Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



escape artist posted:

West plays in lovely American films... albeit usually bit parts... So take that for what its worth.

He's really good in Punisher: War Zone, co-starring Rome's Ray Stevenson. It's also 180 degrees away from The Wire in terms of legitimate commentary on criminal activity and the drug trade, but when a film is aiming to be the best 1980s action flick ever made, can you blame it?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



MC Fruit Stripe posted:

Your avatar just arrived in my rewatch.

e: To be honest, I've never been a fan of Brother. He's like some kinda of weird super hero slash cowboy - always cool, never shaken, and possibly immortal. People talk about him and act around him as though he's impervious, as though the mere suggestion of simply shooting him in the face would be to waste a bullet.

It's one thing to know someone is willing to kill, but we don't need to pretend that the solution is anything other than pulling the trigger before he does.

If he's actually a (current or former) member of the Fruit of Islam, as implied by his dress sense and very formal way of speaking, I'd buy it. Those guys are scary as hell, especially if you're just a street baller or corner thug. Here's a report from the ADL about their operations: http://archive.adl.org/issue_nation_of_islam/reports/financing.pdf



I'd imagine it's similar to how Paddy O'Brien the Irish drop dealer feels about the really hardcore IRA guys, or Albar Extarte the Basque corner runner feels about the ETA...

e: and to be fair, Omar does just shoot him. He's much harder than Cheese.

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 05:38 on Jan 30, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



ally_1986 posted:

My favorite is when she goes to the B and Q American equivalent to buy a nail gun. At first I was like is it a girl or boy, then I was like what is she saying, and finally I had to fast forward my DVD a scene to check I had put the right DVD in the player.

Is this start of season 4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDpvkwBBu6U

"You earned that buck like a motherfucker, man. Keep that poo poo."

Best opening to a season I've ever seen, hands down. In any other show, we'd start with Chris and Snoop killing someone, but when it's a pretty long sequence of a minor character buying a nail gun? The threat is in the air, even if you can't guess why she's buying it. You could replace "Chekov's Gun" with "Snoop's Nailgun"...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

I think Stringer's problem was that he was smart enough to see the potential in branching out and going legit, but was "spoiled" by his upbringing in the drug trade. He's so used to being in a position where he can say,"I want this done by this time and in this way," and people will make sure it is loving done. If they don't, they're either dead meat or discarded with an endless number of replacements ready to jump in and do the job the other person couldn't do. In the legit world, he was dealing with people who said one thing and did another, deadlines and schedules that shifted easily, people always asking for more money without actually doing anything because they could provide "connections".

I think eventually after a few stumbles he would have figured it out, taken his licks and swallowed his pride and eased the transition with help from the likes of Levy. He'd have given anything to be in Marlo's position at the end of the series, I'm sure. Would he have been successful? I think so, so long as he was able to fully go legit rather than trying to keep a foot in both camps.

That right there is exactly what kills me about Stringer's whole arc. Had he just been patient and relaxed a little, and had he not been convinced that the business world works exactly like the drug trade (where a ton of cash in a briefcase gets you into a lot of places), he could have avoided a ton of heartache and suffering, as well as not having been fleeced by Davis and driving himself and Avon further apart as a result. And that he goes for a street solution that would never work because of the scale involved ("poo poo, murder ain't no thing, but this here is some assassination poo poo!") once he is stuck knee deep in it, it just gets worse and worse for him.

Granted, his treatment of Brother Mouzone would have gotten him killed anyways, but I digress...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Randomly Specific posted:

The waitress one did seem off, but this being The Wire I bet it's based at least loosely on a true story of somebody Simon or Burns knew.

