Mad Men Remix: Don Loves Roger

In the remixed narrative, QueerMen: Don Loves Roger, the two patriarchs weigh the costs of coming out of the closet and decide they can afford it.

The goal was to tell a story about  two men who once preserved concepts of manhood and masculinity but then found relief and happiness in each other, becoming a threat to the very same patriarchal system on which their power and privilege was based. QueerMen: Don Loves Roger is a story about Don subverting rather than selling traditional masculinity.

Whether you see Don Draper as a tortured , complex soul or a beacon of patriarchal power and misplaced masculinity, the male fan-base longing to emulate his misogynistic tendencies made Draper ripe for subverting into a literal man’s man. With our TV landscape abundant with similar stories of men bumping up against the confines of their traditional masculinity, it’s difficult to determine whether or not these stories promote patriarchy or exemplify how it hurts men just as much as women. It’s this negotiation that I was interested in exploring in these remix: We’re so accustom to negotiating that fine line between being a fan and a critic of popular culture. I wanted to illustrate how our feelings change when we see media and narratives that speak directly to ourselves and our communities and bridge that gap between fan and critic.

The remix will screen in about 2 hours here at SxSW. Of note, it’s already been disabled by YouTube despite it being a Fair Use, (but Lisa Ling said  she “loved it!!!” <– exact number of !’s).

Please do share the remix but use the Vimeo embed code.


15 thoughts on “Mad Men Remix: Don Loves Roger

  1. And the academy award goes to………..
    Great remix.subtle and yet totally subversive. Excellent video. I enjoyed it. You are very very good at what you do. Please don’t sell out and don’t let men or anyone for that matter try to take away your power. Thank you! (and thank you for your awareness and intelligence on Fair Use.

  2. Great video. Love the remix — makes you realize the fine line between the homosocial and homoerotic.

    But I must defend Mad Men a bit here. You characterize Don and Roger as ideal men — but one of the great things about the show is how it doesn’t idealize the men (or the women).

    Don’s struggle to maintain his suave persona — especially when his existentialist musings make him very aware that he is just acting the part — is a feminist statement in itself, since it reveals the constricting construction of gender, even for men. And general exposure of the misogyny in the workplace — how the male space, in fact, functions through misogyny — is almost as powerful as the growth of some of the male characters out of that misogyny (in fits and starts, of course).

    And this is not even addressing the amazingly complex portraits of women — see Stephanie Kootz for a great analysis on that point:

    That takes nothing away from the power of the video, of course. Thanks for your creativity.

    • Thanks for your comment; I totally agree. I read Kootz in depth in preparation for this project. I don’t think I ideal Roger and Don; in fact, I’m overly critical of them.

      I would argue that the narrative idealizes them. Yes they are complex and deeply troubled and flawed characters. Don does struggle… as does Roger. But that struggle is absent from the idealized man they represent, especially in American culture. Men want to be Don Draper. That’s why you can buy his suit at Banana Republic and drink his cocktails with Smirnoff. He’s become a cultural icon of masculinity with few responsibilities and the ability to run away from new ones at any moment.

      One of my favorite lines is Rachel Menkin in season 1 when she says* “I don’t think I realized it until this moment, but it must be hard being a man, too.” * * * I think of men who work so hard to maintain a false facade of masculinity and I think about the relief they would experience if they could just drop it. I wanted to tell that story and give Don some relief. It’s not AMC’s story to tell; I would never expect them to. It’s mine.

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  7. Steve Weaver (UK) says:

    WOW! Don Draper goes gay… This is the stuff of dreams guys!!! Absolutely BRILLIANT editing. Keep on doin’ what you’re doing…

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