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Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Wow, that reminds me of a scandal at Burr Oak Cemetery outside Chicago where they were digging up bodies and reselling the plots to new people. They dumped the exhumed bodies into a corner of the cemetery.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/09/burr-oak-cemetery-4-charg_n_228610.html

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Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



I like Treme, but I haven't seen the latest season. I don't think it's really like The Wire, Treme seems more just about living in New Orleans and what that means for every day people. A lot of the characters only have very tenuous connections to each other, and I don't think there are any season long plot points that tie in every character that The Wire has.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Wow, I just saw that and bought it. I've been putting off getting all of the DVD's because of how expensive it seemed. Now I just need all the other HBO shows to get this cheap. It's like $50 a season for everything else.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Ainsley McTree posted:

I don't think I could handle being with someone while they're watching it for the first time, starting from the very beginning. I'd probably get frustrated while they climb over the initial "what the hell is going on?" hurdle for the first few episodes and want to be like "DON'T YOU SEE HOW BRILLIANT THIS IS???"

I'm watching this with my girlfriend and it's her first time through. Luckily though she's already up to mid season 5, but it's hard because she is a little confused on what McNulty and Freamon are doing (although I was too the first time through), and she really wants Omar to get Marlo and I just have to bite my tongue.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Thaddius the Large posted:

I could deal with the newspaper storyline and McNulty's shenanigans, but it always felt way out of character to me to have Freamon go along with his scheme, and so willingly to boot. I know he was plenty dedicated to doing real police work over politics, but the whole fake killer didn't seem to be "making the case that's there" as he said before. Admittedly it's been about 3 years since my last season 5 watch, is it better addressed than my memory attests?

I think Freamon justified it in his mind because they were on the case originally and then he had to move to the Clay Davis stuff, so it's what he was supposed to be doing all along. Plus he probably justifies it that what he's doing would be legit, if they had enough funding to properly work the case. I can't remember if he specifically defends his actions to someone at the end of the season, I'll have to rewatch and see.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



It's funny how a lot of the actors off-screen persona are similar to the characters they play. McNulty and Bunk hit up the strip club, Freamon and Prez hang out and take it easy.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Jerusalem posted:

Meanwhile Stringer Bell is laying out his own frustrations directly to Clay Davis, complaining that nothing has changed in his situation other than a growing lightness in his pocket. It's a remarkable scene just in terms of watching Clay Davis lube Stringer up for the loving, as he oozes his way past Stringer's anger and charms his way into making Stringer look like an impatient idiot and Clay himself the wise, kindly and patient mentor. He hits Stringer with all the upcoming appointments they have, insists that will get them the consents they need, and then throws in a teaser by revealing that he has gotten Stringer's company the rights to supply light bulbs to the city's schools. He laughs off Stringer's complaint that he knows nothing about lightbulbs, saying all he needs to do is put his new status as supplier onto a B&B letterhead, there will be "white guys" doing all the actual work, and Stringer is a just a beard for a federal empowerment grant - in other words, B&B is a company owned and run by an African American, and a company is paying Clay Davis to use Stringer's name to get their contract, and Clay is passing some (I imagine quite a small proportion) of that on to Stringer. I honestly find it really difficult to figure out exactly how much of what Clay is doing is illegal and how much is "accepted business practice".

Minority-owned pass through companies are fairly common with local government contracts, it's not illegal, but it's not the actual intent of why those programs are set up. The only thing illegal that Clay might be doing, is getting B&B registered as a minority-owned business way faster than normal. I'm in construction in Chicago, so I have to deal with this stuff occasionally, and getting your company registered as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) takes like a year to do, so maybe Clay is just greasing the right wheels here. Although Chicago and Illinois are starting to crack down on pass-through companies and trying to make the MBE/WBE companies actually responsible for supplying their product, or doing their own installation. The MBE/WBE setup has a lot of problems though.

I also like how the fight between the two boys on the court early in the episode foreshadowed the fight between Avon and Stringer at the end of the episode.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Jerusalem posted:

Thanks for that info on Minority-owned pass through companies, that kind of stuff boggles my mind.


Yeah, I ran out of room to really follow through on that other than referring to them as "brothers", but Roman's line is really prophetic - "Without that, you've got nothing!"

