Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


Roger Ebert gets his voice back, kind of

posted by Rod Dreher

Beautiful. If you haven’t already, read the amazing Esquire profile of Ebert and his life with cancer, and without his speaking voice. He’s something else.
UPDATE: Wow! A reader in Washington e-mailed a link to Will Leitch’s moving piece about how Ebert helped him get started in his writing career, how he betrayed and insulted Ebert horribly, and how graceful Ebert was about the whole thing. It ends like this:

So, as you watch Ebert on Oprah this week and see him, ready for his closeup, the center of the world at last, if you wonder to yourself, “They’re making him into some sort of saint. Is he really that nice of a guy?” … just know that, yes, he really is that nice of a guy. But more than that, he’s a wonderful, soulful writer who is better, and more devoted, than just about anyone in the game. He’s been my personal hero for 25 years, but he belongs to the world now. I’m just honored to have gotten to know him as briefly as I did, whether or not I deserved it, whether or not I was mature enough to handle it. Ebert’s a national treasure. I couldn’t be more ecstatic that so many people finally realize it. He did it the right way all along: He did it by writing, and being, resolutely, himself.

…but you want to read the whole thing. Boy, do you ever. That Roger Ebert is not only a quite a man, he’s a mensch.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(25)
post a comment
Leah

posted March 3, 2010 at 10:02 am


You know, he looks strange now, sure, but also strangely charming. When I look at pictures of his younger self he was sort of amiable and stodgy, but somehow his thoughts seem to go just as well with this new look.



report abuse
 

Brett R.

posted March 3, 2010 at 11:59 am


If it can bring his wife to tears, it’s a success.



report abuse
 

randye

posted March 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm


“I write about the TeePees because it’s so sad how they’ve been manipulated to oppose their own best interests,” Ebert said in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times of why he’s set his sights on the Tea Partiers. “I am a liberal.”
Wonder how many TP’s he’s actually met or talked to.
Great critic, but also just another wanna be elitist bigot for those who disagree with his version of enlightenment.



report abuse
 

Rawlins Gilliland

posted March 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm


Roger Ebert also strangely enough published a walker’s guide to London that I not only bought but used in 2000 religiously since I am a tireless hiker. And it took me to the outskirts of London to the amazing Highgate Cemetary….where I ate my lunch on George Sand’s ivy-buried grave withing yards of Karl Marx’s. Then I continued the effortless-to-follow instructions, winding through the most intimate areas, none of which I would have dared navigate if I had not know because of Ebert were public access off-road. What a treasure that day 12 hr. London ‘walk’ was.



report abuse
 

Travis

posted March 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm


randye,
Is it never possible to set aside one’s political beliefs? Must we view everything through a partisan lens at all times?
I probably disagree with Rod 50% of the time on political issues. Yet his writing compels me to keep coming back here because a. he generally presents thoughtful arguments and b. the world isn’t all about politics.
I know our system has been reduced to an echo chamber where one side watches Keith Olbermann and the other Glenn Beck, and never the twain shall meet — but shouldn’t we be trying to push back against that disconnect?



report abuse
 

Franklin Jennings

posted March 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm


Travis, read the quote Randye offered again.
This isn’t about politics, this is about something much more basic. I’m not involved in this tea party thing, never been to a rally, etc. But to insist that all these people have been manipulated into opposing their own interests sets one up as arbiter of what another’s interests are. Ebert not only knows better what their interests are or should be, he accuses them, essentially, of being an unwashed mass, easily manipulated.
I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but on some level, that quote of Randye’s springs forth from the heart of an arrogant bastard.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted March 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm


Franklin Jennings: I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but on some level, that quote of Randye’s springs forth from the heart of an arrogant bastard.
But, truth be told, aren’t we all arrogant/nasty/petty/vicious/fill-in-the-blank-with-your-favorite-vice bastards in part, and nice guys/girls in part? Some commenters on the Ebert threads seem to agree with Ivan Karamazov that “man is broad–I’d have him narrower.” (I’m quoting from memory, so that’s not exact, but close)



report abuse
 

Max Schadenfreude

posted March 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm


The guy is a hate filled bigot.
Oh yeah, he’s warm, fuzzy, and cuddly until he finds out your a conservative.
The racist jokes he told, while pretending they came from Rush Limbaugh, says so much about the man.



report abuse
 

Peter

posted March 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm


The guy is a hate filled bigot.
Then it’s a good thing he can’t speak without electronic assistance and can’t eat, I suppose.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted March 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm


“Then it’s a good thing he can’t speak without electronic assistance and can’t eat, I suppose.”
Why on earth would you think such a thing? Can you find no middle ground between canonization and wishing him a long painful death? That binary thinkin’, nails ‘em every time.



report abuse
 

Franklin Jennings

posted March 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm


Sure, Tumarion, but if you’ll follow the thread, that’s not my point. I was replying to a compliant of partisanship where there was no evidence of such.



report abuse
 

Peter

posted March 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm


I was being ironic, in response to the attacks on him. Clearly if he’s so awful, we can’t be impressed by his acts of grace and courage.



