So many weird things about Indianapolis are floating through the cultural crosscurrents these days. A couple of weeks ago, Michael Rubino noted that Indianapolis has been cited as America’s most sexually satisfied city–and among America’s fattest cities, as well. Maybe that has something to do with the favorable national press our restaurant scene has been attracting. We’re also fourth on Forbes‘s list of Cities With The Happiest Young Professionals. Perhaps because they’re all getting laid, no matter how much gravy is dried on their neckties.
Treme follows the lives of a handful of characters in New Orleans after Katrina. Terry
Colson (David Morse) is a good cop in a bad system, still living in a FEMA trailer two years after the hurricane devastated the city. In the episode in question, he takes a trip to visit his sons, who live with his ex-wife in Indianapolis.
Judging by the presentation, and with all due respect to David Simon, I’m not sure he’s ever been to Indianapolis. Terry’s ex’s house is suburbanly delightful; judging by the view out the front door, she appears to live in a Fishers subdivision. Nothing wrong with that. I’m sure that if I had business in Metairie, I’d probably tell people I was going to New Orleans.
Then the dissing starts. First, Terry can think of nothing to say to his sons except to note that the Colts are looking good and “you have that race here.” Later, Terry mentions to his ex that she never took to New Orleans, and she describes it as a craphole. But it’s clear that we’re meant to understand that there’s something special about that craphole–and that the ex in her clean, well-appointed suburban kitchen is a shallow bitch who can’t grok the specialness.
Finally, to make sure the case has been nailed shut, we get Terry back in his awful trailer. He picks up a towel and inhales deeply; you can almost smell the mildew in the air. But it’s Terry’s home, goddamn it. He goes out for a bite to eat and exchanges words with a ridiculously dressed man on a bicycle covered with colored lights. “Don’t ever change.” Terry says. “I won’t,” says the man. Fade to black.
Of course, that firmly fastened case has nothing to do with Indianapolis and everything to do with New Orleans. Indianapolis is just convenient shorthand for “white-bread Midwestern city that’s infinitely less cool than New Orleans.” I get that.
But Indianapolis has its quirky charms–many of them documented in these virtual pages by our pal Evan Finch. (Go here to see his delightful writings.) We have poverty, corruption, and murder, too. And we manage to hold our own in the history of jazz.
Come to think of it, we have our own David Simon. And he’s loaded.
Sorry, New Orleans, but life is good and plenty interesting here. Especially for overweight hipster new media consultants looking to score at Bluebeard.