“I’m Peggy Olson and I want to smoke some marijuana.”

Modernist poetry, Roger in blackface, Dramatic near-tension, creativity under the influence, the line of dialogue echoed across the entire internet, whimsical and not so whimsical nostalgia for a time and place that may have never existed, Public humiliation set to music, The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, and young Sally Draper and Grandpa Hofstadt in The Case Of The Missing Five Dollars! All in the newest episode of Mad Men, episode 3 of season 3, “My Old Kentucky Home.” August?

August Bravo: So far, this probably my favorite episode this season. Hands down. So many strong themes and strong scenes to it.

Marco Sparks: Oh yes. I thought this season hit the ground running nicely with the first episode, but last night it’s like the show really took a nice deep breath in it’s own skin.

August: The first scene always sets such a huge tone for the rest of the episode. In last night’s case, it was the casting call with Peggy and the boys of Sterling Cooper. Ah, Peggy. Always trying to assert her dominance. More and more throughout the show she’s trying to show the guys that she can do the job she was promoted to. Now, while I’m sure everyone thinks she can, she has to prove it, and not just to herself.

Marco: Peggy Olson was on fire last night. She was blazing. She was all lit up!

August: One of my favorite things about this episode was the introduction to marijuana through someone who isn’t Don. And I’m not surprised it’s Kinsey, but it was funny nonetheless that Smitty  says, “I’m sure you know someone, right?” Ahh, yes. Kinsey knows everyone!

Marco: Yes, and no. I feel like Kinsey would have to know a guy because he’s all talk. Like his drug dealer/college chum revealed: His version of Kinsey is all a facade, a new form of Gatsby. Kinsey with his faux British accent and his fucking mohair sweater. Mohair!

August: Mohair!

Paul Kinsey, ad man. At your service, sir or madam.

Marco: Also, that drug dealer. Ha ha! My God, I want a spin off about literate 1960s drug dealers. Like a 1963 Pineapple Express. Let’s sing and smoke some dope, everybody!

August: I loved how Kinsey got so mad at him when he insulted his singing.

Marco: Kinsey and his fucking singing. Talk about a naive melody (see below). I think everyone knows a Kinsey. He’s the guy that, when you see him, you want to either A) punch him in the gut, or B) fuck his girlfriend.

August: I love how the drug dealer just stuck around. He’s got no other clients. He’s got nowhere else to be.

Marco: For serious. And how often do you deliver grass - grass! – to a Madison Avenue ad agency on a Saturday in1963? Maybe if he stuck around long enough, he could’ve got an internship?

August: That guy was very 60s Pineapple Express.

Marco: I think you’ll love that that guy playing the drug dealer with his psuedo-Tom Cruise/Christian Bale looks is actually Miles Fisher. The one who…

…did the Talking Heads/American Psycho mash up video. If you didn’t know of it before, Augustus, I have a feeling you’re about to crap your pants.

August: Maybe. Also not surprising was Peggy’s willingness to try the pot. She’s just as open-minded as Kinsey or Don, but she just had a reputation to uphold.

Marco: Yeah, she’s a “lady,” and it’s not “proper,” as was reinforced by her square old secretary.

August: While instances of marijuana weren’t previously brought up, I’m sure she would have said no before.

Marco: I imagine she took a moment to contemplate the situation and meditate over her WHAT WOULD DON DRAPER DO? shrine that she keeps i her office.

August: And why didn’t she say no this time? Not peer pressure… Because it was Saturday! Kidding. I’m sure it was probably more to do with that uptight secretary of hers muttering that she knew what those boys were up to in there.

Marco: You think the secretary was a stand in for her mom? This was her “Fuck you, mom!” moment?

You think I don’t know what you’ve been doing in there?

August: Maybe, plus Peggy wants to belong and always feels that she needs to belong at work, like belong to the boy’s club, to belong there during all their reindeer games, you know?

Marco: Believe me, I know.

August: Peggy needs to feel that she’s apart of something, so in this case… she just threw herself into it! And you know her, eager minded as she is, she’s always working. Even when she’s high!

Marco: With the dictaphone! Like a little Hunter S. Thompson.

August: Such a great idea t put something like this in this episode, especially when it seems pointless.

