The King of the Hill Male Fantasy (This is not about the animated show.)

In 1999, a show debuted on HBO that would become one of the best TV Dramas ever written.  The Sopranos.  Tony Soprano was a New Jersey Mafia boss – and he was in therapy for anxiety attacks.  His character was compelling (as were the other characters in the series – the writing was superb), because of the disconnect between his work persona: hard, violent, ruthless – and the undercurrent of the family man who was constantly afraid and over-the-top protective of his family.  The show was like a car accident: brutal and horrific in places, but the viewer could NOT look away. 

Still, Tony Soprano was not an admirable character.  He was amoral, narcissistic, mendacious, racist, misogynistic, and vicious.  So, I was amazed when the men that I worked with became obsessed with the show.  They would have daily contests over who could recite dialog from a recent show in the best “Joisey” accent.  They would dress like Tony.  One guy put in some effort to discover what brand of cigar Tony smoked, made a decision, and suddenly the whole group smoked cigars.  It was so obvious – these supposedly gentle guys wanted to BE Tony Soprano.  Why?

My answer – (and no, I have done no research, I’m just rambling) is that Tony had everything they wanted.  He was rich.  He was powerful – the BOSS – give an order, and underlings would say “Yes Boss”, and jump into action.  He had nice cars and a huge house and a wife and two kids that he could ignore most of the time.  He set his own work hours, mostly at night.  His “office” was in a strip club.  He had all of the good food, cigars, and booze he wanted.  He had a never-ending supply of hookers and mistresses.  He killed anyone that got in his way, and his henchmen got rid of the evidence.

The guys I worked with were law-abiding family men.  But something inside them clearly wanted to be free of bosses, free of obligations and constrictions, and longed to be – a king.  An ultimate authority.  Rich, powerful, in control (in public, anyway), and above the law.

I spoke to one of them years later and we talked about Tony Soprano.  I presented my theory.  He agreed with the assessment – males (Boomer generation anyway) are all about who is best, who is the leader, who has the power – power is everything. And, (he said with a wry smile) “power corrupts. But we still really want it.”

There are an awful lot of similarities between Tony Soprano and Donald Trump.  Just sayin’.

Published by libbylawrence

Fundamentalist turned Atheist in the US Bible Belt. Sharing fun memes and musings with anyone who is interested.

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