As I watched Dave Chappelle on Saturday Night Live discussing the ongoing saga of rapper Kanye West and basketball star Kyrie Irving’s conflicts with the Jews, I was reminded of something I have always known but never seriously considered until now: the nature of mafias. Mafias maintain power in two ways: They deny that they themselves exist, and they enforce silence upon anyone inclined to say that they do. Total silence means total power. (more…)
Tag: Italian mafia
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is a return to well-trod ground – not just for the director, but for the actors concerned as well, not to mention Hollywood. It’s an organized crime story, the twist being that it has a political aspect to it as well. The cast is a veritable reunion of all the still-living actors who have played famous Italian-American mobsters in cinema or television over the past half-century: (more…)
Part 2 of 2 (Part 1 here)
The first two seasons each have two arch-villains: one from the underground, another from the government. In the first season, Tony’s position is threatened by Uncle Junior and by Jimmy Altieri, who turns informant for the federal government. In the second season, the danger escalates on the government front as the primary threat comes from the subversive and patient Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero, (more…)
Part 1 of 2 (Part 2 here)
It’s been twenty years since it premiered, and twelve since it concluded, so we can now claim with a dose of certainty that we have a historical perspective on it. Yes, folks, I’m talking about The Sopranos, David Chase’s crime drama that redefined modern television. Ditching the episodic format for season-long sagas while still presenting slice-of-life vignettes centered around Tony Soprano, The Sopranos made such hits as Breaking Bad, The Shield, and The Wire possible.