January 26, 2011

"Indian country" saying in Mad Men

In The Gold Violin--the seventh episode of Mad Men's second season (airdate: 9/7/08)--ad executive Don Draper is holding a meeting with clients. He explains why they need young staffers present to sell coffee to young people:There's an old saying. When one is in Indian country, one needs a man who knows Indians.I've never heard such a saying. A saying such as "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" would be much more common.

Once again, Mad Men throws in a reference that's weirdly out of place. This is something like the fifth reference in 20 episodes. There's no way rich white New York businessmen in the early '60s would've mentioned Indians that often.

I have to admire writer Matthew Weiner for including so many references to Indians--even if they don't fit. He's either doing this as an intentional homage or is unaware of his pro-Indian bias. It's strange but interesting, to say the least.

For more on the subject, see Sitting Bull Joke in Mad Men and Mohawk Airlines in Mad Men.

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