Re: Carmela's Denial Of Her Own Behavior

#32
Great ideas, all.
Fly--you wrote:
"It is grounded in the insidiously destructive and socially unworkable notion that some subgroups of people are inherently less capable than others, or should be considered such, and should be judged on an entirely distinct standard of merit or achievement than the ostensibly more capable subgroups, even as the disparate subgroups are acknowledged to be part of the same unified human race."

I agree entirely. We cringed when Tony threw the word C**t
at Melfi. I had the same visceral reaction when Wegler dropped the word "p***y" at Carm.

My two cents...probably said here before, too...

Wegler is, in every respect, Tony's opposite. Lean, bookish,
artsy, smooth-talking, effeminate, and not at all in tuned to Tony (and Carmela's) credo that "you do favors for people you love". Even his sexual style I think was set up as being different from Tony's (she tells Ro "I can tell you he took his time...")

This is one thing that is/was missing from Carm's life with Tony...Tony doesn't take his time. He's always rushing, everything seems frenzied with him, from eating to sex. Carm prepares these huge painstakingly made meals from scratch and Tony eats and runs. How many times? And I think she yearns for some kind of conversation that I think she and Tony once had...talking in the car...talking like they talked early in "Whitecaps". That's why one of the caveats for AJ's return to the house was that he share his life with her a little bit. That is why--and someone said this before me--I kept hoping that when he was lingering around the kitchen, that Tony would say something, anything, conciliatory to Carm.
Something. Touch her shoulder. She's so touch-starved and connection-starved, that she made the mistake of getting involved with a pompous, two-bit administrator.

She thinks that the answer to what she's missing from her marriage is found outside of Tony. I'm not sure that it is.

</p>

Re: re

#33
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Get it through your heads women, men go get lucky while you keep your legs closed. Sorry if that upsets you. <hr></blockquote>

If the women keep their legs closed, who do the guys get lucky with?

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Re: FlyonMelfi'sWall

#34
I'm surprised you don't think Carmela was manipulating Wegler (for sex, and for AJ), just as he was manipulating her (for sex). You think her pre- and post-coital concerns about AJ's collegiate future were just normal pillow talk?

On the other subject -- on who is being held to a higher standard -- there is a huge difference, I believe, between Tony and Carmela, and I'm not saying that to justify his sociopathic behavior or to suggest he should get a free pass. The question is, Who is being a hypocrite?

At least outwardly, Tony accepts he's a mobster. He doesn't ask the priest to forgive him, he doesn't look for an out as an informant, he doesn't pretend to be something he isn't. (Internally, his psyche is trying to tell him something; hence, the anxiety attacks.) But he's still, for the most part, clueless.

Carmela, on the other hand, refuses to accept she's a mobster's wife. Everything that happens to her is somebody else's fault. The house, the clothes, the cash -- that's just the benefits of being in the waste management business, right? She is definitely not clueless.

Tony doesn't know any better. Carmela does and goes along anyway. There is a moral difference. She has more self-knowledge, and her psyche (and the writers) are punishing her accordingly.



</p>

Re: Carmela's Denial Of Her Own Behavior

#35
I love this discussion thread.

As for the post coital talk...what it sounded to me like, when Weg shared that he was a slacker in school and he snapped out of it, and Carm asked him to tell AJ that...was that she was looking for this man to give "fatherly advice" to her son.

Now you know and I know that that wouldn't work. AJ, like his dad, can't even think of Wegler without thinking of him as gay. But Carmela wants a strong male role model for her son and she knows that right now, Tony's NOT that...and AJ knows that too (hence the "yeah, just add coming home drunk" comment AJ makes to Tony, one that hits home)

One last quick thing. My two cents is that I don't think that Carmela really has more self-knowledge than Tony. Is he a hedonist? You bet. Sociopathic? Definite tendencies. Narcissist? Most likely. But is he unaware of his screw ups? I don't think so. If anything, I think she's more naive than he. I just think that his bravado won't allow him to speak to the self-knowledge, and her lack of bravado (most of the time) will allow her to admit her failings. His true self is like that portrait Dorian Gray kept in the attic....covered up, so he wouldn't be reminded of it, and an expensive suit was enough to hide a multitude of sins....for a while.

</p>

Carmela

#36
My take on why some viewers are so harsh on Carmela is that when she shows signs of immorality, a sense of disappointment is cast because she is different than Tony. We expect that stuff from Tony but when someone who knows better does it, the act stings more and we tend to pass a harsher judgement on that person, even though that person's actions pale in comparison to Tony's.


</p>

Re: re

#37
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>F*ck her, she's a stupid b*tch if she didn't see it coming. It's as simple as this: Tony is allowed to cheat and Carmela isn't. Women who watch the show get their panties in a knot because its sooo sexist. Well, sorry but that's the way the world has worked since day 1. Get it through your heads women, men go get lucky while you keep your legs closed. Sorry if that upsets you. <hr></blockquote>

cody206, I'm sure your relationships with women are interesting, to say the least.:-)

I'm reminded of one of Meadow's better lines to Tony in the show's history: "How do you stay so hip?"

