Chickenfoot-Chickenfoot

I’ve now listened to this album long enough to have complaints, so lets rip!

Seriously, that IS my attitude. I hate current film or music reviews, where the reviewer gets caught up in the moment and atmosphere of things, and gives  a review that they’d later regret. I also hate it when shortly after something is released, reviewers withdraw their articles, due to  contrary opinions from the public (Kerrang! and St Anger, I’m looking at you here). As such, I tend to leave all reviews until long since anybody last cared, to get the most accurate result out of it. There’s a method to this crap, you know.

Like most other reviews I’ve done, this is mostly inspired by a new release. I guess it’s retrospective, before the retro really kicks in.  I like to deliver them slightly too late for anything constructive to be taken from it either. That way we don’t have to worry about law suits, and me becoming a millionaire. Nobody wants that.

Soooo… Chickenfoot. I remember hearing about this “supergroup” when it was still a rumour, and I’ll be honest: I was fucking stoked. I’ve seen Joe Satriani about a bazillion times live, I think Chad Smith is a great drummer, and surely Sammy and Michael were going to bring some Van Halen grandeur to the stage… what could be better? Everyone was belly aching about Them Crooked Vultures, or whoever, but for me Chickenfoot was going to be the big deal.

Their eponymous debut went down the garage band jam-session type of route, as opposed to the stadium rock kinda route, which all of the members could pull off without breaking a sweat. This gains a lot of respect for me, as they really are starting from scratch. It’s also the weakest aspect of the album.

This album is as ye-haw American as possible, and it’s VERY Sammy Hagar. He’s singing about the kinda trailer trash women he likes, and about Mexicans (whom he lovingly refers to as “Wetbacks”, although I don’t think it’s supposed to be racist). He’s powering out his drawl, and it makes me wonder how he ever fronted Van Halen. These are VERY different bands, and it’s a bit disappointing.

I think I was expecting stadium rock, with a funk feel, as contributed by  Chad and Joe, who in particular feels like he’s sitting in the background a lot. Perhaps it’s because he’s constantly in the foreground in his own music, but you don’t put Joe fucking Satriani in a band, and expect him to just play by numbers. The one big contribution he makes is the riff for “Down the Drain”, easily one of the best rock songs I’ve ever heard. Another good song on this is Get It Up, or Avenida Revolution… actually they’re all good. Only Down the Drain is really great though.

Straight up, I say if you like rock music, listen to this album, There’s room to grow here, and I think they should concentrate full time on this project.  There’s a live DVD which is far better than the CD, strangely enough. Get that in HD, and watch in awe at Satch’s skills, Chad’s punk attitude, Sammy’s ‘fro and Michael Anthony’s impossibly large neck, complete with mullet.

Where should Chickenfoot go? Here’s a guide by guide step:

1) Better lyrics. Stop Sammy from writing them all.  Or, if he has to, change the smut. They’re all smutty, but smut can be handled so much better. Case in point: Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. If Led Zep could get away with lyrics like “I wanna give you every inch of my love”, and have the song put as the intro to kid friendly Top Of The Pops, you guys can too.

2) Rub some funk on it. If there was ever a band that could deviate into 10 minute rambling jams, it’s this one. These have needed a comeback since the seventies. Them Crooked Vultures have tried, but just compare the calibre of musicianship here. Do it.

3) Pull the songs out of America. I get it, you guys are American manlymen, but the great rock bands never let that overshadow their lyrics. Make it more accessible, and maybe a bit more topical.

4) Push Joe. Every time he writes something awesome, send him back and make him do it better. He can. He’s Joe Satriani.

5) Glue Chad to the drum kit. He’s going to keep fucking off back to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, like a battered housewife. You guys need to make an intervention man.

6)  Tour this one more, and add festivals to your schedule. Festivals are impossibly popular, and even if you ignore everything else I say, this is a must. There ARE people that will see you, and love you, out of interest, who may not care enough to listen to your cd, or visit an independent show. Tour festivals. You guys know you can command a mid afternoon slot on main stage anywhere, or even a higher slot on a second stage at a rock fest. Do it.

