On “Creepy Glen” of Mad Men; Matthew Weiner only you can fix this

Oct 20, 2010 by

UPDATE: @CreepyGlen sent me this link further explaining that it was actually Matthew Weiner who walked in on a woman named Peggy and asked her for a lock of hair.  Even @CreepyGlen, Marten, told his dad he was weird.)

UPDATE:  An I apologize for the formatting issues.  WordPress has been doing this a lot lately and I’m not sure why.

I’m not sure if you saw The New York Times transcript of the recent interview with AMC’s Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and the discussion about his casting his son, Marten, as Glen Bishop, (@CreepyGlen and @Glen_Bishop on Twitter) but Weiner’s response I find more and more puzzling the more I think about it.  Dave Itzkoff asked him about the amount of time we saw of his son, who got a lot of air time in Season IV, almost exclusively in dealing with Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka), and on two occasions, Betty Draper (January Jones).

Q.We even got to see more of Glen Bishop this season. What does it say that you cast your son Marten as this creepy, off-kilter character?

A.  I know people use the word creepy, I don’t understand it. I don’t find him to be off-kilter. I’m very proud of their conversations, because anyone who has seriously eavesdropped on children, that is the way they talk to each other. Glen’s always going to be defined by the fact that he asked [Betty] for a lock of hair and he walked in on her in the bathroom, and I know that. But we have a delusion, I will say, in this country, that children are not people. People forget the thoughts they had when they were 6 and 7 years old, and how much of them was in there already.  As a dad, the anxiety I have is that he’s going to get some public retribution for being a peculiar person, and he’s not like that at all. He’s got very big eyes and very thick black hair and that may be part of why people think he’s so intense. But he’s a doll and he loves doing it. My worst fear is that he’ll read some of the [things] that people write about him on the Internet, which he never will. That’s all I care about.

Why is Glen (Marten) considered Creepy?

But let’s stop a minute and think about who really has helped create the perception that Glen, the character is creepy.

The answer: His father.

This youthful character has done some fairly odd things.  Weiner says they’re more normal than not, but sleeping over in the neighbor’s doll house, asking for Betty’s lock of hair, (even creepier, her giving him one), walking in on her in the potty, this season, he broke in and vandalized the Draper/Francis home, and then there is just the way he acts.

Contrast that with the lines Sally has in her interactions with him.  She’s more talkative. Lighter. Glen is almost always probing, more knowledgeable.  A few times this season I felt like he was going to slip Sally the tongue or something else. Would you rather be called Creepy by the world or a Doll in the NY Times by your dad?

If he’s the “doll” his dad says he is, (I think if I were Marten I’d rather see people calling my character Creepy than my dad calling me a doll in the NYT), then maybe in Season V, Weiner gives his kid some lines and opportunities to show he’s not so creepy after all.

He’s clearly a very perceptive character and knows much for a boy his age back in the early to mid-196os.    Of course, my suspicion is that since the Francis family has moved so far a way, it’s going to be hard to write Glen back into the Sally interaction script unless he begins taking after Sally and boarding trains and buses.

And it’s clear that while Sally might send Glen postcards because she “knows his address,” no mail Glen sends to Sally ever is going to make it into her hands.  It’ll either be thrown away on the spot, stamped return to sender, or put into a special drawer for Betty to savor out of her jealousy of Sally and Glen.

But back to real life for a second.

Weiner says: “My worst fear is that he’ll read some of the [things] that people write about him on the Internet, which he never will. That’s all I care about.”

The only way that happens is if Marten stays back in the 1960s before Al Gore invented the Internet.  My own kids read this blog, which at times I wish they didn’t because of the topics I deal with, but to say that your kid is never going to see people calling his character “Creepy” on the Internet is just bizarre.   If there are jokes on the Mad Men set that a countdown begins for a female character when she becomes tied to Draper, is it not logical to think that Sally, Bobbie, or someone isn’t going to say something to Marten about people calling him Creepy?  After all, if, as Weiner says, you’ve ever “seriously eavesdropped on children,” (mildly of creepy) you’d know, this is just the sort of thing they’d talk about.

