Re: Tony's "offering up" Melfi to Artie

CT, I have no idea why you would take such personal offense to a good faith effort to respond thoughtfully to one of your posts. I offered actual scenes and dialog from the show to support what I honestly felt was a point of view contrary to the one you expressed, yet you repeatedly (and snidely) dismissed those efforts as giving you an unecessary "history lesson".

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I would never dream of attacking a poster because I thought a few words in their entry were antonymous to other aspects of that particular post.<hr></blockquote>

I would ask you to quote the portion of my post that you felt constituted an "attack", but, frankly, I'm reluctant to give even that much credence to your charge. I can only say that there was absolutely no such intent or desire on my part at any time nor the slightest percpetion that anything I wrote could in any way be construed as an "attack" upon you as opposed to a reasoned response expressing a contrary view.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I can understand I may be 'hard to read' at times, but I really have been trying my best and considered my last post to be my most elementary submission thus far.<hr></blockquote>

For me, you are hard to read all the time (although I caught the misplaced bitterness in your last post fairly well). Up to now I've assumed your elaborate syntax and creative vocabulary are not on display for effect and are purely your natural, unlabored manner of expression.

You contribute many, extremely long posts to the forum, posts that must take you quite a while to compose. I see that they don't usually generate a proportional amount of discussion (undoubtedly because others have as much difficulty as I do at parsing them). And I've often desired to respond thoughtfully to something you write just to supportively acknowledge your efforts and to try to show appreciation for what you're saying. I recall issuing a short reply to you in another thread that conveyed, in a round about way, this desire.

I finally come to a post where I think I grasp enough of what you're saying to actually respond. In that process, I surmise that you are predicating a number of ideas on a proposition that I believe is contradicted by the weight of history on the show, i.e.:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>So why would he refer a potential "fucking suicide" to a system (and in-part, a person) he has little faith in when it comes to past history regarding such matters? (as well as in other significant areas.)<hr></blockquote>

I proceed to lay out some of the key history that I think counters this, not because I think you haven't ever seen it but because I obviously think you either weren't recalling it as you were posting or otherwise weren't giving it due consideration.

If I misinterpreted the quoted passage or was mistaken in viewing it as the foundation for your musings about Gloria (much of which I couldn't understand, thus my decision to ignore them), my apologies. A simple explanation from you to that effect would have sufficed instead of all the indignation.

Public Internet discourse with total strangers can be tricky and is best served when posters don't take a challenge to their ideas too personally. I'd not detected from you before any hyper sensitivity in that regard. If I had, I would have couched my disagreement with a few more "cushions", e.g., "You're point about the suicides is interesting, but I see it a little differently."

The irony in all of this, of course, is that I figured the best way to commend your posting efforts was to respond to them substantively because that would show my reciprocal effort to read and comprehend them. Actual agreement or disagreement was, I felt, irrelevant to that objective.

I would like to briefly resume substantive discussion on one point. You stated, with regard to Tony's "You saved my life in the beginning":

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>That's very true, but has absolutely nothing to do with a suicidal Tony!<hr></blockquote>

With absolutely no offense intended, I politely disagree with this. Tony himself has struggled with suicidal urges at times, especially in season 1. If you'll permit me another "history lesson", recall the depths of his depression in Isabella and his remark that since his life was "boxing them in" in therapy, he would take a gun and "blow his fucking head off". Melfi instantly recognized this as a signal of real, dangerous suicidal preoccupation, later confirmed in the car scene when he relates how he hadn't wanted to live and was surprised that, during the shooting, his survival instinct took over. In addition, Tony revealed many episodes prior his otherwise secret suicidal urges when he asked Christopher if he thought about "cancer" all the time and whether he ever thought about . . . [puts a finger pistol in his mouth and pulls the trigger]. Then of course there was the relapse of this deep depression near the end of season 2 when he has the dream of lighting himself on fire and wakes up crying that he "ought to just kill himself" and that life is "nothing", "everything's black".

It's because of scenes like these that I think his season 4 reference to Melfi having "saved his life in the beginning" refer to more than just her helping him with panic attacks that had him passing out behind the wheel.

Moreover, Gloria is the only suicide among Melfi's patients that Tony knows about that he has any reason to attribute to a lack of effective management by Melfi or to the shortcomings of psychiatry generally. She made it clear to him beforehand that she would be placing suicidal patients at risk by "lamming it". And the singular vitriol and naked anger she spewed at him in the coffee shop showed that she, at least, felt the patient who killed herself wouldn't have done so had Melfi been "available to her."

So I remain unpersuaded that Tony has had "little faith" -- until very recently -- in Melfi's ability to help suicidal or depressed patients. And after re-reading your post, that still seems to me to be the foundation for your central thesis, namely that this gesture of offering up Melfi to Artie shows very recent character change in Tony through some mechanism involving Gloria (which I still don't understand). The reason he's offering her up now, I believe, is primarily because he sees Artie falling back into that state of mind and, unlike last time, is not holding a grudge against Artie for likening him to a "hawk" that extended a loan entirely for personal profit and without the motive of genuine friendship.


