Let me begin this post by saying that my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It was an absolutely tragic day in American history, and should never be forgotten. With that being said, they are, in my humbled opinion, rapidly becoming one of the more annoying groups of people in the country. First, they were offended when, in celebration of their world-famous French fries, a McDonald’s billboard shone golden beacons of light into the Chicago sky because they felt it too closely resembled the Tribute in Lights memorial at Ground Zero. Now they’re upset about these ads for the upcoming fifth season of Mad Men that have been showing up all over New York City. At least this time, they’ve hit a little closer to home.
The ads, which began popping up in bus shelters and subways in January, hearken the show’s opening sequence where a silhouette of a man is falling through a seemingly endless white space. Mad Men’s creators have stated that the image is to serve as an allegory for the turmoil unfolding in the fictional life of Don Draper, the show’s protagonist. It is, in no way supposed to represent the events that took place on September 11th, 2001 and yet, when the ad was blown up and placed on the side of a building, someone pointed out what they felt was an eerie similarity between it and Richard Drew’s Falling Man photo from 2003.
I hate to be the one to break this to you, folks… but, every once in a while, art imitates life. We find inspiration in the deepest (and sometimes, darkest) parts of our subconscious, but very rarely is it ever done with malice. If you look hard enough, though, you’ll be able to draw comparisons between almost any two things. We get it… you’re still upset. But maybe it’s time you take a page out of Don Draper’s book: pour yourself some Scotch and let the rest of us enjoy the show.