Category Archives: TV

Mad Men, Season 3, Episode 8: Souvenir

As usual there are so many things to get into, but I just have to say GO BETTY!!!

She was gone for a while, but the the girl is definitely back  and I like it.  It was strange territory to be in starting from last week – I had gotten so used to Betty’s snivelling and whininess I had near ’bout forgot what she’s like when she’s being a grown-up.  There were hints of this industrious, assertive side of her while she went about her household tasks while juggling Junior League business early in the episode but where she really shines is Rome.

Initially I was skeptical about how interesting watching the Drapers abroad could be, but it was one revelation after another. Betty speaks fluent Italian! She coyly holds her own while men hit on her! She and Don flirt! Throughout the run of Mad Men we have seen what kind of women Don is attracted to, but weren’t given much clues about how his relationship with Betty developed. Finally we see Betty and Don in a situation where she is clearly more confident than he is, and she gets to fully exhibit her poise, independence and savoir faire. Betty in Rome felt like a glimpse into what she once was – before the husband, babies and a gilded cage in Ossining. Now that I finally see what Betty was/is/could be I also find myself in the unfamiliar situation of rooting for her and Don. Their exchanges and behavior toward each other during the trip were sweet and appealing. For the first time ever, I want them to work out.

I know I jumped ahead a bit, but don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten about Henry Francis. Betty allows him to kiss her and when I heard that Don would be out of town for two days I was all set in my mind for a torrid weekend tryst between Henry and Betty.  But contrary to my expectations she opted to accompany Don and the, ahem, enthusiasm, with which she jumped her husband’s bones was surprising as well as sexy. When Betty gets home she seems to want nothing more than to put the whole thing decisively behind her, from the strange looks she gives the fainting couch to her clear annoyance with Francine for her insinuation of a connection between herself and Henry. Perhaps now that Betty knows she’s “still got it” she feels no further temptation toward an affair? In one of the prior seasons Betty and Don are in bed and she tells him that she wants him…that she always wants him. I think that’s true.

And now, a move from curious to outright creepy: Pete Campbell. I should have known that any episode that began with him reading Ebony (wtf?), being strangely friendly with his secretary and buying drinks for everyone was way too good to be true.  As I watched, I didn’t know what to make of Pete’s storyline. Alone in the apartment he seemed at once loosed of all constraints yet also unsure of what to do with himself. At times he seemed even child-like – eating cereal and watching cartoons.  I couldn’t divine his motivations for helping the au pair with the stained dress and was thoroughly shocked at the culmination of events. I always knew Pete was an asshole but now he’s a rapist too? When he arrived at her door the first thing I thought of was how he similarly turned up drunk at Peggy’s door in season one.  And, as if what he did to the poor girl wasn’t enough, the way he swiftly went from apparent guilt to business as usual once Trudy forgave him for infidelity  (not to mention the ease with which she did that!) left me slack-jawed. I must admit I am all out of trenchant analysis with regard to Pete this week  – I need you guys to help me out.

Odds and ends:

– That up-do of Betty’s was ugly. I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

– Poor Joan! I was so  glad to see her, but that little pause before she said “Psychiatry.” and the way her head drooped and she rubbed her temples after she saw Pete broke my heart.

– Betty and Sally: lots to discuss there. As Sally matures and becomes sexually aware what other advice with Betty give her? Also, who has a feeling that she comes by that temper of hers honestly? Betty just doesn’t hit anyone.

Until next time, Arrivederci!

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Nuts about ACORN

Today in my office, a pimp and his prostitute came looking for advice on where to score some blow and advice on how to fill out their W-2s. When I told them what they could do, they accused me of encouraging them to engage in public masturbation. I hope Beck and Co. don’t get hold of the video:


It’s hard out here for a pimp. No, really. James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles (not pictured above) risked their lives, limbs and a camcorder to infiltrate the den of “thug criminality” that is the largest organization of poor and working families in America.

This is a time for us to appreciate their deep commitment to maligning ACORN, which clearly is an issue of utmost importance in these most troubled and divisive of times. I am sure their hearts and motives are pure.

