Stop all this endless speculation about last night's Sopranos! Here's what really happened: The screen went black at the end because "You" - the audience, the American public - got whacked. Yes, I mean the very same "You" that was TIME's Person of the Year a few months ago. Why? Because "You" were getting in the way of the Democratic Party and its plans. So they hired David Chase as a hit man, and he lured "You" to your TV with promises of more satisfying resolutions that can be found in real life. Then he took "You" out in cold blood.
Don't believe me? Look at the evidence: As many bloggers have pointed out, the season's opener included dialog about what happens when you get shot. "I'll bet you don't even hear it coming," says Tony's brother-in-law. Then, just as You were watching the climactic restaurant scene - nothing. Silence, darkness. That sudden blackness was You, experiencing total loss of sensory functions as the bullet struck and Your brainstem shut down.
Were there any clues that a Democratic-funded hit was coming? Well, there's the fact that Chase - a meticulous man with an encyclopedic knowledge of music - chose "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey as background music for Your demise. The choice is eerily reminiscent of the Democrats' 90's-era theme song, Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow."
It's not personal, it's business. After all, You voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party in 2006, and You said clearly in exit polls that you did so mainly to end the war in Iraq. Now that they've failed to show the courage needed to do that, You've begun turning on them. And while all that blogging and You-tubing and whatnot got You the "Person of the Year" nod, frankly You were becoming a pain in the ass.
Still, as I said, it wasn't personal. Except maybe with Chase. He was sick and tired of the way You keep blabbering on about The Sopranos when he wanted to move on to something else. You kept him imprisoned with contracts and golden handcuffs and God know what else. He made his feelings clear with the song he used to awaken Tony at the start of last night's episode and then used as a recurrent theme: "You Keep Me Hangin' On." (That's "You keep me ...") Some bloggers have said the tune was a clue that Chase wasn't going to serve up a satisfying resolution, but I think he was really telling everybody what he thinks of You. "Set me free, why doncha? You don't really love me, you just keep me hangin' on ..."
You! You were a problem. You voted to start withdrawing troops. You are getting unhappy with the status quo in Washington and Iraq. You are starting to suspect that maybe Frank Zappa was right when he said that "government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex." You want real change. So what's an oligarchy to do but croon You a lullaby that says "don't stop believing" - right up until the moment the fatal bullet strikes?
Like the song says, the movie never ends.
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