Here is me at a half past midnight, indulging, in a wee bit of escapism, watching the ‘Sopranos’ on the new iMac and then beginning to analyse my wee bit of escapism. There you have yourself thinking that this Tony Soprano chap is actually a quite fair, quite nice guy and then you pinch yourself and think well …. well, the man is a psychopath and then you have his son visiting a psychologist and rabbiting on about the situation in Palestine as people fighting over a piece of sand because their respective Gods say that it is theirs and then there is this bit where the same son is almost surreptitiously reading ‘Al Jazerra’ on the internet and in the mainstream media in the US of A, reading ‘Al Jazerra’, it would appear, is portrayed as radical stuff. Radical stuff, indeed, and round about the end of the series we learn that the young man’s solution to the world’s ills is to join the US Army and go to Afghanistan. Well, it is time to see the ‘Sopranos’ for what it is; light-hearted entertainment, not to be taken seriously and if we are not going to let them play mind games with us, don’t let’s start playing mind games with ourselves. Of course, the problem is that while some of us might use crap like this to lower our affective filters, switch off and become cognitively engaged with more creative, worthwhile thoughts, there are a lot of people out there who just don’t have much of an affective filter to lower and crap like this ends up substituting that cognitive depth that might get us a bit closer to Rousseau’s ‘Emile’ with nonsense like this and then off we go to school and with a loaded gun and shoot up half of our classroom or even worse we emulate Tony Soprano’s son Anthony Soprano Jr, better known as “A.J.” and get ourselves out to the Hindikush not to prevent or treat the dying there, but to do the killing. The mind boggles but then maybe “ego” should just chill out.
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