We’ve had a good week for bad news. And now the news has gone mad, and the world with it.
Or else it’s vice versa. I give up. We’re living in Topsyturvydom, that’s all I know. Who was it said that no matter who you vote for, the government always gets in?
It’s days and weeks like this when I recommend turning up the speakers and playing anything you can find by the immortal George Harrison. So I’ll lead you into the weekend—and, I sincerely hope, a much better week for all and sundry—with this: his last song from his last live performance, his benediction for this troubled material world.
The darkness only stays at night time. Shabbat Shalom.
Update: I swapped out the original video for one with much worse picture and bad syncing–but this one is the whole song, and well worth the quirks. If you have 45 minutes, you can watch the whole VH1 memorial special, with a pretty long interview and a couple more songs, here.
The emails have been arriving with depressing regularity. Often the subject line is only the name of a friend. With dread I know what the message will contain: That person has died. In recent weeks there have been seven such losses. Three came in a 10-day period, and I fell into sadness.
–Roger Ebert, ‘ I remember you’
This isn’t a normal re-entry into the world of regular blogging. Oh, sure, you’ve noticed and I’ve noticed that I haven’t been here that much, that I’ve been waltzing off starting other blogs and—that greatest of blogging excuses—writing The Book (it’s true). And I could give the usual patter of apologies and promises and life-does-get-in-the-way-of-the-internet-strange-to-say speeches. But today I just want to start writing for you again, and talking with you again, and there’s a reason.
Roger Ebert died today. It was the day after he said he was going to start back—which, for Ebert, meant reviewing a lot of movies and working on a few more books. Yesterday, when begged our leave to take ‘a leave of presence’ from his work, he wrote with the vitality and enthusiasm of a far younger, far more well man. Today he’s gone to his reward, and the world has lost a powerful force for good.