Monday, March 2, 2009

Conversational theft

The Board has a lot to thank David Simon and Ed Burns for.

Generation Kill, which is currently eating up a meaty slice of his Sky+ box, is a slick, sarcastic and utterly real depiction of what the Colin Powell warfare model has made of the standard US Marine.

And then there's the small matter of The Wire.

If you haven't seen it yet, The Board recommends it as highly as Alexander Fleming did penicillin.

There's little I or anyone can write here of its sheer majesty that hasn't already been said. Put simply, it should have won a Nobel Prize for literature. It is the pinnacle of television as a modern art form.

But aside from all this, it will give you something equally precious - the chance to pass yourself off as being smarter than you really are.

The Board, as we have discussed, occasionally presents himself as a journalist. As such, when the 14 arrests were made last week in relation to the murder of Shane Geoghegan (the first charge of many, it is hoped, being made on Friday) his friends asked him questions, assuming he knew something.

The following is a rough transcript, edited for purposes of realism:

Q:"Who are these 14? Did one of them do it?"

A: "Well, maybe. They probably think a few of them were involved, but they can't be sure. So you arrest a load of street level associates at the same time - people who might have helped hide the ones who did it, maybe stashed the gun.

"You get them all in, so no one knows what the other's been saying. Then you lean on the low level players, wave some 3 to 5 at them, try and roll them up the chain. The senior guys know how to take some jail time, sure, but the younger ones, the teens in it for a thrill and some pocket money, they're the ones the Guards will sweat. They're the ones who'll point fingers.

*The Board breaks into a slight Baltimore drawl*

"Good po-lice, after all, ain't nuthin without informants."

For holding his own in this conversation, and for the gift of 'Charles Dickens' as a slang term, The Board owes thanks to the regal vision of Simon and Burns.

He can only hope they're not men to call in favours.

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