<blockquote>Quote:<hr>AJ is that constant reminder to Tony of who he was and is.<hr></blockquote>
I think that while there is a similarity between the two, and while Tony himself did once comment that AJ often did things that reminded him of his own shortcomings, it's overstating the case a bit to say that AJ is who Tony was and is. I personally feel that, while Tony has little more book learning under his belt than AJ does at this point in his educational career, Tony is INFINITELY more streetwise and innately clever than AJ ever could be. Tony's strategic skill in running the crime family is the kind that AJ has never, never exhibited. The "Wernick Files" on the HBO website in the first season described Tony, out of all the possible heirs to the position of boss after Jackie Aprile's death, as "the smartest duck in the pond". In the same season, Larry Boy Barese told Tony, "You've always been a f--kin' genius". Tony has also always been resourceful; remember the Season 1 episode "Down Neck", in which a young Tony Soprano cleverly stowed away in the trunk of his father's car to find out where Johnny kept taking Janice all the time? But AJ? It's not even really his propensity for mischief that causes me to call him stupid; I personally know many a brilliant child who was known for wreaking similar havoc. It's just a lack of basic common sense and intelligence that Tony has never displayed. At the end of Season 3, when the school principal bluffed AJ with phony "DNA samples" of his urine, AJ's response was, "He [the friend he cheated with] peed first! I only needed to pee after he went!" As Tony put it, "Even I managed to get through school without getting expelled!"
As Tony himself commented to Dr. Melfi, "AJ? In my business? No way. He'd never make it." As well, one should consider that Tony once compared MEADOW to himself as well. In the Season 2 episode "From Where to Eternity", Tony, slightly drunk, tells Meadow, "I tell people you're like your mother . . . but really, you're all me. Nothing gets by you."
If it's a mirror image of Tony you're looking for in his kids, I suppose I can understand not wanting to get rid of AJ, but then Meadow is certainly no worse a candidate. If anything, the two kids simply mirror different sides of their father's personality.
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>And the comment about AJ being disrespectful to his elders and especially his mom after the divorce.....Honestly that is what almost every teenage boy does in AJ's situation. <hr></blockquote>
As for that, while that is certainly true, remember that AJ has ALWAYS been an impudent little pr-ck. Not just after the divorce. Forgive the wording of my comment if it left the impression that that's what I was saying.
Tony has said this kind of thing before and it's just a product of how society is. Parents only want their own kids to live a better life then they did as a child. Because Tony wanted his family to have a better life then he did, he chose a life of crime to give his wife and kids whatever they wanted. They have no responsibility and no idea how to take care of themselves afterwards. We're seeing how Carmella and Meadow are dealing with it now and Meadow seems to be more in control, to which Carmella was obviously jealous of Meadow and Finn. AJ is probably dumber then Jackie Jr, but the difference is that I hear Jackie's parents let him get away with anything and we can see that Tony and Carmella do NOT want that same thing happening to AJ so they really try to put their foot down on him.