Fantasies of Significant Potency

‘Mad Men’ and the end of the American Dream: A great show spells the decline of a great nation

‘Mad Men’ – with yet another Emmy the other night – is not about the nostalgic past and such lost pleasures as smoking. It’s about the unattainable future. Betty Draper is old now. She shops at Costco, buys the cheap beer and passes up Ivory for – what’s this? – Gain. A Mad Man would put it this way: Her Gain is our loss.

Mad Men

Mad Men

An unbelievably well-written by piece by columnist Richard Cohen of the New York Daily News. Besides the maudlin mood of the piece itself, it is very poignant and disheartening. For what it’s worth, dad and I sometimes discuss the state of the country at our weekly dinners. The economic struggles. The constant political infighting. The ever-growing divide of the haves and have nots. It’s scary. I don’t know what to make of it. Dad doesn’t know what to make of it. It seems every time the very notion of true hope is presented, we (and I mean the collective we here) seem to squander it. I certainly felt it in 2008 when we turned our eyes to President Obama. Now, I don’t know where it’s gone. This is probably what is so disappointing to me about Obama’s presidency. It’s not him as an individual and it’s not the actions he’s taken as President. It’s the utter void where hope used to stand. For someone whose whole campaign revolved around hope, we sure have a dismal supply of it at the moment.

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