Category Archives: Not Sports
If you think AMC’s MadMen is a slow, plodding drama about a man’s descent, you are completely wrong. This 15 second trailer is about to prove you wrong. Here’s some second-by-second analysis.
Admittedly, this frame is innocuous enough. The sky is a lovely shade of blue heathered only but cotton-like cloud fluff. Don Draper, the shows protagonist, is making his way down the stairs of an aircraft that seems to be a multi-seat plane of some sort. That, or he’s walking backwards up the stairs. Ah yes, that may be it. Draper, always obsessed with looking back, is entering the plane backwards so as to reminisce at his life – time at war, time selling fur coats, time defrauding his wife and family, time hooking up with numerous women some of which aren’t even sevens on a 10-point scale, time drinking “for all the wrong reasons” as Roger Sterling would assert.
Will he trip on his backward ascent up the stairs of this plane? Only time will tell.
As it turns out, Draper is in fact walking down the stairs forward and not up the stairs backward. Or perhaps he’s doing a two steps forward, one step backward routine while facing the opposite direction. Or I suppose, he could be doing a one step forward, two steps backward move while facing the correct direction. Regardless of which way he’s going, I WANT ANSWERS. I’m now confident that Draper is involved with this airplane, but all I know is that the operator of this plane ends in “A.” What airline is he potentially flying? NBA? NWA? TNA? I bet Draper only flies TNA.
There is so much symbolism in this frame that it’s maddening. I suppose the maddening degree of symbolism enveloping this man is why the show is entitled “MadMen.” Draper is dressed almost entirely in black as an ode to Johnny Cash. His white shirt is obviously a reference to purity. As for the red stripe lining the stairs, no one can quite be sure as to its full meaning. Most likely, it’s a nod to the St. Louis Cardinals as John Hamm (the actor who portrays Don Draper) is from St. Louis.
Lest you think Draper has taken a sudden turn for the loser, remember that this kind of hat was perfectly respected in his era. And yet, there’s still much we don’t know about this headgear. Has he worn it already today? If so, he must have fixed his hair during the plane ride. Who fixes their hair during the plane ride? Perhaps Draper stretched his loins with a stewardess during the flight and then reassembled his follicles. But why waste such a stellar reassembly with a hat? The day doesn’t appear to be particularly sunny, rainy or cold. What calls for this hat?
The hat suddenly makes sense. Draper isn’t about to wear the hat, he’s reading a message that his been placed inside of it. ”Dear Dad, I still don’t forgive you for what you did to Mrs. Rosen. I don’t really think you were comforting her and I’m beginning to think she wasn’t even upset. That being said, I think you should know that I’m going steady with Glen Bishop. He gets me.
Love From, Sally a.k.a. Your Daughter.”
Freud once (supposedly) said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Know what Freud didn’t say? ”Sometimes a hat is just a hat.” The hat, as it now appears, is a coping mechanism for Don Draper. He’s done a lot of things in his life, many of which are regrettable. As he struggles with changing society, his age and the stresses of walking down the stairs, his hat gives him respite from even the most grievous site: his own face. It’s too soon to say if Draper will cover his face with his hat for the entirety of the season. That being said, we know that the final season has been split into two parts and it’s a safe bet that the first half of this seventh season will be plagued by Draper, the Hat-Faced Mad Man.
Wait, I was off on that one. It appears that despite the delightful conditions and the perfectly quaffed hair, Draper is going to actually wear this hat. We can’t be sure if the note from Sally was really in it, but we sure as hell can’t say definitively that it was not. Obviously, the symbolsim of this hat is still there but its meaning has changed. Draper has gone dark. Perhaps this ill-advised wearing-a-hat-for-no-reason move is indicative of past, current, future or imagined poor decisions. That would explain the darkness of his face.
