I discovered the series “Mad Men” recently. I think this sums it up pretty well. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” I like the show but it is sad.
In Don Draper’s world, “Everything is meaningless”. But it is not just him. All the characters lack a moral sense of balance. On one episode we saw the suicide of one of the main characters after Don confronted him for embezzlement. Symptomatic of what Jesus encountered when the religious leaders brought him a woman caught in the act of adultery. They wanted to stone her. Don Draper does the equivalent.
That is not the way in God’s world (Kingdom). Jesus forgave her and sent her out to not miss God’s goal for her life anymore. Even though Don lives in a world of moral failure, he can’t forgive.
Jesus offers the way of hope. Now that is good news.
“The author’s cool skepticism, a refreshing negation to the lush and seductive suggestions swirling around us, promising everything but delivering nothing, clears the air. And once the air is cleared we are ready for reality – for God.” Eugene Peterson in his introduction to Ecclesiastes.
I wish I could call upon Peterson to pitch his contemporary paraphrase of Ecclesiastes to the denizens in the disturbingly materialistic and misogynistic world of “Mad Men,” which has its season finale Sunday. It seems especially fitting to a 1960s advertising agency, with its ad-friendly colloquial phrases and repeated imagery of smoke. (Lucky Strike, anyone?)
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity … Everything is meaningless … chasing after wind. These are anti-taglines that protagonist Don Draper (Jon Hamm) could use. He’s had a few decent – even tender – moral turns this season, but he is still very much vainly chasing the altars of power and wealth.