Stomach on your nikes

Here we present some additional commentary from a dear compatriot that we thought might fit in with our scattershot final summations, gripes, and laments. Have at it.

Given the uneasy history between blacks and Jews in this country, I’m surprised Simon, a Jew himself, allowed the final season of his masterwork to hinge on a conversation between two powerful Jews. Granted, Levy was the ultimate token Jew on The Wire, as Pearlman was Jewish like Snoop was gay, but the implication was that everything ultimately gets hashed out behind closed doors by Jews. After Pearlman and Levy’s stand-off, I sent a text message to my brother marking the birth of a new generation of anti-Semites.

People hate Jews for a lot of equally inane reasons, but black America’s adversarial relationship with the Tribe is a little more complicated. Jewish ownership of things like apartment buildings, record labels and banks means Jews frequently stand between a black man and control of his own destiny. Whether or not this is technically true is beside the point; it’s happened enough that Jews are seen as holding back black progress. For a community (understandably) preoccupied with freedom, this is a big problem. Tall Israelis, they runnin this rap shit, and by extension, everything else.

Levy went against a lot of this logic. Conniving and smug as he was, he was actually an agent for freedom. His advice and counsel kept bosses out of harm’s way and vaporized sentences during damage control. Maury was every bit the gangster, advising String and Avon to get rid of liabilities, and every bit the hustler, given his hourly rates. Suddenly, every rapper (ok, mostly Jim Jones) couldn’t brag enough about Jewish lawyers. But Season 5 zoomed out a bit on Maurice Levy, to his detriment. He ends up functionally castrating Marlo to save himself.

Marlo, soon to have the $10 million from selling the connect on top of whatever kind of Halliburton paper he was already holding, and now the newest inductee to the real estate moguls of Baltimore club, has only two out of the three. Everyone knew Omar called him a bitch and never had to answer for it. A pair of lowly corner boys didn’t even know who he was. As we learned from Lil Kim back in ’98, the troika of money, power and respect is the key to life. What are you when you only have the money and the power? You are the kind of invisible asshole whose institutions reject credit applications and push back albums. You are the stereotypical Evil Jew.

This was apparently enough to push Marlo back to the streets. No black Bar Mitzvahs for that kid.

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51 Comments on “Stomach on your nikes”

  1. Boston Matt Says:

    Huh? What’s the point of this entry?

    Frankly, your views are more racist than anything the show presented. How on earth could you read that scene between Pearlman and Levy as being meant to imply that Jews run everything behind close doors? Pearlman wasn’t doing that of her own volition.

    It never even crossed my mind that Pearlman was Jewish, or Levy for that matter. He was a scumbag lawyer. She was a generally well intentioned DA in a political bind.

    Levy was a scumbag lawyer that happened to be Jewish. Just like Omar was a murderous stick up man that happened to be gay.

  2. Curtis Says:

    Finally, I get a witness. The most potent statement was Levy telling Marlo, “No other lawyer is going to get you a better deal.” That was a flat out lie. With Levy fired from the case, Marlo would have walked. A canny client would have smelled a rat (think Avon, think Omar, think McNulty, think Gus, think the Greek, think Prop Joe) and knew Levy was running some game. Maybe Marlo would have decided the deal was what he wanted, but Levy manipulated him and treated him like the bitch Omar said he was. Marlo taking that corner at the end was an act of impotence. He was beaten. He will have no self-respect and that’s what he most wants.

    At the end:

    Daniels has self-respect.
    Bubbles has it.
    Kima has it.
    Gus has it.
    McNulty has it.
    Lester has it.
    Avon has it.
    Slim Charles has it.
    Michael has it.
    Lester has it.
    Chris has it.

    Pearlman doesn’t want it; neither does Levy; neither does Rawls; neither does Templeton; neither does Valachek (sp?) – they sold their souls long ago and the fruit of their tainted ambition is all they want.

    The only thing Marlo really wants he can’t have- self-respect. Omar and Levy recognized his weakness and used it to take that from him. He’s a deeply wounded man.

