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Archive for February, 2007

 

Last night I had a dream – a flash of unconscious thought really. I was walking on a dark street and became aware that there was someone walking behind me. It was a tall, thin man, wearing a trench coat and clutching a shot gun. It was then that all my fear melted away.

I was safe in the sights of this psychopath, because he was Omar Little, Baltimore’s drug-laden Robin Hood on The Wire.*

Having dreamed about Omar, I thought it might be time to make my feelings about him known in the public sphere – or the “blogosphere” if you want me to vomit on myself.

First of all, Omar is a total badass and is admirable and exemplary in that way. Proof of bad-assedness: gigantic scar across face (which, admittedly, is the actor’s and not technically Omar’s), trench coat/shot gun combo, and the courtroom smack-down in Season Two.

Secondly, Omar is more than a character. He is a statement about agency. In the world of The Wire, there are two strong bureaucratic institutions that control the power – the Police and the Drug Trade. In both institutions, you see a very specific ranking system which at the low end features Hoppers and beat cops and goes all the way to the top, to Avon and the Mayor. The ranks are solidly established, although there is possibility of (limited) vertical mobility. Essentially, once you are in the system, your entire purpose is to perpetuate the institution and the circumstances which allow the institution to exist.

Omar is remarkable because he is not part of either institution, but is able to move freely between them, exploiting the institutions and the circumstances that they create. While others go on as cogs in either the law enforcement or drug machines, Omar is a vigilante, a free agent, going around and fucking things up. He can be compared to another floater, Bubbles, who putters about in both scenes, but is not part of either and wholly reliant on both.

Thirdly, Omar remains a pillar of moral fortitude – albeit the fucked up, killing-is-okay moral order of Baltimore. He is the most consistent character despite the fact that he is not compelled by any outside forces to act in a specific way. While the other characters – both the drug dealers and the cops – constantly stab each other in the back or undermine each other to get a sliver of the power available within their respective institutions, Omar adheres to a strict behavioral guideline from which he never wavers. It is something special to run around as both the most feared man around and the most morally righteous (which is why his face-off with BrotherMouzone is interesting – but a story for another time).

Finally, Omar is a poor, gay, black man and I’m going to go ahead and say it – members of this group do not traditionally hold a lot of power in society. This just makes it all the better that he is the toughest, most righteous, most powerful person on The Wire.

So, in conclusion I can say with little hesitation that if Omar were walking behind me with a loaded shotgun on a deserted street, I wouldn’t be scared. I would just wonder how I ended up in a TV show.

 

*Just to address one concern – yes, I often dream about The Wire, and no, I don’t think I need to get out more.

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T*** W***** Cable: A Love Letter

Dear T*** W***** Cable,

Remember when I called you last week and berated you over the telephone for your poor service? In case you need refreshing, I was the one who complained about not receiving Turner Classic Movies and the Boom network, even though I was paying for them. Usually I’m not one to blow up at customer service agents, but I was still fuming over that Adult movie I was charged ($10.95!) for. You refused to believe my rommate and I did not gather round the television and together, watch some good ol’ girl on girl action. So, you investigated our cable box and found that, we in fact, were not into the porn. Jerks. Moving along, you scheduled a cable man to come into my home today to scope out our signal, and figure out why certain channels were not coming in. Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard yet, but apparently, and this is up for debate, the reason why our signal was weak was because I was splitting our cable line so I could get that quasi-basic cable in my room. Which, apparently, you’re not supposed to do. (Who knew?) Your cable messenger was not very nice to me as he called me out on my (alleged) illegal activity. You should really give your workers some lessons on etiquette. There’s no need for yelling. He also told me I should be charged $15 a month for the not-real cable I was receiving in my room. Which is weird, since an extra cable box with full cable only costs $7.98 a month. Therefore, your cable guy, total asshole liar. And if I’m paying over $60 a month, shouldn’t I be allowed to put extra lines wherever I want? Your logic makes no sense, and I think, maybe, you’re the devil.