Yeah, this post was pretty light, but I’m still pretty spent from the last one 🙂

Advertisements

Death To The Fake Democracy!

What a title! And if you’re wondering, yeah, I’m about to get a bit over dramatic. However, I honestly believe what I’m about to write… so opinions would be nice 🙂

It’s no secret amongst my friends that I’m fairly sceptical about democracy. I’m not a communist or anything before people start moaning, but I do believe that the democracy that we are given, isn’t real. What we in Britain do, is vote-in a person, who we know little about, to be our dictator. I think the latest Labour government proved that. We didn’t vote-in Gordon Brown, we were denied a general election when one was called for. Those things shouldn’t happen in a democracy, it’s not what the people asked for. Similarly, we voted in numbers for both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives this time round, but neither of us got what we wanted. We got the “Con-Dem” coalition. And then, to prove how little we know about our leaders (and vice versa), Mr Nick Clegg openly supported a complete betrayal of his election promises, effectively dooming the future of his party. Way to go there, Nick. Oh sure, I believe in my heart that he was doing it while thinking of the long run (such as being able to gain Conservative support for a change to the voting system, so that his party could gain real power next time, and force through the changes that he truly believed in), but that’s pure assumption right there. In fact, it was a measure of how little he knew about the bastard bedfellows he’d made.

The main way our democracy is a joke, from an ideological perspective, is that our votes are not equal. If, like me, you live in a more congested area, then your vote counts for far less than someone who lives out in the middle of nowhere. An individual in Cumbria has more say than someone in London. That is intrinsically wrong (because I live in London). Welcome to the “seats” system.

The classic criticism of democracy is simple. What gives an individual the right to vote? How are they qualified to make such a decision? Why should someone in London, with their own problems, have a say in politics that stretch to Scotland? These are all very valid points, and the simple and honest answers are that a)nothing, b)they’re not, and c)because it’s fair.

Now, it’s a sad world where the only truly fair system is one where everyone is equally discriminated against (and even that doesn’t happen in this country of favouritism), but, like Winston Churchill said “…democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”.

Well now that’s changing. A revolution is already under way, the seeds have been planted, and everyone has been infected. Here’s the cherry on the cake: you’re all involved, and you don’t even realise it.

For years now ONE thing has changed in our world, and as such, has changed our world beyond the point of recognisability. We have accepted this change into our homes, we walk around different people than we did 20 years ago, and we are now an almost different species. What is this miraculous change? Technology.

Now, that may seem like a bit of a weak outcome to such a build up, but let me guarantee you, there is nothing weak about this. ALL technology has ONE function, which is communication. Simple. At it’s very source, that’s all technology does. Using metals, and electricity, and very precise machinery, computers and phones all communicate. Why does this make any contribution to politics? Let me explore this with you…

(I wrote the following months ago, so if it feels a little detached from the main text, that would be why)

Have you heard about 2010 Thai political protests? How about the 2011 Bahraini protests? Or the 2011 Egyptian revolution? The two large protests in the same about of years in Iran? The Algerian protests? No?

Well, that’s unfortunate, but hey, you’ll have perked your ears up over Call of Duty to hear about the Libyan revolution even if it’s only because there’s a war there. Wait, did I just mention 6 large conflicts that have taken place in the last 2 years? Yes, yes I did. Not including the “Second Republic” in Ireland. Or Tunisia. Or Yemen. Or Jordan. Or Syria.  Those are only the ones to my knowledge as well.

Now there are a few obvious connections between all of these protests. None of them happened in western countries, which might explain a general lack of interest amongst the everyday person in the western world. They were all political in nature, and are all generally aimed at removing or changing their individual government for being generally dicks. Political commentators may flinch at my over simplification of these serious events, but yeah, that’s what it kinda boils down to.

There are other links here, that the world news hasn’t really focused on, because they don’t involve any of the gratuitous death and violence that the news sells itself of. Most notably for me, is that these protests were helped, and fuelled by interactive communication. Now, this might seem a little strange, but bear with me here.

