The series ending of The Sopranos

Posted to http://coleslawblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/seven-reasons-why-theories-that-tony.html today.

My wife and I just finished the series on Netflix last night. This thread is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent series of posts.

I'm ambivalent about what happened, but I'm pretty sure that's the intended ending. Like a great painting, no one can say what it finally means. ("Starry Night" is about insanity in the country--would be an example of how some art defies final interpretations.)

My own intuition (and that's all it is) is that the tension and apprehension that comes with being a Soprano is the lot of this family. Tony will always be watching the door, the stranger, etc. Carmela will always be spouting homilies out of denial. In this regard, I suppose I read the show as CrimeNotes does. As an anti-genre series that wants to use the mafia to bring out the ennui and anxiety of trying to make it in America.

I'll add one final thought for a pet theory which I was convinced of just as the show ended. The FBI Arrest Theory. Here goes: the show is realist. It mirrors real world events. In the real world, the mob in the NYC and NJ area was largely fractured and then disassembled by the FBI. Times are changing--the lawyer says something to Tony about "this day coming" and Meadow's boyfriends revelation that one can make 170k/year doing criminal work just shows that the culture is now rewarding attorneys more than mobsters. White collar crime is the big fish, now--and Tony, Junior, etc. are all becoming dinosaurs before the viewers eyes. The end of a family, so to speak, mostly caused by the history rather than gunfire.

Again, my central point is not to take a firm stand on the ending, but to argue that the ambiguity of the ending is endemic to all great works of art. Thus, there must be a multiplicity of possibilities, always possible for the different ways different people would construe the various pieces of evidence on which they need/choose to focus. This is the arc and message (if you can call it that) of the entire series. Day to day life. That's the end.


Kristol and the Cone of Silence

To the Public Editor:

Re: Showdown at Saddleback By WILLIAM KRISTOL, published: August 17, 2008

The correction offered about Kristol's baseless assertion that there was no basis for the Obama campaigns assertion that McCain was not in a "cone of silence" did not explain why Kristol took his position.

The Times, I'm sure you know, wrote:

Correction: August 19, 2008:
In some editions of his column on Monday about the presidential forum at Saddleback Church in California, William Kristol said that there seemed to be no basis for charges that John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” during Barack Obama’s interview with the Rev. Rick Warren, and could therefore have heard questions posed first to Senator Obama. Senator McCain was in a motorcade for part of Senator Obama’s interview. A statement from his campaign said that he “never heard or saw any of Senator Obama’s appearance.”

Kristol has a history of stating, as fact, what he *wishes* to be true without full information. But when he's caught making a groundless assertion, he rarely owns his mistake.

It would be nice if the Times would issue corrections that fully own the mistakes made by its employees, if their employees are not going to own them, themselves. (Why are such people employed by the Times, anyway?)


My Funny Kid, Nicholas, 4 1/2 Years Old

August 30, 2008

Nick: [Skipping around] Can I watch PBS kids?
Dave: Nick, it looks like you want to run and play.
Nick: I'm running to the TV!

August 27, 2008:

Margaret: Nick, do you think you'd want to be President when you grow up?
Nick: No I don't want to be President.
Margaret: Why not?
Nick: Well, maybe after I lost my job as a train conductor.

Hillary Hails McCain's VP Pick? Huh?

Boy I wish Molly Ivin's was still around.

Consider Hillary's first words about the selection of Palin for VP:


Statement from Sen. Hillary Clinton on Sen. McCain's VP selection
“We should all be proud of Governor Sarah Palin's historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Senator McCain. While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Governor Palin will add an important new voice to the debate.”

I really have to wonder why we "should all be proud." It's not just Palin's policies that are wrong for the country--she's also completely unqualified to be Presdient.

Should we have been proud of the pick of Dan Quayle as pick for VP by Bush I? If you say "no" to that, then why would we be proud of Palin? It simply cannot be because she's an unqualifed woman.

See Gail Collins' on this last point: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/opinion/30collins-.html?ref=todayspaper

We need Molly Ivin's more than ever to comment on this one.



McCain Merchandise for Students Includes Free Misspelling

Student's For McCain! I guess this is McCain asking in his own special way: "Is our children learning?"

See it here: http://store.johnmccain.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=PNR2879


McCain: Compensate Me with the Presidency

McCain is the true affirmative action candidate. His campaign is predicated on people voting for him out of pity. Because he was a POW. His argument is, "I suffered, so compensate me by making me President." He wants preferential treatment as a sufferer.

My question is: didn't he get enough from his beer baroness heiress? Why does he need more compensation? There IS NO compensation for that kind of suffering, and millions of Americans already know this.

He's a man-child, never healed, angry inside.