Marco: Which, of course, it was. But was meaningful to the people back then. This is the 60s. The era of trying new things and mind expansion.

August: Yes. I’m slowly liking Peggy more and more. I’m sure having a woman direct this particular episode has nothing to do with it.

Marco: I don’t even pay attention to who directs the episodes anymore. All of their directors are sharp and this show just seems so technically well produced, well rehearsed, etc.

August: Okay, so now to my favorite plot line of this episode: Poor little Sally Draper. Can we really call her poor anymore? Maybe now, but for a few hours there she was rich. Rich, I tell you!

Marco: A lot of people seemed to hate that storyline but it felt just as right and seemed, to me, to belong as much as Peggy and the boys smoking dope.

August: love to watch these kids grow up. It’s fantastic.

Marco: Yeah, really. And I despise children, and I’m not going to bullshit about that, but the little girl playing Sally is just precious and adorable.

August: I love how first you don’t really see the kids very much. Then, they’re slowly starting to break things that aren’t theirs. And then, BAM, stealing from their grandfathers. I would have loved it even more i she tried to frame the housekeeper for stealing it, but I guess the writers didn’t want to go in that direction. Great line with the grandfather calling her “Viola.”

Marco: Because he’s pretty much got Alzheimer’s and things she is Viola, his old housekeeper. Or, classically, assumes that she’d know Viola. I really dread a lot of the racist moments on the show, even though they’re so true to the time period. Poor Carla. And, ugh, Roger.

August: So why did Sally steal the money? I mean, after all, she just ends up throwing it on the ground and asking her grandfather if the money she “found” was the missing five dollars in question. Did she want the love and affection of her grandfather? Was she just bored? Or is Sally growing up to be something worse? I’d like to say the last one, but lie I said, she did just give it back. I can see Sally doing something worse this season. I can’t wait to see her reaction to the baby being born.

Marco: Oh, that’ll be fun, for sure. But I think that in this particular case, The Case Of The Missing Five Dollars, it’s just a youthful indiscretion. But, yeah, Sally can also now potentially add kleptomania to her other funtributes like awesome bartending skills and alcoholism. I think what were seeing is that these kids aren’t really being “raised” by their parents, just interacting with them. And, hormones or not, shit, Betty seems to get colder and colder by the minute to her children (Carla’s a better mom to them at this point). So, in these interactions, the kids are just going to pick up nothing but bad habits and not really understand why. Bobby Draper: future serial rapist. Put money on that. Either him or that fucking Glen kid.

But I think that Sally stole the money for a thrill, realized that unlike everything else, Grandpa wasn’t going to forget or confuse himself out of wanting the money back, and she knew she had to get that situation over with as quickly as possible. And she got lucky. I’m ready for Grandpa to go to Heaven. Once you start echoing the paperboy from Better Off Dead, it’s time to go.

August: The scene where the money is stolen sparks one of the best lines in the episode, and the season so far. Don offers the the grandfather five dollars after his appears to be missing and…

Gene: “You people, always thinking money solves problems.”

Don: “Nope, just this particular problem.”

What a great line.

Marco: Maybe not within his actual family unit, but with external forces within his actual house, Don Draper will remain The Man and has no qualms about showing it. Especially if it’s annoying. Besides, Don probably has a few bucks left after having to restock all of their booze last week.

August: Finally, the party scene. You could feel the tension the whole episode with Sterling’s blushing new bride, Jane. Especially when she talks to Joan earlier on.

Marco: Considering the shit Joan had to put up with in her storyline last night, I really wish she had punched Jane in her bony… everything.

August: The party just made Jane look even crazier. I didn’t get the whole dancing thing with Pete and his wife, Trudy. Was that the charleston? Wht was the significance of them parading on the dance floor, basically shooing everyone else off of it? Cute as it was, were they trying to prove something? Who knows.

Marco: Oh, they definitely were. That bit says so, so much. Especially about Pete and Trudy, whom I think, despite their differences, makes a wonderful Lady MacBeth to his manchildness. It’s about wowing his bosses, the previous generation, with a dance from their generation. Something you know he hated learning from the previous generation, but now needs to get what he wants from said generation. And it’s about sticking it to his coworkers, especially as he tries to win over all of the Accounts department from Ken Cosgrove.

