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The Redemption of Michael K. Williams
August 25, 2012 11:38 PM   Subscribe


 
Thanks for posting that. Very much worth reading.
posted by Malor at 12:12 AM on August 26, 2012


Hang tough.
posted by mule98J at 12:19 AM on August 26, 2012


Oh, man, I hope so. I really, really hope so. One day at a time.
posted by Anitanola at 12:20 AM on August 26, 2012


Maybe I just missed it, but did the article mention how long Williams has been clean for? I didn't notice a timeline to his struggles other than a mention of using while the Wire was still in production. Those early days are glorious, but dangerous, and I wish the man nothing but good times from here on out.
posted by item at 1:20 AM on August 26, 2012


For those seeking context, Michael K. Williams is the actor best known for playing Omar on "The Wire." He apparently had a drug problem in the past but got clean long ago.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:44 AM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not that long ago. He was on drugs for (the entire run?) of The Wire -- not meaning he was high on the set.

I have some beefs with religion, but this church is doing a wonderful thing for its community in its no pretenses, all love thing its got going now.

I also wish I could hear Michael testify with all of his Omar panache and obscenities.
posted by angrycat at 5:01 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you don't already, please check out Michael K. Williams' Twitter feed. It's like the world's best anti-depressant. An example of one of his latest tweets:

"Sometimes, you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand back up taller than you ever were."

Sure, it's a lot of plattitudes, but after reading that story about his life, doesn't it make you feel pretty good?
posted by to sir with millipedes at 5:40 AM on August 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I really liked this because it addressed some of the prevalent myths regarding addiction, specifically the "rock bottom" one. You don't have to hit rock bottom, and those around you will be surprised to find how many rock bottoms you can hit. Plus, it shows how often we ignore the inconsistancies of that person with a good job who never misses a day of work. Yeah, he/she has got a problem with pills/booze/crack, but it's under control... Right?

But that's the problem with living in a painfully capitalist society. As long as you are contributing in some way, we'll let it fly. The second your addiction interferes with someone's revenue, we cut you off entirely, and only the churches will take you; thanks to A&E's Intervention, we think this the best practice. But the opposite should be true. Help these addicts when they still have the means to rebound, to channel their issues into something (fortunately, MKW had Omar). don't strip them of their livelihoods, families, and friends when it gets bad. If they keep losing pieces of them, that will only accelerate their run to their fix. And what will be there to distract them from their cravings if they don't have a vocation or hobby paraphernalia because it was all lost when they hit "rock bottom"...? Heck, if David Simon killed Omar after the first season, what would happen to MKW, now that he has nowhere he has to be 3 days out of the week?

Lastly, kudos to the author for referencing the fact other addicts were the ones who told him to get help. I know the rehabs make their livelihood on the idea that you need to be removed from your habitat/environment to recover, but sometimes hearing "man, you got a problem" from someone who obviously has a problem themselves can be a cold shower, of sorts.

I'm rambling, sorry. Addiction has always been a bold letter concern for me. Great article.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 5:42 AM on August 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Very glad to hear he's better. I honestly didn't know he had a problem. I'm not surprised considering David Simon's knack for finding people with tangible connections to the streets. Just another reason The Wire is so deservedly praised. I'm glad that unlike the woman that playedSnoop, his story seems to have a happy ending.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 6:38 AM on August 26, 2012


Thanks for posting. Glad he's finding his way and helping others out as well.
posted by arcticseal at 6:48 AM on August 26, 2012


"Omar's Coming Yo!"
posted by Fizz at 7:04 AM on August 26, 2012


It was odd how underused he was on "Community" this last season.
posted by smackfu at 7:05 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I also wish I could hear Michael testify with all of his Omar panache and obscenities.

What obscenities?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:32 AM on August 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


It was odd how underused he was on "Community" this last season.

Nah. There was so much else going on (John Goodman and the HVAC school, the Dean, Chang...) that a couple of good, simple scenes was all you could really hope for from a brand-new character, even one played by a premium-cable supporting actor.
posted by Etrigan at 7:43 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What obscenities?

Indeed
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:25 AM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I still need to finish watching The Wire (I know, I know!), but damn, he was good in Community. And he's fantastic as Chalky on Boardwalk Empire.
posted by palomar at 9:28 AM on August 26, 2012


I love this guy so much. What a life.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:51 AM on August 26, 2012


I didn't notice a timeline to his struggles

I would allow him this privacy. Getting clean is often a rollercoaster of relapses.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 AM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


It was odd how underused he was on "Community" this last season

According to the commentary on the DVD's that was a case of getting what they could in a very limited timeframe. They had to take what they could get with his schedule, which makes it be difficult to write him into any kind of major story arc.
posted by ndfine at 11:03 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've started rewatching Boardwalk Empire and I'm starting to think that he's even better as Chalky White than Omar... just a brilliant mixture of cool successful 'businessman' exterior with a whole ocean of suppressed rage underneath that occasionally we just see a glimmer of. This is probably my favourite scene from anything ever.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:19 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really like Michael Williams as an actor, and I love his work in The Wire and Community, but I thought this article was pretty obnoxious, really. The writing was needlessly heavy and self-conscious, and the story was just not really there for me.

I'm glad he's gotten things in order, but this article was just a long-form platitude.
posted by broadway bill at 2:53 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


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