He has taken on drugs, crime and corruption in Baltimore; and brutalised young soldiers in Iraq. Now David Simon, the creator of the hit TV series The Wire, is to create a drama that treats Hurricane Katrina as an allegory for the financial, social and cultural disasters that have shaken the US over the past year.Hmmm, well, ‘The Wire’ was undoubtedly a smash hit (I’m halfway through series 3 at the moment) but I’m not sure this new series will be.
Filming will start later this year – after the hurricane season abates. The 10- or 12-part drama will be, Simon told the Guardian, "an allegory for the trauma that the country as a whole went through two years later".It’ll be interesting to see just where he places the blame for the substandard work on the levees, since New Orleans has been solidly Democrat for years...
"The fact is that the levees on the canals were substandard, and done on the cheap at an immense profit. Ultimately that becomes a metaphor," he said. "New Orleans was relying on things that were believed to be genuine bulwarks against tragedy and disaster. People felt that there were similar bulwarks protecting our financial institutions and foreign policy. Now, two years on, we are all essentially in the same boat as New Orleans. Katrina was an outlyer of where we are today."
… despite his avowed admiration for Obama, Simon believes the new regime will do nothing to solve the US's drugs problems. "I do not believe that we have the stomach for serious change," he said. "The war on drugs is as disastrous as any government policy has been over the past 50 years, but I do not believe Obama and his people will use their political capital to end it ... If a policy failed this unequivocally in any other part of US life you would cashier the generals. But the drug problem oppresses the poor. If rich kids were wandering the streets stealing car radios we would not be so complacent. But it is easier to brutalise the poor and discard them. We are not a manufacturing economy any more and we don't need our least educated people, so we marginalise them. The cynicism of Reagan and Thatcher still applies."Margaret Thatcher is responsible for the flooding of New Orleans now...?
Not much of a reach, I suppose, she seems to be responsible for everything else, but the people ‘brutalising the poor and discarding them’ in New Orleans for the last couple of decades haven’t been who you seem to think they are, Mr Simon.
Still, it’ll have a good soundtrack:
The show will be, he said, a "homage to one of America's greatest achievements, African-American music. A thousand years from now, if anyone is talking about anything on this rotating orb, and they mention America, they might talk about constitutional government or democracy or baseball – but they will surely talk about blues and jazz. New Orleans is the cradle of all that."Really..? Not rock and roll?