Now if we can, let us move forward and consider some of the news of the weekend:

1. As always, if you want to learn something new or interesting or possibly infuriating about health care reform, reading Ezra Klein is essential. (Blackink)

2. Are pregnancy, bunions, acne, or receiving therapy or counseling pre-existing conditions that might allow health insurers a reason to deny people coverage? Of course. Best health care system in the world, eh? (Blackink)

3. Officially, according to a U.S. Census report, the Bush years were full of fail. h/t John Cole. (Blackink)

4. Go with your first instincts, Roxanne Wilson. (Quadmoniker)

5. Massachusetts might appoint an interim replacement for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the late Ted Kennedy by the end of the week. (Blackink)

6. In an e-mail sent to friends and supporters last week, Van Jones made his first public comments since resigning from the White House. Said Jones: “Of course, some supporters actually think I will be more effective on the ‘outside.’ Maybe so. But those ideas always remind me of that old canard about Winston Churchill. After he lost a hard-fought election, a friend told him: ‘Winston, this really is just a blessing in disguise.’ Churchill quipped: ‘Damned good disguise.’ I can certainly relate to that sentiment right now. :)” (Blackink)

7. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is cutting federally funded child care in the poorest wards of the District. Making it more difficult for single mothers to bring in money (or inviting child neglect cases) seems like a counter intuitive way of addressing city budget issues, at best. (Shani-o)

8. Something we probably won’t see in any campaign brochures from Texas Gov. Rick Perry next year: Texas remains first in the nation in rates of uninsured residents and uninsured children. Upholding family values and rebuffing creeping socialism … I love my home state. (Blackink)

9. Also related: Perry is not a very smart or honest man. (Blackink)

10. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) backed off prior claims that President Obama is a socialist because, uh … he’s not one. (Blackink)

11. Among those at the Values Voter Summit this weekend, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was the clear choice for 2012 Republican presidential nominee. The 600 voters said abortion was the most important issue in determining their choice. What else is there to say about that? (Blackink)

12. Also at the Values Voter Summit, the chief of staff for Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma made the case that: 1. we should trust the sexual instincts of prepubescent boys; 2. bigotry against homosexuals is fine by him; and 3. “all pornography is homosexual pornography.” Video here. Sigh … Michael Schwartz and his ilk are almost completely beyond ridicule. (Blackink)

13. So rather than resort to ridicule, Amanda Marcotte moves the conversation forward to talk about some of the very real problems with porn. Which don’t include making boys turn gay. (Blackink).

14. Don’t you love links about porn? Yes. Well, here’s another: “The awkward truth, according to one study, is that 90 percent of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online. Considering the standard climax to even the most vanilla hard-core scene today, that means there is an entire generation of young people who think sex ends with a money shot to the face.” Whoa. (Blackink)

15. Feminist Finance speculates on where she’d be if she hadn’t rejected all the “dudely money advice” she’s received over the years. (Shani-o)

16. BitchPh.D puts out a call for volunteers for the 40 days for CHOICE campaign. (Blackink)

17. For John and Elizabeth Edwards’ sake, I hope his former aide is lying about this: “Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.” Please let that be a lie. (Blackink)

18. Let us mourn the death of American civility with Jude at First Draft. (Blackink)

19. Bruce Bartlett remembers Irving Kristol, father of neoconservatism. (Jamelle)

20. According to Marcus Buckingham at the Huff Post, women have grown increasingly unhappy as they made professional and social progress over the past 40 years. There’s a lot to digest in the provocative piece, and I get the feeling something is missing from this analysis. I need someone smarter than me to fill in the gaps. (Blackink)

21. After six years, Leslie Bennetts says The New York Times is finally attempting to set the record straight about the “Opt-Out Revolution” – well-off women who quit their careers to become full-time mothers. (Blackink)

22. Crooked Timber highlights a recent op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education that points out the problem of poor, black and Hispanic students choosing to go to less-demanding college institutions and an overreliance on standardized tests. (Blackink)

23. Colorism isn’t just the purview of black folk — it exists in the South Asian community as well. Sepia Mutiny notes a campaign that’s attempting to address the fear of darker skin. (Shani-o)

24. After charges were dropped last week against five men accused of raping a Hofstra University freshman, Amanda Hess parses some of the many problems of living in a rape culture. That includes false rape accusations. (Blackink)

