the President Lincoln clip

#1
I truly enjoy those scenes where we see Tony eating ice cream, watching some movie or show on the the History Channel. Ya know, the shows we all watch actually do reaveal a bit more of our own personalities. The same can be said of Tony. We've been priviledged to gain more insight into his personality when we see the different telivised programs that he takes time to find. Remember when his mom died and they showed (somebody please verify?) the flick Public Enemy, where the main character is talking to his mother???

In this episode, they give us the picture of Abraham Lincoln and then we see Tony (eating ice cream) listening to the following:

"For some people, depression is a form of forced introversion...and in Lincoln's case..." (fade out)

Are we lead to believe then that Tony's need for therapy and use of Prozac is due to the fact that he is a victim of circumstance?? Is this mental condition inevitable for many of today's leaders? Perhaps David Chase is channelling some of his own current mood towards Tony via President Lincoln.

There were some comments from Sil and others, several seasons ago where they stated that Tony has isolated himself up there at the top of the mountain. So, when T gets disallusioned, is it self inflicted or a consequence of his position?

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Re: the President Lincoln clip

#2
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Are we lead to believe then that Tony's need for therapy and use of Prozac is due to the fact that he is a victim of circumstance?? <hr></blockquote>

I'm not sure I totally undertsand this question - do you mind expanding on it a bit?


I thought the Lincoln clip was interesting as well, not least because I watched the special as well and thought it was a good documentary on a topic that generally doesn't get a lot of attention outside a small faction within the Lincoln scholar community. (Lincoln's depression)

I wasn't sure whether I knew everything I needed to about the concept of 'forced introversion' - so I did a handy dandy Web search and found this in a review of the DVD (which apparently is available)

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>some of the historians and other talking heads taking part in director Vikram Jayanti's two-part, 140-minute documentary suggest that Lincoln's greatness came not in spite of these burdens but because of them, as his own "forced introversion" made him supremely empathetic to others. <hr></blockquote>

Is Tony (gasp) on the verge of greatness?! Now there's an ending noone expects!

more seriously, is there a link here to Tony visiting Phil in the hospital? T, at least on the surface, was extremely empathetic. This is really going out on a limb, but maybe Tony finally acknowledging that he remembers at least parts of his Finnerty experience will trigger the long rumored 'change' of Tony Soprano?

Or more simply, maybe this idea seeped into Tony's mind and influenced his decision to reach out to Phil?

On a more straightforward note, my take on the Lincoln clip was that it served as a reminder that Tony IS a depressed man. IMO, sometimes it's easy to forget this because his depression is contained and Tony is functioning, relatively speaking.

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Re: the President Lincoln clip

#3
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Are we lead to believe then that Tony's need for therapy and use of Prozac is due to the fact that he is a victim of circumstance?? <hr></blockquote>

I was referring to the "forced introversion" comment by the Lincoln narrator. As a leader at the top of a powerful organization (can be a country, corporation, etc), the leader is unable to engage in extroverted activities like those below you (middle management, Senators, etc.). The Beatles once said that they felt sorry for Elvis because he had nobody around him who understood what he was going through. However, the Beatles had 3 other people who they could compare notes with.

Tony, at the top of his mountain, has to make decisions unilaterally. Moreover, he isn't even supposed to wear shorts anymore (according to Carmine Sr). As a boss, he technically needs to act like a boss, and be a role model for his crew instead of engaging in those activities of a capo. It wouldn't look right if Tony acted like a capo rather than a boss. Even in this forum, FOMW conducts herself like a boss, and the capos act like capos (mods). The "forced introversion" is absolutely necessary for any leader of a large organization because he sets the tone for the entire culture of the organization. The "forced introversion" is part of the job description.

So, if Tony doesn't have a shoulder to cry in among his crew, he is "forced" to shy away from those activities and others. Hence, the introversion results in isolation and possibly depression. His mood is changed as a result of the circumstances he finds himself in, and therapy/Prozac becomes the remedy.

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Re: the President Lincoln clip

#4
Thanks. that's basically what i thought you meant. but was curious about your use of the phrase 'victim of circumstance.' i mean if you think about it - we are all victims of circumstance to some extent, right?

sorry in advance if this is meandering too much off your larger point, but IMO, figuring out the root of a chronic depression is often simply not possible, it turns into a chicken/egg thing.
more often than not it's a confluence of factors. Also, as someone who unfortunately has a lot of first-hand experience with this topic, I am nervous about equating 'being isolated at the top' with a true depression. It may make people, such as Tony, more suseptible, but probably no more so than a myriad of other stressful situations, such as being impoverished, imprisoned, abused, stuck in a dead-end job, etc.

Obviously the stress of T's job and role as boss doesn't help things and we've seen it act as a trigger. but in my very humble opinion, Tony's despair and ennui goes much deeper than any 'forced introversion' as a result of being boss. that said, i think you bring up interesting points and i hope others respond to them because i thnk it would make a good discussion.

i would note that Tony first goes to see melfi is as a capo, not a boss. also, Lincoln's depression definitely predated his presidency and the special Tony was watching argues that it made Lincoln a BETTER president - that it 'fueled his greatness' and gave him insight that a less reflective/introspective leader may have lacked



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