Monday, August 24, 2009

Love Among the Ruins

Mad Men's crowning glory is it's innate ability to identify cultural turning points and touchstones and interweave them into the fabric of their story so we can watch their effect on the characters, making their story the story of a generation.

In this week's episode, the series nailed one of the big ones with aplomb - Ann Margaret in Bye, Bye Birdie, and also subtly hinted at things to come. And while most people think of Ann's affect on the boys in 1963, Mad Men directs its focus on Peggy, arguably the show's most interesting character at this point, on the basis of her mystique alone.

The movie version of Bye, Bye Birdie baffles me (compared to the stage show, the movie is an old-fashioned acid trip), but Ann Margaret's appeal is unmistakable, even 46 years later. She can't sing, she's not all that attractive, but as Sal says (to paraphrase), she's got "that." Ann Margaret is the moment, and watching the characters watch her results in the suspension of our disbelief several stories up. It is 1963. In this way, Mad Men is a show about time travel in more ways than a show that's ABOUT time travel.

All for now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August is Slow. What Do You Want?

Yay to Eric Bruntlett for turning in the 15th unassisted triple play in Major League history tonight - and to end the game, no less.

Unassited triple plays are matters of dumb luck, mostly, but I've always had a soft spot for Eric and his beard of bees. Bruntlett is the kind of baseball guy that you want to do well - he did well here, and he's thriving on the Phillies. If they're not extremely glad to have him right now, they're idiots.

So, more blog soon, hopefully. I've been writing a lot, just not here.

All for now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Memo to Good Times: Not So Fast There, Sonny Jim

It's been said that baseball is a game of failure.

The Houston Astros decided to put that theory to the test this week, signing away all of the good feelings in favor of a memorable mini-collapse.

It can't be helped. Everyone knew Chicago and St. Louis were formidable allies. Doesn't take the hurt away, though. Just when I thought I was out...

Sometimes I don't know where I stand with the big Guy, but if he's smiling on me (and he might be, because I'm pretty sure I was funny tonight), then please, please don't let it be the Cubs. Let the NL playoff pool be the Dodgers, the Rockies, the Cardinals, and the Phillies. I can live with that. I cannot abide the baby bears, unless you are planning a wicked rug pull like you did last year, in which case, feel free to surprise me.

All for now.