How to Be an Atheist: Working out the Worldview of a Skeptic, Free for CAPC Members
Mitch Stokes’ ‘How to Be an Atheist’ shows the work of the worldview of a skeptic.
Spoilers, of course. If you haven’t already, make sure to read our full episode recap, The Unfulfilling Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Don’s death stares are in full force this week—at Peggy, of course, but also at his secretary when she tells him not to eat whatever he’s eating because he’s “so trim.”
“It’s gonna do magical things, like make Harry Crane seem important.”
My educational background is in information technology, and we used to talk endlessly about things like planned obsolescence (best explained as the reason you keep having to buy a new phone every two years—your old one just gets too slow, and that’s not by accident). So it was interesting to hear in this episode from a man who wants to lease IBM’s equipment for years beyond when IBM itself would lease the equipment, because he knows how resilient it is.
Just a note that Don keeps waking up in shots where we’re looking at him from above, with his arms sprawled out—and, intriguingly, his usual posture (one elbow crooked above, the other crooked resting on his head) is echoed by the father-and-daughter synchronized sleep position of Roger and Margaret in the barn.
Random note: the advertising awards on Don’s office wall are now over a decade old.
This week in mortality bingo: Pete declares that working with his old rival at Vicks “would kill” his father-in-law, who’s just had a heart attack; Bert Cooper tells Don scornfully that yes, Don started the agency, but “with a dead man whose office you now inhabit”; and, notably, Harry is speaking of someone on television—”thought the guy was trying to kill himself the whole show”—and Don, still on contract at SC&P, rejoins, “probably trying to get out of his contract.” And the most pointed case is when Freddy Rumsen asks Don if he’s “just gonna kill himself.”
The episode ends with Don typing away and the song “On a Carousel,” by the Hollies. They croon, “Riding along on a carousel, trying to catch up to you / riding along on a carousel, will I catch up to you . . . People fighting for their places just get in my way / Soon you’ll leave and then I’ll lose you . . . Now’s my chance and I must take it / A case of do or die.” A song for Don? For Pete? For Peggy?
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