Some ladies go crazy for a man with a badge, and if I recall properly, he's got it prominently on display on his belt. A few fakes lines about what he'd been doing that evening, and I could see it no problem.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

D and Donette are out for a night on the town (remember that everybody else on the crew hasn't been paid for the week), going to a nice restaurant in a far more upmarket area of Baltimore. They don't have a reservation, so the Maitre d' leads them to a less than desirable table, though he is gracious and pleasant and explains that this is only because the better tables are all by reservation only. D'Angelo, clearly uncomfortable, keeps his coat, and Donette admonishes him after the maitre d' leaves, telling him he should have pushed it - as he stares at her, a waiter bumps his arm as he steps out of the kitchen, and doesn't bother to offer an apology. They have their meal, which they enjoy, but D is still clearly uncomfortable in the restaurant, treating every word from the staff as an insult or giving it weight it doesn't deserve. His conversation with Donette clearly indicates a man who is unhappy in his life and trying to reconcile how he feels with how he should feel. Donette is a less than sympathetic sounding board though, mistaking his concerns at first as worry about the fact they're black, sighing as he tries to explain himself and shutting him down by telling him firmly that he has money, and that means he can say he is whatever he wants and people have to believe him. Donette seems to view money as a passport to power - the ability to control who she is and what she is - while D'Angelo is concerned that nothing will change what he is - a criminal and a drug dealer who doesn't "belong" in the legitimate world - and he even wonders if people can just automatically tell what he is just by looking at him.

I think the best part of this scene, echoed again when Bunny takes the kids out for a "proper meal" and they're confused by the menu, is when D tries to order dessert, but doesn't understand that you just point to what you want on the cart and the server gives you one from underneath. If he ever wanted direct confirmation that he's not a part of this world, boom! it's right there, staring him in the face. That he could be, without too much effort, doesn't really dawn on him. This should be one of those "do it once, never do it again" kinda things, but he takes it personally. The waiter shrugs it off like it's no big deal, because it probably happens pretty regularly, but D won't let it go.

A similar thing actually happened to me at a Chinese restaurant once, where neither myself nor my friends knew how to properly flag down the roving food carts (this style of restaurant has a proper name which is escaping me). It was a little embarrassing, but we got over it. Anyone can learn to order food at a restaurant.

But D isn't exactly one for getting over things or learning from his mistakes...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



I never noticed before that Prop Joe says his player is from Europe. Who knew The Greek was into basketball?

I also love how nearly everyone talking about that scene takes Avon at his word that Joe is illiterate, because he can't read the plays on his clipboard. Yeah, sure, the owner of a successful repair shop/drug kingpin of the entire east side can't read. It's not like basketball play diagrams are pretty complicated or anything... :jerkbag:

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 23:19 on Mar 18, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



escape artist posted:

And not to rain on your parade, but being illiterate and not being able to read basketball play diagrams are not the same thing.

Yeah. poo poo, that's what I was trying to say, but must have I phrased it badly. Obviously Prop Joe is smart and can read. That he's not a pro basketball coach isn't a personal failing, considering all the other things he can do.

But the number of folks I've talked to who are shocked that Joe's fixing electronics and running complicated plans and such in later seasons, and then cite this scene as if it were proof that the show is inconsistent or something... Oy.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Well drat, I wasn't expecting to start all that. I've just got dumb friends and shouldn't bother reading other TV discussion forums, I guess.

Moving on, I like how this episode continually reinforces Avon as someone who almost pathological about being in control. Be it the roles people are playing, the way people should act, or even how the cops can pursue him. That taunting finger wag he gives Daniels as he drives by says it all. Contrast that with the dressing down he gives the Ref about not doing his job properly. Hell, right at the end, he's telling Orlando how to count money ("Get my $50s with my $50s, my $20s with my $20s") It's his game they're playing, and everyone's going to play it his way, which helps lead to the break between him and Stringer in seasons 2 and 3.

Which makes Omar's attack at the end all the more awful for him. His own obsession with safety (using the payphones rather than the one in the bar) has set him up to get killed. As Jerusalem notes, he only survives by sheer luck. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Compare and contrast with Marlo, who does many of the same things, albeit in a more blood thirsty fashion, and who doesn't have a Stringer Bell for a sounding board and foil. Other than when he steals some suckers from the convenience store, do we ever see him outside without Chris and Snoop to watch his back (while they're still around, I mean)?

