This morning brings sad news: David Mills, aka Undercover Black Man, aka writer/producer/whatever on “The Wire,” “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Treme,” died suddenly yesterday on the set of “Treme.” The story linked above — and I have no idea what the Investigative Voice is, sorry — says it was an aneurysm.
It’s awful when a person this talented is cut down in the prime of life. I didn’t know David, but like lots of people in that orbit, we exchanged a few e-mails from time to time. This detail from the story above should provide a hint as to what we had in common: While attending (the University of Maryland), Mills started a newspaper devoted to George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. You should not be surprised to learn that one of Mills’ first big splashes in TV writing was “Bop Gun,” an episode of “Homicide” that takes its name from a P-Funk song. It also contains this priceless throwaway detail: A perp confesses to shooting someone over the destruction of a rare Eddie Hazel record, a reference maybe 12 people in the country got, but that’s why you watched “Homicide,” for the chance you might be in that 12. (Why isn’t this show in syndication anywhere? I just learned this morning that episode also features a 13-year-old Jake Gyllenhaal. And I don’t think I’ve seen it since it aired in 1994.)
Mills died barely a week before “Treme” is set to premiere — April 11.
I can’t find it now, but in one of our e-mail exchanges, I told Mills a blog post of his had prompted me to fill out my P-Funk collection via iTunes, and we went back and forth a little about guilty-pleasure pop hits. He said one of his was Diana Ross’ “Remember Me,” and then I downloaded that one, too. It’s fairly cheesy, Diana at her Diana-est, basically a more uptempo version of “I Will Always Love You.” I guess now I have someone to remember when I hear it.
Damn it anyway.
So, a little bloggage:
Google Maps added a bike feature, suggesting the most bike-friendly routes between locations. Here’s the map from my zip code to Belle Isle. I’d say they have some bugs to work out, but it’s a good start.
If you haven’t read the story I linked in the previous post, you are required to do so now. I am reminded once again of Jim at Sweet Juniper’s offhand remark: One of the great things about this city is, frequently there’s nobody around to tell you you can’t do something. Like open a strip club in your house.
If anyone cares, my windshield was only cracked, not broken, and it’s been like that for years, literally. Alan borrowed my car in 2006 and came home with a crack in the windshield the width of my hand, and claimed no knowledge of how it happened. Little by little, it expanded, and now it’s about 18 inches long. Although it’s down at the bottom and restricts my view not at all, it’s the sort of thing that would be an easy add-on ticket for a cop interested in chop-busting. Bonus: In the four years I’ve had it, the ownership of the glass shop changed and the price dropped from $590 to a little over $200. It pays to wait.
And now to think about my windshield not even a little — a bike ride.