Roger Ebert, 1942-2013


Roger Ebert dies at 70 after battle with cancer [Chicago Sun-Times]

But Darth Cheney still walks the earth. Fuck.

OT/ I’ve passed the final hurdle for my new job. Had to get a medical. Passed everything including the chest X-ray. Now it’s official.

@ManchuCandidate: What’s your new job, Evil Minion working for Dr No or something? Sounds extensive that they need that much assurance of your health.

This from his obit moved me to tears at my office desk:

He was a renaissance man whose genius was based on film but by no means limited to it, a great soul who had extraordinary impact on his profession and the world around him.

“‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoirs. “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

@Mistress Cynica: Yeah, what you said w/r/t Darth Cheney.

I’m working as a production tech for a pharmaceutical company (they make generics and not one of the Big Pharma Corps) It’s a job.

@SanFranLefty: Also, here’s somebody who started at the Sun-Times in 1966, and never left. Somebody who was already past 50 when the Internet went public, yet conquered it.

And, for that matter, somebody who was a go-to punchline in the Eighties, but ultimately transcended his national reputation as a mere thumbs-up TV reviewer.

But hey, his legacy was secured all the way back in 1970. That’s when he wrote “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” for Russ Meyer.

@ManchuCandidate: Brava. So you’re our go-to guy for Percocet?

Question. Anyone know? Paris. 1948. Were the lights back on? I imagine a city under ash, bleak, like London. My director says no. Paris wasn’t bombed, he doubts there was food rationing (I remember rationing from my distant childhood. Catt was handing out the coupons). Anyone got a clue? OK. Funny. It’s Stinque. Whatever. But.

City of light or drizzle off cobblestones? (One imagines a solitary man, a good man, Gitane dangling from his lip, his pouty lip, a lip that needs to be crushed by kisses, shod in Birks over grey wool socks. He makes his way down rue Montorguiel hoping to find some kind of truth beyond the yes/no of transient affairs. He remembers the last time he saw his love. At that cafe presque l’Opera. They discussed Wittgenstein. Is the world composed of either/or: right/wrong: yes/no: 1/0. Checking out the neckties in the shop near Place Victoire he wonders is there no room for maybe? He thinks of Fanfan le’Fue’s novel and imagines a musical adaptation, not quite opera, not quite operetta, something that could gross 4 billion worldwide. Does that offer comfort to a man whose socks are soaked facing a 19 storey climb to his attic sous les toits? Think of him facing himself in the mirror as he brushes his teeth. Paris. What has it taught him? Paris, a cruel mistress. Don’t wear Birks in the rain. But what is that music he hears? That music in his head? That music of the night… ?)

@Benedick: My limited knowledge comes from reading Simone de Beauvoir’s autobiographies (yes, plural–I’m that big a nerd). She mentioned food shortages quite a bit, and lack of heat and fuel. Paris wasn’t pummeled like London, but there were definitely effects on daily life in the aftermath of the war.

@SanFranLefty: The complete essay that comes from is here. It’s amazing, and I agree with every word.

@Benedick: Hope and Glory.

No, wait. Too early.

They discussed Wittgenstein.

Doesn’t everyone?

@Mistress Cynica: That’s what I thought. I have reach outs to les Franch. A city under siege helps me. Fingers crossed for suffering.

@Dodgerblue: Stunning. But pre- during war not aprés.

Ha, no. The job happened in part because of US Amercia and demand for generic drugs.

I’m really going to miss Ebert. He was no Pauline Kael, but I think that was more by choice than ability. He knew he was reviewing for a broader audience. And the more I read his reviews the more respect I gained for them. And the more I read his social commentary the more I grew to love the man. A truly beautiful soul.

@ManchuCandidate: Awesome. I’m in an oddly positive situation here with I one secure offer and another less so, each with good upsides and only limited downsides – mostly surrounding the well-being of the Biscuits. Nonetheless I’m torn up inside, playing each off the other, trying to wait for some Light to go off and tell me which way to go.

And either way, I too have extensive medical and security checks to pass simply for changing contracts since I already have both…

@Beggars Biscuit: I have an offer from the Island to join the Others. Should work out great.

@¡Andrew!: Get rid of Ben once and for all, would ya?

@Beggars Biscuit: This explains everything. We’ve all been dead five years.

@Beggars Biscuit: Might you be joining the DC Stinque contingent? I seem to recall mention of a possible DC Stinque-up.

@nojo: Feels longer.

Oh, so I get to ride a ferry to some island tomorrow. It would be great if the weather didn’t suck ass. #rememberwhereyoulive

@¡Andrew!: Do they make you stay in your car on the way to Whidbey Island?

Oh, and I was sadder when Siskel died. I paid good money to see that jacked up Star Trek Whale Movie b/c of Ebert. I’ll never forgive him.

@JNOV: Sorry you didn’t care for it but I side with Ebert on Star Trek IV. It wasn’t going to make anybody forget “Citizen Kane” or “Casablanca” but as Star Trek movies went it was definitely one of the best.
If you’ve never read his high praise of Steak ‘n Shake it’s some of the funniest glorification of fast food I’ve ever seen. I’m afraid the world has lost a very decent man.

@Dave H: There was Wrath of Khan, and then a bunch of also-rans.

Only thing good about the whale movie was Scotty trying to speak into a computer mouse.

@JNOV: Wave hi to my Swedish relatives when you pass Orcas.

@nojo: I’m sorry the Orcas ate them.

@JNOV: I’ve not taken the ferry to Whidbey. It should be a beautiful trip : )

@ManchuCandidate: It’s an honorable job, and it pays you money, and you’ve got it. That’s very good news.

@Beggars Biscuit: Whenever I’m having a truly hard time choosing one of two alternatives, the quickest way to decide is to flip a coin, saying heads I go for #1, tails it’s #2. If my gut response to which side lands facing up is “Oh, no!” then I choose the other.

@Mistress Cynica: Allow me to join lynnelightfoot, SanFranLefty and everyone else in thanking you for posting the link to that essay from Roger Ebert. I loved it.

@nojo: Whoa. At the ferry terminal, I saw Official Don’t Get Eaten by an Orca Warnings and Tips.

@¡Andrew!: Whidbey, what I saw of it, was nice. My friend lives in the woods, and it was nice to spend time with her. The ferry ride was kinda meh. 10 minutes in the car. We stood near the bow last night, maybe because we were drunk. The most north I’d been was Shoreline — it was nice to see new things and to find out how to avoid nettles.

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