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‘Mad Men’: The Ending Doesn’t Really Matter

January Jones as Betty Francis, Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell, Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson and John Slattery as Roger Sterling - Mad Men _ Season 7B, Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

The “Mad Men” finale will be analyzed and rated, debated and recapped. Meaning will be ascribed to it that the writers likely never intended, and much of fans’ pleasure and disappointment will be expressed in real time…(read more)

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Imaginary Playboy Magazine Cover: Joan Holloway, ‘The Ladies of Madison Avenue’

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[VIDEO] Vintage Revlon ‘Charlie’ Ad with Shelley Hack & Bobby Short, 1970s


[VIDEO] REWIND: Classic 1970s Revlon “Charlie” Ad with Shelley Hack & Bobby Short

Certain commercial jingles get stuck in your head for years. Some even for decades. 

That’s the case for me with this Revlon “Charlie” ad. I was a kid when I first heard it, during a summer in  Southern California, and I never forgot the melody or lyrics. Or the brand of perfume.

From the YouTube description:

Still as classy as when it first aired. Featuring Shelley Hack and music by Bobby Short. Every shot is composed and lit like a Hurrrell photograph… this was Madison Avenue at its finest.

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The finger-popping jazzy tune is a cross between a nightclub or Vegas lounge number, and elevator music. The “Kinda hip kinda now” and “wow” hipster jive talk was funny to me, even then, I knew it was cornball, but not without charm. It recalls the Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In era. When Dean Martin and Doris Day records were in the Columbia Record Club magazine ads right next to The Lovin’ Spoonful, Donovan, Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, and Led Zepplin.

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If getting into your head is the objective in advertising, then the ad worked. This Revlon commercial conveyed sophistication. The name of the perfume, “Charlie” seemed fresh, inventive.

YouTube


Mad Men’s Abe Drexler: Radical Left-Wing Proto-Terrorist?

Abe’s predictable leftist sympathies, bummed-out personality, grievance-nursing temperament, and lack of any discernible talent make him extraordinarily well-suited for lasting success in the Obama era.

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If you’ve ever listened to Mad Men’s Abe Drexler spin out one of his tiresome anti-Capitalist-Pig rap sessions, you’ll know his only purpose in life is to be a walking cliche of 1960’s radicalism. 

A few highlights from a recent episode:

Here’s Abe passionately defending the criminal youths who mugged him.

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“Those kids have no other recourse in this system!”

Here’s Abe romanticizing violent revolution and expressing his contempt for law enforcement. 

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Abe: “This is a f#&!@king police state! And we’re gonna have to fight, okay? They did it in Prague, they did it in Paris, and believe it or not, we’re gonna have to do it here, too!”  

Peggy: “But that doesn’t mean protecting criminals”

Abe: “It’s fascinating, the attitudes I’m encountering! But why would you side with the cops?” 

Abe’s revolutionary sentiments and unrealized destructive urges point clearly to his true direction in life. Left-Wing Radical, welfare recipient, possible drug addict, failed writer, violent Weather Underground member and Bill Ayers associate, Viet Nam War protestor, and eventually, bomb-making terrorist, fugitive from justice, Federal prisoner, University professor, book author, ghost-writer, informal White House policy advisor, and celebrated cultural icon.

Any one of Abe’s speeches are just minor variations on one theme: “Stick it to the Man”. Even if Peggy–the loyal, patient, ghetto-apartment-building-owning-girlfriend— is “The Man”.

Peggy, the Madison Avenue advertising copywriter who’s been supporting Abe’s sorry ass, while he writes a column for an underground newspaper. Abe glamorizes his heroic role, as the tolerant and enlightened minority advocate in their crime-plagued ghetto neighborhood. When attacked and beaten by neighborhood youths, Abe spouts guilty-white-liberal excuses for the disadvantaged and downtrodden, nobly defending the gang who just smashed their apartment window. Making Peggy’s domestic life a hellish nightmare.

As it turns out, Peggy sticks it to Abe, when trying to defend herself from a perceived late-night threat from neighborhood gangs, in their dark apartment, only to get spooked and injure Abe, accidentally knifing him in the belly with an improvised home-defense weapon (what appears to be a kitchen knife duct-taped to a broomstick) giving Abe an opportunity to see her–literally–as the enemy. And in the ambulance, on the way to the emergency room, he tells her. Revealing his bottled-up resentments, accusing Peggy of symbolizing everything he detests in our unjust society, Abe breaks up with her. All we can say is…lucky her.

Now that he’s exiting Peggy’s life, as she prepares to sell off the apartment building, and dissolve their unholy union, where will Abe Drexler end up?  And further down the road, long after the 1960s Mad-Men era is over, what becomes of a radical dude like Abe? What does his future look like?

Abe’s predictable leftist sympathies, pro-revolution tendencies, bummed-out personality, grievance-nursing temperament, and lack of any discernible talent, make him extraordinarily well-suited for lasting success in the Obama era.

As a civil rights activist, future-welfare-check-cashing malcontent, stringer for The East Village Other, or part-time writer for Rolling Stone, then acid-dropping vagabond, war-protesting, pipe-bomb-making cop-killing terrorist, and fugitive, Abe can look forward to being a book author, lecturer, gray-haired OWC organizer-advocate, on-air correspondent, or maybe even a Mainstream Network News Director. Or perhaps even a post-Federal-prison-sentence-serving Columbia University professor.

He may not know it yet, but Abe could have a very promising future.

–The Butcher