Ari says:

The Wire is the Best Show Ever (the “ever” makes this a history post). And Matthew Yglesias has been blogging about it for a long time. So check out his post from yesterday — and especially the comments. David Simon himself showed up to rebut Yglesias’s main point. Very cool. But also: very intimidating. This internet thing is kinda neat-o. You never know who’s paying attention.

I wanted to preserve Simon’s comment for posterity; it’s below the fold along with another comment I saw today and thought to keep.

Enjoying this.
Writing to affirm what people are saying about my faith in individuals to rebel against rigged systems and exert for dignity, while at the same time doubtful that the institutions of a capital-obsessed oligarchy will reform themselves short of outright economic depression (New Deal, the rise of collective bargaining) or systemic moral failure that actually threatens middle-class lives (Vietnam and the resulting, though brief commitment to rethinking our brutal foreign-policy footprints around the world). The Wire is dissent; it argues that our systems are no longer viable for the greater good of the most, that America is no longer operating as a utilitarian and democratic experiment. If you are not comfortable with that notion, you won’t agree with some of the tonalities of the show. I would argue that people comfortable with the economic and political trends in the United States right now — and thinking that the nation and its institutions are equipped to respond meaningfully to the problems depicted with some care and accuracy on The Wire (we reported each season fresh, we did not write solely from memory) — well, perhaps they’re playing with the tuning knobs when the back of the appliance is in flames.
Does that mean The Wire is without humanist affection for its characters? Or that it doesn’t admire characters who act in a selfless or benign fashion? Camus rightly argues that to commit to a just cause against overwhelming odds is absurd. He further argues that not to commit is equally absurd. Only one choice, however, offers the slightest chance for dignity. And dignity matters.
All that said, I am the product of a C-average GPA and a general studies degree from a state university and thirteen years of careful reporting about one rustbelt city. Hell do I know. Maybe my head is up my ass.
If The Wire is too pessimistic about the future of the American empire — and I’ve read my Toynbee and Chomsky, so I actually think a darker vision could be credibly argued — no one will be more pleased than me as I am, well, American. Right now, though, I’m just proud to see serious people arguing about a television drama; there’s some pride in that. Thanks.
D. Simon
Baltimore, Md.
Posted by David Simon | January 2, 2008 6:12 PM

“Dignity matters.” Right on.

And now, for less dignity, this fine end of a comment on Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

*Memo to self: if you ever start a blog may it…

1) Be as good as The Edge of The American West

2) May it have its url be the same as its name, rather than just similar, unlike that of The Edge of the American West:
Incontinentia Buttocks | 01.02.08 – 6:43 am | #

I like to think of it as an endearing quirk.