Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Wire

Had a good run on Tuesday round Arthur's Seat before work and then keenly anticipated a run on Friday hoping I'd got some bounce back. (Actually I'd planned to go out Thursday night but come Thursday night it was blowing a gale and raining and I was tired from the week so I put it off.)
Friday morning I spent waiting for the man to come and fix my windscreen, which he did, but he was a couple of hours later than he said he would be. So I got up early for nothing and had a hangover from the wine I drank the night before.
When I got out my run I tried hard and knocked out a middling kind of 10 miler. My legs felt slow and heavy again and it was hard to push hard.
Afterwards my legs got really stiff really quickly. I don't know whether I need to run more or less or what to do to get out of this depressing slump. Or maybe I'm just paying too much attention to individual runs now because that famous runner Chris Hoy is having his half marathon next week and I'd like a new pb when I get there. I'm boring myself.

Which is why I thought I'd write about The Wire instead today.
We'd read and heard a lot about The Wire so we thought we should get a season off Love Film and see for ourselves. Typically this arrived the week before its going to be televised, but still its good to have the control of choosing when you want to watch them. So we watched two episodes on Thursday night and two episodes last night, saving the climax of that series for tonight.
Because it had been hyped to the skies there was an element of disappointment with it. It was also with relief that I realised that I could understand it okay. There had been much talk about how uncompromising it was in telling its story without slowing down to underline the main points for the jelly-heads and its sticking to the Baltimore vernacular and idiom without apology or explanation. "Fuck the average guy", declaimed the writer, David Simon.
Maybe he meant to flatter his viewership by putting out the message that "If you're understanding this you're one cute cat."
In truth it wasn't that hard to understand or follow.
Talking of putting out a message, well, there's a lot of that. The police force and local government is full of Machiavellian string-pulling, favour-doing and manipulation. "The Captain's giving me a message that we shouldn't try too hard with this thing."
The only difference with the bad guy drug-dealers are that they are also killing people. (The police only occasionally beating people up.)
I'm sure this is the point.

The downbeat view of the police force is that in any division there will be about three police actively involved in fighting crime while the others are inept or burnt out. The people at the top are only concerned with maintaining or improving their position.
I'd say its a bit like the NHS but Peter depends on my wages so I retract that.
The newspapers are seen as the counter-force that protects society. If things get into the paper the people up top have to take notice. If The Wire presents a cynical view of the police force then surely it presents an idealised view of the newspapers with their ill-researched drivel?
Anyway, in summary. The Wire is a good cop show with a reassuring number of people up each others ass ("I've got the Captain up my ass!") a la NYPD Blue and I'll buy it.

(As an aside, there is a difference in proportion of dud guys vs good guys in the division between NYPD Blue and The Wire. If I remember rightly in NYPD there were mostly good guys but with one ambition-filled snake in their midst. Is David Simon's vision pessimistic, paranoid or realistic? Discuss.)

Today I'll maybe run 5 easy miles and drive my car about to check out the new windscreen. Rather alarmingly while I was waiting for the guy to come yesterday I was googling citroen ax windscreens to see if I could find out what they REALLY cost (I couldn't), when I came across a review for the car calling it the "Devil's Go-Kart" which I liked and then saying that insurance companies count it as a 9 out of 10 in terms of risk of death in an accident. Ow. The guy who was writing advised not to drive it over 30mph. I'm sorry but that won't do! Here's hoping we can get another season out of the Devil's Go-Kart without meeting our makers...

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