Posts tagged "The Wire"

Australia’s finally discovered The Wire…

…which prompted this letter to the Sydney Morning Herald earlier in the week:

My husband, a retired philosophy professor, has what I have identified as The Wire Syndrome. After watching all five series on DVD he seems to think he is a black teenage Baltimore drug dealer, on a ”corner”. His conversation is peppered with: ”awright”, ”ya feel me”, ”yo”, ”I need re-up” and ”we gotta get Marlo”. He has also developed a strange slow and rhythmic gait. Is there a cure?

Kay Cambourn Balmain East

Which was, you know, whatever, until the next day’s paper arrived, carrying this magnificent response:

Imitation is a sincere form of flattery. I would be wary, Kay, when your husband starts looking at nail guns on your next trip to Bunnings.

Jodie Alvaro Casula

Standing ovation.

(Bunnings is like Australian Home Depot)


"There’s never been a paper bag for drugs."

Me at That Other Blog:

I was reminded of this scene after Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a set of stringent new restrictions on illegal immigration. The law has set off an outcry here in the States, and it’s not too hard to see why. It requires police to stop people they suspect of being illegal immigrants and demand proof that they are authorised to be in the country. Immigrants must carry around proof of their legal status at all times, and the mere act of being an illegal immigrant in Arizona is now a crime.

The problem is, of course, that it’s hard to have a reasonable suspicion that someone is an illegal immigrant, because, well, in the words of Governor Brewer: “I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like.” Opponents of the law think it will lead to widespread profiling of Hispanics, since most illegal immigrants are Hispanic. And even though the law forbids this kind of racial profiling, it offers no guidance as to how a police officer is meant to reasonably suspect someone of being an illegal immigrant. Just like police departments that don’t racially profile but nonetheless coincidentally end up harassing large numbers of law-abiding African-Americans, this legislation seems likely to lead to widespread demands of any Hispanic-looking person in Arizona that they show their papers.

In practice, this will make Hispanics more mistrustful of police, and discourage them from reporting crimes and co-operating with investigations. But if this were all it would do, at least Arizona would reach some kind of workable, albeit horrible, compromise. But one of the more absurd aspects of the law is that it permits individual citizens to sue police departments that aren’t doing enough to combat illegal immigration. Not only will police have to try to determine who is an illegal immigrant merely by sight, they will have to demand of these people proof of legal status, and, to avoid costly lawsuits, they will have to do so to the satisfaction of every resident of Arizona.

And the rest is over here…


So Spencer Ackerman linked to this video today; just your run-of-the-mill “Omar coming!” scene, only the upload happened to have French subtitles. Which led to me noticing how the subtitles translated “The cheese stands alone.”

"C’est moi qui fais la loi," French Omar says, and with it being more than a decade since I’ve studied any French, I turned to Google Translator:

It is I who am the law.

Wow. That’s weak, L’Omar. Don’t you know: You come at le roi, you best not miss. Can any Francophones come to your defense?


"And it don’t matter that same fool say he different, cause the only thing that make you different is what you really do; what you really go through. Like, you know, like all them books in his library. Now, he frontin’ with all them books, but if you pull one down off the shelf, and none of the pages has ever been opened. He got all them books and he ain’t read any one of ‘em. Gatsby; he was who he was and he did what he did. And cause he wasn’t ready to get real with the story… that shit caught up to him."


Alyssa Rosenberg:

The pairing of the speech and mouth movements here isn’t actually that great. But the choices of which characters to transmute into their equivalents is pretty brilliant, and a reminder that, from Toy Story to The Wire, a lot of American stories are essentially the same: the struggle against irrelevance, the push for conformity, the glory and desperation of our dreams.

Best bit: “What the fuck did I do?”


A Batman question.

We’ve said before that I’m not a comic books guy, but I’ve loved a Batman movie, and, I suppose, enjoyed two of them. Also, I’ve read The Dark Knight Returns.

And if I think about Batman long enough — just to show how much of a nerd I am — I always start to think; yeah, well, you know who he wouldn’t stand a chance against?

Marlo Stanfield.

Like, freal. What’s Bruce Wayne going to do, heavy the corner boys? Ask them who they report to? You snitch to Batman I’m pretty sure you’ve got Snoop and Chris Partlow paying you a visit. And if Omar couldn’t take out Marlo I’m pretty sure Batman couldn’t.

Batman might terrify Gotham, but he’d be wildly ineffective in Baltimore.

Really, this post is more about me being a liberal than it is about me being a nerd.


