Our colleagues back East have unpacked last night's episode of Mad Men, which begins with Don and Megan returning from a Hawaiian vacation in January 1968, after Don stole a G.I.'s zippo for some reason. Since it is impossible to make any reference to the period without bringing up the Summer of Love, it was only a matter of time before San Francisco got a cameo.
In the episode, Don and team are going through a pitch for Dow chemicals, specifically for the company's sexy line of oven cleaners that won't make you pass out if you forget to open the windows when you use them:
Don doesn't buy the "love" pitch, setting him up to use San Francisco's only contribution to the culture of the decade as the punchline of his joke: "As much as I'd like to join all the ads making fun of the ubiquitous San Francisco hippie, let's try to trade on the word 'love' as something substantial. Why are we contributing to the trivialization of the word? It doesn't belong in the kitchen. We're wearing it out. Let's leave it where we want it. We want that electric jolt to the body, we want eros. It's a drug, it's not domestic."
Of course, the men of Madison Avenue can't possibly hate San Francisco, or the hoards of hippies streaming into the Haight that summer, all that much: Don spent the first 10 minutes of the episode smoking joints and having afternoon sex with his wife. Copywriter Michael Ginsberg took the celebrated beatnik's surname in an attempt to make his resume sound more interesting and Roger Sterling has tripping balls since last season. Besides, Don was probably just ahead of his time: everyone thinks the Haight is a joke at this point.