Draper is getting closer and closer to the edge of the frame which can only mean one thing. He’s about to die. This has long been theorized. Some even think Don is the man floating downwards from the skyscrapers in the MadMen opening credits. The irony of him dying comfortably on the pavement after flying is not lost on me. It’s not lost on Pete Campbell either. Pete’s father died in a plane crash. Undoubtedly, Pete will have a snarky remark for Don’s untimely tarmac death. Undoubtedly Pete will get punched in the face while fans of the show ask aloud, “What was so bad about Trudy and her rich family?”
Based on the time count, Draper took that last step particularly slow which makes me wonder if he was anticipating his death. That would actually make a lot of sense given the whole hat thing. So his death must be more of the murder variety. But who’s doing the murdering? The Yellow King? Frank Underwood? Ezra Fitz? Someone else from another show I watch? Nope. Don Draper is about to kill Don Draper. As it turns out, the man whose identity Dick Whitman stole was never dead to begin with, he was playing possum. Now he’s back for revenge. ”I’m Don Draper now, you’ll always be a ‘Dick,’” he’ll say with no sense of witticism…according to the unwritten text of this trailer.
Here, once again…Red = St. Louis Cardinals, White = Purity, Black = Johnny Cash. But what about these streaks? I see gold, I see silver, I see bronze. Ah, an Olympics reference as AMC capitalizes on post-Sochi withdrawals. Well played.
Much appreciated double entendre by the clever folks at AMC. Note that MadMen “Takes Off” on Sunday April 13. Is the show beginning then or taking a hiatus then? We’ll have to wait to find out. On one hand, the case could be made that “takes off” is a reference to the airplane. On the other equally strong hand, the show could be taking some time off.
There’s an increase in golden pigments in this shot. Obviously, the writing and directing staff believes this season is a winner. And yet, is the show airing on Sunday, April 13 or not. Even more important: Why is there no comma after “Sunday” and before “April.” This is either alluding to Draper’s general disregard for rules—even grammar. Or it’s an intentional flaw to demonstrate the shortcomings of the show’s characters.
10.9c? What does that mean? 10.9 cars? 10.9 crashes? 10.9 chickens? 10.9 channels? Any readers know what this means?
What the hell is this? A Transformer? I will be honest and vulnerable in my lack of foresight: I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! 10.9 Cybertrons! How did I miss that? Now I just feel foolish.
Really, really strong finish here. The only way you can follow up a Transformer’s interruption of a 1960s-1970s period drama is with a pun that might not be a pun. Is AMC “something more.” Or does the channel want us to AMC (read: See) something more?
I guess that’s what makes this show so compelling.
That’s all I got/
Andrew Hall (@DudeYouCrazy) and Daniel Palmer (@dpalm66) go down countless “True Detective” rabbit holes in anticipation of the season finale. Spoilers abound. Where is Carcosa and do they serve Lonestar beer there? Will Marty or Rust live through this? What are the odds that Marty and Maggie get back together and live happily ever after? Is Chad Floyd the Yellow King?
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Jason Smith weighs in on the impact of major professional sports on state legislation.
This whole gay rights and sports conversation that the Dude and I talked about on my first podcast is getting on another level now.
First, Michael Sam comes out and was treated as….well, as a normal player at the Combine.
Next, the NBA did the equivalent of a YouTube “FIRST!” and saw Jason Collins, an openly gay player, get significant time in the 4th quarter of a Nets game.
Now enter the State of Arizona and SB 1062.
If you’re not familiar with that appellation it is a law that Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s desk just vetoed. To paint the bill in its best light, it was a law aimed at preventing businesses run by religious people from being coerced by the state to provide services in a way that violates their religious convictions. To paint the bill in its worst light, it would have allowed for business owners to refuse services (i.e., discriminate) to gays and lesbians on the basis of religious convictions.
Regardless of your opinion on this law (and regardless of ours, frankly), this is an interesting story from the sports perspective.
Turns out that the state of Arizona has several sports franchises. The MLB issued a statement going on record against the bill. I can’t remember the last time that has happened, if ever. Next, the NFL was also said to be closely monitoring the progress of the bill, though they did not come out against it in the way the MLB did.