  3. Jamaal Says:

    If Marlo fired Levy, and hired a new lawyer, I don’t really know whether he would’ve been in a better position. Remember: Levy wasn’t only his criminal lawyer. With Prop Joe dead, Levy essentially took the role of his financial advisor. He knew everything about all of the money laundering schemes that Marlo partook in to protect his money. Even if the case collapsed (which assumes that a new attorney would’ve figured out that it was built on an illegal wiretap), the ADA could’ve pressured Levy (who now has no reason to protect Marlo) to disclose all of Marlo’s financial dealings. This was the reason that Freamon wanted to go after Levy in the first place.

    You go after Levy, and you can start to pull at the web of shady defense attorneys who facilitate the Baltimore drug trade. You don’t even need him to disclose conversations that he had with Marlo, all you would need is a name.

  4. gotdatkevinnealon Says:

    @Boston Matt

    Levy’s character is a stereotypical Jewish lawyer/power broker. That’s not to take away from the writing or the acting, but it’s a well-worn archetype. Omar (and, to a lesser extent, Snoop) both went in the face of offensive gay stereotypes.

  5. christycash Says:

    i’m down with most of your argument, and i see where you’re coming from with the the levy as an agent for freedom bit — that’s how barksdale marlo etc. see him. but levy is so slimy that it pains me to put “Freedom” anywhere near his name — i mean, in the truest sense of the word, levy is another way that these young men oppress themselves and each other. he allows them to be free to kill one another, which perhaps they prefer to being in jail, but that’s not what i think camus had in mind. levy is way, way slimier than stringer or avon and even, i would argue, slimier than marlo. levy is the worst, he’s profiting off the killing and the addiction and the murders, he knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s always known. he’s the lowest of the low, and has always been presented that way, since season 1. the fact of his jewishness has always been uncomfortable, but his breaking into yiddish in the last episode just sealed the deal. it’s like, at his most evil, he is also the most jewish he could be. what is up with that?!? and frankly none of his clients ever seemed to like him that much. it’s like even they know that he’s a serpent in the grass.

  6. Curtis Says:

    “Even if the case collapsed (which assumes that a new attorney would’ve figured out that it was built on an illegal wiretap).”

    He wouldn’t have to figure anything out; if Levy was straight he would provide that information.

    “the ADA could’ve pressured Levy (who now has no reason to protect Marlo) to disclose all of Marlo’s financial dealings.”

    Nope. That’s protected by attorney/client priv.

    If Levy was straight (which he isn’t), he would have to lay out ALL his client’s options, including Pearlman’s deal.

  7. Shoals Says:

    Not to change the subject–this is one question, so it shouldn’t–but who was it who said that someone else “just wasn’t built for this shit”. I can’t remember. Thanks.

  8. That Honey Nut Says:

    curtis is right. any other lawyer would’ve been better for marlo because he wouldn’t have had the bribery prosecution over his head and the case against marlo would still have been just as tainted. levy screwed marlo; with any other lawyer, he could’ve walked, or at least taken his chances with a trial.

  9. tgrippe Says:

    They should have cast John Lovitz as Levy.

  10. jetsetjunta Says:

    Yeah i would like to add that while I don’t think Levy’s Jewishness was intentionally played for some kind of malignancy in stereotyping, it did feel odd that he should break out with the brisket and the yiddish at so late a date in his character’s evolution, and at such a conspicious time in the show’s arc. Levy continues to profit from criminality without even having to suffer for accepting incredibly illegal leaks from the DAs office, and the audience accepts this as one of the unfortunate deals that must go down to preserve even the smallest bit of justice, though of course the game continues apace. And this moment, rather than all others, is chosen for him to step out from just being a sleazy lawyer to being a sleazy jewish lawyer? I don’t think that making a note of that is out of line. It’s like if Stan Valchek had been munching on a kielbasa and holding aloft a photo of Pope John Paul II while being sworn in as commish.

  11. Sterling Cooper Says:

    Shoals:

    I believe Avon said that to Stringer, referencing his budding war with Marlo, which subsequently provoked Stringer to confess his role in D’Angelo’s murder.

