Tagthe wire

What Do Mike Daisy, #StopKony and Jimmy McNulty Have in Common?

Aaron Brady compares the distortions of truth, or outright fabrications, of Mike Daisy, the #StopKony campaign and Gay Girl in Damascus to McNulty’s hoax in the final season of The Wire:

If there’s a certain radicalism to this gesture, we should also note that the most he can do is make the system do what it always does anyway: in this case, throw police at a crime it thereby propagates and reproduces. […]

Perhaps more importantly, because such stories are derived from their audience – and its imaginative capabilities – they will for that reason demand and privilege reactions to the problem that are maddeningly simplistic in their very imaginable practicality. Kony is bad and so he must be killed by the military, because that’s something we can picture, can visualize; fundamentally restructuring the Central African system of political economy and governance is impossibly and unthinkably remote. Apple is bad and must be regulated (or shunned or something), because, again, that’s something simple we can imagine happening (as opposed to any alternative to the advanced industrial capitalism that makes Foxconn all but inevitable). And MacMasters later admitted that he had given his story an ending, an ending that is striking by its plausible realism: “I was going to end the story with having her be free, and get out of country — end of story.” But this ending is necessary precisely because individual escapes happen every day (while a real solution to the Syrian crisis is unthinkably complicated). Each of these outcomes are imaginable, in part, as a direct consequence of the fact that they do not trouble the status quo. We can imagine those reforms, because they are essentially superficial adjustments of a system that not only remains intact, but which we – in our thinking about what is and isn’t possible – rely on and presume.

The New Inquiry: The Jimmy McNulty Gambit

(via Josh Ellis)

See also:

Several essays on The Wire

A Born-Again Christian Ex-Outlaw Biker and His Hunt for the Leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda

The Wire As a Victorian Novel

Omar comin' yo!

This is an amazing treatment of The Wire a Victorian novel instead of an HBO t-series:

There are few works of greater scope or structural genius than the series of fiction pieces by Horatio Bucklesby Ogden, collectively known as The Wire; yet for the most part, this Victorian masterpiece has been forgotten and ignored by scholars and popular culture alike. Like his contemporary Charles Dickens, Ogden has, due to the rough and at times lurid nature of his material, been dismissed as a hack, despite significant endorsements of literary critics of the nineteenth century. Unlike the corpus of Dickens, The Wire failed to reach the critical mass of readers necessary to sustain interest over time, and thus runs the risk of falling into the obscurity of academia. We come to you today to right that gross literary injustice.

The Hooded Utilitarian: “When It’s Not Your Turn”: The Quintessentially Victorian Vision of Ogden’s “The Wire”

(Thanks Jillian!)

Apparently this essay is being turned into a book.

It’s part of a The Wire Round-Table at the site The Hooded Utilitarian.

Also included in the round-table is this essay on women in The Wire, which claims, quite rightly, that “The Wire is singularly unconcerned with how women fare in these institutions, the fates they face, the options open to them.”

See also:

When did TV become art?

Vice Magazine’s interview with David Simon

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