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Blind Melon
Jan 3, 2006
I like fire, you can have some too.

awesmoe posted:

He kinda tried to run when he should have been crawling. The basic economics stuff (rebranding etc) worked for him where he was at, going into property development didn't.

I think this is it. Stringer thought that because he was a major player in the game he could transition into the new game and still fight it out to be top dog. Who knows, maybe even given enough time he could have.

I don't think it was entirely a Gatsby style front, there was some Prop Joe style "act the part, be the part", Stringer was trying to fake it until he made it.

I also didn't get the impression he had made bad investments, or had a bad general game plan, he just didn't understand the system at all.

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MrBling
Aug 21, 2003

Oozing machismo

If all of you haven't watched Homicide: Life on the Street you really should get on that. It's really good and it has Munch when he still gave a poo poo.

It is sadly a pretty overlooked show, probably because it is kinda old at this point.

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

Blind Melon posted:

I think this is it. Stringer thought that because he was a major player in the game he could transition into the new game and still fight it out to be top dog. Who knows, maybe even given enough time he could have.

I don't think it was entirely a Gatsby style front, there was some Prop Joe style "act the part, be the part", Stringer was trying to fake it until he made it.

I also didn't get the impression he had made bad investments, or had a bad general game plan, he just didn't understand the system at all.

Stringers main application of business 101 to the drug game is basically just "product > territory and violence is bad for business" which is no different from Prop Joe's philosophy and he sure as hell never went to community college to figure it out. There was that one time he "rebranded" the Barksdales lovely package on the advice of his Econ professor but really that's not much different from what they were doing before to exploit the addicts. Hell, Stringer actually tells D in season 1, well before we see his business classes, that hyping up a so called "new package" (maybe it's a little less stepped on at best) is pretty much the standard play. And yet Stringer somehow thought, despite lording over other people with his "business knowledge" on the street, that the actual business world worked like the street and he could bribe and threaten and manipulate his way in.

There's another fun scene early in season 2 that shows how much Stringer overestimates his business smarts. He drops all his cellphone stocks because he saw that Poot had a phone for business and one for pussy and thus the market must be oversaturated. Note this scene takes place in 2003....

grading essays nude fucked around with this message at 07:38 on Sep 16, 2014

kanonvandekempen
Mar 14, 2009


grading essays nude posted:

Stringers main application of business 101 to the drug game is basically just "product > territory and violence is bad for business" which is no different from Prop Joe's philosophy and he sure as hell never went to community college to figure it out. There was that one time he "rebranded" the Barksdales lovely package on the advice of his Econ professor but really that's not much different from what they were doing before to exploit the addicts. Hell, Stringer actually tells D in season 1, well before we see his business classes, that hyping up a so called "new package" (maybe it's a little less stepped on at best) is pretty much the standard play. And yet Stringer somehow thought, despite lording over other people with his "business knowledge" on the street, that the actual business world worked like the street and he could bribe and threaten and manipulate his way in.

There's another fun scene early in season 2 that shows how much Stringer overestimates his business smarts. He drops all his cellphone stocks because he saw that Poot had a phone for business and one for pussy and thus the market must be oversaturated. Note this scene takes place in 2003....

Stringer believed in the american dream, thinking that he could work his way out of the ghetto, whereas prop joe never tries to leave the ghetto and things work out much better for him, until Marlo comes along.

If Stringer had paid attention during season 2, he'd know that the American dream has long been dead and buried.

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

In a similar vein, note also that Fat Face Rick - who ultimately takes over from Marlo as the biggest kingpin in the city - is also semi-legit, more so than Stringer, able to make his deal with Nerese Campbell even though it's publicly known he's a drug dealer.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




MrBling posted:

If all of you haven't watched Homicide: Life on the Street you really should get on that. It's really good and it has Munch when he still gave a poo poo.

It is sadly a pretty overlooked show, probably because it is kinda old at this point.

It also suffered form being on network television, so they had to tone it down a bit and take notes from network people, which was noticeable at times. Like the big pivotal scene where a detective calls his captain a butthead :ohdear:

It's been a while since I read the book (which you should all definitely read) but I believe the actual word that that detective used was a little more cop-like.


I only got about 2 seasons into homicide but I do remember liking it, despite all that. Just not enough to seek out more than the first two seasons apparently.

hhhmmm
Jan 1, 2006
...?

Blind Melon posted:

That's not entirely true, Stringer does implement some of the stuff he learns. That's where he got the rebranding and false competition ideas, from talking to his professor.

Stringer did a similar thing in season 1 (rebranding a package with poor quality), so it wasn't all copycat.

