Heads Down

I started this blog mainly because I enjoy writing. So, because I find it depressing how easily South Africa, as a nation, reveals the worst of itself and because I’m fundamentally irresponsible,  I’m going to ignore the racial incitement taking place in the wake of ET’s murder and the possible resurgence of the AWB. Instead, I am going to write about something that I am enjoying immensely at the moment: namely the HBO series The Wire.

I came to The Wire late; the show itself ended in 2008 and I am only partway through the second season. However, I can already understand why it topped many “Best TV Shows of the Decade” lists, including The AV Club, which has been a reliable source of excellent pop culture over the years.  Aside from the depth of its writing, the subtlety of its performances and the virtuiosity of its direction, the brilliance of The Wire is that it seems to exist in a space inbetween most other cop shows on TV.

Whereas in other shows, dialogue tends to primarily exist to dispense plot information, characters in The Wire talk as if the the camera has just cut away to another scene and they want to finish their conversations. Yet the show also manages to reveal the inner workings the criminal world with a level of detail seldom seen on network television; it is  challenging, immersive and rewarding.

As a friend of mine pointed out, people on the Internet don’t like big words. Or too many words in a row. So, to sum up: The Wire = good, racial incitement =  bad.  Luckily I have four and 1/2 seasons to go and by the time I get through those the World Cup will be here, so I only need to start dealing with the ugliness lurking beneath the suface of South Africa sometime in August. On second thought, that may be a good time to finally get round to reading those graphic novels.


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