    And Bodie said the same thing to Stringer about Wallace, adding, “his (Wallace’s) heart pumps kool-aid”, which led to Stringer ordering Bodie to kill him.

    Seems fitting that the notion of being “a soldier” was something he never let define him, but he used it to manipulate those who did.

  12. Sterling Cooper Says:

    “he” as in Stringer, I should probably add.

  13. Curtis Says:

    “And this moment, rather than all others, is chosen for him to step out from just being a sleazy lawyer to being a sleazy jewish lawyer? I don’t think that making a note of that is out of line.”

    Personally, I just chalk that up to verisimilitude. That moment felt very real; Levy was nearly beside himself with a certain gloating relief and was welcoming Herc into his home. The show has NEVER shied from ethnic or religious markers. None of these writers would ever ask, “Can’t we all just get along.”

  14. gotdatkevinnealon Says:

    @jetsetjunta

    good call about valchek, and I probably should have played up the Yiddish scene a little more.

    without making Levy so damn Jewish, the scene between him and Pearlman would have been more about how both the BPD and Levy are incredibly dirty, and less about how the slimy Jew is willing to throw his client under the bus to save his own ass.

  15. anti-semitic Says:

    it did feel odd that he should break out with the brisket and the yiddish at so late a date in his character’s evolution, and at such a conspicious time in the show’s arc.

    I’m glad this topic is being discussing. I confess being deeply disturbed by the Levy character. I feel they really played on the crude “Jewish” caricature with all the talk of brisket and Yiddish. Levy is the epitome of the worst stereotypes about “greedy big-nose Jews”. He is crafty, manipulative, greedy, cunning, untrustworthy, materialistic, pushy, rapacious… Levy is a parasite with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. He is the most one-dimensional character on this show. Even Marlo had his pigeons & smiled at Chris’s family. Levy is depicted as pure evil. I keep waiting for him to sprout devil horns and a tail.

  16. Curtis Says:

    What is “so damn Jewish”? The use of a single Yiddish word and the mentioning of brisket? C’mon people. Does Snoop play into some into some possible racist notions? How about Ziggy in his bondoed muscle car and shitty leather jacket; seem a little white trash if you’re inclined to think of people that narrowly? Levy is a Jewish man with a law degree of low moral character. Live with it. That scene with Herc was real as shit. You guys need to walk around some courthouse hallways.

    Levy is a parasite with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

    Yeah? What did protecting his own self-interest result in?

    Partlow in for life with no parole and Marlo off the throne.

    Ah, the irony.

  17. gotdatkevinnealon Says:

    @Curtis

    Not saying it wasn’t real as shit, but did we need both the Yiddish and the brisket reference?

  18. Andrew Says:

    The brisket reference is nothing new. It was a callback to a line he said way back in season 1. Plus, the show has never attempted to hide his Jewishness before this. I distinctly remember a scene in season 1 where Brianna contemptously refers to him as “that Jew lawyer”.

    I didn’t see anything uniquely Jewish about his negotiation scene with Levy. That scene might’ve been the best in the finale. He’s confronted with evidence that could potentially throw him into prison, and instead of folding like a card table, he takes a deep breath and calls bullshit on Pearlman’s threat. He treated his own potential imprisonment as nothing more than another chip on the table.

  19. Boston Matt Says:

    The scene with Herc was Levy dropping his professional mask (only a little) and revealing his personal life to HErc, drawing him deeper into his death. Did we need the yiddish and the brisket? No. Did Levy need it to sell Herc on how he’s part of his family? Yes.

  20. Boston Matt Says:

    deeper into his death? I don’t even know how I typed that. I need to lay off the absinthe… deeper into his grip is what i meant. Clumsy, but that’s what I was writing…

  21. Curtis Says:

    “…instead of folding like a card table, he takes a deep breath and calls bullshit on Pearlman’s threat. He treated his own potential imprisonment as nothing more than another chip on the table.”

