3/8: Mad, Glad, Rad

A lot of Mad Men fans are like Steely Dan fans. They’re a niche, they’re rabid, and they spend way too many hours parsing the meaning of arcana found within the writing. However, at least Steely Dan fans have some real puzzlers to get their heads around, like “Babylon Sisters, shake it,” and “Drink your big Black Cow.” The writing on Mad Men is thoroughly entertaining, solid classy soap opera; it’s not exactly Ulyssess, or even Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. If you like to roll your eyes a lot, you will surely enjoy the endless recap over at Huffington Post that makes points, over dozens of paragraphs, along the lines of “Don has a death wish” and “Betty is repressed and fucked up and really boring as a character.” It reminds me of when someone in high school solemnly told me that Elton John’s “Island Girl” was about falling in love with a prostitute! And of course, I remain indebted to that person to this day.

No Wolcott post yet, alas. Wolcott’s the one writer who manages to cut to the chase about each episode, and who observes the things that need to be observed with his usual brisk insight. MM goes down best with an icy martini, not some big stupid pitcher of—oh hell, I don’t know and I’m tired. I’m sure JW would approve of this site, found thanks to Daily Candy: Mean Mad Men, which matches quotes from Mean Girls with MM stills. Heaven!

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I did have an absolute ball with the kid and the man at Fool Moon, a nighttime offshoot of Festifools, Ann Arbor’s sort of close to April Fools celebration that features really cool kinetic sculptures meandering back and forth over a few city blocks. Of Festifools, a friend of a friend said, “It’s like Pee-wee’s Playhouse, outside,” an apt description.

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This was a very cool thing indeed, begun by a guy, Mark Tucker, who learned his craft in Viareggio, Italy. But much cooler and more magical, likely due to the fact that nighttime is cooler than broad daylight, is Fool Moon, the street party on the Friday before the Sunday parade. Sea creatures work beautifully, bobbing against the darkness as if they’re in a black sea.

001 blowfish

012 Voratima's shrimp

002 blowfish and friends

But sweets were also popular.

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And all around are light shows on the building walls, and a lot of very, very happy people, because it really is absolutely lovely.

005 Fool Moon

Other transporting moments can be had with this marvelous video, of kayaks plunging down waterfalls in the Mexican Jungle. More thanks to Daily Candy for the tip.

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