Re: Tony's "offering up" Melfi to Artie

Fly, thanks for a timely response and, regarding your thoughts on Melfi 'saving Tony's life in the beginning' -

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>He stays with the therapy well beyond his initial inclinations and finally realizes in the season 1 finale how prescient Melfi was about his mother and the whole assassination plot. Before ordering her out of town, he thanks her for "being a good doctor" to him, the kind of accolade Tony seemed most unlikely to dole out to a shrink at season's beginning.<hr></blockquote>

I took your reference that she 'saved' Tony to solely relate to the assassination plot that you mention above.

I can understand the end of your post where you install "so to speak" after acknowledging Tony's reminder to Melfi (in S4) that she 'saved him in the beginning' relating to him 'being on the edge' at the time, could be construed as being relative to subsequent events transpiring throughout that particular season - but for me, only if you hadn't included 'so to speak' upon closing and focussed much more on this within said post, so to speak.

Amidst your scrupulous lecture on the 'finer' points of Tony's feelings about therapy throughout the seasons, you never once suggest that Tony was suicidal at any point. You elaborate highly on his belief in Melfi and psychotherapy after initially dismissing this and how (at the end of S1) he comes to thank her (for being forethoughtful regarding his mother) and then follow this with how he dallies with other forms of help, seeks her out in S2, and that this was the accession if you like, of his support of therapy in-general.

Only now, do you feel the need for another chronicle to inflect that this wasn't what you were saying in the first place.

When I said 'this has nothing to do with a suicidal Tony' directly after your S4 departing therapy comment, I state that it's 'very true' but refer only to the relative-quantity of what you reattributed within the essence of your post.

I apologise and concede here: I should have disambiguated this with: 'this has nothing to do with 'how you apperceive' a suicidal Tony.'

On other matters:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>You contribute many, extremely long posts to the forum, posts that must take you quite a while to compose. I see that they don't usually generate a proportional amount of discussion (undoubtedly because others have as much difficulty as I do at parsing them).<hr></blockquote>

That's very good, Fly, but I suspect serves to highlight that you consider yourself a very big fish, in a very small pond. You see, the way you overuse the term 'undoubtedly' here must be significant in the sense that you think a large number of posters do not reply to me because they cannot understand what it is I'm saying.

I have a million posts 'out there' that I'd love to respond to, but find time getting in the way of this. You don't consider for a second that this may be the case with others. To me, it's quality, not quantity that matters, and the replies I've had thus far (and some find their correlative way into other threads through time) have been absolutely outstanding.

I said:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>You blatantly ignored everything else I said and adjusted a sentence to suit yourself.<hr></blockquote>

Here I consider your communication as an attempt to belittle my thoughts (an attack). I make it clear throughout that I consider Tony to value Melfi and the therapy she provides.

Your initial response was:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>So I guess I just can't accept the central premise of your post, which is that Tony has come to some brand new acceptance of the value of Melfi or of therapy generally.<hr></blockquote>

This is what you're now arrogating you really said:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>So I remain unpersuaded that Tony has had "little faith" -- until very recently -- in Melfi's ability to help suicidal or depressed patients.<hr></blockquote>

I concentrated on how Tony may view therapy and his awareness that it may not be beneficial to all - ("fucking suicide(s)"). Now you're saying so did you - you didn't.
Yes, you are now, but that wasn't your central focus until recently. You diverged from my post stupendously, and as anticipated, you're now saying you honestly thought you were replying genuinely.

I know you're not 'stupid' Fly, but from the outset I made it clear that I thought Tony appreciates Melfi yet may consider some of her extension to be at odds with patients feeling suicidal. I wanted to question why he refers a "potential" to her because I feel (right or wrong) in-part, he may have some issues with this. Your first response didn't have anything to do with this - instead, you tried to say that I was postulating Tony was at odds with Melfi and therapy in-general.

Now you're saying you accentuated significant reference to Tony Vs. Therapy vis-a-vis Suicide. You didn't. Not then.

I say: "such matters", that = suicide here, Fly, and I find it hard to believe you 'honestly' couldn't see this.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>If I misinterpreted the quoted passage or was mistaken in viewing it as the foundation for your musings about Gloria (much of which I couldn't understand, thus my decision to ignore them), my apologies. <hr></blockquote>

Again, I will reiterate that you ignored the essentiality of my thoughts (out of sheer ignorance) and never once asked for clarification, instead feeling the need to counter a specific sentence in spite of everything else.

Why not ask for a little expounding on this (as I may have anticipated) before jumping in?

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I finally come to a post where I think I grasp enough of what you're saying to actually respond. <hr></blockquote>

Now, I'm not quoting you out of context here, okay? I make it perfectly clear at the origin of the post that serves to prolong this mutual tirade that I consider certain themes in Luxury Lounge to correspond with the keynote of Everybody Hurts (Hint: Big suicide episode - BIGGER Gloria episode.)

