Art Can Help Us Understand Reality, Even While Transforming It

It Crafts Beauty and Truth from Mundane—Sometimes Ugly—Daily Existence

In their different ways, David Simon and Jamel Shabazz both have transformed gritty reality into art, drawing inspiration from the complex, often troubled urban-scapes of places like New York, Baltimore, and New Orleans.
On Wednesday night, Simon and Shabazz came together before a packed auditorium at a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event to consider the question, “Does Art Capture Reality Better Than the News?” It’s a subject that Simon, a former newspaper reporter turned television writer, and Shabazz, a former U.S. Army soldier who later worked for a spell as a …

My Golden Ride in The Idiot Box

TV Writing Paid My Bills, But I Still Don't Watch

In 2006, I served a long year in the psych ward/nursery school that was the writers’ room for the quickly cancelled NBC drama The Black Donnellys.

The show held great promise, …