« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 698 - David Simon

2016-04-14 | 🔗
David Simon is the creator of arguably the greatest television show in history. He cemented his reputation as a hard-nosed, truth-seeking journalist. But when David walks into the garage, he's a lot like Marc: A guitar-loving Jewish kid who still thinks he's going to screw things up. David and Marc spend over an hour talking about The Wire, Homicide, Treme, Baltimore, newspapers, politicians, the Talmud, and the truth.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All I would do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodied, what the buccaneers, what the fuck's authors, what the fuck wads what's happening a mark. and this is my podcast- welcome to it how housing buddy doing I'm back from my midwest jaunt my dates, my dates in the mid west. I will tell you about those and and and we can neither pretty sure. I remember my speculations, I think they were pretty clothes. They were pretty fuckin clubs today on the show, the amazing David Simon, is here not a guy, talking a lot, but when a man Using talent this guy, created the wire homicide. Life on the street was based upon. His book is done, the tram may
He did this thing called the coroner that some, you might remember, he generation kill any star as a journalist, then I was, fascinating conversation, so that is coming. On the pike towards you into your head right through these add phones that you're wearing or, however you're doing it. Your computer, your speaker, perhaps your listening on a pair of old clip corns, nice and loud on on a vintage couch. I don't know that's on you. I, before I get you too, to caught up in whatever I need to tell you what we did. We re launched our sight. We re launch w g of pod dot com. It's now powered by square space, go check it out You can listen to the show their search for anyone who has ever been on the show there. You can sign up for the news whether they can buy merge. You can check my tour counter. It's all. There are eight and it's Therefore, if you're wondering where the comments are well, we don't have comments anymore. Sorry, Walkable hate, nerd army. Sorry
go. Do some agenda driven trolling somewhere else? I recently had a run it thea the s s swash, aunt semitic, division of the Fucking hate nerd army was is pretty. Pretty exciting stuff, pretty sad, pretty vapid, pretty disappointing as an american but anyways back to the point, you can basically the site. You can still still do everything. If you really want to comment. The linked to our facebook, ages there, and I- and I look at that- and people look at that. That's basically the fan page for the show where we post the episodes, so you can still do that there and it's just away it's it's gonna be it was actually really the way it was on the site anyway, so you can still comment: dump expert can use the lake on site right, pre, exciting it looks. It looks fuckin cool me. Is it really looks cool? So I so I'm back, I'm back out. The let's go.
Over it. I had a pretty amazing time. shows- and I was sitting at the mission creek fast hope was pretty amazing in lincoln nebraska. Also great show kansas city turned out to be pretty amazing. It was a big hall, as they say it was a big old theater, but damn about eight hundred people in there and they. What they did is the balconies were black. That's what they say: they they is to raise the balconies, they were just hanging over all of us as an absence of of well. That would have had an amazing time. How is it I m framing like that, but by ear he hears what goes down. Here's what have I I flew in when two I was city or just outside. I was city whatever airport. That is took the little plain. the little one register just you and a few other people try now not dag, nervous, looking at the scenery, locomotion line into the great expanse the space that is the
section at his country, but I got there check in with the people met lisa percy. The actress and now amazing photographer who was there the festival touring with her photographs of new york from the air from the seventies? he came up to me out of nowhere and just said sharply sent me told me to call you sharkey so sharply. I guess has a nickel. for me, but she took me over to her shower. She was gonna, give a talk, because his mission, creek festivals, pretty big festival, Kevin smith- was there to day me and I introduce militaries Y got that was cool. Maybe I'll get him in here. Some day and then the show. Is it this? This beautiful theatre there, the inward packed it I guess it's about. Eight hundred nine urge your people, and I knew I told you what was going to happen. I knew my first day out do in the long thing, and I did two hours- just improvise new shit. Most we mostly knew she had very little old. She had so stuff is coming together. We had great time at the show and in got in the car the next day drove
lincoln nebraska for my own city. To lincoln nebraska mean you think I mean some people sort of through the the mid west in the flatness, but I thought it was glorious. I live in LOS angeles just to be, a highway in moving like fast, I driving proper we on the highway was a charming. this luxury, because I live in this fucking place where you Never do that ever so it was beautiful. And I wonder why people complain about it. Like a united people complain about the mid west, sometimes that it's a difficult place to live, but it's just a different way of life. I mean I found a very meditative to be driving through the agnes, and there were moments rise like what could people here be upset about? This is beautiful by feel my brain breathing, but then, I start to go really look at it like wow, there's, really nothing out here, her boy guy. This is bleak and then you gotta get back to like it's beautiful space wool man. What's going on out there what's goin on a farm house, I can't be good
that's the big city paranoia creepin in when you're kind of overseas. He waited constantly by noises. It might be gunshots, it's easy, given a little space to become incredibly suspicious of a farm. I was mad everything evil that's ever existed has got to be going on in that farmhouse, probably not probably just a farmer sitting there having coffee looking despondent waiting for the plant or when whatever they call the sewing of the fields, perhaps being bitter about the. The other guys fields, eddie she's, just a just down the way or just passed. His acreage think that guy isn't fucking know at a grow corn? I assume there some farmer, baroness around I drove down a kansas city. I was excited about kansas city because I wanted to eat barbecue cassettes. I use as excuse de barbecued ass, a barbecue town.
so I put it out there in the world wash I go get barbecuing. I literally did it right. When I got to the hotel in Kansas city, there was a bunch of options: Oklahoma, Joe's kansas city, Joe's whatever the joes was, they were closed or gates. I didn't feel I'd gone gates have been there years ago. It's not bad q, thirty nine lotta people said they would do a little while she she to me, I'm sure it's very good food. I wanted some dirty fuckin casey barbecue. And arthur brilliancy original arthur Brian's was about a mile and a half away, and I went to that place and I got it. I got a meat tray got, some burnt ends got some pulled pork and I got some fuckin kansas city ribs a little bit of coleslaw with that amazing sauce and some white bread and pickles, and it was fucking spectacular. sure, there's prettier food, but is that what you want from by rikiu or you want to go with- is a bunch of pictures on the walls, people that have been there. You could say it's a tourist attraction, but the who cares is not really it's the same place. It's out,
it's been in there, it was and that sauce was tangy and had a little punch to it is fucking spectacular. I think it's still in my intestines to Kansas city, as concerned as you knew, as you know, but tat. This space was huge Beautiful that mid when theatre. It was great, it was beautiful, beautiful! you're, all the theatres that I was ever built in the twenties and its must have seated about twenty two hundred. But me I sold eight hundred nets, that's good for me at a what I get in a nice small city and the people were excited, I did summer some full on neurotic improv, and I did I did a lot of new material. Did a few old classics, not even that old just from the special dad met a few people outside and it was fun, did a few photos all in all good trip, and I feel good about myself. I feel good about midwest. I feel good about america and americans, I'm serious
it's easy to judge. When you don't go, it's just there's a little more space. it's a different way of life, but the people were great people and we have good shows I ran into another kid some kid I knew from seeing some kid comes out to me like. I know. Do you know who I am and I'm like holy shit yeah. I do your mark. I used to live in the house with me in somerville and Davis square thirty years ago That was a housemaid a mine from thirty years ago. Was there we ve? Even you can get along that great when we were living together he's kind of an odd ball, but man it was great to see him and we hung- We talked for like an hour and then, after the show, we got some pie talk some more caught up do on this. How do you think? It's weird? You know you have memories, but you gotta, you gotta, you gonna blow the dust off him, sometimes get back in m sir liking abroad. The dust off and climb back into your memories, full on emotionally connected and just and just you'll, get a sense a who you were what you are now and I
and feel the warmth of those there. Those old mistakes in those old they're happy things. It was good man, it was good. I too right now it's my pleasure to share with you my conversational dared Simon. I need to I need you to know. He was one of those guys has only been a few right when you into this garage. He picked up that old K. Guitar and day was like he was Sienna a meeting, a new friend yeah. That's a good way to start with me, anytime, anytime, you coming they get guitar. I my guide. I know a little bit about this guy. Now I did in David Simon, I like the fact that, at some point that was the thing for you plainly tolerating forever No, not really. Some guys go sports. Some guys go stupid.
