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

#21
Well, it's nice to see that you ran through the five stages of grief so quickly, FOMW!

I'm still pondering this, but I too have been contemplating the circles and orbits and such. I think you've really nailed most of it, but I wanted to add that perhaps we haven't come full circle from the last episode back to the first, but have moved in a spiral (the widening gyre), where Tony/we keep on circling back while at the same time moving forward (on and on and on and on). On the one hand, Tony is right where he was at the beginning of the series, right where he was from the moment he entered the mob, in fact: with the twin threats of arrest and death hanging over his head. But he has, in fact, evolved and progressed. He hasn't had a panic attack in ages, he is more aware of his feelings, his family history, etc. He's even more accepting of Janice. And he comes right out and says the cat stays--he doesn't have to go to Melfi to ponder his feelings for the ducks or Pie-o-My or worry that his fondness for animals will be seen as a sign of weakness by the rest of the guys (what few are left).

One of my favorite films of all time is Before the Rain. I remember reading an interview with the director, Milcho Manchevski, and he talked about how history is a spiral--it repeats itself, but it's not a simple circle. It's easy to get caught in the spiral of war (violence spiraling out of control, death spirals, etc.) and keep going around endlessly. But in a spiral there is also forward momentum, and therefore opportunity for change and growth, because you never come back to exact same point in space and time again: you move both forward and out in ever widening circles, so we're not necessarily doomed to repeat a vicious cycle endlessly unless we allow ourselves to stay on spin cycle, so to speak, instead of maintaining that forward momentum.

So, instead of an arc, maybe Tony has been on a character spiral instead. There's room for limited growth and change, limited exercise of free will. You can't become a different person (become Kevin Finnerty), but you can slowly evolve.
Oh, there's my coffee. Well, didn't you bring me
any donuts or sweet rolls?

--Hank Quinlan

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

#22
I think it was pretty well spelled out for the audience when Journey’s “Anyway you want it” song title appeared right before Tony picks “Don’t stop Believing”. Clearly, Chase is saying the true ending is any way you want it to end. That is just my two cents.

I too went through the five stages but have finally come to accept the ending. I’m actually ok with it because it adds to the Sopranos mystique. Plus, I, like many others, will poor over those DVDs for years to come. For me, I’d hate to watch those old episodes knowing that eventually Tony would flip, or worse, Meadow would die horribly, or Tony would be murdered in front of his family.

Or maybe I liked the ending because now we are assured that the Sopranos will never die. We could see ten years worth of ‘will they’ or ‘will they not’ make a movie talk and rumor. Sure, everyone says there won’t be a movie, but everyone has a price. Right?

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

#24
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:If, through the infliction of death or catastrophic injury on Carmela and a number of years feeling guilt and grief because of it, Tony learns a new empathy, a new contrition, and a capacity to accept the frighteningly powerful force of absolute forgiveness, I believe he could be redeemed. And I believe that because I believe Christ is what he said he is: "the door", "the way, the truth, and the life" and that "no man cometh unto the Father but by me."


But he didn't. The message, which I have to finally accept, is that these characters have not changed, in even a little way. I don't think we can hold out hope that there will be some moment of clarity, because Chase showed us repeatedly that they weren't capable of acting on it. Tony may indeed be redeemed, but he would have to change, and he can't. In fact, it almost seems as if Chase is saying it's foolish to try. Is that really the message that God would have sent through him? I've having a hard time to that. Chase's vision of people and human potential seems much bleaker than what I hear every Sunday morning.

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

#25
chaseisgod wrote:But he didn't. The message, which I have to finally accept, is that these characters have not changed, in even a little way. I don't think we can hold out hope that there will be some moment of clarity, because Chase showed us repeatedly that they weren't capable of acting on it. Tony may indeed be redeemed, but he would have to change, and he can't. In fact, it almost seems as if Chase is saying it's foolish to try. Is that really the message that God would have sent through him? I've having a hard time to that. Chase's vision of people and human potential seems much bleaker than what I hear every Sunday morning.


Speaking of Sundays, I always thought it was neat that the Sopranos aired on Sundays.:icon_wink:

I hear what you're saying, believe me. But the point is I don't think Chase has ultimately told us anything other than that we write our own destinies and determine our own actions and character. He even stated something to this effect as his description of this season, that "Free will exists. Tony and Carmela are intelligent adults who've made choices and, as all of us, will have to live with the consequences of those choices." (I'll see if I can find the exact quote, but that's pretty close.)