Also, again: Fuck Harry Crane. I hate that guy. Sure, I’d punch Kinsey in the stomach for being a loud mouth asshole, but then I’d let him pick up the check for a round while taking in some beatnik poetry readings in the village. But Crane? I’d hit that guy with a boat.

August: Back to Roger’s wife, Jane. Basically she’s a kid and she doesn’t know her limits, booze-wise. Sound like someone we personally know?

Marco: Surely not someone who writes here at Counterforce…

August: No, of course not.

Marco: Inside jokery! But can I just throw this out there… Jane = the evil, out of her depth Peggy?

August: Ah, Jane, drinking too much and blabbing to Betty about the secret split between her and Don. What does this do? Does this provoke a huge catfight? I wish… But, no, Betty just feels it necessary to storm off all dramatic like, and have Don come in and take control.

Marco: To be fair, Betty does have the virus of human life stuck inside her. That’d make me moody about certain issues too.

August: But the handling Don does, so precise in a way. Being Jane’s boss again, telling her to just sit down, and making her even more awkwardly placed at the party. Then Roger comes back and asks what’s going on and Don belittles the young bride, and her husband even more, by saying she’s had too much to drink. And he has that same look on his face that he’s had all season when having to deal with Roger.

Marco: That look like he either has to take a shit or he’d rather be taking a shit.

August: Yeah. That look that says: You made a dumb decision leaving your wife and marrying this young whore.

Marco: Ouch.

August: But I could be wrong. Roger picks up on Don’s look, and his whole attitude. I wish I could remember exactly what Roger said to it all. Maybe you could fill in the blank fr me there, Marco? Something about being happy an inviting your own guests? I forgetz.

Marco: Something to the effect of them being there at the super rich country club on Long Island and Roger reiterating for Don’s benefit that it was me who invited you here, buddy boy. It reminded me of Mr. Big reminding The R about who’s dumping whom in the desert to die after a swift beatdown.

August: Hey, “nobody has to know!”

Marco: Other than Peggy, my favorite scene has to be Don having a drink with Conrad Hilton. You just have to love Don’s climb over bar because he doesn’t have time to walk around. Fantastic! Definitey in my top five Don Draper moments ever.

I want to talk about the Joan stuff, but I don’t. Poor Joan. Goddamn, her rapist doctor husband infuriates me. In so many ways Joan is the more successful good housewife type than Betty, though she has to put up with a shittier husband than Betty does. And all that Emily Post bullshit? Oh man. I hope she leaves him this year. And let’s face it, at some point her and Don are going to have to hook up, at least once, and when they do, televisions everywhere are going to melt from the nuclear sexiness. And then we’ll all melt. And then the TVs will melt. And then the Soviets will bomb us out of existence.

August: Maybe.

Marco: Also, prediction: By the end of the 60s on this show, at least a few seasons from now, you just know that Don and Peggy are going to drop acid together. Maybe when they go to Haight Ashbury and pitch their services to the Grateful Dead? Something like that.

Also, I love Peggy’s assertion of success in the face of probably being incredibly hungry (and not at all paranoid), but it did sound a tad naive. Wonderfully naive, even for a moment who has so much potential success hanging on her shoulders. But I hope that was the last of and not the start of a Peggy Olson recreational drug storyline. Hum another naive melody, please.

August: Once again, the previews for next time got me pretty pissed off, but what can you do?

Marco: You’ll just have to tune in next time.

The caws of the Crow Goddess.

Taken from Warren Ellis’ page and his Whitechapel message forum (which appears to be down at the moment):

Rock on, Shawna Van Ness. Clearly I need to get cooler Facebook friends,  yeah?

I read the news today, oh boy.

from here.

Sunday (catch up) reading list:

Firstly, the Rolling Stone article on whys and hows of the Beatles breaking up. I knew a lot of this stuff from my youthful days as a Beatles fan and just a nerdy kid with a lot of classic rock trivia stored in my melon, but it’s still interesting to take it all back in.

The Beatles’ likeness from their incarnation of Rock Band.

