Saturday, April 6, 2013

Roger Ebert, R.I.P.

Had a driveway moment yesterday listening to Jian Ghomeshi's rebroadcast 2011 interview with the great film critic and humanitarian Roger Ebert, who just left us. How'd he persevere and even flourish, after losing his ability to speak or eat to cancer? Optimism, and a strong and supportive wife.
We pay tribute today to film critic Roger Ebert, who died yesterday at the age of 70. For 46 years, he served as movie critic at the Chicago Sun-Times. He also appeared on the long-running show, At The Movies and wrote a highly influential blog. Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002, and was left without the ability to speak or eat. But he didn't allow illness to stop him continuing to pursue his passion for writing about the movies. During the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Roger Ebert stopped by Studio Q for a feature interview with Jian, using text-to-speech software. It was an inspiring and wide-ranging conversation, which we've re-posted here... Home | Q with Jian Ghomeshi | CBC Radio... "I do not fear death"... Simon on Ebert
In his memoir Life ItselfRoger wrote:
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. 
I am comforted by Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes. Those are mental units: thoughts, ideas, gestures, notions, songs, beliefs, rhymes, ideals, teachings, sayings, phrases, clich├ęs that move from mind to mind as genes move from body to body. After a lifetime of writing, teaching, broadcasting and telling too many jokes, I will leave behind more memes than many. They will all also eventually die, but so it goes.
So it goes.

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