Political science

Much to my amusement, I read today that the people of Reykjavik, Iceland last month elected a comedian to serve as their next mayor.

Jon Gnarr, 43, who contested the election on behalf of new formation called the “Best Party,” may not know much about public policy. But as the New York Times reports, he at least displays excellent taste in popular entertainment:

With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”

If you follow Gnarr’s advice and actually watch all five seasons of The Wire you may never want to watch television again because everything else on television that you once found worthy of watching will bore you.

And if you make your living in politics or government, The Wire’s bleak truthfulness will not comfort you, though it ought to make you more humble. In its world, like ours, the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike and virtue, always represented in the series by flawed, self-defeating loners, never prevails against the corruption that defines the dysfunctional institutions against which they struggle.

Mr. Gnarr won’t last long, I’m sure.

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