Writing, Twitter and Mad Men

Sep 06, 2010

I have a confession to make. My name is P.F. Kozak and I'm addicted to Twitter. During this long weekend, another craving has surfaced, one I can no longer deny. After avoiding the show for the first three seasons, Mad Men finally sucked me in. The damnedest thing is, Twitter and Mad Men have joined forces. For the last two days, I've been tweeting with Mad Men characters.
Addictions creep up and latch on without consent or approval. The overwhelming compulsion to feed a habit isn't limited to drugs, alcohol, gambling or shopping. I don't indulge in drugs, think gambling is a waste of money and shop online because I get claustrophobic in stores.  Alcohol -- well, yes, I do like my wine, Chardonnay being the ambrosial nectar of choice. But that's limited to meals and evening relaxation.

The ongoing addiction that has me by the throat and won't let go is my writing. I have to write, it is the one thing in my life that is all me and all mine. However, Twitter and Mad Men are catching up.

It started innocently enough, most addictions usually do. Twitter came first. During the 2008 Presidential election, I started Tweeting as @pash1994. Twitter connected me to a community of activists, bloggers and people I really liked. The political activism is still part of my Twitter presence, but so is friendship. I Tweet all sorts of things now, politics, music, quotes, pictures and details of my leaking toilet, which I'm sure all my followers find incredibly fascinating. 

Then, I discovered Don Draper on Twitter, actually several of them. I poked around a bit and unearthed a treasure trove of characters, all as sharp and entertaining as the characters on the show. I followed some, and added all I could find to a Twitter List. To my utter amazement, some followed back, including three Don Draper accounts.

For any Mad Men fans reading this, here is a sampling of the Twitter interactions. Make sure you read the Roger Sterling exchange further down the page. - Note: the names in parentheses are clickable links to the Twitter profile.

Miss Blankenship (@MissB_SCDP) was the first to follow. I asked a favor.

@MissB_SCDP Thanks for following me. Could you ask @DonDraperSCDP to follow me, too, please? Tell him he'll like my books  ; )

Shock of shocks, Don Draper (@DonDraperSCDP) followed back. 

@DonDraperSCDP I owe @MissB_SCDP lunch for delivering my message. Thanks for following. Think my writing has a place at SCDP? ^_^

I Retweeted (RT) Don with a comment on his Tweet:

Don's right. Tease like Gypsy Rose Lee, they'll come back for more RT @DonDraperSCDP Sex sells @StanRizzo_SCDP. Nudity's not the same thing.

And got an answer from Stan Rizzo (@StanRizzo_SCDP):

@StanRizzo_SCDP.  @Pash1994 Gypsy? Wasn't that some show in the past with a song "something something coming up tulips"?

I answered Stan with another RT:

A rose by any other name... RT @StanRizzo_SCDP Gypsy? Wasn't that some show in the past with a song "something something coming up tulips"?

If that wasn't odd enough, I stepped into a fictional family problem when I commented on a Pauline Francis tweet (@Pauline_Francis). Pauline is Betty Draper's new mother-in-law. Sally is Betty and Don's daughter. Francis isn't happy about how her son Henry and Betty are dealing with Sally. They decided Sally needed to see a therapist four times a week after Sally got caught masturbating at a friend's house. What follows is my Twitter exchange with Francis about her step-granddaughter Sally.  

@Pauline_Francis You're right, Sally doesn't need a psychiatrist. Exploring is natural for a girl her age, with discretion. @DonDraperSCDP

I don't know what Henry is doing lately, @Pash1994, but he's not bringing the children. It's probably due to Betty. I do worry about Sally. 

@Pauline_Francis One good thing about the psychiatrist, it gives Sally someone to talk to in confidence. That may help sort her feelings.

@Pash1994 Yes, it would be nice for Sally to have a nice, smart woman to talk to. Goodness knows she doesn't have that in the home.

@Pash1994 Still, 4 days a week seems too much. She needs to be with other little girls to giggle & talk about boys & play Beatle records

@Pauline_Francis Perhaps you can convince @HenryFrancisNY once a week is enough, if @DonDraperSCDP won't intervene.

@Pauline_Francis PS - Don't mention the Beatles to Henry. He may think they will encourage Sally's inappropriate behavior.

Really, @Pash1994? I thought the Beatles were so young and innocent. Completely unobjectionable.

@Pauline_Francis If Henry saw all those screaming hysterical teenage girls when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, he might think differently

Henry Francis (@HenryFrancisNY) wasn't happy about his mother discussing Sally. I got an angry tweet from him, which I answered in kind.

HenryFrancisNY: @Pash1994 @Pauline_Francis If @sally_draper becomes 50% the person I am, it would still be 200% better than the person @DonDraperSCDP is

I responded:

@HenryFrancisNY @sally_draper is sadly lacking the parental guidance she needs to be 100% the person she is @Pauline_Francis @DonDraperSCDP

At this point, I'm over the moon Tweeting with these characters. I enthusiastically said so on Twitter, cc'ing by name the characters I most wanted to see my comment.

Tweeting with #MadMen is stimulating. Being a novelist, it rings my chimes. @DonDraperSCDP @Roger_Sterling @StanRizzo_SCDP @HarryCraneSCDP

That's when I heard from Roger Sterling (@Roger_Sterling). Anyone who watches Mad Men knows Roger has a bite like a bear trap. The person Tweeting as Roger Sterling has mastered the attitude. Speaking of attitude, I gave him some back. After this exchange, he followed me. I'm still stroking the feather on my Christian Dior pillbox hat.

@Pash1994 By ringing your chimes are you talking about the typewriter bell? Personally, I like my euphemisms like my martinis -- dirty.

@Roger_Sterling Have you read my books? Perhaps you should.
@pash1994 I don't find you gals very intimidating -- it's fun when you try. I'm more than happy to let you "intimidate" me over a few drinks

@Roger_Sterling Careful Roger, I live in Manhattan. I could bump into you "accidently" at PJ Clarke's sometime. You never know.

I also received a DM (Direct Message) from @Roger_Sterling as well as from @The_Don_Draper.  Those were sent privately, and will remain private.

There have been other Twitter conversations with Mad Men characters, as well as lots of Mad Men commentary Tweets. These are the highlights from the last few days. 

There's one more highlight that stands out. Don Draper (@The_Don_Draper) checked out my website and Tweeted this:
The_Don_Draper  @Pash1994 "It is a hard lesson to learn, that the fire never goes away. It smolders and it flares, and it always, always burns." P. F. Kozak

It don't get much better than that. Still waiting to hear from Don's other accounts, with @DonDraperSCDP and @_DonDraper topping the list.  

Interacting with Mad Men characters on Twitter feeds three addictions simultaneously. This is the most fun I've ever had with my clothes on. 
All the the characters I named and more are on my
Mad Men Twitter List. If you're on Twitter, you can follow that list or pick and choose your favorites to follow individually. If you're feeling brave, and don't mind a mix of politics, quotes, pictures, music, Mad Men Tweets and details of my leaking toilet, you can follow me on Twitter at @pash1994.

P.F. Kozak

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