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May 29, 2015 12:42 PM   Subscribe

The game is the game, what's done is done, and it is what it is.
The Wire: Tautology Supercut [SLYT, NSFW]
posted by Room 641-A (20 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
You come at the king, you come at the king.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I kind of want to see an entire episode re-done with just tautologies.
posted by entropone at 12:50 PM on May 29, 2015


Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiit, sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiit.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:59 PM on May 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Fuck fuck fuck, fuck fuck Fuck.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:02 PM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey, just because it's a tautology doesn't mean it's not true.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:04 PM on May 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


This America, man
posted by MoonOrb at 1:07 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Haters gonna hate
posted by florzinha at 1:13 PM on May 29, 2015


but hey, because it's a tautology, we know it's a tautology
posted by idiopath at 1:14 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The constant use of tautologies in The Wire maybe has a certain logic to it. These are usually thought-killing expressions used to face up to realities larger than us, realities that seem out of our control, just like the larger social forces and institutions that are allegedly the main characters of The Wire. No single person seems responsible for the havoc that they wreak on Baltimore. They are what they are. They do what they do.
posted by dis_integration at 1:38 PM on May 29, 2015 [23 favorites]


Wait... "My name is not my name" .... isn't that a paradox??
posted by AGameOfMoans at 2:08 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait... "My name is not my name" .... isn't that a paradox??

My name is my name is a pusha-t.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:37 PM on May 29, 2015


"Paradox" is overselling it. It's just a contradiction when read literally.
posted by invitapriore at 2:43 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Though that means of course that the video should really be called "The Wire: Non-contingency Supercut," but.
posted by invitapriore at 2:45 PM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fuck fuck fuck, fuck fuck Fuck.

Cf.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:48 PM on May 29, 2015


It's not a tautology, but this is the second thread today to remind me of The Wire quotes: "Are you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?"
posted by Monsieur Caution at 2:55 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


If your name is, say, Jill, then "my name is not my name" is a true sentence.

If your name is My Name, then it's false.

No paradox!
posted by chavenet at 3:24 PM on May 29, 2015


If your name is My Name, then it's false.

In addition to tautologies, contradictions and paradox, we could turn this into a lesson on the Use/Mention distinction.
posted by dis_integration at 3:34 PM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder too if there's a term in rhetoric for the way Vondas has "my name" point to two different referents in the course of that sentence, making it actually just a regular old contingency itself.
posted by invitapriore at 3:51 PM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's odd about these is how none of them feel (or felt) like tautologies, and none feel as inane as the thousand "it is what it is"s you hear these days. Partially it's that the show is often obliquely critical of those using the tautology to justify inaction or acceptance. But also the tautology framing I think misses the temporal aspect -- the sort of thing I've sometimes seen happening when philosophers dabble in literary criticism. For many if not most of these utterances, there's a pause after the first "it is..." (or whatever "it" it happens to be), inviting your mind to play along and imagine what sorts of thing it may be, and how that fits into the flow of thought the character is developing. When it then collapses back into itself, it's more than just a repetition -- it's a summary of all those other, unarticulated things it could have been that you (and the speaker and the listener) just imagined, and an argument why it can't be any of those other things, and a condemnation of that argument while still being sympathetic to it, and a set-up for the next move in the dialogue. It seems similar to the show's critique of Baltimore and race relations more generally, and also the critique some make of the show itself, where the twin requirements of "realism" and season renewal encourage the narrative to recur back to the same old problems rather than progressing to ("unrealistic") new social developments. But while I'm fairly sympathetic to that sort of reading of other "realistically" grim shows (see Game of Thrones), I think it's less applicable to The Wire for the same reason that these phrases are not tautologies: there is an implicit progress and lesson in each one -- we ourselves learn and change, even if the words appear not to.
/litcrit beanplating
posted by chortly at 8:08 PM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I yam what I yam!

What's odd about these is how none of them feel (or felt) like tautologies, and none feel as inane as the thousand "it is what it is"s you hear these days.

I always felt they reinforced the cages all the characters were in and with that the crippling sense of fatalism that runs through the show all of which shows human institutions' deplorable absurdity.
posted by juiceCake at 8:12 PM on May 30, 2015


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