and then there are the guys that they do music. I, if I could have done anything that wasn't derivative like that. Wasn't a learned riff from somebody else, but you gotta start there. I never got past that. I mean you know I I can string riffs together break, I have, I cannot do them. The thing of we improvising went yelling. Lessons can play just piano much ass, a whole different level, but what we plan blue is mostly blues and sort of whose rock mostly I think, we're reality. Fifty four fifty five soil about the same age, so you are, how, when you play the easier majority in us like twelve, he added to write so in air. What you did you lose your first album weirdly my, for it might have been the beatles second album yeah, I dunno. Why and then I remember having over beethoven yeah that roll over beethoven was like that, was it the chuck berry beginning. I like, like learning that was the most important thing in my life, and I didn't
until high school, and it's pretty simple you too. What yeah I love truck very I, but he's a big deal and we learn that stuff in it. But the chicago blue stuff is what sort of caught me very early, the older staff for their like a muddy and allow more like how elastic five member ban. Walter obviate. That was my shit and, and I found them largely the usual route through the rolling stone, rice credence and and You know I just could never I could copy stuff, but I could never bring any insight to it. Musically in ireland I was just always thinking high school jazz ban here- and I was always like a half measure behind the band unite, oh shit, they met flatted, seventh yeah. I guess I couldn't live shells, but but my son can't I may play guitar and piano uneasy relentless in the event. He actually
college now he's been playing he's been fronting, not front these other from it. He's the keyboard, player and kind of one of your rangers and songwriters free a amid oh yeah, eleven, p, stackpole, really up in Boston and yeah they're, coming to the end of their run because we're all getting ready to graduate right right right, so it's like, but I think, he's going to go into music so that bad, that's a proud thing like when the when the sun kind of picks up then does Something amazing that you wanted to do yeah. Well, it's it's sort of it's in the tradition, because my dad wanted to be a newspaper reporter. Oh really, yeah, and- and I don't know that I us Moses. I chose that be, could tell to sort of please him, but it happened and not, and so Well, what was the first thing that compelled you to do that I mean like: when did your dad to do? He never did any journalism or he did. He did briefly. He he was the managing editor of the paper it and why you re always a major,
and you're. So that would have him back authorities yet millay third right and he graduated and went to work use of In a brief, he was a stringer. I know for the hudson county dispatch and he was freelancing ohio or around new york and trying to get picked up on a paper and then For me one of the army and when he came out of the army, my brother was born. Forty six, pretty cool and an he needed to get married near a little bit more than than you could be for being a newspaper right right here. He went to pr, but he ended up being a poem. patients guy in dealing with reporters hike. There were four is over my house all the time. Why did he pay are for a jewish shirts organization in the neighbour. If I dominate As you know, many rough baby. I owe you where you been able the authorities there you and be. While now I was in the other one, the younger? U s, why are you doing it right was. I was called the night sitting. I give briefly briefly what
He was the pure direct rats moved us from new york to wash he was a pr director for the vienna, the the whole organization, the international. vulgar and how? Usually you brought up? You know. Bar mitzvah fully I suburban judiciary area when it when it the Coen brothers movie. I saw a man as serious as you like. Isn't that the most familiar thing you ever saw in your life, I'm watching it I'm thinking this is a documentary. This is a goddamn documentary and it was just so beautifully written. It's the story of job, yes, yeah right, it's so beautifully rendered, yet that I'm watching it. I'm thinking, oh my god, right down to the oh. It's amazing right down to the you know going going to yeah you to go to hebrew school. you know when you twelve or thirteen issues like I can't bear very idea. Just where's my marijuana yeah, I was a terror to hebrew school teacher. I mean it was like he wasn't real school, so you might as well just push the buttons of the teachers. I just was the
Well, issues that you sort of burned out you didn't the. I wrote a piece in sport last year yeah. I, if you saw this, there was a baseball, player in my youth, who is jewish. As for the washington senators MIKE Epstein, he actually played for oakland and he's my way at all. When I all I heard about sandy kovacs for my entire right, she only jewish with baseball sure there weren't any you gathered around them, but we, you know to have the this power hitting first baseman playing for my terrible local team. He was such a hero to me yeah and I actually had the moment of praying to god in the men's room in the men's room, the boys' room of rockery forced elementary school. Thank dear god, if you let Epstein hit a home run right now, I will never skip school again and he jacked one into the upper end on deck, and I feel- and I remember and still see my face like cheering in that oxidize mirror yet go here, and I know is I realize- oh, no one. I just promise guide
Of course, I'm skipping hebrew school. I got it two weeks later and now you gotta get on the straight and narrow yeah. So after that, Epstein got traded to oakland and then the whole team moved and became the texas rangers so clearly the old testament. God was not going to be appeased by my performance if you've ever like tried to. A few pages of torment, and I have to set such an interesting dynamic of like high we're gonna base. We treat us like a legal text near here in order to try to figure out the Torah and figured out down to like an animated, pertinent, mature opinions dissenting opinions dissenting on the sand and any rate and you realize my god this is thanks. of years of argue of my dinner table. How are you doing of of like five jews in opinion? So you he always hated him when you grew up yeah but like art, but never Malevolent aright was sort of my brother said bessy argument with sport. Magenta to you,
I have said I had a sister. She passed away very cancer, but there were three of us and I was much younger. My my brother is fourteen years older than me. My sister was ten, so I was the kid and so like a lot of the arguments were flying over my head, but you absorb this stuff, mostly politics or what your politics, I I have distinct memories of being eight years old and hearing the fury at the table in nineteen sixty eight, you know my sister was about the war yeah. My sister was for Kennedy, my brothers from Mccarthy and and my father was from and all democrats well, listen is gradations of liberal right additions of jewish libretto of new deal democratic right, and that was that was my childhood unknown. Did you find? When did your interests become sort of india?
itched about it because you, what did you do when you went to college? Where did you study when I started as a journalism? Major and I wanted to be a newspaper reporter from his thirteen fourteen, I sort of suggestion just because your dad or something else I was just in the ether my house is floating around me that we took three newspapers yeah, you know we we we took the times. On sunday we took the Washington post's washington star, we discussed current events, you know it. We discussed the writers in the paper really the family was that engage that sophisticated is nice. It was, and you know it was a. It was a. It was a there were three book. It was basically a three bedroom rancher with yeah. You know where there were wall to wall bookshelves on about three rooms. ray wishes. My fought, my father was not somebody who you know. He headed the press, in sort of sensibility about the world, you know it came to export of hope cuisine or, like you know, I I I
My food was invented and nineteen, forty five, we there's nothing. You can show me it's like he always fellow. He was all game being right or yet mosey able to enjoy things at yet. But those eyes says is that, but in a hard back book, that's worth ever you want to charge before our hit a paper back. Why would I want to own a paper back when I could own yet been other harder? That was the house. It was a house of our, an idea was, I am grateful for it was. It was interesting as iona obama sat there no no, I know and and then I what I watched years, this chair, yeah, okay, yeah me, but he summoned you, you know variety, a they didn't. Let me sit in his chair right, we probably didn't add. I had to come out to highland park for that look good, but I watched that thing was a very interesting thing, I I d. Do you know why why that happened? I know exactly what happened you taught. Let me just set it up. A little busy show you were. You were asked to by the president.