People in the west have been communicating with each other for a long time, and each major technological advance is more or less focused on improving that communication. People like to talk, share insight, and generally communicate, and lately with the internet that’s become easier than ever. Now smart phones are capable of accessing the net with 3G, affectively making the internet fully portable. That’s an amazing advance really. I mean, sure, you can contact people you know with phones, but the internet is free, can contact large groups at a time, and you don’t even have to know them! Blog sites and web forums are virtual conversations between strangers, and you know what? People on these sites find kindred spirits. They find communities that wouldn’t exist without the internet. Geeks have found each other, and popular culture has found geeks. People can date, relate and connect with people, when maybe in real life they felt alone. And that’s the link between these revolutions.

It would be ignorant to say that any oppressed person enjoys that position, but if that’s your life, and you don’t see how a person can fight an oppressive government, you aren’t likely to try and change the status quo. Remember that these are the countries and governments where you couldn’t stand up on a soapbox and claim foul play, because they’d just take you away.  Not only that, but a lot of people in these countries just know any different. I read online about “human rights violations” in certain eastern countries, but you know what? Not only do they have a different culture to us, but they don’t know any different. People criticised the opening ceremony to the Beijing Olympics, as being a testament to slavery and abuse, but you have to really wonder if the people in the ceremony felt the same way.

Either way, the people in these countries didn’t like the way that their governments were working. So why the sudden rebellion? Internet. Simple. At the core of all of these protests there are the same people. Young people, including a disproportionate amount of women, comparatively speaking. All able to access the internet in order to educate themselves, and communicate with others. I once made the observation that many people use technology that they don’t understand? That goes for governments to. They are never going to be able to fully outsmart, outwit, or control the internet, nor can they the people that know it better than them. Don’t get me wrong, everyone in these countries was aware of the problems that were happening, but these were the people who could, and did, change it.

If this all sounds like an overwhelming success, it isn’t. At least, not on a grand scale. No government is safe from this kind of revolution, and smaller ones are popping up all over the place. In Britain lately there have been a few “marches” lately, from students and trade unions unhappy with the current government. Yeah there have been similar in France and America and suchlike, but I know the British ones better. Now, marching is a time honoured tradition in this country, and has never really gone away. So why are these protests gaining so much media attention. Well, it’s mostly because they’ve been turning violent, or destructive. Why is that? Undoubtedly it’s because of the increased numbers of people there. Why so many people? Social networking. That little tabs on your facebook page? That’s right, the events tab. That right there is why. Oh, not everyone is swayed by an invite, but they are swayed by peer pressure, encouragement and viral campaigns, things that all of these events use, regardless of actual intention. And just making someone aware of a march is likely to attract those who wouldn’t actively seek one.

Just to use a contrasting situation, in 2002 around 400,000 people turned out in central London, some to protest, and some to support anti fox hunting legislation that was being bandied around at the time. The marches were side actually side by side each other, and being an animal rights issue in Britain, everyone cared. Despite the close proximity between the two groups, there was very little in the way of violence or problems. Why? I’d imagine because the only people who went out on that march were people who truly, honestly gave a shit. Remember, facebook wasn’t around until 2 years later. So why the difference now? More people, who wouldn’t actively attend such a demonstration.

Now I can’t say that facebook is causing all of these problems. That would be a lie. Facebook is nothing more than a tool. People are causing these problems, and the reason is almost certainly because after 60 years or so both of our major political parties have been taking turns to fuck our country up as much as possible, with our third choice party immediately turning over to their political opposition the second they had any chance at power. People are pissed. A lot of these marches are about issues that a lot of the attendees don’t really know anything about and probably only superficially care about. They wouldn’t even be aware of the marches, had social networking not informed them of it all. Which gets to the real crux of the problem.

