Re: Orbits, Solar Systems, & Onion Rings (or How Circular Tr

#41
Fly....Like I said, I'm a very cynical mood these days, so be warned. I'll probably warm up eventually.

You know what? I'm inclined right now to view that song as Chase mocking us for believing that things can change -- when in fact, they just go on and on and on.

Hell, I don't know. Like everything else about that "ending," it's open to a dozen interpretations. I guess that's art -- that's what the critics seem to say -- but I really wanted to find out what David Chase thought. I guess I've got to stop believing we're ever gonna find out.

(Insert happy face here.)

Re: Orbits, Solar Systems, & Onion Rings (or How Circular Tr

#42
Johny Foulmouth wrote:ok, but what I meant was how would Tony Soprano (or any other human being for that matter) "altering his orbit by moving towards the sun"


The stuff about orbits is largely a metaphor, JF (although I think it has foundation in physics for what would be called the "final singularity" of the universe or multiverse, the reverse of the Big Bang). People who have near death experiences, of the pleasant variety, uniformly report being pulled toward the most beautiful, warm, peaceful, light they've ever known. The anecdotes consistently portray this light as gravitational in nature and beyond words in the enveloping sense of love.

If you accept that when you die and see this light you are falling into "God", it could resemble the fate of a comet or cosmic body whose orbit fails and it crashes into the sun or the center, like the roulette ball on the table.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Orbits, Solar Systems, & Onion Rings (or How Circular Tr

#43
It's a very paradoxical ending for a show that got as dark as this one did the last few years and from a creator with such an obviously depressed, bleak outlook. And maybe it's especially powerful for that reason, that even he hasn't totally abandoned hope or faith in something better than what we live in, better than what he portrayed.

It might've been simple irony, both musically and thematically. Tony "didn't stop believin" the lies of the Mafia (specifically NY's agreement to let him whack Phil) and since he didn't learn from his past and grow, he paid the ultimate price: he died.

Musically, it's kinda similar to what Becker and Fagen of Steely Dan love to do: write pessimistic or cynical lyrics on top of major chords/positive-sounding music. Granted, both the lyrics and music of the Journey song are positive, so it's not an exact comparison; the irony is in the way the song is used in the show.

I don't know the man, but I seriously doubt DC has any optimism or faith whatsoever about any of those characters, or the fate of the human race. It doesn't get any darker or bleaker than 'The Sopranos', especially the final scene. So my guess is that his usage of "Don't Stop Believin" is probably heavily ironic, primarily in relation to why Tony was killed.

But maybe not entirely - as you pointed out, there does seem to be some possible lyrical significance in regard to Tony and Carmela's relationship. The song most likely had multiple meanings to DC, which is why he held out for it until the last minute. Hopefully, we'll learn about it on the DVD commentary.

Re: Orbits, Solar Systems, & Onion Rings (or How Circular Tr

#44
Fly - one more thing to back up the football references:

The final scene is Tony's life in full: everything and everyone around him is corrupt, including his family--thanks to his own actions--and every time he looks up, he could see be a bullet, or the feds... or a waiter. It reminds me of the old coaching joke about throwing the football: only three things can happen, and two of them are bad.

Does it even matter which one it was this time?

(bold not by author)

From a blog I read, Vodkapundit: http://vodkapundit.com/archives/008953.php

Thought it was a rather fitting statement. :smile::icon_wink:
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Orbits, Solar Systems, & Onion Rings (or How Circular Tr

#47
The way I see it, there is definitely a circular theme

IMO (whatever happens to Tony) when season 6 finishes, one can start from the beginning:

- There will be another Tony, a power-hungry dominating thug

- There will be a Junior, a guy manipulated to take the fall

- There will be more of Mikey Palmice, Big Pussy, Brandon Filone, Ralph Cifaretto etc caught up in the inner squabbles

- There will be guys (in the mold of Tony B., Richie Aprile, Feech La manna) getting out of prison and wanting back in the action