    Great summing up there, Andrew. He’s a guy with some major skills. And I agree, that character had a very clear line right from season one.

  22. Jamaal Says:

    Curtis,

    Any communication between Marlo and Levy in which Marlo requested advice on how best to commit a criminal act would not be protected by attorney client privilege. Not to mention the fact that I got the impression that Levy had transcended the traditional attorney – client relationship, and was far closer to a partner than a fiduciary.

    And as far as the ‘playing it straight’ stuff goes, the DA’s office had him cold on bribery. So he may go to prison, and he will lose his license. What’s the likelihood that he would characterize a convo w/ a drug trafficker about money laundering as a privileged conversation? Remember: these conversations were not “I did this, and I need you to defend me”, but “I’d like to do this, how can you help me”.

    Not to mention the fact that Pearlman could have delayed the case until November, if need be. Who’s to say that Snoop wasn’t the CI?

  23. Joe Crawford Says:

    @anti-semitic

    Levy has a long history on The Wire of doing the best job he can for the criminals he represents. He aggressively defends them and advises them financially when apt. To say he has no redeeming qualities is simply not true given the extent he’s gotten characters out of jail and out of interrogations before incriminating themselves. He’s neither pure venality nor pure stereotype. I found the brisket line rather touching. And “mespucha” is Yiddish for “family” is it not? Not a crazy thing for him to say given the windfall and trust he places in Herc.

    @Andrew

    Totally agree about the negotiation/confrontation scene. You can see two very smart people doing their legal judo, a negotiation with potentially devastating consequences.

  24. Curtis Says:

    Jamaal:

    The point is that Levy should have disclosed to Marlo that he had a conflict of interest that precluded him from advising Marlo on this particular issue, and that he (Marlo) should retain independent counsel to do so. Levy would be obliged to share all relevant information (privileged or not) with this other attorney. Moreover, Marlo wouldn’t have had to forego his entire relationship with Levy, attorney-client or otherwise, in order to have another attorney advise him on the state’s offer and turn it down or negotiate a better deal. Had Marlo gone this route, he would have done “better,” contrary to Levy’s statement to him that no other lawyer would do any better – only Levy was vulnerable to the the threat being made by the state.

    As for the crime/fraud exception to attorney-client privilege, the ADA wouldn’t have had a factual basis to prove it up (without having already been privy to the conversation you say Levy and Marlo had, which the ADA was not). If you don’t already have evidence of an attorney-client communication in furtherance of a crime or fraud, you can’t succeed in piercing the privilege based on this exception. (If you could, lawyers like Levy would be out of business.)


  25. I didn’t even notice that both lawyers were jews until this post. Maybe you look too deep. This last episode was awesome, all sorts of deals were being cut. Steintorf finally shined.

  26. Jamaal Says:

    Curtis,

    I know what he should have done, but I don’t think that his actions produced a result that was adverse to his client. The irony is that although he was doing it in his own interest, he was also furthering his client’s interest. Marlo wasn’t really going to get a better deal than a dismissal followed by a forced retirement.

    If I remember correctly, there wasn’t any real offer from the State. I agree with you re: Levy’s ethical obligations, but I don’t think that an attorney who was involved in money laundering would strictly adhere to those rules. And I think that Marlo’s enterprise has really benefited from the fact that no one was really focusing on his activities. I always felt like that was one of the primary themes of the show, that the most dangerous people are the ones who are below the radar (remember how long it took for the bosses to even recognize that Barksdale was more than an urban legend?). Once they start focusing on Marlo, his life becomes way more difficult.

    As far as the laundering goes, I would assume that the ADA/police was intending to use the bribery charge to push Levy to provide that evidence. I dont know how successful that wouldve been, but I think it was a real risk.

    Once Marlo becomes a target, his reign of power starts

  27. Rebecca Says:

    Call me using stereotypes, but I never thought of red-headed, freckled Pearlman as a Jew – Irish, maybe… perhaps it was her married name? I never thought of her meeting with Levy as being between two Jews. Never crossed my mind.

