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David Simon on Ashley Morris June 13, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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From the Chicago Tribune’s TV writer Maureen Ryan:

It’s not terribly unusual for television writers to form bonds with the people who watch their shows. What David Simon is doing for a “Wire” fan this weekend, however, may be a little unusual.

Simon, the creator of “The Wire,” will be in the Chicago area Sunday to receive an honorary degree and to deliver the commencement address for DePaul University. Simon’s appearance at the ceremony, which will take place at Rosemont’s Allstate Arena, sprang from his desire to pay tribute to Ashley Morris, a DePaul assistant professor and “Wire” fan. Morris recently passed away at the age of 44…

[Simon told the newspaper] “the last [e-mail] conversation I had with this gentlemen, he expressed great satisfaction and pride in having worked hard to get me invited to the DePaul commencement,” Simon wrote. “In fact, I was originally scheduled to be in London doing the final sound editing on Generation Kill this coming weekend and so I regretfully declined. He e-mailed me back saying he understand and was very disappointed, but understood the scheduling conflict. Next thing, I learn that Ashley has passed away suddenly.

“So the last thing this fella did was ask me to make a commencement appearance at the school where he taught and I said, sorry, no. And then he departs this vale. Naturally, for karmatic purposes, I had to call DePaul back and say if you still need me I’m there…

“I admired his sense of outrage; petulance and selfish rage are useless, but rightful and righteous anger has an essential place in our times. Ashley was angry on behalf of others, which in my mind makes all the difference. From what he wrote, I am convinced that Ashley loved his city and he loved the people of his city, and he was short and to the point with people who tried to [evade] the real questions using ad hominem and decorum and false civility. He spoke his mind.

“So I never got to know him. And that is my loss. And on some weird level, I owe him a trip to Chicago and a morning spent in a funny hat and gown.”

The rest here…


1. virgotex - June 17, 2008

video’s up over at NuPac


2. Treme: Life on the Banquette « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - September 17, 2009

[…] gathered to get books signed and thank Simon for giving a commencement speech at DePaul University dedicated in part to our deceased colleague Ashley Morris who was a professor there, he promised that one character would be based partially on […]


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