Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Allure of Messy Lives | Katie Roiphe | The New York Times | July 30, 2010

In "The Allure of Messy Lives," an article exploring why Mad Men is so popular, Katie Roiphe thinks it has much to do with the fact that we can look back and feel smug at how far we've evolved (at least in terms of things like not letting kids walk around with dry cleaning bags on their heads).  Then she asks:  But is there also the tiniest bit of wistfulness, the slight but unmistakable hint of longing toward all that stylish chaos, all that selfish, retrograde abandon?

Tiny? Hint? For me it is full on longing, desire, jealousy, and inspiration. If I weren't living like a recent escapee from the dust bowl, I'd not be very well behaved at all. And containing myself is driving me a bit batty.

Roiphe continues, "Of course people still have hangovers and affairs, but what dominates the wholesome vista is a sense that everything we do should be productive, should be moving toward a sane and balanced end. The idea that you would do something just for the momentary blissful escape of it, for intensity, for strong feeling, is out of fashion."

It seems more than out of fashion, I'm sure that it was probably recently listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

I just wish I had the ability to be unfashionably indulgent.  Not materially indulgent, but life-experience indulgent.

Though materially indulgent would be pretty fun now and again too.  I do miss nice clothes.

More soon...