Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mad Men as history

     Mad Men’s last season starts soon.  One of the most interesting things is their portraying of dramatic events during the time frame of the script.   For instance...the day Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis...was april 4, 1968.   almost 46 years ago this week.
I’m watching the MM season six show when that actually happened and like other fateful events of that era..I go back in my mind and try to remember where I was and what I did as a result of the event.
I’ve described where I was on November 22, 1963 when JFK was shot and killed in Dallas.  I was standing the newsroom of WMEX Radio Boston and looking at the wire press machine when they broke for a simple bulletin.
“Three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas today.”
I looked at the bulletin and started to tear the copy off the machine when all hell broke loose.  I stood there transfixed and as if I had been struck by a bullet myself and read


and for a while that was it.  Then...suddenly bells started going off like mad on the wire machine and screeching tones were coming down the phone line from UPI’s audio network. (you can read in depth about what happened and our reaction to it in Boston in an earlier post on this blog.  Just use the blog’s small search window and put in JFK shot and you’ll find it)
Mad Men portrayed that of other events of a historical nature...riots etc and each time I made a note of the event and made further notes of my whereabouts and activities when the event had happened.
Forty-six years ago I was running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress from the Illinois' 16th district in the northwest of the state.  The primary was set for June and I had one or two opponents.

      I had left a talk program job at WOKY Milwaukee to take a news job on television at WREX-TV 13 Rockford.  I thought the visibility would guarantee my nomination and it did.  I won the Democratic primary in June.  When Dr King was murdered on April 4...I was campaigning for the election and, of course, that event was the primary topic of discussion...rather than the prolonged war in Vietnam...a subject which had dominated until the shots rang out in Memphis.
So right now on the season six episode of Mad Men I’m watching...they are at the point in history when Dr. King was shot and this post is the you see the correlation I was talking about...with the events of history.  
Again I have to thank my son Chris for “forcing” me to watch Mad Men.  He tried to convince me to watch it but I resisted.  
Finally as a present for my birthday or Christmas he sent me a boxed set of the first three seasons of Mad Men.  I decided to thank him by actually watching a few shows....but I became hooked and you’ve seen the results thru out this blog although maybe not always obvious but the influence is there...and I thank him publicly now.   
    I will “dvr” the whole season seven coming up
and I will watch it...if for no other reason than to dig out of the cobwebs of my brain those memories the can result in these posts!

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