Especially since it really narrows all three and a half of them (sorry, Ringo, but you may as well have been a cardboard cutout or on luudes throughout the 60s) to their sincerely petty little faults and jealousies. Paul comes off as a control freak who put both his three mates and the music ahead of how his three mates felt about him or the music, and John Lennon, whom we always knew was a little messed up guy, finally went overboard and tried to change who he was while battling Paul for either the soul of the band or the right to be the one who finally killed it dead. While there was definitely “the Yoko factor,” it was more just a tool of John’s used against the rest of the band, especially Paul who he felt had taken more power and was more creative/talented/happier than he. Talk about two guys who needed each other, but couldn’t express it…

On an only semi-related note: Liam Gallagher has quit Oasis for like the seven billionth time. “I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer,” he says. Sounds like somebody needs themselves a champagne supernova.

Secondly, this quote: “Craig Newmark] already has a parking space, a hummingbird feeder, a small home with a view, and a shower with strong water pressure. What else is he supposed to want?” That’s from an article in Wired about the founder of Craigslist that I started the other day and haven’t quite finished yet. So far, though, it’s interesting.

Also in the magazine is an article I’ve also only skimmed about people who’ve faked their own deaths and essentially vanished or disappeared or gone on the run (though, obviously, not totally successfully). What a fascinating idea. Like you haven’t thought about it before. How would you fake your own death? How would you disappear?

Wave/particle duality.

from here.

Today is Judgment Day!

Suicidal planet on a death spiral with star.

That upcoming posthumous Michael Crichton book is about pirates and is entitled Pirate Latitudes. And Steven Spielberg wants to make a movie out of it.

Is House actually science fiction?

The monster with 21 faces.

DNA swap could cure inherited diseases.

The porn of Franz Kafka.

Futurama porn.

Watching robots kiss is actually really fucking creepy:

Am I right?

That beautiful place where peep shows and love hotels meet.

Please don’t feed the gorillas pop tarts.

Child bride’s nightmare after divorce.

I’m happy because I’m stupid, scared of spiders, scared of flies.”

“Physicists use the wave theory on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the particle theory on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.”

-William Henry Bragg, quoted in the Dictionary Of Scientific Quotations.

Robot doppelganger!

An android is a robot designed to appear as a male, while a gynoid is a robot designed to appear as a female.

Robots can carry out conversations and even sing.

Is human space travel actually feasible?

I hope that when I’m dead, my friends/family/enemies don’t find out via twitter.

The trailer to Christopher Nolan’s Inception looks mind blowingly awesome. Set within “the architecture of the mind,” huh? With that and Lost, can it be 2010 already?

“Toast always lands buttered-side down, and a cat always lands feet first. I propose we strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches from the ground. With a giant buttered-toast/cat array, a hovering monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.”

-Jon Frazee, from the Journal Of Irreproducible Results.

from here.

Wave-particle duality.

Lorrie Moore, as reviewed by Jonathan Lethem.

Reading Rainbow is over. That’s seriously depressing. I loved that show. And even more depressing is that it’s ending partially because of funding, of course, but also because of George W. Bush. The “why to read” is just as important as the “how to read,” kids.

Speaking of which: The 61 essential post modern reads. How many have you read?

The future of reading: Read what you like.

Reading is sexy.

The other Gods, the outer Hell, and Cthulhu Cthursday.

In case of confusion:

from here.

How am I not myself?

I’ve been tired lately and just not feeling like myself. Not that I have any idea who this “myself” person really is. But lately, I feel like I’ve been even farther from answering that question. Perhaps it’s the fatigue.

Fatigue always leaves you feeling one of two things: Perpetual annoyance or perpetual confusion, right? Sometimes a mixture of the two, sure.

There’s yet another new Atlas Sound song out there, and I kind of like it. But not as much as the first one that leaked from the forthcoming new album, “Walkabout.” And a new video for a song from Giant Drag’s new EP, Swan Song.

Man, I just want to go lay in bed and watch I Heart Huckabees again.

I may just go do that.

from here.

Speaking of bed, I woke up to the news of Ted Kennedy’s death this morning.

I’m just chuckling to myself about the joke from The Game: “Does Ethel Kennedy have a black dress?” Or the one from Seinfeld about how Chappaquiddick could be blamed on bad directions.

