My Photo

Categories

Roll Call

Become a Fan

« Birds on The Wire | Main | Iowa Caucus Sparks Tribal Violence Throughout Midwest »

Saturday, 05 January 2008

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c2df453ef00e54fd368ae8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Narrative Exhaustion Strung Along The Wire:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jake

Hey, did you read the latest round-ups of The Wire articles from The House Next Door? Second set down. One of the posts criticizing David Simon's vision gets a response from the creator himself:

Enjoying this.

Writing to affirm what people are saying about my faith in individuals to rebel against rigged systems and exert for dignity, while at the same time doubtful that the institutions of a capital-obsessed oligarchy will reform themselves short of outright economic depression (New Deal, the rise of collective bargaining) or systemic moral failure that actually threatens middle-class lives (Vietnam and the resulting, though brief commitment to rethinking our brutal foreign-policy footprints around the world). The Wire is dissent; it argues that our systems are no longer viable for the greater good of the most, that America is no longer operating as a utilitarian and democratic experiment. If you are not comfortable with that notion, you won't agree with some of the tonalities of the show. I would argue that people comfortable with the economic and political trends in the United States right now -- and thinking that the nation and its institutions are equipped to respond meaningfully to the problems depicted with some care and accuracy on The Wire (we reported each season fresh, we did not write solely from memory) -- well, perhaps they're playing with the tuning knobs when the back of the appliance is in flames.

Does that mean The Wire is without humanist affection for its characters? Or that it doesn't admire characters who act in a selfless or benign fashion? Camus rightly argues that to commit to a just cause against overwhelming odds is absurd. He further argues that not to commit is equally absurd. Only one choice, however, offers the slightest chance for dignity. And dignity matters.

All that said, I am the product of a C-average GPA and a general studies degree from a state university and thirteen years of careful reporting about one rustbelt city. Hell do I know. Maybe my head is up my ass.

If The Wire is too pessimistic about the future of the American empire -- and I've read my Toynbee and Chomsky, so I actually think a darker vision could be credibly argued -- no one will be more pleased than me as I am, well, American. Right now, though, I'm just proud to see serious people arguing about a television drama; there's some pride in that. Thanks.

Jake


Eh, I think you did.

The comments to this entry are closed.