Norwood obsession with the Sopranos
#1
I’m making this thread as a discussion on the Norwood left’s infatuation with the Sopranos mainly but also with the Simpsons and various other tv shows. It’s often been pointed out that these types only mock Italians because it’s the only form of ethnic humour that hasn’t been deemed over the line by PC Stalinists. But I find it at strange that these types see themselves in a character like Tony Soprano who is actually racist towards black people not just racist in an “I’m racist… against the French!” way. In my experience these types are almost always Italian, Irish or some other form of Ellis Islander so maybe Tony just reminds them of their own father.
#2
Excellent thread. I want to reply more substantially later but also want to help get us rolling now.

Point worth noting is the identification with the lower elements even of low culture. Everybody in The Sopranos is miserable and disgusting to some degree, and the identification (reaction images, most beloved, etc) is often with the worst parts. For example Paulie in The Sopranos, an old, degenerate, spineless, cruel, stupid, hated, uncultured worm of a man with almost nothing to live for. But he gets the goofy one liners everyone remembers. That's the aspiration. Be the degenerate hanger-on with the funny lines. Maybe if you're an alpha bug you aspire to being Tony. Fat, stupid, grey, low existence. But he gets to yell at Paulie.

Simpsons I consider great tv (even Sopranos has some value) but people don't seem to love The Simpsons for its greatness lately. More for its comforting familiarity and the easiness of its representations of life. Related issue, things have gotten so bad in past decades that what was once irreverent and edgy is now social comfort food. Simpsons I see as palliative entertainment, with the sopranos serving as a kind of palliative disguised as hard realism. When you watch The Sopranos and The Wire you can tell yourself you're getting in touch with the core of reality, feel like you're liking in when actually you're willfully blinding yourself.

Perhaps also related; "Jessie what the fuck are you talking about?". Nothing is cooler or funnier or more relatable than being bewildered. Because the world really is oofy doofy and simple at its core. Or at least a lot of people really want it to be.
#3
(09-13-2022, 10:18 AM)anthony Wrote: When you watch The Sopranos and The Wire you can tell yourself you're getting in touch with the core of reality, feel like you're liking in when actually you're willfully blinding yourself.

The wire is probably the most norwood tv series in existence. I was left with a profound sense of disgust after one episode, found it utterly unwatchable.
#4
(09-13-2022, 10:18 AM)anthony Wrote: Perhaps also related; "Jessie what the fuck are you talking about?". Nothing is cooler or funnier or more relatable than being bewildered. Because the world really is oofy doofy and simple at its core. Or at least a lot of people really want it to be.

The 'wood obsession with Breaking Bad could merit a whole thread in itself. It's been at a fever pitch recently because of the Better Caul Saul finale, but one can look back the last couple years and find a continuous pattern of bruh5moment-American memes like walt-falling-over-and-crying.gif or the Dean Norris obsession. It seemed like people forgot about Breaking Bad shortly after it finished. Better Call Saul and the movie also had a lukewarm reception. Unsatisfying endings certainly leave a bitter taste in the audience's mouth that takes time to work through (see: The Sopranos) but it seems like there was a very long period where nobody gave a shit, then a sudden embracing a few years ago, and now every 'wood can't wait to find the next person to Waltquote. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation and I'm just out of the loop but I have to ask.
#5
(09-13-2022, 10:18 AM)anthony Wrote: Perhaps also related; "Jessie what the fuck are you talking about?". Nothing is cooler or funnier or more relatable than being bewildered. Because the world really is oofy doofy and simple at its core. Or at least a lot of people really want it to be.

I remember following BB and being puzzled why everyone loved Jessie so much. The show made him into a sympathetic character by making him an unbearable conscience-laden dimwit who messed everything up. In the end he got everyone killed because he somehow realized that Walt did actually poison his ex-gf's bastard kid, so the libtard writers have him fly into this rage and it sets off a chain reaction whereby a bunch of main characters die and that same kid (who was totally fine) is now orphaned anyway. The 'neo-Nazi' final boss was kind of hamfistedly thrown into this hitherto apolitical and somewhat based show, along with the extreme moral outrage that's displayed throughout the last season by some of the main characters.

