“[Mitt] Romney, the Republican candidate from Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah who enjoys a milkshake at the end of a long day, stopped by a staging area for a Martin Luther King Birthday parade here. In his dress shirt and tie, and with his unwavering smile, he walked over and posed for photographs with a group of black youngsters. Putting his arm around a teenage girl, he waved to the cameras and offered, “Who let the dogs out?” He added a tepid ‘woof woof.'”

In related “white people talking like black people” news, I’ve been floored by how well David Simon and his team of middle aged mostly-whiteboy writers repeatedly nail the nuances of conversation on The Wire, from corner kids and dock workers to political campaign strategists. Over and over again, I get sucked in by the way certain characters speak, particularly because this is a show where the best characters are the ones whose ability to speak well keeps all the other characters working for them. My favorites have been Lester Freamon, Prop Joe, Stringer Bell, Senator Clay Davis, Homocide Sargeant Jay Landsman, and Marlo Stanfield. The scenes between Marlo and Proposition Joe have become some of my favorite from the show’s run, mostly because their styles are so completely oppositional. Joe is a talker––slow and methodical, but still a great talker––while Marlo manages to communicate a tremendous amount of power, contempt, and swagger with three or four words punctuated by a drooping of eyelids or a tuck of his chin. His character is the poster child of Season Five’s “More With Less” mantra.

But sometimes the lesser characters–the ones digging in the dirt–get the best lines. My favorite line of dialogue from this season came out of the mouth of one of Michael’s corner boys, when Michael showed up late after going AWOL at Six Flags with his little brother and Dookie. While one of the young’ns dresses down Michael for abandoning his post, another chooses his words more carefully, for greater devastation. He just looks at Dookie, purses his lips, and says, “Nice dolphin, nigga.” Cut to: Dookie, face flushed with shame, standing on the corner with a stuffed dolphin–a prize he won at Six Flags–tucked in the crook of his arm. Outstanding.

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