In a way, both Stringer and McNulty have the same problem: They always believe that they are the smartest fucks in the room. And for a long time that has always been true, it has been months even, when they were the smartest fucks in the room.

kanonvandekempen
Mar 14, 2009


hhhmmm posted:

Stringer did a similar thing in season 1 (rebranding a package with poor quality), so it wasn't all copycat.

In a way, both Stringer and McNulty have the same problem: They always believe that they are the smartest fucks in the room. And for a long time that has always been true, it has been months even, when they were the smartest fucks in the room.

Because the real smart fucks are in a different, better paying room.

LloydDobler
Oct 15, 2005

You shared it with a dick.



grading essays nude posted:

And yet Stringer somehow thought, despite lording over other people with his "business knowledge" on the street, that the actual business world worked like the street and he could bribe and threaten and manipulate his way in.

Actually I took that whole cycle the opposite way, his downfall was that he thought it didn't work like the drug world. He wanted to go legit, so he took all his drug money and invested it, only to find that the "real world" was just as corrupt and cruel as the drug world. And to make matters worse, in this world he was the junkie who was losing all his money to the people who knew how to play the game.

Instead of "Yes good sir, welcome to the legal and legitimate business world where you will see a decent return on your sizeable investment with minimal risk" he got "haha watch me soak this green motherfucker for every penny he's got."

stev
Jan 22, 2013

Please be excited.





LloydDobler posted:

Actually I took that whole cycle the opposite way, his downfall was that he thought it didn't work like the drug world. He wanted to go legit, so he took all his drug money and invested it, only to find that the "real world" was just as corrupt and cruel as the drug world. And to make matters worse, in this world he was the junkie who was losing all his money to the people who knew how to play the game.

Instead of "Yes good sir, welcome to the legal and legitimate business world where you will see a decent return on your sizeable investment with minimal risk" he got "haha watch me soak this green motherfucker for every penny he's got."

He might have learned from that and improved his game though if he wasn't shot all over the place for drug related shenanigans.

thathonkey
Jul 17, 2012


Shredded Hen

Speaking of related books, I bought a copy of The Corner accidentally (long story, not a loaded statement). Is it worth reading? I've already seen the HBO miniseries based on it (which was excellent and I'm pretty sure most Wire fans would enjoy it, the entire thing was on Youtube for a while but it looks like it got pulled, sorry y'all).

awesmoe
Nov 30, 2005



Pillbug

thathonkey posted:

Speaking of related books, I bought a copy of The Corner accidentally (long story, not a loaded statement). Is it worth reading? I've already seen the HBO miniseries based on it (which was excellent and I'm pretty sure most Wire fans would enjoy it, the entire thing was on Youtube for a while but it looks like it got pulled, sorry y'all).

It might be an exaggeration to call it life-changing. maybe.

ShaneMacGowansTeeth
May 22, 2007



I think this is it... I think this is how it ends


thathonkey posted:

Speaking of related books, I bought a copy of The Corner accidentally (long story, not a loaded statement). Is it worth reading? I've already seen the HBO miniseries based on it (which was excellent and I'm pretty sure most Wire fans would enjoy it, the entire thing was on Youtube for a while but it looks like it got pulled, sorry y'all).

I've read it three or four times now, and it pulls no punches and is incredibly bleak, even for a book about a rundown section of an inner city neighbourhood that has essentially surrendered to the drug trade. Anger, despair, revulsion, disbelief and sadness, often within the same chapters

janklow
Sep 28, 2001

whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.


thathonkey posted:

Speaking of related books, I bought a copy of The Corner accidentally (long story, not a loaded statement). Is it worth reading?
absolutely, especially in conjunction with Homicide. also helps, i suppose, in recognizing when Fran and DeAndre turn up in the Wire.

drunken officeparty
Aug 23, 2006



I'm rewatching House of Cards and just realized that Freddy is the assistant-mayor guy for Carcetti :eyepop:

thathonkey
Jul 17, 2012


Shredded Hen

drunken officeparty posted:

I'm rewatching House of Cards and just realized that Freddy is the assistant-mayor guy for Carcetti :eyepop:

drat I didnt make that connection until just now :vince:

New Yorp New Yorp
Jul 18, 2003

Only in Kenya.


Pillbug

thathonkey posted:

drat I didnt make that connection until just now :vince:

He was also sometimes-Warden Querns on Oz.

