Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Roger Ebert, and the beauty of confusion

Roger Ebert is all kinds of badass. He wrote a Russ Meyer movie(one that's crazy even by Russ Meyer standards). He has a Pulitzer Prize. He's done more for thumbs than any individual since the days of the gladiators. And while he's easily lumped into the big fat group of givers of movie marquee exclamations, he remains, in truth, one of the most consistently passionate, insightful, witty and bold film critics the form has ever known. In recent years, throughout his very public battle with thyroid cancer, he has been forthright, and self-deprecating -- writing recently that "Well, we're all dying in increments. (Mary Elizabeth Williams, “Roger Ebert on ‘Oprah’: The critic’s voice,” Salon, 2 March 2010)

Roger Ebert, and the beauty of confusion

Roger Ebert IS good. My understanding of him is largely as one of the baby boomers (I guess he's a bit +) who didn't understand living as a constant recourse to tactics and positioning. He lives, explores, self-questions, develops, knows ease and has fun. His life has been an inspiring well-spring of life-engagement, leadership, and generosity, that inspires but also potentially INTIMIDATES, balks, those of us who grew up in the more recent years of, alright, it's now no rising-tide-that-lifts-all-boats but a delimited single pie: have at one another, "boys."

Contemplating contemporary manners, I remember awhile back him feeling the world around him had morphed into sheer nightmare. Like David Denby, he saw and experienced but really couldn't get inside this new world of snark and sneer, so he seemed simply confused and aghast. I'll admit that it was actually pleasing to this probably better man serve as further confirmation for the possible mistruth that the aged at some point lose traction and relevance: no generation should feel that their best efforts will seem but a slip away from what their predecessors managed.

Link: Roger Ebert on "Oprah": The critic's voice

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