25. In case there was ever any doubt, Andrew Sullivan has major pull. (Blackink)

26. While I was watching the Giants thump the Cowboys and the season premiere of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” apparently Neil Patrick Harris and the Emmy Awards were putting on quite the show. (Blackink)

27. I’m finding myself agreeing with Alyssa again: you should definitely get down to your nearest newstand or bookstore, pick up a copy of the latest New Yorker and read Ta-Nehisi’s piece about MF Doom and hip-hop. And, like her, I might quibble a bit with a few parts of the feature. Then again, we’re both from the South. (Blackink)

28. Harry Allen asks if Kanye is doomed to become “the next O.J.”? At the least, Kanye’s “victimization” of Taylor Swift has drawn out some of the bigots among us. (Blackink)

29. Nearly four-fifths of NFL players are bankrupt or struggling financially within two years of retirement. The Business Insider looks at some of the reasons why. (Blackink)

30. And because I’m from Houston and hate the Dallas Cowboys, I really enjoyed this:

Feel free to drop some links that would be of interest or chat among yourselves. Let’s hope we’re all in for a great week.


Your Monday* Random-Ass Roundup: Heard ‘Em Say

Believe it or not, I’ve been known to be a jackass. Ask anyone who had the misfortune of knowing me in college. Or a couple years ago. I really hope President Obama isn’t asked about it anytime soon:

Anyway, lots of things have happened since our last Monday roundup. Here’s a few of them, a week and almost a full day later than usual. Sorry. I blame it on death panels and creeping socialism:

1. As you all probably know, President Obama called Kanye West a “jackass” for his behavior at the VMAs. But that moment was supposed to be off-the-record, and so Terry Moran, the ABC reporter who tweeted the comment, took it down. ABC has apologized. (G.D.)

2. Alyssa agrees: maybe Kanye really does need a break. (Blackink)

3. One picture tells a million – or two million – lies. Politifact gets to the truth about the latest “tea party” in D.C. (Blackink)

4. A new poll says that 73% of doctors want a public option. (G.D.)

5. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich attempts to bring some sanity – and facts – to talk about the public option. (Blackink)

6. But even if there is a public option, Obama has plans to go beyond language in a House bill to make sure no public money goes to pay for abortions under health care reform. Why? (Blackink)

7. Speaking of health care reform, file this under everything is always good for Wal-Mart. (Blackink)

8. The FDA just approved a new vaccine against the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu. (Blackink)

9. Despite evidence to the contrary, many people, especially Southerners, think crime is on the rise. (Quadmoniker)

10. 50 Things being killed by the Internet. (Belleisa)

11. In eight states and D.C., being a victim of domestic violence is a pre-existing condition. No, really. (Blackink)

12. As if South Carolina tourism officials didn’t have a hard enough sell, a number of people have indicated they’ll be staying away from the Palmetto State following GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst at President Barack Obama. (Blackink)

13. From Jonathan Chait’s fantastic review of a new biography about Ayn Rand: “‘She wrote of one of the protagonists of her stories that “he does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people’; and she meant this as praise.” Well, that explains a lot. (Blackink)

14. This is rich: President Bush thought Sarah Palin was underqualified to serve on the national level. Well, he would know best. Also, he thinks Hillary Clinton has a “fat keister.” Classy. (Blackink)

15. Wow. A study in England found that when heroin was given to addicts in supervised clinics, drug use and street crime dropped dramatically. (Blackink)

16. Sort of related: Newly released FBI numbers show that we’re nearing epic fail in the “War on Drugs.” (Blackink)

17. Call it “The Chinese Dream“: a number of Africans are migrating to China in search of economic opportunity. In fact, a 10 square kilometer area in Guangzhou has been dubbed “Chocolate City.” (Blackink)

18. After years of being the envy of the nation, California’s higher education system- if not the state itself – could face a bleak future if it follows through on a plan for a large fee increases. (Blackink)

19. Reports of sexual misconduct of federal inmates by prison staff members have doubled over the past eight years, according to The Washington Post. In many places, as Matt points out, being sentenced to prison is a form of abuse itself.

