Comments Get Serious

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Last week, readers brought plenty more positive reinforcement our way — thanks, guys — but didn’t pull any punches either.

In response to Rachel Monroe’s “Ten Years Post Wire: David Simon Looks Back” report, written shortly after seeing Simon live at MICA — in which Monroe described Simon’s comparing his series to Melville’s most respected novel — a reader going by the tag “Actually” wrote, “Simon resisted any qualitative comparison between ‘The Wire’ and Moby Dick. He said specifically, ‘Understand, I am not saying ‘The Wire’ is anywhere near as good as this book,’ but instead cited Moby Dick at random because it was a long, famous novel that he thought everyone in the audience would know and most would have read. And then he proceeded to describe the first chapters of Melville’s novel and point out that at no point do you meet the whale, or Ahab or even go aboard the Pequod. He then argued that ‘The Wire’ was structured in the same way, but whereas people do not feel pressed to acquire immediate and dramatic plot developments when they pick up a long novel, they expect such when they watch television. And he argued that ‘The Wire’s’ pacing was more consistent with prose narrative than with television drama. No doubt someone is running around right now pointing to the above account and declaring that Simon thinks ‘The Wire’ is the new Moby Dick. He was making a point about structure only.”

Rachel wrote back swiftly to clarify, “That’s what I said, or was trying to say — that the Moby Dick/‘Wire’ comparison was structural, in that they’re both ‘slow starters’ (Simon’s words) — you have to take your time to get into them, and then are rewarded with a fully-realized world. I have plenty of respect for the man and am in no way trying to start internet rumors about him being grandiose. If anything, he actually seems relentlessly self-effacing, to me.”

Meanwhile, “TAM” read Robert O’Brien’s post about a playful pilot’s irresponsible “Mom on board” announcement, and weighed in both emphatically and empathetically: “As a nervous flyer, I am able to see how one would react adversely to the ‘fun announcement.’ I have no interest in anything other than pertinent details of the actual flight (e.g.: weather conditions, crash or terror probability, etc.). It’s the out of context stuff that pushes nervous people over the edge. Better the airline people should stick strictly to their jobs, they have enough to do without doing inflight ‘shout outs.’” Agreed, TAM — keep your seat belt fastened.

MICA prof Mikita Brottman’s essay, “Crazy as a Bedbug,” cataloging historic suicides at the beautiful Belvedere Hotel, caught “CJS” by surprise — he/she wrote, “Right in the bathroom of his suite — that’s gotta hurt! Looking forward to the next installment.”

Leslie F. Miller wasn’t surprised at all to learn — in “The Day Davy Jones Did Baltimore” — that contributor Michael Yockel had met and interviewed dearly departed Monkee Davy Jones in Baltimore during the ‘80s. “Love it. Of course you did,” Leslie said.

But as usual, readers seemed to have the most to say about columnist Marion Winik’s memoir-esque observations. This week, in “The Hepatitis Chronicles Part II: Showtime!” Marion  detailed her recent hospital stay, the good, the bad, the miraculous and the hilarious.

Ross Sauce wrote, “Wow. That’s an inspiring story. I hope you do get well soon and stay that way for another few decades, dear Marion. We all benefit from your smarts and courage.”

Lisa Simeone said, “Marion, darlin’, I’m sorry, I had no idea you were so ailing. But your poetic rendering of your travails puts the petty troubles of the rest of us in perspective. Miracle Mary? Miracle Marion. Maybe we should wear that medal around our necks.”

Martha Frankel added, “Only you could make people jealous as all get-out with a story of a hospital stay. Come to Woodstock so I can spoil you.”

Naomi Nye wrote sweetly, “You are spectacular, babydoll! I love everything you’ve written for the last 32 (?) years and this one could be the best yet! Is it its own kind of miracle to be able to make grim/rough/nasty things hilariously funny? For sure and you’re the master. We all love you — Get well forever!” Touching stuff. See the site for heaps more heartfelt reactions.

Do keep reading in good health — and let us know what you’re thinking!

Cheers from Baltimore Fishbowl!

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