The so called golden age of TV is entirely based on playing with morals in one way or another. The subtext is that there are no real morals in this society, as Father Rose and those types of writers would say. What if a good guy became bad? What if a mob boss had the conscience of the kosher center-left screenwriter? What if the cops are the baddies, but they're still just doing their jobs as fallible humans, and the niggers are still kind of the baddies, but like not really? 

In essence, these shows are technically bad for the reasons we probably all agree on, but you have to admit they are acted and paced and written extraordinarily well. Strictly speaking, acting and directing has advanced tremendously from, say, the 50s. The level of authenticity that is displayed on film tday is clearly superior, even as the core message of the art form is generally disposable or trivial or often more harmful than anything else. Given the relative sophistication, the plebbit masses take TV pretty seriously as an artistic medium. There is a great joy in the shared experience too. The Wire especially was written more like a novel than a TV show. It's 'the TV watcher's TV show,' like 'a man's man' or how Frank Zappa is 'the musician's musician.' The masses aren't as wowed by it as by BrBa, but it's a higher example of the craft. 

It's all about shared experiences and cultural idioms. These are just the stories we come up with, and they happen to be insignificant because society as a whole is insignificant, and 'the people' are too.
#6
The resurgent coolness of The Sopranos is interesting because its politics are the "cool left-wing art politics" of yesteryear (the modern iteration being "I TRANNYHEART NIGGERS"), a kind of disillusioned liberal thinking that is very popular immediately before the threshold the "I TRANNYHEART NIGGERS" ideology to the mainstream was successfully negotiated past. This makes for a cynical approach to political struggles which gives way to conflicting signals of masculine power, homophobic remarks, black incompetency and foulness, even white supremacy, while still being at its core a left-wing message of condemnation to all these things, so that a liberal can consume such marvels of cinema in good conscience. That is the main characteristic of the 1990's - 2000's political cynicism in television & film: expression of crude right-wing remarks and realities that would not be shown in idealistic left-wing productions, while again reaffirming left-wing values.

Let's take the seventh episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos, "Watching Too Much Television". The main story-line is that the mafia is abusing government handouts to minorities and NGOs, and Tony reminisces to his son about how his ancestors made Newark great and civilized while it degenerated into a slum when it was occupied by blacks, and when questioned by his son why he doesn't do anything about it, he brushes it off and gives an advice he overheard on how to better invest money (by buying land, using it for money, not racial root). Later on they visit a crackhouse that will be part of this scheme and the camera pans on its inhabitants as they act like monkeys and brusquely acknowledge their conquest of the place against Italians. To continue his plan, Tony calls his Jewish politician friend to evict the black population of the crackhouse, who delegates the task to his black activist fellow schemer who begrudgingly sends an young black gang to terrorize the place, with the show now demonstrating an emotional scene of the previously belligerent couple Tony encountered running for their lives and their family. The Jewish politician is then mildly ashamed of what he's done when a black child questions him on the reconstruction of the crackhouse. At the end of the episode, this Jewish politician is beaten up by Tony for seemingly unrelated reasons.

So, the moral of the episode is that criminal organizations and corrupt politicians keep the black man down, and the acknowledgement of white and Italian deracination and decadence is to be accepted as natural force, more or less, and that you, the viewer, should feel bad for the minorities while still seeing the issue as very "complicated" (to think how much you can get away with if you use the "it's complicated" kosher stamp). See, even if this kind of ambiguity is intolerable nowadays, it is perfectly acceptable as a product of its time, because it had a hand on 'negotiating' with conservative resistance to make room for what is now in play. For every thing in the show that is supposedly 'bigoted' is there to say that 'bigotry' is 'complicated' and shameful. For a 2022 zoomer viewer at least, it's obvious that racist Tony Soprano is a severe critique of racism, and that any right-leaning ambiguity on the issue is obsolete. It makes sense that the show appeals to Ellis Islanders, as this political ambiguity is verily felt by semi-whites and, of course, must be skewed to the right course...

