Thursday, April 04, 2013

ROGER EBERT, 1942-2013.

Here's my appreciation from 2004 of what Ebert did with his "Great Movies" section, which was the thing that turned me around on him. For years I'd considered him a lightweight, but his very good writing on difficult films made me appreciate that while his style might be glib, he wasn't -- he saw things in the pictures, and talked easily about them in a way all kinds of people could understand. That's a very great gift in a critic. And he kept his gift, and at the job, right to the end.

Also, here's a nice story Ebert told on himself as a green kid:
I had been in Chicago four months and I was sitting under the L tracks with Mike Royko in an eye-opener place. A Blackhawks game was playing on WGN radio. The team scored, and again, and again. This at last was life. 
“The Blackhawks are really hot tonight,” I observed to Royko. 
He studied me. “Where you from, kid? Downstate?” 
“Urbana,” I said. 
“Ever seen a hockey game?” 
“That’s what I thought, you asshole. Those are the game highlights.”
That whole column, like a lot of his columns, is well worth reading.


  1. hellslittlestangel10:31 PM

    I've always liked Ebert because he clearly liked his job and loved movies. Also, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, which, outrageously, none of the obituaries are mentioning.

  2. Kurzleg10:54 PM

    I like to think that 1) he knew his audience, and 2) didn't condescend to them. Which isn't to say that he embraced every mass entertainment that came along, but he also didn't hold the enjoyment of such things against them. His reviews were less critical than some, but his criteria took the common person's taste into account, all while holding pretty sophisticated perspectives on film. I'll miss him for that ability to straddle those two worlds with great dexterity. I'll also miss him for his unrelenting humanity both join his film work and beyond. Like Jimmy Carter, Roger Ebert was one of the very few decent people to attain fame without glaring compromise to principle.

  3. Kurzleg10:55 PM his film work...

  4. I certainly didn't agree with all of his reviews, but his best work was great, and boy, was he prolific. The man promoted a ton of great foreign films, indie gems, and classics that many viewers might have missed otherwise. You're absolutely right about the "Great Movies" stuff.

  5. BigHank5311:05 PM

    I'll never be able to forget the post where he talked about thirty years of sobriety:

  6. I'll echo that. He's said plenty of things I didn't care for, but he was a talented writer and I think he had a better understanding of film than a lot of his peers. But more than anything, in an age where a lot of critics are happy to kiss ass and parrot the right opinions to advance their careers, Ebert didn't shy away from an honest opinion.

  7. calling all toasters12:20 AM

    Ebert constantly ran the risk of being considered a lightweight because he was generally quite kind. He understood that hardly anyone makes crap on purpose, and that people with talent generally produce something worth watching-- even if any given film might be flawed at its core. I think I grew up a lot when I started to prefer his approach to that of the hyper-intellectual snipers of the movie criticism world.

  8. DocAmazing12:24 AM

    I thought it was Beyond the Valley of the Dolls?

  9. hellslittlestangel12:30 AM

    Interesting. Looks like he wrote Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens the same year he stopped drinking. Guess it's safe to assume that the sobriety came after the writing.

  10. montag212:32 AM

    Well, if you really want a shallow lightweight, there's always Gene Shalit.

    I think Ebert had a knack for getting people interested in the artsy (and crafty) aspects of film, mostly by not couching the explanations in intellectual terms or the artsy-fartsy. Studs Terkel was, in many ways, a product of Chicago, as was Royko, and I think so was Ebert, as strange as it may seem to identify a film critic as shaped by that city.

  11. hellslittlestangel12:33 AM

    Both. He was that fucking awesome.

  12. DocAmazing12:50 AM

    This is my happening, and it's freaking me out!

  13. KC45s2:06 AM

    Giving an undeserving world Z-Man was enough, but then devoting your years to writing a billion words on film... I know people who worked with him and others who had random contact with him around the city and never heard an unkind word about the guy.

  14. Spaghetti Lee2:11 AM

    I still can't quite come to terms with it. It's actually kind of embarrassing-I've been less sad when some family members died. My theory is that at about age 12-13, everyone finds that one artist or writer who makes them realize that there's a huge world out there. Roger was that for me. I'll miss him.

  15. I want to give this comment two thumbs up.

  16. Dennis8:25 AM

    Only because he was a liberal will liberals talk about him now in such glowing terms as a film critic.

    Did they do that when Gene Siskel passed away? Of course not.
    After Siskel passed away he became a partisan hack who also happened to be a film critic. Bitter that Al Gore lost the 2000 election, he never got over it.

    He even gave "W" four stars. Think about that for a second.

  17. I think that's it for me, too. He could critique without belittling the efforts and ambitions of the creators. The absolutely should be standards in high art, but those standards should not be used as deterrents to general creativity.

  18. tinheart8:34 AM

    I remember as a youngster watching "Sneak Previews" on PBS. Our little town only had one movie theater and one screen, so you wanted to know whether the new blockbuster was a dud or not. Ebert was usually spot on, more often right than not, and remained consistent for decades. I'll miss the big lug!

  19. redoubt8:43 AM

    Co-sign. The "Hog Butcher, Stacker of Wheat, City of the Big Shoulders" had a film critic writing for a working-class newspaper everyone read from back to front. He was perfect for the place, and I for one will miss him.

  20. beejeez8:44 AM

    And that's why Ebert was an enthusiastic fan of several Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

  21. What a little mind you have.

  22. LittlePig8:47 AM

    This. Too many film critics believe their profession is spelled n-i-t-p-i-c-k-i-n-g.

  23. Dennis8:56 AM

    He was a good film critic and I enjoyed listening to him when he was with Siskel even when I didn't agree with him about a particular movie, but when it came to politics and the smug manner in which he belittled those who he disagreed with, he was about as small-minded as they come. It's no coincidence that liberal blogs will lionize him today as a film critic for that very reason, that 'because he was one of them he also one of the great ones in his profession.'

    Just follow along with the comments as they unfold here before your very eyes, Cole, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

  24. The Dark Avenger9:08 AM

    You smugly put down every liberal you can when you comment here, Dennis, so what's the difference between you and Ebert?

    Answer: He wasn't a dipship like you.

  25. aimai9:09 AM

    I never liked siskel and ebert as a show and didn't watch them. But in the last ten years or so I've become aware of Roger Ebert as a person, a blogger, and a critic and really come to respect his work and his just very thoughtful voice. Someone linked to an essay he wrote about being an alcoholic, after 30 years sobriety, and it was just a beautiful meditation. After I began reading his work I really felt like I would personally love to meet him--and I very rarely feel that way about public people. He seemed like a genuinely lovely person, with a tremendous interest in the human condition. I don't usually need someone to see a movie for me, or vet it for me, or critique it for me but I certainly could have used--and the world could use--more loving, thoughtful, inquiring voices.

  26. The Dark Avenger9:10 AM

    The column Mike Royko wrote about attending Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with Ebert is a classic, it's well worth looking up.

  27. Halloween_Jack9:28 AM

    Dennis-to-English translation: He was a better social critic and writer than any of the knuckle-draggers that I favor, but now that he's dead I feel safe in trying to crap on his reputation.

  28. Seems as if you came with some preconceived notions. I don't read much lionizing here--only comments regarding an appreciation of a man's profession. In fact, many comments here begin with something like "although I disagreed with many of Ebert's reviews..." so, I'm not really getting what your beef is if it's not just trolling out of bitterness.

  29. Dennis9:52 AM

    Ha, Dark Avenger's Obamaphone is set to alert him when I post something on Disqus, and then he comes running to say nothing at all.

    Seriously, DA, GAFL.

  30. The Dark Avenger9:59 AM

    Sorry, Dennis, your butthurt isn't becoming in someone who claims to have an advanced degree from St. Louis University, MO. You just come off as a cranky, ignorant conservative, so keep up the good work!

  31. The Dark Avenger10:00 AM

    That's all it ever is, Cole.

  32. Dennis10:01 AM

    aimai, I knew you would come here and write a hagiography to Ebert, and you did.

