Features

Goodnight, hoppers; goodnight, hustlers everywhere

"Goodnight, hoppers; goodnight, hustlers everywhere" Continued...

Issue: "NextGen worship," July 26, 2008

The Wire takes no easy ways out. It doesn't turn the press into heroes: Uninspired journalists don't do investigative work and don't even chase fires, but watch them out the windows of their offices, from a distance. It refuses to embrace either racism or reverse racism: A black death in the "wrong ZIP code" is less media-significant than a white one, but a corrupt black state senator steals from all and plays the race card when caught.

The sadness of The Wire is that "the game"-drug trafficking, but in a larger sense the established pattern of institutional relationships-goes on and on. One drug lord succeeds another, one "corner boy" succeeds another, a new stick-up artist replaces one who dies, and on it goes. Ecclesiastes: "A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever."

Many television shows are non-biblical or anti-biblical. They say that man without God is fine-but as former Baltimorean Whittaker Chambers noted, "Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness." The hopelessness of The Wire conveys to us a biblical truth about our condition, and television drama does not tell us how God has fixed and is fixing the problem.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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