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Thread: The Wire season 5?

  1. #41
    thebunk is offline EYO forum member I'm either new or don't have much to say

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    Richard Roxburgh played Roger the Dodger in Blue Murder.
    I read the first Underbelly; which had a pic of Chopper Read's bare tummy drooping over his jeans with a big handgun in the waistband.
    Maybe later installments improved; but I doubt it. I mentioned it; because it sounds like the opposite of well-written and researched true-crime books like the one you mentioned. Just short chapters each describing the most sordid episodes in the careers of different unrelated criminals, written in tabloid style. (Despite the two writers actually being ex-'Age' reporters)
    Don't know if you've seen the website 'Melbourne Crime'
    ( http://www.melbournecrime.bizhosting.com/index.html ).
    I first stumbled upon it when certain West Coast Eagles players were named as associating with bikies and other 'colourful identities', and it has a lot of info on characters featured in 'Underbelly I' under one roof, so to speak.
    I agree that the first series of Underbelly was quite good, and apart from the numerous gratuitous nude scenes, didn't glamourize the underworld characters (though it did the cops I reckon !)
    I didn't think Landsman disliked McNulty particularly - he just didn't like anyone f***ing with his clearance rate ! But I do agree that the wake scenes; and the last one in particular; seemed indulgent. If they were gonna sing a Pogue's song it should have been 'Dirty Old Town' - but, being Americans; it would more likely be 'Born in the USA' or 'The Halls of Monteczuma' .
    Yeah, I thought the version by 'The Blind Boys of Alabama' and the one from S4 with the local teenagers were the best. I hated Tom Waits own rendition and regularly hit the ffwd button on that as well as Steve Earl's version.
    I disliked Carcetti from the start, but I truly loathed the sanctimonious little know-all basterd by the end. He's like Kevin Rudd on speed. I wish Bunny Colvin decked him near the end.
    I agree with you - S5 wasn't as good as previous seasons. Mind you, I thought S2 was great, but that dipshit Ziggy got way too much airplay.
    I think that the grasping a**hole Tempeton figuring so greatly in S5 was a symbol of Simon's bitterness - the good guys get moved to the copy desk or the boonies, and the liars and hacks get Pullitzers and promotions. ( I guess Fletcher is an exception)
    "well, now I got you in here acting like my bitch an' sh*t with all you guilty-ass cryin' ..." Greggs

  2. #42
    trudat is offline EYO forum member I'm either new or don't have much to say

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    Richard Roxburgh, of course. He was terrific. I liked Gary Sweet as Christopher Flannery too; one of the few roles in which I've enjoyed his work. I would like to buy Blue Murder on DVD, it was one of the original, gritty Aussie crime shows, about a fascinating era in Australia's history, when gangsters and coppers mixed in a vastly different(to today) Sydney. Or maybe its not all that different, the Wood Royal Commission may have just put fresh wallpaper over the cracks.
    You're obviously a big fan of The Pogues. I like them too, although Shane Macgowan is a wreck these days. I guess it was part of their appeal. All that hard drinking, womanising and belting out the ballads didn't leave much time for a stint in rehab or a trip to the dentist, both of which he so urgently needed. Is he even still alive? If so it would be a minor miracle.
    Well I feel at a bit of a loss now The Wire is over. It was well worth the journey though. I think Season 3 was my favourite, closely followed by 1 and 4, although its hard to say. I really enjoyed the whole Hamsterdam experiment, I thought it was a groundbreaking idea, and not something you would expect to see on any other show. I'm still sort of absorbing the events of the last few episodes, I will probably watch the whole thing again. I've got to say I'm glad it didn't drag on for too long. There is nothing worse than a show that is running out of ideas and its creators are just milking the same formula. Looking forward to Treme, but hopefully it will be totally different to The Wire, we don't want a rehash just transplanted to the big easy. Oh well its all over now! "Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit" Clay Davis

  3. #43
    thebunk is offline EYO forum member I'm either new or don't have much to say

