The Wire Final Season

Week 7: David Simon's Traumatic Shopping Experience at Ikea
Talking television.
Feb. 19 2008 4:17 PM

The Wire Final Season

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Dear David,

It's uncanny the degree to which we think alike! As I was watching this most recent episode of The Wire, it suddenly occurred to me that not only is hakuna matata a wonderful phrase, it ain't no passing craze. Hakuna matata, David, is my problem-free philosophy.

You, on the other hand, think too much. What kind of job is it, exactly, being the deputy editor of Slate? Lots of wildlife documentaries, apparently.

I'm sorry to report that I've had nothing but superficial thoughts about this week's episode, including and especially this (recurring) one: Do not make David Simon mad, or he'll get his revenge on HBO. Obviously, he had some sort of traumatic shopping experience at Ikea. I hold no brief for Ikea, but The Wire does get its hate on rather obviously, doesn't it? After seven episodes, not only do I want to buy Bill Marimow a drink, I want to buy it at the Ikea cafeteria. Which I guess would limit us to Aquavit, but whatever.

I have to disagree with you—again—this week. I think Marlo made it abundantly clear what he desires, apart from lollipops. Do you remember the look on his face as he watched Chris shoot Prop Joe? It was orgasmic. Marlo craves power—specifically, the power to take away life. Remember that Chris and Snoop are merely his instruments, and remember that Chris actually seems frightened of him. I don't think that Marlo's type is so unusual, in literature or in real life (which is not to say that I know many people outside of journalism who remind me of him), and I don't find him as monochromatic as you do. He's not a machine; he is capable of deriving joy, just not the way you derive it (to the best of my knowledge). Also, he does have a nice car.

I like your McNamee-Randy analogy, by the way. I'm in the Middle East right now and haven't had the chance to watch those hearings (weirdly, al-Jazeera and Israel TV aren't covering the steroid scandal), and I didn't realize that the Republican Party had taken such a hard line against snitching. But here's the thing, in defense of Bunk, though not necessarily in defense of the Republicans who roughed up McNamee: You and I both know that we'd think less of Bunk if he ratted Jimmy out.

Ha det så bra!

Jeff

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.