[  ]
Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Posts Tagged ‘Mad Men’

Mad About Trains—High-Speed Trains

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

All Aboard, America!

*

Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) and Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) have cut a Mad Men–style web commercial with U.S. PIRG and Funny or Die to show that high-speed trains are cool. It’s 1965. When Pete tries out a pitch, Harry says, “Why are you worrying about this? . . . Trains make sense. They’re efficient, they’re convenient, they’re good for jobs. Hell, I’d rather take a train than fly or drive anywhere. We don’t need to sell trains.”

Harry adds, “I read a piece that said in 40 years gas is going to cost almost a dollar a gallon. . . . America always makes the right investment. . . . Cities are getting bigger. Trains are the most efficient, economical, best investment. It’s obvious. We do not need to sell trains. Now are you gonna make me a drink? I’ve got a long drive home.”

As Pete pours a drink, Kartheiser adds in a voice-over:

We can’t wait another decade to move forward on high-speed rail. The future is now. Tell your friends, tell your family, but most importantly, if you agree, then tell your senators. Find out how and get a bumper sticker to show your support at madfasttrains.com.

There’s humor but also a sad irony in that in 1965, when this ad is set, developers in New York City were already demolishing the grand old Pennsylvania Station to build Madison Square Garden and Penn Plaza and the down-the-rat-hole maze known as Penn Station today. (Yale architectural historian Vincent Scully once wrote, “One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat.”)

 

(more…)