On his blog, The Audacity of Despair, David Simon, creator of the greatest television show EVER, recounts his recent impromptu sit-down with Governor Martin O’Malley aboard the Acela.
“As the train neared Baltimore, the Governor suggested that perhaps we both suffered from Irish — or as I know the joke, Jewish — Alzheimers. As he explained, ‘That’s where you…’ ‘…only remember the grudges,’ I finished.”
For those unfortunate souls who have not seen “The Wire,” one of the key characters in the final three seasons of the show is Tommy Carcetti, an ambitious Baltimore politician played by Irish actor Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger in “Game of Thrones) who rises from a seat on the city council to the office of the Mayor of Baltimore, and to the office of the Governor of Maryland by the end of the series.
A fictionalized version of the events of the 1999 Baltimore mayoral election were presented in third and fourth seasons of “The Wire.” Many saw the connection between Carcetti and O’Malley, who was elected mayor by defeating two African American opponents.
Simon has denied that the character of Tommy Carcetti was supposed to be O’Malley, but did acknowledge that O’Malley was “one of several inspirations” for Carcetti.
Considering the nakedly ambitious, almost Machiavellian depiction of his on-screen doppleganger, it’s no wonder O’Malley is not a big fan of Simon and that any encounter between the two would be, at best, awkward.
Surprisingly, Baltimore’s two favorite sons were able to engage with each other and Simon’s retelling of their conversation is worth reading.
“He still hates ‘The Wire’ with a taut fury. I suggested he might watch it some years from now, when there was less at stake. I am still no fan of some of his policies, especially with regard to the drug war and the use of mass arrest… We searched for common ground and landed eventually on The Pogues, a band beloved to us both … At one point, we both lamented the death last year of Pogues guitarist Phil Chevron and sang some lyrics to Chevron’s magnificent ‘Faithful Departed.’”
H/t to Ghost in the Machine.