Saturday, April 25, 2009

The NBA playoffs and The Wire (tv, stock, entertainment)

The NBA playoffs are here and there are a few really good matchups (actually every matchup is close except the Cavs' and Lakers' series). It's just a really good mix of crippled past champions, up and comers, and solid teams competing against each other. Unfortunately, I think that'll stop after the first round, and the rest of the playoffs won't be as enjoyable unless you want to watch the crowning of Kobe or Lebron.

I also started rewatching The Wire on DVD, which I still think (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is the best drama ever on TV. I bought the whole series on DVD from Amazon for about $180 a while back but only just opened it. While I was bored the other day, I googled stuff about The Wire and came across some interesting stuff. First, the UK Guardian is doing a weekly blog post about rewatching The Wire (currently on season 1 episode 9 or so). Then, this amazing collection of posts on the NYT Freakanomics blog: or more specifically where the author actually watched the 5th season as it was happening with "thugz" and former gangsters to see what they thought.

In a post about a few months ago, the same author made a suggestion that Geithner should take advice from those "thugz" rather than from the Wall St. people who've failed us. This part, which I'm just going to copy from , made a really interesting point:

"The unanimous opinion among The Thugz was that you must base your work around a time-tested law of ghetto capitalism: losers must die in full view. What? This doesn’t make sense. O.K., well, let me explain. Your first mistake (more accurately, your predecessor’s error) was to mix the bad apples (banks) with the good (banks). By doing so, you forgot what makes capitalism so much fun: winners win at the losers’ expense, and everyone gets to watch and laugh. Sort of like public hangings, except reported on the financial pages. Otherwise, why read The Wall Street Journal?
The moral is: don’t ever take the joy of death away from the public. Because if you don’t see losers in pain, you begin to think the game is rigged. And we all know the game is fair, open, and transparent … yes?"

"If you don't see losers in pain, you begin to think the game is rigged." That's exactly how I feel about the whole situation with the banks. It doesn't feel like there's a real loser amongst the banks. Where's the actual pain for Citi and BofA, or AIG for that matter? The government continues to throw money at them, money that then ends up on their bottom line as profit. The game is rigged. But since it's the only game in town, everyone still comes to play.

A quick thanks to my friend Brad (I don't think he reads this blog though) who introduced me to both The Wire and Freakonomics.

1 comment :

Brad said...

It's my goal in life to expose everyone else to the stuff I mistakenly believe is entertaining to me.