Feb 17, 2010

Esquire on Roger Ebert

The article is titled "Roger Ebert: The Essential Man", and just like the man, the article is pretty astonishing. A few years ago, I remember reading about how Roger Ebert was in surgery (multiple times) and had to suspend both his popular show (he can't speak any more) and his writing (he was in hospital a lot).

Then, the RSS feed of his Chicago Sun-Times website began to show new items once again, regularly and prolifically. Then Ebert's journal came into being. I then forgot about his disabilities (brought about by his almost fatal jousts with cancer), for you do not associate that with a man producing a thousand words a day.

Until I read this Esquire piece on Ebert. Read it. It's fascinating, in the way fiction never can be, simply because all this happened to someone whose existence isn't questionable.

Dying men have many homilies to share, but Ebert is such a fine writer (however much you disagree with his views) that this paragraph is worth highlighting:

I believe that if, at the end of it all, 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. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. 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.