Chris Rose, for those out of town readers who might not know this, is a local writer. He started out as the ‘entertainment reporter’ for the Times Picayune, but his trenchant observations about celebrity phoniness soon disqualified him from that mindless assignment. Even though he wasn’t from New Orleans he quickly dissolved into a local character. He reveres the bawdy inconsistencies that are the essence of New Orleans.
I was surprised that Rose never wrote about the bloggers of New Orleans. He had to be aware of their existence, especially Ashley Morris, who lashed out at Rose from time to time. Well, it turns out that Rose did know of Ashley Morris, and of Ashley’s recent death. Turns out that Rose encountered him in meatspace (as bloggers often refer to the physical world). And it seems that Rose understood what caused Ashley’s death: “he was huge and he lived too large and laughed too loud and that kind of behavior can kill a man.”
I’m glad to know that Rose met and appreciated Ashley for who he really was. Still, on behalf of Ashley, I do have to take issue with one aspect of Rose’s tribute. It would be wrong to lump Ashley into a group that Rose calls ‘amateur curmudgeons.’ Ashley struck me as a pretty serious curmudgeon, one easily misjudged by those who live comfortably in the superficial world.
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Nice of him to eulogize Ashley’s passing and yet make no mention of the fund for his widow and children. It is quite easy to miss since it has only been plastered across almost every NOLABlog in creation as well as low profile places like the Big Easy Rollergirls’ website and blog.
Once I am back in NOLA (on assignment in Vegas at the moment) I am going to have a stern little chat with that man.
Interesting that the newspaper guy refers to the bloggers as an “underground” channel of “amateurs”. The classic elitist dichotomous attitude towards anyone who doesn’t work for a paper. So if the bloggers are underground then why does the Times Picayune keep littering my front porch with unsolicited trail copies of their rag and endlessly calling me trying to get me to subscribe? I wonder if James Lee Burke would take the same attitude towards anyone who doesn’t write novels?Two writers, different mediums, neighbors on the same street and they never knew each other … that’s enough to make Marshall McLuhan roll over in his grave.