Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Day 32 - Missing Mad Men

No idea what happened to Day 31 (also my first month sober anniversary!), but all the energy I have had over the last weeks ebbed away, and I ended up napping the afternoon away.. but I was woken by a phone call from my brother -in-law, who was thanking me for introducing him to the fabulous drama series "Mad Men".
For those of you who have never watched it, very simplistically, it documents the rise and fall of the advertising industry from 1960 to the 1970's, through the eyes of the very handsome and enigmatic protagonist, Don Draper.
There are many layers to this well written drama, and each character is built beautifully, as they react to changes in their personal lives during the backdrop of America in that most tumultuous time ....(wow I sound like a reviewer). And I have been especially riveted to the fantastic fashions...oh I wish (for once) that I had been born a couple of decades earlier!
What is relevant to my newly sober firstly the reminder that smoking was seen as completely harmless and "cool" (although we see the start of the struggle of the tobacco industry, reacting against the first health findings from brave researchers), which seems to echo the social acceptance of the alcohol industry now, and secondly, seeing executives pour themselves a large scotch or any time during the day!!
Alcoholism is viewed as a character flaw. During one scene, an account executive is so drunk that he pees his pants....and is sent home in disgrace. The disgust of his colleagues is evident - the poor man "can't hold his drink".
Towards the end of the series, we see a large alcohol company discuss an advertising campaign for a "light" beer. Throughout each episode, we are given an insight to how advertising campaigns work to pull us in - not selling the actual product - but selling how the product makes us feel .......
Here we are, nearly half a century later, and we don't seem to have moved on at all.
Alcoholism or alcohol dependency is still seen as an personal failing, and the alcohol industry, partnered with the advertising industry (with a whole unregulated social media platform) is selling us on how hip and cool we'll be if we drink this beverage, or how sophisticated we must be if we drink this wine......
We are still Mad Men and Women......just without the fabulous wardrobe.


  1. Right you are. The alcohol industrial complex has successfully normalized the consumption of alcohol to the point where it's lumped in with breathing, eating and peeing. You can't even escape from it in the foodie blogs where every other post is some complicated booze concoction that all the hipsters are serving at their upscale Martha Stewart style urban gatherings. I actually saw Moscow Mule mugs (trending now!!) in my Winco supermarket (where the non-hipsters buy rice in bulk).

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  3. So true. To my great shame, I used to advertise a wine brand for a famous global drinks company. Look where that got me! I never watched Mad Men, as it was too like the day job. I started about a month ago on series 1 and am HOOKED! (Another bloody addiction....) Have a great weekend! SMx