That implies, of course, that there are consequences for their choices, though he doesn't ever spoon feed us what they are. Maybe it's just having to live many more years with the same anxieties and disappointments and shallow materialism and sensory indulgence that we've seen the last 8 years. But, beyond death, he seems to be saying that those who don't alter their orbits by moving toward the sun will one day reap, at best, a "big, black nothing" in infinite space.

Coma Tony Soprano sold precision optics, and he was expected at this Costa Mesa (wildfires proximate to Hell) convention (his name was on the list). High powered, precision optics would be necessary to view the sun if one were ejected into the space beyond our solar system (e.g., a comet that passed too close to a planet and left). He was expected to go on to Houston the next day, home of the space program. Space missions are only possible because rockets reach sufficient velocity to escape the earth's gravity (although satellites are in delicate orbital balance).

On the other hand, Kevin Finnerty sold solar heat (albeit defective) and he was from Kingman, Arizona, one of the hottest places in the country and the heart of the "mother road" of America. Interestingly, when Tony "got it" in K&H, he was in a Nevada (or Arizona, perhaps?) desert staring at a flaring, rising sun.

Tony lived through the coma only because he made a choice, i.e., was willing to embrace the identity of Kevin Finnerty at death's door. The Kevin Finnery identity came complete with a lawsuit that demanded he "take responsibility" and provide the solar heat he promised and a diagnosis of Alzheimer's that guaranteed he would have a serious identity crisis that he could not arrest unless he "talked to his doctors back home" (Melfi). Even then Tony acknowledged that he would spend "10 or 15 years as a smurf and would then die, shitting in his pajamas."

"Shitting in his pajamas" is, to me, interesting in itself in that Tony compared real, honest, constructive therapy to "taking a shit." (The observation came during what was easily his single-most eventful and palpably successful session in UBM.) In Test Dream, "singing" made Makazian need to "tinkle," likening honest confession in therapy to bodily excretion. So this makes me think that Tony will not die until he has spent enough time "shitting" in therapy. And he had only just begun to do that in season 6B.

All very elusive and indefinite, I know, but it's what I've been going with in order to reconcile K & H with everything else.
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

#26
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:
That implies, of course, that there are consequences for their choices, though he doesn't ever spoon feed us what they are. Maybe it's just having to live many more years with the same anxieties and disappointments and shallow materialism and sensory indulgence that we've seen the last 8 years. But, beyond death, he seems to be saying that those who don't alter their orbits by moving toward the sun will one day reap, at best, a "big, black nothing" in infinite space.


Love reading your posts, but could you please explain what you mean by "altering their orbits by moving towards the sun" ??
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Don't Stop....:eek::confused: :icon_cry:

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

#27
clementine wrote:Well, it's nice to see that you ran through the five stages of grief so quickly, FOMW!


Yup, 24 hours isn't bad.:icon_biggrin:

perhaps we haven't come full circle from the last episode back to the first, but have moved in a spiral (the widening gyre), where Tony/we keep on circling back while at the same time moving forward (on and on and on and on).


That's a very interesting take and certainly allows for aging if nothing else. I'd argue that, if it's a spiral, it's one with small radial shifts or very little forward movement. Here's a salient Chase quote from today's Star Ledger:

[font=arial,sans-serif][size=84] Much of this final season featured Tony bullying, killing or otherwise alienating the members of his inner circle. After all those years of viewing him as "the sympathetic mob boss," were we, like his therapist Dr. Melfi, supposed to finally wake up and smell the sociopath?[/SIZE][/font]
[font=arial,sans-serif][size=84]
[/SIZE][/font]
[font=arial,sans-serif][size=84] "From my perspective, there's nothing different about Tony in this season than there ever was," Chase says. "To me, that's Tony."[/SIZE][/font]


Don't know that I agree with him as I don't think the Tony of season 1 would ever have done, or reacted afterward, anyway, as Tony did in K & H. I accept that it took Chase a couple of seasons to fully find the character (and fully gauge audience reaction to him), just as Gandolfini used a different accent his first season or two.