  33. I don't think that Ebert's reputation has any fears of The Dennis.

    It's apparent that The Dennis' real concern is that people like someone he doesn't personally think much of. Not sure why this aggravates the fellow so much; perhaps he should see a therapist.

  34. The Dark Avenger10:10 AM

    Shorter Dennis: I meant to do that!

  35. Dennis10:13 AM

    Dark Avenger translated: "I do too have a life, Dennis! I really do, gosh darnit."

  36. The Dark Avenger10:15 AM

    I'm sorry, Dennis, why don't you tell us what an exciting and fulfilling life you have as a MOTU/cubicle slave, I'm sure everyone here could use a good laugh before the weekend begins. :-)

  37. Halloween_Jack10:21 AM

    I moved to Chicago as a teenager, from a small town, and at first, as you might imagine, the big city seemed frightening and alienating. One of the first things that I latched onto was this local TV show on the PBS station that had two guys reviewing movies, but, really, actually having a discussion (which often shaded into an argument) about their job and the different ways that they approached it. It was a revelation: two adults, having an adult conversation that was easily understandable to me without their talking down to me or anyone else in any way, passionately defending their points of view without it turning into invective. Of course, it wasn't until much later that I realized how remarkable that was.

    And then, of course, Gene Siskel died, and although I have nothing against Richard Roeper, he just didn't bring the same spark, and I didn't pay attention to Ebert for a while. And then he emerges as this wonderful, thoughtful blogger. I still shake my head at some of his reviews, like the one-star one for Blue Velvet or some of the things that Roy notes in his old blog post (JFK? Geez, Roger! Geez!), but that was not really the main source of his popularity for the last decade or so. We were lucky to have him for as long as we did (especially as the operation that took his jaw almost ended his life), but his leaving was still too soon.

  38. Dennis10:23 AM

    No, Cole, the point is the only reason liberals will speak of him as a film critic in such glowing terms like aimai just did is because in his later years he became an angry, outspoken liberal who loved to bash conservatives. He was one of you, so now at his passing, you can't distinguish between those two parts of him. You're completely incapable of it. Your opinion of him as a film critic is undeniably clouded by the person he became politically in his last years. He wasn't the same without Siskel, not even close. And the fact Siskel didn't receive the same treatment upon his passing from liberals is not just coincidence.

  39. Dennis10:31 AM

    Yet you set your phone to alert you when and wherever I post, and always come running. Imagine that. You hate it so much and yet you must have more of it.

  40. The Dark Avenger10:34 AM

    Sorry, Dennis, but I don't have my phone set to anything, but your bullshit has such a smell it's overwhelming on this side of the continent nanoseconds after you post it on the internet.

    Keep telling us how wonderful your life as a cubicle serf is Dennis, maybe you'll start to believe it yourself one of these days.....

  41. Scott Slemmons10:38 AM

    Ultimately, it's kinda all that the Dennises of the world have. He's a lot like the Westboro crowd -- the only motivation is finding someone to hate, for whatever reason, so they can scream their furious, impotent protests at the world. But the Dennises will never be the tastemakers, never the creators, never the makers. They'll always be on the outside, always ignored (except when they're blowing up federal buildings), and always with depressingly small funerals, unexceptional obits, and no one who'll remember them when they're gone.

  42. I'm sorry, but your argument sounds like this:

    "Waahhh...everyone only likes the popular kid because he's nice. Why aren't assholes appreciated more?"

    Being angry because someone is popular for being a good guy is not a healthy reaction.

    If you didn't like him, just shrug and let it go.

  43. Dennis11:05 AM

    Sorry, Dennis, I don't have my phone set to anything.
    That's a lie, it's never more than 10 minutes before you come running after I've posted anywhere on the internet. You're addicted, DA. And that addiction gets you banned from liberal blogs. You, a liberal, pissing off liberal bloggers to no end and to the point they have to ban you because you can't get enough of what I have to say. Imagine that.

  44. tigrismus11:11 AM

    Siskel died before the word "blog" was even coined, and well before there was a liberal blogosphere to give him any sort of treatment.

  45. Dennis11:15 AM

    This is hilarious, Scott. It's that you know very little of me and can't make an intelligent observation that you resort to some wacky, half-baked theory that somehow likens me to the Westboro Baptist nutcases that makes no sense at all other than it's a thought in your brain and you wanted to get it on a blog somewhere. Liberals on liberal blogs today are incapable of writing honestly about Roger Ebert as a film critic, that is my point. I don't hate him and I never did. And certainly not like he hated me.

    Indeed, it was that hatred he had that liberals today are so enamored of his life, not what his career as a film critic was or what it meant to them.

  46. The Dark Avenger11:24 AM

    You're the one who is always complaining about libruls being mean to conservatives, Dennis, and engaging in amateur psychoanalysis of librul commentators in many of your comments as well.

    Shorter Dennis: "I can dish it out but I can't take it."

  47. The Dark Avenger11:26 AM

    Dennis, you're the one who registered a new Dennis name so that you can comment on the Daily Banter, so please spare everyone your little hissy fit about my getting banned there.

    Get off the iPad and get back to work, Dwight.

  48. whetstone11:30 AM

    When I came to love Ebert, rather than merely enjoying his work (and in fairness, I'm just not that much of a moviewatcher), was when he started blogging. He talks a bit about it in the preface to "Life Itself"--when he missed Ebertfest because of illness, he realized the end was near; not immediate, but it became more real for him.

    Ebert was a brilliant newspaper critic, but as Roy's post suggests, he was hemmed in by the format, inevitably so; in an alternate universe I have no doubt he could have been a Pauline Kael (or even a Jonathan Rosenbaum), but he was a newspaper man, who saw all the stupid movies he had to see and diligently reviewed them within the confines of the medium. As one of my friends put it, what made him great wasn't that he could write great reviews of four-star movies or delicious takedowns of one-star movies; he could write great reviews of two-star movies.

    When he started blogging Ebert the writer ventured out--sometimes relatively plainspoken stories of his life; sometimes elaborate, baroque tales of Chicagoiana; sometimes meditative abstractions about life. Take A boy, his dog, and a puddle. It's not just that the couple paragraphs after the video are perfect; it's also taking a cute video and turning it into this little vignette about the stations of life. Which takes some guts; not many famous journalists are willing to just go online and try stuff.

    As a (mostly) online journalist, Ebert's use of the Web meant a lot to me--as "old school" journalists were lamenting the bullshit of the Web (and especially Twitter) Ebert tried it, embraced it, and made it legit. And not in a "look, you can extend your brand" way, but demonstrating that it can be meaningful. After he lost his voice, he talked a lot about how he moved it into a virtual realm; as someone who's kind of a fumbling agoraphobe but has a lot more confidence and grace behind a keyboard, his insistence that the virtual realm was a meaningful form of interaction was significant.

    I never met him, but being in the business in his city means I know people who did; no one has an unkind word to say about him, especially the young folks from the Onion and places like that, whom he easily could have ignored. I think the best tribute to his dignity is Will Leitch's account of how he befriended Ebert and then turned on him. It's excruciating to read. Ebert could have gotten pissed off and destroyed Leitch and would have been within his rights to do so; but he was legitimately saddened, and actually tried to guide Leitch back to the light (and seems to have done so).

  49. mortimer11:34 AM

    Ditto. I was also not a fan of the TV shows, but liked seeing the clips. His print pieces were always much better IMO, and his late print and online stuff was transcendent. His sheer love of movies and the people who make them -- in all categories of the craft -- rarely failed to came across. (His memoir "Life Itself" is also a great read. ) I did meet him once in 1999 at the Virginia Film Festival. He was as genuine and sincere as he appeared in his writing, unburdened by any trappings of celebrity. He will be missed.

    At least we still have Ben Lyons.

  50. whetstone11:34 AM

    I mentioned this below, but seriously: read Will Leitch's piece in Deadspin about Ebert. Of all the many tributes to Ebert I've read, I think that one speaks the most to his thoughtfulness.

