Mad Men “The Monolith”

Let’s see if I can do this one sober.


A wise man once said, “If you learn to play pool when you’re drunk, you can’t play sober.” So, in that spirit, I had some spirits.

I apologize in advance for all the swearing.

This episode was called “The Monolith,” so excuse me for thinking that someone would finnally explain what the hell that thing was in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I almost said “Space Oddity” again. Yes, it’s a tired joke, but when you grow up in the 70s that is to be expected.

It really should have been called “The Behemoth,” because that is what that computer was. Then there was the whole conversation between Don and the computer guy, Lloyd. Basically, it was about how computers are being updated at a rapid pace. In fact, you could have that same conversation with an Apple “Genius” any day of the week. Then again, it was probably just all a metaphor for the advertising game. Or, pretty much any business for that matter. There is always a Peggy Olsen nipping at your heels.

This episode, or in fact most of them this season, could be called, “The Antiquity,” in reference to Lou. Seriously, how long is that throwback going to be hanging around. Yes, he does seem to appreciate Peggy in the way that Don rarely, if ever, did. But, the way he goes about business in such an ass-backward way cannot be good for business.

I don’t think he’s a bad guy, per se, it’s just that I have worked for people like him and it’s frustrating as hell. He’s like a race car driver that doesn’t want to take the lead because it’s just too much pressure–he might be expected to actually win the damn thing.

I despise that line of thinking.

To use a baseball analogy: Don always goes up to bat expecting to hit a home run. But, if he sees that it’s better to bunt and hope for the best, he’ll make that play as well.

I love Don best when he has to think on the fly, because I do that as well; that is when I am my best. I do make plans, but they always seem to fall apart. That’s why I hate it when people ask about five year plans, and where do you see yourself in the future. Hell, I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow. I know what I want to do, but I don’t know if I will be able to do it.

Shit happens.

And yes, I know we are all supposed to have a “Shit Happens Contingency Plan,” but what if different shit happens than what you planned for? What are you going to do then?

Sorry about that.

And we got to see yet another father/daughter moment, this time between Roger and Margaret, or should I say, “Marigold”? Yep, she’s gone all Hippie on us, but we knew something was up. For those of you who thought that maybe Marigold would come to her senses in an “I abandoned my son!” moment, it was never going to happen.

Maybe you could draw a parallel with the Don/Sally relationship. Many of us thought that Sally would have a similar fate. Or worse. Hopefully Don can head it off at the pass.

I guess it’s okay for Roger to share a sandwich with a Hippie chick, but it’s not okay for his daughter to become a Hippie chick and share sandwiches with Hippie dudes.

Yes, I meant “sandwich” in both senses of the word. Either you get the reference or you don’t.

It looks like Pete is pulling his weight after all. He got his foot in the door at Burger Chef. Are they still around? I remember going there occasionally as a kid; it was way on the other side of Gainesville, near the Civic Center. I cannot remember if the food was, I think so. What I do remember is collecting the King Kong glasses.

I wonder if Trudy’s dad was at the brothel when he had his heart attack. I sincerely hope so.

Don was none too happy to be assigned to Peggy’s team. He was even less happy to find out they were doing tags before they devised a strategy. Who even does that!?!

Don’t worry, I’m not going there again.

No wonder that Don got drunk and wanted to go to a Mets game. It was like when Don went away everything changed–the all conquering Yankees he was playing for had suddenly become the hapless Mets. But, the Mets did win the World Series in 1969. So, at least Don has that going for him.

Then Don gets a dose of perspective from Freddie Rumsen of all people. That’s when you know things are upside down.

Oh, and my mom has those exact same coffee mugs.

Until next time, I will leave you with this thought: Rednecks!… In Upstate New York!


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