Friday, February 18, 2011

These are two of my favorite fictional heroes...

Are you surprised? But they're so damn reliable. You always know what you're getting with either of them. Both offer lessons in what constitutes a definitive moral compass, thin on the ground in our modern culture of whining relativity. [The right wing no exception here.) And, however flawed that compass might be, it's reassuring, noble in its way, predictable, AND eminently quotable to boot.


Tony: "Next thing you know it's dysfunction this, dysfunction that, dysfunction... vaffanculo!!"

Here's a conversation between Carm (Tony's longsuffering wife) and the shrink she goes to see:

Carmela Soprano: He's a good man. He's a good father.
Dr. Krakower: You tell me he's a depressed criminal, prone to anger, serially unfaithful. Is that your definition of a good man?... You must trust your initial impulse and consider leaving him. You'll never be able to feel good about yourself. You'll never be able to quell the feelings of guilt and shame that you talked about, so long as you're his accomplice.
Carmela Soprano: You're wrong about the accomplice part, though.
Dr. Krakower: You sure?
Carmela Soprano: All I did was make sure he's got clean clothes in his closet and dinner on his table.
Dr. Krakower: So "enable" would be a more accurate job description for what you do than "accomplice". My apologies... Take only the children - what's left of them - and go.
Carmela Soprano: My priest said I should work with him, help him to become a better man.
Dr. Krakower: How's that going?

Carmela Soprano: I thought psychiatrists weren't supposed to be judgmental.
Dr. Krakower: Many patients want to be excused for their current predicament because of events that occured in their childhood. That's what psychiatry has become in America. Visit any shopping mall or ethnic pride parade, and witness the results.

Carmela Soprano: What we say in here, stays in here, right?
Dr. Krakower: By ethical code, and by law.
Carmela Soprano: His crimes... they are, organized crime.
Dr. Krakower: The Mafia!
Carmela Soprano: Oh Jesus.
wipes tears from her eyes]
Carmela Soprano: So what? So what? He betrays me every week with these whores!
Dr. Krakower: Probably the least of his misdeeds.
Carmela gets up to leave]
Dr. Krakower: You can leave now, or you can stay and hear what I have to say.
Carmela Soprano: You're gonna charge me all the same.
Dr. Krakower: I won't take your money.
Carmela Soprano: That's a new one.

Dr. Krakower: Have you ever read Crime and Punishment? Dostoyevksy?
Carmela shakes her head 'no']
Dr. Krakower: It's not an easy read. It's about guilt and redemption. I think your husband ought to turn himself and read this book in his jail cell and meditate on his crimes every day for seven years, so that he might be redeemed.
Carmela Soprano: I would have to get a lawyer, find an apartment, arrange for child support...
Dr. Krakower: You, you're not listening. I'm not charging you because I won't take blood money, and you can't, either. One thing you can never say is that you haven't been told.
Carmela Soprano: I see.

I mean, that just says it all, non?

And what about Arnold's Terminator II. Like a shot in the arm. This struck me. I loved this part. I'm sure many moms will relate.

Sarah Connor: [voiceover] Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. The terminator wouldn't stop, it would never leave him. It would never hurt him or shout at him or get drunk and hit him or say it was too busy to spend time with him. And it would die to protect him. Of all the would-be fathers that came over the years, this thing, this machine, was the only thing that measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.

My film collection is small and selective, but I own this flick. I watch it when I feel like I just wanna kick someone's ass, when I get really bummed about how corrupt this country has become, not just the government, but the electoral system, and the people (apparently the majority of Americans) who have settled for lives as, to quote the CIO leader of the demonstrations in Wisconsin, "servants" without a union to champion their rights as workers.People who have settled for 'things' bought on credit rather than the dignity of a decent wage.

Unions, people, they're what created the middle class in America. The Unions that Reagan defied international law to bust back in the eighties. Busting unions, destroying the middle class. Welcome to the Third Way's agenda, on both sides of the aisle.


  1. uh why does he say ethnic pride parade?

  2. I wondered that myself, probably has to do with seeing oneself as worthy of special recognition? or something in that vein. I get what he means.