Commentary: Writing

Admired Work Writing

Probably smarter, possibly funnier.

A letter to the editor that ran in The Washington Post Magazine last Sunday in reply to a profile of me that said I resembled Homer Simpson’s smarter brother:   The Washington Post Magazine Letters to the editor David Simon’s older brother takes umbrage at a description in our story: I read with great interest your piece about David Simon, my little brother. I am 14 years older than David, and I am intensely proud of him. However, I must take great umbrage at the statement that “Simon … looks from some angles like Homer Simpson’s much smarter brother.”  First the implication is that I am Homer Simpson and second, that David is smarter than me. You will be hearing from my attorneys. Gary L. Simon, medical professor, GWU   In a Jewish family, the doctor is always the smarter child.  The TV writer is supposed to advance the funny.  And presently, I find myself routed on both flanks at once. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditEmailPrint

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Admired Work Writing

A Maryland Film Festival panel slated

In the wake of last Monday’s unrest, Jed Deitz, who has nurtured the Baltimore-based festival since its inception, called to ask if I knew of anyone or anything that might be added to the event’s lineup that might address some of what has happened here. Centered in midtown Baltimore not far from the epicenter of both the mass civil disobedience that has so energized the city, as well as the site of Monday’s unrest, the festival is opening only days after authorities lifted a curfew and, perhaps, with many Marylanders and out-of-towners hesitant about attending the event. I didn’t have much to offer in the way of screenings.  Episodes of “Show Me A Hero,” an HBO miniseries slated for August, are not yet in final cut.  And, too, that miniseries, while it addresses class and racial segregation in our society, is more about our calcified political processes than directly relevant to the core grievances underlying current events. But a second miniseries...

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Journalism On Newspapering and Journalism Writing

Libel per se – UPDATED TWICE

UPDATE:  12 p.m., July 4 I am informed that the Huff Post piece has now removed the reference to my having been fired.  Instead, apparently, my revenge was had upon editors who spiked one of my articles because my writing wasn’t “Dickensian” enough.  They never said anything of the sort to me or anyone else, and that is not actually the reason that particular article was spiked.  I carefully related the actual sequence of events to Dr. Williams in my April memo as a discussion of  that particular article and its fate features throughout her manuscript, but no matter.  With regard to the Huff Post essay at least, I am libeled no more and I thank the author for her apology at the bottom of the essay. A brief word on the non-performance of the Huffington Post in this matter, on their publishing ethic, and on the manner in which this institution conducts its business: The abdication of editorial responsibility in the case of aggregated sites such as Wikipedia or barely...

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Writing

The Pogues project – clarified

Seems I let a cat slip from the bag in the Q-and-A session after a recent gig in Australia by mentioning some work undertaken in conjunction with a possible stage musical involving the songs of The Pogues.   I was offering an answer to a question about whether I had thought about undertaking work in media other than prose or television.  What has ensued with the Irish press, and then with the likes of Rolling Stone, has been a little surprising, if not entirely premature. To more carefully ground this in fact: I’ve been a fan of The Pogues and their music since the late 1980s.  After we had used some of their songs in The Wire, I had a chance to meet the bandmembers through George Pelecanos, who had been invited to one of their concerts in Washington, D.C.  Shortly thereafter, during some time in London, I was approached by Phil Chevron about the possibility of writing a musical that would utilize the band’s discography.  Interested, I was then introduced to the estimable...

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Writing

James Agee, and the delicate pursuit of narrative non-fiction.

I’ve written on my admiration for “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” before, and in fact an essay is somewhere on this website.  But now, more on Agee’s great treatise on American poverty from the New York Times: If a greater humanist or more honorable soul ever practiced journalism, I can’t conjure the name.  Agee showed a lot of people not only how to report and write about other human beings, but how to behave while doing so.     Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditEmailPrint

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