When I got my high school diploma, I had to prepare a case study related to some of the courses I followed: Italian, science, English, German and other stuff that doesn’t really makes sense to remember. It’ like trying to resume a corpse you desperately wanted to get rid of. Anyway, at that time I was obsessed by crime tv series and how cool the main characters were, so my case study was “Criminality as a form of super heroism”. The heroes in crime fiction (anti-heroes would be a better definition) are written in such a way to inspire people to be like them. I focused especially on The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Dexter and others I can’t remember.
The point was that everybody secretly wants to be a gangster. Being respected, have a sort of honourable code, being almost a good guy who is second to none. There are plenty of examples of the romantic aspects of criminality depicted in media. Probably the most famous one is The Wolf of Wall Street. Anyone I met wanted to become like Jordan Belfort: the guy who went to jail and that now is selling his finance courses online on Youtube (Check out his channel with lots of free advices on selling)
The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Goodfellas
Living such a strong fantasy of power filled with money and women can somehow be dangerous for people approaching this kind of stories with a wring mindset. Sometimes I dreamed about being as smart as Walter White, as ruthless as Tony Soprano and as good in business as Jordan Belfort. It’s kind of sad how psychopaths are seen as winners in this life but that’s the reality of it. They are likeable because they are winners and they embody the type of man that the viewers would like to be. I am not an exception. I don’t want to be part of the mob but sure as hell I would like to be a billionaire and a winner. I was rewatching The Sopranos after 6 years and I realized that I didn’t change a lot. I am still rooting for the bad guy because my life is completely different from theirs. There is a line from the Goodfellas that always resonated with me.
At the end of Goodfellas, it might seem as though Henry, the main character, gets off easy by selling out all his friends to the FBI and leave the Mob. But he’s left completely unfulfilled. He had everything he ever wanted and then lost it. Now, he has to live a normal life in the neighbourhood like everybody else.
“I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”
He basically says that life is different when you are just a random person without power, social status and money. This doesn’t apply only in the gangster world. People who made it (in every field) truly have a different life: they are happier and more fulfilled. This is why I always watch these kinds of stories to get inspired. Like I said, I don’t want to be a criminal (I would be a terrible one in any case) but I want to be someone.