I just have a conversation. You wanted pick your brain about drugs policy unaware yeah, I mean it was a little bit. It was a little bit of a stage thing in the sense of I can tell by the shots. Yes, there was this. There was this one day conference near and I normally don't like to get involved in sort of government. I you know you can be conference to death. Thing ever happens right every now, and then this was because the answers were everybody from like nick newt gingrich to donna Brazil. It was this truly by parson thing about trying to reduce the prison population right and, of course, has been my my thing from at fifty years is: would you consider that your primary agenda, you If I have a specific thing that I've sort of focused on it would be ending the drug war and trying to I'm talking down the drug war. Every chance I get ryan trying to trying to reduce the prison relation and an end: zero tolerance and militarist, policing and all that stuff. I think I think it's been a disaster for the country. So here comes
the moment and I really don't want to get involved, but they say look. We have a real chance at doing this in the last two years. The presents right and why don't you want you do ten minutes on a panel and like I reluctantly said yes once I said yes to the group, which was sort of an adjunct of of administration people. This cocking from one They said, instead of his usual remarks to the luncheon, you already tapes, six minutes the present instead like to have a conversation with you so and figure out how to say. Yes or maybe even yes, sir, he yet. But what will your feelings initially mine feeling was if this is actually gonna happen. I have to wear a jack s. Work out. New tie. You know- and I remember my second thought was I got sons, gonna wanna, come to me, the white house right so he came down from college is couch part. We excited
to the president that yeah I mean listen. I admire the sky yeah. I do in these come who left the democratic and I've I've said The end- and I think, sort of the last eight years have borne me out. I think this is a good man with with an wise man and I think, he's he's in a rigged system, yeah Actually it was sort of surprising to hear him say that in a state of the union whose busy saying it doesn't matter it's, not all about who we elect its about what system with the system is at this point and also of thinking about the fuckin future. I mean it like here. Sometimes you see the the kind of them, though lack of movement cause of ideology, principles: money where you, I don't need it Dont, doesn't anyone realized it we're supposed to live on? Well, burns my writing pierre on the wire. He had a very good line about this. He said nobody plants, olive trees in american politics, which is this tree, and in seven years you might get an olive yeah
but there's no other. What, if you want to know if there's no other things do plant the tree and be patient, and there is policy. That is firstly considered by this country if it can't yield something before the next congressional election cyclists. It's so cynical and we have to assume that you know that that they may be more on, but they they can't be that nihilism Eric, I don't think they're morons. I think that I think them there. The money his trap them, which is to say the supreme court, basically said please purchase or government, at whatever rate, and whenever level of of of expenditure you wish me. I said that mass capital and if you read this peace by steve, Israel in inom in the new york times. As he's he's leaving and he's basically saying good news, you'll be able to take my phone calls now in my district. Without me, hawking you for money because
know the hours that we spend just chasing the dollars so that we can throw two million dollars into this race and they throw two million only for another two million. You know what they have opened up: the Pandora's box of money. It's destroyed, one of branches the presidency still the presidency righto, it still populous ratio. Get the votes, get the talk of the supreme court, whether you agree with these nine justice, united still what it is congresses just pay for its response. he added the legislator. Branch of our government is the money laundering operation it's been given over to capital and and it's in capital is there to preserve profit yeah I mean it's. If there is nothing more sociopath, the man and when you approaches ino crew, Natively or with you know your projects, you you take these ideas Amelia. Obviously, the purchase the government and the de the prison industrial complex. Our sort of tuesday
they're dead there. That's part of that right I mean. Certainly the privatisation of prison right was was now. I mean the notion that the product could be human incarceration via Shows you the level of sort of psychic disease that they can be applied. mean. Capitalism is not a moral force. Now the ever mistook for that year. These sort of the opposite would say I was it's that doesn't mean that, like it's not the most effective way of generating mass wealth, in the modern world, yet clearly it's demonstrated it's it's it's it's great facility for that, while the interest, what you do with it, what you do with the money right, that's how thats the definition of society right or what you don't do with them right. Well, this whole idea that privatization in the free market will find its level in the end and the the most moral thing will win out was retarded that it's, it's ridiculous, ridiculous! It's! What about greed? I mean it's one of the seven deadly. I mean. What do people do you ever get in an argument with a libertarian? I try
it's annoying as the patient's coordinated skill set anymore. I don't. There is no skill set there's, no skill, but the one thing they always rely on is like italy, variable you'll start pointing out we're like look at what happened when you get when you were captured right address the system, incarceration they made. human misery into a product, and they went Austria, with it they said, hey. We can guarantee three percent growth next year. three percent: more of a population going to jail ok? How do you do that when you gotta make more non violent crimes the jealous? right and emotionally poor people, mostly people of cowards. Of course it's insane and yet, when you the look at you and I will that's crony capitalism. Like Is there another kind of horse? It tell me the society in human history than ever
capitalism in some sort of benign way that wasn't mitigated by the society sang look here is our priority serves our moral stand. It is what we want to do here is what we don't want to do: figure it out crony capitalism like no no it'll went once the markets, get it pure pure margaret. You guys are batch, crazy, anything citizenship and some very basic ways. You're talking to me about the those wonderful what of freedom in liberty and you're not like that. On a corresponding sense of responsibility, all that to me, is it's just a recipe for an incredibly selfish culture, on the other hand, the tap and if you, if it's all responsibility, no freedom, that's tyranny, but but somewhere in the middle east is is something that young Jesus, the athenians recognised being as being fundamental of of the democratic state. You know you got a kid, and you're gonna kick in, and
If somebody down the road is getting the shit kicked out of him. It wrongly you're marginalized, even if you don't feel it even if it's happening to somebody else, a little lower on the on on wherever the period of pain is via. You know it at the moment you don't stand up for that guy, it's closer to you right I'm just somebody is so elemental at so many people don't stand right, because cause it to the ideology? Is it's not not? My problem, in fact, he's different from me right. That's the worst gazette is not loaded my problem, just selfish. It's not my from these different means is, is is racist, yeah and in an inward will still living through those times, no absolutely when you were thinking on go back to the career, because I I you know, how do you like show business, you get what it? How do you like? Being a whore That's not bad, you know it's not bad! You really easily older, pays. Ok yeah
having a good run and for the most part, the what to do is meaningful to me. There are things that I have trouble getting made. The arm that that are would be even more meaning four times. The m am disappointed by the press by the projects that can't find favour cause. They can't be maximized his entertainment, like what is Abby did. Alright, though the last thing you did show me a hero was was in, you know relatively improbable, yeah yeah and I was and I'm grateful for that. I don't mean to be I'm not. You know. I understand I occupy a very weird sinecure. Will what was interesting from my experience with the wire- and you know it happened- a bit which remy though I haven't had the follow through a trimming, was,
the wire, which is which I obviously heard a lot about, and in I in I didn't watch it when it was on, because what I would do is I'd watch I'd, be on h, b, o or whatever, and I'd watch an episode there may be. Few weeks later, I watch another one of my. I have no idea what this shows about new, so I'm sure you've heard this alot. What happened to me was the nice start. I rent and it got all of them. You know from netflix I just started. I just started to beginning, and then I couldn't do anything for three weeks like had to watch every one of them here in order, and we do we have seen of a plan for that. That was not our plan. I know me was no other way to watch it in a way. Yeah yeah I mean the one thing you had going for it. If you, if you had h b o was yeah, they were showing it five times. week right. You know some levies, tuesday, gacha thirst and rapid tapping said when I watch it the way I watch it, it was as compelling is reading. An amazing novel or reading he almost a nonfiction about the
these layers of of society and end. The realisation of hierarchy said I turned out, we were optimized for that, and but you know it when we started doing the show dvd box sets we're not even a thing and right and download certainly were just a gleam in anybody's I so we are lucky and but I think, that's truth, like one. doing. I'm always arguing that. Look. If you let us, may it will go on the shelf and people will find people eventually. You now know, though, calm down about the fact that they are you. Actually I thought The music actually is part of the point of trauma and you know I love all. I love all my children kind of equally here they'll find you if the the marines all found generation, kill and turn people onto it and and and get some respect. Yeah I mean it's like, like. I don't think I'm I think I keep executing a pretty high level and I'm pretty happy with the material, but I do I don't expect anything
find favour right away. I expected to get through good reviews by the by the people who have to attend to it professionally near and then to go. Quite we slip below the waves and word a mouth to two to kick it up. When I should it up. What's about this sort of the transition, because I mean you were a real journalists You know you over reason will a reasonable facsimile there, but you, you believed in it, as in your commitment to to a proper investigation and proper reporting. Yes, specifically yo in baltimore and in early on in into the world that you were dealing with narco crimes right moser there you know you were you know you're on your way, and you were as a young man in your twenties you You were gonna, be that guy. I was gonna grow old on the cap it s coming. I wanted to be a newspaper and you loved, I love and so what ultimately began disintegrator or fall apart for you to make the transition that you may well.
