Since nobody has posted real words on this:
I will miss Roger Ebert and his opinions -- all of them; the movie reviews and the other things, most notably for people here his rejection of games having any real validity as a medium. I used to be pretty bitter about that; I take games seriously and it's always angering -- or at least depressing -- when someone says, "Hey, this thing you really care about and want to use to impact people is totally worthless." He also said some other things I thought were stupid and crazy in his blog; I remember one post in particular saying "women are better because they're gentler and more compassionate", which I found to be harmful both to men (obviously, since it suggested we are less capable of kindness) and to women (because of the inevitably carried implication that women are also more fragile, and because the statement rejects more bold or aggressive personalities in women as not feminine). He was critical of certain religious beliefs as well, and he wasn't very polite about it, which bothered me, as a religious person; some people believe some things, others don't believe in anything, and nobody is better or worse for it; I think it's pretty childish to go around making fun of people about their worldviews.
But at some point, I realized something: he was writing all these things on his blog, and they upset me, but I was still reading his blog
. And at this point in my life, I was far past reading things to get angry on purpose. I was getting something out of this. So I gave up the bitterness. And when I heard he had died, I was sad about it.
Roger Ebert was a person. He was a person and he had opinions, just like the rest of us. And even though I disagreed with many of his opinions, I still found them interesting enough to read, and they made me think, so I benefited from them. And I might not be able to say that about some people I like
, so that's a commendation.
And, of course, all this is skips entirely the importance of his actual career and the significance of the rest of his life, but plenty of people have already covered that better than I could.