"I Hate" Mondays #2

I Hate Mad Men

Thank god it’s Monday, everyone! It’s another week full of possibility, a great big fish full of time like the marlin the dude caught in Old Man and the Sea, before urgent assignments, chores, missteps, forgotten obligations, and other hassles eat the flesh of the week away and all you’re left with is a big ol’ skeleton and people saying “too bad for that dude.”

People hated that book, and they hate it even more now than they used to, but I always liked it. I thought it was a good parable and the details in the action were interesting. I don’t know if it’s actually good because I haven’t read it since I was a kid, but the frustration of the fisherman’s journey stuck with me, and it’s up there with “One Froggy Evening” as tales that are excellent shorthand for particular frustrations in life.

But we all gotta hate something, and I think we can’t get too frustrated if people hate texts we love and vice versa, because it’s just that different parts of things are jumping out at us. Sometimes I’m on both sides of a thing and sympathize with both the lovers and haters. I remember when I first read A Catcher in the Rye. I thought it was gonna be about a baseball catcher who was employed as a spy, because my parents had been reading a book of that description and talking about it when I was little, but it turned out that was called The Catcher Was a Spy. I read the whole damn Salinger book waiting for him to play baseball and get into espionage, and it never happened, and I wrote a book report saying something like “This is a book about a depressed kid who doesn’t want to do anything and thinks everything is bad.” I didn’t really blame him for being depressed but I felt like he could have acknowledged that doing some things can be good. Later I read it again and I thought “wow, this is poignant and profound.” And even later I thought back on it like, “yeah, I was kind of right the first time.”

Anyway, I’m gonna get back on my hating, because it’s time for another “I Hate” Monday. This weekend, in an expensive wedding town (talk about things I hate), I saw this animal shelter

Look who it is! It’s our buddy the public domain orange cat. And that reminded me I had to write another “‘I Hate’ Mondays,” the column in which I talk about things I hate on a Monday, and this one is called “‘I Hate’ Mondays 2: I Hate Mad Men.

IHM2: IHMM

I Hate Mad Men

My least favorite good TV show is Mad Men. People liked that it brought back upper-class ’60s style, but that style seemed uptight and a hassle to keep up and I’m glad we dress easier and worse now. People are all like “those people looked good!” Yeah, but were they? You watch the show and clearly they weren’t. 

I don’t mind a show about people who suck, because we as people suck and we need to relate. But it seemed to take their bullshit goals so seriously, the main dude especially. Does he need a promotion or to be in charge of the company? No, he’s rich enough. Does he need to make ads? No, the world would be fine without advertisements. People would hear about the products they need by word of mouth or straight news, and the other stuff they didn’t need wouldn’t get sold.

Reminds me of all these stories where someone goes from a few millions to a lot of millions and gets hailed as a genius, but it’s like, they already had a house and they already had health care, what did they even get out of it? Can’t be that fucking smart if you haven’t figured out what problems need solving.

I liked Curb Your Enthusiasm because, although it’s also about a rich guy who doesn’t have real problems, it knows he’s a fool for it. Every episode is “Larry makes a mountain out of a molehill and then dies on it” and that’s a funny commentary on the human condition. Mad Men takes its characters’ bullshit so seriously. The camera, music, the characters, even the main dude himself treat him like he’s this very serious mystery character. I can solve the mystery of who he really is: some boring guy. Take a break, detective. Kick up your feet on that desk in the dimly lit room and solve a crossword puzzle. Speaking of which…

I Hate Sudoku

It’s like a bullshit crossword puzzle with no words in it.

But for Real Though, I Hate Mad Men

It just gets my goat, man. I feel like all sorts of TV critics could refute any reason I had for disliking it or point out how I’m a hypocrite because I like X show that has Y flaw and yet I don’t forgive it in Mad Men and so on, but look, some things just run deeper than logic and they’re more right, too. For example…

I Hate Logic (rapper)

On paper and in terms of technical skill he’s “good” but he sucks and everyone knows it. I don’t even have to make a case for it because I’ve never met anybody who likes him, and at this point I’m even feeling bad for him because he works hard and he’s a nice guy and actually I just kind of like that he’s happy and his fans are happy but I just feel like nobody broke it to them and I kind of hope we never do and things just continue in two different worlds. I’m gonna move on now because most of you don’t even know anything about Logic to begin with, so speaking of things people don’t know anything about…

I Hate That People Forgot About Venus Williams

When I was little I got an issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids with Venus Williams featured on it, and it had a little tear-out Venus Williams card in its cards section. It was cool when she won tournaments because my tennis player was beating all those uptight tennis players who didn’t know what to do about it. Serena Williams is great and everything but she got to play tennis against her older sister Venus Williams growing up. Who was Venus supposed to be playing tennis against? Even when she got to the pros they didn’t have anyone who was any good to match her. 

Yes, people have beaten Venus Williams in tennis matches since then, but more often than not they still don’t, and this is with her dealing with a Swedish autoimmune disease which causes fatigue and muscle and joint pain. I’m no tennis expert, but I think fatigue has to be something you try to avoid and from what I can tell both muscles and joints are employed frequently in the course of play.

There’s only one tennis player greater than Venus, and that’s a brick wall. I know people have this strategy of hitting it really hard against the wall and making the wall hit it out of bounds, but that’s not real tennis. Real tennis is humans hitting balls against walls and knowing they can never win.

Speaking of which I’m running against a wall of time here and I want to send this out. I know it’s not as good as the other one but I’ll get ‘em next time. There will be another time to hate. As the Byrds covering Pete Seeger covering the Book of Ecclesiastes said:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to hate, a time to hate
A time to hate, a time to hate
A time to hate, a time to hate
And that time is Mooooonnnndaaaays

end