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Roger Ebert dead at age 70

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I truly love movies. Back in the day, when I had time, it really didn’t matter what kind of movie was in the theater, if I had time I would go. I saw Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (one of the worst movies of all-time!!!). Nope, I wasn’t drunk. I went to the movies because I loved all of it. In the late 1980s, the sound systems got better. We got stadium seating and nice comfortable chairs. I really and truly love going to movies.

In both high school and college I took film criticism courses. I learned about jump cuts, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and D. W. Griffin. I learned about lighting and how it can tell a story. I simply loved movies but when I read about movies in the newspaper (we had newspapers back then) I despised the contempt most film critics had for just about everything. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about see Richard Corliss from Time Magazine.) Then, somehow, there was Roger Ebert. He was a guy who can enjoy a regular movie.  The rest of the film critics, at least to me, seem to hate movies and love to find flaws which they can pick apart. It wasn’t that Roger Ebert didn’t see the flaws. He did. But he was able to see past the flaws and enjoy the movie anyway.

Almost none of the formal, stuffy-nosed critics liked the 1977 classic Star Wars. Roger Ebert did. As a matter of fact, Ebert was with us, the regular folks. He loved it. That may be one of the reasons that I truly enjoyed listening to and reading Roger Ebert. He was genuine.

I will truly miss Roger Ebert. As a matter fact, the last year or so, I’ve been following his tweets. He embraced technology, another aspect to enjoy about his personality.

My heart goes out to his family.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Roger Ebert loved movies.

Except for those he hated.

For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.

“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”

By |2013-11-03T18:22:18-04:00April 7th, 2013|Movies|Comments Off on Roger Ebert dead at age 70

Blago may be looking at some significant time

I’m in Seattle for a conference. There’s nothing like being packed in an airplane for a four an half hour plane ride.

Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, has been indicted on 16 felony counts. The charges include racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making false statements. There was some speculation that his wife may be indicted also. That may happen, but it did not happen today. The Chicago Sun-Times has a very lengthy article on this indictment. The actual indictment can be read here.

The opening paragraph of the indictment reads:  “Since 2002, even before he was first elected governor that November, and continuing until he was arrested on Dec. 9, 2008, former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and a circle of his closest aides and advisors allegedly engaged in a wide-ranging scheme to deprive the people of Illinois of honest government, according to a 19-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury. Blagojevich, 52, of Chicago, was charged with 16 felony counts, including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal agents. He allegedly used his office in numerous matters involving state appointments, business, legislation and pension fund investments to seek or obtain such financial benefits as money, campaign contributions, and employment for himself and others, in exchange for official actions, including trying to leverage his authority to appoint a United States Senator, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.”

By |2009-04-03T03:20:05-04:00April 3rd, 2009|Domestic Issues|Comments Off on Blago may be looking at some significant time

What's Going On: Evening News Round-up

  • Robert Novak, the Chicago Sun-Times columnist who published Valarie Plame’s name, is retiring suddenly. It appears that he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I although I disagree with Novak’s politics, no one deserves a brain tumor. I hope that he is able to get well soon.
  • The House Republicans were trying to make a big deal of the House adjourning without passing some energy legislation. They were hoping that the White House would go along with their game. The White House balked.
  • A new national poll shows that low-wage workers support Senator Barack Obama two to one over Senator John McCain. Now, all Obama has to do is get these folks out to the polls.
  • A grenade killed 16 policemen in China. This raises doubts on how well China can protect the Olympic athletes.
  • Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Dashcle, whose office received one of the anthrax letters says that the death of a primary suspect does not mean that the investigation is over. There are plenty of unanswered questions. Senator Dashcle was interviewed for NPR.
  • The great reporter Helen Thomas turned 88 today!!! Congratulations Ms. Thomas. Please keep asking those questions, I, for one, appreciate it.
By |2008-08-04T20:03:06-04:00August 4th, 2008|Bush Administration, Domestic Issues, Election 2008, House of Representatives|Comments Off on What's Going On: Evening News Round-up
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