  51. Guestington P. Gorcestershire11:37 AM

    "And certainly not like he hated me."
    Oh, do tell more.

  52. The Dark Avenger11:43 AM


  53. XeckyGilchrist11:47 AM

    I was wondering when we'd see some wingnuts pooing on Ebert. Never takes long, does it.

  54. Scott Slemmons11:51 AM

    I think I really became aware of how good a writer he was, outside of film reviews, once he started blogging. It was amazing to see a man who was primarily considered a movie guy who also wrote on a very wide number of topics, all with a great deal of insight and empathy and humor. He was one of the best damn writers of any sort in the country.

  55. Halloween_Jack11:51 AM

    That Leitch post is just... man, that's incredible.

  56. mortimer11:58 AM

    Thanks for the link to the wonderful Will Leitch piece. I'm grateful that I don't have to live with having done anything as dickish as Leitch's hit on Ebert, or having to admit it to anyone, including myself. (To anyone reading this: I don't mean to imply that's any more than a small part of what the piece is about. Go read.)

  57. OMG Dennis = Andy Kaufman!

  58. Really? You knew it? That's astonishing. I sure didn't. Ebert wasn't really on my mattering map, he's just a person who did his work sincerely, honestly, and interestingly. As I said in my...uh...hagiography I don't read much film criticism so I didn't really encounter him in that fashion. That being said if one can't say something nice about a person after they are dead, why bother to comment? Why come to a funeral service to leap to one's feet and denounce the deceased? Its tacky--especially when other people are sincerely mourning.

  59. Wow. I cried and cried reading that Leitch piece. What a difficult piece that must have been to write. What a lousy thing to have done to a mentor.

  60. XeckyGilchrist12:46 PM

    (The part I didn't expect was that it's literally for *no reason* other than that liberals speak highly of him.)

  61. redoubt12:58 PM

    Well, if it isn't the Bride At Every Wedding And The Corpse At Every Funeral.

  62. KC45s2:02 PM

    Dennis, I feel the need to try to reach you. People like you can never be reached, and I realize it. But one never knows when the universe will shift. Please, a lesson about "liberals," that is, your fantasy of what a liberal is. A liberal can, believe it or not, separate the art from the artist, or in Gene Siskel's case, the critic from his personal beliefs. No one shat on Siskel. No one. The guy was as much of an institution as Ebert. You would have been ran out of town.

    A big reason that partnership worked is the fact they were equals. In chops. In authenticity. In personality. But also in the respect people had for their opinions (if you respected film opinions at all, not that there's any need to do that ever.)

    So, seriously, I know trolling is a slice, but it works better when you can bring the facts. Siskel and Ebert trolled each other once a week for years. That's how it's done. And really, you misread their entire schtick. Even in his political blogging Ebert never ranted. He was the polite, if passionate, Midwesterner. Siskel was the acerbic, contemptuous one. That contrast--one made even more vivid by working for the papers they did--was another reason their partnership worked for millions of viewers.

    Ebert may not have reached as many liberals without his turn into political blogging. But he would have reached liberals who loved film. And they would be just as sad, and their remembrances just as eloquent, had he never revealed his political opinions.

    And don't shit on one of my comments again, you uninformed bomb-throwing asshole.

  63. bekabot2:06 PM

    You know, Dennis, I realize that you think you're putting The Dark Avenger down with this pic, but what you're actually doing is advancing his cred. I would explain to you how, but you gotta get outta grade school first. After that, I promise, some of the facts of life will become plain.

  64. Dennis2:14 PM

    Did you do that when Breitbart passed away?

  65. It's funny. A lot of people I know in real life criticize Ebert because he supposedly hates everything except pretentious arthouse movies. This is, of course, patently untrue if you've read, like, anything Ebert's ever written. Generally I think people who like things like the Transformers movies just resent his refusal to do so. And as you said, he is kinder to those kinds of movies than they often deserve.

    He just seems to give people the benefit of the doubt. Which is a good thing. When he famously told Schneider, "Your movie sucks," it was effective because Ebert doesn't say that lightly, and because Schneider earned it by being a bit of an ass.

  66. aimai3:04 PM

    Are you saying that Ebert was responsible for the smearing and destruction of an entire poor-people's-movement like ACORN or the career of someone like Shirley Sherrod, for a "rape boat" and for giving the finger to students marching in opposition to child-slavery and child soldiers? Because those were Breitbart's notable accomplishments. However, even so, I didn't go to any pro-Breitbart sites and make fun of his mourners to their faces.

  67. aimai3:05 PM

    Brilliant. Just fucking brilliant.

  68. Erase politics from the equation completely, and Breitbart is still a talentless, meanspirited shit, and Ebert is still a capable, kindly, classy writer. So the comparison is not entirely apt.

    But to answer your question (despite it not being address at me necessarily) I did in fact pretty much shrug when Breitbart died, but then, he never harmed me directly. He did harm a lot of people directly, in terms of lost jobs, smeared reputations, and the dismantling of a charitable organization. So if they don't want to shrug it off, I sure as hell don't blame them.

  69. aimai3:20 PM

    I don't want to get sidetracked by the troll but I think his trolling throws something into relief for me. I'm a very political person and I think its true that, in some sense, I noticed Ebert during his later blogging phase because his politics (such as they were) jumped with mine. I don't think that particularly affected his blogging or his exemplary treatment of his struggle with cancer, or his love of his wife, or his amazing essay writing. If he'd been Michael Medvedev (or whatever his name is) I wouldn't feel the same about him or his passing. Is that because of his politics? I don't think so. There are a lot of humorless assholes out there on my side--and plenty of writers and critics.

    I think I object to the troll trolling us on this because its so incredibly ungenerous to this person who clearly affected the lives of many people--just read the comments under his blog posts and you see that. People from all over the world and all walks of life read his reviews and felt they could share an experience with him and discuss it, as one might with a favorite teacher during a loved class. Ebert had a talent that few people--of any political persuasion have--of creating an intimate space for discussion and bouncing ideas around with perfect strangers. He had a craft and he worked at it, he had a memory and he used it, he had wit and he used that. I stand in awe of him, as I do of Roy, actually, in his little corner of the bloggosphere.

    And I want to celebrate that life, well lived and well limned because it makes me feel good about the world to know that someone lived in it simply and well, worked hard and honestly, and touched so many people.

    What is it about Dennis that this fact makes him angry, instead of grateful? That the very thought that someone else, who clearly deserved it, gets the recognition and plaudits of strangers is a kind of red flag to a bull?

  70. Dennis3:35 PM

    There are a lot of commenters here that did and still do, aimai.

    You want to see some of them, just say the word.

  71. Dennis3:40 PM

    He wasn't that kind of person to everyone, aimai. He wasn't that way to conservatives. My point is for the most part, that's what liberals find so endearing about him.

  72. I have to say, a man wearing a dress provides very little insight into his life and even less into his level of self-fulfillment.

    Plus, as dresses on men go, that guy's rockin' it, so I can only offer respect to him.

  73. aimai3:45 PM

    What the fuck makes you think that you can speak for "conservatives?" or that what they think about Ebert's work as a film critic has any meaning at all? I mean really, what the fucking fuck? Guess what? There's a guy down the street who has an icecream stand and he's a LIBERAL and when he dies his family and friends will be sad and perhaps some conservative asshole named Dennis will be jealous and come and piss on his grave. What conservatives think about Ebert's life and work is so beyond unimportant and uninteresting that all I can do is shrug and say in the words of Bunuel about being offered the Catholic Host "Once I would have spit on it, now I'm just not interested."

    Fuck off you pathetic little man. I'd be a bit more forceful except I think you have a kind of sick, meeping, sub/dom thing going on where you actually enjoy being kicked in the face by women wearing high heels or expressing liberal opinions. Your desire to attach yourself to other people's lives, or emotions, or experiences only in order to express contempt and fearful spite is clearly some nearly sexual pathology. Get professional help or learn to pay prostitutes to let you sniff their asses like the rest of your party.

