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
God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


I interned at a DA's office in a major metropolitan city right around the time of the Ferguson protests.

I was sitting outside of a courtroom waiting for a trial to begin when a group of about 6 patrol police, some of them relatively high ranking officers, sat down next to me.

One of the officers began telling the other 5 a story of the previous day's events out on the streets. The officer had encountered an alleged low-level drug dealer in the middle of a transaction, making sure to emphasize the race of this individual. When the alleged suspect noticed the officer, he panicked and began trying to escape, ignoring the officer's command to halt. The officer shot the offender with a tazer, bringing him to the ground in a gruesomely described display of convulsions. It turned out the alleged suspect's mother was nearby, and probably owing to the chaos of the scene, believed the officer had shot and killed her son with a firearm and collapsed beside him in a fit of hysterics and prayers to God.

I guess that final sentence was the punchline to the officer's joke or something because all 6 of them proceeded to burst into laughter, some of them laughing so hard they collapsed onto their sides on the bench, red in the face, gripping their stomachs. I felt like I was going to throw up.

In my frequent interactions with the police in the course of my work, this experience was not an outlier by any means. The culture very much reinforces an "us vs them" mentality, and those that don't buy into it are shunned out or leave of their own accord. As it stands, there is no room for empathy in that line of work. People cannot be remembered or humanized in any way. The nails only exist to be hammered

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


regarding number 3, you don't stop being a soldier when you get locked up. I'm assuming the bounty was out, and it was all hands on deck with everyone ready to shiv at a moment's notice. if it wasn't the guy in the lunch line it woulda been someone in the showers or the library or whatever.

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


barksdale crew did have some socialist trappings, but never went full dictatorship of the proletariat.

that left the door open for the manifestation of purestrain sociopathic capitalism to wipe them the gently caress out

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016



excellent example of a pimp roll (or gangster glide) in this clip. i know it's been said a million times but the attention to detail on this show is pretty incredible.

i spent a fair amount of time studying gangs in college, and the only piece of media other than the wire that has ever really impressed me with both the accuracy in depicting how gangs operate and its seamless presentation in the story was the movie Green Room my favorite example is when imogen poots is looking through the door vent, notices a bunch of boots with red laces, and then panics and announces to the group they're about to be murdered (in traditional skinhead groups, you only earn red laces on your boots when you're a soldier who has drawn some blood. the attack force)

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


escape artist posted:

can you tell us what a pimp roll / gangster glide is?

it's a really pronounced, almost too relaxed swagger, often employed with a unique "hop" or even a limp.

it's a projection of total confidence. someone walking that type of way is sending out some huge flags to people adjacent to organized crime or aware of its players (everyone living in a black neighborhood in Baltimore in this case). At least it was in the 90's/00's, not so sure it's a contemporary street gang social trapping anymore.

StashAugustine posted:

Apparently in some parts of Europe red laces denote lefty skinheads so that scene didn't work lol

well this movie took place in the pacific northwest lol

it's actually a perfect setting for neo-nazis, as when they were having their big cultural moment and recruiting drive in the 80's and 90's, they were aggressively ejected from communities all over the country through a combination of zoning/police enforcement measures. because of oregon's famously lax attitudes about building communes and compounds off the grid, a lot of nomad groups just kind of naturally consolidated out there (among other focal points)

of course you would have some independent nazi compound out in the woods in Oregon. that's where they all are! if that punk band didn't stumble their way into a scandalous murder at that compound, they would have stumbled their way into a scandalous murder at the hippie compound next door and lived through Midsommar instead

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


COMPAGNIE TOMMY posted:

What was the point of McNulty crashing his car twice?

narratively, it works perfectly to portray mcnulty's stubborn self-destructive nature. like the posters above said

but if I'm not mistaken, it's also one those "faithfully adapted from real life" things

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


kaworu posted:


