City Paper is not for tourists
I have to imagine that David Simon is laughing himself hoarse at Julia Vitullo-Martin‘s essay in today’s Wall Street Journal. (If it’s online, I can’t find it—find a hard copy of the paper and turn to page W11. Kids, ask your parents to explain what a “hard copy of the paper” is.) The Wire, she argues, is full of good advice for conservatives when it comes to cleaning up cities. “The real lesson of ‘The Wire’ is what New York’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton understood from day one: To restore a city and its neighborhoods, fight crime successfully and everything will start to fall into place,” she writes. “And don’t wait around for federal support. Take whatever money you can find.”
Uh, wasn’t the whole point of Season Three that the city power structure, particularly as it relates to police work, is so gummed up with what’s-in-it-for-me-ism that it’s impossible to fight crime successfully? No, wait, sorry—that was the point of the entire series.
As George Pelecanos put it while speaking at Trinity College a week or so back, “We don’t think there’s big government solutions to this.”