report abuse
 

Julana

posted March 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm


I hope what’s been used to help him is used to help many other people with communication impairments in this country who have less financial means.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted March 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm


“I hope what’s been used to help him is used to help many other people with communication impairments in this country who have less financial means.”
Unfortunately, in terms of him getting his voice back, he’s a unique case in that there was so much recorded material to pull from. It’s not an issue of financial means, exactly, but amount of source. Few of us have many of our words saved.



report abuse
 

dell

posted March 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm


Those who are critical of Roger Ebert here are forgetting his true claim to film immortality: that he was the writer not just of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, not just Up! but also my personal favorite, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, starring Kitten Natividad (and her BOTH of her Grand Tetons!!) We’re talking glands! Mammary glands! Mountainous–oh, you get the idea…



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted March 4, 2010 at 10:04 am


I love Ebert. When I research films for my movie club, Ebert’s reviews are among the most insightful, and he cuts to the chase. And he’s a sweet man, though being human, not without his flaws. His courage in facing his cancer is remarkable.



report abuse
 

karlub

posted March 4, 2010 at 10:18 am


I admit to also being vexed by Mr. Ebert’s clear closed-mindedness, sometimes, on matters of politics.
But in response to this I feel, really, two things:
1) The man has always been an elegant writer regarding the experience of being human.
2) If enough people with whom he disagrees politically and theologically indicate an appreciation of his character when it is righteous (in the good way) perhaps there is time for him break out of that closed-mindedness.
Wallowing in the negative has never really been my thing.



report abuse
 

Max Schadenfreude

posted March 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm


Peter
March 3, 2010 2:43 PM
“The guy is a hate filled bigot.”
Then it’s a good thing he can’t speak without electronic assistance and can’t eat, I suppose.
*****
Peter, your “ironic” statement is rather foul. To the degree that you are projecting those words onto another, you are guilty of the same thing Ebert has done.



report abuse
 

Brett R.

posted March 4, 2010 at 11:20 pm


No Max, what is foul is your choosing this of all occasions to take a cheap shot at the guy. Real classy, man.



report abuse
 

Max Schadenfreude

posted March 5, 2010 at 12:01 am


Brett, you are simply wrong.
What we have here is a man who, despite his own disease, publicly ridiculed someone he hated by telling racist jokes, while attributing them to Rush Limbaugh, ON THE OCCASION of Limbaugh’s being admitted to the hospital.
Then we have people here who want to sanctify the guy because, well, he’s sick and they like him. Fine.
But when people start talking about how gracious and magnanimous the guy is, I’m compelled to say, “Hold on. The guy’s a hater. He may not hate you, but he certainly ain’t no fount of love.”
As I said on the other thread here on this subject, I wish him well and wish he could recover completely, though that’s not possible. But my wishing him well requires me neither to praise him, nor ignore that he’s a pretty mean guy.



report abuse
 

Brett R.

posted March 5, 2010 at 9:47 am


You can choose to frame Ebert however you wish, Max. I would say that he has tendencies towards both mensch-ness and hatred, as do we all. It’s not a question of who Ebert is to you. If the topic had been about Ebert’s comments re: Limbaugh, your comments would be germane (though still cheap). In this situation, they simply are not.



report abuse
 

Max Schadenfreude

posted March 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm


Brett, my apologies. I was unaware you were a Beliefnet moderator.
The guy’s still a hater.



report abuse
 

Brett R.

posted March 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm


And your original comment is still cheap and tactless.



report abuse
 

Max Schadenfreude

posted March 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm


Brett R.
March 5, 2010 2:41 PM
And your original comment is still cheap and tactless.
******
Perhaps, but far less so than those of the guy you’re championing, not to mention that they are true, while his were lies.



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted March 6, 2010 at 8:38 am


Nanny-nanny boo-boo, this thread is closed.



report abuse
 



Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Rod Dreher. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Most Recent Scientology Story on Beliefnet! Happy Reading!!!

posted 3:25:02pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mommy explains her plastic surgery
In Dallas (naturally), a parenting magazine discusses how easy it is for mommies who don't like their post-child bodies to get surgery -- and to have it financed! -- to reverse the effects of time and childbirth. Don't like what nursing has done to your na-nas? Doc has just the solution: Doctors say

posted 10:00:56pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Why I became Orthodox
Wrapping up my four Beliefnet years, I was thinking about the posts that attracted the most attention and comment in that time. Without a doubt the most popular (in terms of attracting attention, not all of it admiring, to be sure) was the October 12, 2006, entry in which I revealed and explained wh

posted 9:46:58pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Modern Calvinists
Wow, they don't make Presbyterians like they used to!

posted 8:47:01pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

'Rape by deception'? Huh?
The BBC this morning reported on a bizarre case in Israel of an Arab man convicted of "rape by deception," because he'd led the Jewish woman with whom he'd had consensual sex to believe he was Jewish. Ha'aretz has the story here. Plainly it's a racist verdict, and a bizarre one -- but there's more t

posted 7:51:28pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.