Tony Soprano on stereotyping

Posted On: Monday - December 26th 2022 7:25PM MST
In Topics: 
  TV, aka Gov't Media  Humor  Political Correctness

Peak Stupidity has railed on TV so much that we hesitate to bring up anything good about it. The Sopranos was a series on HBO that I really enjoyed. This was after my TV-ownership years. About 20 years back, there was a time at one job where I did not get put to work very often for a while. It was long enough for me to watch most of the seasons of The Sopranos on the VCR. (Yes, the VCR, but not Betamax anyway...)

If you've not watched the show, you may not appreciate this scene as much as someone who has. To fill you in just a bit though, there's this Mafia group run by Tony Soprano, who was played by James Goldolfini. I wouldn't call the Mafia guys a "family", but they are all Italian, of course (like the starring actor and much of the cast).

Tony Soprano has his own family, and this makes the show more realistic to me than some of the mob movies. In this episode, he's taking his daughter on a road trip to New England for a tour of a few colleges she may attend.

Tony Soprano's faking being offended by a stereotype of Italians is just hilarious, if you know the character in the show well.

"Did the Cruzamano kids ever find fifty thousand dollars in Krugerrands and a .45 automatic [sic] while they were hunting for Easter eggs?" Heh! The funny part is right after that. The funniest part is that Tony Soprano IS a stereotype and loves it.

PS: It seems very coincidental that the idea of Tony Soprano visiting the lady psychiatrist, featured more in the of earlier episodes, is the same as that of the movie Analyze This, starring Robert DeNiro. The show and movie were both started/made around the same time, 1998-'99.

Wednesday - December 28th 2022 11:32AM MST
PS Indeed we did get out of our Cook County suburb well before the storm. The Chicago area got off light compared to some places, but I am glad that we missed it. We spent Christmas in Burbank, CA, with friends, where it got into the 80s on Christmas Day. We’re now ensconced in our hideout south of Los Angeles. The temps here have retreated back into the 60s.
Tuesday - December 27th 2022 10:14PM MST
PS Satriale’s Pork Store is supposedly in Kearny, Jerry Lewis’ home town. I’d sometimes drive through Kearny on my way into the city, if I wanted to take the “scenic” route, but didn’t frequent the place.

The episode where Tony gets shot at by a couple black thugs is in Montclair, in front of my old optician’s place.

In the episode where the feebs raid Johnny Sac’s house and Tony escapes into the woods: the grammar school where T sits down to catch his breath is my wife’s grade school.

And in the final episode, where the Soprano fam goes to have dinner at a malt shop type place: that place, Holsten’s on Broad St. in Bloomfield was one of our regular hangouts- great food, great malts. No mafia killings as far as I know.
Tuesday - December 27th 2022 6:48PM MST
PS: Mr. Blanc, I take it you and yours got out of ChicagoLand well before the recent Climate Crisis(TM) induced weather. You don't have to tell us where you are exactly, but did the high get into the 70s today?
Tuesday - December 27th 2022 6:46PM MST
PS: SafeNow, the library has "The Brooklyn Banker" on streaming video for me. Thank you for the recommendation.

For these 3 big groups of immigrants during the 1880-1020 mass influx, one wonders if it would have been different had they come in more of a trickle. Did the Italians, Jewish, and Irish mobs and mobsters come into being due to their being stuck together (of their own will, really) and wanting to get it over on the native Americans and the other groups? The Italians, granted, seem to have had a history of this kind of behavior/lifestyle from back in Sicily and such.

Imagine there were no organized crime. It IS hard to do, John Lennon, because it's a big part of the middle of the 20th Century in the big American cities (plus Lost Wages too). It's possible the progeny of the Founders would have never ever gotten into this stuff or never had to deal with it had there not been that big influx of mobsters-to-be.

(Maybe it was a function of the rise of the crowded inner cities and slums therein.)

That said, we could use another Mafia to fight the FBI, this time hopefully to win!

Tuesday - December 27th 2022 6:15PM MST
PS: Oh, so it is in Jersey, where it's supposed to be in the show, Mr. Ganderson. That's pretty cool. How about the strip where they hang outside in some scenes? Do you recognize that area too?

Tuesday - December 27th 2022 3:54PM MST
My sense of things was that there were lots of Jewish mobsters- Meyer Lansky was probably the most powerful gangster in America in his heyday- and there were towns. Minneapolis for one, where the predominant mob culture was Jewish. No shortage of Irish hoods, either, including St. Paul's native son, George "Bugs" Moran, who went to my high shool. He was kicked out. Murder Incorporated or is it (((Murder Incorporated)))? was a largely Jewish enterprise. And there was lots of cooperation among the different ethnicities.

Not that the Mafia didn't exist, however.
Tuesday - December 27th 2022 3:32PM MST

Alarmist, we are brothers….I once dated a similar gal from Staten-nearby Queens. When I asked “What does your father do?”, she replied “He has his own business.” The look she gave me, half a stern warning and half a twinkle in the eye, told me not to follow-up with more questions. The video posted by the moderator reminded me of my young lady’s guarded handling of the situation, with Tony playing the role of my date.

I recently re-streamed “The Brooklyn Banker.”. It is a fine comedy/drama about a 1975 Italian family man who who has family roots in the mob, wants to lead a straight life, but the mob pressures him to help them using his accounting/banking expertise. Filled with glimpses and insights about the culture. Italian actors and film-makers.
Tuesday - December 27th 2022 1:40PM MST
PS The Dagos were offended by the fact that mob guys were stereotyped as Italians. NY mob boss Joe Colombo started the Italian American Anti-Defamation League to counter that stereotype. And, in fact, not all mob (here in Chicago*, we call it the Outfit) guys were Italian. There were quite a few Jews in the rackets before they were allowed in the Ivy League. And there were a few outliers, such as Murray “the Camel” Humphreys, who was of Welsh descent. But, a lot of names of mob/Outfit guys did end with vowels. I do wonder whether their wives or kids—at least those who are old enough to be looking at colleges—didn’t know what business Dad was in. Mme B went to high school with Joey Aiuppa’s daughter, but I doubt that Mme B ever asked Ms Aiuppa if she knew what her father did for a living.

*I’m not actually in Chicago at the moment. We’re at the Winter Blanc House. But I’m a Chicagoan by birth.
The Alarmist
Tuesday - December 27th 2022 1:27PM MST

I briefly dated a Miss Staten Island, and was introduced to the wonderful world of pork stores and being told to not accept favors from cousin Raymond.
Adam Smith
Tuesday - December 27th 2022 10:12AM MST
PS: Good morning, Mr. Ganderson,

Filmed in the old neighborhood? That's pretty cool.
Currently not for sale (I guess it sold)...

Tuesday - December 27th 2022 8:22AM MST
Don’t ever watch the Sopranos with me- much of it was filmed in and around where we used to live in NJ; Tony’s house is just down the street from the house where my wife grew up in North Caldwell. I’m constantly yelling out “I’ve been there” or “ I know where that is…”
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