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The Orange Couch Does Mad Men: S6E12, “The Quality of Mercy”

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Marc and I are both huge fans of “Rosemary’s Baby”, which is, in my opinion, a true classic of feminist horror, even though it was directed by ye ol’ child rapist Roman Polanski. So we’re having a lot of fun with the dramatic influence that movie (and the book) has on this season of “Mad Men”. And they aren’t fucking around with the references. The internet keeps fussing over the fact that Megan Draper owns a T-shirt that Sharon Tate posed in, but there’s even more subtle costume stuff than that. For instance, here’s a still from an early scene in the movie:

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And here is what Don was wearing:

And here is what Sally was wearing:

We mention this in the episode, but it cannot be emphasized enough: Don is aligned visually and symbolically with both Guy and the baby Antichrist over and over again in this episode. Meanwhile, both Peggy and Sally play the part of Rosemary at various times. Except that Rosemary gives her unconditional love to her demon child, but neither Sally nor Peggy will do that for Don. And really, that’s how it should be. The audience of “Rosemary’s Baby” is supposed to feel uncomfortable that she offers love and care to this baby that will grow up to be evil. A grown man who has a choice has even less of a claim to unconditional love.

Most of the other points we have are made in the episode, particularly about the qualities of justice vs. mercy, a theme taken directly from the play that the show’s title comes from. I just want to make a note about how “Mad Men” generally does a masterful job of bringing in allusions to both high art and “lowbrow” pop culture. In this case, the two major inspirations are a Shakespearean play and a knowingly campy horror film (that is still nonetheless as scary as Megan says). That’s something a lot of creators these days try to do, and it often doesn’t quite work. It pretty much always works on “Mad Men”, which is a massive credit to the writers and producers. This week was even better than usual, and that’s really saying something.

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So, thoughts? Were you surprised by the Bob Benson reveal? What do you think Sally will do? By the way, isn’t it cool how they’re subtly turning Betty into a pretty good mother after all this time? Maybe all she needed all this time was to get far away from Don Draper.

Speaking of, here’s a video of the scene from “Head” that features the Monkees that I mention in the video. Its links to Don’s fantasies should be obvious, methinks.

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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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