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.

Reading Generation Kill

My first thoughts on Generation Kill, after reading about the first eight chapters, is that it’s a perfect Simon vehicle…a huge cast of characters who are hard to tell apart, have alien vocabularies and customs which you must learn before you can figure out what’s going on, and they cuss like sailors. Or Marines. Same diff in some instances.

It wasn’t hard to figure out which character Ziggy is going to play.

It’s also an excellent book in describing the fog and boredom and frustration of war, as First Recon zips from canceled mission to canceled mission, not really knowing what they’re supposed to be doing and where they’re supposed to go next, because their command structure is completely in the dark about the situation on the ground in the first days of the war trying to establish a bridgehead across the Euphrates at Nasiriyah. A much clearer sense of confusion than I’ve seen in any other war writing, including any of Stephen Ambrose’s books. Possibly only the German film Stalingrad manages to convey the utter lack of control and information vacuum in which the typical grunt operates.

One difference I notice between this book and, say, The Corner, is that Evan Wright leaves himself in the book as a character (albeit largely in the background), whereas Burns and Simon completely elided themselves from their coverage of the Baltimore drug trade. I don’t see Wright in the GK film credits, which makes one wonder, who sits behind Sgt. Colbert in the humvee?

Also, IMDB shows that the beautiful health- and fashion-conscious gayest straight Marine ever, Rudy Reyes, plays himself. This tickles me to death for some reason. It also gives Davis Rogan hope that he’ll get to play himself on the New Orleans pilot, but, heh, I think they should get a really short guy to play him.

Anybody else already read or currently reading GK before the show airs?

Ashley Morris is a committed motherfucker

Last winter I wrote my post, Rigorous Honesty, after watching Bubbles struggle and stumble his way through an NA meeting and then after talking for a long time about the episode over lunch with another fellow Wire addict and former drug addict, the charming Ms. Hiromi. Like most of my half-decent writing, the idea was not even half-formed when I first sat down to write it and then it just barfed itself all over the page in one long non-stop blast. I posted it, then packed up my computer and headed to the Austin airport to come home to New Orleans.

I’m at the airport, and H. calls me up and says, “Dude, you are not going to believe the comment you just got on that post”. We were ten minutes from boarding but I went and paid the $9.95 for wifi to read the very humbling praise that David Simon left me, and I was admittedly kind of giddy. And the first person I called was Ashley. Ashley who, like me, had loved the show from the very beginning. But Ashley who, unlike me, had helped drive the “Save The Wire” movement when it looked like it might be cancelled by HBO; who had read and watched and rewatched Homicide and The Corner; who could quote off the top of his head more trivia and quotes and little known Wire facts in five minutes than I could dig up in an hour of Googling.

I immediately called Ashley, and he answered the phone, not with “Hello”, or “Hey Ray”, or “Ashley Morris”. No, he picked up the phone and yelled “Motherfucker! You piece of shit! Goddammit, you lucky fucking asshole!” All in good fun, of course. (We were close, this is like whispering sweet nothings between us.) “I guess you read it then, huh?”, I said. “Yes! I read it. Fuck you.”

And for most of the history of this blog, my post was the most read post, and one of I think only two posts that got some DS love in the comments. I didn’t gloat, but yeah, I check my stats.

Well, no longer. The most read post on this blog, ever since four weeks ago, has been Open Thread for Ashley, and the most DS love I’ve ever seen doled out for anybody not actually on the show is there in the comments.

I tell you, that fat fucking loveable bastard was committed, man. You do not FUCK with Ashley on his turf and expect to stay on top.

Motherfucker will do ANYTHING. “My name is my NAME!”

The last time I saw him, at the Maple Leaf Bar, I was giving him my brain-dump on single malts (one of my former weaknesses), and I pointed at the Highland Park on the top shelf and told him about the Orkney Island distillery, the northernmost distillery in Scotland, almost at the Arctic Circle, and I said “Highland Park 18 year old. When I relapse, it’s gonna be a pint of Guinness and then a bottle of that,” and he said “Like hell.”

“Like hell what?”

“Over my dead body. I’ll kill your dumb ass before I let you relapse.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. I need another cranberry and soda, you want another Abita or you switching to Jameson?”

Committed.

Indeed.

Tomorrow it will have been a month, y’all. I think Ashley would want us to start writing about what comes next, ya know?

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