Why were they monitoring the bill? Well, the Super Bowl is in Arizona next year.
Now to my point: sports are (maybe) the most powerful cultural force in our society today. Case in point—after several significant politicians have come out against it and many activist organizations have voiced their outrage over the bill, the real force that pushed the bill into the veto box might have been sports. At the very least, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Brewer decided to veto the bill after all of this outrage AND on the day that rumors surfaced that the NFL might move the Super Bowl if the law passed. In the end, doesn’t it seem like we can safely say that sports played a role in this bill’s demise?
Take a second to let that sink in.
One of the reasons, among many, that a law was vetoed was because the commissioners of the two professional sports leagues who have franchises in the state of Arizona expressed concern over the bill.
I don’t know if that’s good or bad. The real question is the one I always find myself asking in this era of sports:
How the hell did we get here?
Wednesday, February 12 – 12:55 p.m.
It happened. Snow. Ice. Freezing rain. Temperatures below 32. Things got real early this morning in Atlanta.
People are losing power. Others are losing their minds.
Let’s hope all the children who were out of school yesterday spent their warm day splitting firewood, milking cows and fetching eggs from mother hens. They certainly had time to make themselves useful.
Tuesday, February 11 – 8:31 p.m.
My worst fears were confirmed following dinner at historic Marietta Square. Dry non-ice is in fact much more dangerous than dry ice.
Tuesday, February 11 – 6:03 p.m.
Looks like the Bible Belt is about to earn its nickname per Glenn Burns—Atlanta’s resident “play-it-cool” weatherman.
Tuesday, February 11 – 3:55 p.m.
This is getting bad. Winter Storm “Pax” is a far cry from Paxful. Already, just 30-some-odd hours after I began tracking this storm and its impact on Atlanta, the temperature has dipped down to 37 degrees. Conditions in Atlanta are only 15.625% above freezing!
Tuesday, February 11 – 12:01 p.m.
Chad Floyd hates snow.
What if I told you that Mother Nature was directly affecting a job search? 30 for 30: Chad’s Cold Winter At His Parents’ House. #atlprobs
— Chad Floyd (@Chad_Floyd) February 10, 2014
But not as much as this guy:
The money quote there: Fox stated that he was simply “fed up with battling the elements” and did not possess the willpower necessary to move “four billion tons of white bulls***”.
Tuesday, February 11 – 11:41 a.m.
Well now I feel bad for making light of this situation. According to the AJC, this storm is going to head all the way to Dublin.
This is a really broad, sweeping storm. This sucker is Trans-Atlantic like Deathcab for Cutie in 2003.
Tuesday, February 11 – 8:30 a.m.
For all you fools out there wondering why the Atlanta Braves chose to move to Cobb County, I’ve got a word for you: preparedness.
Yesterday at 2:46 p.m. Cobb County schools announced closings for today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday). According to 11 Alive, Fulton County School didn’t reach that level of caution until just after midnight and Atlanta Public Schools reached the same conclusion in the wee hours of this morning. ATL can’t keep up with the precautions taken by suburban soccer moms. That’s Braves Country.
Be careful out there, folks. It’s going to get down to freezing temperatures tomorrow morning around 3 a.m.
Monday, February 10 – 10:55 a.m.
Georgia is no longer the Peach State. Georgia is not the STATE OF EMERGENCY. This is going to be bad. It’s already under 50 degrees Fahrenheit in Atlanta!
Everyone start your engines, get ready to bolt as soon as we dip below 40! If Governor Nathan Deal wants a state of emergency, let’s give him one!
Monday, February 10 – 9:26 a.m.
The mood is tense here in metro-Atlanta. There’s no snow yet and we’re missing the two major ingredients of wintry mix —freezing temperatures and precipitation—but panic is imminent.
Thankfully levelheaded experts like Glenn Burns of WSB TV are keeping the masses calm. He sent this Tweet out 16 hours ago…
If you don’t hear from me until Friday, don’t worry. It’s just the winter stuff. If you don’t hear from me by Saturday…it was a good run.