Monday, February 04, 2008
make the whole city numb, test on your gums, only buy it out the drum:
David Plotz on The Wire:
This is a random train of thought: Over the past five seasons, The Wire has shown us schools, drug dealers, politicians, unions, cops, and a newspaper. But it occurs to me, as we near its finish, that it has never really shown us young black men at work. It has brilliantly captured the no-choice lives of the young street dealers and the way in which the smartest and most ruthless of them make a career from drugs. But The Wire has never presented the alternative path.
Except for, oh, Fletch, Carver, Sydnor, Randy, arguably Sherrod in his intern phase... Should we up the age limit to come up with more counterexamples, or is that enough?

But is it really necessary to explain why the show shows more criminals than civilians? It's not just the game that's rigged, it's life itself. Remember the scene in season 4 when Marimow's ignorant, myopic determination to "make rips" leads the cops to entrap a young man biking to work into buying drugs for them. They demand he break the law and then lock him up for it, wrecking his path out of the ghetto -- literally: they take away his bike -- for the brutish exigency of making an empty statement about who owns West Baltimore's streets. I think David Simon might be trying to tell us something about injustice, Mr. Plotz.

--Spencer Ackerman
Security Guard: You think I dream of comin' to work up in this shit on a Sunday mornin'. Tell all my friends what a good job I got. I'm workin' to support a family man. Pretend I ain't talking to you. Pretend like I ain't even on this Earth. I know what you are, and I ain't steppin' to, but I am a man, and you just clip that shit and act like you don't even know I'm there.

How directly does it need to be said?
Blogger joedokes | 2:34 PM

Yeah, I debated throwing in Security Guard, but I thought he might have been too old & Plotz could have called foul. But the point is perfectly made by that, Joe.
Blogger spencerackerman | 2:44 PM

OK...because what the wire is missing is a few inspirational stories of boot-strapping strivers. More 'Pursuit of Happiness' and less 'Clockers'
Blogger The Special | 10:02 PM