The town ownership for my newspaper, my newspaper got bought by the l a times which, at the time the baltimore sun. Yet we at the time they said. Oh, you got bought by the good chain. Thank god you didn't get by. He wasn't good at all times, write these. we're good yeah, and that's what people tell themselves that you know as rome falls like these. This is okay. Hitler's, okay! Well yeah it's! because we're just work or the right word with its. Now we find that it is. Can it broke a few windows exactly at work, So there was a little bit of an first I know that there was sort of a hands off. They were very till. You feel your first with us, but slowly and the management of the paper. You got the impression that they were the air from out of town and in there sense of the city was not of a place that they were covering to be intelligent or comprehensively, with the actual problems were
like address and explain anything they were chasing prizes. They were they like enough into with reporters, then I'll get the bump and I'll go to I'll get a grown up. from the chain a bigger and I'll get out a bottom, and so like you would see the surprise culture taking off. It's also at this weird kind of selfish career ism. Well, and it's not the stuff reader, actually either need or care about, write. Another vote lately, and so there other some hype stories in and there was a guy making stuff off the usual shit yeah. Who you used as a basis for a character lighten, maybe me maybe, but the other thing was the stuff- and I really valued, which was starting to become sort of very delicate narrative and the idea of trying to pull actual human size people through the keyhole journalism and do these narratives, where I wanted to make
about a guy like bubbles who is based on a guy that the fake I was down the street here, the factory andre royal yeah. It's been in here. He was right, you have a compromise. Where does he live? yeah yeah. I have heard picturing him in l a I really I it is it is. It is difficult and you know when he came in here it was just as ball in new york. Energy was great, I know. Has his wife owns a restaurant in atwater? Oh, my goodness, yeah he's doing good. That's great say: hi from I will say, hi from now will well are the real bubbles. Yeah me thy is like at a certain point where I valued in journalism. you know what they valued was. The baltimore son has learned and as a result of an investigation there, whole committee meetings and can get can't surprise now we're there is almost a formula to it. Came out of philly came out of gene robber school journalism. Of of this is how you, we break it and then let it written then let it and then, for a year you report about how important reporting is.
If they were masters of that, if you didn't do the follow up reporting to say how great your reporting was and how important how relevant the baltimore sun was right, they got mad, they got the and an end and psycho. I started looking sister feeling. You know this is not ok, we were we were stodgy paper. We were a little bit greater than the sum of our more than the sum of its parts, he s a The bond were son was was a grey thing, he added making used to say the morning paper he was on the We say we were like accountants, truth that it was very honest paper yeah. And we used to sit around and argue about what was fair and what was right, and sometimes when that we didn't have the story, we spiked it and we didn't. What does that mean spike it? You know you hold the story right cause, you don't have it right. You know you need you'd. Have those debates. Yeah I mean like bioware, it's an unheard of dynamic with the internet. Now sure you know that
nobody's saying you know what I I only heard this from one person. Maybe I should actually check it out yet none and now it's going right up on vulture it's going right up on in the weird thing is: is I don't think people, consumers or people can We tell the difference between anything that you know like where story comes from or theirs, there's no gauge and there's no rule to it now I knew we were in a brave new world when I was at one point, I looked at my wikipedia entry and I was married to howard stern sex. May I was was yeah. I any David Simon right who now I was there for you for that. The weeks that was come, listen, you know, I didn't much care. I was amused by my wife, less so yeah, but but on a really basic level. You know okay, this can happen now because again, it's the way,
when people can cherry pick the information that fits your ideology and run with it like it's the truth and that's how you get like these camps of thought that are based on garbage yeah now listen journalist could do that, but but usually there was a consensus within the newsroom when the guy was doing it too often and too yet I agree, please somebody challenged them or eventually some somebody spiked. The story right- and I saw it happen, some of the moments I've been most proud of in journalism were stories that didn't run yeah and it shouldn't have run right, and so you know there is there. There came a point at which I was the news. But I had grown up at and then I loved had surcease ceased to be and what was replace. you know what they regarded as valuable journalism. I I had no regard for what I regard as viable. It was time to go at about the same time. My first book had sold and b c. and burlington in Tampa. That was a homicide bill. Yeah and they'd come into town to film. That show and did you reach out to Barry levinson because he was a baltimore guy yeah, the book
with book came out here in and when time to write a book. Would you take a break out to be yours? Leave to go home said you must have made. Was that because I was at for that paper or just cause you were like I, you know I gotta do something else. It was both I own. The sense of We had just gone to strike out what a man at management I thought you'd be good. when you are a big union guy, yam beginning I so we had just now. We would was profitable, had ever been near that point in time and they were cutting our medical because that's how that's how they do here and a little bit me at the same time, don't wanna give up of daily news a job in a major paper for cause If you get a book contract, you can take a year's leave of absence. I went into the homicide unit in eighty eight. It took to write the book and write my first but it was also you know it made me at after gimme, a ton of sources in the police department. Mia, hang out and hang out in the in the in,
and they let you, how long did it take to artists or developer trust amongst them? Ten days, oh yeah, another so busy up there. There were concerned that the time tuna, forty mercier so we ve there so busy near the thirty six guys here that it was like they had five days of weariness five. Is it like teasing me and torturing myth yeah yeah, like you know, and then, after that it was like sort of like the test yeah and then after after they got through the five days of like batting me around, like a mouse here as the cats. All had to go back to work, it was like you know, your furniture, so yeah that was actually the second book was a little longer for obvious reasons, cause we went to a drug corner to do the trouble. Now first book, so he gets bought by NBC, wasn't yeah and I didn't take it seriously. I mean I I was like well that's great, but how would it happen who brokered your agent? How does a went to cia and they tried to sell it for future and nobody was buying for fulfill yeah and nobody was buying in It's too big, probably how you going to brit how you gonna surrender they just yet, and I don't I am on the report.
