David Simon: “The Angriest Man In Television”

David Simon is best known as a screenwriter, producer and creator of several critically acclaimed television series including Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire and Treme.

“The show is written in a 21st-century city-state that is incredibly bureaucratic, and in which a legal pursuit of an unenforceable prohibition [the war on drugs] has created great absurdity…The show is written in a 21st-century city-state that is incredibly bureaucratic, and in which a legal pursuit of an unenforceable prohibition [the war on drugs] has created great absurdity.”

David Simon said this with great passion, as quoted in The Atlantic article, in which the headline claimed him to be the angriest man in television.

I can name a dozen television folks whose rage far exceeds Simons resentments. What is Simon so angry about?

Is it the war on drugs? Is it the pop culture deterioration of depicting drug use in America? Or is he just speaking out, disregarding the possible ramifications of being honest in Hollywood?

“Simon is the reporter who knows enough about Baltimore to have his story all figured out, but instead of risking the coherence of his vision by doing what reporters do, heading back out day after day to observe, to ask more questions, to take more notes, he has stopped reporting and started inventing.”

This “triumph” in my opinion is nothing more than a career shift. To invent something must you have to observe and report it first? Is that not the scientific method?

He definitely holds some resentment, as told in the article that he had gone on live television announcing– reciting– the full names of people he still holds grudges against… people dating back to his youth and adolescence.

From The Atlantic:

“Simon’s first book, Homicide, was a critically acclaimed work of nonfiction, from which some of the themes, characters, and even stories of The Wire are drawn. (It was also the basis for the 1990s NBC show Homicide: Life on the Street. ) Which raises the question—if your subject is the real world, why deal in fiction?”

In my opinion, people often use fiction as a coping method to deal with reality; it softens the blow of a world-wide epidemic, a problem that has no foreseen solution. When we fictionalize–or dramatize– reality, our minds detach from the facts, the statistics and the images that can never be erased.

Fictionalizing trauma is a commonly used mechanism when needing to subdue pain otherwise buried deep in ones subconscious.

Link to article

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