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 06:13 on Mar 19, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



escape artist posted:

Okay, for all the manly men tough guys in this thread, us hardcore gangsters like Marlo and Chris, which moments made you cry (while you were sober)?

Bodie and Poot killing Wallace
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hor_gOBU_GU

Chris, Snoop, and O-Dog killing Bodie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFkWPNJAy14

And Sherrod doing his homework :smith:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXqQwMtjOho

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

Also I find it interesting that for all Avon's paranoia and Stringer's heartless elimination of potential liabilities, neither one of them ever considers for even a moment the possibility of Wee-Bey turning on them. There is never a moment where they think,"poo poo, Bey is a potential liability, he has to go," - if they ever say anything about him it is that he is "a rock", he's probably the one person outside of themselves that they trust. Not that he doesn't make mistakes or go against their rules sometimes, but they know he would never turn on them, deal with the police or work with another crew - he's the most dependable of their crew, and is rewarded for that.

You know, until you pointed all this out, I used to wonder what Cutty's early life and career were like, but I like the parallel too much now...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



MrBling posted:

As for Prop Joe he is a smart man. He knows who Mouzone is and since he is protecting Avons turf he also knows that Stringer didn't hire him. He correctly deduces that Stringer also can't actively do anything to move against Mouzone which is why they come up with the whole Omar thing.

It does seem strange that none of that ever gets back to Avon, though. "Hey, those guys Mouzone shot said that Stringer said it was okay for them to deal here. What's going on, man? Did you tell String to do that?"

Randomly Specific posted:

But really McNulty is a lone wolf- most of the time he's off doing his own thing, even when the rest of the group is on the same job as he is. Lester shows in this latest episode why he's the natural leader of the bunch. Throughout the series, Lester is the guy who consistently builds and employs teams to get things done.

That's not a critique of McNulty, even. He just works best alone.

I forget which episode it is, but there's a scene where McNulty tries to impress the whole team with the things he's learned, only to be preempted at the beginning of his "Who loves me?" speech by the team having already found out all his info over the wire a few days previous. That and the aforementioned scene of him driving into the pillar a second time really sum up the character well.

edit: VVV

nwin posted:

Ah ok, that all makes a lot more sense. Thanks. Still doesn't make sense why Prop Joe didn't seem a little more pissed off about his nephew getting shot though. Even though, a few episodes earlier, I recall him saying family is a pain in the rear end to deal with, so maybe he just saw it as ends justifying the means.

Cheese seems to be the Ziggy Sobotka of the Stewart-Wagstaff clan, based on how Joe treats him.

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 23:29 on Mar 25, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



From the man himself:

"Slate Interview posted:

Simon: {...}Let me ask you this: Did you have any allegiance to the Greek in Season 2?

Slate: The Greek? No, I don't think I did.

Simon: That's because he represented capitalism in its purest form. There are certain people who represent the boundary to the form. At another moment, perhaps next season, the point of view might shift and the window into that character might shift and our allegiances with it, because we are only experiencing a character from a certain point of view. If we were to have followed the Greek too far, we would have wandered far afield from the main story, the stevedores.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



escape artist posted:

Meanwhile, Poot pays a girl to call 911 and say "there's an animal hurt inside the house" so that Wallace's body is found.

Nice parallel here with Chris and Snoop's modus operandi in season 4. If Poot hadn't called it in, who knows how long the body would have rotted there?

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Nice symbolism with Beadie and her headphones. She takes them off when she finds the broken seal, and doesn't put them on again until the final montage, when she's done with all the investigative work. She goes from one small lonely job (taking tolls o the freeway) to another (driving around solo, occasionally BS'ing with the stevedores, but otherwise just putting in the hours and going home), cut off from the horrors of her job (this certainly isn't the first or last time women have been trafficked through the port, not to mention all the other contraband and illegal substances) and literally not listening. She doesn't expect the job to save her, or even to derive much meaning from it. It's not a career.

That she finally finishes her degree and gets a job in HR at Dunder-Mifflin is as happy an ending as we can expect, right?

