'The Wire's" Most Profound Scene: Cutty's Decision To Leave The Game

'The Wire's" Most Profound Scene: Cutty's Decision To Leave The Game

"He a man today."

For a scene to be called the best scene in the best show of all time, "The Wire," it has to be something special.

For context, Dennis "Cutty" Wise is an ex-convict former "soldier," an enforcer for a drug organization essentially responsible for killing people that his superiors wanted dead. He developed a such a strong respected reputation during his time that he was immediately sought out by Avon Barksdale while both were in prison. As rumor had it, he was arrested when he called the police from the scene of a murder he committed.

Upon being released, however, Cutty wants to do something else. However, for an ex-convict that didn't graduate high school, options for employment are limited. Although he tries to do landscaping work, the local Deacon, a religious community figure, suggests he get his GED. Not interested and with options limited, he starts working as an enforcer again for the Barksdale Organization.

Cutty immediately shows his competence with each and every operation he performs for the organization. However, in one instance where Cutty and another enforcer, Slim Charles, are hired to kill a rival dealer, Fruit, Cutty clearly has the kid in his sights, but cannot pull the trigger, giving the kid the opportunity to run away.

From this incident, it's clear that Cutty's conscience will not allow him to be an enforcer anymore. In a meeting with Avon where Slim Charles and Cutty, they discuss why Fruit survived the operation. Cutty admits his shortcoming:

Cutty: "I couldn't squeeze the trigger. Couldn't do it, man."

Avon: "Why not?"

Cutty: "Wasn't in me, I guess."

Avon then offers Cutty another role within the organization, standing on a corner and dealing drugs. But Cutty refuses.

Cutty: "No, man, I ain't making myself clear. The game ain't in me no more. None of it."

Avon: "But you don't got shit else, you know what I'm saying? So what you gonna do?"

Cutty: "I don't know, but it can't be this."

This, to me, is the most pivotal scene in not only Cutty's character development but also one of the most important in the show. The entire character arc of one of the most memorable characters in the show, Stringer Bell, is his attempt to leave "the Game" of drug dealing. Clearly, the Game is all-consuming in the lives of the people in it.

Several die when they try to leave. Several die when it's even suspected or rumored that they snitched and talked to the police, and it says something that it takes someone of Cutty's level of respect and stature within the Game to pull something like this off.

For Cutty, this decision meant potentially losing everything. Although the Game wasn't in him anymore as an enforcer, and although it was toxic for his new moral code, leaving the Game meant incredible financial and economic uncertainty. Cutty lived with his grandmother for most of the series. Leaving the Game meant embracing incredible anxiety.

But Cutty becomes one of the few positive beacons of light and hope in "The Wire." He reforms himself by running a gym for community kids and getting them off the corners and away from the Game, with the help of the Deacon. At one point, he takes a bullet for a kid trying to get him off the streets, and in a memorable scene in Season 5, Cutty tells a kid having trouble holding it together on the streets, Dukie, that "the world is bigger than this," giving him hope.

And Cutty's decision to leave the game, despite how hard it is, is inspirational not only for people in situations like his, but for everyone. It takes a lot of courage, strength, and resilience to accept that something you've been doing your whole life, something you know very well and are good at, isn't for you anymore. To embrace change and start completely over at square one is the last thing most people want to do, yet Cutty saw it as the only option.

It's sad that it takes Cutty's level of spiritual and moral reckoning to enact this change in life, but his story shows that we're all capable of reform. It's just hard and uncertain. For an ex-convict without a high school diploma, what was he supposed to do? Where could he go next?

"I don't know, but it can't be this," has stayed as one of my favorite lines from the show. It is a rejection of the current state of affairs, and no, Cutty's life from there wasn't perfect, and he experienced various failures and sufferings in running his gym, but this decision in this scene put him on a path to change his life. That is something that everyone has to admire.

After Cutty leaves, Slim and Avon discuss Cutty's situation and his decision to leave the Game, and at this point, it speaks volumes that even Avon, the head of a drug organization, respects Cutty's decision profoundly.

Slim: "He was a man in his time, you know?"

Avon: "He a man today."

Cover Image Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckcbl9nxb34

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I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."


This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

Wow. No child deserves to start their life off this way or live this way. What can I do? How can I help? How can I make a difference?

Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

They may be stronger and more mature than you are as an adult. Be kind. Love one another. Make a difference.


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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.


The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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