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It’s a jungle out there.

December 15, 2009
With animated affection I want to thank, or blame, Ruth! Ruth! Ruth of the Jungle, for the last twelve hours I’ve spent meditating on the more carnal aspects of life. You know — the call of the wild; the predatory instinct; the lure of the animal, (I got the Kavorka, Jerry. I’m dangerous, I’m very dangerous!).

Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

So let me toss some red meat into the savannah. Read her comments on Jane below. Read the linkage. It makes a lot of sense to see Jane as the hyena. It’s funny and relevant. Let’s tease it out now. Mona is a lioness and Roger fits the part of the aging lion. What about the rest of the herd in our Mad Men habitat? Who best represents what savage beast from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom?

I’m admittedly bad at this kind of game despite my love for the Animal Planet.  I imagine Don to be more of a thoroughbred racehorse rather than a predator; that is a personal bias of mine you might be aware of if you’ve nosed around in here a bit. I like the similarities I see and I can’t look past them easily. I’ll try to explain in more detail later.

However, Bert Cooper strikes me as a koala bear, munching on eucalyptus leaves, whiling the day away —

Until I recall him assuming that aggressive posture, baring his teeth and claws, and muscling my horse into signing that contract. Very un-cuddly koala-like to me.
Maybe they’re all steel-willed, Rand-reading, corporate tough guys wearing furry, tree-hugging camouflage.  Perhaps I just haven’t spent enough time in the Outback.


UPDATE: Please do NOT say that Duck is a duck. There are no uncontested lay-ups in this arena. LOM will swat that weak shit up into the fifth row. Bring some game, please.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Ruth permalink
    December 15, 2009 2:29 pm

    On a coffee break here with 20 anxious koalas waiting for me to finish, so will have to be brief. Great Koala analogy – Bert is a Koala to the core and as such would be capable of being vicious when his territory is threatened e.g. by a European fox (a well-known Australian enemy of the koala). These parallels are becoming eerie. Good pic of angry koala here…

    • December 15, 2009 3:17 pm

      Good pic-catch. I knew those little critters had to have some bite in ’em.

      A few sharp teeth, compact powerful jaw, retaliates savagely when poked; the animal kingdom’s version of Philadelphia Flyer defenseman.

      I declare Bert is a koala! European fox?? Are you implying Lane is a SCDP short-timer? Pete says Lane has a frog mouth, doncha know!

  2. Ruth permalink
    December 15, 2009 3:34 pm

    Lane is most definitely a frog. I was thinking of St John as the wily old fox. Betty’s a house cat, it would be too easy to classify Duck as a Duck, I’m going for a breed of dog at the moment. Don I think is also a dog – Alsatian verging towards wolf. Is Roger really a mougar, or more of a silver fox? I’m going to have to risk your wrath and suggest King Charles spaniel for Suzanne – that long curly hair & all…

    • December 15, 2009 4:06 pm

      How I see, Sin Jinn as the old fox? okay I’m on board there. Of course we agree on the Duck issue. I’m updating the post. to reflect that. I enjoy vocalizing “MOUGAR” but I’m sticking with the aging lion metaphor there for now.
      And I appreciate that you know where the boundaries are re: Suze. I’ll play though. I think the spaniel’s face is too flat, I think my girl is a Doberman. Reputed to be dangerous and unstable but really quite loyal and sweet. If Suzanne gets to have her way with Don next year, she may drag him back to his roots and here’s a teaser for season five —-

      • December 15, 2009 4:21 pm

        OOOOO!! Lane comes along to manage the farm for Mr and Mrs. Don and Suzanne Draper.
        The program changes its name to reflect these changes for season five: Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Noonday Sun.

  3. Ruth permalink
    December 15, 2009 5:39 pm

    And a Dobermann is an excellent jogging companion…

    I find it difficult however to reconcile the mournful features of the female Dobermann above (Abigail Whitman?) with Suzanne’s delicate prettiness.

    Also, I think that I may have mixed up different spaniel breeds, this little lady is a closer canine approximation of what I had in mind. Perhaps rather than retreating to the Whitman homestead Suzanne & her hobo could set up in Little Italy & enjoy spaghetti…

    is more accurate…. a cocker spaniel rather than a King Charles spaniel.

    • December 15, 2009 11:24 pm

      sorry Ruth, this one got stuck, either in the spam filter because of the second link or maybe the DisNazis even want to restrict when you can look at links to their product and the DisTapo stormed in in digitalized jackboots to block your comment. My apologies!

  4. Ruth permalink
    December 15, 2009 5:51 pm

    Although Dobermans are known to be good jogging companions I’m not sure the analogy does justice to Suzanne’s delicate features. Mr and Mrs D above are pure Abigail & Dick Whitman. On reflection, my lack of canine knowledge may have caused me to nominate the wrong variety of spaniel. Rather than going back to the farm, how about the restaurant business for Suzanne & her hobo (some would say tramp) The spaghetti looks popular…

  5. Ruth permalink
    December 15, 2009 6:02 pm

    • December 16, 2009 12:00 am

      Your kung-fu is strong grasshopper! I was ready to declare Victory! and depart the field. I felt I had trumped you with Doberman Gothic. But you Tramped me instead with the one-two compliment to Suzie’s delicate features and the link to the image– I swear this TRUE — I first pictured, watching in real time, when she described pasta dinner with DD in the city. The class status roles are reversed until we Meniacs remember who the Hobo always is. I mentally linked this cartoon to her romantic dining aspirations. Weiner is in his forties, right? I need the R & D Lipps to ask him about this next time they have a sit down. It was such a stretch of a connection but bizarrely strong for me. I’ll have to wait for the AMC reruns to figure out why.