I skipped the sun, I'm like I'm working makeshift writer weekend. What do I know and even when NBC buys, it doesn't necessarily mean anything yeah? Well, it wasn't NBC. It was actually levinson company bought it and took it. He had a deal to make something for NBC. I think he's going to make diner. He had a one hour drama that those are the choices, homicide or diner. While they didn't want diner, he didn't see the drama in that by the way might have been a great show sure it was a great movie, but but but then he came back to the gilmore tricks in his office. Yet one of his associate producers who read the book handed to him But I I did have the one moment of saying why you send it to Barry Levinson he's from Baltimore re like that was my big moment of writing. I could send it to John waters. You know he's from baltimore that would have been a very different shot or a different chef john's, a friend John's a friend, but no send it to the right guy
it goes in and then they they decide to make it now and what how did they bring you in initially? What is the offer? What is at first gear actually said? Do you want to try to write the pilot I said: do you take me for a fool I've never written any and never even written, escritoire one act play effort liking over your rapporteur for further the m for a reply, report port. Suddenly I haven't you nothing here But you know what I do know the world once you get a bunch of templates of several scripts by somebody who knows they're doing, show me and I'll take a shot at one near, but and then I thought of it as a larkin and and when they offered me a script assignment that first year, and I I called up my friend dave mills, who I worked on the college paper with he as a reporter at the one in post, and he was always the guy who, when we were putting up the college paper, he would like have to stop for an hour. May I stop writing headlines on his pages to go. Watch hill street blues right
that guy here, and I said you know you I will this better than I do. You wanna take a shot at this, and so we wrote a script in about two weeks and anna. It was so depressing and so dark a script that and we see would make it and held it for it. They will get. May spiked it basically near and can season, I was more chance and berries pretty support at a time when talked robin whims who had done the more vietnam yet anna and showed him the script and robin whims one or do the guest spot of the husband whose wife is killed in front of him, and at that point it and I said: oh, oh yeah, no, that's fine yeah! So that was your script yeah and it won the w ga award and right, like David mills, immediately like quit the post and went to hollywood yeah. I came out here and it just kept. Sending me notes. That said, you know you're an idiot yet, but I didn't take it serious and I went back- and I reported the second book and went back to the paper in the corner here and then we will
It would do you, you didn't, take it seriously, primarily because it was the entertainment right. Yes, it was upon the sea, I you know it simon did not raise me to be a tv rack. You know he raised me to like. You know, make a difference. Well, yeah I mean I them or be pursuer of truth, some you're right prose, you know or know you know. Basically I mean I used to go back pace at the sun, those roy Yours I to go back for friday, night dinner, they address housing and we too and my brother is a significant significantly smarter than I am is it is? It is a physician he's a medical research, her head of the infectious disease department at johns? is universal, while my sister was a of a fine artist, a painter who was exhibited. You know him, you know he had a masters in fine art yeah, yeah legitimately, meaning for it is here on the newspaper hack.
and we'd sit around the table and my dad we're looking at my dad had nothing, nothing to say about according to my sister, nothing to say about medical research to my brother and he would look at me go so you used a jaren lead, you know. While it was- yeah you seem to be working hard on the german. We are. What is that? What is adjourned? We that's like beginning with, like you and I and ii word over the last three leads have been sharing leads. You will hardly David David like this. Is this he knew right can engage with. So, you know it was a bit like data will become a tv writer That's my move, did he? What is he around it? He uh yeah. He saw it all happen. He died about five years ago I had the wire had started while he was in the wire had started at that point He was a little astonished about what I was he never got over the profanity it's a very gracious man and it's hard for them to see through that when, when the
homicide. They, I showed him gallia and he went through the pages he can. If we edited out every even the ones in quotes, he added that all the profanity in the one that I'll never forget which made me I loved the so hard. When I read this page, a detective, Actually, my personally was for it is being pissed drunk beer and, if he really in drunk to the point of view nation. I guess he didn't understand that the phrase and even if he did it was like we can get there another way and we can't do it with dignity. Just don't be a potty mouth and I'm like dad I am sorry I have been in baltimore too long, and you know the big homicide unit has to has sound like hunt. Did he let you off? The hook the ever reconciled to adhere things. My dad was from the era of you know. I grew up nah with Watergate we with it with if stone being here only a stunt like maybe you expect
Certain amount of lying from your government and, and yet the trick is you know all governments lie. Is one says that the trinkets is to parse the ones out that are the most egregious and to and to correct the ones that are merely mistake. and to end a credit them when they actually tell the truth and entered into be, will tell the difference, and that's that's the job but my dad was from an era where, like he's used, when I wrote feature stories about be stories, I am you remember, my dad was doing freelance work into the fifties and Sixtys, and you know one of his story was like a story would be like there's a lot of bridge they said couldn't be built in about the various on a narrow, as rapporteur oh yeah, affirming he he would have loved stephen Ambrose. He I asked you now. I don't know if stephen Ambrose but like hindu america can in and human and he loved he loved. The politician, like you know he the stories he would tell her about. Like affirming stories about authority, he wasn't authority
harian, but he, but he was an ignorant, no not at all, but he he wanted to trust and he wanted to leave and good of people, and you have that at some some I I I certainly feel like most people are. and I feel like even a lot like. I even have affection for like thing people in classes We sneers without, like the heroes to show me hero mayor, the bureaucrats me the bureaucrats. I have some of that, but but my My dad really like was worried. Even last years of his life? One point I was I was arguing. I was writing some stuff. That was very critical of please policy and in baltimore india Adam he What I'm saying to me goes: the police are going to get mad at you and, as like you know, yeah it may be fools not to it. What are you going to be? Okay, I'm going to be like yeah
I was worried about your personal physical safety and somewhat wheeler, or that there would be a comeback right yeah. He was worried word for me. That's usually what parents do right, but I mean you know I used to was ozma changed, had become much more adversarial as result of vietnam is right, had a gun papers watergate and rightly so. By necessity, it needs to be adversarial, and but my dad was for somebody I wanted to be a newspaper reporter and who could write. You know he. He taught me elaborate writings of very good writer, and he Unless the temperament of minor journalism, foam from both of a mad dog is as is making when Mary Well he's like a new deal guy right, you dare we, you know. If we look, we did when we we'd. We rebuilt it. We got people working and you know it's okay right! Well, you know the the people that he loved were like he used to say to me at times
If you write more the features you have such a nice light touch with features. You know me and I'm like yeah. I can, and sometimes I do, but you know dad look. I just pulled the grant. information on clarence Mitchell. I know what their investigate him for and he'd be like you're, not supposed to have claire rendering that's illegal, unlike The great if you'd, be known. Well give it back. I'm like no, I'm not giving it back. He didn't want you to get hurt. He didn't want me to get her very jewish parenting so from the beginning, where you are. creator of homicide known or no, they just what they bought the book. yeah point in wrote the pilot script and show, it was sure run by by Tom Fontana within system Barry. I just for the for the sake of of know, there's an and people who were trying to do something relevant intelligent. I mean what was the point some of your education. I mean your house of being sent some speck scripture, some
inscription writing with the your partner. You know I sent the scripts into Tom and it came back with red ink and this works. This doesn't, oh, my god. What are you trying to do here? You know that any like Tom Tom's, my mentor t v right. I I like him. He kept every promise to me. He was committed to growing us as as as writers and producers he he he was thank otto with workers have yet he so he tell you how to two to root. Rhine effect is gripped him to be a shower yet and in an air jimmy finicky, his his producing partner taught us how to the practical to production, and I under some very smart playwrights Jimmy I shimura and Eric over Meyer and and Julie Martin and said the everybody I was working at was teaching me stuff. One of the things they did was. I remember Jimmy Moore said you gotta read play
