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“Mad Men” ala Animal Planet

July 22, 2010

Mad Men: Season 4–The New Beginning debuts on Sunday.  That’s not the actual title of the event though. From published interviews with creative demigod Matt Weiner, I’m inclined to label it The Ghost of Freddy Rumsen Season, The Return of Freddy Rumsen Season.

[ UPDATE:  ed.– Joel Murray shows up at the S4 premiere in LA, photos of the pageantry for those who enjoy celeb watching.]

In S2E9 – Six Month Leave – Don puts Freddy in a cab for the last time, and Freddy asks the semi-rhetorical, Industrial Age-old existential question, “Who am I if i don’t go into that office every day?”

Since the day he recognized his own reflection in a pool of water, Mankind has believed he was seperate from the exterior world. He identified his internal dialogue as an inner Self often in conflict with the outer world and often in conflict with his own physical nature, (this perceived dichotomy is the father of most of his future suffering), and then he glorified this cognitive state by labeling it The True Self.  And at that point in time, Mankind officially became a species of liars. However this distinction let’s Man inevitably evolve into Don Draper and thus I have a reason to be alive on Sunday nights for the next few months.

As a palate teaser prior to the main course, I invite you to splosh around in my Mad Men Stream of Consciousness©. This stream is not be confused with Billy Joel’s River of Dreams, which is mind-numbingly looping in the back of my mind now for no good reason, (and speaking of dreams, I slept so peacefully last night for really the first time in months; it was a serene slumber rooted in the calming knowledge that the menace to society that is Lindsey Lohan was finally locked away, finally taken off the streets. The Empire is safe once again.) nor should it be mistaken for the River Kwai over which a cinematic bridge was built, and dramatically unbuilt, back in the MM era. In the interest of shameless self-promotion, I shall trumpet my own horn here by pointing out that LOM made prophetic note of the thematic connection between the movie, which Lane somewhat arbitrarily mentions to Don early in S3, and the eventual sabotage from within by the much better dressed prisoners of PPL/Sterling Cooper.

[ I’ll look for the link at BoK tomorrow, (they’ve finally completed the archive restoration I’ve read), it’s in a comment thread sometime around the end of the season. I’m quite proud of the catch I made. The William Holden-Don Draper symmetry alone is awe-inspiring.][On second thought, here’s the Wiki link. Read the plot summary and pay special attention to the personal history of Navy Commander Shears, William Holden’s character.]

And speaking of Lane, he is where today’s stream begins.

We’ve had fun in the past around here discussing the animal nature of some Mad Men characters. This other species doppelganger would be known as a Mad Men Anima-l ©. (I’ve selected that designation for Those Who Are Jung at Heart, ha)  I liked Jane the Hyena and Bert the Koala.

What about Lane?

A pissed off Pete tells Trudy he watched Lane’s frog mouth explain Pete’s new job title to him. I can see a similarity, Lane is a little odd looking.

I'm truly sorry Pete, but Fozzie Bear has the invaluable talent of making his clients feel as if they haven't any needs.

I understand Pete’s anger. Being demoted by Kermit would have to wreck a man’s self-esteem.But thinking of frogs, and flowing with the stream, and being somewhat hungry, I’m reminded of frog food – – insects. And I can picture Lane as a beetle.  Compare the broad brows.

Strangely enough, I can also picture him as a Beatle. Imagine.

But disregarding physical resemblance just a bit, I think the Beaver is a solid animal icon for Lane Pryce. Energetic, efficient, meticulous.  The right mammal to have around when deciding to build something from the ground up. Their construction projects, (damming streams and rivers -ha!), additionally create highly favorable living environments for other species such as fish, birds, frogs, making them good neighbors. They’re highly adaptive to their surroundings and they are reputed to have agreeable dispositions. I’ve read they enjoy a sturdy cup of darjeeling in the mid-afternoon. Huzzah big brown beaver! Welcome to the agency. Shut the door, watch your tail, have a seat.

"I guess yes Don, we are negotiating."

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