“I owe him a trip to Chicago and a morning spent in a funny hat and gown.”

A surprise from today’s Chicago Tribune

David Simon pays tribute to a ‘Wire’ fan

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. Morris was a New Orleans resident and a noted local blogger, and he taught in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media (he commuted weekly to Chicago to teach). In addition to being a hardcore Saints fan and Warren Zevon devotee, Morris was an avid “Wire” viewer. He became friendly with Simon via Web sites devoted to the show, and one site, Got That New Package, posted an online tribute to Morris when he passed away on April 2. The community of New Orleans bloggers also deeply mourned his passing. I’ll quote here from an obituary supplied by DePaul: “The NOLA bloggers, rising in response to an unimaginable tragedy, quickly found themselves steering different parts of the beast,” wrote noted Louisiana political cartoonist Greg Peters, on his blog, Suspect Device. “Ashley was fire. Ashley was the furnace where the rage was forged, where the steam pressure built, where raw anger began its conversion to power and motion.” (The full DePaul obituary for Morris is at the end of this item. The New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary is here.) Reading that, it’s not hard to understand why Simon liked Morris. Continue reading

Info re David Simon @ DePaul commencement

Thanks to Jim King for info re David Simon’s involvement in the upcoming DePaul commencement activities. Per the DePaul site, the date of the ceremony is June 15. (at the improbable hour of 8:30 a.m.)

For those who may not have been around earlier, here’s the backstory.

HBO has crack

There are some very entertaining wastes of time over on the HBO site. Check out the eye candy at The Wire Season 5 NY Premiere. We’ve seen some of these before, but there are a few new pictures, including a dearly departed character.  It’s a slideshow so be sure and hit “Next.” These folks sure do clean up good.

There’s also a blurb about Steve Earle and “Down in the Hole” but I have to say that Blake Leyh’s claim that Earle has never recorded a cover of someone else’s song is pure crap.

Finally, there’s a ‘The Wire’ Public Record last ditch marketing ploy tribute.

More on jury nullification, this time from Pandagon

I’m a day late to catch this post Amanda did on the The Wire, the black hole we call the “the War on Drugs,” and jury nullification. Neither did I see this Time article by Burns, Lehane, Pelecanos, Price and Simon. I’m on my lunch hour without time to flesh any of this out but I wanted to put it up since we usually have some decent discussions on Friday, and jury nullification has come up a couple of times recently.

David Simon interview on Fresh Air today

Listen on yer radio or here

h/t michaela

Best Dramatic Series

The Wire has been awarded Best Dramatic Series honors by the Writers Guild of America.  The 2008 WGA awards were announced yesterday:

DRAMATIC SERIES

THE WIRE, Written by Ed Burns, Chris Collins, Dennis Lehane, David Mills, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon, William F. Zorzi; HBO

Simon, New Orleans, and the Davis Rogan connection

First, to set the stage, the standard NuPac head shot. Davis Rogan, Ben Franklin High School yearbook, 1982:

davis.jpg

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