On the Prowl

Friday, February 26th, 2010

In recent weeks (something about tragic airline promotions), the notion of the cougar has been roaming the airwaves (probably more than our streets).  Rather than Baudelaire’s notion of a flaneur (the more placid experience of the city through walking), a more aggressive and sexually-charged urban exploration is gaining currency in our city’s lexicon.

Gone are the days of the sugar daddy, not that I think his homey-image ever ventured too far into the city, instead the streets of Wellington have been refigured as a post-menopausal cat-walk.  The flaneur took off as an idea to interest urban design theorists.   Some architects have even used the word. … so is there any potential for the idea of the cougar to give us new understandings about our urban environment?  Could, for instance, places like the Dockside (aka “The Drycleaners”), renowned as the place for picking up suits, now reach unprecedented heights as one of several new civic landmarks celebrated for their insights into urban life?

Yes, potentially a tough one, and the term “cougar” and its baggage, for starters, is unwholesomely problematic, but (unlike the detachment of the flaneur), the cougar is loaded with vested interest and the envitable counter-actions to changes in demographic power, traditionally seen in the old-male philanthropy of the sugar-daddy, and the young-female money-grabbing gold digger.  But she is a figure who also denotes a shifting of the boundaries of public and private, power and she engages with an interior view of the city.  Who knows what the potential might be?


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Posted under: Comment | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “On the Prowl”

  1. West Says:

    Kanye had it right when he said
    “I ain’t saying she’s a gold-digger,
    but she ain’t going for no broke nigga…”

    The honey always follows the money. (Some) women have always whored themselves out for to the sugar-daddies in return for endless supplies of shoes and well-tanned leather (Catherine ‘Darlings Buds of May’ Zeta-Jones and Michael ‘Lizard-skin” Douglas for starters).

    The opposite is now starting to come true. Classic cougar Demi Moore has taken the bait with airhead Ashton Kucher although it may be a poisoned trap. In the same manner that sugar-daddies apparently trade in their sweety-pies for a younger model, will Kucher be traded in for fresher meat? Is Haley Joel Osment the next McCauley Culkin? Will there be new boyz to men that are keen to get their clutches on Demi’s perfectly sculpted mounds of money?

  2. 60 MPa Says:

    Certainly from an energy point of view they’ll save money on lighting – they don’t like bright halogens showing up their wrinkles.

    Suck it up, boys – lecherous older blokes have been chasing younger women for ages and it’s time to let the pendulum swing a little the other way.

  3. West Says:

    Seems to me that the word has been picked perfectly. Wikipedia says (edited version):
    “The cougar …. native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat …. the cougar is found in every major American habitat type…. … A capable stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Cougars are territorial animals and maintain home ranges of up to 100 miles. Most active at dawn and dusk, they are lone hunters. They are generally solitary animals, except for mothers who remain with kittens for about two years… …. dogs are often mistaken for cougars. A cougar can be identified by its large size, cat-like appearance, consistent tan or tawny body color…..”

    whereas the infinitely more dodgy but enjoyable Urban Dictionary says:
    “Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or other cities)waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. “Man is cougar’s number one prey”. … The cougar can be anyone from an overly surgically altered wind tunnel victim, to an absolute sad and bloated old horn-meister, to a real hottie or milf….

  4. m-d Says:

    “dogs are often mistaken for cougars”…?!

  5. m-d Says:

    In a not completely unrelated aside, I enjoyed this airline graphic, expounding upon the do’s and don’ts of their new lie-flat service:
    http://lh5.ggpht.com/_a_il-yTtTSI/S404w6lk3hI/AAAAAAAADoM/2O9av7Lm2Lk/s800/airnz%20fork%20and%20spoon_460x230.jpg

    perhaps they are hoping to avoid extending cougar hunting territory to the mile-high club…

  6. Guy Says:

    I must admit I was more than a little peeved with the launch of the much-heralded “lie-flat” sky lounges. As one who travels alone, I’m never going to get the benefits of the lie flat service, unless I manage to talk the person in seat B into sharing a spoon position with me…. which is more than a little unlikely.

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