Thursday, April 04, 2013

Goodbye, Roger

Roger Ebert has died.

I've poked at some of his reviews in the past, but I read them all the time. And his blog was a home to some really wonderful writing (like this about his father) and who can forget when he took on Bill O'Reilly? His books - the ones like I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie and A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length were funny, while Awake in the Dark was wonderful and Life Itself is on my virtual to-read stack.

He well deserved his Pulitzer, and his star on the Walk of Fame. He was a example of shining grace at the end of his life (a few days ago he wrote in Salon: "I do not fear death. I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear... I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state," he wrote. "I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting.") and he will most decidedly be missed.

Updated to add a link to his Sun-Times obituary, which has this wonderful quote, which comes from Life Itself:
“Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. 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.

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At 4:54 PM, April 04, 2013 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

I was shocked to read about his death. I had just seen his last post (Tuesday?) where he seemed fairly optimistic. But I guess that was just him.

The quote on death reminds me of Mark Twain's: "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

At 8:25 PM, April 11, 2013 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Especially enjoyed Ebert's reminiscences about his father -- very evocative of Champaign-Urbana in the '40s and '50s. Thanks.


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