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September 23rd, 2010
thesmithian

The most intriguing phrase Simon has used regarding The Wire is  to say that it is about “the death of work.” By this he means not just  the loss of jobs, though there certainly is that, but the loss of  integrity within our systems of work, the “juking of stats,” the  speaking of truth to power having been replaced with speaking what is  most self-serving and pleasing to the higher-ups. In a poker game with  the mayor, one folds on a flush to allow the mayor to win. (As opposed  to the freelance stickup man Omar, who, beholden to no one, shows up at  at a kingpin’s poker night with two pistols and the Dennis Lehane line  “I believe these four 5s beat your full house.”) Police departments  manipulate their stats for the politicians; schools do the same;  newspapers fake stories with their eye on prizes and stockholders.  Moreover, in the world of The Wire almost everyone who tries to  buck the system and do right is punished, often severely and grotesquely  and heartbreakingly. Accommodation is survival at the most basic level,  although it is also lethal to the soul.

yes. want this book.
oh and this one, too.

they’re both mentioned in the above-linked “review” which is really a phenomenal essay about The Wire written by Lorrie Moore, who has written many fine things, including one of my favorite short stories (link is an abstract, so don’t click if you hate spoilers).

The most intriguing phrase Simon has used regarding The Wire is to say that it is about “the death of work.” By this he means not just the loss of jobs, though there certainly is that, but the loss of integrity within our systems of work, the “juking of stats,” the speaking of truth to power having been replaced with speaking what is most self-serving and pleasing to the higher-ups. In a poker game with the mayor, one folds on a flush to allow the mayor to win. (As opposed to the freelance stickup man Omar, who, beholden to no one, shows up at at a kingpin’s poker night with two pistols and the Dennis Lehane line “I believe these four 5s beat your full house.”) Police departments manipulate their stats for the politicians; schools do the same; newspapers fake stories with their eye on prizes and stockholders. Moreover, in the world of The Wire almost everyone who tries to buck the system and do right is punished, often severely and grotesquely and heartbreakingly. Accommodation is survival at the most basic level, although it is also lethal to the soul.

yes. want this book.

oh and this one, too.

they’re both mentioned in the above-linked “review” which is really a phenomenal essay about The Wire written by Lorrie Moore, who has written many fine things, including one of my favorite short stories (link is an abstract, so don’t click if you hate spoilers).

  1. beatsnrants reblogged this from thesmithian and added:
    Truth be told … The Wire is the greatest drama ever in the history of television. So buy this book. And buy the DVD...
  2. thesmithian posted this
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