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Re: FlyonMelfi'sWall

#39
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I'm surprised you don't think Carmela was manipulating Wegler (for sex, and for AJ), just as he was manipulating her (for sex). You think her pre- and post-coital concerns about AJ's collegiate future were just normal pillow talk?<hr></blockquote>

Frankly, I don?t think either one of them were manipulating the other in the beginning, although Wegler was guilty of that and worse by the end (him blaming HER for HIS own voluntary, volitional act of approaching Fisk and his revoltingly self-exculpatory accusation that she ?strong armed? him using her pu$$y as a ?weapon?). I would refer you back generally to my post of (4/12/04 10:42 pm) for how I view Carmela?s motivations and the propriety, or lack thereof, of her pillow talk.

I?ll add here that ?manipulation" requires some degree of conscious, considered behavior whereby (in Carmela?s case) the "reward" of sex was offered or withdrawn for the express purpose of obtaining a desired objective (help for AJ's college prospects). I find NOTHING in this episode to suggest that Carmela's sexual vicissitudes were conscious. To me, they largely grew out of her waxing and waning guilt over violating her marriage vows and out of her preoccupation with AJ's problems, i.e., her consequent disinterest in sex -- "stomach in knots" -- when she was troubled that AJ had tried to cheat and her ensuing elation (manifested in waxing sexual appetite for Wegler) when she discovered Wegler had gone to Fisk on AJ's behalf.

Perhaps the most important point of the episode was to illustrate how Carmela is unconsciously, unknowingly tainted by the highly materialistic, practical, one-to-one, quid pro quo way she sexually related to Tony during their 20-year marriage. In that time, he often gave expensive gifts immediately before sex, typically to assuage his guilt for some affair or other wrong to Carmela but with the outward purpose of enticing sex. And these gifts were received as sexual enticements by Carmela: the emerald ring was followed by a highly sexual, prolonged kiss; the fur coat Tony would only let her try on naked, and she expressed her gratitude by mounting him on the bed; the Saks dress was given after Tony felt guilty for having dismissed her financial concerns, and she barely had the dress on before Tony was lowering the straps and hiking up the skirt to slip her you-know-what. When they sign the contract to buy Whitecaps, they are holding hands and walking on the beach and share a kiss that features a whole lot of tongue, suggesting that there was some hot sex later that night. And significant to me is that, with the coat and the dress, the sex took place while Carm was still WEARING them (yuck!), underscoring the one-to-one, mercantile nature of their expressions of affection, that they were literally wallowing in the commerce of things-for-sex.

The dress, in fact, was late in the same episode where Tony yelled at Carm, ?The problem . . . is you equate love with money?, which she threw back in his face, ?No, you?re the one that equates love with money!? In Whitecaps, Carm reveals she might have continued to accept his cheating if Tony had been the least bit loving toward her, interested in her, which Tony counters with, ?Whose idea was Whitecaps?? She says, ?It?s just a bigger version of an emerald ring so you can keep on with your other life.?

The sad fact is that they are both right. I don?t doubt that they both genuinely love each other. But Tony almost always expresses his love by buying things, and, for many years, Carmela was all too willing to accept that in lieu of more personal, abstract, or thoughtful expressions of love. She?s the one who changed the status quo in Whitecaps. But the quid-pro-quo way of sexually expressing gratitude for a gift or favor from a man is apparently so well ingrained in her that it is completely second nature.

It was this unconscious, natural way she?s learned to express gratitude and her frank, unpretentious understanding that ALL relationships rely on mutuality and reciprocity (a truth that is beyond challenge) that I think has people unfairly accusing her of ?manipulating? Wegler.

I?ve said before and I?ll say again: the most potent contradictions to these accusations lie in the consistently giddy, genuinely excited words and tone she displayed when talking about Wegler to Ro and the priest and when privately daydreaming. These anecdotes are the most reliable indicia of Carm?s true motives because Wegler himself wasn?t involved, and she had no motive to feign excitement or interest she didn?t feel. This woman was NOT standing around scheming about how to use sex to get AJ into college. She was ?walking on clouds?, talking about smoldering ?intensity? in the looks they exchanged, wondering how this ?passion? that had been unleashed in her could ever be put back in a bottle, inferring that Wegler was a lot more interested in pleasing her sexually than Tony ever was, and smiling naughtily while peeling a cucumber! Does that sound like someone who?s ?using? Wegler for AJ? The only time she ever mentioned AJ in connection with Wegler was to Wegler himself, which is the very time Carm would have MOST reason to hide a secret agenda. Apparently, the same unpretentious, say-what?s-on-your-mind quality that attracted Wegler was what eventually turned him off when AJ was too often what was on her mind.

