(or, The Sopranos as Metaphor for our Culture of Crime)
“Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun…
your momma always said you’d be the
She said, “You’re one in a million,
You’ve got to burn to shine”...
Born under a Bad Sign, with a
Blue moon in your eyes…”
(from the theme song of the HBO series)
I avoided watching “The Sopranos” until three weeks ago. When the series began, too much was happening in my life for me to focus on it. I had been raised by a Sicilian step-father, and he was still alive. That was enough of the vibe to deal with, even though he was in no way associated with the Mafia. Many of the cultural dynamics are shared by Italians, Mafia or not. The Church, the “Family,” the resentment of authority figures, the justifications for their anger, the abuse, as well as their love of food, art, education, sense of humor, and drive to succeed. I’m not trying to be stereotyping. That’s just my experience. My dad was raised in
Anyway, my father has long-since passed, and Murph and I decided to catch up on the seven years of “The Sopranos” that we had missed by ordering it on Netflix. One can watch a whole year’s worth in only a couple of weeks that way (with no commercials). We are on year three, and by now I have not been able to get the theme-song out of my head for the last three days.
But, what I am noticing is that “The Sopranos” seems to be a metaphor for our whole culture of crime, exploitation, and violence. The Italians certainly have no corner on the market of crime. In fact, compared to the Royal and the international banking families (Rothchilds, Rockefellers, et al) they are small potatoes (except for the Papistry). In fact, I find my self sympathetic to the Sicilians – they’ve been worked over by them all. No wonder they are pissed.
I’m assuming that pretty much everyone has watched the series but us. But, in case that’s not true, I’ll apprise a little of what the story is so far, in case you don’t know. “T,” or Tony Soprano is the head of a crime family in
Meanwhile he comes home each day to a house on a hill in a ruling class neighborhood, surrounded by doctors and country-club types, and sends his kids to school with the heavy expectation that they will do well in the future, seemingly freed from this necessary life of crime. Tony’s wife, Carmella, does volunteer work, supports the Church, organizes school functions, and spends much of her time cooking and responding to everyone’s angst by justifying it and comforting them with food. A classic enabler, she teaches the kids how to go along with the corruption and puts a veneer of respectability on the whole twisted system. She reads Time Magazine, watches Oprah, reads the self-help books, even directs Tony to seek therapy to deal with his anxiety attacks. Tony is on Prozak, like much of the
Much like a lot of the business class in the greater culture, they are in denial about the exploitation, violence and theft upon which their lives are based. The offspring of these miscreants are funneled into the “best” schools.
The problem is that once in these fields, they bring their criminal values with them. When one looks at the fraud, duplicity, hypocrisy, and sociopathic disconnect to the greater good of humanity that is the cultural poison in which we are all immersed, it becomes easier to understand. All of the ruling class offspring of all the differing ethnic crime families gather at the springboards into power that our "best" universities have become. From these leadership positions, they have taken control.
How else can executives of the Monsanto Corporation justify poisoning the global food supply with their genetically engineered Franken-foods? What story do they tell themselves about the 600,000 Indian farmers who have killed themselves in their despair of having destroyed the future of their families due to using their genetically altered seeds and petro-chemical based fertilizers? What about Big Pharma responsible for more deaths by far than the illegal “recreational” drugs that are such a supposed scourge? How about the IMF, responsible for the destruction and debt servitude of whole nations? How about the plastics and oil industry pollution that poisons our people into cancer in every family and the deaths of 200 species a day? How about the doctors guilty of Medicare fraud, ripping off the taxpayers for millions of dollars each year? How about Monsanto (again) manufacturing Nutra-sweet that leads to tumors and possible Alzheimer’s and autism in children? How about the international arms manufacturers, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, and land mines horribly mutilating children for generations to come?
How about FOX News, who just rounded out their fascist “journalists” with the greatest political criminal mastermind since Rasputin, Carl Rove? Or our own little Carmella Soprano, Katie Couric, and her brothers Brian Williams, Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer, etc. who feed us a shallow, but tasty, concoction of mental smörgåsbord that is as poisonous as the Big Pharma drugs and toxic product advertising that support the mainstream media fabrications which keep us all in line.
Oh, yeah, and how about that FEDERAL RESERVE? Hahahahaha!
The problem is that none of us is innocent, unfortunately. Even though the worst have risen to the top of the power heap, the rest of us, though marginalized, are complicit. We may not have been able to compromise our integrity enough to become outright nefarious banksters, war profiteers, financial enslavers, insurance enforcers, or marketing lackeys, but we are complicit, none-the-less. If we enable them by paying to subscribe to their programming propaganda, take advantage of their “sweet deals” that enslave workers, buy the products that are poisoning the planet, or vote for the corrupt villains who orchestrate this whole evil governmental construct, we share the karma. The Walmart shoppers, the Tyson Chicken and Factory Foods eaters, the gas-guzzling car and truck driving, throw-away, chemical based product crowd. You and me, Baby, are at least to some extent, guilty as charged.
And, we are all about to go down.
That was in the cards from the start. It is classic self-defeating behavior. This slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, evil, bullying, perverse, and twisted death culture is killing itself in an almost operatic tragic drama. The more successful the crime family is, the harder is the fall from their sick sense of grace. Eventually, the orchard no longer produces the olives, the vines do not bear fruit, the ground has been salted, the children are sold into slavery, the animals are barren, the wine has turned to vinegar, and the perpetrators are hung on crosses as an example for others who follow. It ain’t going to be pretty.
What are we to do?
We need to sow seeds that lead in new directions, away from the beaten path of corruption and death. Seeds of forgiveness and compassion and natural joy, health and happiness to nurture the ones who come are our duty to cultivate. Before we can do that, we need to heal ourselves.
We are still re-playing the dramas of the brutal cultures that have come before ours. The
It looks like we will have another shot at making things better, after the crime family clusterfuck and meltdown. We’re going to have to put our heads together on this one. What do you think? How do we do this?
And, how do I get this darn tune out of my head?