The Wire

We’ve been immersing ourselves in The Wire for the past few months.  It’s really intense. It is essentially a novel, told in five seasons.  And it’s a tragic novel, with some amazingly well drawn characters and excellently written dialogue.

It tracks narcotics and drug police squad investigations into gangs in Baltimore, but along the way shows how new young men are recruited into the gangs (Season 4: failing schools, inadequate home life) and how the decline in the working class and union gets entangled in the problem (Season 2) and how the politicians pledge change and yet nothing changes, but a lot of corrupt dirty money changes hands (Season 3).  Then in Season 5, where we are now, we get to see how the declining newspaper industry contributes to the problems across the board.

Basically, the show shows us how it’s all fucked.  All the systems. They’re all corrupt, they’re all morally bankrupt, they’re all filled with a mixture of opportunists looking to boost themselves up on the backs of others.  The drug dealers are the target criminals, but they’re no more fucked up than the police, the schools, the media, or the politicians.

Can you see why I’m finding myself angry and despondent these days? Yet quitting would be the equivalent of quitting a novel when you’re 50 pages from the end.

Can anyone give me a reason to not despair?  And I suppose it’s worth saying that if the show didn’t feel so fucking realistic, so fucking accurate with what I’ve encountered in the “real world” — well, then I’d be able to detach and see this as  “just” a work of fiction.

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~ by realsupergirl on January 22, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Wire”

  1. Switch to Deadwood?

  2. Too late, already finished it. But it was good and well worth watching. I miss you, Yano! I’m coming to Portland at the end of March for a super fast trip but hope I can catch you while I’m there xoxo

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