Rap Sheets


alli is a below-sea-level Dutch gal living in New Orleans with her dog. Earlier this year, she fell so hard and fast for the Wire that she watched four seasons in a crazily short amount of time, and accidentally used the word “re-up” at work without thinking (it’s recorded in meeting minutes). She’s an armchair economist, amateur sociologist, map afficionado, world traveler, and aspiring urban planner. Because of her mixed-up midwestern background, her sports loyalties are divided between three cities and a couple universities, but she has the distinct feeling that Ashley is going to hook us up with a Saints championship this season.


Ashley Morris is a 44 year old professor living in New Orleans and working in Chicago. In the 90s, he used to live a block from one of the largest open air drug markets in New Orleans. Knowing the people there and living in that atmosphere paralleled The Corner to a frightening degree. He saw who was involved in The Wire, realized that it would rock the llama’s ass, and has seen every episode since day one. He helped convince Nancy Nall in June 2002 that this was the best damned show on television, replacing Homicide: Life on the Street. He started the website Save The Wire when it became apparent that Chris Albrecht was more concerned with abusing women than preserving quality television, and that website may have actually had a microscopic impact in getting the show renewed. He dealt Three Card Monte in NYC and fleeced many goobers; and he’s trying to give David Simon an honor he has never received — more on that later.


Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden and Scout. She is the author of the forthcoming book It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, coming in 2008 from Heritage Books. She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War.” Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.


Nancy Nall, sometimes known by her 19th-century-lady-painter byline, Nancy Nall Derringer, is a freelance writer and editor in suburban Detroit. She is ashamed to say she wasn’t a fan of “The Wire” until her husband forced her to tune in about a third of the way through season one, but she’s done her penance since, tirelessly talking up the show to anyone who will listen. She likes to think she merely appreciated the show until moving to Detroit in 2005, at which point it got under her skin like a parasite; like anyone with eyes in her damn head, she sees a few similarities between the cities Charm and Motor. A 26-year veteran of the newspaper business, she’s looking forward to the new season the way a kid looks forward to picking a scab.


Okay, Racy for short. Cynthia is the real name. The fourth season of The Wire kicked my ass. When I found The Wire I was merely cruising the HBO gig I bought for the last year of Deadwood, which frankly left me rather flat. The Wire hooked me so hard, I was practically crying for the kids, cheering for the mayor, hoping for Bubbles, all-around stunned and amazed at the post-show void I felt when it was over.I spend my working hours in charge of a small piece of our wobbly health care system. I am an attorney, but my shadow darkens courtrooms very little. At my home blog, the babble deals with whatever crosses my mind. Of late, I do go on about single payer healthcare and disaster capitalism more than anything else (Read The Shock Doctrine!).


Ray was born into a big Irish/German family in Boston, and spent most of his childhood growing up in New Orleans, the metaphorical setting of The Wire. Since then he’s lived in Houston, Austin, and San Francisco, but is currently back in New Orleans fighting the good fight. He is a software designer by day, telecommuting for an Austin software company, and attemps to write fiction late at night when the kids are asleep.Ray’s crime world experience is extensive:

  • He has demand-side experience with the drug trade, experience for which he gets to spend an hour a day for the rest of his life sitting in a room full of ex-drunks and crackheads drinking shitty coffee and muttering about serenity.
  • He once lived a block away from the nightly gunfire in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood.
  • He once lost a bunch of money playing Three Card Monte on 42nd Street (pre-Giuliani era), but he understands how that works now.
  • He recently had a gun pointed at him by an angry rich white man wearing a Christmas-y sweater.

However, the most important qualifications Ray has for writing about The Wire is that he has been obsessed with the show since the premier of the very first episode, and he went to the same high school as Wendell Pierce.Favorite character: Bubbles. I hope he gets clean. He deserves it.


Virgotex lives in a fairly beautiful area of the Texas hill country and shares a house with more animals than strictly necessary. She does boring policy work for a state university, works at a social justice agency which, unfortunately, is never boring, and volunteers for a naturalist organization teaching folks how to preserve land, water, and wildlife. Born on the Texas Gulf Coast, she lived for many years in Austin, spent the 90s in New York City, and then returned to Texas. She’s had various hack writing gigs and just might produce a second published, albeit slim, volume of poetry in the foreseeable future. She listens to many kinds of music almost constantly, watches television and movies a little less often than that, and thinks, non-ironically, that The Wire is a stupendous work of genius.


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