Thursday, April 04, 2013

Goddamn cancer! (for Roger Ebert and Doc Neeson... and others)

As I say in the comments below my Argo post, I have always held Roger Ebert in some esteem, even while quibbling with many of his reviews and generally using them in my own writing to contrast my, er, elite opinions and perceptions with his populist ones (see my previous articles on Mandingo and The Good Mother for cases-in-point). Sneak Previews and Siskel and Ebert At The Movies were both important as a means of finding out about many an interesting film, marooned here as a suburban kid, in the days prior to the internet (and probably prior to VHS; no doubt I saw my first Sneak Previews years before there was a single video store in Maple Ridge). As a growing cinephile, I watched both shows with the same fervent regularity with which I pored over the movie listings weekly in TV Guide, and doubtlessly was influenced by the way both men (but especially Ebert) talked about movies. I still read Ebert's reviews and blogpieces fairly regularly, though never to help me select movies to watch, since I know from experience that he often loathes films that I love (zero stars for The Devils? Really?) and loves films that bore me silly (like Argo, which he gave four stars). No: I read his reviews to sharpen my own perceptions of films I've already seen, and/or for the sheer entertainment value of his writing, which can be considerable. I've also occasionally followed his blogging, which has flourished since cancer has deprived him of the ability to speak; I have "friended" him on Facebook, and hope to continue to read his writing for years to come (even if only to quibble with it).

So I'm sad to hear that his cancer has returned, and wish Mr. Ebert courage and fortitude as he once again renews his struggles with this damnable disease. The same goes to Angels vocalist Doc Neeson (see below), and indeed, to anyone else receiving treatment... Be strong, stay hopeful, and fight...!

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