Monday, April 20, 2009

Re: Surveillance

Since our group presentations are scheduled for tomorrow’s class, I figure that I’ll save all of my very fine insights into The Wire until then. One could think of this act as an extremely courteous surprise, or a ridiculously lazy attempt at a blog entry. I like to see myself as a giving, contentious individual in that respect.

In The Wire, at least a couple of times per episode, a shot is given through the lens of a black and white surveillance camera. It should be noted that even though it is the cops who are keeping close observations on the dealers’ actions, everyone is carefully monitored and recorded by the omnipresent cameras. Cameras are used in the ritzy FBI elevators, the hallways of heavily-used retailers, and the dark corners of poverty-stricken projects. No one is spared from involuntary observation.

The use of technology is a theme that is present throughout the series, but there is always a sense of disconnect between different technologies used by different groups. To hopefully more clearly explain what I’m trying to say, the dealers and the cops both use large amounts of technology in order to get their jobs done, but both groups use very different techniques. The cops use wire taps, hidden listening devices placed on informants and other fairly high-end electronics, while the dealers utilize pay phones and pagers to facilitate their work. Both populations heavily rely on technology to get the traditionally basic jobs of preserving the peace and illegal trade completed and yet it is only the surveillance cameras that capture and bring together the rival groups.

No comments:

Post a Comment