Best of 2008: Terence Samuel's picks

As we approach our first anniversary, The Root family looks back on the most memorable essays.

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THE WIRE GOES DEAD: Two of my favorites this year have to do with the end of HBO's miniseries "The Wire."

Stephen Crockett's farewell essay, "The Wire Goes Dead" captured exactly what the show was about and what fans were feeling when it ended. "The Wire" was more than a television show, it was a cultural icon and watching it end was a time of mourning. Crockett delivered the perfect eulogy. He wrote:

"The beginning is the end and the end is this: The children don't win. The cops don't get their man. The streets don't care about the world and the world doesn't care about the streets. The newspaper didn't get the story and lies aren't a side of the story, they're just lies. And that is where The Wire left us, somewhere between truth and lies in a slate-gray space of middle-ness. Not really on one side of the story or the other, just smack dab inside it all: the murkiness of corruption inside the government, on the street and the newspaper. And the only thing we are left with is that there is no truth."

So true.

A CLAY MOMENT: The other piece was Jack White's post-mortem of the Ohio and Texas primary election results. Barack Obama was ahead and trying to shut down a strong challenge from Hillary Clinton. It didn't work, and that left Jack in a bad place.

He described it as "A Clay Moment." "Clinton's path to the nomination is to do the Republican's dirty work for them—and make no mistake, she and her husband are willing to do whatever it takes to win the nomination, including destroying the opponent. If her scorched-earth offensive falls short and Obama becomes the standard-bearer, he will have been weakened severely by her attacks. McCain might be able to recycle her anti-Obama message and ride it to victory."

So wrong!

Terence Samuel is deputy editor of The Root .