The Sopranos

Now the criminals are techies. They hide in plain sight and get a pass from the government, because with billions of dollars they define the game.

Like the Mafia used to, with a lot less cash.

I was just watching the episode where Adriana gets whacked. Christopher leaves her T-Bird in long term parking at the airport. Not only was I worried about fingerprints, old school, but cameras, new school. Blue collar crime is passe, there’s a camera everywhere, especially in the U.K. That’s how they found those Russians who poisoned the ex-spy and his daughter, they went to the film, you always go to the film these days, it’s a regular plot point on television and in movies.

But the rich people don’t even have to hire lawyers, the IRS has been neutered and they hide under the rubric of being job-creating envelope pushers who make our society great.

Not that I’m anti-tech, but the last year has been about the turning tide in tech, but we’re still only at the tip of the iceberg.

In the twenty years since the Soprano family used flip-phones, a lot has changed.

Steve Jobs tacitly agreed not to poach from Google.

Facebook sold your data and its site to the highest bidder. As for the vaunted social graph where you can connect with everybody, you’ve got to pay for that now, otherwise you can’t reach anybody.

Amazon puts you out of business if you don’t sell to them, this has happened so many times that it’s not only well-known, there’s a chilling effect, why start a company that will be crushed or sold for pennies.

Or laid off on the highest bidder who will bury it, like Tumblr and Yahoo.

Marissa Mayer got whacked and then Tumblr had no champion, without porn it will never survive, it’s too 2007.

And Tim Armstrong laid AOL off on Verizon and then got canned when it all didn’t add up. Meanwhile, we ate the bill, those of us invested in the telco, and you probably are, even if it’s via an index fund.

And for those with little, the joke is on you.

That’s what the Mafia was about, the dream, of a high life for the uneducated, the street smart. “The Godfather” gave the Mob gravitas. “Donnie Brasco” illustrated that the family was based on small time crookdom, but…

Those without portfolio could get a leg up. They could rely on their brothers. Like those at Georgetown Prep, or the college fraternity.

Once again, there’s a dividing line, and chances are you’re on the wrong side of it.

Meanwhile, you keep hearing about how these companies made it legitimately, but the dirty little secret is…

They did not.

Forget the foreign bribes, how about Microsoft insisting that manufacturers pay for Windows on every machine, even if it wasn’t installed. That put a dent in Linux way back when.

Yup, you work hard, you follow the rules, and you lose. Even if you got an education.

As for those without, they’re so disillusioned they’re on drugs. They started on opioids prescribed by pill mills, Purdue Pharma got rich, and then they ended up buying heroin and fentanyl on the street and we want them to go straight, but why, so they can get a minimum wage job that doesn’t pay the bills?

And what I loved about “The Sopranos,” and it is my favorite TV show of all time, and I believe it is the best, is the way real life was illustrated, how Meadow suggested punishing her by taking away her gas credit card.

Forget the fact that no one uses a gas credit card anymore, they use Mastercard, Visa or Amex for the points, this middle class existence doesn’t exist either. Mom and Dad are both out working. You’re on your own. And if you happen to get in trouble, it’s someone else’s fault, like the teachers, those damn schools, why are they always singling out my child?

And those with money live a completely different lifestyle, often behind gates, they go to private schools, oftentimes fly private and don’t want anybody taking their spot at first class institutions, which are need blind, which you probably don’t even know the definition of, which is the way they like it.

The poor and the rich, the lower middle class and the upper middle class, don’t even mix.

And sure, the standard of living is higher in many ways, everybody has a smartphone and a flat screen, but hope has been eviscerated, upward mobility has been eviscerated.

Which is how Trump got elected. The downtrodden feel screwed by the elites.

But the joke is now on the elites, because they’re not elite enough. They can’t afford concierge doctors, never mind NetJet accounts.

So everybody with a brain and an education buys insurance, metaphorically anyway. Used to be your parents told you to be a doctor or lawyer, but those professions no longer rain down enough cash, now they tell you to become a banker. Or maybe a techie, but competition is too rough in that field.

So the winners live a lifestyle most people are unaware of, they’ve got no real idea how the truly rich live.

And these are not rock stars, rock stars don’t make billions, never have. These are faceless nerds, both male and female, who worked hard and then realized…there was no law, there was no oversight, so…

They raped and pillaged.

And I know you can’t utilize the term “rape” anymore, but while the politically correct police are checking your language, Sheryl Sandberg is pulling the wool over your eyes, saying you can have it all when the truth is only she can have it all, and she’s doing everything in her power to keep it that way, screw morality.

That’s just like the Mafia, it’s never enough. The Mob never gives an inch.

But the truth is the law decimated the Mob.

But there are not enough lawmen left. The government won’t fund the people who go after white collar crime. The FBI has been denigrated, courts are overbooked, and you think it’s about keeping immigrants from crawling over a theoretical wall to take your job.

They don’t want your job, they’re doing all the stuff you won’t do.

As for your job…

You’re angry it’s a dead end, from which you’ll probably get fired anyway. You’re trying to climb a greased pole, but when anybody tells you that, you deny it, believing the USA is better than socialist countries like Denmark, where there’s free education and free health care, because you’ve got the American Dream.

But the American Dream is more achievable in socialist Europe than it is here, just check the “Wall Street Journal,” they published the figures.

So you’re mad as hell and you’re not gonna take it anymore. So you vote against your interests, and get hung up on irrelevant issues like gay marriage and abortion when the truth is you can’t make it here.

Which is why you used to wake up in the morning and get yourself a gun but…

All those bad guys have been caught, use a gun and end your life, you can wreak a lot of havoc, but you’re not gonna escape.

And your mama may have told you you’d be the chosen one, but the call never comes, you never get your chance.

But you’re looking good on Instagram so you think you’re making progress, when the truth is you’re only making Zuck’s pocketbook fatter.

But still, if you tune into “The Sopranos,” all these years later, you’ll find more truth than you’ll get in the newspaper. Hell, wasn’t Manafort a Soprano?

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