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No responses to “"A rogue sociologist takes to the streets"”

  1. Liam

    Oh yeah, let’s hear it for the Chicago Boys [cough cough].
    Somewhere recently I read a great story about this Venkatesh bloke inviting a bunch of crooks around to his house for spare ribs and beer, and an all-day session of watching/reviewing The Wire. Haven’t seen any of it, but from what I’ve read of the series, I want to.
    I’ll see if I can find the link to the article… um tomorrow. You’ll just have to take this luvvie’s word for it that it exists.

  2. Liam

    um tomorrow

    It’s tomorrow, today!

  3. Mark

    Oh yeah, let’s hear it for the Chicago Boys [cough cough].

    The Chicago school of sociologists, Liam, are quite distinct from Friedman’s gang. In fact they were considered such dangerous lefties that Becker didn’t publish his book on drugs til the McCarthyist thing had subsided, though it was written years before.

    Be interested in the link!

  4. Liam

    The Chicago school of sociologists

    Yes, my banal sarcasm, as always, precedes the joke. Sorry.

  5. Liam

    Also interesting from the same source, a lesson on how not to deal with youth, poverty and migration:

    In the 1980s, when they first got off the ground, gangs had deep connections to political movements that wanted to organize youth in an effort to keep them away from crime. As such, gangs were part of a coalition of left-leaning social service agencies and political activists struggling to cope with the effects of migration and globalization on Salvadoran families.
    …American administrations adopted the â??War on Drugsâ?? initiative by telling foreign governments to reduce what is commonly known as the â??social workâ?? approach â?? in other words, the U.S.â??s advice was, donâ??t use social services to reduce gang crimes, just lock gang members up.

  6. Mark

    So is The Wire any good?

  7. Lefty E

    That’s nothing, you just wait for my tell-all expose on the latte-swilling elitists of Fitzroy.

  8. Mark

    Hope there’s a whole chapter on running into Julia Zemiro.

  9. Paul Burns

    Years ago I read a book by a Sydney sociologist – at least I think he was a sociologist – who lived for a year among homeless Sydney derelicts as part of his research. It was quite a chilling insight into another world. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title, but I gather it was considered quite ground-breaking at the time.Seems his methodology was similiar to Venkatesh’s.

  10. Paulus

    “So is The Wire any good?”

    Yes, according to Prospect magazine’s review, unfortunately hidden behind their subscription wall.

    IIRC the reviewer called it the best TV show ever. Yes, ever. (With The Sopranos coming in at no. 2.)

  11. Mr Creighton

    “The Wire” deserves all the accolades; it’s as good as they say. The first season is out on DVD here, and it’s possible to see all the others through the usual channels.

  12. Nabakov

    Good to see you back in the fray Cap’n Creighton. Yes “The Wire” is one of the most powerful, darkest pieces of drama to come out of the US in a long while.

    No one does gritty cop opera better than the Yanks these days. I’d put it up there with “Baltimore:Life On The Streets”.

    No, fuck it, I wouldn’t. “The Wire” is motherfuckin’ sui generis. Best art direction ever too.

  13. dk.au

    You can order the first four seasons on DVD through Amazon. Or if you have the patience and HDD space, find a torrent.

    Yes, it certainly does rival The Sopranos, though there are no episodes analogous to the dream exploration of Tony’s childhood or any sort of deviations like that. It’s a pretty straight forward crime drama, but there’s just no dumbing down, no translation of the slang, no gilded heroes (or villains). Just a brilliant exposition of the crunching gears of social structure and agency that sociologists have tried so desparately to reconcile (or reify) for the past century and a bit. The script, photography and acting – even by the 14 year olds who star in the 4th season – are in a different galaxy to Bruckheimer or the other soft focus/technowetdream, soapy crap that fill the commercial schedules.

    In fact, I now can’t bear to watch my formerly beloved Inspector Rex – the episode where a rip and run is cause for celebration represents much of the facile, instrumentality of debates on laura norder in western liberal politics. On the plus side, though, My Wu-Tang Clan records now make a whole lot more sense (in fact, the Method Man is in a couple of episodes in season 4 I believe).

    Jumping out of big joints live, projects
    Lot of objects, front if you want, you gon’ die
    Lex with a sawed off, Killa gonna tax him in the Waldorff
    All bloodhounds, pop, show it off
    Actin’ like that money ain’t live
    Built it from the getty-up, New York City gonna fry
    Aiyo, son, I take mines, rape lines
    Yeah, I’m realer than Riker’s who orchestrate great crimes
    Jump out the Lex’, lookin’ zesty, real Nestle
    What, picture nigga, except bless me
    God, I’m high-powered, gun of the hour, crafted Flowers
    Give it the blend, double it, and blow like the Towers
    All ya’ll need to take showers, can’t take what’s ours, pa..
    Been sellin’ crack, been sellin’ crack
    Been sellin’ crack, livin’ the black
    Revealin’ how we flip that, strip cats
    We write rich raps
    Help out the body, me, similar to the Gotti
    Story, I’m kinda young, son, a fly forty
    The Reverend cold shittin’ on shorty, did it to shorty pop
    And gave him like ten in his jaw piece
    Remember this sayin’: “Staten Island Gun Slayers”
    It’s mayors, all gauges, minimum wage the raises..



  14. dk.au

    My comment cross with Nabs’.
    Gritty cop opera pretty much nails it.

  15. Nabakov

    Well I was gonna say dk.au that
    “Just a brilliant exposition of the crunching gears”
    was a damn good summary of The Wire vibe too.

  16. Mr Creighton

    Heya, Nabs. Interesting you should mention Life on the Street; I’ve never seen it, but it was based on David Simon’s non-fiction book, “A Year on the Killing Streets”. I don’t think he had much involvement with it apart from that. I’d be interested in reading the book he wrote with Ed Burns, “The Corner” prior to them co-creating The Wire…

  17. Nabakov

    Oho, so David Simon was also involved with “The Wire”? The pieces start to click together.

  18. Amanda

    The Wire is the best television show ever.

    That is all.

  19. Amanda

    Simon was only tangentially involved with H:LOTS but The Wire is entirely his baby. The book ” A Year on the Killing Streets” is ripper too.

  20. L

    I have JZ’s mobile number and email address. Just sayin’

  21. Lefty E

    Well, I’ve surreptitiously perved on her in cafes.

    She’s a babe!

  22. Lefty E

    PS Liking the new brevity deal, L!

  23. Zoe

    The Wire is fab, but could use a few more chicks in it.

  24. Richard Green

    American Project was extroadinary for the amount of observations about normal interactions throughout the Homes, and I’m glad that his (similar) subject matter is being released in a more popular form (not that American Project was too dense for a non-sociologist). It deserves a wide audience.

  25. Tony T

    The first four seasons of The Wire are in JB, or whatever your local entertainment emporium is called in the uncivilized states.

  26. Mark

    Queensland must be civilised because it’s called JB.