20. A video of Quentin Tarantino’s best movie picks since 1992. And “Friday” made the list. (Belleisa)

21. Racewire calls Michael Moore’s latest film, “Capitalism, A Love Story,” his best work yet. (Blackink)

22. This post, from Booker Rising, is disgusting. And not even close to funny. There will be more on this later. (Blackink)

23. From Jacket Copy, the LA Times book blog, a site called Slaughter House 90210 which mixes pop culture images with literary captions. (Belleisa)

24. Is anyone really surprised that Jay Leno’s new show was not that funny? (Blackink)

25. The Face of Foreclosure: a Planet Money listener offers up aLink series of photographs outside the foreclosed home of Minneapolis woman Rosemary Williams. (Blackink)

26. South African runner and unfortunate international curiosity Caster Semenya has now been placed on suicide watch. I strongly agree with Pam: “She deserved — and deserves — so much better from the collective us than what she’s received.” (Blackink)

27. Michael Jordan will never let us forget that he was better than everyone else. Not even as he’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame. (Blackink)

28. And give it up, New York. LeBron ain’t playing for the Knicks. Unless, of course, he somehow tires of playing on a winning team. (Blackink)

Told you I was a jackass.

* It’s actually Tuesday.

People, ‘Mad Men’ Is Not Feminist.

[from feministdonut, cross-posted from The Feminist Texican.]

Over the past month or so, I’ve been seeing all kinds of articles on what a feminist show this is.  Much as I lovelovelove the show (”Mad Men” and “Project Runway” are pretty much the only times I turn on the TV each week), every time I read one of these articles, I want to scream, “Stop projecting!

[Possible spoilers after the jump.]


Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: In memory of The Anchorman

I apologize for the delay. The dog ate my homework. I had a death in the family. I got caught in traffic. And then my car broke down. But, as President Obama told us last week, “no excuses”:

Without further delay, your PostBourgie-approved reading material from the weekend:

As a native Houstonian, I feel the need to mention that Walter Cronkite had deep roots in the Bayou City. (Bi)

Funny but true: With the death of Kronkite, Fake Virginia at Daily Kos offers up The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart as the most trusted man in America. (Bi)

Shem Walker, 49, stepped out of his brownstone in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, to see a man sitting on his stoop. He told the man to get off his stoop, and the man didn’t — he was wearing headphones, and couldn’t hear Walker —they got into a violent altercation. But the man on the step happened to be an undercover cop — and Shem Walker is now dead. TNC: “What continues to amaze me about these cops, is how they seem to, all at once, lack basic street sense and basic training. Why are you sitting on some dude’s stoop, in Clinton Hill, in the first place? With earphones on, no less? You’re just asking for beef. Why are you pulling out a gun and shooting someone over a fist fight? You’re a cop, for God’s sake. Why do you think pulling a gun and saying “Freeze, police!” but not showing any fucking ID, is gonna work? Don’t they know that any drug dealer could do the same thing?” (GD)

On the subject of cops, the NYPD – the largest police force in the country – is steadily shrinking due to a lack of cash and a paucity of recruits. (GD)

Embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has not talked about his stroll along the Argentine trail nearly enough. No, really. More, more, more! (Bi)

Sex miseducation: After years of steady improvement, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise again among U.S. teens, according to a new federal study. It’s probably because too many kids know how to use condoms and take birth-control pills. Clearly, Bristol Palin has a solution for all that. (Bi)

Adam reflects on President Obama’s address to the NAACP last week, noting that there was a lot more to the message than “no excuses” for teh Negroes: “Obama wasn’t wagging his finger. When he said that ‘all these innovative programs and expanded opportunities will not, in and of themselves, make a difference if each of us, as parents and as community leaders, fail to do our part by encouraging excellence in our children,’ he was stating the obvious. That’s why everyone cheered. But if the President actually believed that all that was required was a stronger grip on our bootstraps, he wouldn’t be pushing health care reform.” (Bi)

What would Pat Buchanan have to say to be forever excused from polite company? Claim that AIDS is nature’s retribution against gays for violating the laws of nature? Advise that the Republican Party strongly consider the political platform of a one-time grand wizard of the KKK? Call Adolf Hitler an “individual of great courage”? No, no and no. Indeed, Buchanan might outlast us all, like cockroaches after a nuclear winter. Media Matters reviews through the lengthy historyof an unapologetic race-baiter. (Bi)