Lies, untruths, coercion, opinion, and suchlike are all forms of information and communication. We’ve already been “exposed” to this in the medium of newspapers a lot, albeit in a biased and untruthful way, thanks to freedom of speech having been opportunistically hijacked by super capitalism. Everything on the internet was put up there by someone else. There is no internet quality control, and very little censorship. In fact, it’s about as “free” as anything can get in this world. People are reactionary creatures, as well as creature who like to socially fit in which is why systematic ideologies, like religious or secular groups are so widely subscribed to. When this extremely high level of communication finally gets to the point where every viewpoint, political ideology, and opinion is represented, and has been expressed, it means that you, as a person is going to have to choose what the truth is. Some may say “that’s better than having the truth dictated to you”, but I’m not so sure. Having a “pick your own fact” looks like it could go really bad.

Anyway, that’s not really an issue here (currently). What is an issue however, is how the governments are going to deal with it. We’ve seen the music industry try, and fail, to monitor and legislate content on the internet. We’ve watched actual governments trying to go after wikileaks, but that’s never going to happen when those guys are so much better at computer stuff than the government is. I’m pretty sure that the conservative core that makes up ALL western political parties is going to instinctively give out knee jerk reactions when this shit starts becoming an issue, mainly because of their own ignorance of the internet. “Shut it down” they may say, “get the ISP’s to filter all content”… yeah, right. That’s not going to happen.

My guess? The strangest revolution of all time. Governments are going to have to adapt and evolve around the internet. They won’t be able to lie or make false promises any more,  because some angry as fuck kid is going to call them out on it, and start some trouble.  The government of the future is going to not only going to HAVE to be honest, but actually give out information to people directly, whether it’s in the shape of a podcast or whatever. And again, they can’t lie, because someone will call them out on this. I’d kinda love this to happen, make public servant actually have to serve, and ask people if it’s going right. They’ll have to work in the interest of the greatest number of people; it’s the only fair system. Is this a good future? Depends on what people’s opinions are really, and unfortunately, at the same time this would happen, we’d also be having to choose our own “facts”. Which is going to put a whole load of pressure on social conditioning….

ANYWAY, this is turning into one of the longest blog posts I’ve ever contributed, so I’m going to have to try and wrap it up somehow. Will this new system be great? Nah, probably not. The same issues still apply, really. Why do we accept printed media over digital? It’s because it feels real, and trust worthy, while the internet, especially sites like Wikipedia, are customisable. The truth is, however, that a human being, flaws and all, wrote that information down, while being moderated by another. There is no absolute truth or fact in the universe, and as such, we will remain as poorly informed as before.  So, why bother writing this? Simple: We are heading towards a new world of democracy, one where governments are held more responsible. In face, we will be in a world of super democracy, where we can choose everything ourselves, and you’d better believe it’s going to shake things up. No wonder politicians are trying to rein in the internet. It’s never going to happen though. Sleep tight people…

Unpopular Idea #3

Put unemployed people in Underground tunnels, to look after the signals. Pay them with the 60% pay reduction that the current staff deserve. Let’s see how many signal failures there are then…

A Man Is A Rape Supporter If…

So, there have been plenty of talks online about a list, published by my fellow contributor, who runs a blog called “Eve Bit First”. It’s caused some controversy over it’s depiction of “men” (that’s right, the entire gender), and how they all (we all) support rape, even subconsciously, by all being intrinsically guilty of at least one of the things on this list. She has previously published a blog, calling for the systematic annihilation of all men, and has expressed a patronising distaste for transgender folk, but hate figure she is not. She is simply a feminist, telling it like it is.

However, being sympathetic to her cause, as I am a man, who cannot deny that she is spot on, I feel it is my duty to publish several additions to her fantastic list, that she just doesn’t have time to publish herself, being busy with tons of fan mail each day. The original list, in all of it’s eloquent beauty, simplicity and honesty, can be found here: http://evebitfirst.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/a-man-is-a-rape-supporter-if/

The following additions WILL be released as part of the directors cut dvd.