  74. Dennis3:45 PM

    What you don't know, bekabot, is the DA knows I'm not putting him down merely for being a househusband. He tracks me down no matter what blog I post on and no matter what time of day or night it is, even when I'm three time zones ahead of him. He has no life other than worrying about what I say. He stalks my childrens' Facebook account for information about me and posts it on every blog that I post at. When I tell him to get a life, he responds that he does have a life, a very good one, as a househusband. That's the point of the picture, his life is keeping the house in order while his wife works, so that he can stalk people on the internet all day and night.

  75. aimai3:46 PM

    Somebody over at Balloon Juice, the felictiously named "Just Some Fuckhead" actually, said he came from a strict fundamentalist family that never let the kids watch movies at all. It was only through watching Siskel and Ebert that he glimpsed the world from which he was barred.

  76. aimai3:48 PM

    So what? Who died (other than breitbart) and made you purity police of the internet?

  77. I'm a very political person and I think its true that, in some sense, I
    noticed Ebert during his later blogging phase because his politics (such
    as they were) jumped with mine

    I see no reason to be ashamed. It's not a matter of who voted for what party or what their opinion of Elizabeth Warren is. Seth McFarlane is a liberal and I don't care for him.

    Ebert was fair-minded, compassionate, and never judgmental. Unlike many successful white men, he never imagined that his success served as some kind of indictment against the less successful. He wasn't trying to score points against the other side in some political debate, it's just who he was. I've met perhaps one conservative in my entire life who fit that description, and I rather liked that person, too.

  78. aimai4:04 PM

    That linked review of The Aristocrats is comedy gold.

  79. bekabot4:19 PM

    Dennis, everybody's entitled to play "Angry Birds" from time to time, and if you think you can scare me by repeating the word "househusband", you're dialing the wrong number on the wrong phone. Sorry.

  80. The Dark Avenger4:23 PM

    He tracks me down no matter what blog I post on and no matter what time of day or night it is, even when I'm three time zones ahead of him.

    Which is why you're so nutty, Dennis.

    He stalks my childrens' Facebook account for information about me and posts it on every blog that I post at</

  81. Schneider sent Ebert flowers after Ebert's initial surgery. Ebert took the occasion to write about bad reviews, why he writes them, and what sending the flowers said about Schneider's character. It's quite lovely.

  82. Dennis4:30 PM

    aimai, relax, he's still going to be able to vote Democrat.

  83. Big Dead Breitbart certainly seems intent on shit-talking Ebert after his death:

    Maybe because they're still tweaked that Ebert called Breitbart out on his shit while both were alive and Breitbart had no real response.

  84. A potshot about voter fraud? That's so 2008, Dennis. You're clearly just phoning it in at this point.

  85. Dennis4:49 PM

    Because Ebert never got over Al Gore losing Florida in 2000. That's about when he decided he was going to dedicate his life to bashing conservatives.

  86. Dennis4:50 PM

    Shitting on your comments is unnecessary.

  87. The Dark Avenger5:03 PM

    Glad you're here to tell us the 'truth' Dennis.

  88. The Dark Avenger5:04 PM

    Thanks for demonstrating what compassionate conservatism looks like, Dennis.

  89. Dennis5:18 PM

    You, Xecky, on Breitbart immediately after his passing...."


    - but yeah. That image of Dimbart looks to me like
    what you’d get if Kurt Cobain had lived another 40 years and really let
    himself go.?

  90. Dennis5:19 PM

    I seriously kinda doubt Breitbart had no real response, zuzu. I'm pretty sure you doubt it, too.

  91. Dennis5:24 PM

    I commented that liberals are incapable of making objective remembrances of Roger Ebert's career as a film critic. You admit as such. That's pretty much my only point. That's not making fun of you, it's pointing out your limitations, aimai.

  92. AGoodQuestion5:34 PM

    The post about Schneider was beautiful. And something every aspiring critic should keep above his desk.

  93. AGoodQuestion5:37 PM

    Siskel and Ebert as reviewers on TV were best on Sneak Previews. Since it was PBS they didn't have to worry about commercial breaks and could really - or at least to a greater extent - discuss the movies. But Ebert's greatest strength was as a writer. I suspect the same was true of Siskel.

  94. whetstone5:43 PM

    What's weird about the troll is this idea that liberals loved Ebert for his politics. Hating Ebert for his politics I can sort of understand; he could be a little ax-grinding on his twitter feed, and if you can't get over that to appreciate the things he did that weren't political, you can't get over that.

    I'm trying to think of a comparable parallel. When Clint Eastwood dies, I won't assume his conservative fans are mourning him primarily for his politics; the idea seems kind of insane. I'm sure some will mourn the loss of a prominent conservative artist, and they'll probably say that, but looking for ideology in every damn appreciation is like trying to tune in to the CIA through your fillings.

  95. AGoodQuestion5:44 PM

    Wow, one subthread contains three judgments you've pulled out of your ass. Gotta admit, that's one well-stocked ass you've got.

  96. Dennis5:55 PM

    I won't assume his conservative fans are mourning him primarily for his politics; the idea seems kind of insane

    You don't know that you won't think or say that when Eastwood passes away if conservative blogs write in such glowing terms about him like this blog has. The idea seems insane to you today because of your defensiveness. If a conservative tells you something, your gut reaction is to dismiss and deny, and just a like a referee who makes a call the home crowd approves of, you know by dismissing and denying you're going to get people who agree with you.

    The bottom line is you cannot dismiss the fact that Ebert's transformation to a liberal bomb-thrower in his later years completely clouds your perception of him as a film critic.

  97. Roger Ebert was a "liberal bomb-thrower"? Your skin must be like tissue paper.

  98. whetstone6:02 PM

    Hey guys, Dennis can read my thoughts! What am I thinking now, Dennis?

  99. Dennis6:04 PM

    And I'm glad I give your life meaning by being on the internet where you can follow me, DA. Because let's be real, what else would you be doing?

  100. Dennis6:05 PM

    How right Dennis really is, and how you wish you could just go ahead and say that if no one would make fun of you for it.

  101. Out of work in the 80's and struggling with personal issues I found Siskel and Ebert on PBS. They steered me to so many independent, foreign and just plain oddball movies. I was able to join a world beyond the ordinary. I never would have had a chance to experience entertainment outside the mainstream without these two men. 30 years later I still treasure many of those movies.

  102. whetstone6:17 PM

    You're right, Dennis: all the stuff I've written about Ebert (here and professionally) is Just Because A Liberal Died. I actually don't like him--not his writing, and especially not his kindnesses to people I know--but I figured I should say something, because someone whose politics sort of align with mine died, and I want to advance the Movement in the most subtle way possible. In fact, I bought "Great Movies Vol. 1" today in the hopes that his estate will give the money to Code Pink.

  103. The wrong OBAMAPHONE.

  104. I truly had no fucking idea he was liberal or even had a blog. He was just the nice movie critic. How did I miss all this?

  105. The Dark Avenger6:44 PM

    Put away the iPad and get a life, Dwight.

  106. The Dark Avenger6:47 PM

    He is a sensitive chap, this stalker Dennis.

  107. mortimer6:47 PM

    I'm guessing our particularly odious troll is one of those Westboro assholes who picketed Mr. Rogers' funeral because he didn't say really bad things about all the people they hate. He's defining "soulless jerk" on this thread, for anyone besides him who may need a definition.

  108. Aimai6:52 PM

    Is that a joke? East woods work will always speak for itself. His fans, and I'm one of them, will mourn his passing and celebrate his gifts while shrugging off--as he did himself--his little routine with the empty chair. You are such a tiny, tiny, man that you can't even begin to grasp what it means to do work worthy of the name, or be appreciated for it. You literally have no experience of common humanity, do you?

  109. Leeds man7:06 PM

    You are a profoundly stupid little man. But thanks for the laughs on reading about clouded perception. No mirrors in Dennisland, obviously.

