Real Thugs Watching The Wire 02/22/2008
Of all the weekly postmortems of episodes of season five of The Wire (in Slate, Salon, Variety, and a zillion other places), one of the most unusual and insightful, not to mention the liveliest and most entertaining by far, is the one in the New York Times Freakonomics blog, "What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire?" It's a weekly discussion of each week's episode by a group of real gangstas (mostly retired) from the New York area, moderated (if that's the word) by Sudhir Venkatesh, a Columbia sociologist and author of Gang Leader for a Day. The gentlemen of this informal seminar, which is fueled by beer and pork rinds with hot sauce (which sounds pretty great, actually), go by Wire-worthy sobriquets like Shine and Flavor and Tony-T, and they've already made a number of wonderfully astute predictions, which I won't spoil for you by telling you what they are. It's also a lot of fun to watch the Grey Lady Herself trying without much success to disguise the casual obscenities lacing their conversation. Apparently even the Times' web editors take that "fit to print" business seriously, so you get locutions like "m—er f—ing," which is kind of like the itsy bitsy, teeny weeny string bikini of a bleep that Comedy Central lays over the obscenities on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. You wonder why they even motherfucking bother.
In which I mostly write about books, movies, and TV. An all-purpose spoiler alert: Sometimes I will talk about these works on the assumption that the reader's already read or seen them, so if you haven't, be forewarned.
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