‘This game is rigged, man’ – 25 best food moments from The Wire

I’m not a fan of slideshows, but this one at least has enough videos that you can watch almost an entire episode’s worth of The Wire. First We Feast compiled their 25 favorite food-related scenes from The Wire, and because this blog is a repository for The Wire themed link bait, I am posting it. Here’s number 12.

Season: Four
Episode Name: “Final Grades”

After getting charges dropped on Bodie, McNulty takes him for some lunch in a park over near Pimlico. This meeting prefigures the circumstances that lead to Bodie being killed, as having close dealings with a cop eventually gets him pegged as a snitch. Still, lunch acts as a common ground, a sort of neutralizer of roles. Over sandwiches in the arboretum, McNulty is not a cop for a moment, and Bodie not a lieutenant for Marlo. They are just a couple of guys working in two separate systems that are screwing them over. This is the second time that lunch brings the two together not as cat and mouse, but as two men who respect each other.

‘This game is rigged, man’ – 25 best food moments from The Wire

David Simon: “Fuck the average reader”

This conversation between Nick Hornby and David Simon is almost 5 years old, but new to me (I think?).

On writing:

My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.

It’s all pretty great (read: bloggable (readable, too)), but this about Baltimore pride was funny:

If the ghetto dick-grab were known to me in 1985, I might’ve held on to mine when I uttered the following: “I’m from Baltimore. And I can tell you what ‘active’ means. It means we kicked his ass.” An empty moment floated through the crypt, and the other Americans on the tour just about died. At that instant, I felt it was a good thing I didn’t go on with what I knew, because Ross was actually mortally wounded at North Point by two Baltimoreans with squirrel rifles who crept through the brush and shot him off his horse, infuriating the British, who sent an entire detachment of Royal Marines to kill the sharpshooters, named Wells and McComas. (They are buried under a monument in the heart of the East Baltimore ghetto and have streets named after them near the fort.)

Via @weegee

David Simon: “Fuck the average reader”

David Simon is sorry

It’s interesting, the response generated pretty much any time show runners discuss their shows, especially if the shows are beloved shows like The Wire. We own these shows now, not the creators, actors, etc, so anything they say can be taken the wrong way. This phenomenon of a transfer of ownership always fascinates me and it was illustrated again yesterday when Facebook bought Instagram. It’s a good thing for a brand/product for this to happen, it means people care enough to invest personally, emotions and feelings, in what you’re doing.

Last week, The Wire creator David Simon was interviewed in the New York Times seemingly criticizing people for showing up to watch The Wire 4 years after it went off the air.

The number of people blogging television online — it’s ridiculous. They don’t know what we’re building. And by the way, that’s true for the people who say we’re great. They don’t know. It doesn’t matter whether they love it or they hate it. It doesn’t mean anything until there’s a beginning, middle and an end. If you want television to be a serious storytelling medium, you’re up against a lot of human dynamic that is arrayed against you. Not the least of which are people who arrived to “The Wire” late, planted their feet, and want to explain to everybody why it’s so cool. Glad to hear it. But you weren’t paying attention. You got led there at the end and generally speaking, you’re asserting for the wrong things.

In an interview with Alan Sepinwall, Simon clarified his comments.

And through a miscommunication — probably my fault, I have no way of knowing — I have apparently told everybody that I don’t want the show watched except on Sunday night at 10 o’clock, which apparently is the exact opposite of things I’ve been saying in interviews for years. It is contradictory of everything I’ve said before. I’m reading it in the paper and I’m not making sense to myself. Sorry. My bad.

Turns out his comments had more to do with the recent Grandland.com The Wire character tournament.

The comments I made that seem to critique viewers who found “The Wire” late were not so intended. I thought, when I made that remark, that I was speaking to the reporter not about viewers in general, but specifically about folks pursuing the recent bracket-tourneys about best characters, shows, scenes, etc.

