Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dylan/The Wire and The Game

I know we've talked The Wire to death, so I'll be brief with this part. The Game in The Wire is all about individuals doing whatever they can to either advance themselves or just prevent themselves from falling into a worse position. McNulty admits after Kima is shot that to him the case is all about making himself look good. Wee Bey does a lot of dirty work to stay on Avon's good side. Bodie agrees to kill Wallace so that Stringer won't see him as weak. Omar kills and steals to make a living. When someone messes up, they have to deal with the consequences. D'Angelo is almost convicted of murder, so he gets bumped down the chain and has to work his way up again. Little Man shoots a cop, so he is killed. Prez is punished for hitting a kid unjustifiably by having his gun taken away and being confined to the office. Basically the game is harsh and it's every man for himself. 

Bob Dylan is completely against this way of playing the game. His game is to speak out against those who are all for themselves. Bob Dylan isn't about money and personal advancement, but rather peace, equality and pretty much making fun of anyone who does care about material things. "Like a Rolling Stone" is a good example of Dylan's lack of respect for people who place too much importance on tangible things. The subject of the song used to have money and dress well, and s/he didn't pay any attention to the misfortunes of others ("You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns when they all come down and did tricks for you"). This person has now fallen- s/he has been taken advantage of, has to compromise with the tramps, and has no place to go. Dylan advises that s/he pawn his/her diamond ring and insists that s/he has nothing to lose and no secrets to hide anymore. Bob Dylan's game is that he won't play the game that Avon and his men play in The Wire. D'Angelo gives up 20 years of his life in prison so that his family can keep living the high life, but here is a quote of Dylan's that I've always really liked: "What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to." There are tons of Dylan songs that express this same sentiment. He is always rooting for the underdogs, those that don't have all the money and power, because he believes the things they do have are much more important. 

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