fly pelecanos. fly.
I suppose I’m in the ‘middle-class’ of “The Wire” audience, having not seen the whole season months ago but having already enjoyed next Sunday’s episode, “That’s Got His Own,” ‘on-demand.’ Since it is the second-to-last episode of the season and even more jam-packed with jaw-dropping moments than usual, I figured I’d add another drop in the ocean of deserved hype. Here is an interview with Ed Burns from Fresh Air (thanks, Warren!). When Terry Gross refers to Snoop’s nail-gun purchase as a ‘drill,’ please forgive her. Ed Burns seems to.
Burns description of the ‘hip-hop’ influence on young wannabe actors is a brilliant, and maybe unwitting, critique of hip-hop as a whole.
“That’s Got His Own” was written by George Pelecanos, one of the ‘staff novelists’ working with the show’s creators David Simon and Ed Burns.
You can listen to an old interview with Pelecanos by Terry Gross from 1988 and a more recent interview by Kacey Kowars.
Here is a good interview from July with Pelecanos by Peter S. Scholtes for City Pages, but I want to feature a few quotes from Scholtes’ blog that didn’t make the final version of the interview. The unofficial words on future projects are enough to increase the heart-rate of a fan of ‘The Wire’ and Derek Strange novels.
(on New Orleans…)
I don't know if I'm supposed to talk about this, but David Simon just sold a pilot to HBO, and it's going to be in New Orleans. It's going to be about all these musicians after Katrina. Like, "How did they rebuild their lives and still play music?" In other words, the hook is going to be centered around the music of New Orleans post-Katrina.
And what's the status Samuel L. Jackson starring in Right as Rain?
You never know what's going to happen, but it's all ready to go. It's not in pre-production yet, but the script's written.
I remember, when I saw Reservoir Dogs, I saw it in pretty much a white audience. And I saw these young guys in their 20s laughing at "Cut it out, you guys are acting like a bunch of niggers." And everybody's laughing and stuff. And then, I was looking around, and I saw a middle-aged black guy and his son, probably innocently going to check out that crime film. And everybody's laughing at that. I could just see the guy slinking down in his seat. Like, "What are they laughing at? What's so funny about that?"
But Jackie Brown, oddly enough, when he was criticized for that picture because of the use of that word, I felt like for the first time it was completely organic to the Sam Jackson character. That guy absolutely would have been saying that. The question is, Why is Steve Buscemi saying it? Why is Tarantino saying it in Pulp Fiction? Why would that guy be saying it to the Sam Jackson character? Sam Jackson would beat his ass, and instead he just lets it go. Quentin is saying it because it sounds cool, because he thinks it sounds cool.
I have two sons and a daughter, and I assume we're talking about my sons now. One of them's 15, the other's going to be a teenager soon. They're very street-smart young guys. They're tough. I don't have a problem with that. My youngest son is on the wrestling team. He's very tough. He can handle himself in the street. He wouldn't bully anybody, but there's people that don't even want their kids to know how to fight, and I don't think that's helping them any.
I'm a little different. I mean, for example, the word "fuck" to me is four letters randomly arranged. It doesn't bother me if I hear somebody say it. And I've told my kids that, too. People will look at you a certain way if you say it. They're going to judge you. But the fact is, just think about it, man. There's nothing wrong with it. They know everything that I've done, all the drugs I've used, and everything. I try to tell them, look, smoking pot, it's your choice, but personally, from my experience, as an older guy, I think it's a waste of time. It's not a moral thing. Just think about it. Why waste the time? I try to give them something from my experience. I've wasted a lot of time doing that kind of stuff.