In any case, since, supposedly, I was the reason for my weak signal, I will let this one slide. But the next time your cable fucks up, I’m taking my services elsewhere, T*** W***** Cable.

Sincerely,
Your Best Customer

*To protect the identity and reputation of this cable company, its name has been adjusted.

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Baseball season has almost arrived and many of us here at Brooklyn Skeptic are already hot and bothered over the most adorable team in baseball: The Mets. While I’m sure any reputable Mets blog will give you all sorts of information about hitting and throwing stuff…and like, running after stuff…or whatever they do, we’re here to give you the hard-hitting cuteness updates all you Brooklyn girls are looking for.

Important information from the beginning of spring training:

  • “The Mets are coming together.” [Hott. – Ed.]
  • “They speak different languages. Most say hello with words. Others use different means. Reliever Scott Schoeneweis passes by the locker of second baseman Jose Valentin, extends his rigid left leg to the side and lightly taps the stool on which his onetime White Sox teammate sits. His greeting is little more than a nod. Valentin nods in response. Enough said.”
  • “Even during drills, pockets of players, based on ethnicity and language, form. But then there is Delgado lockering next to his longtime friend Shawn Green, the union of a Latino and a Jew.”
  • “Wright and fellow rising star Jose Reyes are hardly inseparable. But they know, like and trust each other. They can communicate by no more than a glance and a smile. [No need for a safety word. – Ed.] They laugh at the same things. And when either becomes more proficient in the other’s language, he will begin to complete the other’s sentences.”
  • “David Wright walks through the obstacle course of teammates, reporters, clubhouse workers, trash cans, laundry baskets and stools as if he is a one-man welcome wagon. He has hellos, handshakes, backslaps and embraces for everyone.” [Isn’t he just a cutie? – Ed.]
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    Hey all in the neighborhood,

    On Gothamist I came across this flyer for a delicious sounding winter BBQ at Flatbush Farm (on St. Marks next to Flatbush Ave.) on Sunday. Classy.

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    Hot and/or Not: Jimmy Fallon hosting a late night program. Fallon is in talks to take over Conan O’Brien’s time slot once O’Brien moves onto Tonight Show status. Interesting. I sometimes think I too might be good at that….hosting a late night talk show. Since I don’t try to avoid talking to strangers or have a minor case of social anxiety disorder. Oh wait, yes I do. Anyway, who knows? Maybe Fallon does have some secret talk show talent. Who cares if he can’t get through a Saturday Night Live skit without bursting into laughter, disrupting the flow of the entire skit. Not me, that’s for sure. Seriously though, I do like it when that happens. I mean, doesn’t everyone? But can talk show hosts mess up their lines? I think it’s not so fun/funny when a host can’t properly conduct a interview. Oh well. But I will say, I don’t hate Jimmy Fallon. A lot of my friends do. But like I just said, I don’t. He’s got some charm and little bit of charisma. Maybe not enough to carry a show five nights a week, but hey, Jay Leno’s made a career out of sucking. So maybe it’s not so hard.

    PS. I’d like to thank Pete Smith for linking me to the NYTimes article, “Jimmy Fallon Said to Be in NBC’s Late-Night Plans.” You’re the best.

    There’s your stupid shout out, Pete.

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    Brit Blog

    My dear friend Alison has allowed me to link her Britney blog. Enjoy!

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    American Idol, why are you so racist…..against Asians? The first contestant kicked off the show tonight was, you guessed it, the Asian guy. Or more widely known as, the Korean guy. While he was not the best, he certainly was not the worst of the group. Is the A.I. voting Asian community that small? And while I do not participate in the voting aspect of the show (please, what kind of loser do you take me for?), if I did vote, I would have voted for my Opah. (In Korean “Opah” means “big brother.” This blog is so educational.) Also, remember that girl who sang “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”? The one who I thought should have ended her performance after singing the first note? Well, she made it through to the next round. Because she’s pretty. Nice, America, nice.

    PS. Is Ryan Seacrest shrinking?

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