My entire post had everything to do with Gloria and Tony's feelings regarding her. It's blazingly obvious.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>The irony in all of this, of course, is that I figured the best way to commend your posting efforts was to respond to them substantively because that would show my reciprocal effort to read and comprehend them.<hr></blockquote>

Again, you ignore this, you do not do what you state above and instead, concentrate on nothing more than a sentence.

If you 'weren't sure' of her 'presence' in my post, then why not leave it alone or ask for illumination? I know you now have submitted a reason for this, but frankly, she was such an immeasurable part of this that I find your explanation of ignorance (and reasons for immersing yourself in a single sentence from said post) to be wholly at odds with the FlyOnMelfisWall I've come to understand from delivery here and at Sopranoland.

We're getting nowhere here. I know you're the boss and understand that you have to come out of 'this one' in particular, on top. I'm willing to let this drop (mostly for the part of maintaining further analysis of the show) and agree to disagree.

Where I will not back-down is in my conviction that this was an unwarranted incursion of my content (not solely born out of ignorance). I have too much respect for some of your previous thoughts to think that even I could confound the FlyOnMelfisWall I have come to know and like, and that she would just rush in without thinking to reply to certain ideas.

I'll admit to and apologise for my bitter tone throughout as this does nothing but protract discourse like this and because I truly feel it isn't reasonable in relation to the way you responded to my first post this thread. I'll say it was hastily reactive, in a way, probably allied by nature to your first reply to said post. I should point-out that you're just as good at this as I am therefore you should understand that when (for whatever reasons) a poster feels 'under-fire', a reaction like this may seem required.

I think your next move will be to counter, in particular, what I offered at the start of 'other matters' and that's fine. I'll extend the white-flag but must keep all my thoughts above intact. I'll close by saying that whatever happens next will be handled by myself in a tune more dignified than the best part of my previous post.


Re: Tony's "offering up" Melfi to Artie

The bottom line is the BOTH of you condescend not only to each other but everyone else on this board. But it’s in this real, subtle, annoying passive aggressive way – which completely sucks. Because I think it’s generally accepted that the two of you have the most insightful commentary out of all of us.

At the same time it’s only natural that the two of you are taking pot-shots at each other now with CT pretending to be outraged and Fly pretending to be ignorant. This has been along time coming if you ask me…I think Fly feels threatened by CT’s presence here and I think CT feels some silly need to “stick it” to Fly simply because she’s jealous of Fly’s status as “number one poster” and has been quite vocal about how she disagrees with Fly’s interpretation of the show. The both of you should grow up and stop bickering.


Re: Tony's "offering up" Melfi to Artie

Mr Gebowitz, you are already on extremely thin ice here. The next time you seek to provoke me or any other poster on this forum, you will be immediately, permanently banned.

I am also not going to tolerate any further posts in this thread (or any other) seeking to "weigh in", in one respect or another, to the personal confrontation, above, between me and Catherine Tramell. With very mixed feelings, I will let the posts thus far stand.


Re: Tony's "offering up" Melfi to Artie

Tuning into one of the substantive issues touched on by CT and FOMW previously, I'm intrigued by the question of how Tony views therapy.

CT seems to suggest that the failings of therapy in regards to the suicides must therefore indicate to Tony that therapy is ineffective, or if not to that extreme, at least limited in its applicability and utility in some circumstances. (please feel free to correct my perception of your argument if you feel I have mischaracterized it)

On the other hand, FOMW (and I myself) tend to see Tony's success story in therapy as an indication to him that therapy can be effective. Although Tony's "success" in therapy is largely hindered by his general unwillingness to introspect or delve into the real issues by communicating to Melfi his genuine emotions, he has had very few relapses into panic attacks, and has regained some emotional sensation where before he was paralyzed.

I don't think that Tony's faith in the system was shattered by the suicides. That they dealt a blow to his conception of therapy is, I think, unquestionable, but I don't believe that to have been a crippling blow. I was surprised that Tony attempted to refer Artie to MELFI, but thought it entirely consistent that he wanted to refer Artie to SOMEONE.

I honestly spotted the trees in spite of the forest, as in one of my earliest posts I didn't address the issue of whether Tony believes in therapy in the first place, I jumped straight to the issue of Melfi being the one he recommended Artie see. I do think Tony's belief in therapy is a good one to ask, and I appreciate this discussion here as to how effective he really believes therapy can be.

In other words, does Tony see therapy as a way for him to learn more about himself, his emotions, and move towards change and improvement in the way he handles his life vis a vis these elements, or does Tony see therapy as a way to go talk to Melfi, whom he likes as a person, about the things he can't really talk to anyone else about. I think Tony's expectations about what he can get out of therapy are highly relevant to any discussion. My take on the Artie thing was an endorsement of the view that therapy can really be a vehicle for change in one's life and world view. I of course welcome all thoughts!

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