David Simon

10 Illuminating Nonfiction Books About Poverty

The New York Times today ran a groundbreaking story about a 12-year-old child who, growing up in a Brooklyn homeless shelter, leads something of a modern Dickensian existence. While stories about the poor do not run as often as they should, they also constitute something of a prestige genre in nonfiction writing. Many of the great names in journalism have been those who have doggedly pursued the stories of the poor. The appeal of these stories is the way they challenge others; the focus on humanistic detail with which they necessarily qualify the established narratives about poverty — you know, all those slogans politicians shout about bootstraps and the like. The irony is how seldom these powerful narratives actually seem to move the gears of power. It’s hard not to notice the themes repeating themselves again and again in these books across ages and time periods. … Read More

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15 Inexplicable Omissions from the WGA’s “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time”

The Writers Guild of America announced its list of the “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time” Sunday, culled from online voting by members of the writers’ union from both coasts. The list pretty much included the shows you’d expect (the top ten, in descending order: The Sopranos, Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Cheers, The Wire, The West Wing) — with a few notable exceptions. Yes, even in a list of 101 comedies, dramas, variety shows, and (weirdly) mini-series, they’re bound to make a few mistakes. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we read David Simon’s take on the Petraeus scandal, as well as some of the former CIA director’s love poems. We learned how to turn our browser into a distraction-free typewriter. We met the Keebler Elves of cannabis. We checked out Popular Science’s annual… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. In case you missed it, Animal Collective went on Conan last night to promote their new album Centipede Hz, playing “Today’s Supernatural” behind set pieces that looked like weird glowing teeth. Watch a clip of the performance

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What’s on at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we watched a hilarious supercut of rock stars saying dumb things in interviews. We watched a personal video about the Mars landing made by someone who worked on Curiosity. We learned about 23 unexpected things that turn people on and revisited Helen Gurley Brown’s… Read More

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TV’s All-Time Greatest Writers

If you shut off Girls this past Sunday with a sigh of relief, you’re not alone. Between May and June we’ve all endured an emotionally exhausting line-up of season finales (not to mention penultimate and triumvirate finales), and frankly this week was a nice, quiet reprieve. Sort of. Knowing what’s ahead, it’s been impossible to get too comfortable. New seasons of Breaking Bad and Louie are slowly approaching, we can’t not watch Weeds‘ last season, there’s catching up to do on Bunheads, and of course this Sunday, Sorkin is back. So, in an exercise to get the juices flowing, we’ve decided to round up the writers we believe to be most responsible for putting us in this stressful state of TV addiction, starting with the king of TV confabulation himself. … Read More

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David Simon Has a Blog, Is Ambivalent About Blogs

That’s right, fans: your favorite highbrow showrunner has launched a blog called The Audacity of Despair. David Simon revolutionized TV with The Wire, so we can only imagine that his blogosphere debut means it’s time for the rest of us to up our game. Although he’s professed that nothing he writes on his… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Cory Smoot aka Flattus Maximus, the lead guitarist for the heavy metal band GWAR, was found dead on their tour bus yesterday following a concert in Minneapolis. The cause of death is currently unknown, and according to a statement from GWAR, “at this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear… Read More

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