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Family Values and the Boss's Lady

Letter to the Editor, Vanity Fair, June, 2007

As has long been suspected, the impetus behind David Chase's The Sopranos---a show which proudly, exuberantly exploits Italian culture---was a festering sense of self-loathing, nurtured by parents eager to escape their feelings of Italian inferiority. ["An American Family," by Peter Biskind, April]

There is a familiar pattern to shifting one's ethnic identity, a pattern not exclusively limited to Italian-Americans. Step One: Americanize your name (in this case, from DeCesare to Chase). Step Two: Become a practicing Protestant (instead of a Catholic). Step Three: Change your language (from the beautiful vowels of Italian to the harsh consonants of English). And Step Four: Hang on, if you must, to only the shallowest and most rudimentary elements of your classical culture (food!).

Thanks a lot, Mr. and Mrs. Chase. You chased your son away from developing a truly healthy appreciation for the Italian heritage. As the Romans would have said, Chase is genuinely nullius filius, or no one's son.

Bill Dal Cerro
National President
The Italic Institute of America
Floral Park, N.Y.

 
 

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