The Esquire profile of Roger Ebert circulated on-line yesterday, I know, but when it comes to Roger Ebert’s greatness, there are no time constraints. So if you haven’t read it yet, do so now.
Connecting this post and the last, it’s a shame that someone great lost their ability to speak, (among other things) while someone like Smith can go on shooting his mouth off.
This made me cry.
Yep. If you can read that without tearing up, you have no heart.
Me too. Sadgum. Thankfultohavemyhealthgum.
We should all be so lucky to find something that makes us happy enough to continue to do it after having parts of our arms, legs, and back used to reconstruct our faces.
four stars is not enough for this. 6 million stars!
10 thumbs up!
“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 hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.”
Nicely put, Roger.
It was the part where he goes on the walk with his wife and just holds his hands up to the sky that got me. I don’t cry easy, but man. This guy is the Ebest.
This made me cry too. When I was a kid one of the highlights of my week was watching, as it was then called, Sneak Previews and planning my week around its results (to the extent that I could as my parents were strict MPAA rating enforcers). Discovering Beyond the Valley of the Dolls as an older person was the icing on the cake. One of the rare consistently un-disappointing public figures.
did not think i needed a good cry this week, but i’ll be damned if i didn’t just have one.
“Roger Ebert can?t remember the last thing he ate. He can’t remember the last thing he drank, either, or the last thing he said. Of course, those things existed; those lasts happened. They just didn’t happen with enough warning for him to have bothered committing them to memory ? it wasn’t as though he sat down, knowingly, to his last supper or last cup of coffee or to whisper a last word into Chaz’s ear.”
That bit got me when I read it. The mundanity of “lasts.” And the idea that he can’t even believe it himself to realize he can’t remember his own last words. Though, obviously he has generated thousands if not millions of words since his “last words.” so I understand his having forgotten his last spoken words. I love the internet age for allowing people so stricken to have a voice.
That’s what struck me about this article. I think even 15 years ago, I would have felt great pity for someone in his position, and assumed he was just sort of passing the hours til he died. 15 years ago I would’ve thought that if I had ever found myself in his position, I’d wish death upon myself. But largely because of technology, Ebert is still living a full life! As a somewhat avid reader of his blog, you can tell that he remains quite happy and content. In spite of all he’s lost, his life still has great meaning to him, and he’s still accomplishing great things. A lot of things about technology scare me, but I think this aspect of it is just wonderful. Not sure that this all came out right, but I guess the point is that reading this made me very hopeful, which was a little unexpected!
Sometimes I lose perspective on things and find myself really down about little stuff. Reading this essay about Ebert so wonderfully puts things into perspective. What an amazing story.
More from the man himself on the loss of the ability to eat, drink, or speak. As if the Esquire piece didn’t already amaze and move. http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/01/nil_by_mouth.html
“What I miss is the society. . . . Meals are when we get a lot of our talking done — probably most of our recreational talking. That’s what I miss.”
i just want to upvote everything on this page.
I basically have! This thread is taking me twice as long to read as most because I keep stopping to upvote.
I mean, same as you guys – I spent the first half hour of my Wednesday reading this and crying in bed – but it really makes you stop and appreciate absolutely everything. My uncle is dying of cancer of the jaw right now, and so there was that aspect of emotional manipulation – but I just love Roger Ebert so much, and only he could be so strong and happy at this point in a life and a cancer. Upvotes for the masses.
I read this yesterday and was appalled at all the dust in my eyes. I was not prepared for such a well-written article, Esquire! But seriousgum, Roger Ebert is such an amazing person. I’ll be honest and say I had no idea he was going through this until a few months ago. Maybe because his presence is so strong in the film and literature community. And Chris Jones deserves a lot of credit too. It felt like he was at Ebert’s side for weeks rather than a single day.
The world is pretty great, you guys!
You have an awesome name.
I’m seriously saving this article to my favorites to pull out anytime I don’t “feel like” writing something, because if Ebert can go through all that and still write so frequently and so well, then I don’t have a fucking excuse. Incredible article.
I read this article via a link on Perez Hilton (don’t judge). I’m so glad to find it was here too. Like everyone else I cried as well, specifically the exert about how he doesn’t fear death but I also teared up reading about the strength and dedication he has to his craft.
How about the ENTIRE bit about Siskel? … Excuse me, guys, I think I have to go bawl my eyes out for a few minutes and hope that any of my friendships prove to be so true and lasting.
(My best friend and I are 17 years in, so here’s hoping!)
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