For those under that proverbial rock
Oprah obviously didn’t watch Season Four of The Wire.
In an interview in Newsweek’s January 8 issue (out January 1), Winfrey discusses building her $40 million Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls school in South Africa for impoverished teenagers, and more:
Oprah also knows that some people will complain that charity should
begin at home, even though she has provided millions of dollars to educate
poor children in the United States, especially via her Oprah Winfrey
Scholars Program, Samuels reports. But she sees the two situations as
“Say what you will about the American educational system — it does work,” Oprah tells Newsweek. “If you are a child in the United States, you can get an education.” And she doesn’t think that American students — who, unlike Africans, go to school free of charge — appreciate what they have. “I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there,” she says. “If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.”
Okay, first, it’s true that Winfrey has given away gazillions of dollars to great causes including schools here. Second, more power to her for helping out South African kids.
That said, knowing she has the power to influence literally millions of Americans, that people actually do listen to what she says, she basically writes off the most at-risk kids in the country as Continue reading
[WARNING: This is not spoiler material, as it's already been made public, but if you don't want to know anything ahead of time, don't continue.]
I’m curious to know what everyone here is thinking about on the eve of Season 5. As we all know, the vast scope of the series and size of the cast precludes a lot of the perfect closure we are accustomed to getting spoon-fed by other shows, so there’s a lot from previous seasons that we’ll never see resolved. That said, be it speculation, wish list, worst case scenarios, favorite characters, storylines, whatever, tell us what you think. Continue reading
While we’re still doing introductions, I’d be remiss not giving a shout out to Jim King, the force behind the deeply excellent The Wire on HBO: Play Or Get Played In David Simon’s Baltimore. Jim turned down our invite, referring to himself as “more of an aggregator than a writer,” but we (hopefully) expect to see him in comments and he’s graciously blogrolled us. I’d also challenge his “humble”— the man ain’t no ordinary link farmer, as evidenced by the exclusive interviews he’s snagged with David Simon and other Wire creators and cast, not to mention his site’s overall breadth and depth. Note also that Jim ran a Homicide site which remains a great reference collection.
Gracias for your support and traffic, Jim.
This all got started with one fairly simple idea. Actually, not even an idea as much as an enthusiastic impulse:
I wanted to engage with some favorite bloggers in an extended discussion about the final season of The Wire and I thought other people might want to read something like that. I asked said bloggers and they said, “Sure.” I thought about it a little more and asked a couple more. They also agreed, in addition to suggesting a couple more yet. Then we were seven.
The Wire and seven bloggers blogging it — see, had it been an idea, I could have probably been more original. After all, there have been, and still are, other Wire blogs around. So, whadda we got they don’t?
Quality product, ya’ll. Take a look at our crew and see if you don’t think we can build this little corner up:
First Draft has been my first stop of the day for a good long while now and it’s not just because they let me run a tab at the crack van. They know how to get the job done over there. They are passionate and they will bust up all the chairs if need be. When I heard journalism was going to be the Season Five theme, the first thing I thought of was how well Athenae has schooled us on this, her chosen profession. Reading about and watching David Simon talk about the newspaper bidness, I’ve heard echoes of some of A’s best posts on the topic. As for politics, sci fi, religion, television, the craft of writing, anything — Athenae can write the hell out of that too.
Likewise, Scout’s long been asking the same questions about New Orleans, and the rest of America, that Simon and Ed Burns have been asking about the real-world problems in The Wire: “How come we’re the only ones paying attention to this? Where’s the rest of the world? How does this exist here? What are we paying attention to anyway?” Note that Scout’s already disclaimered that her dance card may be too full for her to post here often, but we remain optimistic.
Everyone knows that any properly-constituted blog absolutely needs an attorney/nurse/economist/comedian, so I asked Racy Mind to participate before I even knew whether she was familiar with the show; I was that certain she could riff with authority on just about anything. As it turned out, she’d undergone a Wire conversion experience during Season Four. This show is about nothing if not economics and that’s the stuff that really makes Racy go. You want a drinking game? Take a shot every time she mentions disaster capitalism!
Dubious though I am of quotas, we clearly needed some men in order to have a decent conversation about this show. And no, that is not the only reason I then asked Ray in New Orleans aboard. Nor is it that he went to the same high school as Wendell Pierce. Nor is it that, if not actually coining the term “carpetblogger,” he at least fed it the bandwidth and scorn necessary for robust growth. No, he was on my list because of an intriguing comment in an email back before the First Draft housegutting trip, about The Wire being the best show ever made…about New Orleans.
When asked to join up, Ray copped to the fact that it was actually Ashley Morris (aka “the biggest Wire fan on the planet”) who’d come up with that concept. I was familiar enough with Ashley’s reputation, for posts like this and this, and also remembered this noble effort. And for the record, I want it known that I extended an invitation before I knew he was Ron Jeremy’s stunt double, though clearly that enhances his qualifications for the gig.
Ashley in turn suggested his dear friend Nancy Nall. I’m glad she agreed to play, because when it comes to Wire blogging, Nancy’s quite a bit out in front of the rest of us. Her posts on the show, along with commentary by Ashley and others, make great reading:
It’s not just the kids who are unsaved. The police, the teachers, the politicians — all bang their heads against something bigger, and all get bloody foreheads, while the immovable object remains unmoved. The overarching lesson is that it’s best not to try, except that the best characters, and the redeeming moments, come from the people who do try, and fail to move the object, but somehow find a little bit of hope. Remember McNulty last season, his career in tatters, going back to uniformed foot patrol, swinging his baton merrily and looking genuinely happy for once. Colvin tried to solve the drug problem in his own way last season, failed, but came back this year and succeeded (we hope) on a far smaller scale, by saving Namond from the corner. And Bodie, who shot Wallace in season one, found a shred of decency and tried to do the right thing, only to pay for it. He redeemed himself, however, in finding the shred. A small miracle.
Plus, the woman made an Omar jack o’ lantern, ya’ll.
So, that’s the crew that’ll be slinging this new package. I can’t wait to see what they bring. As for rules, format, etc, we’re keeping it pretty freeform. Everyone gets to post as much as they want, about what they want to, whether it’s about a whole episode or just some part therein that moves them, as well as any other Wire-related news, speculation, etc. As for real spoilers, the usual rules of the road will apply, warnings will be given and spoilers will be kept below the “more” tab. Note: I consider anything aired in an HBO promo, dvd commentary, mainstream articles, etc, to be fair game.
We haven’t yet worked out how we’ll accomodate the HBO On Demand early showings. More on that later. Feel free to give us feedback on that and anything else.