      I cry Uncle!

      Uncle Herman that is. Herman Duck Phillips. Who I will sleep on (figuratively unlike Ms.Pegs; strictly in a subconscious creative-pondering non-sexual kind of way) and try to pin an animal on him tomorrow maybe.

      You get the Win. great fun there Ruth! Ruth!

  6. Ruth permalink
    December 16, 2009 6:39 am

    I also raise you Betty Draper: Duchess in Aristocrats.

    Little white nose in the air, place of residence a fainting couch, three kittens, 2 male, 1 female (paternity not disclosed), seeking rescue by male of the species

    Duchess also speaks good Italian, at least in this clip

    I did consider the possibility that Henry Francis might be Irish, like Tom O’Malley the Alley Cat, but research has disclosed Francis to be most likely an Italian surname…. Betty could translate on a trip to the Old Country perhaps.

    Seriously, I’m quite surprised by the Disney parallels, and indeed all the animal parallels running throughout Mad Men. Wasn’t Peggy called “Mouse Ears” at some point?

    Isn’t it Aristocats that says: ladies don’t start fights, but they can finish them.

  7. Ruth permalink
    December 16, 2009 6:48 am

    Scales and Arpeggios in Italian as referred to above

    Feel free to remove any links likely to cause a copyright problem

  8. Ruth permalink
    December 16, 2009 7:01 am

    Forgot to mention cats & pigeons…these animal references MUST surely be deliberate????

    • December 16, 2009 10:31 am

      I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!

      I can’t keep up with you here Ruth. I’m winded and getting dizzy; you’re wearing me out. You’re the Energizer Bunny of MM animal subtext.

      I thoroughly enjoy your enthusiasm for it though. Please, show me your work whenever the spirit moves you.

  9. Ruth permalink
    December 17, 2009 7:53 am

    Mad Men does tend to send my brain into overdrive…. I’m sure the long-term benefits of this will eventually compensate for all the time spent on this when I should be doing other work. Good to see you back on BOK btw…Manimals (or should that be Madimals) is a popular theme at the moment..

    • December 17, 2009 10:49 am

      Great tie-up to The Aristocats btw. “The little white nose in the air” and fainting couch is awesome. My sisters got Mom to take them to the theater three times to see that movie. I loved it too. The family named one of our cats Toulouse as homage. And the cherry on top was the Italian soundtrack!! lol

  10. esme permalink
    December 17, 2009 8:49 pm

    I have nothing animal to add but I do love the movie, True Stories, and The Talking Heads.

    here’s the Extra Action Marching Band when they appeared with David Byrne at the Fillmore. oh, not safe for work or those easily offended by…whatever.

    • December 18, 2009 8:33 am

      I was thinking about finding True Stories to watch this weekend, you read my feeble little mind.
      It’s not the mind you desire though. It’s the BRAINS you crave! You’ll be dying to live-blog 28 Days Later soon. Trust me on this zombie stuff.

      My quickest connection is this PC in the Cube. I’m going to click the Extra Action link in a minute and crank the sound. I like the naughty disregard for corporate workplace proprieties and standard social convention this action will demonstrate. It appeals to my inner-anarchist; the suppressed rabble rouser; the megaphone-blasting, rock-thrower whose scornful anti-establishment essence courses thru my veins. . . because I ate his BRAIN!!! NOM, NOM, NOM!!! I ate his BRAIN with fava beans and nice, earthy, Oregon pinot.

      Yum. that was a meal.

  11. Ruth permalink
    December 18, 2009 7:22 am

    I love the Talking Heads too, especially the lyrics. And She Was is very Season 3 Betty in “The Fog”. I see Bobby Draper as a future Talking Heads fan…

    And She Was lyrics

    And she was lying in the grass
    and she could hear the highway breathing.
    And she could see a nearby factory

    She’s making sure she is not dreaming.
    See the lights of a neighbor’s house

    now she’s starting to rise.
    Take a minute to concentrate and she opens up her eyes.

    The world was moving

    she was right there with it and she was –
    The world was moving

    she was floatin’ above it and she was – and she was.

    And she was drifting through the backyard

    And she was taking off her dress.
    And she was moving very slowly
    rising up above the earth.
    Moving into the universe and she’s drifting this way and that.
    Not touching the ground at all and she’s up above the yard.
    The world was moving
    she was right there with it and she was –
    The world was moving
    she was floatin’ above it and she was –

    And she was glad about it
    no doubt about it

    She isn’t sure about what she’s done

    No time to think about what to tell them

    No time to think about what she’s done and she was –

    And she was looking at herself

    and things were looking like a movie.
    She had a pleasant elevation

    she’s moving out in all directions.

    The world was moving

    she was right there with it and she was –
    The world was moving

    she was floatin’ above it and she was –
    Joining the world of missing persons and she was –
    Missing enough to feel alright and she was – and she was –
    And she was – and she was – and she was –
    and she was – and she was.

    • December 18, 2009 8:49 am

      I listen to this almost everyday. It tags to a memory of friends hanging out, getting stoned, having too much fun while we could. The Talking Heads could craft a thought or two, huh?

      “the fog” I get, that’s good. I lean to the idea of Peggy and Joan and Betty firing one up on the back porch of Casa de Draper, adjusting the sights on the Red Ryder bb rifle and generally flipping off the patriarchy for an afternoon.

      I’d watch that episode too.

    • less of me permalink
      December 18, 2009 8:59 am

      Remember when MTV seemed relevant? Eh, I’m getting misty!

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