A man is a rape-supporter if…

  • He is celibate (dude is hiding some big secret if he’s celibate. Hell, he’s probably wearing the panties of the last girl her raped, sick fuck)
  • He has nipples. Trying to confuse women to gain their trust is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
  • He has big hands. To cover a woman’s mouth
  • He has ever sworn/cursed. If he can control the petty thoughts in his tiny brain, how could he hope to control his tiny penis?
  • He has ever gotten impatient with a woman on the blob. No respect or understanding makes man a rapey rapey.
  • He enjoys horror films. Have you seen the depiction of women in horror films? And don’t even get me started on Evil Dead.
  • He has ever gotten erect. People without guns can’t shoot people. People with guns=Columbine. Just add penises.
  • He buys his girlfriend flowers. Condescending or what. Probably a peace offering for laughing at all the rape that’s mindlessly glamorised on television, only the pacify her until her back is turned.
  • He thinks that the prison rape scene in American History X was dark, upsetting or moving. Men getting raped is quite obviously fine, and there are plenty more to go before men and women are equal. After all, it’s about keeping score.
  • He can park a car perfectly. Practice, duh.
  • He works in a tall office building. Skyscrapers, penetrating the sky…. how did no one see it?
  • He was conceived. This is the most telling one… men are LITERALLY made from a process, where a male cells FORCES it’s way into a female cell. The tricky bastards start raping from birth, the absolute cunts!!!
  • He buys the best of DVD. Why else would a scummy, rapey man buy an item with a hole in it, especially one that can’t say “no”? Please, oh please, think of the plastic!

Ahem, on a serious note, I’d like to point out that rape isn’t that funny. Well, it can be, when approached in a satirical way, but in reality it never can be, and unfortunately we are still too far as a people from the goal of controlling, and preventing rape,  for it ever to be a mainstream humour, or open debate. Which is why, when the topic is handled in such a disrespectful and ignorant way, as “Eve” has, with this list, and the entirety of her blog, she not only diminishes the importance of rape, by reducing it to mere hate speech, but she also looses sight of the goal, which is to inform with a sight to end rape, or to stop women (and men) ending up in the situation where they are, or can be raped.

“Eve” quite clearly hates men. Her post calling for the destruction of the entire gender is proof enough (http://evebitfirst.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/a-rant/). The reason for that seems biographically clear. She has suffered at the expense of being a woman physically (http://evebitfirst.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/just-deal-with-it/) and didn’t get the pity she felt that she was entitled to.

Now, I just worded that unfairly. There are many who have taken their lives over less, but it does go to show the power that language has. The information I gave you was technically correct, but the way it’s phrased was really rather cuntish. However, “Eve” isn’t just about bad grammar. “Eve” genuinely hates men, going so far as to blame everything on them, somehow.

Now I’ve heard nut jobs who claim that religion is the root of all evil in the world, and from their experiences, it may well seem to be (it isn’t). I  am well aware of racists, who hate someone based on factors beyond their control, for reasons that are seemingly idiotic to everyone else, but I’m sure that amongst the under evolved lot of them, there is a normal person, who has a genuine reason. That isn’t fine, but it’s somewhat understandable. I’ve not ever heard of some one who hates an entire gender though. I mean, asides from being incredibly counter productive (no men=no more women either, dipshit).

The reasonable retort to that, would be to point out actual rapists as being a perfect example of someone who hates the opposite gender, and in some cases I daresay you’re right. I don’t deal in absolutes, however, and I don’t agree that all rapists hate women. Here’s why:

At school, I knew someone, older than me (not giving exact details out), who raped someone in his year. She was a good friend of mine, which is how I found out. It all got settled out of the limelight, and she decided to leave the school instead of him. The injustice of this, and the hatred I felt towards this man was unbelievable. The act in itself is violently repugnant to me, and to see someone get away with it just made it worse. As I grew up, he went from strength to strength, achieved very well, and was well liked. He became a “model citizen” as it were. Now, I know that the girl in question doesn’t hate him any more, an amazing feat of which I’m very proud of her. She has come to the conclusion that it was a mistake, made in error, and perhaps changed him into becoming the “great” guy he is now. I’ve never gone into graphic details with her, but if she’s come to peace with it all, then that’s that.

Can I honestly say that this man hates women? No, I really can’t. I can say a lot about him, much of it hateful. Hell, I could ruin his career, his relationships… I could destroy the remainder of his life by this atrocious act, but then, I’m not that kind of guy.