    I don’t think Simon made the Jews look any better/worse than he did whites, blacks, Greeks, the Polish, the Irish, and the list goes on…

  28. HonTea Says:

    Brisket was mentioned in Season 1
    Yiddish was used in Season 3

    Levy being Jewish is nothing new.

    And to the original post, please, use more Jim Jones to qualify your statements. Please do.

  29. Curtis Says:

    There are one ton of red-headed freckled Jewish folks out there.

  30. Curtis Says:

    If I remember correctly, there wasn’t any real offer from the State.

    Jamaal – the offer from the state was the deal Omar took after Levy negotiated!

    Marlo wasn’t really going to get a better deal than a dismissal followed by a forced retirement.

    Oh yes there was from Marlo’s POV – he would have walked away with his empire intact – no jail, no buyout, his regime still on top.

    I don’t think that an attorney who was involved in money laundering would strictly adhere to those rules.

    That’s kinda my point – Levy survives by having no loyalty to anything but himself.

    the ADA… was intending to use the bribery charge to push Levy to provide that evidence.

    I can only repeat, “If you don’t already have evidence of an attorney-client communication in furtherance of a crime or fraud, you can’t succeed in piercing [attorney-client]… privilege.” The evidence Pearlman had was not of that nature.

  31. Shoals Says:

    There’s two kinds of people in this world: Those who read that entire post through the lens of Jim Jones, and those who would’ve needed way too much explanation to warrant any worthwhile mention of the “Kosher lawyers” phenomenon.

    It’s true that there’s brisket offered in Season One, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some Yiddish elsewhere. But come on. . . that episode had more ethnic color we’ve seen from Levy, or any other Jewish characters, in the entire other 4.9 seasons combined. And when there’s also a Jewish conspiracy that ends up swinging the whole show, and Levy emerging as one of the series’s biggest winners and power brokers. .. I’m sorry, but that’s a theme.

    HOWEVER, I know that David Simon is Jewish, and is likely playing off of/paying homage to/satirizing these stereotype. I mostly think it’s funny that, in a city that has (had) a notable Jewish population, and in a show so obsessed with ethnicity, this was when the creator’s own cultural group really asserted itself. And as I said in my post on Monday, I think we have to see this as a statement about the show as a whole, not just this episode or season.

    As a Jew, I have no problem with the half-joke that secretly, we control the world. Because fuck it, in this case, that was the case.

  32. Curtis Says:

    As a Jew, I have no problem with the half-joke that secretly, we control the world. Because fuck it, in this case, that was the case.

    Word, lansman.

    And thanks for writing so well about this incredible television show.

  33. carter Says:

    As an addendum to references of Jim Jones, 50 Cent refers to his team of lawyers as the Jew Unit.

  34. Lizyank Says:

    Being a middle aged member of the tribe myself, I find it strange that Levy would suddenly revert to language and food more associated with my parents’ generation. (And possibly Simon’s parents?) Levy’s Jewisness was always closer to the surface than that of Rhonda Pearlman (who may or may not be…only her name suggests she could be) or other characters (in the book Homocide the real Jay Landsman is identified as being Jewish, something that is apparent from neither the wonderful Delany Williams portrayal or Landsman’s turn as Bunny Colvin’s deputy in S3) That the “Jewish character” was less than sterling, I don’t see as any reason to classify The Wire as Anti-Semitic as the Marion Barryesque appeal of Clay Davis makes it a racist program, or for that matter did the port story make it anti-Polish. What was referenced numerous times “Jew Lawyer”, “Jew Holiday” etc was the (probably true) state of African American-Jewish relations from the inner city perspective. To the extent that Simon may be showing us the world through the lens of the Wire protagonists, especially the street side, the idea that it was all settled “between Jews in a back room” might not be off base. But I still think it was more between people who all had a lot to lose one of whom was definitely Jewish, another who could have been and several who definitely were not.

    One thing continues to bother me that’s a question for the lawyers. How could Daniels have been seen arguing a case in front of Judge Pearlman when their relationship was very open by this time? Wouldn’t he have had to recuse himself?