  110. Dennis7:23 PM

    aimai, you act as if you're better than other people, that you're smarter, and that people should defer to you because of it. You hang out with people that say far more odious things on this blog and other blogs than the things I'm saying right now, and you act like you're appalled about what I say. It's so fake it's almost unbelievable. Seriously, knock off the childish play-acting. You are simply incapable of writing an honest and objective memorial to Roger Ebert right now no matter how you might think it is.

  111. Dennis7:27 PM

    DA, do you realize you haven't said one word about Roger Ebert on this thread, yet you've been just about the most prolific poster?

    Think about that for a minute. You have no affinity for the subject or any desire at all to say anything positive about a liberal icon's passing, you simply come here and stay here out of an addictive need to respond to whatever it is I have to say.

    That's amazing.

  112. Leeds man7:27 PM

    Fuck Disqus. Really, fuck it. It won't let me read all the comments, so I have no idea if this was mentioned.

    One of the most moving films I've seen was Testament (1983). I wept, and still do when I recall some scenes. Years later, I read Ebert's review of the film, and it made me weep again. The man's humanity shone through everything he wrote.

    "...[Jane] Alexander's performance makes the film possible to watch without unbearable heartbreak, because she is brave and decent in the face of horror.''

    Back at ya, mate.

  113. that's one well-stocked ass you've got

    Said the sheik to the traveling merchant?

  114. Aimai7:42 PM

    I don't understand what you think gives someone " standing" to comment on anything. It's not a matter of social standing its a question of interest and education on a given subject. Of course I'm qualified--I read the guys stuff and I enjoyed it for many reasons that are definition ally subjective. You disliked him, you claim, because he made you feel sad and small and because the way people talk about him makes you feel sad and small--like you've wasted your life spit-spitting strangers on the Internet. Try reading some John Donne and find out why the deaths of other people matter more than place holding, grudge monitoring, or pointlessly masturbating like a mentally deficient monkey accidentally brought to a funeral.

  115. Dennis8:00 PM

    I didn't dislike him as a film critic, I disliked him because of what he became aside from being a film critic. He wasn't a good political pundit. I do read John Donne and I love his poetry and I don't dance on Ebert's grave. I can point you to about 15 people that are regular posters here that do dance on the graves of conservatives that have passed on, and you. aimai, hang out on this blog and other blogs they hang out at and you never invoke John Donne to them. Never. I haven't called you or anyone here one name, yet you have done that repeatedly, while at the same time pretending to be the superior, the moral scold, the honest broker. That is not who you are. You're just like what Ebert became.

  116. The Dark Avenger8:40 PM

    DA, do you realize you haven't said one word about Roger Ebert on this
    thread, yet you've been just about the most prolific poster?

    You sound jealous, Denny Boo-Boo.

    Why is that?

    Think about that for a minute. You have no affinity for the subject or any desire at all to say anything positive about a liberal icon's passing,

    But he was MEAN to conservatives, Dennis. I didn't want to get you all butthurt by pointing out that he was probably nice to hiw wife and any pets he may have owned.

    you simply come here and stay here out of an addictive need to respond to whatever it is I have to say

    Sounds like you need a headshrinker, Dennis, obsessively commenting on this thread all the time.

    GAFL, cowboi.

  117. XeckyGilchrist8:53 PM

    That was unkind and I stand by it. It changes nothing about the speed with which you crapped on Ebert for no reason.

  118. trex: Don't feel bad. I wouldn't have known about Ebert's transformation into a blogger either, had I not been following some feminists who're fans of his.

  119. I disliked him because of what he became aside from being a film critic

    Yes, we know. You've tipped your hand that no matter how good a person was in life, no matter if there was a consensus that they were kind and generous and thoughtful - you can't get past your hatred of them if they disagreed with you politically. This is not a selling point for your argument. On the contrary, it reveals you to be quite venal.

    I don't dance on Ebert's grave.

    In point of fact, you're pissing on it. Here was a guy who was a consummate professional and a great husband, a man who touched the lives of many ordinary people through his work and courageous attitude during his battle with cancer and you're trying to reduce his life to a muckraker like some of the one-note dipshits you revere because he held different views than yours.

    Even, if what you were saying were true, which the entire world agrees that it's not as the universally glowing eulogies attest, how are you anything different? You're just a liberal basher. And you don't have the good will and esteem and reputation of Ebert to trade on. Sucks to be you, dude.

    I can point you to about 15 people that are regular posters here that do dance on the graves of conservatives that have passed on

    This isn't the passing of Breitbart, who was a moral monster intent on destroying as man lives as he could with the power of yellow journalism, this is someone universally revered as a good man. No equivalence.

    I haven't called you or anyone here one name

    Yeah, remember that when I come to your mom's funeral and very thoughtfully tell everyone she was nothing but an idiot Teabagger and everyone there is stupid for remembering her fondly and they are nothing but Teabagging idiots just like here. I'll expect your measured restraint with the name-calling - you fucktard.

  120. KatWillow9:28 PM

    The reason "Dennis" dislikes Ebert is because he was a Liberal, no other reason. Therefore he believes that is the reason liberals like him. Ebert's talent and hard work, and the things he had to say mean nothing to anyone. In Wingnut World.

  121. Provider_UNE10:34 PM

    What is it about Dennis that this fact makes him angry, instead of
    grateful? That the very thought that someone else, who clearly deserved
    it, gets the recognition and plaudits of strangers is a kind of red flag
    to a bull?

    What is it about an unbridled id that turns any disagreement into a mortal threat which results in the response of a mewling toddler...Wonderfully written Aimai, and you forced me to look up a word that I have forgotten to in the past and usually parsed from context without knowing the exact meaning. Thanks for the addition to my vocabulary.

  122. Provider_UNE10:58 PM

    Shorter Dennis: "I can dish it out but I can't take it."

    In my personal lexicon, I call the aforementioned, "Ladles". I have worked in a number of kitchens in my time. I can't precisely pinpoint the interaction that led to the neologism, but I am certain that I was dealing with an individual of Sir Dennis' stripe when it extemporaneously popped into my head.

  123. Provider_UNE11:26 PM

    I would like to take this comment out for a glass of wine at lunch, where I might suggest a change in convention: "her or his desk"


    Can we cough up a new stylesheet people!!!11!!!

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    That's pretty much my only point.

    And now, having made it, you are going to find something else to do, right?

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  128. If a conservative tells you something, your gut reaction is to dismiss and deny, and just a like a referee who makes a call the home crowd approves of, you know by dismissing and denying you're going to get people who agree with you.

    This is the fun part where we pretend that conservatoids have some understanding of life and something remarkable to say about it, I guess.

    I'm afraid you have bought into the false equivalency projected by modern entertainment/news media. I think it's cute if a 5-year old says that clouds are made of marshmallows, but I don't feel the need to pretend it is real.

    Grow up, fella.

  129. Dennis7:01 AM

    You're easily impressed, PUNEie.

  130. The Dark Avenger7:14 AM

    That's Sir Dennis von Schiess to you, sir.

  131. Dennis8:40 AM

    Speed? What are you talking about? There was a blog post and I posted something about the subject. Nice things about him and some not so nice things. And I didn't crap on him anywhere close to as much as he crapped on conservatives, and no more than you crapped on Breitbart at your earliest opportunity.

  132. Dennis8:49 AM

    You've tipped your hand that no matter how good a person was in life, no matter if there is a consensus that they were kind and generous and thoughtful - you can't get past your hatred of them if they disagreed with you politically.

    That was Roger Ebert. He detested conservatives. He was the one who couldn't get past his hatred of them if he disagreed with them politically. That's why many of you here on this blog have such deep affections for him now, not because he was a good husband or great film critic. And this isn't a funeral home, trex, it's a political blog.

  133. Dennis8:56 AM

    Here's your friend JennofArk on Andrew Breitbart's children just after his passing last year, aimai...

    "I kinda like “Children of the Cornhole” as a descriptor for the Breitard spawn."

