Monday, January 07, 2008

F__k The Wire

I couldn't sleep last night. I'm feeling some combination of grumpy and hopeless, today. And I know exactly why.

It's all David Simon's fault.

If you watch The Wire, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

And it's not just because everybody and they mama was 10 kinds of pissed off and/or 3 degrees of depressed in the first episode of Season Five. It's 'cause all of the characters on that show and all of their stories feel ultra-real and acutely timely.

Like, you may not work for the Baltimore Sun or the West Baltimore Police, but you know exactly what it feels like to trudge into your own office feeling insulted, unappreciated and underpaid. Before the first pot of coffee is even warm, you might check your email and wonder how you're going to survive another eight hours (or twelve) carrying the weight of the disrespected and desperate. That does, after all, comprise a significant chapter of every person's working life. Some of us are lucky enough to know it for a mere week or two. Others suffer through job after job wearing their disenfranchisement on their nearly tattered sleeves hoping against hope that tomorrow will suck less than today.

And that is what The Wire has always been about: the treachery of everyday living. It's not escapism. It's not s'posed to be. At its best, it entertains from the most tragic of all places. At its worst, it empties barrels of sad gasoline onto the embers of depression that smolder within all of us.

Or, maybe, it's just the best shit on TV. Ever.

And, maybe, I'm just a poor mook with a platform.

It probably doesn't matter. As long as ole boy playing the City Editor keeps chewing up scenery. And as long as Omar is still lurking. Somewhere.

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