Don Draper has a sad about being an “Organization Man.”
Mad Men‘s season premieregot Tami and me–and guest ‘tabler Renee Martin–thinking about how much Mad Men is about aging: yes, about how we physically and emotionally age–and how different decades of life meant different things in, well, different decades–but also how institutions, like Sterling Cooper Draper Price, get on as the founders get on in age, and US society itself gets on with mediating changes, like the counterculture of hippies and wars with people of color. Conversation and spoilers after the jump.
As many of us here in the United States observe Memorial Day, here are some videos worth watching about veterans from many of our communities.
We’ll begin with a video that was shown here in San Diego earlier this year, at a celebration of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded two years ago to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and and U.S. Military Intelligence Service (MIS). The unit, composed mostly of Japanese-Americans, would see heavy action during World War II in Europe, and would go on to produce 21 Medal of Honor recipients. This unit’s exploits were chronicled in fictional form in the film Only The Brave, the trailer of which can be seen here.
Shifting focus to Vietnam, here’s the trailer for As Long as I Remember: American Veteranos, Laura Varela’s documentary about Latino Vietnam veterans. While it focuses on three South Texas residents in particular, the statistics cited here reflect the sobering cost of duty in the conflict for many servicemen, particularly when it comes to PTSD.
Last year saw the birth of AIVMI – the American Indian Veterans Memorial Initiative, a campaign led by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida to add a statue of a Native American soldier along the Vietnam Walkway near the Vietnam Wall on the National Mall in the nation’s capital. Here we have an interview regarding the issue conducted by Kimberlie Acosta at Native Country TV with Tina Osceola from the Seminole Tribe.
The idea, proposed by the city’s small population of Vietnamese Americans, was to have a monument that celebrated the alliance between American forces and the South Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War — a conflict that irrevocably shaped all of their lives.
Unfortunately (though not surprisingly), some American veterans objected to the plan. They see the park as a place to remember American service members alone. A monument to Vietnamese Americans would apparently sit just a little too close to what they would like to memorialize about the war, whatever that may be.
Last month, after some long, tense talks at city hall, they reached a compromise. The Vietnamese American monument will sit just outside the Veterans Memorial Park, set apart from the rest of the memorials by a landscaped, six-foot earthen berm, with no sidewalk between.
Ah, even the memorialized get ghetto-ized. What’s the point? Why go to all that trouble to separate and hide the monument? Even still, the compromise location is apparently still too close for some of the American veterans. Is it really that difficult? I guess some people just can’t get over what divides us, rather than what brings people together.
(Photo Credit: NY Times)
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World