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Obligatory Sopranos comment

We watched the series finale of The Sopranos on Sunday. Better bloggers than I, or me, have dissected the final scene and ranted and raved about how David Chase screwed us over and is clearly un-American. As if that’s a bad thing. I’d imagine HBO took a fair amount of abuse along with the subscription cancellations. And I now have an hour less of TV to watch every week. Although Hell’s Kitchen is back on and Gordon Ramsey’s a fat bastard too so it all balances out. Erik and I were in step with the rest of America – he cursed the cable for going out when the screen went to black without the usual music and I poured another glass of wine and laughed and read the message boards.

For what it’s worth, I thought it was a good ending. Anyone that wants their storylines tied up nice and neatly should watch Studio 60 which is back on and will be even more appealing to viewers who hate to waste time thinking for themselves. Studio 60 producer proposes to pregnant Network Executive before she’s wheeled off to surgery for eclampsiya. Aaron Sorkin is genius. As is usual with The Sopranos the ending was the least eventful moment of the episode. Tony S, having quit seeing his therapist of the past 6 seasons, ended up in a meeting with his son’s therapist where he fell back into old habits and started complaining about his mother and how she messed up his life. His wife shoots him a look that pretty much says, you miserable, whingeing bastard, why does everything have to be about you. I’ve been feeling the same way. About myself, not about Tony Soprano, who I’d still shag if I was in my fantasy alternate world.

I’m not doing the therapy thing these days, due to my therapist Rick being a complete arse and anyway I don’t feel like I need it (a sure sign that I do). But I do think I have a bit of a blame mentality, which is probably a term I picked up during one of my sessions. I think this may have come from doing my solo show again, a therapy exercise in itself, which gives me the chance to wallow in my past for 25 mins a night, albeit with some admittedly well-written humour. I’m about to exacerbate my problem by going to Fresno, California for 2 weeks to take a solo performers workshop. The workshop is all about writing from personal experience and cultural background, which means I’ll be able to complain about both my life and being a Brit. It was either this course or one on improv, taught by the Chicago Second City people. Given that my attempts at improv usually end with me in tears and hating myself, the results might be similar but I’ve made my choice. Of course I’m now getting worried that everyone else will have a better personal story than me and with less than a month to go it’s perhaps a little unrealistic to hope for some life-changing event to write about. I certainly don’t want to go back to childhood stuff again and have to compete against someone that was abused/orphaned/forced to eat cat food, who will turn their Fresno experience into a best-selling memoir of survival and overcoming the odds that I’ll flick through while in the bookstore on my next visit to Heathrow Airport. It doesn’t help that the guest artists are all from more interesting and/or troubled parts of the world. Growing up under the regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or in an aborigine tribe in Australia clearly gives you an advantage when it comes to emotional manipulation of an audience. I can’t even take the socio-political tack. I was never very politically active, unless you count my subscription to Marxism Today or getting caught up in a miners strike protest in London when I was trying to get to Top Shop to buy a frilly white shirt like the new romantics wore.

The course instructors most recent advice was to ‘write about what you know’. I’m already doing this, my latest show, which will premiere at Fronterafest in January is based on the band Queen and my 17 years in the Queen Fan Club. It has no depth, no point and is really just a chance to talk about my crush on Roger Taylor and play some of my favorite songs. I hope to move the audience to clapping and possibly some toe tapping.

Woe is me.

Just getting myself into a Fresno frame of mind.