'Mad Men': Peggy smokes pot, but that's not the most important part

When a few spoilers about this week's "Mad Men" leaked earlier this month, they tended to focus on Peggy's foray into pot smoking. And it's hard not to share a line like "I'm Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some marijuana."

I'm glad, though, that those who grabbed the episode during its brief and mistaken availability on iTunes didn't spoil the other jaw-dropper in the episode. I'm not sure I would have believed it if someone told me, but going into the episode clean made the moment all the more shocking.

Now that we're a few lines in, let's get to the discussion of Roger Sterling singing "My Old Kentucky Home" (also the episode's title) while in blackface. Holy. Cow. I watched the episode several days ago courtesy of a DVD screener from AMC, and I'm still chewing on why Matthew Weiner, who co-wrote the episode with Dahvi Waller, chose to go that far in portraying Roger's piggishness.

If they wanted us watching in 2009 to be appalled at his behavior, then mission accomplished. But I would think that even in May 1963, a little more than three months before the March on Washington, and even in the very whitebread and insulated crowd celebrating Derby Day at a country club in Westchester, such a spectacle would make at least a few people uncomfortable (Don, at least, looks a little disgusted at Roger's display).

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