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

He stands up as Sergei rejoins them and notes that Sam bleeds like a lamb, then complains about the financial damage done by Sam's stupidity. Each girl was set to bring The Greek $250,000+ a year, roughly 4 million total, and they all died because Sam tried to make a few hundred extra dollars on the side.

Interesting parallel here between what happens to Sam and what happens with Ziggy: over a couple thousand between Ziggy and Double G, the Greek is nearly caught. He doesn't sweat the small stuff (What does a multimillionaire like the Greek care about a couple thousand dollars and some stolen cars?); it's all the stupid little people under him that cause the problems. He's more upset about losing his rosary than anything else, perhaps because it has some personal attachment, but even that he dismisses in the end with a simple shrug.

"Business, always business."

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



awesmoe posted:

Probably worry beads, not a rosary - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worry_beads

Fascinating. I'd always thought that it was just a single decade rosary, albeit just of a sort I hadn't seen previously. Thanks for the info!

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



cletepurcel posted:

As a side note, as utterly loathsome a character as Cheese is I never hate him as much as during the entire dog fight sequence. I know that wasn't their intent but still.

I agree completely. A friend of mine is a vet, and some of the poo poo she had to deal with is just awful... Drug dealing I get, hating someone for something they did I understand, but forcing two otherwise innocent animals to kill one another for your amusement? :smith:

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



MrBling posted:

He is still incredibly naive when it comes to actual real business though, as shown by his encounter with Clay Davis and the entire construction project. He is entirely unaccustomed to people not jumping when he says jump.

Which, I think, is the only time we see a character switch over from the "Do this right or get killed" of the streets to the "How much more am I going to get paid to actually do my job?" of the bureaucracy?

The closest we see in the other direction is Herc in season 5 working for Levy and promptly becoming king poo poo of "actually gets paid" mountain...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Spit balling a comparison here: two of the most sensitive and over-reactive characters in the show are Ziggy and Marlo Stanfield.

Ziggy has Nick to back him up, a smart and well connected guy who keeps trying to stay somewhat legitimate.

Marlo has Chris to back him up, a smart and well connected guy who, in addition to being himself one of the deadliest killers on the street, has a well trained crew to back him up, and who personally boasts a body count higher than anyone else in the program.

Both are quite apt to take things far more seriously than they need to, and make huge mountains out of mole hills. But while Ziggy has to run it alone and gets disrespected by almost everyone he meets, Marlo can have a security guard executed for talking back to him and an innocent woman burned half to death to keep her adopted son from having any kind of truthful reputation.

Both are excellent criminals from a technical perspective: if Ziggy could keep his mouth shut and his clothes quiet, he'd probably be doing pretty well. He's much smarter than Nick when it comes to "book" learning, adeptly using digital cameras and the internet without batting an eye, and hot wiring cars like it ain't no thing. He arranges deals with ease, and does the proper leg work to keep himself in the best possible position, remembering, for example, to look up the values of the cameras they boosted to argue for a better price. But because he's too caught up in his image as a guy who should be respected and beloved, and who is deserving of your attention right now, he keeps sabotaging himself at every step. Marlo is a bit better off, because no one can mess with him without being murdered. He sends a three man hit squad against a guy over something that the guy (June Bug) might have said, resulting in a triple homicide and at least one permanently traumatized child. That said, Marlo's got Chris to keep him under control and safely stashed away. Marlo's a drat good drug dealer to boot, at least on par with Avon when it comes to the day-to-day running of his empire. But he too just doesn't get it, far too caught up in his image and reputation. Prop Joe spends a good amount of time trying to "civilize the boy" (Prop Joe being a man who understands why community support is important, how fear differs from respect, and what to let go because it doesn't matter) and gets murdered for his trouble. He's too jittery to trust his money being in an offshore bank account, and far too trusting of the well-polished and professional Greek criminals he manages to "impress" with his clean money. The idea that what he's doing couldn't matter less to The Greek and Vondas never crosses his mind. In Marlo's mind they are equals, but I have no doubt that the Greek could burn suitcases full of money with impunity and could care less about the gift.

