By Arturo R. García
So a little while back, this happened:
Oh yeah, watching Michael K. Williams as Omar Little smile and dance his way through a jazzed-up version of “The Farmer In The Dell” was definitely designed as a cringe-worthy moment–and that’s why it’s the perfect response to something like this becoming part of the legacy of The Wire:
Yes, if you have $25.56 to spare, you can sport just one of many Wire-inspired shirts, celebrating Omar as “a badass” instead of a cautionary tale. Of course, hopefully, you remembered to fill out your bracket determining who was the show’s coolest character. (Omar was the people’s choice, if you were wondering.)
Yes, I do get that if you tell a story, people will acquire it on their own terms. Yes, I do get that people value what they value and they’re no less entitled than the people who tell the story. And yes, I do know that some things of lesser import present the opportunity for greater humor. But when asked a question about the belated interest in “The Wire,” and about what that interest means to us, are the people who worked on the tale for eight years entitled to our own truths? Or will everyone have hurt feelings if we say, no, sorry, whether Omar is the coolest ever isn’t the salient debate for which we labored.
Because I said that much, or I tried to. But for want of a pronoun, the New York Times seemed to think that I was critiquing ordinary viewers who got there late to The Wire, or for failing to embrace the show on my terms. Ouch. What I intended to criticize specifically was a media culture that, when the chips are down, values what it does and little more. And yes, I did want to bite that hand, whether it feeds or not.
Unfortunately, it’s probably too late to reason with this cult of personality; last month, somebody at CNN(!) delivered maybe the ultimate insult, pronouncing the show “geeky.”
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
Keanu ReevesJohn Cho newsflashes.
Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at email@example.com.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.
Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.
Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.
Follow Us on Twitter!
- Taylor Pandillas Simmons on The Evolution Of Hula: Traditional, Contemporary, And Hotel
- Courtney Gibbons on True Blood Recap 6.1: “Who Are You, Really?”
- aboynamedart on Table For Two: Man Of Steel
- Fifty Shades Of Erin Gray on Table For Two: Man Of Steel
- merchantfan on Table For Two: Man Of Steel
- The Very Best Tweets From Twitter’s #PaulasBestDishes Hashtag
- The Evolution Of Hula: Traditional, Contemporary, And Hotel
- Table For Two: Man Of Steel
- On That Serena Williams/Steubenville Comment
- Barack Obama as our first Asian American President?: Part I
- It’s Time to Recognize All Dads on Father’s Day
- Casting Call: Lucy, the Mutant Human/Angel Hybrid Who Speaks with an Asian Accent (But is not Asian)
- Quoted: The problem with “Devious Maids” goes far beyond Hollywood
TagsABC activism advertising african-american asian asian-american barack obama black blackface celebrities comedy culture diversity fashion feminism film gender glbt HBO hip hop hispanic history hollywood identity international interracial relationships latino media mixed race movies music muslim politics race racial stereotypes racism religion sex sexism sexual stereotypes stereotypes tv Uncategorized white youtube