The Good News of Roger Ebert

roger ebertWere I to compose a catechism out of quotes by famed film critic Roger Ebert who died yesterday, it might look something like this.

On the well-lived life: “I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.”

On reflecting God’s image: “The Muse visits during the act of creation, not before. Don’t wait for her. Start alone.”

On relating to other human beings: “I began to realize that I had tended to avoid some people because of my instant conclusions about who they were and what they would have to say. I discovered that everyone, speaking honestly and openly, had important things to tell me.”

On religion: “If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it didn’t.”

On sin: “We are put on this planet only once, and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds.”

On receiving the world: “At the end of the day, some authors will endure and most, including some very good ones, will not. Why do I think reading is important? It is such an effective medium between mind and mind. We think largely in words. A medium made only of words doesn’t impose the barrier of any other medium. It is naked and unprotected communication. That’s how you get pregnant. May you always be so.”

On joy: “Life always has an unhappy ending, but you can have a lot of fun along the way, and everything doesn’t have to be dripping in deep significance.”

On knowledge: “An honest bookstore would post the following sign above its ‘self-help’ section: ‘For true self-help, please visit our philosophy, literature, history and science sections, find yourself a good book, read it, and think about it.”

On beauty: “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.”

And, on the internet: “Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly. ”

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2 responses to “The Good News of Roger Ebert

  1. LaurenCaldwell

    So many wonderful quotes. Thank you Jason! He will be missed.

  2. I always liked his reviews when I came across them, these quotes are great. So much to think on…

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