    Maybe next time she shows up you could point to John Donne and explain to her why the deaths of other people matter more than place holding, grudge monitoring, or pointlessly masturbating like a mentally deficient monkey accidentally brought to a funeral.

    How about that, think you could summon up the courage to do that instead of reflexively claiming moral equivalence like everybody else here?

  134. aimai9:56 AM

    Disqus just ate my very long response. I think the g-d's are telling me that its just not worth it.

    As for Jenn Of Ark's comments--take it up with her or take your own fucking advice and stop pissing on another man's family and friends and life at his wake. The moral highground isn't something you claim from the bottom of the hill. If you want to be respected for your John Donne like loving probity you should perhaps try to display some.

    Now, as to Breitbart's death as an example of what Donne is talking about I think this is where you go wrong. I actually was both saddened and disgusted by Breitbart's death, as I was by his life. His life diminished us all with it viciousness, its stupidity, its agressive and spiteful anger, its public posturing--his personal support for a would be rapist, his baseless attacks on a public servant like Shirley Sherrod, his ugly and pathetically kooky self love for giving the finger to people protesting the use of child soldiers because he stupidly thought they were anti bush Iraq war protesters. These are all things that really happened and that really mattered. Nevertheless, his death was a tragedy for his wife and children and I, personally, felt terrible for them. As it happens, I took my human sympathy and refrained from going to his friend's blogs and memoriams and trying to contradict their memories or attack their image of their friend to their faces.

    Lets get to the root of the problem: Ebert was a public man who is now being justly celebrated by people who enjoyed his work, followed his blog, admired his courage and the way he chose to live and die. These are all not political and not defined by his politics. Cancer survivors, people who married late in life, ex alcoholics and present day addicts can all see something of themselves in his life and death. You are the only person here who attempts to reduce a complicated person to "he makes me feel sad because he twittered that he didn't like a political policy my party pursued." Can you not grasp how pathetic that is? How weirdly out of proportion to the situation?

    You remind me of Brahmins I worked with, as well as what I've read about Schizophrenics--you've got no sense of the boundaries of your own body and your own life. Just as a Brahmin will freak out if the area around the hearth, or inside the door of the house, or even the area of the courtyard is "polluted" by an untouchable or by an incorrect act, just as some mental patients can feel like they have no skin, or that their personal space extends far outside their bodies, you are lashing out at people merely passing by, living their own lives.

    We have no relationship. You had no relationship with Ebert or with Breitbart. You are not a public figure, you do nothing of note in the world. Attaching yourself, remora like, to a discussion of a public person who did affect the world will not change this fact one iota. You are like a shoe fetishist who gets angry at people on the beach because we aren't offering you enough shoes to sniff. Get a life and stop appropriating other people's lives and internet spaces to fill up the pathetic hollows in your own.

  135. The Dark Avenger10:10 AM

    Your pathologies bring out the best in other people, Dennis, and vice-versa as well.

  136. The Dark Avenger10:13 AM

    Speed kills, Dennis.

  137. tigrismus10:14 AM

    He was the one who couldn't get past his hatred of them if he disagreed with them politically.

    This was at least as true of Breitbart. Did you quote Donne at him after Kennedy's death?

  138. Provider_UNE10:19 AM

    As should you be. A sunny day impresses me, an unexpected appearance of deer on a trail I ride, impresses me. Evocatively well written invective impresses me.

    You however, have failed in every circumstance to impress me and illustrate my point with an attempt at rejoinder. I figure your next move will be to suggest that I have a shorter dick than in required to satisfy a woman. At which point i will bust out the laugh riot.

  139. Provider_UNE10:23 AM required...

    Take that ash and fashion bullets with it, pal.

  140. Provider_UNE10:30 AM

    You are unfortunately correct, in both cases. As long as we don't let the bastards grind us down...

    /tips hat

    Now I think I may have to venture towards the farmers market and see and be seen by people that are happy that it is a beautiful day, Easily impressed people, Liberal persons in the main. And with the change in my purse*/pocket I might return with some garlic and eggs.


  141. Dennis10:57 AM

    Evocatively well written invective impresses me.

    Oh my. Much like aimai, you're trying way too hard, P_UNEie. It's forced, it comes from your angry side, it's pulled out of your back side and it's nothing other than an opportunity for you to say something you've been meaning to say anyway, with nothing to do with the blog topic. Liberal commenters on liberal blogs are like that. You're not talking to me, you're actually talking to yourself, hoping to impress yourself. You'll end up going back to your post time and again wondering if you could've said it better, wondering if people will notice that you tried to plug words into it that you don't normally use, or that you probably overdid it trying to impress aimai as much as you were impressed by what she said, or if it was too obvious that you simply copied her style.

  142. The Dark Avenger11:03 AM

    Dennis, your old shtick of "You libruls all sound the same" is tired and stupid.

    Just like you.

  143. Provider_UNE11:08 AM

    You don't know that you won't think or say that when Eastwood passes
    away if conservative blogs write in such glowing terms about him like
    this blog has.

    You are aware that there is an edit function on this platform, because even though I spent plenty of time parsing the stupid (much less than roy and others, but still) I can't make sense of what you attempt to mean here (I might if I was willing to spend more time but I have better uses of it) but if I found that I had drunk dialed in that sentence in any comment section, I would impose upon myself a mandatory leave of absence of a time of at least two weeks.

    It does seem that some like running around proudly while wearing cone shaped objects upon their heads presenting to their pretended lessers that they are crowns...Is this when Dunning met Kruger?

    Off to Adam's (Smith, that is) Paradise, the Farmers Market. In this Liberal backwater of a state I have often referred to "as the northernmost state south of the Mason Dixon Line*".**

    *Recently governed by a short guy who claimed that Iraq would pay for itself while working in the Bush administration.

    **attempting to extend enough rope for Dennis to consider the purchase of a pair of wetsuits.

  144. Dennis11:12 AM

    Two things, Jennifer is smarter than you will ever hope to be, has worked harder and done more good than you could fathom.

    You have no idea if any of those statements are true, and she's said and done far uglier things than Breitbart has on his most ugliest of days, and you like her for that.

  145. Dennis11:18 AM

    Roger Ebert, DA.

    Just fake it if you have to, google his name and copy and paste something about him perhaps, but try to mention his name on at least one out of every twenty blog posts you enter here. It's the least you could do for all how much he's touched your life, no? Because it almost appears as if you're here more for what I say than to celebrate his life, oddly enough.

  146. The Dark Avenger11:21 AM

    Dennis, go spend some time with Rebecca, or maybe phone up one of your lovely daughters at their college and have some family time with her.

  147. Dennis11:48 AM

    Still nothing on Ebert, DA.

    And not even Provider_UNE has told you he was impressed by your 'evocative well written invective' even though you've tried so hard having written over 30 posts toward no one but me.

    Why don't you go out into Google-land and copy and paste something from Cervantes back here? It might make his, yours and my day all at the same time.

  148. You're really quite an unpleasant little creature, aren't you? If any solid evidence of the worthlessness of your life were needed, the fact that you refuse to go away certainly should do the trick.

  149. bekabot1:06 PM

    Good allusion, but unclear. I'd accept an Obamaphone, gladly, but would Dennis? Some righties are fans of the idea that working the system is a good way to destroy it; is Dennis one of those? (And: would both of us have to have an Obamaphone, or just one? Complications proliferate.)

  150. The Dark Avenger1:08 PM

    And not even Provider_UNE has told you he was impressed by your
    'evocative well written invective' even though you've tried so hard
    having written over 30 posts toward no one but me.

    Gee, Dennis, I didn't realize that I was suppose to impress anyone, let alone the P-man with what I write here.

    As I stated before, you'd find some fault with whatever I wrote about Ebert, so I'm not going to play your puerile and immature game of 'gotcha' today.

    But thanks for taking the time to reach out to me, cowboi.

    Have a good weekend, and try to stay out of trouble, mmmmmkay?

  151. The Dark Avenger1:09 PM

    Dennis is an example of the system breaking down, he just doesn't realize it yet.