We cut to black childlren in the street at night running circles in some anonymous man in a hoodie, in a filthy and dangerous looking area full of trash, with big rats wandering about. McNulty pulls up, dropping Bubs off, and he remarks "Thin line 'tween heaven and here." I sort of got it, but as a white upper-middle class individual who was still in his early twenties and under the financial and medical umbrella of my parents at the time, I did NOT truly understand it. I didn't really quite get why his experience at that soccer game could be described as 'heaven'. I just didn't really GET it. I didn't notice the dramatic match-cut from the happy white kids playing soccer in the daytime with parents and responsible adults watching, to happy black kids running and playing in the dark of night, in a sketchy west-side alley with only a faceless man in a hoodie with a brown paper bag watching, garbage lies in piles and a rat wanders around. That is a VERY stark contrast, and I feel almost embarrassed that this whole bit kind of... passed me by.


you're looking at it the wrong way, cuz.

if you were like me, and hopelessly naive when you first watched through the series, this show was your first really clear look at how the sausage gets made. you were still hopelessly naive after you finished the show, but there were some things in you that were different afterward. some things that grew into greater curiosities to investigate how certain aspects of society really play out. you look back and feel embarrassment now at how little you understood when you first watched, but it's in part because you watched that you even have the insight necessary to make that observation now.

all the pieces matter

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


kaworu posted:

Re-watching this show at age 34 really is a radically different experience than watching it for the first time at age 20 in 2006, or rewatching it 4 years later at 24 in 2010 after the recession and the spectacular collapse of the multi-national criminal ponzi scheme referred to as "Keynesian economics" I thought that I'd reached a somewhat more enlightened place and I understood the show much more fully. Of course, that was useful bullshit, and now... well... now I'm just very aware that I will always be ignorant and always have more to learn, more to glean, more to understand. It's inspiring that I always find more and more subtleties in great pieces of art like this.

me at 18: i have achieved full awareness
me at 19: oh, NOW I've achieved full awareness
20-23: crippling depression
me at 24: sigh. okay. I'm fully aware now.

narrator: no he wasn't

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


Stairmaster posted:

I think the majority of goons itt understand the wire better than David Simon at this point.

yeah i was amazed to hear David Simon is more or less a neolib who believes all capitalism needs is more regulation.

bruh, did you watch your magnum opus. like he gives talks all the time about tricky dick Nixon and ronald reagan and how trivially easy it was for them to not only dismantle new deal policies, but then make that platform politically repulsive for a generation.

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


awesmoe posted:

If your takeaway from the wire was “only the current manifestation of institutions are corrupt, we just need different institutions” then it’s not David simon who wasn’t paying attention

Simon doesn’t believe that noble goals are enough to overcome the resistance to change from the status quo, the difficulties that come around when you try to actually implement change, and the corruption/dilution of ideals that comes with attaining power (see: hamsterdam, stringer’s push for gentrifying the drug trade, the special education classes in season 4, and basically everything carcetti promised w/r/t both the police and the schools)

The through line of the entire series (and it’s explicitly stated in the book of the corner) is that achieving any lasting change requires both personal, human care (eg kima, Steve Earle for bubbles, bunny Colvin for namond, curry for his boys, prez for his kids) AND extremely lucky circumstances.

So yeah him not being in favour of revolutionary change doesn’t conflict at all with the wire.

i agree with pretty much everything you said, including that simon's general outlook appears to be that the only answer to society's ills is real, human compassion.

i still think it's reasonable to feel a little incredulous/surprise that someone who made the wire could believe "capitalism, with more regulations" would provide that.

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


replace james franco? lol uhhh gently caress off

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


Jack2142 posted:

I think a key concept on the wire is a revolution doesn't really change things. Hamsterdam and legalizing drugs just shuffled where the bodies were buried in the end.

hamsterdam isn’t a revolution. at best it’s a Limited Hangout, implemented by a jaded yet still firmly establishment figure who’s too old for this poo poo and not really interested in sweeping systemic reform. What bunny IS interested in is solving one or two social ills with an eclectic patchwork of abolitionist, socialist, anarchist, and utilitarian theories lazily thrown together (the urban police major needed to be reminded of communicable diseases?)

another lesson that could be drawn from this, with an eye toward the fact that not even the authority of the commanding officers within the department was legitimately challenged much less that of the overarching economic system that is directly antagonistic in nature to the ideals represented by the existence of hamsterdam, is that siloed and poorly planned/coordinated social reforms will only succeed in changing where the bodies are buried.