You know that I and and I'd read somewhere when I was in college and I'd, read sort of the obvious ones. I took a shakespeare course. You know it runs and check off, but not enough men, and that was really good grooming in. What sense would you take from it? You understand pacing manual, to help bring people on and take people off of stage an arm, It's not the same as t v I mean the little words cut to me at make television and film a little bit different dynamic. The the the blocking is obviously very different, but in drama every line. Every word has to justify its up. You can have an aside the arrows article right and not completely die as long as you do it elegantly. There's no sides in in drove out there to serve the story. Yeah. You know you. If you go, If you go aside from the story, you have to know that you're doing it has been incredibly measured. You have to get in and get out
fast and when you, but you know when you had the time in the expanse, the wire you young man is being lean is one thing, but you also knew you had the yet amazing harker, I narrowed right. Well, that's what it gives you is. Is you know like a homicide? very well written show yam, but it was twenty two minutes right. No, I was gonna say tall. It was forty five minutes. Twenty was twenty two episodes right, so it was like basically a series of linked short stories right if you treat a season of television even as a shortened season like a the ten or twelve or thirteen episodes, air of h, b, o and as one story. That's like the whole. All three godfather movies, including the m. putting the bad one here, aren't nine hours right. I said now you now you can create a universe right now. You have, you can take a little bit of more of a breath than you, otherwise would yeah, and you knew that
from going in yeah right great. Now we can sort of spread. You open it up. Right I mean I, I that's the one thing when I was working on homicide, I feel like I used to feel like this episode was great. I wish we could stay here instead of go. Do something like you know yeah. So there was. The wire was an opportunity to do that, actually The ministers then gang was ed. Burns is somebody you knew from before it was a cop homicide detective and he became over time a source of information. For me, I met him. He had wiretap case on a on a guy named little melvin, Melvin Williams, a huge drug dealer in bone, where he just passed away in december. Melvin did yeah and the ad was one of the lead investigators in the case, and I was assigned to do a series of articles on melvin because his career had spanned decades and that's how I met it and just straight on this is a source of information and over time I came to really enjoy him. He thought differently from a lot of the institutionalized police.
The at the a lot of other police would have said: yeah he's a fucking asshole, but right, but I live I thought he was using. I was thinking in big. They actually are but what they were doing here. You ve been is a vietnamese that he'd lost he'd been on that losing fight the drug war he saw that is losing fight. He then went to be a schoolteacher after twenty years in the department he saw that None model in a middle school, inborn, worse or close up, he's an interesting. tat and a in and certain point went home when I was rated. In the corner. I thought yeah. This is the guy to do it with cause. He already had the same. Doubts about the drug war right and the It was how many episodes oh well, I mean we did the book together. We went to we went to monroe and fayette for a year, the eighty ninety three and then it was x. I h, b, o it was six episodes and he
well. He was your production partner in that as well. No, actually, at that point, he and he'd gone to teaching yeah. If I'm remembering this correctly yeah, that was when he he was working on it had at the cars we'd done the reporting before, while after he got his teaching certificate and before he'd gone and to be blunt, Hb was really scared of doing that project. With a white guy two white guys who had written the book, the corner. Yay me, I know it was a book about you know a predominantly african american community deluge with drugs. It was a very you know. It has it's. It has it's delicacies when it comes to political correctness, stability that that they felt, I didn't feel that really I mean I felt the book was very humanistic and I I didn't have a problem well, they're gonna be reactive, no matter what right sensitive. So I get in the room with them in and there in the room. It was clear they were asking me if I would be willing to have an unreported.
I saw saw where it was going. Yeah and I said well, you know I certainly would work on the scripts of Jimmy ashley mirror and I gotta blame You know that doesn't help us here I said or or david mills who was my friend from college who's, who had written my first script with you at the time. He'd done a couple of years why pity blue and he was working on l lawn and they no David mills said here we want to come shows when my best friends now can you get David most he added and needless to say, David mills is an african american writer of alright. So that was the way that yeah that that's why I did that without it burns. I did it with Dave mills, because, because that's the only way to get it done, they knew they needed the rachel cover of knowing it in a quota higher because you bodies with them. Happy to work with the rivals, or I told the whole story to David mills has cracking arrives. That's how I the job I got they. They also know you can get into your new by wrapping by name as soon as I mentioned, the he goes. I know I'm just,
yeah yeah, but but I mean we, my friendship with David by then had gone. Well, beyond The racial dynamic cure course, but, but there was this moment of oh- I get it You guys really need a black writer on this. Then I found that in the wired, what was interesting and amazing to me was really the the one character at the end of it. All that is actually transformed his bubbles and in that you at the end of it all. You know this. yeah, the the almost the real way, of of drugs on a human level. Outside of you know that the politics of the sales ranging else's is the hopeless attic annie. at the end of the whole thing. Yogi bubbles is, is kind oak, for then, and not through any, not through any act of the war on drugs. Not Yet no, you just say like the human story, like you to me like at the end of that, like weight, because it's a devastating period of time,
you spend in that world role of that right and go bubbles wraps, and in may we needed to throw some some honest hope and rights as you get to be, but the age that bubbles was. And that's one guy start coming out of It- the young hit by There are thirty year these guys when the twenties who get yeah there's a reason that it's like the tenth or the eleventh time you go to treatment right? It finally sticks yeah and it gives you live yeah if you live yeah and if you don't go to jail right, but I mean, if the guys who truly could stick in the end, a bodies or a little. Hired their minds are a little tired. They ve they ve been on the skin cycle. For a long while when you young in your strong yeah, you do
in the days around day, twenty one, you start asking the guys coming in here, what the headquarters are and what the good product is via, and you know those the guys I mean, I know guys, like bubbles, sure who are clean. Now for twenty I mean george apps, the guy who's, blue and in the corner he passed away. Regrettably, but he was, he was clean for twenty years after he look after he walked away from the shooting gallery that his house had become and he stayed clean, and I was proud to know that man I mean it was the iris journ yeah. I know I you know I I see a lot of it. Yum been yas queen myself, yet I I'm so and you just that. I always get move by those stories that you know that, because you're standing that struggle on a personal level and senior it will go through with that without trivial, I it because a lot of time, people who do not have the compulsion or a family member or a friend
we ve gone through the hopelessness of that thing, don't get it it's like we're. Just stop exactly you know and with them the illicit stopping stopping Almost the least of the problems like ok now am I popped out at twenty days. I feel clean a few I am, but I'm walking back same people places and, as they say in the rooms you now and in my life, still no holes in it. It had when I see when I went down this path yet act slamming the door of the workplace begins you get sober, yeah yeah because, like you know somehow another you have to get that to that point. However, you gonna do it too If you were you relieved of the obsession right, where doesn't become the thing, the other four seeing you go to and then you can't stop the hunger for it right as a tricky bit of business right. It really is, and- and and I mean I
him to admire a lot of those guys. And you know, people like the younger guys mean of the of the of the kids that we followed in that rec center for the corner, yeah and one of them is out of jail now and he's working, two jobs get forklift operator and he's doing. Ok and he's got a girlfriend and, and he's seen, is coming up on fourteen. I have hopes, Dante, last I heard from him when we talked he was doing good and and another kidney who went never went to the corner. He was like a stoop kid. He ever left this stoop he'd, he did great and he moved out. We can't I mean he had you know, but everybody else, they're gone, they're gone man. I keep in touch with these guys. Yeah I mean the ones who are alive. Most of them are are not alive right. What what can wait?
