mafia idolism

February 15th, 2007

The interest and fascination by mafia movies astounds me. It almost seems that out of all males, half love mafia stories. Favorite movies? The Godfather, Scarface etc. On tv? The Sopranos. Some take it so far as to idolize mafia characters, like they're some kind of positive example to imitate. But why? I have to say I find that disturbing. I've seen a bunch of these movies, all hotly recommended of course, and I don't quite see the attraction. Interests aside, the idol worship is unsettling.

Why is it that people idolize mafia characters? I guess it's because they like the idea of having that kind of power, it tickles them to imagine what it would be like. Curious thus that they aren't drawn to other well established symbols of power. Stalin, Hitler, that kind of thing. They too did whatever the hell they wanted, killing people, hoarding fortunes, exempt from any consequences, in fact absolute power on a far greater, more successful if you will, scale. So why aren't those held up as examples to idolize?

The whole mafia fandom thing is very misguided.

Or is there another side to this? I think it might be something else, something a lot more innocent in fact. Just plain teenage rebellion. If you think about what age it is that most people start digging the whole mafia thing, it's usually in their teens, isn't it? And they start acting up, wishing they could challenge the establishment and claim power they don't have. That makes it sound a lot less deranged, but somehow also pretty pathetic. I mean watching mafia flicks and imagining that you have the kind of power of Tony Soprano, because you're mad at your parents for not letting you have your way? That's pretty lame.

:: random entries in this category ::

3 Responses to "mafia idolism"

  1. ash says:

    I agree that mafia idolism, as you call it, is often brought about in people's teens but it is also perhaps more than that. There's a certain, attractive kind of 'honour' and rules system portrayed in most mafia films, one that can see a far more violent (and therefore satisfying) kind of justice meeted out among criminals.

    About the Sopranos though, have you actually watched it? To my mind it is one of the best TV shows I've ever seen, and part of that is precisely because it doesn't idolise the mafia at all. Every character is deeply flawed, with ugly aspects to them shown warts and all, and at the same time you can still sympathise with some of their actions and reasoning. Tony Soprano is, to me, the perfect example of an anti-hero, compelling not because of his power but because of his character.

  2. numerodix says:

    You mean the "eye for an eye" thing? But that is so shallow and stupid, what is it about it that makes it so "satisfying"?

    Oh I agree, the Sopranos is probably more interesting than all of the movies. But people still idolize and worship, in spite of it. Because mafia is still mafia, and as long as they will go out and kill people, it doesn't matter how flawed they are. It's not a fault of mafia movies/series that people worship them.

  3. erik says:

    I completely agree, the mafia fanbase annoys me