According to Julie

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Mad Men world

"Mad Men may be lauded for scratching at the dark underbelly of society in the 1960s, but its scratches are surface deep. Perhaps because if it dug any deeper, the audience would see their own reflections staring back at them." – Melissa Witkowski in The Guardian

I completely agree.

You would think Mad Men was my kind of series: writers in 60s clothes, history, men in suits – what’s not to love? When I first started watching Mad Men, it made me deeply uncomfortable. Not because the supposedly misogynistic, racist 60s were so incredibly different and exotic and scary (a friend of mine said she watched Mad Men as a horror show), but because I could relate to it too much. I saw the first season as "proof" that people fail each other for no reason, and that women’s worth is always related to the men in their lives.

Witkowski writes that Mad Men creates "an illusion of distance between our past and our present (…) through the erasure of real accomplishments by women and people of colour of the era, and by downplaying the institutional and systemic oppression in favour of presenting easier (and more salacious) targets such as sexual harassment and racist banter as the biggest obstacles facing women and people of colour in the workplace."

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Happy Moose Cap Friday!

I’m on my way to the monthly celebration. This month Urban Outfitters were out of Moose Caps (like the one below). Do you know what that means? Thousands of American wannabe-hipsters are honoring the Moose! Moose Cap is mainstream.


moose hat from urban outfitters

So mainstream that it’s even spread to Gap Kids. These little girls are demonstrating the Moose Cap Greeting:

I got Moose Cap presents this month, and now I have an actual Moose Cap to wear with my Official Moose Cap T-shirt ™. Or maybe it’s more of a Double Moose Headband. I’m sure there will be photos.

Wait, what’s Moose Cap? Learn about the tradition of the Moose here.

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Happy bilingual holidays!

"I prefer Christmas songs in English," I told my family a few days ago, "Christmas lyrics in English remind me of celebrations. Christmas lyrics in Norwegian remind me of doing homework."

"Well of course" my mom answered, "We move back here, you get older, and December is all about studying for end-of-semester exams."

"That’s not what I mean," I protested, "Norwegian lyrics remind me of when we first moved back here, and I had to learn all the Norwegian lyrics as homework because I didn’t know any of the Norwegian songs."

When I studied for my first university exams, I listened to Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan’s alternative (very sad, not Christmasy) lyrics to the Silent Night melody:

It’s simple: I grew up in English, and Christmas is all about nostalgia. My sister, who is only two and a half years younger than me, has a very different connection with the Norwegian Christmas songs.

Here’s two different versions of Silent Night in Norwegian. Oddly enough, they have two completely different lyrics.

I’m blogging about Christmas music every day until the 24th.