It’s a Mad, Mad World
Since E.D. has pointed us toward Acculturated today, I figured I might point you toward its take on recent Mad Men developments, focusing on the question of what can give us happiness.
I only want to add that the ending is somewhat grimmer than the picture Smith paints: Don’s immediate response to Glenn’s observation that “every thing you think is going to make you happy just turns to crap” is not, “What do you want to do? If you could do anything, what would you do?” but, “You’re too young to talk that way.”
Don doesn’t question the validity of this statement — he questions the validity of its realization at such an age. Perhaps the shielding of Glenn, for a moment, from this truth seems to create an exception to it. Driving the car with Glenn can only offer Don a respite from the Lane’s death and Joan’s — we’ll call it Joan’s betrayal (by the men of the office, of course; not vice-versa). I suspect Don wouldn’t protest too much at that phrasing. Happiness, in the world of Mad Men, comes across as increasingly zero-sum. We’ll see what the season finale brings, but Matt Weiner’s world looks more and more like that of Joel and Ethan Coen. It’s not exactly cruel, but it’s certainly bleak.