Culture: The Wire

So one of my many New Year's resolutions was to give more space to art and culture here on the blog. In the past I've briefly mentioned movies/shows/books I'm into or excited about, and I plan on doing more of that this year. Try to contain yourselves, I know you're freaking out. One of my personal goals is to read a book a month, so hopefully I'll be sharing some good recs on good reads soon-in addition to other cultural tidbits and obsessions!

I'm starting out here with a little something that I'm admittedly like, 10 years late on: The Wire. Most of my television consumption flows through HBO and this show has been in my queue for years. I lost count of how many people told me I HAD to watch it.

This show, set in the post-9/11 streets of Baltimore is two parts Dickensian, one part Shakespeare and a sprinkle (a lot of sprinkles) of COPS. The Wire is a maze of parallel plots and worlds within worlds of crime, politics and life; near misses and miscommunications lead to many frustrating "almosts". I'm currently mid-way through season 4 and so far we've covered 2 inner-city drug dynasties, a Port union/human trafficking scandal, a totally dysfunctional police force and a completely corrupt local government and election cycle. I know that some of these topics (much less the language and violence) may not appeal to everyone, but I'm telling you, the story they are weaving through this crazy cast of characters is spectacular. 

Good intentions are often thwarted by the realities of circumstance. The heartache and small joys of life extend to each and every one of us, but some realms are dealt a poor hand from the beginning. You find yourself connecting with the emotions of a drug kingpin, and alternately feeling affection then repulsion towards the brilliant but innately flawed lead detective. What I mean to say is, no matter how far away from the world of The Wire you think you are, you find the connections of humanity. You FEEL how badly some of these kids (even adults) want out of the world they were simply born into. This show, now more than a decade old brings into focus some of the issues making headlines today. The Wire gives insight into the complexities faced by law enforcement in dealing with impoverished , drug-riddled inner city communities and the effect it has on race relations. They refer often to war--think about that. Police, innocent citizens just trying to get by, drug dealers...they are all involved in a "war". This is the mentality of the people living in these communities, and think about all we have learned about what living in a war zone does to people. This show is so important, so enlightening, especially now. The struggle is most definitely real in The Wire.  

You can stream the entire series on HBO GO or hop over to iTunes and make the investment. It's 1000% worth it. 

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