  152. The Dark Avenger1:18 PM

    she's said and done far uglier things than Breitbart has on his most ugliest of days

    Stop raping people!

    While there is a great deal of yelling going on in this video, Breitbart sticks to a few main sentences: “behave yourselves,” “you are freaks and animals,” and “stop raping people.” Meanwhile, some of the protesters can be clearly heard launching profanity at him until someone starts a chant of “racist, sexist, anti-gay; right wing bigots, go away.” Finally, the police show up and shield Breitbart from the crowd.

  153. aimai4:13 PM

    On the subject of film criticism I'd like to pull us back to an appreciation of the work people do, have done, will do to point people towards film and towards film makers in an interesting way. In other words, I'm going to give a plug to a relative of mine who is, sadly, more or less retired at this point but whose work on film is really pretty amazing and fun to read. Here's a link to her website which has links to her astonishing interviews. She was the film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle for years and she went all over the world to see films--even to Iran a bunch of times--and you wouldn't believe what she could get people to say in her interviews.

  154. aimai5:25 PM

    Has anyone ever explained to you what "projection" means, Dennis?

  155. Dennis6:58 PM

    As I stated before, you'd find some fault with whatever I wrote about
    Ebert, so I'm not going to play your puerile and immature game of
    'gotcha' today.

    Wow, there's some real Profiles in Courage for you. 30 posts from you on a blog thread for a memorial to the passing of Roger Ebert, and not one word can you say about him because you're afraid of someone finding fault with it.

    No wonder you get the boot from other liberal bloggers.

  156. The Dark Avenger7:46 PM

    Wow, there's some real Profiles in Courage for you. 30 posts from you
    on a blog thread for a memorial to the passing of Roger Ebert, and not
    one word can you say about him because you're afraid of someone finding
    fault with it.

    I'm sorry a product of St. Louis University can't tell when I'm being sarcastic, Dennis.

    No wonder you get the boot from other liberal bloggers.

    Sure, Dennis, just like you got the boot at Sadly, No! or Crooks and Liars.

    I'm sorry you're having such a shitty weekend, cowboi. Thanks again for sharing, and tell Rebecca I said hi.

  157. bekabot9:49 PM

    I've been working on this for the last couple of days. It's sentimental and it threatens to be drivel, and I couldn't think of a better place to post it than here. Forgive me.

    "Thumbs Up"


    You heard? Come in and find a glass.
    Ebert's paid up past his cost.
    He's one of ours. He gets a pass.

    There's people whom we don't harass,
    and Ebert, just last moment lost —
    he might have called a vase a vahss,

    drunk cognac from a demitasse,
    and been ours to the uttermost.
    A half-crust even for the crass,

    no bowing down to gold and brass,
    no putting to the coals to roast,
    no pasturing-out to feed on grass

    — there's people we just don't harass.
    He'll make a fine and grinning ghost.
    (You heard? Step up and grab a glass.)

    They'll study every stub he cast,
    fanboys and fangirls all engrossed;
    we'll render homage in the mass

    (you heard? — lean in — fill up your glass):
    we'll leave that typecast T half-crossed,

    another flag to deck our mast,

    a salutary city boast.
    You heard? Stand up then, raise your glass,
    for Ebert's paid his full impost.

    He's one of ours.

    He wins his pass.

  158. Atticus Dogsbody10:02 PM

    aimai, you act as if you're better than other people, that you're smarter, and that people should defer to you because of it.


  159. DocAmazing11:33 PM

    Y'know, I read Judy Stone's reviews now & then (and enjoyed them) and it never occurred to me that she was Stone as in I.F.

    Your Thanksgivings must be interesting...

  160. TGuerrant12:24 AM

    He had a nice ax.

  161. Dennis Butthurt Schlacter12:42 AM


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  163. Re the "belittling": on occasion, it could surface. Witness the "dog of the week" film(s) on SNEAK PREVIEWS, plus the anger at films as diverse as I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, BLUE VELVET and FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (with the last two, they apparently didn't have the "healthy" sexuality of Russ Meyer).
    But, in a long career, these are the exceptions to a general classiness in terms of how he evaluated what he saw.

  164. Dennis7:08 AM

    aimai, do you have any idea how trite it is on a liberal blog to blurt out the projection charge?

    Or how "pathetic" you are to slather the word in quotation marks?

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  166. The Dark Avenger8:55 AM

    Thanks for demonstrating what projection looks like and posting here like the pathetic loser that you are, cowboi.

  167. Aimai9:09 AM

    They were great fun. Judy was a ball of fire.

  168. Dennis9:43 AM

    Roger Ebert, DA?

    Still collecting your thoughts and trying to summon up the courage to put them to print?

    Need another day, perhaps?

  169. The Dark Avenger10:01 AM

    I just told you he was probably good to his mother, Denny Butthurt, have you lost your ability to read clearly today?

    But seriously now, is "("projection")" you calling me a nut-job, when you have no job and no nuts?

    You're the nut coming here for more abuse, Dennis, and your paltry job could probably fulfilled by a homeless person who can tell the difference between a stock and a bond.

  170. Dennis10:12 AM

    That's true.

    If that person had some drive and ambition and wasn't content sponging off someone else for his livelihood, DA.

    Take another day and see if you can't write something pertinent about the blog topic.

  171. Provider_UNE11:24 AM

    Yes Dennis/Sally I have a perfectly clear idea of the truth of my statements, I need look no further than your response, right above this comment to know that. "...far uglier things than Brietbart..." is the perfect tell.

    I have this idea for a screenplay, a romantic comedy along the lines of somewhere between "Bringing up Baby" and "When Harry met Sally" with maybe a splash of "His Girl Friday" thrown in, I think you would make a fantastic male lead. I call the thing "When Dunning net Kruger."

    Now it would be a low budget joint, but I think it might be a hit at Sundance and I might be able to offer a deal that cuts you in on the gate.

    Whaddya think? You game?

  172. Provider_UNE12:05 PM

    Dennis, I was so inspired by your inanity that I decided to sharpen my claws with your rat ass. My art is extemporaneous to a fault, in that I generally forget any witty or hilarious (at leat to me) aside that I might toss into the pond. You are an attention whore and a fool who thinks he has a sharp with and incisive insight.

    I left the house shortly after my last comment with expectations of a short return after a trip to the farmers market on the first truly beautiful day of spring bumped into numerous old friends, bought a Tulip for a lady friend, hung out with an old friend and his lovely 6 year old daughter, tagged along with another old buddy discovering the glass blowing shop along the way to a new guitar and amp store, and suddenly realized that i had to opt out of beers with my friends as my band had a rehearsal in a couple hours and that I needed to get home and check the phone, (which I had left there in anticipation of a fairly quick return.) Then I spent 3 hours jamming with two awesome guitar players and one of the best drummers on the planet (IMHO) playing original music and preparing for the studio gig we have next weekend...

    That is what the life of a Liberal (at least this one, who could actually be better described as a commy) looks like on a sunny day when you let the wind fill your sails and enjoy an amazing compendium of serendipity. A day in which all bases have been covered and a multitude of hugs shared with people who one cares about, who have, like this guy emerged from a winter's hibernation.

    I sincerely doubt that you have or ever will experience such a fucking enormously lovely day ( I got to stand 3 feet away from a glass lathe and a four inch flame watching a dude manipulate glass with heat, just because the course we chose to navigate to the Guitar and Amp store took us down an alley) and I pity you for that.

    That is a thumbnail sketch of a day in the life of a Bicycle riding Communist. I may not have any real money or power, but I am wealthy in ways that will always escape you. I am greeted by smiles in every corner of town, random strangers that happen to take a barstool next to me often offer to buy my next one, I had to turn down such an offer last night. Dude, that is living the good life

    aimai is a great writer, me not so much, though I like to think I have my moments. At last, I write in a way that I can live with and roll with a number of styles and the only person I really attempt to impress is the hardest judge I know, myself. If others get a kick out of it or are impressed with something I have written, I must admit that that pleases me as well. Generally I try to hang out with people who are smarter and funnier than me so I might learn something.

