Monday, June 25, 2007

Uncut: sociopaths


We all have dark sides. Oh yes, even me.

Hard to imagine, I know, given the joy and happiness I spread each week from the confines of this very page.

But I do and some days I wake up I wonder why I bothered. And there are others, the really dark days, when I wake up and I wonder if I’m really me, or that other bloke, the one who thinks he’s Tony Soprano, a sociopath, a tyrant, a man who has a need to get his way no matter what it takes.

All of us occasionally hanker for absolute power, like when the people down the road, for example, rip out the native garden and plant palms, or, even worse, lawn.

Obviously there are a few things working against me being Big Tony, size for a start, me being a weasel man and Tony a massive brute who lumbers around his house sending nearby Richter scales crazy in anticipation of a major quake.

For those of you not sure who I’m talking about, Tony is the Mob Boss in The Sopranos, an American TV series, a good one, one of the best ever and, I know, I can hear your voice: “No way, American TV is crap.”

Hang on, don’t forget MASH and I Dream of Jeannie. All right, sorry, you’re right, I don’t dream of Jeannie, never did, but there was time when my dad did and I had to put up with it.

This month it all came to an end, The Sopranos, not here, but over there, in the US of A, it won’t finish here until it starts.

I’m not going to tell you how it ends, even though I know, even though I haven’t seen it yet, because it’s not pleasant and I don’t want to upset those folk who look to Tony Soprano for inspiration.

As I might have suggested, I’m one of them.

You’re probably thinking: You? Yes, me and I’m not alone.

There are others who enjoy dressing like Tony, all in black, with dark glasses and then walking around as though ready to whack anyone who looks at them before they look at them.

For some of us it doesn’t come natural, we have to work at it, acquire it.

Take Carl “Baby Face” Williams, well, they have taken him and now he’s doing the time because he ordered the taking of around 29 people who gave up their lives so photographers and journalists could make daily Soprano references.

He took out all those people because he didn’t like the way they looked at him and because he’s a Melbourne gangland leader and that’s what gangland leaders do when they have the power.

Then there’s Antonios “Fat Tony” Mokbel, recently nabbed in Athens sitting in a café.

Fat Tony ran an organised crime network called “The Company”, which is funny, not funny ha ha, because back in Sicily, before we were born, around 400BC there was bloke called Dionysius they called The Tyrant of Syracuse.

So what?

Good question.

Who helped him become all powerful in his home town and further his dream of conquering all of Sicily and defeating that island’s greatest enemy of the day, Carthage?

A secret organisation called, guess what, “The Company”.

Everything changes and everything stays the same.

Like Carl Williams, Dionysius could be seen in all the papers, on the telly, smiling, laughing, charming journos, holding small children, or walking beside fabulous looking women like butter would sit in his mouth forever.

Then there’s Stalin, Big Joe, whose mum said he was the most sensitive of small boys who loved flowers and once cried over spilt milk.

Joe didn’t muck about when he took people out and the average historical punter reckons about 20 million lost their lives to Joe-led purges.

Of all the things their mums said about these sociopaths and psychopaths, kind to animals, played with dolls, very sensitive, one thing they never said was: “Had a good old laugh at himself.”

And that’s why, when we wake up on the dark side embracing Tony Soprano, the first thing we must do is grab a notebook and write it all down.

There, I’m done, now I can get back to sleep.

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