The Wire -- it has monopolized my DVD player since May. As many of you hopefully know, it's a stunning production. And if you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor. Get a Netflix subscription and devote your attention to it for the next few months.
David Simon (the show's creator) has called his HBO series "a political tract masquerading as a cop show." In a piece published in the UK last week -- "The Escalating Breakdown of Urban Society Across the US" -- he writes more directly about the subtext that runs throughout The Wire. The op-ed gets down to this fundamental truth: "There are two Americas - separate, unequal, and no longer even acknowledging each other except on the barest cultural terms. In the one nation, new millionaires are minted every day. In the other, human beings [read: Baltimore and other cities like it] no longer necessary to our economy, to our society, are being devalued and destroyed."