Saturday, January 26, 2008

Detroit and The Wire

Fans of The Wire, the critically acclaimed HBO crime series set in Baltimore, are probably thinking the situation in Detroit with embattled Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sounds eerily familiar, especially if they happened to catch the trials and tribulations of Herc (above) in Episode 39: Soft Eyes.

Confused about the morning schedule for the Mayor, officer Thomas "Herc" Hauk waits by the truck, loses patience and goes looking for Lieutenant Hoskins, who heads the security detail. Opening doors in his search for his supervisor, Herc is surprised to encounter Mayor Clarence Royce on the receiving end of a robust act of fellatio, courtesy of his secretary. Stunned like a cow with a sledgehammer, Herc stares at the sight for a moment before slamming shut the door. In that moment, the Mayor sees him...Driving Royce, Herc catches the Mayor's eye in the rear view, certain now he's doomed for what he witnessed...Herc seeks out Carver to get advice on how to handle his embarrassing situation with the Mayor, convinced he'll never make rank now. "This is way beyond my pay grade," says Carver, thinking about who to consult...Herc gets advice from the politically connected and astute Major Stanislaus Valchek, who has a different take on Herc's predicament. The Major would like to be in Herc's shoes: "Kid, careers have been launched on a helluva lot less. Just shut up and play dumb."
For more evidence of life imitating art — or perhaps it's the other way around — read the deposition of Officer Walter Harris, a former member of the mayor's security division, as he describes his very Herc-like experiences with Kilpatrick. It's available at Detroit Uncovered about halfway down the page in the right-hand column.

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at