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    I think Gary Sweet has striven hard to break the mould as rugged sex symbol (though if reports of frequent cocaine use in the 90's are true - that probably helped) - apart from the role you mentioned; he was good in 'The Tracker' with David Gulpillil and ok in 'The Circuit' on SBS.
    To be honest, I love 'Dirty Old Town', but aren't a huge fan otherwise. According to Wikipedia, McGowan is still alive (he's over 50) and was even photographed in public recently after having his teeth done. He still likes a drink, but apparently not to the same extent he used to. He was reportedly thrown out of the Pogues in the nineties, but they've had almost annual reunion tours over the last decade. Maybe he goes to the same Swiss clinic as Keif Richards for regular blood transfusions.
    And the Pogues are English ! Though he's Irish, he grew up mostly in the South of England.
    You're probably right about police corruption in NSW. Both Ryan here, and Nixon in Victoria, where probably better media managers than at addressing real institutional problems. Not saying that Sinney is as bad as B'More, but I think most institutions here are pretty sick, and ICAC notwithstanding, have only changed superficially since the eighties. A small example - I live in the former Premier's electorate. After he was forced to quit, the newly elected Labor Mayor was voted in as Local Member in a by-election, and still wears two hats. Even in Balty-more you'd think that'd raise a few eyebrows, but not in the glorious ex-penal colony of NSW. And John Robertson; former head of Unions NSW and prime-mover in the forced resignation of the premier over electricity privatisation, is now Minister in Charge of Privatising Prisons, and may well be in a cabinet that votes for privatisation of electricity suppliers (though that's a poison pill they'll try to leave for the next Republi- er, Liberal govt.)
    Stretching a longish bow on the subject of Hamsterdam; I watched 'the Cocaine Diaries' by Alex ? James; the ex-bassist of Blur, last night on ABC2. He'd written that he'd spent a million pounds on coke; and was invited by the Columbian president to see what the drug business has done to his country. He managed to get access to not only the Prez, and to accompany the military on 'a clearance', but also interviewed a lieutenant for a local boss (who drove a taxi when not hitting targets) and Escobar's aunt; who remembered him fondly as some sort of Robin Hood. His most interesting trip was to a farmer's lab; where they made the 'paste' or the 'base'. I'd heard years ago that they rendered the coca leaves with kerosene - but it's worse than that. First they mix it with cement, then petrol, then sulfuric acid (all by hand, with no gloves !), then strain it. Then it's sent to the jungle labs to be further processed. That's even before the dealers cut it with strychnine, or washing powder or baking soda.
    Oh well, I guess there's exploitation everywhere - you use a mobile or PC, and kids in Africa are being forced dig for coltran ...
    But back to Hamsterdam - I reckon Bunny Colvin was one of my favourite characters. Robert Wisdom's accent was so thick I had to replay some of his stuff over a few times tho' (but I replayed his 'get on with it mutha****er' to Rawls out of sheer pleasure).
    Then that scene where Rawls was leading the assault over 'Ride of the Valkyries' was a good nod to 'Apocalypse Now' and the theme of drug containment as war.
    "What the **** just happened here ?" Bond

  4. #44
    trudat is offline EYO forum member I'm either new or don't have much to say

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    Corruption is everywhere unfortunately, not just West Baltimore. You would think in Western society where wages are reasonably high and our lifestyles are good it would be fairly isolated. I can understand it in Thailand where you offer a cop a $US 100 bribe to get off a speeding fine or what have you and he takes it; its a month's salary and he's got to feed his family. We have just recently had the Andrew Mallard saga in WA, a guy who was falsely convicted of murder, and only just managed to be vindicated when a high profile lawyer agreed to work pro-bono on his case, he spent 12 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The state recently offered him an ex-gratia payment of $3.5 million, and the letters page in The West Australian was inundated with people furious he should get so much. I personally thought he deserved more. Anyway the police who orchestrated his conviction, including plying him with marijuana(he was mentally ill at the time) and telling him to 'hypothetically' say what he would have done if he was the killer(they then used this as his statement, leaving out the preamble) have all risen to senior ranks in the force including one to Assistant Superintendent. After countless appeals, all of which failed, due to the inertia of those in power, he finally won in the high court, outside of the sphere of influence of WA. And yet these high profile police still remain in their jobs.Very Wire-like.
    The war on drugs has been an abysmal failure for centuries now. All the current violence in Mexico is a direct result of it. The now pro-US government, with the help of the DEA rounded up some of the kingpins and proudly trumpeted the fact, but they only succeeded in creating a power vacuum; hence the thousands of drug related slaying this year alone, as the up and comers battle for market share. Some of the stories about drug dealers cutting their gear with strychnine/washing powder etc sound a bit like scare mongering by the 'just say no' brigade, i'm not saying its never happened, but any 'good' drug lord knows the best customer is a repeat customer, so it would make better business sense to cut the stuff with something more innocuous like glucose. I wouldn't like to snort the cocaine manufactured with cement, I don't think it would be very good for the sinuses! "I'm just gilding your lily son" Freamon