how'd it. How do you check in with them and work compels us to sort of stay on top of their lives? Well, administered friend became a friend the under his mother became a friend and now and queen and Jim. She moved her family over the city line up northeastern and near my kid grew up with the andrea kid they were born, but the same year nome. They know each other, and I mean I just it's been to know her clients. It's its broaden me. It's nay, if not a it's, not like. Oh now, right right, not that it's I mean she's, a normal family and she and doing good for so long minutes in her cured nieces nephews never saw her round through college here right cheek. She survived all of her. She has an older brother whose clean and everybody else is gone now in the
and shock and brutal man, yes, she's ended up being meum, the rock, and so you know not only but what I want to support that just to support it. But my ear I've come to really enjoy her, the alps, others that we are in some of it. It's been hard to keep up with people, you know they once there in the wind I mean I heard about our seat passing away. which one is our source. He was one of the one of the Andries friends. Yeah and from the rec center and forget drug corner and he died maybe three or four years ago and and maybe three years ago and and I heard about it two weeks late- I mean I, you know somebody came up to me in the market and said: did you hear about rc? I was like. Oh no, you know last I heard he'd gone. stay with his mother's people in new jersey, sir, and I guess he's your people you spend a year with,
at some level. Yeah yeah, I mean listen. I stayed in touch with some of the detectives me. I mean the the to this day. I have regard to mclarty as as a philosopher he still enforce. I regard him as a philosopher king and every time he opens his mouth. If you are riding on a cocktail and because he's so funny yeah. This is amazing, those kind of guys right now and he's just so I mean I don't think you know. The trick is not detaching to write that stuff. You gotta love your characters. You gotta love the people, you're writing about genuinely love them. The trick is not going native, you don't have to wait. The trick is putting in the good and the bad he's being honest. I know it can be respectful yeah, I mean if you, if you're being granted access right, the whole human being yeah. If you can do that, you know not everybody. The detectives didn't like everything in the book, but they got it, they got it written and the same thing,
well the corner. Man to begin with tremor was at sort of a departure was at a different world for you, you know what what kind of pulled you into. I wanted to write, something that that affirmed for the city mayor for the idea of the the the american city, being this pluralistic multicultural phenomenon that not only do we have to master it. It's our it's our it's our future. Yes, his urbanity, it's the world's future. We we either got to master it and love it and and triumph with or or where shit outta luck right now the societies is, and so I was a little bit taken aback that people watch the air which was specifically about the parts of my city. They got left behind. It was not about it was who isn't about rolling park, remount, washington or federal hill or the neighborhoods thither? Ok, the viable american, the schizophrenia right now,
in the haves and have nots in this country has only been accelerated, and so I was astonished to see people watch, the younger man baltimore's a mess, and why don't they just move as much as leave and go where, where camden new jersey? Where can you go where a dc? Here you think this is unique to baltimore But there was that kind of callow response on the part of some people as if they were looking at something that was an aberration rather than than the actual stratification of our culture right. So I thought you know what the contempt that I'm hearing the the implied contempt from people who are living out in some gated community somewhere for for the lives of other americans living made me mad and where can you go to to be asked about americans see that has the same problems as baltimore. Drawing worlds clearly does right, but nonetheless has its culture out in the street right. The culture is demonstrably puts out, they really parade with it. Every sunday and
and not only that has given these great cultural gifts he always arc. I mean your jazz comes from a better square boxer of over back a town me I won't adam. I I found I found it. An argument for the city was actually necessary, after the war that was tremendous, opting any say anyone may move through the music. To hear me was the music became portal in near it becomes surly. We did. We try to do stuff with comparable schwartz and culinary sierra stuff, but the music was a means of metaphorical means of saying this doesn't happen without people of color without white people. Well, you know, jazz jazz only happens in this country. It doesn't happen in west africa. It doesn't happen in europe. It happens
if they know you're a musician. You'll know this. You know that from the pentatonic scale, with a flatted third flat at seventh, which is a west african dynamic, yeah and from instrumentation end and musical logic. That is distinctly european. Yeah. You know the reason, the reason that jasmines probably got their kick at the time they did all the bans coming back from the spanish or more being their instruments or the military bans dumping their instruments. When the boats hit the docks yo, you could pick up everything from assumes a phone to trombone enough air and, and so all of a sudden, you know really wouldn't invited the epp, Ed buddy wolden within three four years here using, you note was a coronet was it he must corner s. Gonna buy, never recorded
I will just as our mythological being you shit. You should have heard buddy boy why you can't, and then you get to two lui and from him riah area, so I mean it can happen because we're the wonderful months we are right: cultural, it's a triumph of our of our of our pluralism, and so it was a great metaphor for arguing for the city and with with generation, kill a yeah, because it seems that you know you you you cover very intensely and in in very you know, powerfully the struggles and what brought you initially to deal with the military thou in came from HBO hbo had option the the
first, the rolling stone article here and then the book by Evan, Wright and Kerry and thoughtless who would have been the exec on on the corner on the mini series side, sent it to me and said: what do you think? You know anybody for this and he was strolling in any. I put the hook right in my mouth and neff. That book I thought was the some of the most honest journalism to come out of of the war and it was to me it was a great critique of of sort of young men at war and sort of what we ask of art is sort of modern military culture and the warrior culture that that sustains it because- its organ volunteer armies of the army, vietnam, the those young men, wanted to be there that they train for it, it was it was, is what they new army was why I do it is and here is of any actual volunteer, it's not like they're getting just people who can't. I can't find a job. I gotta go in your mother. I that's the myth that they were getting.
