August 30, 2009

THEY HAD TO MAKE IT UGLY TO MAKE IT MODERN:

Lead Us Not Into Penn Station (Ed Driscoll, 8/29/09)

One of the subplots in the first two episodes of Mad Men’s third season (set in mid-1963) involves fictional ad agency Sterling-Cooper’s involvement with the firm that’s leveling Manhattan’s original Penn Station and building modern-day Madison Square Garden and an office high-rise on top of it. Given the folk Marxism (as Arnold Kling would call it) that’s lurking just under the surface of so much of the show’s writing, it seems safe to say that its producers view the nuking of the original 1910-era Penn Station as greedy businessmen and shortsighted developers run amok, along with a railroad that couldn’t care less about its passengers.

The reality, as I wrote back in 2005 over at Tech Central Station, when it appeared a long-delayed successor was on the immediate horizon, is a bit more complex, with plenty of blame to go across both political aisles, and private enterprise, government, and academia, combined...

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2009 8:25 AM
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