Can you imagine how things might have turned out if Ziggy had found a Chris, rather than a pistol?

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 04:16 on Apr 28, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

I'd disagree with that assessment, if only because Marlo is an inherently dangerous person in his own right. Ziggy is smart, there's no doubt, but nobody is intimidated or scared by him, he doesn't radiate a sense of danger and possesses too deep a concern for his own skin. Even all on his own, the likes of Frog would never have dismissed Marlo as a non-entity, and if he had (like the two corner dealers attempt in season 5) he would have taken it to him with no fear for his own well-being. Ziggy is at heart a cowardly loudmouth, while Marlo is a shark - always moving, unnervingly quiet and always hungry.

I guess what I was going for was that Zig could have become Marlo with the right set of circumstances.

Marlo never could have become Ziggy, no question there. Kinda like how Marlo will never become the Greek, despite all their similarities.

Though I do question the "inherently dangerous" bit. I don't think we ever see Marlo do anything physical personally until the very end, where he attacks the corner boys. Everything else is run through Chris. If Marlo only had Cheese and White Mike to back him up. he'd be a lot less threatening.

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 04:52 on Apr 28, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Sharkie posted:

Somewhere Simon talked about how this scene is a reference to how kids, even (especially?) kids from disadvantaged areas that normally don't care about such things, are interested in mythology. And from my experience as a teacher, in a place that maybe wasn't Baltimore but was certainly disadvantaged, was that this is absolutely true. Kids that don't give two fucks about school will perk up and get engaged when you're talking about Ares, Hercules, Aphrodite, and the Odyssey. They like it, and they "get" it. It's an interesting phenomenon that's woefully under-addressed in the literature.

This comes up a bit in Sol Yurick's The Warriors. The entire story is a retelling of the Anabasis, with the Coney Island Dominators taking the place of the returning Greek soldiers. Throughout, one of the kids is reading a comic book adaptation of the story. Yurick doesn't even have to stretch much to make the parallels work. He was a social investigator for the Welfare department, too, so he's not just talking out of his rear end with his depictions of how brutal life is for these kids.

You may have seen the film, which is way more cartoony, but the book is dead serious. It's definitely a product of its time (was written in 1965), but it's a quick read and worth it for the portrayal of gang culture, which honestly doesn't seem to have changed very much. The fashions are different, but the anger is the same.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



A depressing amount of gallows humor is almost a requirement for jobs like these. You'll find a similar thing among EMTs, emergency room workers, firefighters, and even some social service workers (only when their clients aren't around, of course). Being confronted with how horrible human beings are to one another on a daily basis, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. Doesn't make it right, but it's a reason.

A friend of mine who's a sheriff once, while meeting for breakfast, told me about how happy he was that a body they'd found that morning turned out to be a suicide. He laughed off the deteriorated condition of the body in the river, and seemed happy that he didn't have yet another case to investigate. It gave him the rest of the day off to spend with his kid. I've known him for a long while now, and I'm positive he isn't happy that someone is dead, or that someone led a life that caused them to commit suicide. But at the same time, I can see why he doesn't let himself get too emotionally invested in every case. He gets dead bodies on a weekly basis, and domestic and drug cases even more often than that. No way could he get through the day thinking through the consequences of every case. Again, doesn't make it right. He'd never do it in front of the guy's widow. But since his life is more than just his job, he doesn't bring it home. He laughs it off and lives his life.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

the game is more than the rep he carries or the corner he holds, he understands the need to be fierce and the place that has, but there needs to be flex...

Interesting double meaning here. Stringer obviously means flex as in "flexibility," but flex is also slang for showing off, like a bodybuilder does. Or like hiring a deadly assassin to protect what's yours in an obvious show of strength to your competitors...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Ainsley McTree posted:

I'm not familiar with the specific law in Maryland, but my general understanding of the entrapment defense is that you can use it if you're charged with committing a crime that the cops led you into committing that you otherwise wouldn't have been predisposed to commit (that last part being the trickiest and most relevant part).

