If Lanahan’s article taught me anything, it’s that David Simon thinks extremely highly of himself and his opinions. I was a bit shocked about how hard he came down on his bosses, although I understand he was venting his frustration (the cancer comment definitely made him look bad). What was most fascinating for me is how Simon uses the Wire to directly confront his main criticism of modern journalism: stories are too “small, self-contained, and has good guys and bad guys” (Lanahan 28). The Wire is clearly the most influenced by Simon of The Corner, Homicide, and the Wire. Homicide and the Corner were focused and self-contained, whereas the Wire tries to tackle the whole issue of crime in the inner city. Simon succeeds in showing all sides, and the viewer is constantly bombarded with reminders of how pointless this war on drugs truly is.
With that being said, I have to disagree with Simon’s claim that the Wire is a show about the collapse of the American Empire. It is true that we have a major problem in our American inner cities, a problem that shouldn’t be so large considering our enormous wealth. However, I do not see the problem of crime in the inner city destroying our country, nor do I share a great fear of the great American collapse (plus England seems to be doing alright). Where I think the Wire does succeed is bringing awareness to the problems of the American inncer city. Maybe all the upper class white HBO subscribers will feel compelled to take action against the injustices done unto our fellow countrymen. Or maybe not. Regardless, the Wire, unlike any other “police procedural” has pushed the boundary so far that people don’t blink when Simon makes the claim that his show is about the end of the American empire.