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Pryce decides that “the only way” to secure the money he needs is to forge a check, making it appear that Don Draper has paid Layne $7,500 for purposes unknown.


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Pryce decides that “the only way” to secure the money he needs is to forge a check, making it appear that Don Draper has paid Layne $7,500 for purposes unknown.
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Bert Cooper, accidentally discovers the blank check that Lane cashed (and that had Don’s signature. Cooper confronts Draper, who in turn, confronts Lane ( which begins the video clip.)


After the confrontation and Lane’s awkward conversation with Joan Holloway, Lane arrives home to find his wife, Rebecca, all dressed up and wanting to go to dinner. He discovers that Rebecca splurged on a new Jaguar, “racing green,” because Lane never spends for himself, she explains.


Later that night, Lane attempts to kill himself in his new Jaguar by having the exhaust flow into the car, but the car won’t start. He then takes a taxi cab to the office and hangs himself there.


As Becker would write, the inflexible person (such as Lane) finds that the role cannot be adequately replaced by other, more stable anchors / roles.


1. The Coffee Pod vs. The Coffee Pot Orientation—the metaphor of the Pod vs. the Pot symbolizes the celebration of individuality (the Coffee Pod) vs. communality (The Coffee Pot).


With regard to the latter (the Pot), the act of drinking coffee implies a sharing of the resources; more than one person “communes” with the pot. With regard to the latter, people possess their own singular resources, contributing to the idea that people can drink their own coffee (and not share what they have).


In regard to suicide, living in “a coffee pot world” implies that we are connected and part of something bigger than our own individualistic desires and motivations. People are not only celebrated as “co-consumers” of the coffee, but these people are being watched and assessed by others.


However, “living in a coffee pod world” honors individual choices and even individual isolation (with regard to consumption). We have “our own” pods, but we’re generally on our own with regard to living in general.


Tuesday, October 11th


1. Enhanced Terror— keys on the need for self-esteem. As Ernest Becker (in The Denial of Death ) asserted, awareness of our mortality terrifies us, but can also be “neutralized” by our beliefs that we make significant contributions as living beings—we do not simply exist, but we have the capacity to make a difference that contributes to the lives of others.


The feeling that, in Gregory Bateson’s terms, we can “be the difference that makes a difference” provides us with a sense of pride. However, when victimized by micro-aggressions that rob us of our dignity or losing the capacity to feel pride, puts us into a cycle of shame that Charles Horton Cooley described in regard to his famous notion of a looking glass self.


Returning to 13 Reasons Why, Hannah has become so crushed by abuse, betrayal, bullying, and a failed social system, that her self-concept becomes virtually nullified .



1. Morbid vs. Healthy Mindedness—again, relying on Ernest Becker (and again, drawing from The Denial of Death) Becker regards morbid mindedness as linked to an inherent and unshakeable belief in the world as a horrible place in which to live. In contrast, healthy mindedness refers more to a calm belief that despite many examples of atrocity (and harm infected on people), most of us try to, at the very least, “do no harm” or “live and let live.”


Excessive morbidity correlates with cognitive rigidity (or closed minded-ness) and emotional dogmatism (or deep pessimism). Such cognitive and emotional “states” make one less adaptable and creative than a more healthy minded orientation, which correlates with cognitive flexibility and emotional pragmatism.


Returning to Lane’s suicide, Lane is absolutely convinced that he is doomed and that no solution, other than suicide, can relieve him of this feeling. He has not only lost his sense of self (based on his role), but he takes on an incorrigible emotional attitude that makes him feel incapable of “fixing” any mistake he has made.


1. Indifference—refers to a soul crushing combination of social alienation (mentioned above) with profound apathy to one’s place in the social world. Indifference resembles anhedonia in that one sees no real/authentic possibilities for joy— only possibilities for pretending that joy can be manufactured through appearances.


Indifference is analytically distinct from anhedonia in that the person who is extremely apathetic and resigned still feels in control of others’ perceptions of them. The indifferent person can still create the illusion of being happy and capable of experiencing joy—anhedonia is a loss of such control; the person experiencing anhedonia wears his/her despair openly—indifference relies on the ability to “fake it.”


But indifference can make us vulnerable to suicide—especially when we feel that any display, however positive, “is of no use” in regard to an emerging predicament (or an unanticipated problem that becomes an immediate obstacle) .


Indifference relates to what social psychologists call executive dysfunction, or a “disconnect” between what we need to do (or can do to make us feel better) and what we are doing . As indifferent, we do not attempt to resolve this particular schism.


1. Anomic Suicide and Sudden Instability—As previously mentioned , Emil Durkheim revolutionized the study of suicide via his systematic and empirical approach to the social factors that influence the aforementioned inscrutable and idiosyncratic nature of individual suicides.


Durkheim’s fundamental proposition posed that the more socially integrated we are (via establishing and maintaining enduring and focused bonds), and the more cohesive we are (allowing others “into our heads” just as others allow us “into their heads”)—the less likely we will commit suicide.


From Durkheim’s perspective, anomic suicide applies to those who feel as if they are merely surviving in a world that has suddenly become foreign and alien. The world has changed drastically and has overwhelmed a person.


Importantly, the change can be regarded, generally, as positive or negative—the key is the drastic quality of change as the person contemplating suicide perceives it.


The feeling of being alien correlates with the feeling of being worthless and unable to contribute ( returning to the notion of self-concept). The person is more focused on what one has lost amid change as opposed to how change can make for gains.



[Clip from The Shawshank Redemption —Old Man Brooks’ Suicide]


Brooks Hatlen (aka “Brooksie, aka “Old Man Brooks”), played by James Whitmore, is an elderly prisoner in the Shawshank Prison. He was incarcerated as a very young man and knew no other life. Suddenly, Brooks is thrust into a world as an elderly 70 something where everything had changed. He had only seen an automobile or two before his incarceration and cannot help but notice that the world into which he was released is filled with automobiles, moving (from Brooks’ point-of-view-very fast). Everyone he knew on the outside was gone, including Jake his pet crow. In prison he seldom had to make a single decision aside from the decisions he made as the prison librarian, which he describes as “easy peasy.” Other than that, however, he was told when to eat, sleep and pretty much everything else.

Upon his release, which comes as a horrific surprise to him, Brooks confronts an outside world that has vastly changed from his memories. He finds that the vast and cataclysmic change is so extreme that he feels unable to adjust to life on the outside. As Brooks says, “the world got itself into a big damn hurry.”

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