The best example I can think of in the show is when Carcetti is doing a ridealong with the cops, and they stop the guy on the bicycle and try to get him to go buy them drugs. He says he doesn't want to, so they bribe him with even more cash, and then arrest him when he returns.

"Police" work at its finest.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



One of the details I love about Brother Mouzone is how close he holds his gun to his chest. It's a very defensive stance used to keep yourself from being disarmed, especially necessary in close quarters. Not only does it add to his air of quiet and reserved menace, it's also quite practical for his line of work.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



comes along bort posted:

Nobody's saying he's a good guy. It's more whether he's enabling the Greeks because he's on the take or because the FBI deems it a necessary evil.

It seems like this is one and the same. Is bribing someone with one of the biggest drug busts in FBI history any less a bribe than handing a man $1,000,000 cash?

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

Sadly, one is illegal and the other is considered a legitimate necessity/trade-off. It all goes towards the hypocrisy of the system that will rant and rave about the evils of one immoral thing but justify another equally disgusting thing.

That's exactly what I was trying to suss out. One may be legal by the letter of the law, but ethically? :dawkins101:

Lawful Evil, to use the D&D definition.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



the black husserl posted:

Unrelated, on re-watch the Greek is kind of an 'unrealistic' character (and intentionally so). I mean, what does that guy do all day? Sit in a dirty cafe and make millions for no discernable purpose? He really is just pure capitalism.

I get the feeling that that's because we only see the Greek from the view of the street level characters, and he does an awful lot more than simply sitting around all day and eating lousy cafe food. As I recall, we barely see Avon do anything but sit in his room, chat with his subordinates, and remind people to keep the door shut for most of the first season.

DarkCrawler posted:

But yeah, if he's not Greek, most signs point toward him being a Cypriot Greek. Considering Cypriot's place in international criminal networks that would fit things as well.

Considering that Cyprus has been a hotly contested battleground for basically the entirety of recorded human history (and remains so today for all intents and purposes), it's not much of a surprise that it would produce someone like the Greek.

quote:

It's insane how many steps the Greeks are ahead anyone else in the game. Europe doesn't gently caress around when it comes to crime.

"If [Americans] wanna sell drugs in Baltimore, they have to make different laws for it, like even it out for 'em."

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Octorok posted:

I don't mean to stir up some poo poo, but what were the fallacies of liberal policies implied by this show?

One could make the argument that the show depicts complete selfishness and complete non-involvement as the only two viable options for happiness, and that caring about other people or trying to change the system only results in failure and broken people.

The ending of Hamsterdam could also be read as "Look what those liberals want! Drug addicts everywhere! It doesn't work, does it? I mean, look at that place! And then that stupid cop ends up with a bunch of academics, trying to study kids who won't even try. That one kid who won't go to high school? gently caress him. He doesn't want it badly enough. Of course he ends up a heroin addict! He should have studied harder and gone to college on a scholarship like the other kid!"

It's not an argument I would make, because it relies on a pretty shallow reading of many of the characters and situations, but I could see where you'd find evidence for it...

edit: If you want to go the small government route, you could see it as about how government needs to be smaller so that petty dictators and stats obsessed jerks don't get into power. But again, really shallow reading, because how would having, for example, no layers between Burrell and McNulty change anything?

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 18:08 on May 28, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Randomly Specific posted:

I don't know- when we see Carcetti with his kids later on, it's a pretty endearing and authentic moment. There's an outside chance that he's actually got Little League in the context of 'Who cares, the kids are there to have fun' or he might not be paying attention to anything beyond the times when his kid's on the field. He just zones out and thinks on business.

I agree, I'm not sure his love of his kids vs. his political ambitions is an either/or kinda thing. Carcetti may be a conniving rear end, but he's not a utilitarian psychopath on the level of the Greek; it's entirely possible to simultaneously love one's children and be a selfish dick who's dragging the city down at one's job and perhaps doesn't realize it through a lot of rationalization (see also: McNulty, Jimmy).

