12 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2018
      1. We can identify organized crime by finding groups of people who share a similar disregard for societal norms. If we compare it to disorganized or random crime, we can spot the differences in planning and execution. Disorganized crime is more often opportunistic on a small scale, while organized crime is more likely to be premeditated or a long term operation.
      2. No, they are not limited to criminals. More generally, a sharpie could be considered someone who takes advantage of the suckers in normal society to advance, even if not through illegal means, and wise guys would be those who take advantage to gain power but not necesarily social standing.
      3. Even from secondhand descriptions, Cersi Lannister from Game of Thrones is a sharpie, more than willing to take advantage of and break societal norms for more power.
      4. Nick Carraway is a sucker in The Great Gatsby because of his refusal to abandon societal norms and laws when the opportunity to amass money and power arises. Gatsby is a sharpie, because he uses illegal means to obtain fortune and social standing. Wolfsheim is one example of a wiseguy because while he doesn't follow societal laws, he has used this disregard to accumulate money but not necessarily social standing.
      5. From Hamilton I would say that Hamilton is a sharpie from his willingness to do anything to raise his social standing (it was part of his reasoning for marrying Eliza, see the song Satisfied). Burr is more of a sucker because he waits (song: Wait for It) until he can grow legitimately and doesn't take every opportunity available.
      6. If the American Dream is suceptable to corruption, then it would make logical sense if the path to the goal was also corrupted, "crooked" as it were. If the only goal is wealth and respect, and the path to get there doesn't matter, then what reason is there to stay on the straight and narrow?
    1. Lawlessness has been and is one of the most distinctive American traits .... It is impossible to blame the situation on the "foreign

      This quote in particular highlights his differences with O'Kane's argument about the causes of organized crime and gangsters in America. While O'Kane argues that it is the discrimination against foreign groups that 'makes' the ethnic gangster, Adams (and therefore Lupsha who is quoting him) asserts that the lawlessness of gangsters is an essentially American trait, and that immigrants don't come to America lawless, but rather that America makes them lawless. These two points can be somewhat reconciled if we consider the discrimination that forced them to the crooked ladder to be the part of "the American atmosphere and conditions" that made some immigrants into gangsters.

    2. are also statements about culture.

      "In my beginning is my end." Is this not the culture that produces the gangster's story arc. To become successful, he (or she) makes enemies and stands alone so that he/she is seen as succesful enough to partner with. Then those same enemies that the gangster made earlier will come back to be their "end." And eventually, one will succeed.

  2. Jan 2018
    1. party 'of opulent proportions

      Consumption shows success (again), RE: Dressed to kill and Gatsby as a Gangster

    2. to be successful means that its_ conventions

      This is true especially so of modern culture. I have never actually watched a movie that bills itself as a 'gangster' movie, but even I know the arc of the stereotypical gangster. At this point it is simply part of growing up in this society.

    1. cabaret scenes were an almost i obligatory element of late twenties and early thirties gangster films.

      While Gatsby's house is not a cabaret, the parties held there every weekend do share some similarities, with the food, drink, and performance.

    2. More than ever before, products were important not only because of the immediate function they served, but because of the images they conveyed.

      This concept is one that 'old money' was brought up to understand, but 'new money' gangsters did not, hence their lack of taste.

    1. bonds

      And here we have a possible reason for Gatsby as a gangster to approach Nick specifically, even going so far as to invite him personally and try to make him a close friend.

    2. Pauly's overal agrument in this article is that Gatsby's characterization as a "dandy" is not a lack of support for Gatsby as a gangster, but a reference to several real world gangster dandies which reinforces the conceptualization of Gatsby as a gangster.

      Words that stood out to me include "dandy," "extravangant," and "emergence."

    3. whichdifferentiateGatsbyfromhiscriminalassociates

      Aren't gangsters supposed to stand out from 'ordinary lowlife criminals?' At the very least, the American perception of the gangster is of a more sophisitcated criminal, a con man rather than a smash and grab thief.

    4. wasapttobesomethingofadandy.

      The question I have here, is whether these gangsters became dandies before or or after being truly dangerous. Was it the money they made as a gangster that allowed them to live the life of a dandy? (this part of the quote also calls to my mind both the characters of Gatsby and Tom)

    1. not so much a person as a story about a person

      I think this is the heart of his quote. The concept that every person's perception of every other person is not them seeing each other, but working each other into a personal narrative is striking