  5. #45
    thebunk is offline EYO forum member I'm either new or don't have much to say

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    Don't know if you'll bother to reply after a week's delay, but anyway ...
    Underneath the gloss of modern-day spin and doublespeak, I often wonder if Australia has improved from the sort of intolerant, monocultural backwater I grew up in. Then I think that people are the same everywhere - scratch the surface and humans are just social animals with a penchant for gratuitous violence and a fear of outsiders.
    Likewise, I agree that attempts to fight people's natural inclination to 'get out of it' is like " sweepin' leaves on a windy day" to quote the Preacher from S4 of The Wire. Mind you, there is an historically proven way to curb people's enthusiasm for hard drugs -taxation. After the English discovered the art of mass-producing distilled liquor - mostly gin - in the 1700's, the adult population reportedly dropped by 30% in a generation - the general dissolution of the population was documented by artists like Hogarth. The parliament introduced 'the Corn laws' - a tax on milled grain; which made spirits more expensive; but was one of the factors in the disaffection of the American colonies with British taxes. They were repealed in the UK by the middle of the 19th century to popular acclamation - but by then; both the government and the industrial barons they served, benefited from a working population made docile by cheaper hard liquor.
    I think under all the rhetoric, it serves the US to have an impoverished Mexico in the thrall of the drug cartels; just as it has throughout Central and South America over the last few hundred years.
    Nothing would surprise me about what goes into 'refined' drugs; though I agree that talc, glucose or baking soda would be generally more cost-effective - depending on how much they have to 'step on' the raw. During prohibition, thousands were killed or paralysed by cheap fillers in liquor. The latter had what was called 'the Jake walk' -like someone with cerebral palsy.
    I've heard that coke is cheap on the East Coast at present; so it probably doesn't need a kicker. As for the base they mill on the jungle farms back in Columbia; it was my impression that it was general practice to refine the leaves as described. Maybe the lime in the cement breaks down the cellulose. I guess the petrol and sulfuric acid neutralises it, though.

    " ... I'll be out a coupla years before you Maurie - you come home - and the first round's on me I guess " Pearlman

  6. #46
    trudat is offline EYO forum member I'm either new or don't have much to say

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    I think the prohibition era in America, as shown in 'The Untouchables'(which wasn't a bad movie in spite of Kevin Costner's presence) demonstrated the failure in trying to ban a substance that the populace wants. Don't get me wrong, I am anti-drugs, I don't think they provide any positive outcomes to the end user, but the criminalisation of cocaine in particular has just made the drug lords in South America more powerful.
    You are right they do use lime in the manufacture of coke, My point was that its not actually cement, but calcium hydroxide, or slaked lime, which although a powerful alkali, is used in extracting sugar from sugar cane, and in the production of many other common products of which we think little of consuming. Its also the alkali of choice of the mafia in the disposal of bodies, and our friends Chris and Snoop in The Wire, although they ran a little low at one stage. Despite the use of all these powerful chemicals, including the lime, kerosene, hydrochloric and sulfuric acid pottasium permangamate and acetone, if the process is carried out correctly, the resulting product is quite pure. Now, however, most of these key ingredients are listed in the UN charter against traffic in illicit drugs, causing the drug lords to substitute diesel as a solvent for example. I just feel some of the anti drug message is lost on people, when the government broadcasts advertisments depicting seedy backyard labs where a couple of drongos are mixing it up in milo cans, yet the Claremont set(in your case maybe Vaucluse?) are getting pharmeceutical grade coke by the bucket-full. For me the detrimental effects on the mind and body of even the purest drugs are far too damaging to contemplate, although it wasn't always this way. I don't think anyone could say they have gotten a net positive effect from the use of drugs, and yet more and more people are ready to experiment.
    I am just starting to have a bit of a social life again myself now the Wire is over, so I understand the delay in replying!
    "Woe to them who call evil good and good evil"

  7. #47
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    I know this thread is a little old now, but if you are interested -
    Season 5 - http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/810534
    All seasons - http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/810535
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