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



comes along bort posted:

What I meant was he grew up in the streets as well. If some 10 year old hopper knows how poo poo works, surely a grown-rear end man running a drug organization has half a clue.

I get that it was one of his fatal flaws, but still.

"You want it to be one way, but it's the other way."

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Ainsley McTree posted:

One thing that kind of bothered me about Season 5 on re-watch that I didn't really notice before was that Gus kind of comes across (to me, anyway) as a deified version of David Simon himself; he's a smart, savvy, above-all-the-bullshit guy with no real obvious flaws, which kind of sticks out in a series where most of the characters are flawed in some way.

But now that you mention it that way, I guess he's actually just sort of another cog in the broken machine; he doesn't take pains to shed light on any of the real problems of the city, like you mentioned in your post. He does his job well, but I guess at the end of the day he's just another schmuck (just a likeable one, I suppose).

I always thought that was kind of the point. Gus sees himself as a crusading journalist, one of the last of the Old Guard who knows everything and everyone and is so disappointed that the new kids aren't living up to the standards he remembers reminiscing while smoking in the loading dock with the other old timers. But in truth, he's every bit a part of the problem: he's rather spineless and meek for someone who's supposed to be heading up a major department, he's not nearly as omniscient as he thinks (Omar's death standing out huge here), nor as ruthless as he needs to be (I can't imagine a proper editor letting a damning unattributed quote "from Nerese Campbell" run without letting the fact checkers confirm it). He could have stomped out Scott early on, but kept giving him the benefit of the doubt, and we all know how that turns out. He's the Peter Principle to a T, a guy promoted just high enough for him to be incompetent.

I'm reminded a bit of Garcin from Sartre's No Exit. He can't stop lying to himself about how great and noble he is, but when you compare his actions and his words...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Jerusalem posted:

It doesn't help that his superiors are written with seemingly no nuance or subtlety at all, they're gaping idiots with apparently not a journalistic bone in their bodies, and that terrible scene where Gus totally owns his editor right to his face is basically The Wire: poo poo That Didn't Happen.txt - probably one of the worst scenes in the entire history of the show.

This is yet another bit where another episode or two probably would have helped. Or a couple minutes early on, really: one scene with David Costabile at the dinner table at night, his head in his hands as he looks at a series of earnings reports and subscription figures spread out in front of him, next to an a half empty bottle of wine and an empty glass. The Sun is hosed financially, and everyone is going to lose their jobs as the parent company cuts back to a skeleton crew who will rewrite AP stories like in so many other towns. Kristen Schaal enters through the doorway and says "Tom, come to bed. The problem will still be there in the morning." He looks up at her with that weary expression he does so well and sighs. Cut to Sam Freed on the phone a day or two later, explaining that he knows he's over budget, and yes, he's got a guy already working on it, but negotiating these things takes time so they don't have any legal trouble on their hands. Convey that Freed is one of the highest paid guys at the paper, and a perfect target for the new owners "clearing out old wood." He hangs up and calls his old friend Gene Robbins, they bitch about the dire state of the newspaper industry for a bit, his points and concerns very similar to Gus'. He expresses anger that the paper mostly publishes statistics and generic rubbish coupled with a few opinionated assholes bloviating for 2000 words about how the world should give them a blow job for pointing out that the politicians in charge suck, rather than getting to the emotional core of things like they did in the old days, stories that moved you to do something about the problem, that accurately portrayed just how life is for real people with real problems, rather than just laughing at the poor unfortunates whose live are worse than yours. "Like Charles Dickens?" Robbins offers. Robbins reminds Freed that he could always get a job teaching if he could keep a thing quiet for him...

Granted, this would also require Simon not to completely despise the two people the characters are based on, but no one's perfect.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Mescal posted:

Can you elaborate a little bit? What do you mean by cynical, exactly?

Bunny keeps chugging along and finally says "gently caress it" when he's close to retirement, with the full knowledge that what he's doing isn't going to solve everything and might not even make a difference in the end. He doesn't care. The consequences are designed to be someone else's problem. He seems surprised that the bosses make him lay down in the big poo poo he just took on the bed, rather than letting him disappear with a full pension.

