Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Endings Are Never as Good as the Stories

The Sopranos is a searching study of the problem of small horizons. The problem is that they are beautiful and they are crushing. Who does not come from a place that mistakes itself for the universe? All metaphysics is local. If it is possible to have a vision of the Virgin Mary, then it possible to have a vision of the Virgin Mary at the Bada Bing. The Sopranos locates the human lot in north Jersey, but the human lot is available everywhere or it is available nowhere.”

Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic, 6.18.07

EVERYONE got in on the whole The Sopranos wrap-up, deconstruct thing. I have never lived with HBO, so my knowledge of the show, and appreciation, stems from catching a single episode here and there, or settling into a three or four episode session thanks to Netflix or On Demand at my folks’ house. I feel no sense of loss. My Sundays feel the same as ever. I have been impressed, and surprised (since I never gave myself over to the show), by how the final episode generated so much analysis. But then again, who the hell keeps thinking about pareidolia, and insists it possesses great cultural significance?

That’s what I like about the above excerpt from Leon Wieseltier; with great acuity, he identifies why such events matter. The import is in the possibility of such events (whether reported as news or reflected in art), as the possibility is a product, and virtue, of “the human lot.”

This tree is located near St. Michael’s Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and once again we have the face of Jesus in bark. Apparently, this tree stands between two other trees, evoking for believers the Trinity, according to NBC5 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

There’s not much information about who first discovered the face and under what circumstances. I’d guess that the face has been there quite some time, unnoticed until the right person walked past and saw Jesus. Perhaps he or she had just heard a stirring sermon, or was on a soul-searching stroll. Impossible to know, of course, but as Wieseltier writes, “All metaphysics is local.” Recognizable faces are found everywhere around the world, but even for the similarities that many of the stories share, all of these instances are unique to a time and place. Everything that stems from these sightings is interpretation, disseminated and reinterpreted.

I guess that’s why The Sopranos ended without an ending (so I’ve read).

For some more pics of the tree, check out WMC in Memphis.

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