dsweeney wrote:Fly, I am simply pointing out that a lot of viewers seem to gloss over the fact that Tony is a career criminal, a multiple murderer and a sociopath. A cheating husband, a racist and somewhat homophobe. Oh and in case I forget, a fat greedy bastard.
Maybe this is the point though , that the viewer, like Melfi to at least SOME degree, is somehow charmed by him. Taken in by him. If this was Chase's intent then he succeeded in spades. But I find it strange for instance that not many people like Christopher but find things in Tony they can like. What did Ritchie do, apart from make Beansie a cripple ? Did he murder anybody ? No. As a person is Phil any worse than Tony ? No, he isn't.
Because Tony is broken up about Pie people feel he is at some level a good person. Because he is so upset over Tracee people think he's a good guy really. They forget though how he had Adriana killed like an animal in the woods. Melfi finally realises this is all part of his profile as a sociopath. "The crocodile tears" etc. I ,for one, am not taken in by Tony Soprano's charms. That's all I was saying.
I know dsweeney won't be able to reply now, but there were a couple of points here that I felt I wanted to address.
Primarily, the notion of 'Tony the homophobe'.
Personally, I think Tony is one of the more liberal characters on the show, or at least 'live and let live'.
The obvious example here is Vito. It wasn't Tony who whacked him, it was Phil. In fact, Tony was more concerned with the bottom line than what Vito choose to do 'of a weekend'.
It's also worth remebering that when there was real outrage, Tony did retort to Sil with 'it's not like he's the first' and on other occassions did stick up for Vito.
If Tony was homophobic, he was far more scared of lost income.
I also think the comments about him being racist are slightly wide of the mark. Yes, racist comments were made and he did exhibit signs of racism, however, by stating that 'he' was racist, it almost exonerates the culpability of the society from which he came.
As Carmella said, Tony was from a very different time, where he thought he was doing the right thing. If he has a problem with people of different ethnicities, the blame for that problem rarely lies with the individual.
The society he grew up in was one of racial intolerance, the Italian-american subculture was also one that thrived in the 60s, hence the constant JFK nostalgia. It's not unfeasible to think that all members of the subculture yearn for that time again, a time where overt racism was not only acceptable, but encouraged amongst the larger populace in both America and over here in the UK.
However, with the obvious exceptions, what is now deemed racist may not have been construed as racism, or at least extreme racism in years gone by. For example, there are TV shows over here that were built on race jokes. These shows were shown in the 70s, and could never be repeated now. They weren't deemed offensive back then, to people of any ethnicity, but we are now programmed to take them as being offensive.
To brand Tony homophobic and racist would be somewhat of a misnomer as far as I'm concerned. It would be more appropriate to brand him greedy and living in a time warp. His racism, and indeed most of his other negative traits, are the product of a mix of individual personality and upbringing. In the great nature vs nurture debate, Tony is a prime example of amalagamtaion.
Maybe he is just lazy and goes with the flow. After all, his father was in it, his uncle was in it....