Tell Stories

I was trying to explain how the drug war doesn’t work. I would write these very careful, very well researched pieces and they would go into the ether and be gone. . . It was such an uphill struggle to tell this story with facts. When you tell a story with characters, people jump out of their seats.

David Simon, creator, producer, and primary writer for The Wire.

If you have any interest in the drug war, the plight of our inner cities, or the power of finding your voice, set aside forty-five minutes this week and watch both parts of this Bill Moyer’s interview with David Simon. Great stuff.

Simon is insightful and inspiring on so many levels. He has a keen understanding of what is happening to our inner cities and, more broadly, to the “unneeded” classes of our society. His observations are poignant and delivered with restrained passion.

TV Ads – Too Many?

We are in the business of providing the material that prevents the commercials from all slamming together . . . that’s what we are doing here. That’s what we are doing on the West Wing set. We gotta deliver them twelve minutes of stuff to separate the Chevy commercials.

— Lawrence O’Donnell, Jr. Executive Producer of the The West Wing. Quoted in an NPR interview, January 2006.

I counted forty-two ads in last week’s episode of Lost. And that does not include any that aired before the show started or after the credits started to roll. Just forty-two ads in five breaks squeezed between six seven-minute segments of content. There were almost nineteen minutes of ads in a sixty-two minute time slot. That’s almost 30% of the air time dedicated to noise from advertisers.