Where are all the Good People?
It was contemporary artist Jack Johnson who asked the question “Where’d all the good people go? I’ve been changing channels, I don’t see them on the TV shows. Where’d all the good people go?”
I was watching Mad Men the other night and seeing all the antics of the characters it got me thinking about the people of the late sixties and how the show only portrays the characters who fool around on their wives, who drink too much, smoke too much, took drugs, stayed out late and those who would seriously sell their grandmother for an account, and it struck me as both one dimensional and also probably not true to reality.
Sure the goings on in Sterling Cooper and partners most probably went on in real life as they do today but what about the square Joes and the good girls who wouldn’t dream of this kind of behavior. Not everybody lived such a cavalier risk taking lifestyle.
Majority of the folks I know who lived through this period were pretty conservative types and led fairly uninteresting lives. Some might have been religious, but a lot would have felt that this kind of misbehavior wasn’t the societal norm. Sure they heard about the adventures of others, but generally this was not how people behaved.
Early in Mad Men people critiqued the show for its authenticity and questioned the lack of “black characters”, well I think its about time we look at the reality of societal behavior and I would suggest that a lot of went on just simply wasn’t so.
I realize that the square Joes and good girls don’t make interesting viewing, but I would think that you could put characters in the show who are like this who are challenged by scenarios. They may or may not be tempted but that is part of life.
We are led to believe that there was an underbelly that the wholesome advertising world doesn’t show, I believe that it may be the other way around. Perhaps this is just part of our cynical world that likes us to believe that whatever were doing is ok because everybody else is and if you can’t see them doing it then clearly they were.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating some right wing traditional values need to be the pillar of TV shows, I am a purest when it comes to history so I like to see things portrayed just right which is why I pose the question “Where did All the Good People Go?”