Yesterday, a package arrived. A gift, actually. It was a DVD for "The Sopranos", Series One. Grazie, Adam and Kelly. Xtina interrupted my we-got-a-new-DVD,-now-I-can-watch-famous-actors-
perform-undubbed dance, with a stern pronouncement. "I have full veto power over this one", she informed. "I'm Italian. I know about these things. Americans don't know about these things".
It was creepy. It sounded just like a line out of "The Sopranos". I began to stake out a defence, sloppily. I informed her The Sopranos is the "most authentic treatment of contemporary America" (it's true; I used those exact words, gesturing at her with the DVD the way a preacher might wag at his congregation with a bible), then searching for a brilliant flourish, I summed up with: "ever!" Then continued: "It's more authentic than anything Philip Roth has written."
These are fighting words, and I knew it. Xtina considers Philip Roth to be her personal guide on all things America. Questioning his wisdom is an unforgiveable form of blasphemy in Xtina's mind.
And now, it's Xtina's turn at summation:
"That's BOO-shit!," she exclaimed. I stepped back. "They will be teaching Philip Roth in the schools in 1,000 years time. Where will your Sopranos be then? Heh?"
Xtina is a PhD. She knows about these things.