In any event, I can concur on that basis with your spiral analogy. Come to think of it, onion rings are all of different diameters, and if they come from the same onion, essentially represent the widening (or changing) gyre of second coming.
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

#28
Johny Foulmouth wrote:Love reading your posts, but could you please explain what you mean by "altering their orbits by moving towards the sun" ??


Here's a blurb from Wikipedia:

A comet is a small body in the solar system that orbits the Sun and (at least occasionally) exhibits a coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail — both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comet's nucleus, which itself is a minor body composed of rock, dust, and ice. Comets' orbits are constantly changing: their origins are in the outer solar system, and they have a propensity to be highly affected (or perturbed) by relatively close approaches to the major planets. Some are moved into sun grazing orbits that destroy the comets when they near the Sun, while others are thrown out of the solar system forever.


Don't know how relevant this is to Chase's vision, but this is also at Wikipedia:

[Comets] were usually considered bad omens of deaths of kings or noble men, or coming catastrophes.


Obviously this is perfectly consistent with the theory that Tony was whacked, never saw it coming, and that his orbit took him out of the solar system forever into deep, black, nothingness. He'll never go near that sun and hear ducks again, like he did in MIA right before he went to dinner.
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

#29
Hi to everyone here! I've been lurking here at the Chase Lounge since right before the move from Sopranoland - and many times I've wanted to post, but frankly the insight and analysis here has been so phenomenal, that I was always gleaning far more than what I ever could've come up with on my own. It's a wonderful community.

And of course, it goes without saying that I've very much enjoyed being given the opportunity to simply be a fly on FlyOnMelfi'sWall, lol. And hence, the reason my finally having stepped out of lurkerdom...

So I was just looking at the wikipedia entry about the Journey song, Don't Stop Believin', and my eye fell upon the accompanying photo of the album cover for the single and I just about fell out of my chair!! I'm not sure if I ought to post the actual image here in the forum, as I haven't read through the posting rules yet, ahem. But I was just so amazed by this lil' discovery, that I just had to post it asap! So I'll just include the link to the album cover art(forgive me if someone has posted about this detail already)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Don%27t_Stop_Believing.jpg

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

#30
elliott wrote:So I was just looking at the wikipedia entry about the Journey song, Don't Stop Believin', and my eye fell upon the accompanying photo of the album cover for the single and I just about fell out of my chair!! I'm not sure if I ought to post the actual image here in the forum, as I haven't read through the posting rules yet, ahem. But I was just so amazed by this lil' discovery, that I just had to post it asap! So I'll just include the link to the album cover art(forgive me if someone has posted about this detail already)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Don%27t_Stop_Believing.jpg


Elliot, welcome to the forum. Glad you decided to unlurk.:icon_wink:

That's a great find there. Because of the bigger fish in the frying pan, I hadn't even gotten around to expressing my elation that a great Journey song was used to close the show. They were my favorite band, certainly of the 80s if not beyond. (Now if Chase had chosen an Elton John/Bernie Taupin classic instead, I'd be more in orbit than Tony right now.:icon_biggrin:)

Back to the cover. I recognize it because I have the original vinyl for the "Escape" album that song is from. But I'd totally forgotten that artwork! Nice catch. I'm going now to find my original LP and compare it with that jpg, since perhaps that was a separate art piece just for the single.

"Escape" is an interesting thought now that it comes up. Makes me think about escape velocity.

"Any Way You Want It" was not from that album but from an earlier Journey album. As someone else pointed out in another thread, that's obviously a little artistic license there. Close enough in my book, especially since this is the digital age. I have a hard time believing there are many places at all left that play actual vinyl singles in a jukebox, but I could be wrong. In a modern jukebox, I'd suspect they could keep the A/B format for old time's sake but fill it with whatever combination of songs they like, so long as they've negotiated the deal with ASCAP/BMI.

I'm most proud that David didn't let the fact that the song was popular and that the band was very commercially successful for a number of years influence his choice. His quote about playing it for the crew as they were riding in a van made it sound like he had to defend the use of a Journey song. Neil Schon and Steve Smith are too musically accomplished and Steve Perry's intonation and voice are far too magnificent to make Journey "cool" in some quarters, I suspect.:icon_biggrin: But they are definitely cool to me.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

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