You can bet that I’m going to link to any post that uses The Wire to school denominational hierarchy, as Wesley Hill does here:
That seems counterintuitive given the focus of “The Wire.” The HBO drama aired from 2002 through 2008 and centers on drug trafficking and the police force in West Baltimore. It’s brilliant — albeit deeply unsettling — television, so much so that multiple universities now offer classes on the show to introduce students to its unflinching portrait of modern urban poverty. David Simon, the creator of “The Wire,” has been outspoken about his belief that “$%!# rolls downhill,” or put differently: hierarchical organization of institutions inevitably benefits those at the top and takes advantage of those occupying the support roles in the pyramid. “The Wire,” Simon has said, is “cynical about institutions, and about their capacity for serving the needs of the individual.”
Despite this apparent tension with what we’re about here at Call & Response — Christian institutions and their flourishing — I think Simon’s show offers us an important perspective on what a commitment to institutions amounts to — and what may be its cost.