Not everyone gets to stay up late enough to see “The Colbert Report,” and I hope I’m not spoiling anyone who catches it on the next-day reasonable-hour replay, but last night’s guest was David Simon, and guess whose name he dropped? Ashley Morris’. (You can watch the clip here, and thanks, Del, for digging that up.)
I’m so proud of my stupid little blog. It may not have many readers, but it has the right readers.
Where is my money?
For those of you new to this blog, after Ashley left us suddenly in 2008, our web wizard J.C. set up a script that pulled every comment he ever made here into a single thread. The link’s in the right rail, or here. What I find amusing about it is that, even severed from the posts he was talking about, they still make a certain amount of sense, and you can dip in and out of them at will and still get a feeling for the man. Here’s one from near the top:
In St. Petersburg in 1997, I was walking down Nevsky Prospekt, and stopped at the Grand Hotel Evropa. They were advertising “Bud and Burger: $8”. After a week in Eastern Europe, this actually looked good. So I order my burger, get my Bud (they can’t call it Budweiser there because the Czechs own that name), and pound it down. I walk up to the bar for another Bud, and this gorgeous blonde is standing beside me. Being a fearless virile American heterosexual, I say to myself, what the hell. So I look at her and say “Hi, what’s your name”. She responds “Two hundred dollars”. Without missing a beat, I say “Is that your first name, your last name, or is that what your friends call you?” She looks confused, thinks for a second, then says again “two hundred dollars”. Finally, I’m served my Bud, and I walk away. And out in front of the hotel were all of the Russian Mafia guys wearing the uniform: khaki pants, black shirts, italian loafers with no socks, and wrap-around sunglasses. Oh, and they were all leaning on black mercedes, black BMWs, or black somethings. I didn’t follow my Rick Steves guide and try to strike up a conversation…
For those even newer to this blog, Ashley provided the loose framework of the character in “Treme” played by John Goodman. It’s an “inspired by,” not a “based on” characterization, so don’t go getting any ideas; it’s not a line-for-line copy. But knowing that Creighton Bernette’s lines were in some cases lifted from Ashley’s blog, it was funny to read this, in Hank’s review today:
His character was added to the array late in the show’s assembly and his dialogue is saddled with distilling “Treme’s” social commentary.
When a British journalist interviewing Creighton asks if New Orleans is worth rebuilding — since its destruction and sinking is considered by many to be Mother Nature’s fait accompli — the belligerent Creighton assaults him, tries to hurl his TV camera into the Mississippi River and lets loose with the fiery counterargument that is “Treme’s” (and New Orleans’s) broadest concern: The floods were a man-made disaster, triggered by a hurricane but caused by years of government neglect and an inept federal response.
While essential to any story of life in New Orleans, such moments are nevertheless “Treme’s” burden to bear. No matter how hard the writers seemed to have worked to avoid it, much of Goodman’s dialogue in the early episodes has the flavoring of op-ed screeds, and it sometimes seeps into other characters’ scenes.
That’s what a blog is, isn’t it? One long op-ed screed. Ashley’s blog is still up, and while not quite a ghost ship, it’s tended intermittently by his widow, Hana (who was paid for her husband’s inspiration). Spammers have flooded the comments, but I recommend the “greatest hits” links down the left rail, especially “My Life in Porn,” because it links back here in sort of an orgy of log-rolling and ass-kissing.
Hank says “Treme” is good, by the way. It premieres Sunday. Although I will not be seeing it until Tuesday. I’ll explain that later.
Thinking about J.C. and his web wizardry, he asked me once, when we were discussing how I’ve still not made a last will and testament, “All I want to know is, who has control of your online content?” I thought for half a second, and bequeathed it all to him. As far as I’m concerned, if a blood vessel bursts in my brain today, I trust J.C. to keep the bar open. This ghost ship could sail for years. Maybe we can set up a guest-bartender system.
One bit of bloggage today:
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go chase down a rabbit. Back later.