Roger Ebert: ‘I do not fear death’

Gene Siskel, left, and Roger Ebert pose in this undated photograph. Ebert died on Thursday, April 4 after a long battle with cancer. ©Disney-ABC Domestic Television Gene Siskel, left, and Roger Ebert pose in this undated photograph. Ebert died on Thursday, April 4 after a long battle with cancer. ©Disney-ABC Domestic Television

You can learn a lot on how to be better in whatever you do from reading Ebert’s pieces. He transformed a genre of writing synonymous with arrogance, hatred, and extreme judgment, into an elegant voice of wisdom that goes beyond movies.

Ebert was much more than a movie critic. He was a voice of a generation.

Someone wrote that when he lost his ability to speak, he found his voice in Twitter:

My rules for Twittering are few: I tweet in basic English. I avoid abbreviations and ChatSpell. I go for complete sentences. I try to make my links worth a click. I am not above snark, no matter what I may have written in the past. I tweet my interests, including science and politics, as well as the movies. I try to keep links to stuff on my own site down to around 5 or 10%. I try to think twice before posting.

He’s a regular participant in the New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Content, and I discovered that he also had a passion for drawing that nobody seems to care about.

The man just kept surprising me, even after his departure this week. He did not win Oprah Winfrey’s heart, but he won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975, the first ever awarded to a critic. He swore not to marry before his mother departed, and he soon married Chaz, the woman of his life, shortly after his mother died.

This is the kind of actions real heroes do. They need not to scream on a battle well-fought, but people marched upon his victory on his exit.

So long, Roger.