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“My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.”
David Simon
“That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound.

It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us.

Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith.

Why? The truth is plain:

We were not born to be niggers.”
David Simon, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood
“If the case isn't plea bargained, dismissed or placed on the inactive docket for an indefinite period of time, if by some perverse twist of fate it becomes a trial by jury, you will then have the opportunity of sitting on the witness stand and reciting under oath the facts of the case-a brief moment in the sun that clouds over with the appearance of the aforementioned defense attorney who, at worst, will accuse you of perjuring yourself in a gross injustice or, at best, accuse you of conducting an investigation so incredibly slipshod that the real killer has been allowed to roam free.
Once both sides have argued the facts of the case, a jury of twelve men and women picked from computer lists of registered voters in one of America's most undereducated cities will go to a room and begin shouting. If these happy people manage to overcome the natural impulse to avoid any act of collective judgement, they just may find one human being guilty of murdering another. Then you can go to Cher's Pub at Lexington and Guilford, where that selfsame assistant state's attorney, if possessed of any human qualities at all, will buy you a bottle of domestic beer.
And you drink it. Because in a police department of about three thousand sworn souls, you are one of thirty-six investigators entrusted with the pursuit of that most extraordinary of crimes: the theft of a human life. You speak for the dead. You avenge those lost to the world. Your paycheck may come from fiscal services but, goddammit, after six beers you can pretty much convince yourself that you work for the Lord himself. If you are not as good as you should be, you'll be gone within a year or two, transferred to fugitive, or auto theft or check and fraud at the other end of the hall. If you are good enough, you will never do anything else as a cop that matters this much. Homicide is the major leagues, the center ring, the show. It always has been. When Cain threw a cap into Abel, you don't think The Big Guy told a couple of fresh uniforms to go down and work up the prosecution report. Hell no, he sent for a fucking detective. And it will always be that way, because the homicide unit of any urban police force has for generations been the natural habitat of that rarefied species, the thinking cop.”
David Simon
“Boiled down to its core, the truth is always a simple, solid thing”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
tags: truth
“For a detective or street police, the only real satisfaction is the work itself; when a cop spends more and more time getting aggravated with the details, he's finished. The attitude of co-workers, the indifference of superiors, the poor quality of the equipment - all of it pales if you still love the job; all of it matters if you don't.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“A man got to have a code. --The Wire”
David Simon
“Murder often doesn't unsettle a man. In Baltimore, it usually doesn't even ruin his day.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“It isn't about the welfare check. It never was.

It isn't about sexual permissiveness, or personal morality, or failures in parenting, or lack of family planning. All of these are inherent in the disaster, but the purposefulness with which babies make babies in places like West Baltimore goes far beyond accident and chance, circumstance and misunderstanding. It's about more than the sexual drives of adolescents, too, though that might be hard to believe in a country where sex alone is enough of an argument to make anyone do just about anything.

In Baltimore, a city with the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, the epidemic is, at root, about human expectation, or more precisely, the absence of expectation.”
David Simon, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood
“McLarney laughs, then leaps into the parable of Snot Boogie, who joined the neighborhood crap game, waited for the pot to thicken, then grabbed the cash and bolted down the street only to be shot dead by one of the irate players.

"So we're interviewing the witnesses down at the office and they're saying how Snot Boogie would always join the crap game, then run away with the pot, and that they'd finally gotten sick of it..."

Dave Brown drives in silence, barely tracking this historical digression.

"And I asked one of them, you know, I asked him why they even let Snot Boogie into the game if he always tried to run away with the money."

McLarney pauses for effect.

"And?" asks Brown.

"He just looked at me real bizarre," says McLarney. "And then he says, 'you gotta let him play....This is America”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“[Y]ou are ... entrusted with the pursuit of that most extraordinary of crimes: the theft of a human life. You speak for the dead. You avenge those lost to the world.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“The Audacity of Despair
"You can stand your ground if you're white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you're black, you're dead.

"In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with this blood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another and when it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary.

"If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.

"Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies: Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible. I can't look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.”
David Simon, The Wire: Truth Be Told
“We have treated television as if it is not a mass medium, and we have been rewarded in kind.”
David Simon
“If a drug dealer falls in West Baltimore and no one is there to hear him, does he make a sound?”
David Simon
tags: crime
“(sergeant thinking about an excellent detective who's threatening to quit)
For a squad sergeant, having Worden working for you was like having sex: When it was good it was great and even when it wasn't so hot, it was still pretty damn good.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“In any case where there is no apparent suspect, the crime lab will produce no valuable evidence. In those cases where a suspect has already confessed and been identified by at least two eyewitnesses, the lab will give you print hits, fiber evidence, blood typings and a ballistic match.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“you believe a little shithead like this is able to stay on the run for so long?” McLarney declares, returning from yet another unsuccessful turn-up of a Milligan hideout. “You shoot a guy, hey,” the sergeant adds with a shrug. “You shoot another guy—well, okay, this is Baltimore. You shoot three guys, it’s time to admit you have a problem.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“Everyone lies. Murderers lie because they have to; witnesses and other participants lie because they think they have to; everyone else lies for the sheer joy of it, and to uphold a general principle that under no circumstances do you provide accurate information to a cop.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“It’s good to be good, but it’s better to be lucky.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“The three-story derelict is home to Smitty, Gale, and Gale's baby - a nuclear family nested on the corner - and Ella is accustomed to seeing them on the front steps, waiting for redemption or a cool breeze from the harbor, neither of which seems particularly likely.”
David Simon, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood
“It is not a look of horror, consternation, or even distress. More often than not, the last visage of a murdered man resembles that of a flustered schoolchild to whom the logic of a simple equation has just been revealed.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“It is the unrepentant worship of statistics that forms the true orthodoxy of any modern police department.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“Baltimore Oeste. Te sientas en el porche, bebiendo una lata de Colt 45 envuelta en una bolsa de papel marrón, y ves un coche patrulla que dobla lentamente la esquina. El agente se baja del coche. Ves la pistola, distingues la pelea, oyes los disparos, te asomas para ver a los enfermeros meter el cuerpo del policía herido en la parte trasera de la ambulancia. Luego vuelves a tu casa adosada, abres otra lata, te sientas frente al televisor y miras la reemisión de las noticias de las once, después vuelves a sentarse en el porche.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“This is CID homicide, mister, and neither heat nor rain nor gloom of night will stay these men from their rendezvous with callousness. Cruel jokes? The cruelest. Sick humor? The sickest. And, you ask, how can they possibly do it? Volume. That’s right, volume. They won’t be outsold, they won’t be undersold; they will solve no crime before its time.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“Edgerton walks out of the interrogation room with a small kernel of rage growing inside him, a heat that few murderers ever manage to spark inside a detective. Part of it is the stupidity of Dale’s first attempt at a statement, part of it his childlike denial, but in the end what angers Harry Edgerton most is simply the magnitude of the crime. He sees Andrea Perry’s school picture inside the binder and it stokes the rage; how could such a life be destroyed by the likes of Eugene Dale?”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“There should be no surprise when you come to that hideous moment for which you've spent a lifetime preparing.”
David Simon, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood
“West Baltimore. You sit on your stoop, you drink Colt 45 from a brown paper bag and you watch the radio car roll slowly around the corner. You see the gunman, you hear the shots, you gather on the far corner to watch the paramedics load what remains of a police officer into the rear of an ambulance. Then you go back to your rowhouse, open another can, and settle in front of the television to watch the replay on the eleven o’clock news. Then you go back to the stoop.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“It is the unrepentant worship of statistics that forms the true orthodoxy of any modern police department. Captains”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“[O]ne of the read truths about life in any police department: For a detective or street police, the only real satisfaction is the work itself; when a cop spends more and more time getting aggravated with the details, he's finished. The attitude of coworkers, the indifference of superiors, the poor quality of the equipment - all of it pales if you still love the job. All of it matters if you don't.”
David Simon
“Then you can go to Cher's Pub at Lexington and Guilford, where that selfsame assistant state's attorney, if possessed of any human qualities at all, will buy you a bottle of domestic beer.

And you drink it. Because in a police department of about three thousand sworn souls, you are one of thirty-six investigators entrusted with the pursuit of that most extraordinary of crimes: the theft of a human life. You speak for the dead. You avenge those lost to the world. Your paycheck may come from fiscal services but, goddammit, after six beers you can pretty much convince yourself that you work for the Lord himself. If you are not as good as you should be, you'll be gone within a year or two, transferred to fugitive, or auto theft or check and fraud at the other end of the hall. If you are good enough, you will never do anything else as a cop that matters this much. Homicide is the major leagues, the center ring, the show. It always has been. When Cain threw a cap into Abel, you don't think The Big Guy told a couple of fresh uniforms to go down and work up the prosecution report. Hell no, he sent for a fucking detective.”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
“A heavily armed nation prone to violence finds it only reasonable to give law officers weapons and the authority to use them. In the United States, only a cop has the right to kill as an act of personal deliberation and action. To”
David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

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