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Thread: The Wire is over - discussion, spoilers inside

  1. #31
    nomadologist Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by booky View Post
    There's no need to resort to epistemic privilege here. It's about interpreting the scene. I think an argument can be made either way. That's what's interesting about the scene--and the show, frankly. It opens itself up to multiple readings...

    p.s. I know and use American slang too--and I disagree with your explanation. But that doesn't make your reading wrong.
    So let's turn the tables--say there's a character in a show who is male but genders himself "feminine" according to socially constructed norms. Say he's about to be shot by his best friend and says "Do I seem tough?" The friend says "Yeah you seem tough, dude" and proceeds to shoot him.

    Would "dude" be the operative word here? Would it be a reference to the "masculinity" of the "feminine" male character? I think it's pretty obvious it wouldn't, according to the semantics of the phrase. The "dude" would be a way of softening the statement, of creating one last friendly moment, a way of acknowledging the friendship bond they'd had.

  2. #32
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    But didn't you find the use of the "cliched bullshit" ironic? It seemed to play on the "traditional sense of femininity" that you are critiquing. The moment between Snoop and Michael--a man and a woman in a car, in the dark, with "Bartender" on the radio--it's quite a stereotypical heterosexual "romantic" scene. He says "You look good, girl" and shoots her, point blank, in the head. I think the scene challenges femininity, cliche, and expectations in a parodic manner. Again, the Wire is brilliant.

    Check it--both of you are right!

  3. #33
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    It's more than just the use of the word "girl"--there's the whole context of the scene.

  4. #34
    nomadologist Guest

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    A man and a woman can't be in a car without sex being imminent and ineluctable?

    Whaa...?

    In the context of the scene, two close friends and business associates experience a situation that one would have thought should have been a surprise for Snoop. One would have thought that as Michael let on that he intended to shoot Snoop--when he asked her to pull over and reached for the gun--she would have been frantic, begging for her life, or at very least somewhat surprised.

    In context of the scene, "How do I look?" is brilliant because what it really signifies is that Snoop saw this coming, that she saw it as inevitable. When the inevitable moment came, she wanted to go out in style. Who doesn't?

    It was really a tribute to her keen sense of the character of others, and her knowledge that even seemingly good-hearted kids can shoot their surrogate mothers in the face for a few thousand dollars under the right mix of circumstances. I see Snoop more as a surrogate mother figure for Michael, if we're going to talk about female gender roles.

    She was wise, not necessarily"feminine."

  5. #35
    nomadologist Guest

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    Yeah call me crazy but I don't necessarily think of sitting in a car in the dark with a T-Pain song on as being particularly "romantic"...

  6. #36
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    Oh goodness, I wasn't suggesting that AT ALL.

    What is the point in discussing multiple readings if you're simply going to insist that you're right? I think what you're saying is totally valid, I just don't think it's the only way of looking at the scene. I simply presented a different reading--a reading that plays on the image of a man and a woman in a car. The Wire plays on stereotypical images--from crime dramas, detective novels, various movies...at least in my opinion.

    Of course "a man and a woman [CAN] be in a car without sex being imminent and ineluctable".

  7. #37
    nomadologist Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by booky View Post
    But didn't you find the use of the "cliched bullshit" ironic? It seemed to play on the "traditional sense of femininity" that you are critiquing. The moment between Snoop and Michael--a man and a woman in a car, in the dark, with "Bartender" on the radio--it's quite a stereotypical heterosexual "romantic" scene. He says "You look good, girl" and shoots her, point blank, in the head. I think the scene challenges femininity, cliche, and expectations in a parodic manner. Again, the Wire is brilliant.

    Check it--both of you are right!
    He says "You look good, girl" after she asks him if her hair looks good. I think that's a pretty gangsta way to go out, asking the person who's about to shoot you how you look.

    It's pretty much a gesture of resigned defiance.

  8. #38
    nomadologist Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by booky View Post
    Oh goodness, I wasn't suggesting that AT ALL.