Via David

David Simon is sorry

Treme Trailer

“Treme”, David Simon’s latest premiers Aprill 11 on HBO. The show and Simon got the
New York Times Magazine treatment on Sunday…

The story lines in “Treme” begin three months after Katrina, and they follow a diverse group of characters as they rebuild their lives in a city torn apart, a city in which tens of thousands of houses are abandoned, in which only 50 percent of the population remains, in which neighborhoods are still without power. The main characters in “Treme” aren’t the overburdened cops, spiraling addicts, ruthless dealers, struggling dockworkers, corrupt politicians or compromised journalists of “The Wire.” In their place, for the most part, are musicians.

http://www.hbo.com/bin/hboPlayer.swf?vid=1085428

Treme Trailer

David Simon’s Senate Testimony on the Newspaper Business

Last week, David Simon was invited to testify in front of the Senate Commerce Committee and had some good stuff to say, along with some ridiculous. (Ridiculous stuff, thoroughly explored in this Gawker post.)

Simon’s testimony touches on what he sees as the reasons for the downfall of newspapers. He’s mostly right on why newspaper’s aren’t good anymore, but the lack of quality reporting (which Simon says is due to cuts by management) isn’t what keeps me from buying the paper. I doubt that’s why you don’t buy it, either. Simon has a little Buzz Bissinger in him, dismissing the idea and quality of news-gathering bloggers, but not hating on them in the same Buzzy way. I’ve heard Simon use snippets of this before in other places, but still worth skimming all the way.

Good:

What I say will likely conflict with what representatives of the newspaper industry will claim for themselves. And I can imagine little agreement with those who speak for new media. From the captains of the newspaper industry, you will hear a certain martyrology – a claim that they were heroically serving democracy to their utmost only to be undone by a cataclysmic shift in technology and the arrival of all things web-based. From those speaking on behalf of new media, weblogs and that which goes twitter, you will be treated to assurances that American journalism has a perfectly fine future online, and that a great democratization in newsgathering is taking place.

Better:

But when that same newspaper executive then goes on to claim that this predicament has occurred through no fault on the industry’s part, that they have merely been undone by new technologies, feel free to kick out his teeth. At that point, he’s as fraudulent as the most self-aggrandized blogger.

Best:

Similarly, there can be no serious consideration of public funding for newspapers. High-end journalism can and should bite any hand that tries to feed it, and it should bite a government hand most viciously. Moreover, it is the right of every American to despise his local newspaper – for being too liberal or too conservative, for covering X and not covering Y, for spelling your name wrong when you do something notable and spelling it correctly when you are seen as dishonorable. And it is the birthright of every healthy newspaper to hold itself indifferent to such constant disdain and be nonetheless read by all. Because in the end, despite all flaws, there is no better model for a comprehensive and independent review of society than a modern newspaper. As love-hate relationships go, this is a pretty intricate one. An exchange of public money would pull both sides from their comfort zone and prove unacceptable to all.

Be sure to read the whole thing so you can giggle aloud when Simon suggest (teehee!) collusion! (Thanks, Matt)

David Simon’s Senate Testimony on the Newspaper Business

5 The Wire Links for Monday Morning

What better way to start Monday morning than 5 links about The Wire, 2 of which come from TVTattle.

In this article, David Simon talks about an idea for a new project about the CIA. Yes, please. Also discussed is his project on the fight for desegregation in Yonkers’ public housing and what happened after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

Also, I must have known about the Treme (pronounced trah-may) pilot, but can’t remember hearing about it. It’s about New Orleans post-Katrina and is heavy in the music.

Here are 12 interviews between stars of the show and Hobo Trashcan.

While this where are they now is a bit depressing. Would expect some of these folks to get more than guest roles on police procedurals.

Finally, this last link from The Daily Record has a headline saying “Cops use skills from TV show The Wire to trap drug dealers”, but then goes on to describe what sounds like a normal police bust. Unless, of course, cops in Scotland spent preceding years using different techniques like “just ask the bad guys to come in” and “pretend there’s no crime.”

Bonus link: Of course, the above link might stem from the fact that the UK is supposedly going through The Wire fever since it just started airing terrestrially on BBC2 at the end of March.

5 The Wire Links for Monday Morning