Oh well, a shame. There were certain issues where you could tell, I think, that Kennedy did really care about doing what was right. Sure, he wanted to be President, but that’s the sin of every potentially great politician, right? Anyway, I’ll let others talk about him. And I guess I’ll stick to telling you how cool Sean Connery is, if you don’t already know that somehow.

Maybe I should go hire some existential detectives to find me and myself and my… whatever. You know?

Thank God I have the internet to get me through the sleepy days. Peace be with you. And have a safe drive home.

Kill the cheerleader, kill the show?

An image from one of the episodes in the upcoming season of Heroes:

I choose to see this as a meta comment on this show entirely. What do you think? Heroes‘ last season?

Happy Birthday, 007.

You know what? Fuck Chuck Norris. Sean Connery is a real winner.

And today that suave, woman-hating Scottish bastard is 79 years old! And still in a league of extraordinary gentlemen all of his own.

And, of course, it doesn’t even have to be said -  but of course it has to be said! – the man wasn’t just James Bond, HE WAS JAMES BOND. They had tried to get this character off the page and onto the screen before, and it was a miserable failure. And Sean, the former bodybuilder who won a contest, created and dominated the mindset of this character, well, ever since then. Granted, he had some help from the director of some of the early Bond films, Terence Young, who really hammered some slightly gentlemanly qualities into the Scottish rogue, but even still.

Sean Connery with Ursula Andress on the set of Dr. No.

Sean Connery was the original Clive Owen. The man is all brute, all animal. But he operated with this masculine sense of cheese and charm that makes the fact that the early Bond was certainly an asshole and sometimes acted like a bit of a rapist and made you like him. Made you want to be him, made you want to go on an adventure with him, made you want to be the victim of some of his horrible advances.

And typically when we talk about the quality of the successive actors to inhabit the role of James Bond, it’s usually in a Sean Connery yard stick.

In fact, when Sean briefly left the series after You Only Live Twice before of financial disputes, so heavy was the loss to the series, that the opening (see below) of the following film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in the series had to use a meta moment of breaking the fourth wall to actually inform the audience that the filmmakers were well aware that this new guy was not Sean Connery.

Defying all the odds, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was actually a truly great film, but it’s star, Australian model George Lazenby, didn’t stay in the role, leaving the series because of, again, disputes over pay with the producers. So who did they call back? Sean Fucking Connery. Of course.

This is about Sean Connery, not Bond history in general, so I’ll spare you a lot of details about the how’s and the why’s of the Great Bond Battle of 1983: Sean Connery’s Never Say Never Again (the title coming from it’s star’s declaration that he would never play the role of British superspy 007 again) and Roger Moore’s Octopussy. When the dust settled, Octopussy actually won at the box office but poor Roger Moore lost at a much more serious game, the eternal tournament of life called YOU ARE NOT SEAN CONNERY, SIR.

This is a man that could appear in a (classic) film like Zardoz like this…

…and not give a shit. Ah, Zardoz. Look at that outfit. Who knows what that tells you if you’ve never seen the underrated sci fi classic. Obviously, you can guess it’s just ridiculous. And Sean Connery is his brutal best in it, playing a hunter and a cad, some of the things he’s at his best doing, it would seem.

And see, that’s the thing about Connery. He’s a good, solid actor. And he’s appeared in many a film of real, strong quality. And he’s also appeared in just outright shitty movies too, like The Avengers and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Or Entrapment. But he’s also been in a lot of really in between movies that are maybe ridiculous, but fun and good in different ways. Maybe just because of him, like Rising Sun starring Wesley Snipes. I mean, that movie, based on the novel by Michael Crichton, is a fucking joke, and I still love it. Or Medicine Man. Oh my God that movie is silly. The same with The Hunt For Red October. But it’s Sean Connery. It’s the man who claimed that he was offered the role of Morpheus in The Matrix and Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings and turned them down and he’s going to do his own thing.

“An open-handed slap is justified – if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it.”

-Sean Connery, in an interview with Playboy magazine, 1965.

Even his misogyny is ridiculous and lovable. You applaud the things he says the same way you do Don Draper, the difference, of course, being that Don Draper is a fictional character sending up the way we were and Sean Connery is a guy who, well… he’s from a previous generation, alright? And it’s one who’s values we’ve hopefully (started to) migrate from distantly.