Don't gently caress with Querns.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


He was also a homeless person who got stabbed and had his dog stomped on by Christian Bale's Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Another thing about Stringer was that he didn't make use of the resources available to him, both out of perhaps justifiable concerns over compartmentalization and paranoia. He had Levy right there as a conduit into "legitimate" business and he didn't make use of him. Because he was paranoid that Levy might tell Avon what he was doing? Or maybe because he wanted to completely separate his drug business from his legitimate business (ala the Copy Shop)? Because he thought Levy might take advantage of him? Because it would have been admitting he wasn't as smart and savvy as he wanted to believe he was if he needed to go to somebody else for help?

Whatever the reason, he basically walked naked into a room full of sexual predators and shotgunned a roofie colada.

bucketybuck
Apr 8, 2012


Jerusalem posted:

Another thing about Stringer was that he didn't make use of the resources available to him

In that same vein, I always wondered why he didn't make more use of his street persona in his business dealings?

Without overtly threatening any of the businessmen he could easily have made them aware that yes, he was indeed a dangerous criminal with a lot of dangerous men with guns ready to do dangerous things at his command. Even just that reputation could have given the likes of Krawczyk pause in their plans to rip him off. He was the head of Baltimore biggest drugs gang and they were laughing at him, and he was so wrapped up in trying to look like a serious businessman that he forgot they actually had good reason to fear him.

Fun Times!
Dec 26, 2010


Hey all, I've got a question.

I just started watching the series for a second time, and in the third episode of season 1 McNulty is told that Daniels has "a couple hundred thousand more in liquid assets than any police lieutenant should ever have" and that the FBI was investigating him before handing over the info to Burrell. In scenes showing Daniels' home it's clear that he's relatively upper class, but is this explored any further? How did he get his money?

Aishan
Oct 29, 2011


It's never outright stated, but it's insinuated that when he was younger and lot more foolish he pocketed money seized from drug raids, much like we see Herc and Carver doing during the series.

the culminator
Oct 29, 2012


I havent seen season 5 since it originally aired, and its not on youtube, but didnt Clay explain to Lester that Levy regularly sent dudes for clay to rip off and String was one of them?

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




Aishan posted:

It's never outright stated, but it's insinuated that when he was younger and lot more foolish he pocketed money seized from drug raids, much like we see Herc and Carver doing during the series.

I do enjoy how a little detail that's mentioned early in the show and then pretty much never spoken of again (except once or twice) comes back up again at the end as a major plot point as the thing that buries Daniels as commissioner (well, his refusal to play ball buried him, but the corruption thing gave him no choice but to quit).

All the pieces matter, etc.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


the culminator posted:

I havent seen season 5 since it originally aired, and its not on youtube, but didnt Clay explain to Lester that Levy regularly sent dudes for clay to rip off and String was one of them?

Not 100% on whether it was directly to Lester since Clay was in full-hog denial/gently caress you mode to the police through most of the season, but it was definitely stated that Levy's long con was sending "big time" street hustlers to Clay to run them for all they're worth. I can't remember who he was talking to but it was a hilarious(ly depressing) deconstruction of how the "money faucet" scam works.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Pretty telling that Avon meets Clay and Krawcyzk and they immediately start on their sales pitch and he just smoothly blows them off because it's obvious they're angling for money and he isn't interested in giving them any.

As for Daniels, the great thing about the dossier on him is that there was nothing substantive in it. Yes he DID pocket money and thus is guilty, but the FBI never gathered any actual hard evidence, just a whole lot of smoke that suggested there was probably fire. The dossier wouldn't have been a smoking gun, but everybody knows that just the suggestion of possible corruption spinned correctly is all that is needed to destroy his career. Very few people could face up to such allegations without being at least severely hobbled, with the only real exception being somebody like Clay Davis who is so unashamedly corrupt that he can actually stand up in court and admit he "misappropriated" millions and millions of dollars and get a standing goddamn ovation for it and be all but declared the greatest hero in American history.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Jerusalem posted:

the greatest hero in American history.

Which, in this system, he kind of is.

KORNOLOGY
Aug 9, 2006


McNulty often ran into the same problem as Stringer, where he thought his specialized skills and work ethic automatically gave him a free pass to work at a higher level, immune to the social realities that come with higher level positions. He, like Stringer, (and maybe even David Simon), had a successful early career capped off by getting stomped for having an ego way out of line for the realities of their business. For not understanding that if you want to play the big or long game you have to adapt to the situation, regardless of your own expectations for your abilities.

Spergy, geeky, or even selfish technocratic sensibilities getting stomped for their naivety is what I'm saying here. Avon and Marlo and Levy and Clay acting with ruthless clarity to what they can get away with seems to get underplayed in comparison to being scheming or souless or evil.

