With drug issues appearing to be the theme of the week around here, I want to invite everyone in Rutland to check out one of my favorite books: "The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood" by David Simon and Ed Burns.
David Simon was a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He spent a year shadowing detectives from the city's homicide unit and wrote "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," an incredible read in its own right and the basis for a TV series some of you may remember.
While working on "Homicide," Simon befriended Burns, one of the detectives he was following, and the two collaborated on "The Corner," in which they spent a year in one of Baltimore's worst drug neighborhoods, following one family and the people around them.
"The Corner" (which was also adapted into an HBO mini-series) takes the reader inside the addiction problem and gives some rather terrifying examples of how much worse Rutland could get if the problem here continues unchecked. It also comments on some of the ways the problem is being fought, some of which I suspect are about to become part of the local debate.
Simon and Burns went on to collaborate on a show called "The Wire," which most of you have heard of but probably, statistically speaking, never saw. I don't think I could make this post without suggesting that anyone who hasn't seen "The Wire" stick it in their Netflix queue, but I realize a five-season HBO show might seem like a bit of a commitment. Read "The Corner." It will make you think.