The Businessman and the Liability and the Game

by B.J. Delas Armas on 5/16/2008 04:14:00 AM 0 comments Print this post

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The Wire is like Sex and the Fucking City for men. Least, colored and/or the "conscious" men.

It might represent reality, but what I think it is at least for me is one important metaphor: The game is a business, it's nothing personal, but it's what's most important.

Business, business, business.

Anything that happens. Business.

Not too different from folks in LA who sling the drugs, extort pushcart vendors, hold dog fights. Business.

Not too different from them Libertarian bitches who think markets solve everything. Business.

Not too different from people who want to privatize water. Business.

Not too different from defense contractors in Iraq. Business.

What I glean from the show is a metaphor that human life is pretty disposable when it comes to business. Human emotion is definitely packed into the business, but ultimately business is "rational" and doesn't show any emotion.

Business is ultimately about contract and compromise.


In this show, they live by this code to NOT snitch to the police. This business, the drug trade, relies a lot on secrecy, and if the police find out anything, the business is in jeopardy.

So the contract is...you don't snitch, you don't give any clues, you're fine.

But the problem is if you even give the inkling to the higher ups in the business that you are going to snitch, they acutally use the term, you become a "liability."

And that's what happened to Wallace. He became a "liability" in the eyes of that star- Macroeconomist Stringer.



Throughout the show, Wallace was showing his interest in other things other than the business. We just get the feeling that this kid could do more than just sell drugs. He was telling people how Hamilton was no president, he was playing with mind puzzles, he got sick after he saw a murder, he was taking care of a bunch of kids, and he was even thinking about going to high school.

However, none of that mattered because he became a "liability." And it came down to it, it had to be two of his closest friends disposed of him like he was an old Packard Bell computer that needed to be replaced. Wallace meant something for them, but in the scheme of business, he was just another pawn to be sacrificed.

Bodie, soldier of soldiers, and trigger puller, thinks he's all about the game till his buddy Lil Kevin gets it from a new up-and-coming drug boss named Marlo.



After Lil Kevin is killed, Bodie and Poot even take time to reflect back on the conditions that led them to cap Wallace. Bodie ultimately blames the boss, Marlo, the individual.

Bodie: Cold motherfucker [Marlo]

Poot: It's a cold world, Bodie.

Bodie: Thought you said it was gettin' warmer.

Poot: World goin' one way, people another, yo.

To no one's surprise, when Marlo goes to jail, he only thinks of himself as a "business man."

No matter that he ordered the hits on Lil Kevin, Bodie, Omar...and whoever else. Business. Only a part of business.



Ironically in his last scene of the series, we see that he can only resort to what he does best.



The business is a metaphor for a game.

People in the series and even in reference refer to what's going on as a "game."

If it's just a game, everything becomes disposable. You're only pieces to move.

They made metaphor to chess.



"Pawn can never be king, but if it moves all the way to the other side, he can become queen. But he ain't no bitch, the queen's got all the moves."

Not sure who made it all the way to queen in the show, because anyone who was like a pawn ended up dying.

It all came full circle when Bodie was about to die.



"Game is rigged."

"We just like the little bitches on the chessboard."

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