Are you as sick of Don Draper’s act as I am? Like, puh-leez, Don. You’re grossing us out. Yeah, we get that Don’s like totally tortured and stuff, that he suffers really deep cuz he was in some war or other. It’s pretty creepy how once in a while he fingers that cheesy purple heart medal.
Yes, Don, you are way too smart and sensitive to be working in advertising. Yes, we get that it fundamentally demeans you, to the bottom of your 1960’s white privileged male soul. Sure, baby, it hurts, and hurts bad. Uh huh. We feel your ache, Donny boy, or whatever the fuck your real name is. Dick Whitfield, right? Whatevs. Both sound made up.
And yup, we get that Don Draper despises Don Draper. However, his self-loathing doesn’t stop him from banging every piece of tail that comes across his gloomy radar. But he does it with disdain, with ambivalence, with the kind of serious fuckedupedness that attracts women who are really smart like him but also share his brutal handicap – no sense of irony – and NO sense of humour about himself.
Remember when Don had that affair with the comic’s wife? The little geek with the salt and pepper hair. I mean the comic, not the wife. Anyway, I’m lousy with names. You know why she got on Don’s nerves so bad? Well, number one because she has way more balls than him, but mostly because she has a sense of humor about herself. That confused Don, irritated him. Suddenly, for like five seconds, he wasn’t the center of universe. It freaked Don out that she can easily admit to herself she’s an aging slapper, back in an era that was still run by frat house closet cases.
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And that above all else is Don Draper’s real problem. He is a massively, totally shrieking hingebender. You know what that is? It’s an old expression that means a closeted gay guy who is pushing on the inside of the closet door so hard, he’s bending the hinges. Exactly like Don Draper. He is so obviously, screamingly, fabulously gay. If Don could only pull his head out of his ass and put it to some other – better use. But Don’s utterly and entirely and fully about Don and nothing else.
And when somebody tries to become three-dimensional around him, Don loses his shit. Check it out - his wife is a lot smarter than him but not allowed to act it. His wife is hotter than him - even to other women, but she’s not allowed to play it up. Any money, ten or fifteen years down the road, Don’s wife has laughed off their marriage as a zany youthful prank and has gone on to get her doctorate and is running one of the first Women’s Studies departments at a top notch East Coast college. ANY money.
Meanwhile, Don’s whole super profound chain-smoker gimmick will have fallen out of fashion. He’ll get paunchy and lose his hair. He’ll give up scotch and take up beer. But then, in an embarrassing late 40’s come-back, Don will move to Frisco and pull a kind of Gay Talese Thy Neighbor’s Wife shtick. He’ll devote himself to sex as a massively complex social research project. After working hard to comprehend every possible mammalian and reptilian sexual permutation and in varyingly large numbers, Don is killed when he tries to make sweet love with the early ‘60’s Thunderbird or Cadillac or whatever that hunk of tin was called that first stole his lily white circumscribed heart.