Posts tagged "The Sopranos"

Top Ten Horses

The first decade of my life was spent in a small town where the largest industry was horse-studding. Yes, the economy of my place of birth relied on getting horses to have sex with each other. Hey lady horses, do you know how those things are hung? What’s the freakin’ problem?

Because of this industry, the town was absolutely nuts about horses. Every May, it would hold an event of equine celebration called Horse Week, which involved things like a parade down the main street and an art competition for school kids. Do you know how hard it is to draw a horse? They have stupid faces, skinny, spindly legs, and voluminous bodies with a bit too much horse. The result of all this nonsense is that I hate horses.

Evil Horses from History include: Black Beauty, Furious D., The Four Horses of the Apocalypse, Hitler’s Horse, The Horse with No Name, The Denver Broncos, Flicka, Silver, the horse whose head ended up in bed with Jack Woltz in The Godfather, Seabiscuit, the horse from The Horse and His Boy, the horses that ate each other in Macbeth, Henry the Horse, The Trojan Horse.

A Horse I Have No Opinion On: Mr. Ed.

The Worst Piece in Chess Is: The Knight.

But even though horses are terrible and compete in pointless races and are a little too likely to end up on your plate in France, there have been the occasional good horses. Following is a brief list:

1. Pie-Oh-My

Didn’t actually do much apart from stir up Tony Soprano’s sensitive side and win some money for the mob, but Pie-Oh-My did inadvertently cause Ralphie Cifaretto to get whacked, for which we are all grateful.

2. Princess Sparkle

Summer Roberts’ My Little Pony. Fun Facts About Princess Sparkle: She has really shiny hair, which causes her to be confused for Marissa Cooper.

Special mention: Captain Oats.

3. Ponyboy

A down-on-his-luck greaser kid with a switchblade knife who liked staying gold. Probably listens to a lot of Bon Jovi.

4. An Horse

Duo from Brisbane whose debut album Rearrange Beds is one of the best records of the year. Listen to their song “Camp Out.”

5. Boxer

The loyal, hard-working proletariat hero of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, who committed himself to the betterment of his farm and was rewarded with a trip to the glue factory. This shows the evils of communism; if Animal Farm had been run as a capitalist enterprise, Boxer would have been an entrepreneur who would have started a business out of his stable selling personal computers.

6. “Pony” by Ginuwine

Great things about “Pony" by Ginuwine: 1. It’s a ’90s R&B classic 2. It’s not a horse.

7. Crazy Horse

Either the dude who kicked General Custer’s ass or Neil Young’s band.

8. Princess

Homer bought Lisa Simpson this pony because with today’s gas prices, how could he afford not to? Princess subsequently became the muse for many songs about a girl and her pony, such as “Wildfire.” Princess was given away/disposed of when Lisa realized that there was a big, dumb animal she loves even more: a hippopotamus. (Hippopotamuses, you may know, were called “river horses” by the ancient Greeks, which says a lot about the ancient Greeks and their capacity to accurately identify horses.)

9. The Horse Richard III offers his kingdom for.

It must have been a pretty awesome horse, right? It probably always came in at 20:1 and always remembered birthdays. I know his kingdom was actually England, and therefore isn’t that great, but still, neither are horses.

10. Phar Lap

Fine. You happy, Australia?

Bonus Horse: Chips Ahoy!



That’s the trouble with you Americans. You expect nothing bad to ever happen, while the rest of the world expects only bad to happen. And they’re not disappointed.

Svetlana Kirilenko, ”The Sopranos,” Season 4, episode 10: The Strong, Silent Type

That’s the trouble with you Americans. You expect nothing bad to ever happen, while the rest of the world expects only bad to happen. And they’re not disappointed.

Svetlana Kirilenko, ”The Sopranos,” Season 4, episode 10: The Strong, Silent Type


I got to be honest: it was not so nice. I don’t belong there no more. Something’s changed — maybe me? I’m like a visitor in my own town. Life went on without me; there is nothing there for me now. I feel strange to live here also. Maybe I should never have come to America.
Furio Giunta, “The Sopranos,” Season 4, episode 10: The Strong, Silent Type

(via gunstreetgirl, crabcakes:












I was raised by a single mother. I think the definition of a man’s man has shifted in recent times to this sort of fratty bro, different from the older version, which was aloof and distant—Gary Cooper or Cary Grant or James Bond. Now it’s a little vulgar, kind of lowbrow, adolescent. I’m not that guy. Part of being an adult is treating women like women.
Jon Hamm, W Magazine

"Part of being an adult is treating women like women": really, what does that mean? 

Let me tell ya something. Nowadays, everybody’s gotta go to shrinks, and counselors, and go on Sally Jesse Raphael and talk about their problems. What happened to Gary Cooper? The strong, silent type. That was an American. He wasn’t in touch with his feelings. He just did what he had to do. See, what they didn’t know was once they got Gary Cooper in touch with his feelings that they wouldn’t be able to shut him up! And then it’s dysfunction this, and dysfunction that, and dysfunction ma fungule!
Tony Soprano, “The Sopranos”

Jus sayn.

(via gunstreetgirlcrabcakes:

I was raised by a single mother. I think the definition of a man’s man has shifted in recent times to this sort of fratty bro, different from the older version, which was aloof and distant—Gary Cooper or Cary Grant or James Bond. Now it’s a little vulgar, kind of lowbrow, adolescent. I’m not that guy. Part of being an adult is treating women like women.