My point about all of this is that your actions against one person do not define your attitude towards a group. Conversely, the actions of an individual against you, do not define the attitudes of many people, who are only connected by some arbitrary definition. This kind of hatred, as I shouldn’t need to inform you, is pointless, unfounded, and harmful, and not only to the people that you are targeting.

“Eve”, in your posts you comment that women dress and act the way they do to “neutralise the threat” that men present (http://evebitfirst.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/tsf-hugh-hefne/), while you claim that women act the way they are through social (which is in your mind completely patriarchal) conditioning (http://evebitfirst.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/biological-determinism/), showing that your beliefs conflict with themselves, purely in an effort to scapegoat men for everything wrong with the world (read:wrong with you).

If you honestly wish to target the rapists, and the patriarchy, and the oppression in this world, you are going to need to narrow your sights, because right now, bar maybe 100 women, you are attacking and insulting everybody, and it’s clear that everybody isn’t the problem. There are many real feminists (as you are most definitely NOT a feminist), as well as many men, who would fight alongside you, and in fact, currently DO fight to make the world a better place, from the enemies that you hopelessly attempt to identify.  Your counter productive hate speech will only hurt you in the long run, and while it might not ever change your mind, it won’t be men who are wasting their lives away in a cocoon of hatred, resentment, and bitterness. It’s not worth the waste, when your passion has so much to give. Open your eyes, accept the world, and change it productively.

(oh, and if you “quote” statistics, actually sodding quote them. Making statements like:

“because statistics indicate there is an almost 100% certainty that you have either committed a rape, or wanted to commit a rape, or knowingly assisted or defended someone who committed a rape, or mocked a woman who was raped”

when those statistics clearly don’t exist anywhere outside of your imagination, makes you argument look even less valid, if at all possible).

There May be Hope-O-Vision

It’s been, well, months since my last post, and I’m feeling somewhat more positive. That, and the fact I finally now have a job, means I haven’t had much time to expose myself to bad television, which in turn I could slate for your entertainment. The actual story goes like this…

I watched one of the first episodes of OMG! With Peaches Geldof, a show doomed from it’s very title, and was enjoying  the mental exercise of creating eloquent yet scathing comments about it. I mean, title and main celebrity aside, this shows premise, which was to dig out unconventional people from different walks of life, then mock them, could have a book written on it in itself, and never mind the clichés that accompany it (yes, there is a flamboyantly gay guy in a minor role). So I’m sitting there, already penning my suicide-o-vision episode two, when a friend of mine appears on the screen. As a guest.  Now, since then, I’ve read reviews on the show, and people have been very kind to her. After all, the guests aren’t what make the show bad, just everything else. However, I felt a bit worried about slating a show that someone I knew had featured in. I spoke to my friend over a social networking site (the only interaction any good recluse needs in this day and age), and this is what her comments were on the situation:

Me: So I sit down to write my latest review on “what’s terrible in television” and you pop up on the show… talk about dilemma :p stop making my job harder XD

Her: Hahaha sorry!! The show itself I agree is terrible, but I’ve had many thank you’s from the fetish scene for sticking up for the blood fetish and not disease ridden! So I got across what I wanted ^^

Me: It should be a platform to discuss subversive cultures and lifestyles. It’s a missed opportunity, although not surprising considering it’s being done by ITV by way of Peaches Geldof

Her: Exactly the show had so much potential, yet it went back to a closed minded girl who just thought it was fun to point at things she finds weird. Ahh well some people saw what was trying to be said at least, while others will merely view it as a freak show, but so goes tv!

