Monthly Archives: April 2011

My Crazy Hometown, Part 1 Million

Yesterday, I read a South Bend Tribune profile of a prospective mayoral candidate. Bill Davis, a Republican no less, bears a history that has his thrown out of middle school for attacking a teacher, has spent time in prison for assault, and runs his campaign from a local flophouse where “communication at times has been difficult, if the minutes on their prepaid cell phone run out, because squirrels keep chewing through the phone line leading into their room.”

Naturally, he took nearly 40 percent of the vote in a 2008 race for St. Joseph County Commissioner.

Update: Now I feel bad—it seems he’s suffered a heart attack.

David Simon on Crumbling Empire

But I don’t mind being called [angry]. I just don’t think it means anything. How can you have lived through the last ten years in American culture and not be? How can you not look at what happened on Wall Street, at this gamesmanship that was the mortgage bubble, that was just selling crap and calling it gold? Or watch a city school system suffer for twenty, twenty-five years? Isn’t anger the appropriate response? What is the appropriate response? Ennui? Alienation? Buying into the great-man theory of history—that if we only elect the right guy? This stuff is systemic. This is how an empire is eaten from within.

Guernica magazine shares an excellent Bill Moyers–interview of David Simon, creator of The Wire. Simon argues that the veneer used to hide our crumbling civil society no longer holds.

Sports Illustrated

Thomas Lake has an excellent feature in Sports Illustrated detailing the drive-by murder of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams. It’s as much a cultural study as a news story, showing how Williams and his killer were shaped by—and reflected—their upbringings.

It’s also brutally senseless. The whole thing centered around the kind stupid machismo that most young men would recognize, one that usually ends in shouts and shoves but here was twisted into murder.