  35. kh Says:

    Pearlman says she has to recuse herself in the scene.
    Not on topic to this original posting but I have a thought I’m reposting from a different section: Should we be outraged that McNulty and Freamon were allowed to happily walk away? They made up lies to deceive the city into fighting a war. They hurt numerous people’s lives to fight this war including parents of the victims. They ran illegal wiretaps and broke all the rules. It is an open secret that they did all this but it got to the point that too many people are too invested in it to stop it and admit that it’s all bullshit. Anyone wondering about what McNulty will do now? It’s easy, he’ll work at Haliburton.
    Their lies destroyed Michael’s life. Their imaginary CI made Marlo’s crew hunt him down and thereby seperate him from Bug and drive Dukie to use. And we thought what Herc did to Randy was bad.

  36. Matt Says:

    The Wire has always played on traditional stereotypes in ways that both confirm and deny them — jeez, shades of gray, who knew? Clay Davis’ lawyer and Clay himself clearly play into the “woe is me at the hands of the master” stereotype of black men playing the race card to save themselves. Jimmy McNulty the Irish drunk. The Korean grocer who doesn’t speak English, or speaks only the “me no speekee” version. Ziggy the lower-middle-class white kid who drives a muscle car but can’t get out of his parent’s basement.

    And in a million different ways all those negative stereotypes are ameliorated over the course of the 5 seasons.

  37. Shoals Says:

    Matt–

    I already said that it’s playing off of the stereotype. What’s confusing, though, is that here the stereotype emerged at the end, as opposed to being presented and then be subsequently fucked with.

  38. Matt Says:

    Shoals —

    I agree that we agree. My comment was addressed to those arguing that the Jewish stereotyping from the finale is particularly vicious.

    It is strange and OOC of the Wire to pour it on so thick at the end. I would probably agree that it’s Simon’s last little laugh.

    On a funny (and haughty) side note: Slate’s crew didn’t even know Levy was Jewish before now. I mean, couldn’t they find the time to watch the first season of a show they were devoting so much time to?

  39. Lizyank Says:

    I’m sorry…you can argue Rhonda Pearlman for days…but not knowing Levy was Jewish? Reminds me of S1 when the detail is trying to find a picture of Avon Barksdale and Polk and the other drunk dectective come back with a picture of middle age white man. Or wondering if Stan Valchek is Polish,or Jimmy McNulty Irish? Do you think Lester Freamon is African American? Neeegro Please!!!!

  40. Curtis Says:

    I don’t believe there are ANY Gentile lawyers named Rhonda Pearlman.

    “Their lies destroyed Michael’s life. Their imaginary CI made Marlo’s crew hunt him down and thereby seperate him from Bug and drive Dukie to use.”

    Great point, kh, that really never occurred to me. At least thirteen ways of looking at a black bird. And if it’s The Wire instead of a Wallace Stevens poem, probably a half dozen more than that.

  41. Charlie Says:

    When did Rhoda Pearlman become any more Jewish the Rhea Pearlman? Because her last name ends with -man? There’s a Cardinal Spellman high school not far from me, and I guarantee not a lot of Jewish cardinals.

  42. Curtis Says:

    Rhea Perlman IS Jewish.

  43. Charlie Says:

    Could have stated that better. Rhea Pearlman IS Jewish, but she’s most famous for playing an Italian woman – her Jewishness is entirely a non issue. As it is for Rhonda Pearlman(if she is, in fact, supposed to be Jewish)

  44. Allday Says:

    The Slate writers were being sarcastic when the said they didn’t know Levy was Jewish.

    I think it’s Simon’s way of debunking the Jews-secretly-run-the-world stereotype, not reinforcing it. As was pointed out above, it’s an illegal deal that’s agreed to by a whole slew of desperate people, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. It’s about as far from power-brokering as you can get.

    I don’t think the Yiddish and brisket bit is anything malicious – it’s just there to point viewers to what just happened. Especially since many, myself included, probably didn’t look at it with our Jim Jones glasses as the scene was happening.

