.

OK, so, best Rory boyfriend? Dean, Jess, Logan or Pete Campbell?

As always, the Montreal Review article can be read in its entirety here.

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