Harry
Jun 13, 2003

I do solemnly swear that in the year 2015 I will theorycraft my wallet as well as my WoW

Ainsley McTree posted:

I do enjoy how a little detail that's mentioned early in the show and then pretty much never spoken of again (except once or twice) comes back up again at the end as a major plot point as the thing that buries Daniels as commissioner (well, his refusal to play ball buried him, but the corruption thing gave him no choice but to quit).

All the pieces matter, etc.
It was looming over Daniels the whole show.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




Harry posted:

It was looming over Daniels the whole show.

Right, and they did that while only mentioning it a handful of times throughout the entire series, and I think that's cool. A lesser show might have beat the viewer over the head with it, with a scene or two in every episode reminding you that Daniels has a dark secret, but in this one, they don't.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Ainsley McTree posted:

Right, and they did that while only mentioning it a handful of times throughout the entire series, and I think that's cool. A lesser show might have beat the viewer over the head with it, with a scene or two in every episode reminding you that Daniels has a dark secret, but in this one, they don't.

Also any other series would have Daniels be innocent, or have had NOBLE reasons for doing what he did etc. Not The Wire - Daniels is guilty as sin of stealing that money and his vague but non-explicit justification for why he did what he did (everybody else was doing it and he didn't know any better) don't excuse his actions in the slightest. But he did become a better person as his career went on, he never did it again, and he's got a pretty much spotless record from that point on - charging him would serve zero purpose, and it's why the dossier is only ever used for political reasons, because exposing his crime serves only to benefit the corrupt.

Unzip and Attack
Mar 3, 2008

USPOL May

Daniels is one of the best examples of this show's characters being neither "good" nor "bad" outright. Here's a guy who straight up lies to CID to cover up a brutal, violent act by one of his officers yet sacrifices his own career because of that same loyalty to his people. Daniels' commitment to those under him is a constant trait but it makes him both heroic and morally compromised, depending on how it manifests.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



bucketybuck posted:

In that same vein, I always wondered why he didn't make more use of his street persona in his business dealings?

Without overtly threatening any of the businessmen he could easily have made them aware that yes, he was indeed a dangerous criminal with a lot of dangerous men with guns ready to do dangerous things at his command. Even just that reputation could have given the likes of Krawczyk pause in their plans to rip him off. He was the head of Baltimore biggest drugs gang and they were laughing at him, and he was so wrapped up in trying to look like a serious businessman that he forgot they actually had good reason to fear him.

Well, String did only get an A- on his macroeconomics paper. He's always a little bit off from perfection in all his schemes. He's just not quite the smartest guy in this particular room...

hhhmmm
Jan 1, 2006
...?

Jerusalem posted:

Also any other series would have Daniels be innocent, or have had NOBLE reasons for doing what he did etc.

It was one of the things that made the Wire so great :911:

the culminator
Oct 29, 2012


Hard Clumping posted:

Not 100% on whether it was directly to Lester since Clay was in full-hog denial/gently caress you mode to the police through most of the season, but it was definitely stated that Levy's long con was sending "big time" street hustlers to Clay to run them for all they're worth. I can't remember who he was talking to but it was a hilarious(ly depressing) deconstruction of how the "money faucet" scam works.

Actually I just re-watched the scene, I was wrong. Clay tells Lester at a bar that while the Lawyers let you 'bleed' their drug kingpin clients for money, to do what he did to Stringer you need to go around them.

Also, I might need to give season five another lookin. A lot of these police procedure scenes with Lester and Sydnor are great. Someone needs to put out a chopped up version of season 5 with only the Stanfield/Omar/Clay Davis prosecution scenes.

the culminator fucked around with this message at 20:15 on Sep 26, 2014

empty baggie
Oct 22, 2003



Aishan posted:

It's never outright stated, but it's insinuated that when he was younger and lot more foolish he pocketed money seized from drug raids, much like we see Herc and Carver doing during the series.

Burrell brings it up more than once during his imminent firing and states it as fact in at least one scene that Daniels was once part of a unit in the Western that was investigated for embezzling money.

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

bucketybuck posted:

In that same vein, I always wondered why he didn't make more use of his street persona in his business dealings?

Without overtly threatening any of the businessmen he could easily have made them aware that yes, he was indeed a dangerous criminal with a lot of dangerous men with guns ready to do dangerous things at his command. Even just that reputation could have given the likes of Krawczyk pause in their plans to rip him off. He was the head of Baltimore biggest drugs gang and they were laughing at him, and he was so wrapped up in trying to look like a serious businessman that he forgot they actually had good reason to fear him.

