The Wire Creator David Simon on the End of the American Century

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The other day I saw this video appear in the (hyper)stream of C4Chaos' Facebook feed. Being a huge fan of the HBO series The Wire I definitely wanted to have a look at that, and the lecture by David Simon is well worth the time. What's it all about? Well, founder and editor of Wired magazine Kevin Kelly wrote a great passage about the lecture, so I'll leave the introduction to him:

"In this lecture David Simon, the creator of TV mega-hit the Wire, riffs on prisons, cities, unions, newspapers, taxation, globalism and the American dream with more intelligence and truth than anyone I've heard in a long while. I don't consider myself politically Left, and normally I don't have much patience with bleeding heart cry-baby accusations against capitalism, but man, I could not stop listening and feeling Simon has his finger on the titanic dynamics at work in the what was once called the United States of America. Some people wonder where the Left went in America. David Simon may now be its most articulate spokesperson. I don't agree 100% but I believe he is speaking truth to power. You should watch the whole thing".

Before moving to the video, there are few resources around these parts that you might want to check out in regards to The Wire. I posted a video of The Wire's 100 Greatest Quotes, which started a debate after I called it "perhaps the greatest TV show ever", and TJ posted a piece about The Wire As An Obscure Victorian Novel. For a meta-view of the evolution of culture and consciousness in popular entertainment, of which HBO and David Simon's work have played a central part, see TJ's essay Popular Entertainment Gets Brainer.

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  • Comment Link David Marshall Saturday, 05 November 2011 00:43 posted by David Marshall

    Hey, Trevor. I skimmed through this and listened to about a quarter hour of it. I liked what I heard and may go back and listen to the rest later.

    I certainly agree with what he said at the end, that the drug war is madness start to finish. It's especially appalling when we look at Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras and see what havoc it has wreaked there, to say nothing of Colombia and other South American countries.

    Mexico is in a state of civil war as the result of the drug war. Guatemala and Honduras are also threatened. Legalize drugs, and we deprive not only all those drug gangs of money (and therefore guns)but many U.S. gangs as well. Then we are mostly left with just the medical/psychological problem of excessive drug use and addiction.

    I imagine everyone agrees with me here at Beams and I'm just singing to the choir. But goodness, isn't it appalling? You would think that maybe what is happening in Mexico would change the political atmosphere a little, but I don't see that it has.

    Maybe Obama in a second term would try to do something about it. Of course, I hoped the same thing about Bill Clinton as well. The Obama administration is clamping down on legal marijuana in California, and I have heard it suggested that the reason is because some pharmaceutical company is coming out with a synthetic THC product. I don't know if that is true, but I certainly hope it isn't.

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