Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘where criminals gone

“The Wire”, David Simon, the ghettos, and America systems…

David Simon is not necessarily the “angriest person on TV America” but he showed the reality of the dysfunctional tragedy of communities on the side-road in America systems, episodes that hugely angered the citizens before Occupy Wall Street protests. Simon, the creator and director of the series “The Wire” (2002-2008) described the US system through this typical City of Baltimore, where he worked as journalist for 15 years.

Before undertaking the creation and direction of “The Wire” on HBO, Simon related his experiences in a book that inspired NBC Homicide and HBO The Corner.

Bill Moyers interviewed David Simon, and I am translating liberally portions from the French weekly magazine Courrier International.  Simon is not to resume this series, he is out of The Wire because stories should have a beginning, an end, and a timeline, otherwise, the stories get distorted and the characters broken.

Individuals out of detox programs, usually about the age of 30-35, as they return to their original quarter inevitably wonder: “What the F am I doing here?” As a youth, the drug addict has plenty of issues and problems, and they constitute the majority of the population (about 15%) that the system has no need of in the production and development process.  The addicted youth and drug dealers are not stupid: They comprehend that the system want them “out of the system of normal productive people” and want them to fend for themselves and the system refuse to care for them, or come to the rescue.

Statistics are deformed and reconstructed to show distorted realities in the police force, in public schools, in crime rate, in success stories…

As a journalist,” I covered stories with eyes to the outside. In The Wire, I covered with eyes turned inside the system, how it works in details…For example, police forces get promoted by checking the computer statistics on the “performance” of a police officer. Consequently, a police officer has advantage paying visits to the poorer quarters, check the content of the pockets of individuals for small quantity of drugs, and show up in court 30 or 40 times a month and registering a “hit”.  Serious crimes require to invest plenty of time and energy and barely the officer register a single performance on records. Fact is, not a single point of sale of drugs has been closed in Baltimore.  As long as our economy is based on the market, what the system only know how to manoeuvre within, war on hard drugs is doomed to failure.  The courageous political decision is to legalize drug…”

(If crimes are given weights commensurate to the seriousness of the crime (homicide, rape…), then officers might consider doing their most important job: Focusing on the serious crimes…) Why, if the police force is pretty lukewarm going after serious crimes, could we account for the dramatic reduction in violent crimes?

David Simon said: “The critical key to comprehending how the poor quarters in the US cities got to mushroom is that school materials are intrinsically linked to the “street culture”.  We can demonstrate the linkage between the decline of the industrial age and the deficiencies in public schools, schools that are smokescreen institutions in the non-favored quarters. The Wire recounts the stories of that section in the US society and communities, which were left on the side road, and nobody care to remedy to them…”

During a graduation ceremony at Loyola College in Baltimore (2007), Simon asked the students to look up the term “Oligarchy” (political system run by a small group of individuals…).  He said: “We should desist believing the fraudulent ideology that states “what is good for the majority is good for the nation. I will not tolerate to be lied at… And I refuse to keep lying to myself and to the citizens… 50% of blacks in Baltimore are out of a job. You cannot claim that this is a viable economic system that is functioning well…””

Note: David Simon, born in Washington in 1960, worked for 15 years as an investigative reporter and journalist in the Baltimore Sun. Between 2002 and 2008, HBO diffused the series “The Wire” directed by Simon.  The episodes of The Wire acquired popular success in the form of DVD and video on demand.  The newer series “Treme” (HBO since 2010)  is covering the daily life in the city of New Orleans, after the hurricane Katrina




May 2023

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