In summary, Matt Weiner, if you want your kid to be able to play much of anything in the future besides “Creepy” Glen Bishop, you probably need to change the way he’s thought of in Mad Men or more than likely, professionally that’s all it’s ever going to be.  And he probably is a very nice kid. But stereotypes in Hollywood are hard to break out of, particularly for children actors.

Matt, as his dad, shouldn’t you do something to fix that?

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Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Bringing Me Back to Me

Oct 12, 2010 by

I’m 44 years old and I got home this morning at 3:34 a.m.

I had not a drink of alcohol. (I’m not a drinker.)

But last night I began a new chapter in my life, where instead of being a guy whose forgotten what it is to be who he was 20 years ago, I stepped back into the life of adventure and lived a little.

And I’m here to tell other moms and dads, who moved into the responsibility of parenthood a few years ago and thought they had to leave behind living on the edge of adventure, that there is still life out there, if you’re brave enough to go and find it.

EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS

As you might know from reading here on DaddyClaxton.com, I came across this band, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros totally by accident in July when I was in Austin for an event with Gillette. After I got home that night, I downloaded their songs and got hooked. Their debut album, “Up From Below” is a fine collection of tunes and jingles that immerse themselves into your consciousness and refuse to let go.

I play this album frequently, even months after first hearing it.  There are a couple songs on it I’m not real wild about, but the ones I am, well, I’d drive three hours from Dallas to Shreveport to hear them late at night, (Their set began at 10:30 p.m. and ended around midnight.) And so that’s what happened last night.

I’ll write more about the event in the days to come, but I wanted to share this video with you tonight.  And share the great photo I was able to have taken with me and band leader, Alexander.

Yes, I was about five people deep from the stage.  Yes, I sang along with them.  Yes, I was part of this very alive show, and there’s not a thing anyone can do or say to me to regret a single second of it.

But instead of getting into that tonight, here’s the video I shot using my iPhone 4, pulling the video clips into Aperture 3, and then importing them right into Final Cut Express without having to convert them at all.  Then it was just a matter of adding bumpers, some commentary, and I doubled the audio track because it recorded in a mono track.

Enjoy.

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12 Miles to @edwardsharpe

Oct 11, 2010 by

That’s all there is between here and Edward Sharpe.

Except there are two accidents in front of me on Interstate 20 just west of Shreveport and nothing is moving. Literally. I was going to get there on time.

And now it looks like there is an accident in the other lane heading back to Dallas.

I don’t see being clear of this in the next hour and a half.

Personally, I think I’m gonna miss the show.

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Heading to See Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Tonight!

Oct 11, 2010 by

I’m looking forward to tonight.  Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros are going to be at The Collective in Shreveport, LA, and by gosh and golly, I’m going to be there.

My hope tonight is that before things get going Ebes and Jade are going to be mixing about outside like they were in Austin back during the summer when I first learned of this band.  Because I was down there for a Gillette event, (not to mention ESATMZ didn’t want us in passing out razors) and because the event supposedly sold out in 30 minutes, we didn’t get in to see the show.

My fascination with this band has all been from watching them in YouTube videos, playing their disc Up From Below about a zillion times, and then of course, anytime Ford runs a Fiesta commercial and they play Janglin, (Um bop, um bop, bop pa pa da bop,) or I saw yesterday that even the NFL has a sport running to buy your favorite team swag and Home was playing as the jingle.

That’s really rare that a band releasing it’s first album has two songs turned into high-profile jingles, but it speaks to the goodness of Up From Below.

This is what love sounds like

As you know, a couple months back I wrote a piece called, This is what love sounds like, based on the way Ebes and Jade sing to each other, and from the video I’ve seen of them.   Before the show tonight, I hope to get to interview the two of them and ask them more to help tell this very soul-mate sounding story.

Wish me luck.


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KT Tunstall’s Tiger Suit leaves me with Difficulty; but that’s good

Oct 8, 2010 by

KT Tunstall’s new album Tiger Suit came out this past week in the states and like a true fan, I downloaded it on iTunes.  And because of things going on this week, I’ve missed seeing her on Leno and then on the Today Show on NBC this a.m. Rats.

But to the album. I first connected with KT via the The Hotel Cafe Christmas album from a few years ago where she did a cover of Sleigh Ride. Her version has become one of my top Christmas favorites, and I’d be scared to see how many times it’s played in iTunes since Christmas of 2008. I also get SMS updates from her on Twitter, which over the past few months have given me an insight into what she’s been up to as she prepared for the release of this latest album.

TIGER SUIT

With the iTunes purchase comes a 52-minute “the making of” video. That helped to watch, too, as I delved further into the content of the album. Of course, I’ve been receiving her email updates over the past month or so, so I’d been able to see and hear some the new material before. But the album is out now, so what of it?

My fast favorite on the album isn’t one of the tracks for commercial appeal like Fade Like a Shadow or Still a Weirdo, though I must say, I like the latter more than the prior.

Oh, yeah, my favorite so far: DIFFICULTY.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good bass line and this distorted guitar riff with it’s repetition and then calculated rises in tone, followed by a repeat of the refrain have locked into my psyche and I will admit, offer me comfort much like how ants flock to the comfort of the vibrations in wires caused by electricity passing through them.

And in a dozen ways I can relate to these lyrics:

Isn’t much more I can do for you
Isn’t much more that I can try
Twisting myself into shapes
To stop you crying
What’ll I do if I lose you
What’ll I do if I lose
Difficulty is coming my way
Coming my way

Making my way into places
Only been seen on your darkest days
Breaking my heart to take a walk
Into your jungle
What can I do in this world for you
If difficulty is my friend
Keeping me company when I know
I don’t need it

The chorus is uplifting, almost a glimpse of the feeling it must be like to break free of the difficulty.

You change every day
You change every day
(What can I do to make you notice)
You change every day
You change every day
(A little more time to bring you home)
You change every day
You change every day
How can I tell you the truth?
When I don’t want to.

Possible days in my future
Possible ways into my past
Sewing it up nice and tightly
So I don’t wonder

What if I did so much more for you
And what if I’d said so much more
Difficulty would be a stranger
A stranger to me

The only thing I don’t like about the song is the bridge in the middle.  Then it gets away from me and I’m ready for the return to the comfort repetition.

I’ll write more about the rest of the album as I migrate my way through the new sounds.  But if Difficulty were on vinyl I’d already be hearing the sounds of wearing down the grooves.

I wish KT was going to be making a stop here in the Dallas area.  It would have been nice to take the kids to see her so we could all enjoy Other Side of the World, (still my favorite of all) Little Favours, Cherry Tree, Like the Weather, Suddenly I See, and her catalog of great songs.  

Would I buy this album again?  Yes.  And I recommend it to you, too.  Some of the songs aren’t going to be things that grab a hold of you on the first spin, but that’s sometimes the best, where lyrics and tunes slowly seep into your consciousness and then all of the sudden, you’re humming them or putting them on repeat in iTunes.

Difficulty? Watch for it next season on TV.  The Good Wife would be a great candidate for it on CBS, or maybe as the ending song on one of the CSI episodes where one of the female mainstays goes through a difficult upheaval in a relationship and feels like KT sounds in the song and then the song just stops on one of the final notes as the screen goes blank before the Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer black screen credit and stay tuned for the news pitch comes on.

It’s that kind of song.  David Zucker and Jerry Bruckheimer producers, I hope you’re reading.

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Are You Blinking Red or Blinking Green?

Sep 17, 2010 by

It’s been more than a year now since I first received a PT Walking from Nintendo to try out with the Nintendo DS that they also sent me to keep. 

Somewhere back earlier in the spring, I broke it or it went through the wash or something and according to the DS this morning, it’s been 243 days since I last checked in.

