Louder than words

Roger Ebert’s voice roars louder than ever, this despite the fact that he can no longer talk. I’ve been reading his blog with added interest since thyroid cancer rendered him unable to to speak. Maybe his blogging has gotten better and grown more frequent now that it’s his main outlet to speak to the world.

Ebert is so much more than a film critic. He’s a journalist and writer, an unabashed middle western liberal voice in an age when most progressives consider activism to be making excuses for Obama, car pooling, taking those easy potshots at morons like Bush and Palin or shopping at Whole Foods.Ebert’s latest post on the film Insider Job is filled with his even handed contempt for what’s been happening in Washington since Reagan:

It is easy to say Republicans oppose financial reform, because they do. But too easy to say Democrats support it, because they hold back from meaningful reform. Their measures amount to pissing on a forest fire.

The film is an expose about the “Masters of the Universe” on Wall Street who encouraged bad debt, betting against their own customers to enrich themselves, and consequently drove the world into a financial crisis that we may feel the effects of for the balance of my life.

Ebert, even voiceless, is louder than ever. He’s smart, angry and passionate about film. And he’s a decent guy. I used to work in an office across from the television studios where he did his show with Gene Siskel. During the opening credits, Ebert was seen wandering the streets of Chicago giving a thumbs up and a smile to random passers by. This wasn’t some affectation for the cameras. I passed him several times in the busy streets, and he shared it with me.

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