One reason I liked Mad Men is because it blatantly portrayed a time before political correctness took over. I recognized some of the Northeastern WASP culture subtext, but I am not familiar enough with that environment to understand all the nuance. In interviews related to the series finale, creator Matthew Weiner has been more open about how the show is an outworking of his Jewish anti-Wasp ax grinding. I mostly missed this. I recognized that the show portrayed the WASP culture as decadent, but most Hollywood portrayals of WASP culture emphasize it decadence, so I didn’t really pick up on the underlying hostility. Steve Sailer has been following this issue closely. I find this post fascinating – a seemingly out of nowhere little scene, actually has a lot of meaning and historical context related to intra-White Upper Class rivalries.
As I mention in a comment on the Sailer thread, as a middle-class Southern white boy, all this WASP and intra-WASP nuance is lost on me because it was so off my radar screen growing up. Most of my milieu was homogeneous sameness. The only exoticness that got you any street cred was if you could claim some Cherokee ancestry. I recall noting when I was a kid that people with “odd” sounding last names were usually Catholic and inevitably transplants. So when people would ask “what are you” it was always something that you had supposedly looked into based on the last names in your family tree, not something you knew intuitively.
That Weiner, a Jew from a well off California family, understands all this enough to be pathologically bitter about it, where as it is all foreign to me, a many generations deep Southern white kid, says something.