“Marching out into this beleaguered world of ours – you suckers are gonna need all the laughter you can get. Take solace in humor, people. As much as you can.”
Albeit a couple ten days late (#oops), Vox provides here the text of the speech David Simon, producer of The Wire, gave to graduates of the College on May 18. The Baltimore Sun reminded us a couple days ago when they put up the speech as well.
Simon’s message was bleak but surprisingly encouraging. Although he started by reflecting on the utterly hopeless future that graduation holds, Simon told graduates to “endure and fight on, never vanquishing any of the fundamental threats to society but never capitulating either.”
Simon, an American author, journalist, and producer of T.V. series “The Wire” and “Treme”, was a graduate of University of Maryland, College Park. He started his career as a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun and then began writing about the Baltimore Police Department in his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. The book catalogues his experience following detectives in the Baltimore Police Department’s homicide squad. Simon later produced an HBO drama series “The Wire”, based off many of the characters in his books.
“My generation probably owes yours an apology,” Simon said. “Because, hey, we definitely shanked it. We choked. We let ourselves get distracted with greed, with gloss, with the taste of the bread and the glitz of the circuses.” He reminds Georgetown students what the true goal is for American society, and what we should all be striving for: “All of us must share the same future – like it or not. For the republic to long endure, there must be a real American collective and all of us must have some stake in that collective.”
Here is the full speech, pulled from David Simon’s website: