John McWhorter isn't a huge fan of David Simon's new series, "Treme":
A main message from this sultry pageant of a show is that New Orleans is an occult matter that you can never truly “get” unless you’re a native or pretty close to it. The perky, hopelessly “white” tourists from Wisconsin with their nasal voices, the ones who get schooled by the street musician, can be taken as stand-ins for the viewer. Which makes the whole enterprise strangely unwelcoming. ... What’s especially challenging is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t quality: criticize New Orleans, or even don’t pay quite enough attention, and you’re a chumpbut praise it and you’re probably doing it wrong.
Ruth Franklin offers a sunnier take on the show, framed around the question, "When art is created out of catastrophe, where do we draw the line between inspiration and exploitation?"
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