    What is the point in discussing multiple readings if you're simply going to insist that you're right? I think what you're saying is totally valid, I just don't think it's the only way of looking at the scene. I simply presented a different reading--a reading that plays on the image of a man and a woman in a car. The Wire plays on stereotypical images--from crime dramas, detective novels, various movies...at least in my opinion.

    Of course "a man and a woman [CAN] be in a car without sex being imminent and ineluctable".
    Sure, there can be multiple readings of anything. I just think this reading you've been suggesting doesn't really stand up under scrutiny.

    The gender performance of Snoop from the Wire is a really interesting subject and you could go on at length about it, but I really don't think that the writers were trying to set up any sort of underlying romantic tension between Snoop and Michael in that scene. Maybe some familial Oedipal type.

  9. #39
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    Well, there you go. I agree. I don't think the writers were inferring romantic tension either. I just think it was a parody of all that.

    Sure, oedipal tension could work too.

  10. #40
    nomadologist Guest

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    I'm not trying to pick on you personally, UFO, but when someone--anyone--starts going back to socially constructed gender norms and seems to conflate those with womanhood or female sexuality in reality, yes, I do bristle at that. It's annoying. Probably in much the same way it would be annoying for me to refer to the same old stupid cliches about what being "masculine" is supposed to be about according to traditional roles. (Like being too "strong" to cry or communicate emotions effectively...or being a quarterback and date raping the nearest sorority sister with roofies or whatever for shits and giggles...)

    I get really sick of the idea that being a real woman entails caring first and foremost, or at least a whole lot, about how men think of your appearance. I get really sick of that. I get sick of hearing people say things like "all girls dream of their wedding day from the moment they're born" or "all girls want to be a princess!" etc

  11. #41
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    some great points wish I'd been awake for that but probably for the best. I don't have much more to add apart from OT stuff -

    Quote Originally Posted by nomadologist
    starts going back to socially constructed gender norms and seems to conflate those with womanhood or female sexuality in reality, yes, I do bristle at that.
    Fair enough, I find all that annoying too. It's the fact that these norms are socially constructed (I agree with you) which makes them useful in conversations like these, and in TV shows like the Wire where they're partially examining what it is that creates these characters. That's why, looking at the pressures that led Snoop to develop all her general character traits, I thought taking a closer look at her behaviour in her final scene was interesting. Obviously this is a big thing for you, but I didn't imply anywhere in the thread that I believed in femininity as an objective set of character traits.. I didn't make it clear either way, but you know, benefit of the doubt would've been nice!

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomadologist View Post
    The Snoop assasination scene was about how in a "dog eat dog" world like the ghetto you can't even be too angry with your best friend for stabbing you in the back, quite literally, or in this case shooting you in the head.

    He says "You look good, girl" after she asks him if her hair looks good. I think that's a pretty gangsta way to go out, asking the person who's about to shoot you how you look.

    It's pretty much a gesture of resigned defiance.
    i agree, at least this is the way i interpreted it. the same applies to props death scene.

    btw has anyone seen the corner? i've just got hold of this with the intention to get down to some obsessive watching.

    feel free to pm me for links if you want!

  13. #43
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    ^ yup. just rewatched the whole thing last week, in fact. it's good. nowhere near the level of 'the wire' but still very good viewing. focuses almost entirely on the users, their families/communities, and the effects drugs have on both. definitely recommended for anyone who loves the wire - not least because a LOT of actors from the wire turn up in various roles!

    the last 10 mins of the final episode is dedicated to an interview with the real people who inspired four of the main characters of the show - I would LOVE SO MUCH for the wire to do something like this! but i guess it's a lot harder to get on-camera interviews with hardened criminals and notorious police than reformed drug addicts...

  14. #44
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    The Corner is excellent and well worth watching just to see so many wire actors playing opposite roles (dealers/users in The Corner are po-po in The Wire and vice versa)

    it's pretty hard watching tho.. ALOT grimmer than the wire simply because it never moves away from the corners..

    also, watch out for lester's hands!

  15. #45
    nomadologist Guest

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    I haven't seen The Corner, is it still on HBO?

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