All kinds of people who wanted to be basically a warrior class here who who seek this life and in this this structure, in this commitment and and and this journey, and yup. Our notion that, like this is the fallout from a bad economy is, is a little indulgent on our part when you actually look who those guys were now, of course that was a recon unit marine recon unit, but then the other thing that you could play against that unfairly so cause it was the truth which was they went with a very two dimensional idea of what the war was an wasn't and then once you get on the ground and he started, they started going towards Baghdad, yet yeah, maybe a do more comp. There was an incredibly good tactical plant capture baghdad. and they did magnificently the strategic plan beyond that of what to do with it. Once you had it,
it's still unclear still, it's still unclear and other people got to that in different ways. If you re read, rick Atkinson spoke, I mean he, you know he he quotes famous quotes Petraeus as saying you explain to me how this ends mere cause, a lot of people, while people couldn't see it but to see it dawn on a lot of these very competent twenty one, twenty two twenty three year old. You know- I mean those guys, you know as the squad leaders, some of them twenty three years old, calling in airstrikes on their own, because they were that capable of are a small unit. Tactics These were not stupid, rising and they were absorbing what what was happening before their eyes as they as they moved into back then as they acquired this society with without without sufficient numbers or credibility or authority to to do anything but saddlebag? Well, what what happens now? What are you working on a more
on a peace that should be commercially viable for the first time in my life it's about porn, here in NJ that, like a I mean women commercially you're doing fine. What do you weigh now you want to see I mean I could actually have a hero. Okay, the truth is off I'll fuck it up and I'm making a show about the rise of the of the sex industry after from seventy two to eighty six, when, when in that window between of community standards only applying until the miller decision? Seventy three there is: window that basically they drove a truck through which was park. Were pornography became legitimate industry more in the sex industry experts. would out of the shadows in an end to the ground, zero, for that was too. Square, so upset it's about time squaring about when times where, what the hell from seventy. Two to about eighty six, did you read the Friedman book? You tell them
Well, yeah. I did a riddle. I've read everything that that that one s say which they cover a little and buggy nightsy transition from this. The quarter machines to video was, with from moves to the home, already hurt now already ho to sierra, pretty amazing yeah. That moment of of oh, my god, I just pull no ten thousand hours in four days. I gotta carry it all to the bank and in in bags yeah, but yeah I mean what happened. to me it's a story that capitalism and again what we are talking about earlier, which, as you know, you think that capitalism is, a point, the way to a better society that the markets will show us the way on tethered to any sort of moral imperative of of what's right, what's wrong in and who gets used? What happens to labour and media? Has the p who were the labour for this stuff predict with women. Of course, you know, the pioneers of this brave new industry were
really well brutalized, if not on camera, if not the on camera people, there was a whole serve subculture that they were coming out of, which was the pin and hookers massage parlors up in that voice. Streton. It's interesting when there's no there's no overt industry and then suddenly there it is it's you know here it is. It's, the wild west write your own rules and that's why we're trying to capture So you hear me say that your eyes, my god, this guy, sure show about porn, and you know in the most unsexy thing in the world, he's going to overtake David Simon to ruin a show about porn and make it on fun. And well I mean, but no, I think, that's the. I think that's the right way to do it, because I don't think we look at it like that and I think he gets you know and obviously I've watched porn. I understand porn and I am sort of constantly amazed at the complete porn occasion of our culture right to the point where, like edi,
I remember vaguely in the eighties that there was a commission put in place, some sort of moral nice commission to to sort of limit this stuff and at some point it was like nope, it's going to be everywhere and it's going to it's gonna be accepted and it's gonna completely change its chain. the demeanor of how well sack of sacks of how we talk, but right I mean it really did and, of course, the the people who were first in the for we have been like the mob in new york riding lot of the shit, the mafia and- and a lot of people in need in turn your culture there not that many survive, that there are some survivors, but but men the attrition rate was pretty heavy because you know it It wasn't like any was looking out for anybody annum, the guys who the top making them. I didn't and aid they worked. It did. The people were in the movies in the roman, primarily disposable and
plenty of them will actually and and and they they they. They did that so badly that you know it all moved to the san fernando. It came out here because I, you know in some ways you needed even the b, the backlash from the entertainment industry. The handle too heavily violette to handle even the the ok, might be degrading, but it doesn't have to be that degrading as what was happening in Europe and we got camera guys out here. We got guys, you can write room, we re. We have there's plenty of willing people right, but I'm like, if you look at those for the mobs ability to actually run a functional business here. These are guys who, like giving him a casino in a busted out the idea. I got it right. They went the here, a print money print your own money, not rather steal from myself. You know that their they always been short term guys. Do you take it up to I just eighty six when, when the same cop, we're being paid off for fourteen years, kicked endorse and that was know koch and it was. It was the hiv outbreak
he needed to be a egalitarian about what he was closing. He closed bath houses down there in the village genuinely if they had health crisis right, but he did not want to be perceived and for various political reasons you know practically as being anti gay, and so he needed to kick in the doors of a lot of missiles. Parlours and stuff up on forty second street. Even over there wasn't an outbreak were associated with the heterosexual right seconds right. It was Sure sure there was some stuff on feed you, the classic David Simon multi tier debt, levels of of the capitalist culture, rhetorical culture try way down to the london I try not to, and you try not to make like like critique porn by making porn. If we make it if we, if we on this thing. In its two percent, then we're assholes, and if we were to puritan, we'd like standing on high and judging people. Physic judging them were to puritan there are already good balancing got away and that the biggest when your land on the fence in algeria and whose involved actor, why?
James franco maggie john hall, while to overly asses it's a very deep cast, a great and down. When are you gonna run for office? when does happen wendy. When do you realize that that's the bosnian deal data at that point that at that point, to my father really starts this spin minutes. That's it that's too much fast way too much fast. Mary walked out how the hell did you do that to some degree you have no desire national dinner, what mencken said famously the reporters live life of kings? and I used to say that about myself when I was making union scale and working at the baltimore sun. I felt that way to hear that like. Why would I descend like running for city council? Are you kidding me here? You know I have this. I have I'm
This I'm on this exalted level on the city from the truth, the idea that I notes for shipping. Felt real romania and I get is bullshit, it felt Why and numb? Ok the paychecks bigger in this weird sinecure at hbo. Lets me do tv, but but the truth is, I don't feel I feel five, not taken so many steps away from my original intent in doing this kind of tv right that I have to make the compromise are you your soul would hurt or where I work when they answered. Oh, my god, you know I have. I have to go in the call room, I gotta raise ten thousand dollars in four thousand hour, increments, mere dumps, or one hundred thousand dollars. Four thousand are here at the I'm making. The other thing I'm working on right now is a show about capitol hill with a well Bernstein in some other people, s great and has he done his knees? Coral ask, or did you like, spotlight, islets button,
yeah I mean I introduced the film in d c and anna on a panel in d c and unknown. It's been a long time in some captured the thrill of reporting. any film that has a minute and a half, or maybe even two minutes, maybe even two and a half minutes I rule of the time it without of just guys, looking the catholic directory finding names and put him in exile spreadsheet when that's your action sequence here, you got me you're in my realise. What else do you watch aiming sports near tv shows, movies and muslim. Everyone people, I don't watch, tv shows in real time when people say to me, oh, you should see the stick. This is great. You now eat. You know, then I'll go I'll, go get all of em and sure do it's hard to make the time until somebody tells you yeah, well, right, ammunition, so much out there. Now that I knew I need somebody in the bin. to say no, they did something good here that you should pay attention to this.
You keep doing good things. Man was great talk in this great thanks for have me out of this new here I am in no bombers chair and your wife's happy. That's right! yeah. That's why my wife was very impressed to know I was doing this gig. I can't believe that no yes like well, I hope I we did good. You know So let me now and I'll, let you know That's a fuckin, solid guy that David Simon, solid, smart right just in a good way, creates great shows it was. It was a privilege to talk to him again go to the new deputy pod that common joy, I will be done some weekly I was at the trip in the house here in l, a where they have a parking lot. It'll probably be like a five dollar ticket that benefits the theater, and you can watch me ramble through material with reasonable expectations and and in a nice intimate space, so go check the calendar for that stuff and what else enjoy?
enjoy. I get play guitar heard my ears. I heard my ears with the guitars I do not know at a mite properly and the the the
and I oh marilla
Transcript generated on 2022-09-06.