    I'll keep an eye on you, on this thread, so we might continue this most interesting conversation, but in the meantime I might take the opportunity to enjoy a day of taking a hammock to the woods by a creek and continuing to experimenting with a fire drill (making fire with three or four pieces of wood) after all the day is young and filled with possibility.

    I honestly hope that you have as lovely a day as I am planning for myself.

  173. Dennis12:33 PM

    If it has a chance of bringing you enough income so that you don't have to keep begging for money on the internet, UNI, I'd be all in.

  174. Provider_UNE12:35 PM

    Dennis, I want to thank you for sparking a reevaluation of my lot, I normally tell people flippantly that I have no life, yesterday reminded me that my cornucopia is filled with blessings.

    Today I realize that you have honored me twice, by one, quoting something I wrote to use as an ineffective bludgeon against Dark Avenger, whose comments I often enjoy enough to be bothered to like, and secondly to compare my prose to aimai, fulsome praise indeed, though I know that you were attempting to insult me.

    Thanks BroHammy. You have made a part of what anticipates to be a fantastic day. I get to attend a birthday party for an old friend and bandmate (drummer, the other part of the rhythm section of the band in which I play) which is likely to feature a show of the legendary fireworks his brothers like to bring to such affairs. It will be another excellent day indeed and I thank you for setting a cherry on top of it.

    /doff's cap in your direction sir.

  175. The Dark Avenger12:40 PM

    I don't see anything about Provider begging for money, perhaps you're getting confused with your own pointless begging for attention here, Denny Poo-Poo.

  176. Dennis12:49 PM

    Roger Ebert?

  177. whetstone12:55 PM

    DA: thanks for bringing the Royko column up--I mentioned its existence to a friend of mine at the Sun-Times, and they put it up today.

  178. Dennis12:58 PM

    I did a lot of the same things the four years I lived there and I still think B-town is about the coolest place in the country, P_UNEie. In a way, I have to admit I do envy you. Wish I was at Nick's right now commiserating with everyone else about what went wrong at the end of this incredible season.

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  180. Provider_UNE1:11 PM

    No doubt, B-town rocks, was a wonderful place to grow up and is a wonderful place to live, though I must say that after they got rid of the pool tables Nick's has recently become something of a disappointment and I rarely tarry there.

    ...right now commiserating with everyone else about what went wrong at the end of this incredible season. has comments and a forum which what with you can commiserate with a considerable fan-base that stretches across the land. A place you might find some fellow travelers in your current neck of the woods with which to hang.

    Glad you had an opportunity to enjoy my hometown, Sally, and hope that you have as nice weather in your current neck of the woods as I do in mine.

    Gotta run, things to do and weather to enjoy, I'll check in later.

  181. The Dark Avenger1:50 PM

    Yeah, I remembered it from a book of Royko's columns back a few years ago. I look forward to re-reading it again.

  182. The Dark Avenger1:53 PM

    You are particularly blind today, aren't you, Denny Poo-Poo?

    I'm sure that Ebert was kind to his mother.

    There you are, unadulterated praise about Roger Ebert.

    Do something mean with it, asshole.

    Any other questions, dipshit?

  183. Dennis4:13 PM

    Yes, after 45 posts here on this blog thread, do you have anything insightful at all to say about Ebert's passing?

    Did you even know who he was? Or what his profession was?

  184. The Dark Avenger7:34 PM

    Denny Poo-Poo, I made my statement about him. I'm sorry you missed it earlier.

    Have a good life, cowboi.

  185. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:44 PM

    It's true, Roger Ebert sugared Dennis' gas tank.

  186. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:47 PM

    Back when I was in high school, They Might be Giants (they were still a local novelty act) recorded a promo for the local radio station: "I'm the bald guy. And I'm the fat guy. And we're They Might be Giants." We all knew exactly what John and John were talking about.

  187. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:49 PM

    The funniest thing about Clint Eastwood is that his best work was done in a series of films that were made by a cranky Italian socialist as a critique of the brutality of capitalism.

    "For a Few Dollars More" indeed.

  188. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:51 PM

    You know, he complains that you act like you're better than other people, but I want to make it clear that you are better than him. That's what really chaps his ass.

  189. Dennis7:16 AM

    No, Bastard, it doesn't chap my ass, it confirms my original point that when it comes to judging liberals, you folks are completely incapable of being objective. Like aimai, you wallow in the same sewers JennofArk craps in, so of course you're going to think they're both grand people. You're not even capable of deviating from that opinion.

  190. Dennis8:15 AM

    That wasn't a statement. Like you, it wasn't even honest. 45 posts on this blog, and you're too afraid to comment on the subject of the thread, even when it's regarding the passing of a liberal icon.

  191. The Dark Avenger8:41 AM

    Shove it up your ass sideways, I made my statement and if it wasn't good enough for you, boo-fucking hoo.

    Which is more than your lovely wife Rebecca gets these days, I'll wager.

  192. The Dark Avenger8:48 AM

    It's clear that BBBB is right, Dennis, you think you're inferior to us because you are, and it stings your petty, neurotic, shabby excuse of an ego that you've shared on this thread.

  193. Dennis9:21 AM

    I don't think I'm inferior or superior to anyone, even you, DA. I have a work ethic and a sense of personal responsibility that is far superior to you, but that doesn't mean I think I'm superior to you. However, aimai's writings here can be summed up in 10 simple words....."Do you know who my grandfather was? Well, do you?"

    As for you, you've posted 50 times on this blog and you've admitted that you're afraid to post on the blog topic, even once. Clearly that is a very large red flag of both an inferiority complex and a fragile ego if ever there was one.

  194. Dennis9:31 AM

    "Untalented dipshit!" says the guy too afraid to comment on the blog topic, even after 50 posts neurotically following one

  195. The Dark Avenger9:39 AM

    I have a work ethic and a sense of personal responsibility that is far superior to you

    Which is why you're taking time off from your "5 pages aren't enough of a description" job to take the time out to chide me about my own work ethic and sense of personal responsibility.

    However, aimai's writings here can be summed up in 10 simple words....."Do you know who my grandfather was? Well, do you?"

    Except that the only mention that aimai has made on the thread of family was her relative Judy Stone. She doesn't bring up her grandfather except on rare occasions, and certainly not to suggest that her writings here are immune to criticism because of her accident of birth.

    9 folks agree that you're an untalented dipshit, Dennis G, try not to cry too hard in your cubicle as you contemplate your justly earned rating.

  196. The Dark Avenger9:40 AM

    Sorry, Mr. Schlacter, I'm not playing your little game.

    BTW, I haven't seen your little screeds at Ollies' place lately, why is that?

  197. Dennis10:10 AM

    Because that's what liberals do, they up-vote each other.. It goes back to my larger point about why they're completely incapable of writing anything objective about Roger Ebert. But at least they tried, DA. You couldn't even try.

  198. The Dark Avenger10:18 AM

    Ebert once voted thumbs up for a movie I liked. It was The Shadow, with Alec Baldwin.

    Because that's what liberals do, they up-vote each other.. It goes back
    to my larger point about why they're completely incapable of writing
    anything objective about Roger Ebert.

    Even your first comment here was whining about libruls liking Ebert because he said mean things about some conservatives, although there was and remains nothing on this thread to back your statement up, you keep parroting it as though assertion = truth.

    Get back to your MOTU job and get off the iPad, Dwight.

    Put away the iPad and get back to your MOTU job, Dennis.

  199. The Dark Avenger10:22 AM

    Sorry, Dennis, but your neurotic need to attempt to put me down is laughable, and I hope that your defeat here doesn't mean you'll take it out on Rebecca tonight like you usually do when you get your ass handed to you on the Internet.

    Have a good life, cowboi.

  200. Dennis11:16 AM

    Heading toward 70 posts and still nothing on topic..... Because you fear criticism.