The first week of classes is always pretty hectic, mostly because I’m just trying to figure out a routine to get into. Nevertheless, I still managed to do my four introductions for this and watch episodes 7-9 of The Wire, as well as complete some daily creates! I already had a domain and blog set up for this course, and accounts with the various social media sites we were supposed to get accounts on. So, I added my Gravatar, did my introductions on Twitter, Youtube, SoundCloud, and Flickr, did a few Daily Creates, and watched the The Wire. Below you will see my four introductions, my thoughts on The Wire and reactions to the discussions, and then finally, my Daily Creates for this week.
Youtube (My Channel)
My thoughts are the first nine episodes:
For me, the first couple of episodes started out really slow and although the plot was progressing, it was not very exciting to me. The only person I found particularly interesting was McNulty, and that was because he seemed to be the overarching “good guy,” since he wants to actually stay with the Barksdale case and try to take down one of the biggest drug dealers in Baltimore. For the first few episodes I also had a difficult time keeping track of the characters and what they did. There was an obvious difference between the gang members and the cops, but within the gang and within the police force, I was not too sure of how they were connected. However, once the cops finally copied the gang members pagers, that’s when I really started to enjoy it, mostly because the cops could actually have a chance at arresting the various the gang members. After episode five, the gang members story lines were more appealing to me, and just because they seem like deeper characters than the cops. Yes, McNulty has an ex-wife and kids, but for the part he appears to just drink in his car, get angry, and investigate, whereas D’Angelo, for example, is much more complex. D’Angelo is connected to Avon by blood, and therefore, is connected to game by blood, and so if he ever wanted to leave the game, I bet it would be much more difficult for him to do so. We also see that D’Angelo does a moral code, but the rules of the game do not line up with moral code, so he forced to do things, he might not have necessarily done if he were not in the game.
There have been a few themes or plot/character points that have really stuck to out me throughout the first nine episodes.
1. The morality of the cops v. the morality of the drug dealers
- The cops beat the people they are arresting, made a kid blind in one eye, cheat on their wives, and they don’t seem to have much remorse for their behavior.
- Although most of the drug dealers are nearly 100% in the game, D’Angelo and Wallace are different. They have this internal struggle with knowing that what they are doing is harmful and can have some terrible consequences but they continue to do it anyways. D’Angelo also lets Wallace out of the game when he asks and does not punish him. Omar also tells he cops that he knows he has dirt, but he would never torture a man and display his remains out in the open like Avon and Stringer did to Brandon. It shows that not all of the drug dealers have lost their sense of humanity.
2. The openness of homosexuality
- Considering this show began in 2002, I found it very surprising that in the first nine episodes there were two homosexual couples. There is Detective Kima and her girlfriend, and then there is Omar and Brandon. Both of them are very open about their sexuality and their relationships. 2002 was not like it is now, where same sex marriage is legalized in many states across the U.S., and so it seems like The Wire is pretty progressive in terms of sexuality. Omar and Brandon’s relationship particularly caught my attention because it shows that even though the drug dealers may be shady and commit crimes, they can be accepting of homosexuality, which is definitely (and unfortunately) a contentious issue in the U.S. and can be considered taboo issue.
3. The culture of the Projects in Baltimore
- One of my favorite moments so far occurred in episode 9, and it was when the cops were driving around the Projects and the whole area seemed to be deserted. Little did they know everyone from the area was at the basketball game between the East Side and West Side. Once the cops realized everyone was at the basketball game, they ended up just watching it while standing next to one of the drug dealers they had arrested before. Both of them said they were on break, and just watched the game. I loved how both parties from opposing sides just dropped everything and watched the basketball game. The game also showed how Avon Barksdale and Stringer are more than just the drug dealing overlords, but they are also coaches for a basketball team and are active in their community in a more positive and hopefully legal fashion.
Reaction to the discussions:
I liked how Jim and Paul pointed out the the uses of lighting and colors as well as how the epigraphs tied into the episodes. I had not been actively looking for some of the more visual elements besides when the camera does close up shots of certain things. As for the epigraphs, I mainly close tried to figure out when the line was going to be said in the episode, whereas Jim and Paul tended to focus on them more. Clearly they are important line, since the makers of the show specifically pulled them out to use as epigraphs, but I suppose I was too focused on other themes within the episodes. Jim and Paul also talk about the themes of Technology, Surveillance, and Paranoia, which definitely are major themes since not only do the cops watch the drug dealers, but the drug dealers also have eyes of their own. The cops are also pretty behind on their use of technology, but don’t seem to choose the old technologies , whereas the gang purposefully chooses to use pagers instead of cell phones that way they can’t be monitored as easily.
I know these don’t start until next week, but I just wanted to see what they’d be like, so I did some.
8/25/14: Make a photo of something in transition and post it on Flickr.
8/26/14: You Have Some Time To Think About The Phone Call…Write the Story. “A Fluffy Conundrum” So honey…I know what you’re going to say; that we cannot have another dog, but please just hear me out! He’s a 3 year old Goldendoodle named Peanut and he’s already house trained and knows commands and is friendly with other dogs and everyone, including men, unlike Mandy and he’s super duper sweet. So what do you say? Can we adopt him? I know we don’t really have the space for a Goldendoodle but…it’s kind of too late and he’s in the backseat now, so I’ll see you in a half an hour! Bye! I love you!
8/27/14: Take a photo for Willa Cather. The Sky! The Sky! Upload it to Flickr.