This disposition itself is obsolete. The same people who made The Sopranos made The Many Saints of Newark. Isn't it funny that for you to make a 2022 show with the kosher center-left screenwriter view of 2002 you have to hate niggers? That for a show to be morally ambiguous on the social justice questions of today the best you can do is having mild paralytic criticisms, and even still in a state of hysteria? The message of The Joker is that men are humiliated today because of social services under-funding, the message of The Batman is that there should be more funding to NGOs by billionaires and that young white men should be actively deradicalized by cultural forces, and so on. At least one has Berserk (1997) to watch.


For me, it's the scene the when two negroes are gunned down to death while discussing hiding their money so as to not pay Shaniqua for her child support. Now that's a good Socialist Sopranos Meme!
#7
Great point. The scene at the end was exactly the one that came to my mind while reading your post, along with the infamous carjacking scene: White family gets carjacked by two niggers at gunpoint, dad screams "fucking NIGGERS!" in frustration, wife snaps at him, and he shouts in defense, "who else?" Hard cut to Tony smiling while looking at a photo of their Benz. An all-too-familiar scene of black crime declawed by the notion of "well, maybe it was whites behind it all along. Didn't consider that, did you, racist?" A dose of edginess to appease the ironybro with just enough of a moral lesson to provide plausible deniability if confronted. "ACKshually, it's anti-racist! They're showing that the blacks are the mafia's whipping boys because they're too underhanded or cowardly to do the dirty work themselves!"
#8
I do wonder if Mad Men will be the next Norwood fixation. In some sense, it already is.
#9
(09-30-2022, 01:42 AM)Guest Wrote: I do wonder if Mad Men will be the next Norwood fixation. In some sense, it already is.

Mad Men is a perfect analogue to the Sopranos, in the sense that it constantly presents ""cool white patriarchy"" while ultimately messaging the exact opposite. I don't think it'll become a Norwood phenomenon, though, as it doesn't participate in the state-approved safe edginess nearly as much as the Sopranos - maybe due to it's focus on WASP-esque corporate life. There's no easy "I cooka da meatball" sanitized humorless raycism to for troonposters to exploit that comes to mind. If it does though, it'll be sad. There have been some great posts of Don and Roger.
#10
(09-30-2022, 06:05 PM)stab Wrote:
(09-30-2022, 01:42 AM)Guest Wrote: I do wonder if Mad Men will be the next Norwood fixation. In some sense, it already is.

Mad Men is a perfect analogue to the Sopranos, in the sense that it constantly presents ""cool white patriarchy"" while ultimately messaging the exact opposite. I don't think it'll become a Norwood phenomenon, though, as it doesn't participate in the state-approved safe edginess nearly as much as the Sopranos - maybe due to it's focus on WASP-esque corporate life. There's no easy "I cooka da meatball" sanitized humorless raycism to for troonposters to exploit that comes to mind. If it does though, it'll be sad. There have been some great posts of Don and Roger.

Are there any truly "right-wing" shows that came from America?
#11
(09-30-2022, 11:38 PM)Guest Wrote:
(09-30-2022, 06:05 PM)stab Wrote:
(09-30-2022, 01:42 AM)Guest Wrote: I do wonder if Mad Men will be the next Norwood fixation. In some sense, it already is.

Mad Men is a perfect analogue to the Sopranos, in the sense that it constantly presents ""cool white patriarchy"" while ultimately messaging the exact opposite. I don't think it'll become a Norwood phenomenon, though, as it doesn't participate in the state-approved safe edginess nearly as much as the Sopranos - maybe due to it's focus on WASP-esque corporate life. There's no easy "I cooka da meatball" sanitized humorless raycism to for troonposters to exploit that comes to mind. If it does though, it'll be sad. There have been some great posts of Don and Roger.

