in a archived interview on hbo.com david simon, the creator of the wire, mentioned that omar little is the only character on the show that does not curse. simon suggested that omar's inoffensive language is a reflection of the fact that he has not submitted himself to an institution that has failed him and so produced the "debased language of those who are subject to the caprices and indifferences of the institutions they serve." in sum, omar does not curse because he has not capitulated to cynicism that rules the hearts of the other characters.
i was struck by simon's exposition of omar's character, since, by all accounts, omar is one of the most ruthless, violent residents of simon's blighted baltimore. omar is a child of the projects who robs drug dealers of their product for a living, will not hesitate to shoot a hopper who refuses to hand over the product and yet still finds time to find his "church crowned" granny to church once a month. omar piles up as many bodies as anyone, yet he will not deviate from his code by killing civilians, working for hire or distributing his spoils to his neighbors.
obviously, i am not interested in living by omar's particular code, but i am interested in relentlessly upholding the code or calling that Christ has imprinted upon my life. as i reflect upon omar's oddly inspiring life, i wish that my awareness of God's Kingdom, belief in holistic reconciliation and commitment to compassionate incarnation was so overwhelming that i felt compelled to exchange the cynical, despairing words that often proceed from my lips for words that more adequately reflect the beauty, truth and goodness of the God i serve. here's to living a life and utilizing language that is, in its own way, as focused, integrous and committed as omar little's.
Quakers and Threshing Sessions
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