Jon Hamm, W Magazine

"Part of being an adult is treating women like women": really, what does that mean

Let me tell ya something. Nowadays, everybody’s gotta go to shrinks, and counselors, and go on Sally Jesse Raphael and talk about their problems. What happened to Gary Cooper? The strong, silent type. That was an American. He wasn’t in touch with his feelings. He just did what he had to do. See, what they didn’t know was once they got Gary Cooper in touch with his feelings that they wouldn’t be able to shut him up! And then it’s dysfunction this, and dysfunction that, and dysfunction ma fungule!

Tony Soprano, “The Sopranos”

Jus sayn.


Let me ask you a question. All the good things you got in your life, did they come to you cause you’re Calabrese ? I’ll tell you the answer. The answer is no. You got a smart kid at Lackawanna college. You got a wife who’s a piece of ass. Least she was when you married her. You own one of the most profitable topless bars in North Jersey. Now, did you get all this shit cause you’re Italian? No, you got it cause you’re you, cause you’re smart. Cause you’re whatever the fuck. Where the fuck is our self-esteem? That shit doesn’t come from Columbus or The Godfather or Chef-fuckin’-Boyardee.

Tony Soprano, “The Sopranos” Ep. 04.03: Christopher (2002)

At the USSC, I discuss the best Columbus Day episode of any television show ever:

What Tony’s saying isn’t true, but America would like to believe that it is. The American story is the one Tony frustratedly tells here, in which the United States is a country where immigrants leave their old identity behind and find success, though perhaps not always in the form of a hot wife and a successful strip club. But desiring this to be doesn’t make non-existent the hurt and pride felt by Silvio and the Native American protesters. Points of tension in American culture often derive from these moments when the country’s ideal can’t match the reality its citizens are feeling.


And I think it’s telling that these days it actually makes me sad when I hear about a book I love being adapted for the big screen—television as done by HBO, Showtime, and the BBC is where it’s at in terms of drama nowadays.

Matt Yglesias, “The Man in the High Castle,” Think Progress, October 14, 2010

Ugh. This is just Anglophilia, nothing else. Look, the BBC has been responsible for some excellent programming, and even in recent years, it’s produced “The Office” and “Extras,” both of which are worthy of being spoken about as being among the zenith of contemporary television. But talking about the channel in the same breath as modern day HBO? That’s just ridiculous. The BBC isn’t coming with “The Wire” or “The Sopranos” or even “True Blood,” really; it’s not even on AMC’s level now that has “Mad Men.” Even in terms of more populist drama, the BBC hasn’t been able to match the cream of 21st century American television. (I’m talking “Gossip Girl,” “The O.C.,” “Gilmore Girls,” etc.) And where HBO shows are concerned at least, the Poms agree with me.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. America has a great advantage where culture industries are concerned. It has a massive population, a lot of money and the ability to wield economies of scale in a highly effective way. They’re an educated people with a rich history of combining the innovative with the popular. It’s no surprise that they’re responsible for the best television around.


This is still great.

"My money’s on Smash Mouth."


This, meanwhile, is one of the greatest unintentional music videos of all time.

(I should make a list of great unintentional music videos. I’ve already discussed The National/Gossip Girl)


My American Review column today was about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and I want to make clear that I’m comparing him to a fictional criminal in the nicest way possible. Really.

A personable, popular Republican with proven appeal to swing state voters and a rough-and-ready, working class charm. He sounds like he’s from the cast of HBO mob drama “The Sopranos,” but with none of the gangster menace. (Perhaps he’s the Bobby Baccalieri of New Jersey politics?) In fact, he’s kind of cuddly. He comes across as what we in Australia would call a good bloke.

Am I nuts? Or do I just think all fat people with Jersey accents sound like one Sopranos character or another?
(I mean Bobby up until about Sopranos Home Movies, of course.)

My American Review column today was about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and I want to make clear that I’m comparing him to a fictional criminal in the nicest way possible. Really.

A personable, popular Republican with proven appeal to swing state voters and a rough-and-ready, working class charm. He sounds like he’s from the cast of HBO mob drama “The Sopranos,” but with none of the gangster menace. (Perhaps he’s the Bobby Baccalieri of New Jersey politics?) In fact, he’s kind of cuddly. He comes across as what we in Australia would call a good bloke.

Am I nuts? Or do I just think all fat people with Jersey accents sound like one Sopranos character or another?

(I mean Bobby up until about Sopranos Home Movies, of course.)


Though, to be honest, I think “how would this work in David Simon’s Baltimore” about pretty much everything.

  • "The Sopranos." What would Tony’s relationship to Stringer Bell be? Is the Barksdale organization too small time to be worth Tony’s attention? Would Barksdale be a competitor? Or would Tony do business with someone like The Greek?
  • Harry Potter. OK, you could totally see Knockturn Alley as the trap. After Voldemort’s demise, former Death Eaters could take to drug dealing, and the Order of the Phoenix could work to bust up that operation. In fact, many of the concerns would be similar to “The Wire”: is the Ministry’s bureaucracy interfering with the Order’s work? Can the DEs talk on the Floo network, or isn’t that safe?
  • Buffy: I was talking about this on Twitter last night.


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