“There are women who take it to the wire. That’s what they are looking for, the ultimate confrontation. They want a smack.”

-Sean Connery, in an interview with Barbara Walters in 1987.

You have to wonder how off some of those SNL Jeopardy skits were, right?

And he’s got the voice. Someday there needs to be a Pixar comedy that’s entirely voiced by Sean Connery and James Earl Jones, just having a massive distinct voice off.

I think I could probably sit here and jack off a list of all the great Sean Connery movies out there. And you’d read it and you’d just nod your head, saying, “Yeah!” or however you exclaim excitement and enthusiasm. But whatever film or role of his you know and like the best, my point is that you have one. He may not be your most beloved actor, but you recognize this man as a force within the film world.

And of course, he was also Indy’s dad, man.

And easily one of the originators of “Men want to be him and women want to be with him,” as I said earlier. And the men who both want to be him and be with him.

Ah, Sir Sean Connery. A walking pillar of the cinema.

Love Among The Ruins.

Ah, Ann-Margret. Her of the unique ability to be 25 and act 14.

August Bravo: Before we talk about last night’s very interesting episode – “Love Among The Ruins” -I want you to go to this site. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it before, the “Which MAD MAN are you?” quiz. I too it and my result was Pete Campbell. I really hoped for Cosgrove. Oh well. And from last week, what you said about Draper being more forward thinking than Kinsey, I thought you meant Kinsey, the famous 50s doctor, not the character on the show. Very appropiate for you to say that.

Marco Sparks: Thank you. I do my best. Oh, you mean Alfred Kinsey? Ha ha. Yes.

August: Okay, so last night’s episode… was a very interesting one. There were o many subtle scenes throughout. I love Don’s growing anger over Pryce and the chaps from London. And I’m very intrigued to see how that anger might continue to escalate throughout the rest of the season.

Marco: Indeed. Here’s Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner talking about the chaps and dandys from London:

“The British have come here because we’re great. They’re redefining how things are done. But at the same time,they feel everyone needs a parent. That’s their attitude.”

And yes, last night’s episode with the truly great title, “Love Among The Ruins,” based on the poem by Browning, was very interesting. And there really are so many ruins there, aren’t there? Sterling Cooper itself, New York, Betty Draper’s dad, Roger Sterling’s hopes for a smoothing sailing into his post-divorce life, etc. Oh, and speaking of which MAD MAN I happen to be, I took the quiz and this is what came out…

…surprising no one, perhaps. The drama over his daughter’s impending nuptials which may or may not have Roger’s young bride Jane in attendance is fasciating to me. I think since the end of last season, I’ve actually started to really like Roger. But I do sense that the new set date for his daughter Margaret’s wedding – November 23, 1963 - might be a sad, mournful day. It will probbly rain too.

August: I’m going to go ahead and say this right now, but my favorite scene in the episode was Probably Don showing his dominence in the family by telling Betty’s brother how everything was going to be and work with the arrangements over her ailing slightly alzheimers-ish father. I always feel Don is trying to maintain his manhood in the house. Not that Betty questions it or that anyone else does, really, but he seems to constantly need to exhibit his alpha dog status in the homestead.

Marco: Perhaps because he wants to have that perfect suburban home life, and in doing so, he feels partly defined by wearing the pants at home? And let’s face it, it’s not hard to be “the man” compared to his brother-in-law. I don’t want to call anyone a slippery pussy or anything, but seriously, stuff a tampon in that guy so that he’ll shut up. Also: Bunk beds!

You know who I didn’t love before, but that I do now? Peggy Olsen, no joke.

August: Peggy’s storyline throughout this episode was unusual, but certainly a nice change. What makes her think the things she does? I wnder how her infatuation with men again will change the way she feel about work. What I really liked about her in this episode was her reenacting the “Bye Bye Birdie” scene in the mirror. Does she want to be looked at the way the men look at the other girls? I don’t think so, but maybe she wants to know if she still has it?

Marco: I think if you take the whole Marilyn/Jackie O. comparision from last year and apply it to the two main ladies in the office, of course Peggy has to compare herself to Joan. I mean, first of all, look at Joan. She has a certain kind of commanding power and authority within the office (look how she handled Moneypenny last week) and she was the first person that Peggy interacted with when she was hired. And Joan and Don really are Peggy’s main role models I think.

from here.