Lou Dobbs is a birther? (Bi)

RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that he “doesn’t do policy”? No shit. (Bi)

Via Yglesias, Ryan Powers points out the U.S. Senate’s “proud tradition of standing against social progress” with significant health care reform on the horizon. (Bi)

Oliver Willis imagines what might have happened if Fox News had been around to cover the March on Washington in 1963: “The tranquility of our nation’s capital was disturbed today as some 250,000 plus negroes invaded and occupied the Lincoln Memorial.” Film at 11. (Bi)

Speaking of Fox News, guest military pundit Ralph Peters suggested Sunday that if the American soldier recently captured by the Taliban deserted his unit, uh … “I don’t care how hard it sounds, as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.” Wow. You can see it all here. (Bi)

HBO is airing a documentary on a high school in Charleston, Mississippi, which had its first racially integrated prom in 2008. (GD)

Since I spend roughly two hours a day commuting to and from week, I’ve figured out ways to talk, text and read while driving. Obviously, none of these behaviors are safe. And, in fact, might be more dangerous than getting behind the wheel after downing a couple beers. We all might be better off if our state and/or federal government went about the business of considering legislation that might discourage such behavior. (Bi)

The federal government has been pushing to make it easier for people to use food stamps at farmer’s markets. (GD)

If you’re like me, and you’re prone to eating anything that is not nailed down or poison, then this list of six binge-proof foods that will keep you full and satisfied for hours might come in handy. (Bi)

Malcolm Gladwell suggests overconfidence might be a major reason for the Wall Street collapse: “Several years ago, a team headed by the psychologist Mark Fenton-O’Creevy created a computer program that mimicked the ups and downs of an index like the Dow, and recruited, as subjects, members of a highly paid profession. As the line moved across the screen, Fenton-O’Creevy asked his subjects to press a series of buttons, which, they were told, might or might not affect the course of the line. At the end of the session, they were asked to rate their effectiveness in moving the line upward. The buttons had no effect at all on the line. But many of the players were convinced that their manipulation of the buttons made the index go up and up. … They were traders at an investment bank.” (Bi)

OMG: Sonia Sotomayor confirmed! (Judging from that pic, she hasn’t aged a bit.) (GD)

In quite a tremendous gesture, Tyler Perry is sending those kids who were turned away from that private Philadelphia-area swim club  to Disney World. (Bi)

Hilzoy’s final post. We’ll miss her unique, eloquent and passionate voice. (Bi)

Are girls’ sports more “innocent”? (GD)

Is there anyone out there who can offer a safe, nurturing home for an abandoned, NFL quarterback? He’s got a bit of an aggression problem with other pets but he loves to run and is eager to learn new tricks. (Bi)

But if you’re looking for good football news, you can’t do much better than former Florida State star-Rhodes Scholar-Superman Myron Rolle. He’s announced plans to build a medical clinic and sports complex in Steventon, Exuma in the Bahamas. Yeah. He’s better than us. (Bi)

ESPN’s Lester Munson reports on an antitrust caseagainst the NFL now before the U.S. Supreme Court that “could easily be the most significant legal turning point in the history of American sports.” If the NFL prevails, all major professional U.S. sports leagues could be immune from all forms of antitrust scrutinty. Wow. (Bi)

Ok. I’m off to watch the new T.O. reality show. Enjoy Shaq:

RIP, Mr. Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite died today at the age of 92. According to CBS News, he was at the tail end of the evening broadcast when the station received word that King had been assassinated.

Nuance Where You’d Least Expect It.

Earlier this week, I was talking to G.D. about something I’d watched on television. “But I don’t want to write about it for PostBourgie,” I quickly added, “because a.) I really get sick of reading and writing about Tyler Perry and b.) I’d have to out myself as a Meet the Browns viewer.”

But here I am, anyway. Hello, my name is Stacia. And I’ve watched Meet the Browns.

If you’re one of those people who sees Tyler Perry’s name and has a knee-jerk “Buffoonery!” battle cry at the ready, stop reading (if you haven’t already).