Scripting News for 6/9/2007

Sopranos speculation 

Warning — spoilers follow. If you aren’t caught up with the series, be forewarned.

Tomorrow is the finale of The Sopranos, and like many other people, I’ll be glued to my set at 9PM anxious to find out how the series ends. I’ve read lots of speculation from lots of reviewers and bloggers, and I’m speculating too, but I think some of the obvious choices are very unlikely, at least I hope they are.

Everyone says not to expect every loose-end to be tied up, don’t expect the series to end with a feeling that you know how every plot line finishes. The Sopranos is not Six Feet Under, a series with the most satisfying completion ever. And The Sopranos is not Goodfellas, I don’t believe (as some do) that Tony will end up a schnook in Utah or suburban Seattle, working a straight job. And I don’t see Carmella driving a Toyota and wearing clothes from Banana Republic.

What other choices are there? Well, Tony could end up boss of NY, tracking down Phil Leotardo, and killing him. That would be satisfying, even if Tony is depraved, as the writers keep reminding us, at least he’s the top depraved bad guy.

Or Tony could end up dead. I think that would take guts and I think it would be right. Why is it right for Tony to die? Adrianna. I feel she is the central character of the show, more than Big Pussy, or Ralph Siparetto, or Janet’s fiancee or Tony’s cousin Tony, or Christopher. Adrianna is pivotal because her death proved for sure that Tony really is evil, without a redeeming quality, a pure gangster, period. Remember that Tony got a crush on Ade just before he told her to go with Silvio to see Christopher in the hospital. Remember how that ended for Ade. If any character had our sympathy, even our love, it was her. And how could you feel anything but rage for Tony when she meets her end, especially the way she meets her end.

To me, that’s the just ending. Tony dies the way Adrianna died. Crawling on his hands and knees, suprised to be about to die, crying and begging to be left to live. There should be a sliver of justice to his death, the same way there was a sliver of justice to Ade’s death (she was collaborating with the Feds, but not really, she hadn’t ratted anyone out, she was just trying to live, her death was tragic and unnecessary, but Tony had no way of knowing that).

And what about Carmella, who surely knew that Adrianna was killed, and who did it. She’s almost said it a half-dozen times. What price does she have to pay for her complicity?

So with Tony gone, and maybe Carmella too, would it surprise us if AJ all of a sudden finds that life makes sense. And I think we’re going to see Meadow one more time, and her future will be surprising. I’m pretty sure she survives, based on an interview Jamie-Lynn Sigler did on Fresh Air. (Yes, I really have been paying attention.)

How much further out on a limb I can go? What about Paulie? Somehow I think, even with all his flaws, he figures out how to survive. I think Phil dies, and Carmella, and Tony, in that order. I think the kids survive, I don’t think Janice becomes the new captain (but it does make some sense, she is a Soprano, after all).

And what about Uncle Junior? He hasn’t appeared in a long time, and for such a major character, can they leave it at that? Somehow I don’t think so.

Oh I’m so confused! Will I still be confused on Monday morning? Do I want to have it all sorted out? I don’t know, I just don’t know. I haven’t looked forward to an hour of TV this much since the finale of The West Wing.

In summary — I think Tony dies, and Carmella. Why? They both have to pay for Adrianna.

All the while we’ve been watching Tony get satisfaction when people betray him. In the end, it would be fair for us, the viewers, to get satisfaction because Tony betrayed us. Adrianna was our heart, which he broke by killing her. Silvio is dying in the hospital, and he deserves it. Tony is next. And Carmella can’t get off the hook, she has to pay too.

Or (sorry) maybe Carmella kills Tony when she finds out for sure that he killed Ade. Hmmm. Then Carmella could live.

Patents meltdown 

Fascinating article about patents in today’s NY Times.

Going to Europe was great for creativity. With much of the UserLand mess settled, I’ve been having thoughts about doing more products, but then things pop up that remind me that it’s not as simple as just creating a product and marketing it, there are always people who show up wanting to take what you created for themselves. More so these days than ever before, likely because my track record for creating wealth for other people keeps getting better.

It may be time to just write a book, and smell the roses. To the extent that I come up with product ideas that excite me, just describe them here so someone else can make them. There might be a limit to how much you can create in one career, because as the parasites become more clever, my energy declines, as does my ambition.

But then articles like this one in the Times come along and make you wonder whether there’s any hope for individuals and small companies, for anyone, not just a person like myself.

Political tidbits 

Governor Schwarzenegger can’t run for President, but what’s stopping a Presidential candidate from assuming the epiphany he had when he realized he could succeed as a politician with a very simple formula. Listen to the people, figure out what they want, and then do it. It’s taken him from dismal to resounding support in the electorate, and the confidence that only comes with understanding your job, and how your success will be measured.

Which leads me to the “war” in Iraq. The problem is that we bought into the positioning of it as a war. It isn’t a war, it’s a mess, a debacle, a catastrophe. A war is something where there are two sides, and one wins and the other loses. That’s why the President’s story about losing or winning is so frustrating. If he wants to play that game, we should pin him down and get him to explain what winning looks like. I know, Iraq becomes an ally in the war on terror, there’s the war word again. Of course that isn’t a war either.

And where are the Democrats? It seems they could learn from Governor Schwarzenegger, and just do what the electorate wants. If they won’t we need to get rid of them too. Imho, we don’t use impeachment enough in this country. Ultimately it may be the only way we get the attention of our elected representatives. As strong as our system is, we have a weakness, the mechanisms for recall aren’t often used. We must get over that. We should start considering impeachment the day a president takes office until they start taking us seriously. Maybe in 20 or 30 years we can relax. But we’ve let this go too far. The Democrats see the Constitution as an issue of election cycles. It is so much bigger than that. I don’t care which party wins the White House when our basic freedoms are in such peril. Impeach Bush and Cheney now and let’s get on with it. Let’s send a message to the 20 or so Presidential hopefuls that they should pay close attention to what happened and continues to happen in California. If we don’t like what you’re doing we’re not going to wait until your term is up to get you out of the way. Ultimately, you serve at our pleasure Mr or Ms President, and don’t you forget it.

Finally, I think the country may be ready for Al Gore and vice versa. I don’t see an announced candidate for either party that will get my vote. They’re all deeply in bed with the war industry and/or the media industry. Gore is independently wealthy, and while he’s maintained his personal relationships in Washington, it seems he’s burned his bridges with the industries that quietly pull the strings of politicians in Washington. We just need a little more evidence of his independence before he gets the endorsement of Scripting News.

Apache question, day 2 

I got a few interesting responses to the question I asked yesterday about file writing to a folder served by Apache on Windows 2000.

The only concrete suggestion came from Don Hopkins, who said that turning off automatic file indexing by the OS would cure the problem. I have my doubts since he implied that in his experience the problem clears after a few seconds. As I reported, in my case, the problem only clears after I restart both pieces of software. But I tried it anyway, no need to index files on the server. The only way I’ll know if it worked is if the problem goes away. I’ll let you know after I update 20 or 30 times.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Dave,

    I’m in Bedford, NH today videoblogging DemocracyFest, the DFA gathering (Democracy For America, originally Dean For America). John Edwards just gave a rallying speech about getting out of the war, Universal healthcare, and the like. I’m sure it’ll be on the Edwards site soon; I’ll be posting it as well once I get a free moment this evening. There’s also a whole lot of discussion here, including a booth and a panel, on the “I-word”: Impeachment. Jim Dean, DFA chair, didn’t say it himself, but it came up in main-session discussion kicking off the morning. We close with Howard Dean tomorrow night. Granny D will be here this afternoon, rallying energy around Campaign Finance Reform. The energy is out there, it’s up to us to help get it visible and energized and connected and funded.

    P.S. One of the organizers here just came up to me and said my using my MacBook with WiFI to report on this reminds him of reading long ago about Alan Kay’s Dynabook.


  2. Dave, if the indexing service were the culprit, you wouldn’t be able to write *any* file on Windows. I’m sure the indexer is smart enough to wait until someone is done writing a file before it starts to read it. Apache? Probably not so much.

    If you write the file to a temporary location first and then move (not copy) it over, you’ll never run into the situation where you have one application reading while another application writes. “Moving” should just update the file reference, not the data, so the operation should be reasonably atomic in such a way that Apache will never see a partial file.

    Again, I’m not a Windows expert.


  3. Again, if the problem doesn’t clear up, filemon should give you a great deal more information about what’s going on. It’s really pretty easy to use too.

    The write new file (has to be on the same disk partition), rename or move old target file, move/rename new file, clean up old file later approach should work. I’ve used it when some windows installer fails because one of the DLLs it is trying to update is still open/loaded by some process.


  4. I’ve had similar issues with my Java application server and various text editors, until I found this tool called Unlocker: It allows you to see who’s holding the lock on a editing/renaming/deleting a file, and to free up those locks. It’d be worth a shot. Good luck.


  5. I tried the write to a temp file then rename approach, and just had the deadly embrace problem, so it’s not a cure-all. I may just relocate to a different server, one running Unix. But I’m still interested in other approaches that don’t require me to move the site off Windows.


  6. Interesting.

    Did the editor itself run into the problem while writing? If so, did you write to a completely new temp file? Does the editor keep the file open the entire time it writes it, or does it close and reopen the file at some point?

    Or, did you run into the problem while moving the file?


  7. Posted by Bryan Schappel on June 9, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    David Chase has always said the series would end with Tony getting what he deserves. That may mean he goes to prison or he dies. My favorite speculation is that Ade is not dead. Sylvio could not kill her. (Remember we never saw her body.) Syl let Ado go and told her to never come back. Ade then went back to the Feds and told them everything. After all she had every right at this time since Tony ordered her dead and Christopher sold her out.

    I hope that Phil dies. He is just as evil as Tony if not more so. Even though many of scores have been settled between Phil and Tony Phil will not let them end.

    The two sorta funny outcomes I’ve heard of are:

    #1: It’s all a dream. Remember when Tony dreamt he was a salesman? Well, he really is a salesman and the entire series is his dream.

    #2: Tony and Phil are both arrested, sentenced to prison and then end up in the same cell. The scene fades to black with both characters staring at each other, very angrily, and you know one will soon be dead.

    I can’t wait to see what happens either.


  8. I keep thinking Paulie’s gone over to the NY family. He wasn’t fingered for hit, he was responsible for the “Italian cousins” job, and remember when he was in jail a couple seasons ago and contacted Johnnie Sak? Also keep thinking the terrorist thread will come in at the end. I haven’t wanted to see what the official fan community thinks, somehow spoils it for me.


  9. Posted by Wouter on June 12, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    “With much of the UserLand mess settled…”: would you care to shed a bit more light on that subject, or may we (the paying customers of Userland) expect some kind of official communication from Userland itself?


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