(Image credit:Loki at Humid City)
There is so much sadness in the NOLA blogosphere today yet so many have found words to pay tribute toAshley Morris who passed yesterday. If you were to go to any blog listed in our NOLA blogroll in our right hand sidebar you will likely find such a tribute. And that would only be a beginning. We wanted to highlight some of what is being expressed today from our friends in the NOLA blogoshpere. We have all lost a powerful and unique voice in the blogosphere and they have lost one of their family. Our hearts go out to them and to Ashley’s wife and children. So in tribute:
We have lost ourexcitable boy.
His unrelenting passion for our city and his community will be missed
as much as his unflinching and cuss-ridden dissections of the federal,
state and local incompetence that has brought our city to its present
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.
Ashley was a remarkable human being with an awe-inspiring wealth of
experience, an amazing sense of humor, and the kind of anger that is
only born of a deep deep sense of humanity.
I can’t begin to tell you the amazement
I felt whenever you recounted your exploits in life. I would need a few
lifetimes to do some of the things that you did in your brief life. You
lived, Professor. “Better to die a devil in the fire, than an angel in
the wings.” Ah man, amen, you were never in the wings. You were always
on the frontline. You made me laugh a lot. I thank you for that and
salute your soul. I’ll be in that second line to send you off.
It is needless to say that Ashley’s death is a huge blow to the New
Orleans blogger community, but this is also where our community can be
at its best. By helping its own. What Ashley would want is that we are
there for his wife and three small children. Let us be at their service.
He detested all things snooty or uppity. He conducted a boisterous
love of local peoples and cultures. He had the intelligence and
repertoire to engage even the most critical thinkers. He possessed a
vibrantjoie de vivre. He was a pirate, a trickster, a
madman. He was profound and profane; he was an intellectual and a
fanatic. He was a bull in a china shop and if shit was going down, you
wanted him on your side.
Much at Dangerblond but the title says it all of he who gave “Sinn Fein” to the NOLA blogosphere —“Ourselves, a little more alone”
New Orleans Patriot,
professor, musician, cigar aficionado, blogger, husband, father, Saints
fan, techie, polymath… truly a generous, original, vital soul…and jesus napoleon bonaparte christ he could make you laugh.
Oyster gives us that laugh from Ashley withthis short recording of him
I miss you, old man. More than you can ever know.
Ashley loved The Wire and had many great posts atThe New Package blog. Nancy Nall, who also writes at that blog, hasa wonderfully written tribute at her site. And today the creator of The Wire, David Simon, leftthis comment at the New Package blog and with that I cried…
I never met Ashley, but communicated with him only recently about
his effort to have me speak at the DePaul commencement. As it happens,
I was to be in the UK that weekend editing Generation Kill, and so sent
regrets, but I feel for some weird reason that it is important for me
to do the last thing that this fellow asked me to do.
Ashley understood the dynamics of addiction exactly and there wasn’t
a subtext to any of Bubbles or Gary McCullough that eluded him. His
voice was honest and blunt and full-throated. And rooted as he was in
New Orleans, I felt that there was a possibility I was going to get to
know him a lot better.
This is all very sad and sudden and upsetting.
I’m gonna call DePaul today and say that if they still want me to do
it and they have not moved on to another speaker, I’m going to fly
black and forth from London to do it. Might be too late, but Ashley
worked hard to get them to extend the invite when they were of course
wondering what the hell The Wire is, so…
Damn, damn, damn…
Ashley Morris –1963-2008– beloved in the NOLA blogosphere and beyond…
UPDATE:Ray in New Orleans has the transcript of a speech, which honored the life and passing of Ashley, given by New Orleans City Council member Shelley Midura at today’s New Orleans city council meeting.