May 17, 2010

The Game is Real, Sort Of

Philosophy professor Harvey Cormier examines the impossible reality of gallant Wire protagonist Omar Little.

Michael Gluckstadt

**SPOILER ALERT: Read no further if you haven't finished—or started—watching The Wire, and intend to. Also, a disclosure: The author of this interview works at HBO.

A Baltimore street corner is bustling. Junkies are lining-up to purchase drugs, then picking them up around the corner. The mid-level dealers supervise the operation, surrounded by muscle. Suddenly, a young lookout comes running down the street. A faint whistling is heard, quickly crescendoing: "The Farmer in the Dell." The lookout yells, "Omar comin'!" Soon the corner is empty, and Omar Little, shotgun in hand, claims his unguarded prize.

Of all the remarkable characters introduced in the celebrated HBO series The Wire, Omar is, for many, its most memorable. He is a gay stickup artist who fears no man in the street, courtroom, or prison, and adheres to a rigid moral code. Like many devoted Wire viewers, Harvey Cormier was taken by Omar's improbable character. But Cormier, associate professor of philosophy at Stony Brook University in New York, took his interest a step further.

Post a comment

Comment Rules

The following HTML is allowed in comments:
Bold: <b>Text</b>
Italic: <i>Text</i>
<a href="URL">Text</a>


Article by Michael Gluckstadt

Contact this author