Back To the Fifties!

by wjw on March 15, 2010

I remember when an acquaintance of mine was working as a substitute teacher, and was trying to find something for her grade school class to do. So she— the product of a typical American nuclear family— decided that they were going to play “house.”

She figured that they would play members of a nuclear family, but that’s not quite how they saw their roles.

A couple of the kids volunteered to be Mommy and Daddy.

Then another kid said: “I’ll be Mommy’s Lawyer!”

And another said, “I’ll be Daddy’s Girlfriend!”

“I’ll be Mommy’s Creepy Older Brother, Bob!”

“And I’ll be Little Timmy, who’s forgotten to take his Ritalin! AAAAAAUUUGH!”

Clearly childhood had changed since she had been her charges’ age. And it’s about to change again.
Because now the little ones can play with Barbie dolls inspired by Mad Men, the TV series about manipulative, soulless advertising executives exploiting the weak, cheating on their wives, living in a delusional world of their own making, and stabbing each other in the back with an amoral ruthlessness that would do credit to Cesare Borgia.
[You can viddie my own view of Mad Men here. For some reason Blogger insists that you get another review as well— but as Dick Draper might say, “Just think of it as a two-for-the-price-of-one deal.”]
“ ‘Mad Men’ represents so beautifully the universe that created Barbie,” said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, because the series is about the selling of the American consumer society.
The personification of Betty Draper as Barbie is particularly resonant, Mr. Thompson said, because she represents “the wife who lives in her dream house whose soul is eaten away.”
Imagine the joy your children will have re-creating the morally reprehensible universe of the series!
“Here’s Dick Draper, coming home from work!”
“Ugh!” says his wife Betty. “You smell like the floozy you’ve been screwing! I’m going to drop the martini pitcher as a protest against the hollow wretchedness that is my life!”
“Allow me to further undermine your self-esteem by pointing out the waxy yellow buildup on our kitchen floors.”
“Aagh! I’m going to develop a psychosomatic illness so that you can spend thousands of dollars on my useless shrink!”
“Wouldn’t you rather have a new refrigerator? My girlfriend owns a department store, and she’d give me a great deal!”
It goes without saying that the dolls are fully accessorized.
Michael Grosberg March 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

The Days of Perky Pat are indeed upon us.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Contact Us | Terms of User | Trademarks | Privacy Statement

Copyright © 2010 WJW. All Rights Reserved.