  45. Simon's bitch Says:

    McNulty makes many references to “your tribe” to Pearlman over the course of the show. I always took that to mean lawyers, but maybe I wasn’t looking deep enough.

    Initially, when the show was young, I thought Pearlman was spelled Perlman. I’m an ignorant recovering religionist of the Catholic persuasion, so what do I know?

    Anyway, this whole topic seems like a huge stretch to me. I saw the Jewish thing as the same as all of the references to McNulty’s “negligible” Irish heritage or Valchek’s being a “polack”…the day to day acknowledgement but trifling in the main.

  46. That Honey Nut Says:

    I have started watching the series from season 1 again, and can tell you that Levy, in episode 3 of season 1, where he stops D’Angelo from writing a letter to the workingman’s fictitious kids, makes reference to being pulled from the “Levy preserve” on the Sabbath, and to his wife Ivette making brisket.

    Confusing Perlman for irish is very understandable, as she is played by Deirdre Lovejoy, who is red-haired and freckled, and Deirdre is a very irish name, and she is probably plenty Irish in real life

    I cannot recommend going back and watching the series from the beginning enough; the way you see the character arcs develop once you know how everything turns out is amazing. I’ve this series at least 3 times through season 4, and it’s awesome to be able to take the complete package in now.

    I’m sorry Omar didn’t make it back to Puerto Rico. It’s awesome here.

  47. Pooh Says:

    McNulty et al didn’t destroy Michael, he was way to independent minded to ever have worked out long term as a simple “soldier”. Maybe if the boss was someone he came up with (sorta like Chris was to Marlo), he could have gotten by. But if it wasn’t this instance it was gonna be another. I mean both Monk and Snoop just wanted an excuse to get rid of him, or so it seemed.

  48. it's ovah! Says:

    McNulty destroyed Michael and Dukie in the same way that Herc destroyed Randy. It wasn’t intentional. More like a domino effect. One thing sets another in motion. All the pieces matter. McNulty got Bodie killed in the same way.

    I’ve gone back too and started watching the series from the beginning. I agree that watching the character arcs develop is fascinating, especially knowing how things will end. I felt some deja vu with McNulty and his cycles of peace and self-destruction. I miss Omar. I’m falling in love with his character all over again. It was never about the drugs or money with him. Omar wanted to inflict his own brand of street justice into the game. He was very moral in a rogue vigilante way. He never cursed. He was raised by his grandmother and escorted her to church every month. He respected Sunday truces. He loved fiercely and deeply. Watching Omar and Bunk reminisce nostalgically about “back in the day” warmed my heart. I forgot how closely he worked with Bunk, Jimmy and Kima to bring down Avon, Stringer and Bird. There will never be another Omar. He was an original.


  49. [...] Stomach on your Nikes (Levy, Pearlman, and Jews on the Wire) A newly released Cutty goes to work as a landscaper. [...]


  50. [...] If Drake is signifying on his dual identity here, this time around he’s coming down hard on the stereotypically black side of things. One’s reminded of Jay-Z’s 2007 single “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is),” which included the line “Rich n**as, black bar mitzvah/Mazel tav, it’s a celebration, bitches/L’Chaim” or Watch the Throne’s “New Day”: “So at 13 we’ll have our first drink together/Black bar mitzvahs, mazel tov, mogul talk. This, like Cam’ron’s incessant talk of “kosher lawyers,” is the bar mitzvah as a generic marker of Jewish-ness—a kind of Jewish-ness about successful, powerful people putting on a big party for their seed. Oddly, around the time of “Roc Boys,” there were several articles, including this one for the Forward, suggesting that black teens could probably benefit from something resembling a bar mitzvah qua rite of passage. In Jay-Z’s case, though, the interest seems tied to a certain admiration for what Jews have been able to accomplish, especially in the entertainment industry. I would be remiss, and probably booted off the Internet, if I didn’t note that “The Wire” ends on some particularly acrid variation on this theme, where two Jewish lawyers strike a deal that forces young kingpin Marlo into upper-crust purgatory by taking him off the streets in exchange for his freedom. [...]


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