I could do a write-up on the MBE/WBE stuff if you really want to know about it, but it's not terribly interesting.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Desperately trying to catch up and just finished Season 2 last night. Those last two episodes are so devestating. The close calls, bad choices, FBI agent backstabbing is just so awful, and it's probably poo poo that happens all the time.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



On my first watch, the stuff with Michael being a victim of sexual abuse really wasn't evident to me until Bug's dad showed up. When Michel flipped out the moment he showed up I knew something must have happened in the past. Now that I'm rewatching for the first time, all his reactions to Cutty make a lot more sense. I don't think it was really spelled out, but I think Cutty figured out what was up with Michael after he jumped out of his car. It seemed like Cutty was much more open about flirting with women at the gym and makes mention of it to Michael even. I think we was deliberately trying to Michael feel safer around him, showing he only had eyes for women, but this may be a stretch.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Hammy posted:

You have a good point. My feeling is that she's learned from the tagging incident that she can break Randy by threatening to call Miss Anna. This is what she intends to do here. She lands a much bigger fish than she expected, but she is still coercing Randy to snitch despite almost certainly knowing the potential consequences for him.

Even if Donnelly was using Ms Anna as a tool to get information out of Randy, she was going to have to call her no mattter what anyway. There is absolutely no way that she wasn't going to call his guardian, but really the only thing she could do differently is to frame the coversation a little different. The sad thing is that if this was Randy's actual parents, he probably would've never flipped because the threat of going back to a group home wouldn't be there. The group home was Randy's only incentive to give up info. Randy's case is so sad all around, if his father was actually there for him, he probably would've ended up in the drug game early, and his life wouldn't have been that much different.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Ainsley McTree posted:

The way I saw it is that the state is crushingly bureaucratic, with no real interest in the students on an individual level; if the state takes over, it just means more rules for the teachers to follow instead of actually responding to the needs of their students (like Teaching the Test, except for everything).

I think we see a glimpse of it in Colvin and the academic guy (forgot his name, sorryóI want to call him Parcheesi?)'s meeting with the superintendent; they'd carefully worked out this deal with the school officials, and had been running the program successfully, getting through to the kids, and then suddenly the official from the state pokes her head in and says "You're breaching the guidelines, this is tracking, plain and simple, I'm shutting you down and I won't hear anymore about this. See ya later"

That's my assumption, at least. But if anyone who works in education has a better perspective, I'd be curious to learn more.

I don't think that official was from the state, I think it was either area superintendent, or someone else very high up in the Baltimore public school system. From what I remember, the school money wasn't going to come with state intervention, it was just going to cost Carcetti politically. He'd have to stand next to the governor while the governor gets to tell the rest of the state how they are bailing out the city schools again.

Edit: The person I hated the most in city hall was Carcetti's chief of staff (I think that's what he was, the white guy). He is always, constantly, looking at the political angle for Carcetti. His decisions are never about what is right for the city, it's all about what will get Carcetti elected to governor. You can even see Carcetti defer to him a lot on tough decisions.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Chaos Triangle posted:

I see Kenard's theft as him trying to push Namond- he's seen that Namond doesn't have the instincts or the heart for the game, and I think he legitimately thought there was a possibility that Namond either wouldn't realize he'd been scammed or else wouldn't be willing to step up and do something about it- and even if he does, Namond's soft enough to give him another chance. He's certainly right about the latter, and I didn't get the sense that Namond initially realized that Kenard was playing him; it was only later, upon further reflection, that it even occurred to him to doubt the flimsy story he'd been fed. It's also possible that Kenard wasn't even thinking about that at all- his sense of consequences doesn't seem to be especially strong, especially given how he just caps Omar right in front of a witness.

As has been noted before, none of Carcetti's options are "good," each one has very significant drawbacks- what's important is not what he chooses so much as why he chooses it. Taking the money isn't a panacea; leaving aside state control of the schools, which is kind of ill-defined, the ability to dismiss tenured faculty with cause is, as I understand it, a very significant concession, only a few steps behind doing away with tenure entirely. Recall the previous episode, when Burrell points out that he can use police regulations to get even a saint fired if necessary- how hard do you think that sort of scenario would be to engineer for the school system?