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


Orange Devil posted:

Hamsterdam was very likely a net good while not disrupting any of the actual causes of the suffering it alleviates.

So sure, we should support things such as that because it materially helps people and reduces suffering. But it doesn't actually solve anything.

Kind of like capitalism with better regulations.

another consideration should be “localized & temporary net good” vs “universal permanent net good”

hamsterdam may seem far fetched on its face to the layman but bored police commanders have a long, storied history of accidentally discovering revolutionary social change while loving around with departmental procedures, for instance what would happen if we just stopped patrolling lol-OH gently caress CRIME IS GOING DOWN ABORT ABORT GET THE CARS BACK ON THE ROAD

every single police officer in the US in the past 50 years has studied the Kansas City preventative patrol experiment, despite its results being clearly abolitionist on its face! you better believe that in the world of the wire, the hamsterdam case is going right in every subsequent criminal justice textbook that goes to print. now why would that be? why would the establishment be okay with teaching their entire workforce about social experiments that are essentially existential threats to their authority?

because it matters who revolutionary tactics come from. when they teach officers about the Kansas City experiment, it’s an inoculation. if anything similar to hamsterdam (anywhere now, not just in Baltimore) were to naturally manifest among the civilian population later on or a progressive officer starts getting some funny ideas, other officers will instinctively recognize it for what it is and shut it the gently caress down either with some good old fashioned anti-intellectualist rhetoric - and if that doesn’t work - brutal crackdowns and/or reassignment to the pawn shop unit.

that’s not to say the bunny’s of the world shouldn’t try; he has obvious positive effects on people around him, and his example could potentially inspire future revolutionaries, but as we can see the population of Baltimore has been successfully suppressed for a long time. they have little to no class consciousness or institutional memory outside of a few pockets. in all likelihood, bunny made revolutionary change less possible

God Hole fucked around with this message at 13:24 on May 16, 2020

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


when I was in Europe I was struck by how luxuriously long yellow traffic lights were. you had plenty of time to analyze which is more feasible: stopping or rolling through. Studies tell us that there is a direct correlation between how short the yellow light is, and the amount of fatalities that occur at that intersection.

yet the yellow lights in the US get shorter and shorter, more and more people get t-boned and die, but those unmanned traffic cameras are rolling in the dough baby!!!

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


kaworu posted:

Now this here?! This is some motherfucking BULLSHIT@!!!

I was watching The Wire on Amazon Prime very happily last night. I was at the end of Season 2, watching the last few episodes, and I was DEEPLY engaged. I mean... When you are at that part of the story, where they're ripping up the passports, and Frank is practically imprisoned already behind the fence of the Grain Pier before he goes to meet his death. So I am watching that, the AMAZING sequence set to Stelios Kazantzidis - Efuge Efuge, which is unbelievably fabulous music and I believe the only non-diegetic song used on the soundtrack, season-ending musical montages notwithstanding.

So I finish that episode up, and now it is 12:30 on the West Coast where I am. Oddly, instead of going to the finale which I wanted to see, I was kicked back to the list of episodes, and yet, for some weird reason it now says The Wire is no longer on Prime - in fact, I need to pay $15 to get a special HBO subscription to keep watching. And this had JUST fuckin' happened at midnight apparently. DURING MY REWATCH.

I find this deeply upsetting and while I know it is just business, it reeks. Does not make me want to pay corporate assholes more money to fuckin watch it

yeah i was in the middle of season 4 on a rewatch when i got kicked off it on Hulu. luckily you can get a week free of hbogo on Hulu, that should get me through the end.


Eifert Posting posted:

The big difference to me in rewatches is that I had had a 60-80 hour job by the most recent time I watched the show and related more with the detectives than I ever thought I would.

same yo. one line that hit me like a truck this time that i barely registered the first time: season 3 lester is talking to someone about barnard's weekly 200 mile trip down to west virginia to collect burner phones. he seems really upset, and when questioned about it he laments "i just really appreciate the discipline of it"

oof.

