Footnotes of Mad Men: A Century of Roger Sterling


I went to bed angry and I woke up angry over 1. what a horrible, nasty, vicious monster Betty Draper is and 2. that little contrivance in last night’s “Mad Men” episode. Roger Sterling dropped a name, which was then echoed by Pete Campbell, all seemingly intended as a psychological experiment to see what would happen on the Internet as a result. I thought it was an irritating meta-joke about advertising and I, for one, am not having it. You can Google the name of the doctor referenced if you’re curious. SPOILER: IT’S NOT ANYONE. I don’t want to play their little viral reindeer games! (Someone please make me an animated gif of a viral foaming reindeer? Thanks!) Let’s look instead at the passage of time.

• Our racist Roger Sterling was born circa 1912. The year Woodrow Wilson beat Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. The year New Mexico became a state… THE 47TH STATE. The year the Titanic sunk. You know how they say social change comes from waiting from older people to die? Well.

• And Sally Draper was born in, what, 1954? At least, this piece of slash fiction places her as five years older than “30 Rock”’s Jack Donaghy.

• But what about 1965? And the cultural scene? Somewhere off-camera, lots of stuff is happening. By now, Ken Cosgrove was already reading Everything That Rises Must Converge, which had by now been in print for a couple months. (And our show’s homosexual pal Sal may be long missing, but over in England, Francis Bacon and George Dyer were setting up home together and preparing for a trip to New York.) Here’s what’s to come as 1965 rolls along.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper is on vacation this week.

Still, you can always find more footnotes right here, or, you know, you can get a whole book of ‘em.