Just Say No

David Simon, writer and producer of TV show The Wire, gave a powerful speech at Loyola College about institutional failure and social fragmentation in America’s cities. I highly recommend watching The End of the American Empire. Here’s an excerpt from the second segment (with 3:10 remaining):

What’s left for people is what? What are they supposed to say “yes” to? . . . Ultimately, what we’re looking at is somebody who’s been told, just say “no” to what is the only viable economic engine in your neighborhood. . . . The one thing that it solves is, again, the existential crisis . . . Every drug addict knows the moment he wakes up in the morning what his job is. What his essence is. He’s solved his existential crisis. . . . “Just say no.” Why – why should I say no? What should I say yes too? And we don’t have an answer for that last part.