Tuesday

Mad Men Tragedy - "He'll Never Play Golf Again"

I'm assuming you've probably seen Mad Men.

In fact, I'm guessing you may even be addicted to its smokey evocative depiction of life at a Madison Avenue ad agency in the early 1960s. I know I am.

The AMC Series won "Best Drama" for the second time at the Emmys a couple of nights ago, and on the same night aired its most... shocking... episode to date. One that culminated in copious blood spatter, wrought by an inebriated office party reveler at the wheel a John Deere tractor mower.

I won't reveal any additional details... so as no to spoil things for those who'll watch the episode at a later date... except to say that a number of reviewers have agreed that the best line of the night was: "He'll never be able to golf again."

Suffice to say that the writing team's ability to merge melodrama with high comedy is a huge part of what makes this line... and the show... so unique.

The thing that's most remarkable about Mad Men however, is how clearly it demonstrates the changes in American moral values that took place in the second half of the twentieth century... epic changes in the way we look at family, career and the respective roles of men and women. And interestingly, these changes seem to be responsible for at least some of the challenges facing golf today. After all, "shifting family responsibilities" is one of the factors most often cited for the decline in the number of golf rounds played each year and the fact that we can so easily imagine these Mad Men spending endless hours on the golf course without criticism or guilt is proof that their family responsibilities were quite different from those 21st century men routinely assume.

Whether or not you agree with this conclusion, the show is extremely entertaining and you should watch it if you don't already. Just prepare yourself for possible addiction.