Saturday, April 06, 2013

RIP Roger Ebert

The news of Roger Ebert's death was like a punch to the stomach this week. I emailed my coworker one word: "Wow." I've been following his work since "Siskel & Ebert" was in syndication in the mid-90s. Yes, I think I was one of the few pre-teen age fans of the show.

This may sound silly, but the intro to "Siskel & Ebert" may have had a little to do with my career choice. They looked like they were having the greatest time in the world writing (Ebert actually typing at a typewriter, ha ha), Siskel taking a cab in the big city, both of them seeing their faces on the side of trucks and reading their reviews at the newsstand.

It was in the late 2000s when I started reading Ebert's blog, and I was extremely impressed by the clarity of his writing about moviesreligion, loneliness, racism and life itself. I was stunned watching a piece about Ebert on Oprah where he went through his daily routine as a person who could not eat, drink or speak. How did he seem so happy in his writing? How did he stay motivated to do *anything* after life had dealt him such a difficult hand?

In 2011 he wrote "I do not fear death": "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." Words to live by.