Me: Yeah. I write a couple of articles that are supposed to highlight the lowest common denominator in contemporary television-shows that have no redeeming feature. I feel bad now, see as how the contestants actually looked like they wanted to get an honest message across. Still gonna write the article though, if nothing else knowing someone who made the effort has fuelled my distaste for it

Her: For some reason tv under estimates the human thirst for knowledge and now just throw out shock horror stuff. Even if someone is trying to get an intelligent point across that others want to hear, they still presume all people want to see is the freaks. Though because of this now we have the fun generation who are closed minded and thinks it ok to point and laugh. I think myself and others who have appeared on the show have at least swayed a few people to open there minds! Which is worth it in the end 🙂

Needless to say, I never wrote the article in the end. I couldn’t do it, and that really took the inertia out of the whole SOV idea. Maybe it’s because the show was so bad, it became an easy target, but I think more that in damning the show, I could very well be belittling any good that DID come from it. That isn’t the case with my pilot, Holly’s World, but it definitely could with this. So I never wrote it. In fact, it’s my friends birthday today, and I’d like to wish her a happy birthday!

Anyway, moving on, I didn’t write anything, and then didn’t have time nor energy to watch anything new. I don’t know if there even is anything new. X Factor/People Got Talent/Dancing on Ice/Stars/Broken Glass have all been done before, and there is little to nothing of any kind of interest there. I did however get the back catalogue of a particular series, and while I may be late to the party, it’s one hell of a party.

Mad Men is an American high budget drama, that chronicles the lives of advertising executives in New York. It is set in the early 60’s, and straight off the bat, looks fucking incredible. The swearing is most definitely necessary, this is the shit.  Everything seems perfect, down to the smallest detail. Remember, these were the post war years of fortune and style, and the film reeks of both.

The two main characters that you are introduced to in the first episode,  Don Draper and Peggy Olson, are a creative director and a secretary respectively. They are introduced differently, with Don being an established man in the company, to whom many of the other employees look up to, while it is Peggy’s first day, and she is being shown around the building. This is one of the finest ways to introduce a show that I have seen ever in television, and it sets the tone perfectly.

I can’t express how well these characters are both written and performed. No one in the building has a clear motive, no one acts quite how you’d expect. I’m holding a hell of a load of details and characters back here, purely because I can’t tell you about them. You NEED to see this show, and discover them for yourselves, make judgements on them, and to try and guess where this story is going.

The defining characteristic about Mad Men is the fact that it’s not only set in the sixties superficially: the attitudes of the characters are heavily representative of the era, a huge risk considering that it’s made and broadcast in overly conservative America. You are plunged into the deep end in this show, with the first episode being about a smoking advertising campaign, and damn, smoking is everywhere. Nearly every person smokes, indoors, in bed, everywhere. Everyone is a smoker, and it’s rubbed unapologetically in our faces. Similarly appropriate themes include unapologetic sexism, casual racism, and pure, unadulterated chauvinism. Unadulterated is an ironic term considering every man in this show seems to have a mistress on the side. Oh, apart from the hilarious homosexual man, not socially allowed in this time to be open about his sexuality, and so is prone to over emphasising his “straightness”.

The humour is sharp, and intelligent, and the dialogue is fantastic, although it is helped by the spot-on delivery, that can only be achieved by a fantastic cast of great actors. Yes, this may well be one of my favourite shows of all time.

Where Mad Men really wins though, is in it’s portrayal of itself. Yes everything is glamorised, but many of the more controversial aspects of the show, sit uncomfortably in comparison to the world of today. You want to be there, living the New York life in the good times, but the social attitudes are unnerving, and slightly scary. It makes you thankful of the various  social rights movements that have happened since, and how the world has changed for the better. In fact, for the fools who moan about how “political correctness has gone mad” , this show contains a fantastic record of how the world may have been, had a little madness not ensued from time to time.

I watch this show, and I want to drive a big car. I go to work in a suit, but it makes me want to brylcream my hair back, drink Whiskey Sour’s before every meal, and go to a burlesque show for a stag do, where the women have curves, and look a damn sight sexier for it.  This was a day and age where people cared about their appearance, both physically, and out of common courtesy. Simply, this is one hell of a good looking show.

The storyline is equally as engaging, but I won’t describe one line of it. Go and see this show. While I’ve been writing, I’ve found out that this show has won 13 Emmys and 4 Golden Globes. If, like me, you never caught it, GO NOW!