A great interview with a man who consistently gives great interviews, in a publication, which, with all the fondest adolescent memory, does not. One glaring point of note: How does a man, a fiercely intelligent man, whose whole oeuvre turns on his innate documentarian’s rage at the destruction wrought on inner city America by the vicissitudes of late capitalism (see Kinkle and Toscano in Read), and who regularly employs an articulate critique of this very same post-modern capitalism, assert himself as definitely not a Marxist but an affirmed believer in capitalised Capitalism?
Tell me, Dossier’s US readership, is this the obvious result of a fundamental ideological mechanism? The advantage of the transatlantic nature of this blog lies in its superposition between two understandings of the word Marxist: according to Simon, it appears to mean someone who wishes to replace Capitalism with Communism, while over here I’d suggest it generally refers to any discourse which might casually reference, say, the systematic oppression of organised labour in the process of producing a critique of capitalism. Which is something he does. A lot.
As someone who, for one reason or another, reads a lot of material produced by art galleries to explain the work of their represented artists, I’m used to the inconsistency of people invoking forms of critique whose genesis lies in Marxist theory, while casually disavowing ‘Marxism’ as synonymous with a discredited form of governance. This seems entirely indicative of just the sort of inauthentic post-modernist politics which most of The Wire militates against. While The Wire’s mainstream success still resonates beyond the lame validations of Guardian hype-merchants and Tory frontbenchers, let’s see this show as it really is, beyond its creator’s vacillating apologies, as a potent form of leftist agitation. A Christmas thought? David Simon, come out the fucking closet.