The Wire Hates Politics – Maybe

So my posting has taken a bit of a break due to various parties and hangings out with family and friends over the past week,  but now I’m back home and all settled, and ready to make a second post about The Wire (which is actually the topic my first post was supposed to be on, until I wrote it and it wasn’t). I’m kind of glad for the break, because while it interrupted my posting it didn’t do the same to my show watching, so I’m writing this post from halfway through the second season of The Wire, instead of at the end of the first season.

the wire 004What I want to talk about is the absolute disdain some of the characters in The Wire have for politics and careerism. During the first half of season one I would have said this was just McNulty, but later on Lt. Daniels really stepped up in this department too. I can illustrate what I’m talking about best with this great big quote from McNulty:

If only half you motherfuckers in the State’s Attorney’s office didn’t want to be judges, didn’t want to be partners in some downtown law firm, if half of you had the fucking balls to follow through you know what would happen? A guy like that would be indicted, tried and convicted. And the rest of them would back up enough so we could push a clean case or two through your courthouse. But no everybody stays friends, everybody gets paid, and everybody’s got a fucking future!

This is a viewpoint I share completely, and one of the reasons I love McNulty so much. I’m pretty sure I brought up my hatred of politics in a post about Jerry Kellerman one time, and I think McNulty and Jerry would get along fine. Except for the part where Jerry would be trying to free the guys McNulty had taken down. Hurm, getting a bit off topic, so politics! I hate them, I hate the fact that most people would rather try to do what people in positions of power want in order to assure themselves of a career (which is a word I hate, it makes your current job sound like a more vital aspect of your life than it should be).

the wire 005The fact that people in The Wire actually stand up to the power structure and try to push for a good case is one of my favourite aspects of the show. The number of  crises they come across that could (and sometimes do) undermine their case is so disheartening, but the fact that they (McNulty and Daniels) still try to do good by the case knowing what will happen to them, what did happen to Freamon, makes the show less disheartening but more tragic. They all prove that they’re damn good police, and get punished for it.

I said that having watched half of season two would change this post a bit, and here’s how: In the second season the case really wouldn’t come together if it wasn’t for politics. The reunion of the main characters in a new special detachment only occurs because Major Valchek is pissed about his stained glass window, and he has a great deal of political power at his disposal. Granted the connection between the special detachment and the case (which still isn’t firmly in place where I’m at) comes about as a result of a combination of good police work and McNulty trying to screw Rawls and not because of Valchek, but it’s still his political leverage that gets the gang back together.

So maybe The Wire hates politics, but admits that they can sometimes be inadvertently beneficial would have been a better title for this post.



~ by Jerk on July 4, 2009.

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