Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
I simply contend that the middle-class ideal which demands that people be affectionate, respectable, honest and content, that they avoid excitements and cultivate serenity is the ideal that appeals to me, it is in short the ideal of affectionate family life, of honorable business methods.
To make a man perfectly happy tell him he works too hard, that he spends too much money, that he is misunderstood or that he is different; none of this is necessarily complimentary, but it will flatter him infinitely more that merely telling him that he is brilliant, or noble, or wise, or good.
Like many other touchstones of twenty-first-century pop culture, 'The Sopranos' was hatched in the late Nineties, predicting a future that never arrived. It was designed for a decade that would be just like the Nineties, except more so, in an America that enjoyed seeing itself as smarter and braver and freer than ever before.
We were that generation called silent, but we were silent neither, as some thought, because we shared the period's official optimism nor, as others thought, because we feared its official repression. We were silent because the exhilaration of social action seemed to many of us just one more way of escaping the personal, of masking for a while that dread of the meaningless which was man's fate.