Anybody remember “The Wire”? Anybody reading the Guardian?


by Randy Newman
Beat-up little seagull 
On a marble stair
 Tryin’ to find the ocean 
Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
 Ain’t nowhere to run to 
There ain’t nothin’ here for free
Hooker on the corner
 Waitin’ for a train, 
Drunk lyin’ on the sidewalk, 
Sleepin’ in the rain,
And they hide their faces 
And they hide their eyes
’cause the city’s dyin’
And they don’t know why
Oh, Baltimore, 
Man, it’s hard just to live, 
Oh, Baltimore
, Man, it’s hard just to live, just to live
Get my sister sandy 
And my little brother ray, 
Buy a big old wagon,
Gonna haul us all away
Livin’ in the country,
Where the mountain’s high,
Never comin’ back here
’til the day I die
Oh, Baltimore, 
Man, it’s hard just to live 
Oh, Baltimore, 
Man, it’s hard just to live, just to live

5 thoughts on “Anybody remember “The Wire”? Anybody reading the Guardian?

  1. Interesting conversation going on on David Simon’s blog, with replies from him.

    Simon has been covering the city’s neighbourhoods and crime most of his career, and spent a year (I believe) on the ‘mean streets’ before writing a book about it. The Wire was based on that book, as was it’s predecessor Homicide: Life on the Streets. (TV, even HBO, was too tame for The Wire back then.)

    He has also written extensively on the price poor neighbourhoods, especially black ones, pay for the criminal justice system’s current practice and policies. In general, middle class America hasn’t wanted to hear what he has to say – which makes it hard for them to make sense of what has been erupting in American cities.

    It’s easy to compress the Vietnam protests into a neat and tidy package and a few good songs. The daily minutia of history being made tends to be messy and disjointed, however.

  2. a) Yes, vividly. The most comprehensive and engaging examination of a modern American city – from top to toe – ever written.
    b) 6 days a week, on actual paper.

  3. a) No
    b) I still subscribe, 6 days a week. But not sure why, now I’ve stopped work, because I don’t have the luxury of a 2 train journeys to read it in! I end up catching up on Sunday.

  4. I included the reference to the Guardian because there was a major piece with multiple photos of what’s happening in Baltimore right now, and it’s been happening in many major cities for decades; riots! I’ve lived through two. There’s a very good article
    by David Simon, actually it’s an impromptu speech he gave at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney recently, it’s well worth a read.

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