Friends and Readers,

I cannot resist posting on this most recent Wire news, especially since over 40 people have found Moxie in the past two days searching for her. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

Many of you have sent me articles surrounding “Snoop’s” recent arrest. Almost exactly a year ago, I posted this about “Snoop.” Yesterday, she was arrested along with about 60 others for allegations surrounding heroin and marijuana. Of course I don’t know the whole story, so I won’t pretend to. Although it is sad to think of anyone living a life on the streets dependent on drugs, it somehow legitimizes The Wire even more. Life and art intersect here in Snoop’s situation. She didn’t just play a fictional character, she played herself. And long after shooting of the HBO series had ended, the same problems, even the same people, exist in Baltimore. It sounds like a huge drug bust; McNulty would be proud. But even if 60 people are momentarily removed, it doesn’t touch the deeper problems facing the community. What will it take for true change?

Dr. Love sent me this article from Deadspin, which links to the scene I mention in my first post.

Also check out what David Simon (creator of the show) says about it…(Thanks to VinegarBased for this one).

I agree with Simon in some ways–it feels callous to even comment on what’s happening, because her story is not my story.  I’m writing this while I gaze at the Gulf of Mexico in a bathing suit. Who am I to judge what’s going on with her?

I wonder how this story will end. Will she clean up for good? Or will her life be a continuous cycle in and out of jail? Here’s to hope for Felicia…

Resolving to resolve

No matter how deep the cynicism has set in, it’s hard not to be hopeful on New Year’s Day. There’s something about a fresh start that gets even the most skeptical up early and cranking out lists.

Here’s what I’m listening to while I resolve…

Brand New Day Joshua Radin

Happy New Year Rent: Original Broadway Cast

New Year’s Day U2

Feeling Good My Brightest Diamond

Get Real Get Right Sufjan Stevens

It’s Alright Dar Williams

Unclouded Day Caroline Herring

This Time Around Howie Day

I Was Made for Sunny Days The Weepies

Hope Set High Amy Grant

I Am Not My Hair India.Arie & Akon

Ready or Not Fugees

In the New Year The Walkmen

5 Years Time Noah and the Whale

What has Moxie resolved for 2011? Three years ago I resolved to drink more coffee and watch more TV. Since then I’ve watched all five seasons of The Wire, three seasons of Mad Men, and gotten hooked on Glee (terrible, I know). I also own a coffee grinder. Anyway, the POINT is that I’m good at keeping resolutions. This year I’m resolving…to resolve. To not leave things unsaid. To not say things that don’t need to be said.

In decorating, my mom is a firm believer in odd-numbered arrangements. That being said, here’s to an odd-numbered year. Let 2011 commence!

Felicia Pearson aka Snoop

I just started Season 4 of The Wire (for the second time), and the opening scene remains among my favorites. This time I used subtitles, and it helps.  One thing I love about the show is that the writers don’t over explain or even begin to explain everything. As a viewer, at first you have no idea what she’s saying. It took me several episodes and a call to my brother to confirm her gender much less interpret her mumbled jargon.

Maybe this is a deeper metaphor for what the writers are trying to address. These issues (politics, drugs, government systems) are so complicated and so dysfunctional that beginning to bring about true restoration is like trying to communicate with someone speaking a different language. We can’t understand. We can’t do it.  The Wire shows us that lower crime stats, more money, and new faces do not solve the deep problems that plague communities like Baltimore. Their need is for something so much greater.

Part of what makes the show so authentic is that these “characters” are often really playing themselves. Many are Baltimore natives. Many have been “in the game,” and many are essentially playing themselves. Check out this Interview with Snoop

I wonder if her book is any good…

Global and Local Human Trafficking

So, we’ve been talking about modern day slavery in my 7th grade History class. I may be a Radiohead poser, but I really and truly loved In Rainbows. Remember the song “All I need?” Check out the video that parallels a young American boy and a young boy in Southeast Asia forced into labor.

All I Need

Although child labor is certainly a huge issue in the world, my eyes have been opened recently to another form of slavery; sex trafficking in THIS city and state. Yesterday, we had two staffers from StreetGrace Ministries come talk to us about trafficking in Georgia. I was shocked to learn more about how trafficking could affect my students.

Did you know…

human trafficking is the exploitation by force, fraud or coercion of vulnerable people for forced labor, domestic servitude, or commercial sex operations

400 people (mostly girls) are trafficked (bought and sold) in GEORGIA every year?

the average age for sex trafficking is 12-14?

the #1 way to get out of the trafficking industry is death…the average lifespan for someone in this industry is 31.

Atlanta is a “hub” for this industry. With a huge airport, crime, drugs, and the adult entertainment industry, our city has created the “perfect storm” for child prostitution.

Here’s more information on child prostitution in Atlanta

I’m so proud of the way this issue has touched my students. We plan on taking action.

Get Hooked on THE WIRE

While I’m supposed to be writing my exams, I’ve actually been watching a lot of youtube. It’s great to catch up.

If you don’t watch The Wire, you might think it’s only for…

a) people from Baltimore

b) boys

c) people who like crime/law shows

d) TV snobs

I actually only fill one of those categories, and the show has been my obsession for quite some time now. After watching all 5 seasons 1.5 years ago, I recently started over. It’s even better the second time.

I love the way it deconstructs the mythical pursuit of right and wrong, the incredible character development, it’s overt and subtle critique of all institutions, and the great one-liners.

If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare today, check out the100 Greatest Quotes if you are wondering if the show is for you.  (it’s not for the feint of spirit–lots of bad language)

I think you’ll be hooked. Let me know if you want to borrow Season 1.