Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Death comes unexpectedly ("The Sopranos")

Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, Amber Dorrian, Wisdom Quarterly
WARNING: Obscenities! One of the best scenes in a series with many. Here the mobsters visit a psychic for a reading, and "Paulie" gets more information than he bargained for.

The late great James Gandolfini
Last night came word that actor James Gandolfini ("Tony Soprano"), age 51, died of heart failure in Italy. The exact cause is still to be determined. While popularizing more brutality and glorified violence than John Wayne killing the indigenous peoples of the newly colonized continent, Gandolfini hid a soft private side. He was painfully shy, soft spoken, and extremely reticent to talk about himself. Instead, he channeled the frustrations of many American men living in suburbia.
"The Sopranos" (
The violence (in our hearts), anger at the system and its cheaters (politicians and other official) who cheat us with apparent impunity, and dreams of personal glory were all brought to life through this "Godfather" figure -- calling the shots in his own little fiefdom. This is what all men in America are taught to aspire to, not by their families but by the culture itself. He took a short cut, as most ethnic immigrants are pressured to do. One could go to Harvard or Yale and commit crimes on a grand scale working in banks or high finance, but try to make an honest living by graft and hustling, and suddenly find yourself in Hollywood... writing scripts for very good actors to act out and many impressionable viewers to emulate or at least dream of emulating. Good work. Did playing a brutal and rationalizing killer give Gandolfini a leg up when facing Death, as personified by MARA, YAMA, (Yama-no-Kami in Japan) which rather than thinking of as spirit-beings we as a society have now made so clinical? We dare not speak of death in polite company, as if speaking of it would invite it. "Death Metal" and medical school seem to be the only venues.
Accolades from Gandolfini's Hollywood peers in 1999

Carcass (from the album Heartwork)
A grim myriad, a grey kaleidoscope, sterile, contrasting! Born and die, institutionalized, a bleak epitaph, an epilogue so sad!
  • Cross indexed, cross dissected
  • Cross referenced, contabescence
  • Cross indexed, cross bisected
  • Cross referenced, certificate of death/certified dead
Machine coded, reduced to hard memory, in a database! Digitalized, statistical obituary, our only legacy, our final resting place!

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