Saturday, May 12, 2007

AJ Soprano, mob boss


The Sopranos is now down to four remaining episodes yet unseen, and the speculation about the cognoscenti , given the pending demise of Tony Soprano's reign as Boss, is who might come after him, continue the business, so to speak. It's a slippery slope,
but one wonders if this New Jersey enterprise will stay a Soprano-helmed concern. What about Anthony Jr.?We've already had a taste of AJ acting like a made man a couple of seasons back when he was organizer enormous parties for under aged drinkers; in one scene he and an associate told some guys who got into a party without paying to pay up, and when told to buzz off, kicked the collective of the deadbeats. AJ seems like a young man who only really gets motivated when he's excited about something, whether that means being in love or punishing those who owe him money. Given how unsatisfactory straight life has been for him, he'll find it easy enough to continue the sins of his father as his father continued the sins of his pater familias. It's a big apple tree with very short branches. If AJ became the next boss, after various time spent in the earner's trenches, he would likely find that would inherit more than a business from his Dad; a generation of conniving and resentment comes with the job description.

What Tony has had to contend with since he became boss, more about protecting his position as Boss against various challenges and less about extending the mob's clutches into other scams. But then his is not a business as anyone understands capitalist instinct, that profit and the bottom line matter more than strong senses of entitlement. In the real business life, ventures run on a third of the collective, mendacious vanity of mob culture would go out of business(sans the violence). for all the talk among the bosses and the captains and various members of the crew about being better "earners", grotesquely distorted feelings of entitlement , envy, resentment and a general lack of seeing beyond the demands of their primal wants undermines all efforts to conduct this enterprise like it had a rational purpose. It's fitting, perhaps, since what they make money on are the libidinous appetites of a those willing to pay for access to illegal vices and wares--gambling, prostitution, drugs, boosted dry goods-- and that the disinterested stance needed by a merchant who refrains from sampling their product is not Tony's nor his crew's quality to posess. Dispite a hundred forms of denial,rationalization and excuse making about themselves and what they're doing in The Life, they fall victims to their own wares, gambling, drugs, whoring and the lot, and exist in a perpetual state of impulsive action. What I find riveting here is that the truth of The Life and the unvarnished facts of Tony Soprano's realm is being bluntly exposed. His years of trying to live on both sides of the fence are taking their toll, and it's the truth that he will find unacceptable on any terms other than in madness and death, like Lear.

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