If you’re among those bent and exhausted by the pervasive critical postulation that The Wire and Treme creator David Simon is a genius—willows weep, because they just made it official. Simon is among the 23 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Genius Grant, which gives him $500,000 (dispensed in quarterly payments over the next five years) to make all the cynical explorations of bureaucracy and inner-city life his cantankerous heart desires. Simon admitted to feeling a “vague sense of guilt” about it since he receives plenty of money already, but he also believes the award will ease things considerably in his next pitch session, when he can pretty much walk in and say he plans to do a show composed entirely of Dr. John concert footage, then quell any network hesitation by slapping his “I’m A MacArthur Genius” certificate on the table and pointedly clearing his throat. Luckily, Simon’s newest areas of interest seem to be “the history of the CIA since World War II” and “a housing desegregation fight in Yonkers.” After all, he’s not stupid; he’s a certified genius.
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