“Made in America,” the much talked-about series finale of HBO’s “Sopranos,” was in parts a commentary by creator/capo David Chase on the war in Iraq and the extreme denial (apathy?) that the vast majority of Americans seemingly have toward the carnage that’s going on over there every day — so he sez in a first-person essay to be published in the December Men of the Year issue of GQ mag. (A GQ publicist was kind enough to send along a sneak peek.)
In Chase’s view, it was “Made in America,” as in, we’ve got it made in the shade here in the land of milk and honey, and we’ve got no clue and don’t really care about how the rest of the world feels about us. In it Chase reveals the allegory behind those onion rings and what it would take to get a “Sopranos” movie on track. To wit:
The theme of that episode was “Made in America.” I used that title not only because Tony’s a made guy, and all these guys are made guys, but also because it was about the extreme amount of comfort Americans have, especially people with money. And specifically, it was about the war in Iraq—it was made in America, and as you saw in the show, Tony and Carmela just didn’t want their son to go, and they could afford to see that their son didn’t go. Like some of our leaders.
I felt, and I continue to feel, that our country is in a tremendous crisis right now, and people are focused on onion rings, and as it turns out, they’re focused on onion rings as they appear in the end of “The Sopranos.” Not to get too didactic about it, but it was really sort of about how we are going about our amply fed, luxury-car life here, and the world is going to hell and we’re under tremendous threat. And people don’t want to see it.