I always get a perverse satisfaction watching Krawczyk poo poo his pants when Omar points his gun at him. I wonder how Clay might have reacted if he knew Stringer was plotting to kill him (he actually is inquiring, despite Avon telling him no, about a couple of out of town hitmen right before his death, in the call they get on the wire.)

Jerusalem posted:

Also any other series would have Daniels be innocent, or have had NOBLE reasons for doing what he did etc. Not The Wire - Daniels is guilty as sin of stealing that money and his vague but non-explicit justification for why he did what he did (everybody else was doing it and he didn't know any better) don't excuse his actions in the slightest. But he did become a better person as his career went on, he never did it again, and he's got a pretty much spotless record from that point on - charging him would serve zero purpose, and it's why the dossier is only ever used for political reasons, because exposing his crime serves only to benefit the corrupt.

This reminds me of what I think is an under explored aspect of that plot.

When Carcetti finally fires Burrell in season 5, he leaks Daniels name to the press to test his viability first. Scott, being the worthless piece of poo poo he is, makes up an anonymous react quote (supposedly from Nerese) about how Daniels stabbed Burrell in the back. In reality, of course, Burrell was well aware of Carcetti's intent to replace him from the beginning, but when he reads that quote both him and Daniels go ballistic. He also knew Daniels was being groomed for his job. So he throws one last hissyfit on his way out the door, trying to plead with Nerese, and, crucially, giving her the Daniels dossier which she later uses to blackmail him.

My question is, would Burrell have shown the file/gone quietly if that made up malicious quote wasn't in the story? Keep in mind he gets a very generous parachute as compensation (he gets to "retire") even though everyone knows full well he's been fired. I always interpret it as, he knew Daniels and Carcetti had some arrangement but thought, correctly, Carcetti had just discovered him on his own rather than Daniels making his own move (like Rawls failed to do). I only find it interesting because, as much as people like to forget the newspaper plot (with good reason), this seems to be the biggest instance of it directly impacting the more important plots.

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

the culminator posted:

Actually I just re-watched the scene, I was wrong. Clay tells Lester at a bar that while the Lawyers let you 'bleed' their drug kingpin clients for money, to do what he did to Stringer you need to go around them.

Also, I might need to give season five another lookin. A lot of these police procedure scenes with Lester and Sydnor are great. Someone needs to put out a chopped up version of season 5 with only the Stanfield/Omar/Clay Davis prosecution scenes.

I find the later half of season 5 gets better once the shock of McNulty's terrible Vic Mackey scheme has worn off. Several rewatches haven't improved the newspaper scenes much, though. I'll even go so far as to argue the last 3 episodes are up there with the best in the series, even with the terrible plots factored in. Also, everyone mentions him going up the stairs at the end but really every scene with Bubbles in season 5 is terrific.

thathonkey
Jul 17, 2012


Shredded Hen

the culminator posted:

Also, I might need to give season five another lookin. A lot of these police procedure scenes with Lester and Sydnor are great. Someone needs to put out a chopped up version of season 5 with only the Stanfield/Omar/Clay Davis prosecution scenes.

Yeah there are great parts of season 5. I tell people that they have to watch it, though some parts of the story will leave a sour taste in their mouth, it's at least worth making it through to the final episode which brings a really satisfying closure to the series.

It'd be excellent if somebody could chop up a version minus all the serial killer and newsroom parts (for fans' benefit).

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



grading essays nude posted:

My question is, would Burrell have shown the file/gone quietly if that made up malicious quote wasn't in the story?

I think when that newspaper article came out it was always going to kick off a violent reaction from Burrell, because he was politically savvy enough to realize it was Carcetti testing the waters. Scott's quote definitely made that reaction more severe, but I imagine if it hadn't been in there a more controlled Burrell would still have taken that file out and said to somebody (Nerese probably, or maybe Clay (:gonk:) or even Carcetti) that he had dirt on the Mayor's new golden boy.... but it wouldn't have been the,"gently caress DANIELS I GOT THIS LOADED GUN!" reaction that the quote kicked off.

So basically, Scott's faking just served to speed up a situation that was pretty much always coming. Carcetti wanted Burrell out, Burrell didn't want to go, but knew that his days were numbered. It was just a matter of if he could finish up his 5 year term or if Carcetti could get the political capital to survive firing him earlier than that. In the end, with or without Scott's quote, the Ministers and other Community Leaders weren't calling up the Mayor's office saying,"You leave Burrell alone!" so Burrell was done, and that file was always going to be his last ditch weapon to try and hold onto his job.

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