‘Mad’ Metaphors

April 11, 2013
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Every scene in the sixth-season premiere of “Mad Men” (AMC, Sundays, 10 p.m.) seemed to be symbolic of something. But … what? As an English major, I would like to propose the following Deeper Meanings.

A doorman has a heart attack and nearly dies but is tended to by a doctor who happens to be in the lobby and makes a full recovery. Symbolic of: In the 1960s, health care was so much better than it is today.

A comic on “The Tonight Show” offensively jokes about a serviceman in Vietnam cutting off the ears of the Viet Cong, causing a headphone manufacturer to worry about backlash aimed at his ad, which states “Lend me your ears.” Symbolic of: People hadn’t yet realized “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Don Draper’s secretary comes up to him and says, “I’ve been looking for you.” He says, “Here I am.” Symbolic of: Sometimes the thing you are looking for is right in front of you!

Draper stands with his back toward the camera, facing windows covered with venetian blinds that are drawn shut. Symbolic of: In the 1960s, people were frequently imprisoned in prisons made of venetian blinds.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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Fiona Zublin · April 11, 2013