Gus' problems could be solved by removing two guys at the top, and he keeps plugging away in the hopes that they'll notice and become ethical journalists if he complains enough. Were he Bunny, he'd be marching Alma across the street to the Daily Record to blow in Templeton's Pulitzer story, which fucks both papers and destroys her and Templeton's careers completely, then retiring.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



I love Slim Charles in Cutty's exit scene. Guy is so straight forward, ready to cop to blame and take his punishment, and happy to make an excuse to keep the only guy he can actually work with out of trouble.

I've always seen a lot of parallels between him and Snoop. Not just in the wheeze of the voice, but in their "good soldier" approach to the game and their organizations. I could see Charles' position being what Snoop would have reached had, well, you know, she not been having such a good hair day...

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Skeesix posted:

I think this makes Prop Joe all the more interesting. He didn't have that pathological need to be king and have his name ring out like Marlo or Avon. He didn't even seem all that interested in having anybody speak his name. He wasn't all that interesting in making people into "cadaverous motherfuckers." Yet he was pretty much king of Baltimore for awhile there, and didn't have to deal with some young buck biting him from behind till Marlo came along. Can't say I know how that happens.

I think the scene that's most important to "get" Prop Joe is right before he gets killed, when he's explaining to Cheese that his great grandfather was the first colored man to own his own house in Johnson Square, a house Joe lived in right up to the day he died. He's an a bit like an older Avon, a respectable community leader who also happens to control the drug trade on the East side, one who no longer needs to demand respect or hear his name "ring out." He's too old for that childish nonsense. He knows that anyone who asks for it or demands it is a fool. He's a guy who gives a drat about where he's from and what that place is like, and if that requires being the man on top who keeps all the violence quiet and all the bangers whose the only source of income is dealing running like a proper corporation so that everyone can get paid and everyone can live their lives, so be it. He's like the guys who kept young Bunk from getting into trouble before he was ready.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



awesmoe posted:

No, the black husserl specifically said

quote:

Actually I kinda hate the NA narrative that you have to "want" to get clean
Implying that is it possible (and easier than the alternative) to get clean without wanting to get clean. We're not talking about harm reduction, we're talking about abstinence.


You should quote him completely if you're going to quote him.

the black husserl posted:

Actually I kinda hate the NA narrative that you have to "want" to get clean, I dont think drug addiction has anything to do with desire or willpower. I believe that drug use is the adaptive response of a human being who lives in poo poo conditions. The rich medicate their depression/anxiety with alcohol and pills, the poor medicate with crack and heroin. You can't "want" your way out of mental illness and the subsequent self medication.

Which to me implies that maybe societal changes and approaches would be better, because then people wouldn't get addicted in the first place, never needing to "want" to get clean or "need" to hit rock bottom. Desire certainly factors into it, but treating it as the mental illness that it is, rather than a personal failing, would go a long way to helping those in need. Only an rear end would say someone who's depressed is so because they just don't "want" to be happy enough, and often times it does take someone monitoring them, making sure they go to therapy, and making sure they take the right medicine to help that person out. They certainly shouldn't have to wait until their first semi-successful suicide attempt before being offered said help.

Of course, this would be a lot more effort than kicking them to the curb and ignoring them, or acting holier than thou, which is society's current approach.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Sam. posted:

Stringer didn't die, he just put on a lot of weight and got a job at the last place Omar would look. The guy Omar and Mouzone shot was actually just a British detective who happened to be in town.

Charles Miner, accounting background, formally of Saticoy Steel, now Vice President of Northeast Sales for Dunder Mifflin. Good cover. Who would ever look in Scranton, PA?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Sprecherscrow posted:

It's in season 5 very close to the end. I always took it as a shot at Dexter as an immature show (in that it's appeal is mainly to teenagers) posing as something meaningful.

It also works as a bit of meta-commentary on the season itself. "A serial killer who's works for the police? What kinda silly fantasy world are we living in here?"

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply