AMC’s Mad Men series is filled with poke-the-viewer-in-the-ribs moments where characters in a TV series set in 1960 are smoking and drinking like, err, mad–even with their kids around, and on the way, in the case of one pregnant character who smokes like a chimney. And yet somehow, we all managed to survive such a stone knives and bearskins culture. So I have to laugh when a celebrity gossip site, full of photos of Hollywood actresses in various stages of undress and occasionally in various stages of acts that would have caused the boys in the Hayes Office to go into complete myocardial infarction in 1960, has a puritanical headline such as this: “Britney Spears in a Bikini is Smoking… In Front of Her Kids.”
Gosh–I know I’m shocked.
Something else the characters in Mad Men wouldn’t be the least surprised by, because they had a millennium of history and common sense to go by: “Social stigma drives some women to remove tattoos.”
And as usual, the L.A. Times, where history and culture are always in the present-tense, is surprised by (a) a topic that Theodore Dalrymple was writing about nearly a decade and a half ago and (b) your grandmother understood 50 years ago.
(Via Conservative Grapevine.)