Recall Wire Omar as a study of complexity in an era when moral certainty is given too much.Kenan Malik

MeShotgun-wielding thieves and murderers are rarely considered to have a moral core. However, there are rarely any characters like Omar Little. Or an actor like Michael K Williams brings him to life.Or like TV series wire It allowed both characters and actors to breathe.

NS Williams’ death last weekPerhaps drug overdose has robbed one of the most delicate and lithe actors of our time. He was outstanding in many roles. Boardwalk Empire NS Bessie, from Night NS road.. But what really memorized was his portrayal of Omar Little.

wire Was one of the TV shows that broke the rules of what TV should be as “a TV show that I think it’s a novel” in terms of tone, story, and pace. New York Times It was proposed. But that wasn’t the only thing. Few media in any medium have successfully sneaked under the skin of our time, revealing where race, class, power, and despair merge to trap the human spirit and contain the American dream.

“”I swear to God, it was never a cop show,“Along with co-author Ed Burns, David Simon, who was the driving force behind the program, insisted. Rather, it was a complex and related series of stories about those we now call “left behind” and then Simon called “excessive Americans”: Steelworkers and Long Shoremen, Street Dealers. And heroin addicts, unemployed and rarely employed, all chewed by a system that only cares about preserving themselves. People crushed by police who are more interested in order than law, city halls that have been corrupt with coffee in the morning, unions that are more corrupt than the industry they once dominated, educational systems that taught despair, and media that missed the true story. As Poot, a low-level dealer of a drug gang, says, “the world is moving in one direction” and “people are moving in the other direction.” And this was all wrapped up in the form of a policeman.

This is the inside story of trumpism and Black Lives Matter, told more than 10 years ago before either happened – the first episode of wire It was broadcast in June 2002. There is also talk about how black anger and white anger were created and interwoven. Almost 20 years later, there are few fictitious or factual stories that tell the story: wire..

The cop show is about good and evil. The difference is their raison d’etre, even those that blur the boundaries. wire Avoided that entire approach to morality. And not as much as Omar Little.

wire As the series progressed, it was an ensemble show in which countless characters were woven inside and outside the story. But from within that ensemble, Omar came in many ways to represent the center of the show. An orphan at an early age and raised by a religious grandmother, he became a stranded man who specializes in robbing and often killing drug dealers.

He is often described by critics as a kind of “Robin Hood” person. He is not. He is much more demanding on his viewers. Robin Hood lives in the myth of drawing its power out of the given framework of good and evil, as in modern cop shows.of wireBut morality is something that people have to build from the evolution of their lives.

One of the decisive moments comes in Season 2 when Omar is witnessing in court against a drug dealer known as Bird, who has been charged with murder. Maurice Lévy, a bird lawyer held by a drug organization, wants to know why everyone should believe in Omar. “You are immoral, aren’t you?” He asks him. “You trade off drug trafficking violence and despair. You are a leech parasite …” “A man, like you,” interferes with Omar. “Excuse me, what?” Asks Levy, who was shocked. “I got a shotgun. I got a briefcase,” Omar replies. “But it’s all in-game, right?” It’s an exchange that can be read as a support for nihilism. There is no morality, only power and corruption. Everyone is just going out for themselves.But given the whole arc, it’s not how the scene works wire.. What Simon and Burns show us is that those who find themselves in an impossible situation are forced to settle rational and moral things in their situation themselves. It means that there is. What may be visible from the outside to those who create the rules of the “game” as irrational and immoral, compares the good and the bad in the setting where they find themselves for those trapped in the system. The only way to consider it.

Omar is a stone-cold murderer. Still, we have great sympathy for him because he finds himself trying to bring moral order to his universe in his own way. “The guy must have the code,” he says. “Don’t twist. I’ll do some dirt, but I’ll never point my gun at anyone who isn’t in the game,” he admits.

Omar is also openly gay. It accompanies the storyline, is also the center of the storyline, and is destroyed by the existence of the traditional norms of black masculinity.

We live in an era when we are attracted to seeing everything in black and white. There, those who disagree with our moral vision are often shunned as repellents or prejudices. In such a world, the presence of a person like Omar Little reminds us of the complexity of our moral life and the difficulty of creating norms for living in the emergencies we live in. Let me do it.

wire In Simon’s words, it was a world prosecution that “free market rules and values ​​… have been mistaken for a social framework” and “systems are paramount and humans are not so important.” But it also celebrates resilience and the ability of the most desperate ordinary people to open up a small space for humankind. Michael Williams died at a young age, but in Omar Little he gave the body to the characters that illuminate our lives in contradictions and complexity.

Kenan Malik is an observer columnist

Recall Wire Omar as a study of complexity in an era when moral certainty is given too much.Kenan Malik

Source link Recall Wire Omar as a study of complexity in an era when moral certainty is given too much.Kenan Malik

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