1. In Television. Part 2 of The Daily Beast’s interview with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner contained another smattering of gems, including [Spoiler alert, ht Ron Flowers]:

The Daily Beast: Is the [JFK] assassination the event that finally pushes Betty away and into the arms of Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley)?

Weiner: Henry was the only one who could make her feel better during the assassination. Part of that is Don’s survival skills; he’s held together psychologically by his ability to believe that everything will be okay… That was not what Betty needed; she needed to be heard.

The Daily Beast: For many viewers, the John Deere lawnmower scene, where Guy McKendrick’s foot got shredded by the errant mower (which spurted blood over the Sterling Cooper employees), earlier in the season was very surprising. Where did the idea for “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency” come from?

Weiner: I hoped it would have an impact on the audience. That episode in particular had a very unusual structure, which was very hard to get right… I really wanted to do a story about expectation [and it’s summed up in] Sally’s line, which my wife gave me (“I’m afraid of what will happen when I turn off the lights”). For Joan and Don and Guy and Sally, it was about that. The lawnmower… was a way to pull the plug on the expectations and turn everything back to normal. I loved it because it was so funny and ironic and appropriate for a bunch of drunk people in an ad agency to have an accident like that. But it really undid everything and that was what was so shocking about it.

The Daily Beast: Was it always the intention that Joan’s husband, Greg (Sam Page), would eventually enlist in the army?

Weiner: I wanted to tell a story about Greg not being as advertised and not being as good a surgeon as he had to be to fulfill Joan’s fantasy of her husband…. That was not what she wanted to marry and that’s not what she left her job for and that was not the life that she was hoping to have.

Second, not sure if you’ve been watching “Glee” – the acapella quasi-Freak n Geeks update that’s okay but nowhere near as good as FnG – but The A/V Club review of the most recent episode calls it the “saddest show on TV” and contains the absolute knockout line (ht JD): Glee says a lot of happy things about how if you try hard, you’ll get what you want, but the entire show is essentially proving this isn’t the case.”

2. Tying in with Jeff Hual’s exciting new series on the meaning of Christmas, Vanity Fair just published this fairly witty article by Malcolm Gladwell (ht RF).

3. A revealing pre-Thanksgiving piece from USA Today about the upturn in Atheist student groups on college campuses (ht JDK).

4. If the article “The Gospel Is For The Broken” by 2010 Mockingbird Conference keynote speaker Rod Rosenbladt doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what would. And speaking of The Rodfather, head over to New Reformation Press for a very, very exciting announcement about the brand-new Wittenberg Institute! (While you’re there, be sure to take advantage of NRP’s Christmas sale).

5. Again from The Daily Beast, a tragic but telling quote from the diary of Korean supermodel Daul Kim, who committed suicide last month (ht RF): “Mad depressed and overworked, the more I gain, the more lonely it is. I know I’m like a ghost.”

6. In case you missed it, the surprisingly fair but not altogether sympathetic article in this week’s NY Magazine about everyone’s favorite Presbyterian superstar, irreverently titled “Tim Keller Wants To Save Your Yuppie Soul”.

7. Finally, A must-read entry from PZ over at mardecortesbaja about the implications of 50s Twilight Zone-knockoff TV series One Step Beyond for pastoral care…