Moreover, I felt genuine, deep hurt from Carmela at the end, something that is far more consistent with being misjudged than with being busted on something you know or believe you?re guilty of. Her depressed stillness and resigned tears on the bed when she said her motives will always be misread led me to believe she was very genuine that her real motives HAD been misread by Wegler.

Lastly, I found her threat to Wegler interesting. When she stormed out of Wegler?s house, she was crying, ?I actually thought you cared about me?. She was so hurt and desirous of returning the favor that she fell back on the very background she was trying to escape, using Tony (not her pu$$y) as a weapon. This fallback was in parallel to Tony B?s reversion to the very background HE was trying to escape when he found himself under severe pressure. As the coy (sp?) that was flopping on the floor, they were both ?fish out of water?.


</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub132.ezboard.com/bsopranolandforum.showUserPublicProfile?gid=flyonmelfiswall>FlyOnMelfisWall</A> at: 4/14/04 12:23 am

Re: Tony's Hypocrisy (was FlyonMelfi'sWall)

#40
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>On the other subject -- on who is being held to a higher standard -- there is a huge difference, I believe, between Tony and Carmela, and I'm not saying that to justify his sociopathic behavior or to suggest he should get a free pass. The question is, Who is being a hypocrite?

At least outwardly, Tony accepts he's a mobster. He doesn't ask the priest to forgive him, he doesn't look for an out as an informant, he doesn't pretend to be something he isn't.

. . .

Tony doesn't know any better. Carmela does and goes along anyway. There is a moral difference. She has more self-knowledge, and her psyche (and the writers) are punishing her accordingly.
<hr></blockquote>

chaseisgod (BTW, I love your screen name!), that's an interesting argument, but I'm not persuaded. I find Tony to be an even bigger hypocrite than Carmela.

Just because he doesn't seek acceptance from a priest or a church doesn't mean he doesn't fill every day of his life with lies and pretensions about who and what he is. The exemplars for this fact pour into my head with such rapidity that I'm dizzy trying to select just a few:

(1) His ridiculous defense of his criminal lifestyle (to Melfi) on the grounds that he and his mob cronies are "soldiers" who follow "codes", as though there is anything honorable in stealing, institutional corruption, drug dealing, and loansharking, with murder and extortion as the tools of enforecment and as though the "codes" built to further such aims aren't broken as often as they're followed. While I'm hardly one to believe that all of what real soldiers do is honorable, I'm sure that families of the soldiers who died for the truly noblest of causes, like liberating Jews from Nazi Germany, will particularly appreciate the soldier comparison.

(2) His equally hypocritical explanation to Meadow that all his criminality is magnanimously just to earn money for her and AJ and the echo of this 3 seasons later to Melfi, that the mob is "just how Tony Soprano feeds his children".

(3) His insulting comparison of his plight (a mob son who made it into Seton Hall University?) to the political and social oppression that confronted 19th-early 20th century Italian immigrants, again a ludicrous comparison offered to justify his criminal conduct.

(4) His incensed denial, followed by grudging, watered-down admission to Meadow, of how he earns money, even in an episode where he murders a mob rat while taking Meadow to visit colleges and later lies about it to her. The episode features him ruminating on a quote from Hawthorne that reads something like, "No man can wear one face in public and another in private without finally becoming confused as to which is true." That is hypocrisy -- and Tony -- in a nutshell, with the only difference being that the "public" he deceives are really his extended family.

(5) His continual lies to Carmela about his infidelity, though a certain amount of that deception was perfunctory.

(6) His continual lies in therapy about who-did-what in some matter that he is vaguely relating and badly distorting to Melfi (e.g., telling her Carmela burned him and "can be very violent" when in reality his Russian mistress burned him with a candle, which he was hypocritically hiding from Melfi because he didn't want to reveal he was a philanderer; telling Melfi that Carmela wouldn't let Livia live in his house, hoping to give himself the appearance of being a caring son that would bend over backwards for his mom when other scenes make clear that Carmela had invited Livia to live with them on a number of occasions and that TONY was the one who wouldn't let it happen).

(7) I would have to invoke most of Tony's behavior in "Irregular Around the Margins" as sterling recent evidence of his hypocrisy. Offhand, he tried to pretend to Chris, Tony B, and Carmela that he was somehow "above" banging Ade, when (at least under the prevailing circumstances) he clearly wasn't. He lied and pretended to Melfi that "he" controlled himself in the Ade encounter. He hilariously quipped to Tony B when the latter informed him of Chris beating up Ade and threatening Tony S, "where's his self control?" Just a tad hypocritical, you think? He pretended to Carm and Meadow that he wasn't using drugs. His very use of drugs furthered his hypocrisy toward Chris given his moralizing lectures on the same topic.

The man is a mass of contradictions and lies, which are the fundamental elements of hypocrisy. And while Carmela engages in her fair share of the same, she lags a good ways behind Tony IMO.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub132.ezboard.com/bsopranolandforum.showUserPublicProfile?gid=flyonmelfiswall>FlyOnMelfisWall</A> at: 4/14/04 12:24 am

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