This bit is about Dumbledore.....
He is gay! I find it fascinating that Rowling outed him after the series ended. Actually, I love it. I hope this makes any homophobic Harry Potter fans stop and think.
This bit is about the Sopranos series finale.
I used to think that Tony lived and that was sort of his punishment. However, I was reading Alan Sepinwall's blog and this post had me thinking. Then, I read the comments and one commenter in particular made me do an about face and I got chills when I realized what the commenter was saying. Now, I actually believe that Tony died. This comment from Homertojeebus is what did it for me....
Alan, Tony's dead. I'll reprint analysis from a blog post I did on it. The Sopranos finale left many people cursing at their cable companies, scratching their heads, or flogging David Chase in effigy. Herewith, I will attempt to put this whole thing to rest. Many of these observations have been made elsewhere, but I do have a couple of points that I haven't seen before.So, yes. I think Tony died. I do think it is telling that Chase made the mention of Gerry the Hairdo and how Silvio did not see it coming. Now, I believe that very last bit of the Sopranos was from Tony's perspective and that is why the screen suddenly went black. That is how it would have appeared to Tony when he was shot.
Initially I felt, like a lot of people, that Chase was just messing with us, giving us all the finger. That's the "write your own ending" theory. While the ending does allow the viewer some rorschachian wiggle room, the real ending is there if you want to see it. Actually, you have to want not to see it in order to miss it.
See, the problem with this theory is that it presupposes that Chase is writing the last scene about "The Sopranos": the TV show/cultural phenomenon, and not the Sopranos: the family/criminal organization/set of literary characters. This is a narcissistic interpretation that runs counter to everything that came before it. If you leave the "fourth wall" intact, the ending can only mean one thing.
As everyone knows, Tony flashed back to a conversation with Bobby about how, in the end, you never see it coming, it just ends, etc. What you might not know is that you never even hear it coming. When I was a kid, I had a neighbor who had been shot point-blank in the head and survived, minus an eye, and his senses of smell and taste. He said he never heard the shot or even felt it.
The most compelling evidence, however, is the choice of music in that final scene. I thought about that song, "Don't Stop Believin'", and I realized it was about denial. That whole last scene was about denial, both Tony's and (as a byproduct) much of the audience's. As Tony looks around, the scene alternates between the Norman Rockwell images, the cub scouts etc, and the menacing. AJ invokes Tony's denial, saying "Didn't you once tell us to try and remember the good times?" The music is imploring Tony not to stop believing that he is a great, normal family guy, that he's managed to keep his family separate from his "Family". "Member's Only" ("this thing of ours?) goes to the can.