As part of my post Modern Media Man Summit promise to myself about getting more physically active again, I’ve been looking for the PT Walking product around town.  Last year they were selling for $49.99 in most places.  At Best Buy last night, they were down to $19.99.  SOLD.

So I got one of the two monitors out of the box this morning, configured it to adopt my old profile, and that’s how I know it’s been 243 days since my last walk with it.

My daily goal with it remains at 4,000 steps.  Whew.  I bet it’s been months, save the five days I just spent in the Atlanta Sheraton Hotel getting ready and being a part of @M3Summit, that I’ve even come close to walking 4,000 steps in a day.

What I like most about the PT Walking reader that you can either slide into a pocket, add a clip on so it attaches to a belt, or as my friend Julie Maloney likes to do, just slip it into your bra, and until you hit your adjustable daily target, it blinks red. When you’ve hit the mark, it begins blinking green when you shake it or walk.

And so, my reoccurring question throughout the day to myself is, “Am I blinking red or am I blinking green?”  If it’s still red, I’m automatically encouraged to get off my butt and go make something happen.

It’s a cool pedometer.  You can sync it with your DS and then it’ll show you where your active patterns were during the day.  You can see how many steps that last walk inside Walmart or across the street to get the kids from school was, etc.  And with blinking red, it’s encouragement to make it blink green.

I highly recommend this product.  As a dad who is WAY over weight–remember, 6 yo dd asked me the other night, “Daddy, how come your tummy hangs down?”–I’ve got to get busy and take better care of myself.   Moms, Dads, SAHDs and SAHMs, in particular, it’s hard to ensure you’re getting enough exercise during the day.  I know.  With the demands of work, kids, carpooling, etc.  you need something easy to help give you some accountability.  For $19.99, this product is perfect.

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‘These red curtains look like a girl’s house’

Sep 16, 2010 by

I’ve had one of the most joyous nights in a while.  Getting ready for the Modern Media Man Summit the past five months has totally consumed my time and focus.

Going on the trip to and from Atlanta with Ron Mattocks, helped bring me back to what’s most important, my kids.

Tonight I get to see my three daughters thanks to the incredible abuses of the Texas family law system.  But we will make the time the best possible.

But last night, I got to spend time with my 6-year-old daughter from my second marriage.  She and I have not spent much time together since March and after just 16 hours with her, (Of course 9.5 of them she was sleeping) I can’t describe how I miss it.

To my 6-year-old daughter, I am her daddy.  That’s as much as I want to say about that.  I’m what she knows as a dad.  And my own three know me the same, they know that dad is going to be there when others fail them.   But that’s another story. I’m also pining over the loss of time with my three boys from my second wife.

So what did my daughter do and say to warm my heart last night?  Here’s a sampling:

“These red curtains (in living room) look like a girl’s house.” They’re maroon with tan shears.  Seriously.  

“Daddy, how come your tummy hangs down?” Yes, I know, I need to lose weight.

What did she want for dinner?  “Chicken wings.” Oh, and a dollar for games, and then another dollar for games because she “wasted it on the toy game and it took her money.” A dollar was all she got.

Holding her broomstick horse as we drove to school top down in the convertible this morning, “This is my horse and your horse is the car.  Giddy up.”

And then when she got out of the car in front of the school, she did something my other three won’t do any longer.  She turned around, I blew her a kiss and she blew one back.  What a shame our kids have to grow out of where this is okay to do.

It was great to feel like an active dad again and to know that no matter what all is going on between the adults in the equation, there’s still an incredible love for me in her heart.  And it’s a love that is just as unconditional as I have between my own daughters.  We’re all struggling through some tough times, but when it comes to the end of the day, I still have red curtains and I don’t think they look like a girls’ house.

And now she’s also an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros‘ fan.  We kept playing “Home” over and over.  She kept trying to whistle the main tune.  It was priceless.

“Home is whenever I’m with you” never sounded so sweet.

One last thing, in the whole time I was with her, she never said the word, “Bagina.” What a relief.

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