Roger Ebert’s Journal
Some of us write for a living, but we suspect Roger Ebert writes to live. How else to explain why, after a career that nearly every writer would sell a soul for—Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for a major daily, star of an extremely successful television show, several best-selling books—his output seems to increase, not decrease with time, even after his well-publicized battles with cancer. A more recent endeavor, his blog leads him out of the screening room and into the very heart of the body politic, where he tackles a mix of social issues and personal insights, ranging from memoir to revelation, like his recent discussion of his battle with alcoholism years ago. (And sometimes, yes, he discusses movies.) Ebert is a thoughtful, gracious writer, and his blog epitomizes the best of the medium: not only is he a joy to read, but he gets comments that are the envy of anyone in the business, hundreds and hundreds of comments (his recent take on healthcare reform elicited nearly a thousand responses). And unlike the sites that seem to traffic in knuckleheads, most of his commenters—even those who disagree with his politics—do so in reasonably articulate and informed manners. Best of all, perhaps, is that Ebert is not just content to drop in his post and move on, but reads and responds personally to many of his correspondents.
Best of Chicago 2009