As far as Sherrod's death goes, as heartless as it sounds, I feel that Bubbles really does bear primary responsibility- not sole, by any means, but Sherrod died as a direct consequence of Bubbles' decision to pursue a violent solution to his problem. I don't blame him, though; he was placed in a lovely situation and made the best call he could, given what he knew. This is one of the biggest elements of his redemption during season 5, I think- the realization that one can bear responsibility for even something as terrible as ending someone's life without necessarily being a worse person for it.

Also, I love the shot of Krawczyk when Carcetti starts asking how the budget shortfall could have come about- he looks incredibly uncomfortable when Carcetti starts asking about the possibility of fraud or embezzlement. I don't think Krawczyk is stupid enough to have done anything blatantly illegal, mind you, but what are the odds that he hasn't used his position as school board chairman to enrich himself in some way?

Going with the last thing first, it is pretty much 100% guaranteed that Krawcyk has made money via the school district. Either by buying land that the district later bought from him, or buying abandoned schools to later tear down and develop. Possible third option is supplying material to the schools, but I'm not sure if Krawcyk is in that line of business or not.

Jumping back, I'm pretty sure Kenard thinks almost everyone is someone he can scam until proven otherwise, or he just doesn't really care about taking a beating. He poo poo talked Dukie in Season 5, for pretty much no reason. While Dukie is skinny, he's still twice as big as Kenard, and if Kenard didn't have his crew behind him, I'm sure he would've taken a similar beating that Michael gave him this episode.

Sherrod was probably the ultimate death by the system. An abandoned, and homeless kid who turns to drugs is practically inevitibale. Attempts to go back to school, but is pushed many years ahead of where he should be due to his age, and thus drops out immediately. Ends up getting accidentally killed because Bubbles couldn't get help from the police because the police don't really care that much about the problems of homeless drug addicts.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Ainsley McTree posted:

Do you think he would have stayed in if they'd placed him in a lower grade level though? I feel like he walked out because he just didn't want to be there, not because he found the material too challenging.

He really needed special attention instead of getting stuck in gen pop, so to speak. If he gets stuck in a smaller classroom, with teachers designed to bring these kind of kids up to speed, then he might have stuck it out. Maybe he still ditches eventually, but at least he makes it longer than a minute into class. School systems like this though don't really have programs for kids like Sherrod.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Well since you left the thread, he essentially does do that, although there's a lot of steps involved to get to that point.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Sorry for the doublepost. Here's an article on Grambling State University's football team going on strike.
http://deadspin.com/whats-behind-the-grambling-football-teams-protest-1447273282

Essentially the university doesn't have the money to properly fund the football team, resulting in them having to take 1,500 mile round trip bus rides to away games. Part of the reason the school doesn't have money is because Bobby Jindal turned down federal stimulus money for the state in order to appease Republicans in the state and further his career. It's like the Republican version of Carcetti, and there were more than a few governors who did the same thing as Jindal.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Not really Wire related, but here is a good article in Newcity about the heroin trade in Chicago as told by a junkie.

http://newcity.com/2013/10/17/suppl...en-by-a-junkie/

As a Chicagoan who has never really had contact with the drug trade here, I'm almost surpised at how you could pretty much change some street names around and this would read like something straight out of The Corner. The slang is the same, setup is the same. I guess I expected it to be a little different in each city. It's also amusing and sad to see that 20 years after The Corner, things are essentially the same as they ever were.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Popular Thug Drink posted:

Mouzone's rep protects him. He doesn't need to be stealthy - are the cops going to come because of a gunshot, no fatailities or victim, in the Towers? The street criminals aren't going to call the police for help either. He revisits the same place regularly because it was his job to chase rival soldiers away, which you'll notice he did because everyone was terrified of him once they learned his rep. Prop Joe's so scared of Mouzone that he manipulates Stringer into sending Omar after Mouzone - the only other person on the show who gets this treatment is Marlo, another scary man. You'll also note that Mouzone spends all of his off time holed up and sending Lamar out to do his business, minimizing the chance some crew will take a run at him.

For a show about criminals you're getting real picky here.

