Did somebody say…Dickensian?

You better know what you’re talking about when you talk to David Simon, or you’re going to get skooled:

After watching Simon lead a lively talk at USC about the relationship between journalism and the public, a fresh-faced young man in rumpled khakis started speaking to Simon about the “Machiavellian” nature of a few of this season’s characters. As the post-chat reception continued around him in a narrow law school hallway, you could see Simon’s wheels turning.

“It’s not Machiavellian. You’re misusing the term,” he said flatly, tossing aside the rest of the young man’s statement. Simon then outlined the finer nuances of the “very specific” behavior characterized in “The Prince,” and though the student weakly tried to defend his usage, Simon would have none of it. “[The characters] are ruthless, but they’re not Machiavellian,” he finished with a slight smile.

Did anyone catch McNulty’s reference to “evacuate” this week? It’s almost as though Simon, with the fearsome powers of the Genius, planned it that way!



  1. The fearsome Mz. Nall!

    This newsroom storyline thing is never going to die, is it? 10 years from now, they’ll still be arguing about whether DS was psychotic or accurate.

  2. I think the most interesting part of the article was not his use of “Machiavellian” (I do wonder what DS ‘narrow’ definition of Machiavellian is). Rather, my aha! moment was that the Sun’s ultimate failure is Omar’s obit not making the cut. Or Prop Joe getting just a paragraph. Or:

    “This is why I’m the king of meta,” Simon said with a mischievous grin. “Everything that you know about ‘The Wire’ up to this point never appeared in the newspaper.” He then recounted the many plot points taken from Simon’s real-life Baltimore experiences — the corrupt mayor asking for cooked crime stats, the elementary school test scores spawned from students being taught the tests, the deaths of Prop Joe and Omar — all indicators of the city’s real problems that never appeared in the Sun’s pages, in reality or on HBO. “Watching a TV drama to get the truth, that’s the real joke,” Simon added.

    Also, Cheese Wagstaff is Randy’s Dad… interesting and makes sense. He totally has that “proposition” gene of his late, great-uncle.

  3. BITCH!!!! You forgot to tag that link as a spoiler re: Cheese and Randy. Fuck all.

  4. It’s not actually a spoiler because it didn’t make it into the season. It’s just a bonus trivia fact of sorts…

    Simon said that if he had done the original 13 episodes, it would have made it in.

  5. Good catch on “evacuate”, as i n evacuating buildings, people, and bowels. Simon tells us to read between the lines, too…that is where the story is, at least if we sense the story is wrong. Allow me to plug Craig Crawford’s latest book here…Craig and Craig’s parents visited Rome to get a feel for the true Machiavelli, and Craig’s book emerged from that seed. It’s a primer for modern politics: (from Wikipedia)
    “The Politics of Life: 25 Rules for Survival in a Brutal and Manipulative World] (2007) ISBN 0-7425-5250-0 – a kind of updated Machiavelli according to the author’s homepage.”

  6. Simon also said something about this season bringing everything back full circle. So I expect the drug trade to look absolutely exactly like it did when D got out of court during the first episode. Maybe Marlo, but more likely Avon running the trade.

    The more things change…

  7. Avon running things from in prison, Brother Mouzone and Michael providing muscle, the Greeks providing the product to the Barksdale family. Just business.

    The Greeks have the only product now, it seems, so whoever they choose to deal with, that group owns the corners.

  8. Hey, in case anyone’s interested: Simon is on Fresh Air today. ‘Round these parts that means it’s on at 7 pm. We’ll be listening with interest….

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