The Creator of the Wire on American Urban Decline

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.”

In oth­er David Simon news, you can catch him in a wide-rang­ing inter­view record­ed ear­li­er this week in San Fran­cis­co. Catch it here. MP3iTunesFeed.


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