And I think it’s telling that these days it actually makes me sad when I hear about a book I love being adapted for the big screen—television as done by HBO, Showtime, and the BBC is where it’s at in terms of drama nowadays.

Matt Yglesias, “The Man in the High Castle,” Think Progress, October 14, 2010

Ugh. This is just Anglophilia, nothing else. Look, the BBC has been responsible for some excellent programming, and even in recent years, it’s produced “The Office” and “Extras,” both of which are worthy of being spoken about as being among the zenith of contemporary television. But talking about the channel in the same breath as modern day HBO? That’s just ridiculous. The BBC isn’t coming with “The Wire” or “The Sopranos” or even “True Blood,” really; it’s not even on AMC’s level now that has “Mad Men.” Even in terms of more populist drama, the BBC hasn’t been able to match the cream of 21st century American television. (I’m talking “Gossip Girl,” “The O.C.,” “Gilmore Girls,” etc.) And where HBO shows are concerned at least, the Poms agree with me.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. America has a great advantage where culture industries are concerned. It has a massive population, a lot of money and the ability to wield economies of scale in a highly effective way. They’re an educated people with a rich history of combining the innovative with the popular. It’s no surprise that they’re responsible for the best television around.


tmblg:

The Wire circa 1888

Like of course I reblogged this.
EDIT: Anyone know who created this? I can’t find an original source. Thanks, realcolin, who identifies the source as this article. It looks like it might feature material even greater than this image.

tmblg:

The Wire circa 1888

Like of course I reblogged this.

EDIT: Anyone know who created this? I can’t find an original source. Thanks, realcolin, who identifies the source as this article. It looks like it might feature material even greater than this image.


In Paul Kelly’s 1987 single “To Her Door,” the singer-songwriter has the song’s protagonist riding in a “Silver Top” and on “Olympic,” referring respectively to a taxi company and a bus line. Kelly specifically wanted to write a song that mentioned a brand name.
I much prefer using real brands to invented ones when writing. Companies have gone to a lot of trouble to invest their names with certain qualities, so why not use those associations to our own ends?
Sometimes, though, your audience doesn’t recognize the brand in question. It’s one of those trivial differences between American and Australia that makes American stories seem slightly distant and inexplicable, in a way that you don’t even notice. There’s a scene in “The Wire” that features Bunny Colvin taking some of the local kids out to a fancy restaurant. You don’t need to know what a Ruth’s Chris is to understand the scene, which has the kids coming in cocky and leaving feeling lost and out of place. In fact, when I first saw the scene, in Australia, I didn’t even realize that the restaurant in question was a real life chain — and when an American friend informed me what it was, I couldn’t make use of the information.
Then, one day last year, I walked by the Ruth’s Chris on Pine Street in Seattle. I looked in the window as I passed, and in a small way, the Wire scene suddenly made more sense. I now knew precisely what kind of restaurant had left the kids feeling so out of their element, I knew precisely what Colvin’s intentions had been, and all that was communicated in a moment, with sharper clarity than all the scene’s dialogue and set-dressing could provide.

In Paul Kelly’s 1987 single “To Her Door,” the singer-songwriter has the song’s protagonist riding in a “Silver Top” and on “Olympic,” referring respectively to a taxi company and a bus line. Kelly specifically wanted to write a song that mentioned a brand name.

I much prefer using real brands to invented ones when writing. Companies have gone to a lot of trouble to invest their names with certain qualities, so why not use those associations to our own ends?

Sometimes, though, your audience doesn’t recognize the brand in question. It’s one of those trivial differences between American and Australia that makes American stories seem slightly distant and inexplicable, in a way that you don’t even notice. There’s a scene in “The Wire” that features Bunny Colvin taking some of the local kids out to a fancy restaurant. You don’t need to know what a Ruth’s Chris is to understand the scene, which has the kids coming in cocky and leaving feeling lost and out of place. In fact, when I first saw the scene, in Australia, I didn’t even realize that the restaurant in question was a real life chain — and when an American friend informed me what it was, I couldn’t make use of the information.

Then, one day last year, I walked by the Ruth’s Chris on Pine Street in Seattle. I looked in the window as I passed, and in a small way, the Wire scene suddenly made more sense. I now knew precisely what kind of restaurant had left the kids feeling so out of their element, I knew precisely what Colvin’s intentions had been, and all that was communicated in a moment, with sharper clarity than all the scene’s dialogue and set-dressing could provide.


The Wire, Ep. 05.06: The Dickensian Aspect

Speaking of “The Wire,” this is a great scene. “Price of a brick goin’ up… I had enough of this shit.” No matter how much of a drop off Season 5 was, it still contained gold like this.



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