Although I don’t have a television connected to cable, I have an addiction to specialty network shows which I download and watch on my computer in addiction style – an episode a night for days at a time. One of my favorites is Mad Men, partly because it is giving me an education on the turbulent 1960s, when the industrial age and the age of Aquarius clashed and crashed as they came to terms with the psychological, economic culture shifts ‘blowing in the wind’.
It is also helping me understand just how we arrived at the types of wasteful consumerism that drives us today. The Mad Ad men of Madison Avenue knew exactly how to convince us of what we wanted, expected and deserved. And not much has changed in that regard. It works on anything, no matter how ridiculous – the latest “single serve” items hitting supermarket is one banana wrapped in plastic, and single use dental floss…wtf???
One of the most interesting characters is Pete Campbell, played with subtle mastery by Vincent Kartheiser, most likely the only green-minded LA celebrity who does not own a car. Mr. Kartheiser, who practices several other sustainable lifestyle habits (he’s vegetarian and has no kids, to name a few), is really really excited about trains. Watch the video. It also stars Rich Sommer. It’s brilliant. And sad. And inspiring.