Oz
Obituaries

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West Said Story

After the meeting, Said walks and talks with Adebisi and Arif, expressing surprise at how "chummy in there" the two men were. Adebisi says he just wants McManus fired, and walks away. Said quietly asks Arif just what exactly is going on, and Arif cuts him down: "What do you care? You lost the taste for power, isn't that what you said?" Yes. "Then you're out of this." Ouch. That's what he said. But these underhanded dealings are presently drowned out as an East Village coffee shop's open mic night suddenly breaks out in the form of Poet, standing outside of his pod loudly free associating a verse about "hacks" and "brothers" and "roaches" and the like. The entirety of Em City screams for him to "shut the freak up" calling him a "dumb crasshole." Only they don't say "freak." And they don't say "crasshole." No, sir, they do not. Adebisi approaches and says, "Instead of crying for Kenny and Junior, help me revenge them." But Frenchy is dead. Against whom do we seek this revenge, Poet wants to know. Adebisi indicates a rather substantial sea of white faces and suggests that they might be ripe for a revenging. Downstairs, Hernandez knows Frenchy got the gun from Adebisi. And he's ready to talk to the forking hacks all about it. Only he doesn't say "forking."

On the always-germane-to-the-subject-matter-at-hand television, the inmates are watching a political ad for Devlin's opponent for governor in the upcoming race, Alvah Case. Apparently the people who pay for commercials to be made about him think he's a very, very good man. We are virtually smashed over the head with The Mallet of Visual Irony as we are reminded that Devlin is white, Case is black, Glynn will be running with Devlin, and, as the commercial puts it, "after the riots at Oswald Prison, to whom did even James Devlin turn to sort it out?" That's right, Alvah Case. The commercial's tag line: "Unquestioned integrity. For a change." And the subsequent unquestioned race-related contrivances. For a not change.

Cut to Glynn entering the office of Devlin's henchwoman "Wendy," who doesn't even let him sit down before informing him, "McManus has to go." Glynn responds that her sentiment "seems to be the mantra of the week," apparently even among the non-incarcerated. She shows him a newspaper she calls "The Trib" (an arrestable nickname in and of itself, if you ask me) that screams, "Prison Shooting Leaves Four Dead" right from the front cover. He volleys that he can handle a little bad press, and she responds that McManus has pretty much been at the forefront of every unfavorable development at Oz since he's been there, and she tells Glynn conclusively that he needs "a scapegoat" in all this. And I'll add this line verbatim because I really like it: "He's a weak, limp-wristed liberal, and you've gotta toss him out with the other garbage." Ouch. But really, it's true. And when I'm left speechlessly agreeing with an assemblage of lobbying criminals and a staunchly conservative political adviser who equates "liberal" with "limp-wristed" as if both connote the most base forms of evil, the unifying object of our eye-rolling disdain should consider hitting the road. And fast.

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Oz

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