Yes this, and it applies to Omar as well. It's said multiple times by various people that no one wants to take a shot at Omar or Mouzone because if they miss, then they'll be on the Omar/Mouzone hit list, which is practically a guarantee of death. Mouzone's rep is so big that even though he primarily works out of New York, the Baltimore people still know and fear him. This rep didn't come overnight, and it didn't come easy.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Atlas Hugged posted:

It just annoys me that McNulty basically went through the same arc twice with the only difference being that he can't even be a beat cop after what he pulled in season 5.

I thought that they told McNulty and Lester that they could still be cops, but that they'd end up working on only the most meaningless stuff in the world, and they both chose to retire/quit instead. I think McNulty really could've gone back to beat cop, or at least beat cop on a boat, but he didn't want to spend another 15-20 years doing that.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



If anyone was going to do a Treme recap, they would almost have to be from New Orleans because there is so much stuff in every episode that is distinctly of/from that city that a stranger would stand no chance at picking it up. I love that show, but only saw seasons 1 and 2 because I cancelled my HBO. Hoping to pick up the DVD's pretty soon though so I can watch season 3. I'm assuming what is airing now is season 4 right?

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Idris Elba as Bond would be amazing mostly for the crazy reaction racists would have, and you know there would be a lot of it. I think he'd fit that role pretty well too.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



The Chicago PD is essentially the Baltimore PD from the Wire now. Reclassifying crimes, even murders to try and juke the stats.

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2014/Chicago-crime-rates/

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Clarke Peters, and I'm tempted to say he was better on Treme than on The Wire, but I think he has more to do on Treme. I just finished watching Season 3 of Treme, and now I have to go buy Season 4.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



I take the tour bus scene as the opposite really. The tourists are just there to gawk at the destruction, not to understand why it happened, or how the people are coping with it. The show was trying to explain why people stayed or came back after the storm, and how the political corruption in the city ensured that the problems that resulted in Katrina were never really going to get fixed.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Finndo posted:

By the way, one has to wonder: if the police could bring enough heat on the corners to force the trafficking to Hamsterdam, why couldn't they do the same thing to simply force it off the streets? There may be a reason, but it wasn't really adequately explained in the show, I don't think.

The show explained it by saying that when they tried to force them off one corner, they would simply move to another one. Forcing them to Hamsterdam was pushing everyone to central locations. The only way to truly force them off the corner is to stick an officer at like every other corner for the entire west side, which just isn't going to happen.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Clay Davis is a State Senator, not US Senator, but it's still a dumb idea. Davis never found out how close he was to getting killed does he? Omar very well may have saved Clay Davis's life by getting to Stringer first.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



I would love to talk about Show Me a Hero. I only watched Part 1 so far, but I thought it was good. Has some Wire elements too it, but it definitely has its own style, especially with the soundtrack, so much Bruce. I could make a thread too, but it would be super low effort, so if someone has more time to put something together, that would be great.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Jack2142 posted:

Namond is gonna grow up to be like Ben Carson ~ I made it out of the ghetto and its not that hard, wait what do you mean i was ridiculously lucky? ~ and then ride the ghetto hero success gravy train.

I guess being a white guy, I never even knew who Ben Carson was until he ran for president. Rewatching Season 4 recently, and he comes up a few times, sometimes by name, and other times just by kids talking about how they want to be a neurosurgeon when they grow up. I had to look it up, but he did his residency at Johns Hopkins, so I guess he was probably more well known in Baltimore.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



I was watching Face/Off for the comedy recently and Robert Wisdom (Bunny) plays sidekick FBI detective to John Travolta, and Chris Bauer (Frank Sobotka) plays an inmate that helps Nic Cage escape. Bunny is way skinnier. Frank looks like Frank, but with black hair and a beard.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Iíve seen The Wire three times, but Iím in the middle of watching The Sopranos for the first time and I actually have a hard time believing that people rank The Sopranos over The Wire. Now I havenít finished it yet, so Iíll reserve further judgement until I see it all, but the wire just has so much more going on, and way more interesting characters than the Sopranos does so far.

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Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Season 5 if made this year would be about a journalist making a fake Twitter account and then reporting on what it says.

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