- There will be more in the mold of Jackie Jr., Matt Bevilacqua, etc with not enough weight to fit in the shoes they dream of (possibly A.J. is one of them)

- There will be young and coming guys like Chris, making it (for a while)

They won't necessarily have the same names, but history is bound to repeat itself

Re: Orbits, Solar Systems, & Onion Rings (or How Circular Tr

#48
very good post pokahontaz. I agree that despite the apparent demise of Tony Soprano, the cycle that drives organized crime will continue. More criminals will come along to fill the void, and many of them will be family men with neuroses of their own, not unlike Tony.

But I think in some ways the end of the series also represents a finality of sorts. Perhaps keeping on the theme of celestial bodies motions what the final scene might also represent is entropy.

What the Sopranos also conveyed was the decline of the Italian mafia along with the 'old school' way of doing things. That scene where Patsy lamented how big business was displacing neighborhood shops (who provided protection money for the local mob) encapsulates that decline.

The death of Tony Soprano also signified the death of the Don.

Can I strongly urge all Soprano fans to watch Boardwalk Empire as it shows the birth of the Don and his emerging influence on American society and culture.

Re: Orbits, Solar Systems, & Onion Rings (or How Circular Tr

#49
Thanks conkom,

It is very interesting that you mention the 'old school' way of doing things.

Because this is exactly what I've been ruminating about. Tony dismisses A.J.'s behavior as childish, but we know very well that he was directionless at that age (dropped out of college ding ding ding) and that he probably has always struggled with depression. Obviously, the 50's & 60's was a different time to grow up, especially growing up a son of an italian wiseguy who was himself a son of an immigrant, so Tony buckled up all his depression as "Rage turned inwards".

Then you've got guys like Phil, Johnny Sack, Chris, even Paulie.

Starting with Chris, the most obvious one to represent the new wave of people that desecrate the codes & oaths. Isn't he mirroring Tony's deep down desires of escape? (then there is the parallel between them, one needs the AA the other one needs psychotherapy - but in Tony's mind it is not in the same league)

Then there is Phil, at one point Tony even tells Sil he is surprised, because Phil is "real old school, very low key". It turns out that Phil is ruled by his emotions, his Pride gets in the way of him having Santoro as a Boss, so he gets him whacked. That's not very old school. Also, Phil let's his emotions get in the way of the bottom line, entering a war that is gonna be costly. In a way, he mirrors Tony, a Jersey guy whose Pride doesn't let him take shit from anybody (in the Mafia world this is very close to a death sentence since he doesn't know his place). At one point Tony tells us "It's always about me!" which I foun very telling.

Johnny Sack could be the epitome of an 'old school' guy, but he isn't. He wants a made guy dead because of a joke? Even disrespects his Don over it?... He is not patient to get to the top seat, he was plotting to murder his Don, that would obviously be not sanctioned at the top of his family, therefore against the rules.... then He allocates (he cries in public, etc) which Tony condemns, but isn't Tony seeing a shrink in a way an allocation as well? He is gonna be talking, admitting things, admitting the existence of LCN at least.

Paulie, the perfect example of an 'old school' guy; older, experienced, dedicated, ruthless... a "stand up guy" in Beansie's words - why does he need to be such a blabbermouth tho? (& in a way, the grounds for his dismissal off the Army also reflect Tony's need for psychotherapy).


My whole point here, going off a huge tangent, was that the show portraying Tony's point of view, 'old school' is good & the way to go. He totally dismisses the likes of Matt Bevilacqua & Jackie Jr.. Chris gets on his nerves, as does A.J. Always for a similar reasons. However, my point here is Tony himself is the perfect example of someone that is not very old school: He goes to Therapy; He manipulates & disrespects his older Uncle; He is as Selfish as it gets; He vegetates in front of the TV (usually the History channel but films as well); He does drugs; He gambles & has ridiculously high needless expenses; He is powerless in his own house, etc etc

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