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


awesmoe posted:

how does that mesh with his ending, where he gets basically what stringer (the actual capitalist) wanted and bails on it to go back to the corner?
yes he's about the ruthless pursuit of power at the expense of all those around him, but that story's older than capitalism is.

reflecting on him, it's interesting that he doesnt explicitly reflect the main theme of the show (imo: the corrupting and exploitative forces inherent in any institution). he cares for his people and they don't get chewed up and spat out because of him (Michael explicitly sets himself apart from marlo's institution and that's why things happen how they do).

i could confidently state that someone like say nancy pelosi is a "representative of neoliberalism".

she's richer than god, about 100 years old, but she just won't loving retire to let someone new come in and give people healthcare. she's already made her nut, it hasn't been about money for her for a long time but about the accumulation and maintenance of power at all costs (and the prestige that comes with it). like marlo's "institution", nancy's is incredibly small and exclusive. they both are loyal to their high command, but if you're not in that little circle, you're nothing**

marlo can still take care of his people and not have it be from a place of sentimentality, or resisting the corrupting influences of capitalism. In fact, cynically providing attractive incentives for the people closest to you is precisely what is necessary to maintain such a ruthless and dominating institution.

**see: bodie and everyone else who "worked for marlo" but still got arbitrarily walked into a vacant

God Hole fucked around with this message at 00:46 on Jun 29, 2020

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


BiggerBoat posted:

My own "I love this show but" thing is:

Brother Mouzone

I think the only reason he works is in context to where his laid back bad assery finds a space to operate and he's just Not Quite Like Everyone Else.

That 22 showdown with Omar standoff where they chill and have a lecturing conversation that everyone seems to love or that speech about having one in the chamber when the second bullet is a custom made hollow point blah blah blah felt a little unrealistic. His whole demeanor and character was one of the few things in the show that rang a little false for me but was still cool enough to let slide. Some of Omar's poo poo brushed up against the same levels of realism for me but the show never broke the "oh the come the gently caress on" barrier and it's a credit to the writers and the actors really.

Glad you guys like the podacst.

Reminds me of just how RICH this show is with its depth and its writing. Hard pressed to think of a series with this much thought and real depth behind it that opens itself up for so many re-watches and analysis. I love how it assumes the intelligence of its audience and never talks down to us.

in terms of gangsters, brother mouzone existing in the wire's baltimore is a bit like seeing a wooly mammoth walking around and grazing as if the previous 4000 years of history hadn't happened. guys like him definitely existed and commanded the kind of clout you see exemplified by avon's deference to him, but not since like the 60's. there's no way brother mouzone could walk around scolding everybody like that out in the open without catching a bullet in the modern context.

the wire takes place in the 00's, but it's important to remember that simon was an embedded journalist with the BPD in the 80's/90's, and the street changes fast. so when you're watching the wire, you're getting a delayed snapshot of up to 10+ years with a few modern trappings stapled on top.

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


General Battuta posted:

I think about this a lot, what is 'real power' in the Wire? Is it the protection of the law to hide your crimes behind? Is it being part of the state?

marlo is a powerful player in the game that was a breath away from getting wiped out by avon very early in his career. he didn't through sheer chance, outside of his control. is that power?

levy, a mid-tier level player in the game came very close to getting indicted on criminal conspiracy charges because of his own carelessness talking over the phone. he ultimately didn't because he has the knowledge and analytical skills to deduce on the fly that the state's case was dirty, combined with a respectable bartering game. compare that with a similar case where the subject didn't have those tools OR the money to pay for a lawyer who did, but still ended up getting away (clay davis)

trying to define 'power' is like taking a picture of a river and, using that single frame, trying to extrapolate why this particular area has a more intense whirlpool or how this fish managed to eat a much bigger fish. all the while, the river has long since changed and the fish you were just studying doesn't exist anymore and neither do the circumstances that allowed it to "win"

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


BiggerBoat posted:

That's sort of where I came down it.