Are there any truly "right-wing" shows that came from America?

Twin Peaks.
#12
"Prestige TV" reifies blank slate thinking, simple as. The attempt to depict the "complexity" of life obscures the true banality of evil, which is that the underclass are stupider, more impulsive, possessed of a higher time preference, undersocialized as a result of their inherent intellectual deficit. This is why The Wire is Norwood; it makes the wrong things seem rational and the even wronger things seem "inexplicable."
#13
(10-01-2022, 04:00 PM)A New Career In A New Town Wrote: Twin Peaks.

Totally. I find that the tranny David Duhovny and the superpowered woman really encapsulate the spirit of the american right wing.
#14
(09-18-2022, 12:28 AM)Trevor Bauer Wrote: The so called golden age of TV is entirely based on playing with morals in one way or another. The subtext is that there are no real morals in this society, as Father Rose and those types of writers would say. What if a good guy became bad? What if a mob boss had the conscience of the kosher center-left screenwriter? What if the cops are the baddies, but they're still just doing their jobs as fallible humans, and the niggers are still kind of the baddies, but like not really?

This is a good point. Many people's perceptions of reality have been distorted as a result. Notice the popular glorification of "gangsters" and such.

It is not only a matter of "are the actions of gangsters good or bad", but "what are gangsters like?" In real life, they are usually stupid, vindictive, degenerate, drug addicted, impulsive, childishly aggressive. The average IQ of a prisoner is 90.

Yet, to portray gangsters sympathetically, they cannot be shown this way on TV. They must be portrayed as men of virtue, possessing cunning, discernment, stoicism, intelligence.

It gives a false impression. The cunning, discerning, stoic, intelligent heroes of reality are seldom to be found in the ranks of gangsters.
#15
(10-01-2022, 10:05 PM)The_Author Wrote:
(09-18-2022, 12:28 AM)Trevor Bauer Wrote: The so called golden age of TV is entirely based on playing with morals in one way or another. The subtext is that there are no real morals in this society, as Father Rose and those types of writers would say. What if a good guy became bad? What if a mob boss had the conscience of the kosher center-left screenwriter? What if the cops are the baddies, but they're still just doing their jobs as fallible humans, and the niggers are still kind of the baddies, but like not really?

This is a good point. Many people's perceptions of reality have been distorted as a result. Notice the popular glorification of "gangsters" and such.

It is not only a matter of "are the actions of gangsters good or bad", but "what are gangsters like?" In real life, they are usually stupid, vindictive, degenerate, drug addicted, impulsive, childishly aggressive. The average IQ of a prisoner is 90.

Yet, to portray gangsters sympathetically, they cannot be shown this way on TV. They must be portrayed as men of virtue, possessing cunning, discernment, stoicism, intelligence.

It gives a false impression. The cunning, discerning, stoic, intelligent heroes of reality are seldom to be found in the ranks of gangsters.

To the show's credit, rarely are the gangster characters portrayed with any amount of intelligence. Even the smartest of them, Tony, has his slip-ups in the form of emotional outbursts and or simply not thinking ahead of his opponents.
#16
(10-14-2022, 05:08 PM)Guest Wrote: To the show's credit, rarely are the gangster characters portrayed with any amount of intelligence. Even the smartest of them, Tony, has his slip-ups in the form of emotional outbursts and or simply not thinking ahead of his opponents.
This is definitely true of The Sopranos but less so for The Wire, probably why I'd agree the latter is more Norwood. You have 'sophisticated nigger' characters like Stringer Bell and to a greater degree Brother Mouzone. You also get 'The Righteous Gangster' character with Omar, and some of the younger characters are a mix of these guys. David Chase is much more explicit in trying to make Tony and his gang unadmirable characters. Outside of a few explicit bad guys, David Simon is purposely trying to make you empathize with the humanity of the shows gangster characters as much as you do the cops or city government people.


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