Saturday, February 26, 2011

Culture - The Wire

Larry and I have a Friday night tradition. Since we have children (and one is a pint-sized mega-beast), we don’t get out much. Netflix is our new best friend. And every Friday night we watch HBO’s “The Wire.” (Because staying current is not really one of our priorities anymore. We’re old.)

If you haven’t seen the show, I urge you to rent it or borrow it from a friend much cooler than you. My parents have been telling me for years that it is the best show ever to be on TV. Of course, they’re my parents, and they’re old, so I never listened to them. But when my idol Anthony Bourdain said to watch it, I was all over that shit.

It examines the lives, politics and culture surrounding Baltimore drug crimes. Not usually up my alley since I’ve been to Baltimore and found nothing entertaining about it. It just made me sad. If I want to be sad I could just try to take Lincoln to a restaurant for dinner. That’s a lesson in futility right there.

But it’s good. Damn good. The writing is amazing, the characters complex and the plot so engaging that I’m pissed every time I get a new DVD in the mail and there is only two episodes on it.

I must confess something, however. Ever since I began watching “The Wire,” I notice subtle influences creeping into my everyday life.

It started with the Girl Scouts. Have you ever noticed how they are like munchkin drug dealers? Every year, they push their cookies on the community and we are helpless to their narcotic effect. We crave them for a whole year and imagine life when they return with a mixture of emotions – ranging from guilt to ecstasy. And these green, polished soldiers of sugar and fat wait for us to turn over our hard earned dollars for an ephemeral high.

“I need the cookies. You got someone to hook me up with the Thin Mints?”

“Nah, man. But I saw a crew hangin’ by the Super A the other day.”

“Do they have the good stuff? How about Tag-a-Longs?”

I’m just sayin’.

And then there’s my inexhaustible use of the word “fuck.” Can’t get enough of it. There’s a brilliant scene where two detectives are examining a murder crime scene and, for about 10 minutes, they say nothing but the word “fuck” about 200 times. It’s Emmy-worthy stuff. Fucking genius.

Of course, I can’t say it that much because that wouldn’t be very responsible parenting. So I use a nice substitute such as pinche. What? They don’t understand Spanish. Or sometimes, if I really want to throw them off, I’ll use word Dora just because I hate that annoying bitch. For instance, when I drop the frozen chicken on my toe  I say, “OH DORA!” And Maya asks what Dora has to do with my pain and I say “Everything.”

As you see, even my kids aren’t completely shielded from the show’s effect. Lincoln hits Maya, body slams her and takes her My Little Pony. She looks up at me, battered and bruised, and I reply, “It’s all in the game, dear. It’s all in the game.” She bides her time and retaliates and I send her ass to The Cut (aka The Time Out Rug). Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

My little ones now have colorful street names, just in case. Lincoln is Stinkum and Maya is now Cheese.  Do you see? Many helpful parenting gems can be gathered in just one episode!

But if I haven’t convinced you by now to run out and get the show, let me just tell you this – by watching this show you will get skinnier.

No, that was a lie. But it will make you feel better about your own life – and that includes feeling a little better about your giant couch potato ass that came from eating too many fucking Girl Scout cookies. 

I mean, Dora Girl Scout cookies.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The show is just too Dickensian not to apply to every nook and cranny in life. Bless you, David Simon.

Does this make Larry button-down, heart in the right place Lt. Daniels. Or are you Landsman with your potty mouthing, pushiness? As long I'm not Bubbles or Omar, I'm good.