Had Herc still been in the unit I can totally see him going for it and even actively rooting it on. I know Lester had some "gently caress you" poo poo going on with being busted down to pawn shop detail but I never saw him break (or even really bend) the rules EVER. Maybe I'm forgetting something but all they had to do was have a bit where Lester got hosed with somehow - maybe had his pension cut or got disciplined/reassigned for some bullshit but nothing he ever did suggest to me "liar" or "crooked cop". Or, for that matter, any particular fondness for or allegiance to McNulty.

That whole Red Ribbon Killer arc fell a little flat to me, tbh, and seemed a little hamfisted/hokey even though I don't count myself among the fans who hated the newspaper stuff it bled over into. Going through the podcasts and recaps and stuff, I think S5 is my least favorite even though I still dig it a lot.

S2 gets way too much hate.

ehhh i think they actually did kinda lay the groundwork for lester's arc. rhonda catches him trying to manipulate her into pursuing a case at what she thinks is an inoppurtune time based on when the city elections are and he all but admits it. that establishes that 1) he gets tunnel vision like mcnulty and isn't afraid to crack a few eggs for that omelet and 2) he's willing to break the "rules" to get his case. yeah it's still a huge leap from that to fabricating a serial killer, but at the same time he reallllllly wanted marlo.

same. I've watched the series 3 times and i still can't remember whether there was actually a copycate killer or not?? that plotline was closed up really sloppily (excepting that badass showdown between rhonda and levy)

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


BiggerBoat posted:


To tell you the truth, and now that I think on it, where the gently caress DID Omar keep all his money? AFIK we're never really shown that unless booking it off the Bahamas counts?


aside from butchie being his bank, he was also known to be a robin hood type figure, giving drugs and money back to the people. this gave him a little more of a barrier against the major players (im thinking in particular of the addict mother that gives him shelter when the barksdales are trying to hit him in season 1)

edit: speaking of butchie, i forget, was it just prop joe who knew about his friendship with omar? or was it like one of those things like the sunday truce that are just honorably ignored by everyone until marlo came into the picture?

God Hole fucked around with this message at 20:57 on Sep 13, 2020

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


Happy Thread posted:

The police are the most effective gang so long as they're the ones white people feel good enough about to pick up the phone and tip off about anything unusual happening. Having eyes and ears through the entire non-involved population would be a huge advantage versus a large organization that can't get any Intel from the citizens.

For that same reason I think Omar always had an advantage over Marlo. People would reach out to him if there was danger because he had that trusted Robin hood reputation, which isn't nearly as good as having a formal police dispatch answering phones, but it's still something. Meanwhile Marlo attacked the public and sought only to be feared by them; he didn't bother treating the public any differently than a rival gang or an extraneous underling.

They say that when cities devolve into chaos, when warlords start popping up for lack of any working power structure, the gangs that are doomed long term are the ones that attacked civilians. Once the public turns on you you're done. I don't think Marlo would have been any exception to that. Even in a world without police, the public are going to turn to someone like Omar and feed him intel before they give Marlo any.

"the one who wins is usually the one who feeds the masses". the black panthers REALLY started getting attention from the feds once they had begun setting up networks of food distribution in low income and minority communities.

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


escape artist posted:

like when Marlo gave away money to all the kids?

someone never had raytheon come to their high school job fair and hand out cool notebooks and stickers!!


General Battuta posted:

The scene it adds the most to is Landsman's story about intrusive thoughts about McNulty while he's jerking off. It makes Rawls laughing even funnier because he grasps how horrible that would be on multiple levels!

*first watchthrough*

huh, kinda seems like rawls really does want to put his middle finger up mcnulty's rear end

*second watchthrough*

yep. called it.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

God Hole
Mar 2, 2016


for the person who was talkin about the towers, i recommend checking out the pruitt-igoe myth. it's a documentary about a housing project in st. louis, but unfortunately the story of pruitt-igoe is also the story of urban black housing projects in post-war america. you'll have no problem picturing some of the scenery that might have been found in the towers after watching. there's even a sickening publicity stunt demolition!

for those less familiar about the rise of urban crime, degradation, and white flight to the suburbs in the mid-20th century; it's a pretty nice overview of those phenomena and their causes as well.

optional extra credit: show me a hero (also david simon)

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