I like Peggy more because she takes the good advice people give her (mostly from Don and occaionally from Joan)(but also from Colin Hanks last year), and she uses it. And she gets ahead. Yeah, she wants the eye of the men, I think, but only sometimes. That kind of attention feels good sometimes, but she knows she wants and deserves more out of life and a career. She doesn’t want to be a man, I don’t think, she wants to be a woman in what has always been a man’s world, and I think her arc over the course of the show will be just as interesting as Don’s. She’s too smart, especially shown last night during the whole Patio/Diet Pepsi meeting, about which fantasy to market towards: men’s or women’s.

“You’re not fat anymore.” How condescending, Crane.

In fact, I think she’s moving closer and closer to being the human version of Don Draper, as opposed to poor mn’ blue blood Pete Campbell, who is just as lost in the world of the human beings as Dick Whitman, but isn’t as good at hiding it and/or being fucking awesome in it.

Also, as much as I do now like Roger (and you can just smell an upcoming Roger/Don confrontation, can’t you?) and his runaway out of control charm, I think he needs to be applauded and, of course, slappd across the face for his “You’re the only one here who doesn’t have that stupid look on her face” line.

August: I love that line, I think it goes, “You’ve got to leave the tools in the toolboxes.” I wonder if he means the men at the office?

Marco: Mayyyybeee. I loved the stuff with her at the bar, trolling for the finest male college boys Brooklyn could offer her, and try out a few of Joan’s zingers. It’s okay to fuck some college boys, and you know what? It’s just as okay to skip out on them in the middle of the night, Peggy. If you stay, I think you’re going to find out just how boring Burger Boy really was. I was waiting for her to add to her parting, “I work on Madison Avenue, bitch!”

Joan still has my sympathies because of her asshole husband to be (or are they already married and I missed that?). The looming threat of June 1 and her upcoming prison of maternity makes me yearn for her to make a fiery breakout.

“It’s sexy and it’s what they want.”

August: With Betty’s father living there for what I assume will be the majority of the season, I’m interested to see the unusual things he will do, as he slips further and further away. I liked his prohibition era worry to the sirens outide. And I’m curious to see more of his antics in Don’s domestic bliss this year.

Marco: It’s interesting that the father, slipping away, was still able to shake Don up last year with his comment: “He has no people!”

August: That near final scene, with Don’s kids at the summer function, with Don just sitting there, just watching the girls dance around, the bare feet moving through the grass. Don’t can’t help but watch and reach below to touch something, to feel the grass. Just for a second. Maybe just to feel something. His life is in a jumble right now, and he fees lost (as he possibly goes more introspective) and he can’t help but want to feel something, anything.”

Marco: Yes, yes, yes. That scene was incredibly beautiful to me, and also incredibly tragic. Don Draper is a lost man searching for something external that he seems to feel is missing internally. He’s been a lot of places and all of them are where he’s already been, and yet, I feel he’ll travel a lot farther and long to feel a great many more things before he really meets Don Draper/Dick Whitman at the finish line. Also, I smell a wee bit more of infidelity.

August: We still haven’t talked about New York itself yet.

Marco: You mean that ever changing, sordid little beast with the Penn Station/Madison Square Gardens change up? I like Kinsey, the young guy who believes in change, but maybe not always for the right reasons, and always have a good laugh at him, especially here, as the Grand Old Wise Man Of New York City. I see Kinsey’s side to this particular argument, especially about the great works of Roman architecture, but I wouldn’t compare New York to Rome, nor call it the greatest city on Earth. I know New Yorkers truly believe that, but, well… “a city of cry babies?” Ha ha.

But I also love Don’s magic in selling the potential clients on coming back to Sterling Cooper, and of course his frustration with then having to drop them after he not only won them back with the need for such a change to NYC. He doesn’t just give his juice away for free, people! Just the same as the fact that the man attends meetings, he doesn’t set them.

It’s an interesting time at Sterling Cooper, in NYC, in Don Draper’s life, and on Mad Men. Out with the old, and in with the new. See you next week.

Bye Bye Birdie!