Famous Last Words

Two bang-up articles for fans of film critic Roger Ebert, medicare, and the meaning of life. Ebert has had several surgeries to remove cancer which has left him jawless, speechless, and full of beans.

The first is an excellent review of the term 'death panel' in the health care 'debate', where he talks of the beauty of a term that so efficiently shuts down reason, even though it appears to have dropped out of the stupid mouth of Sarah Palin.

Luckily, Ebert was old enough to qualify for Medicare just as his own benefits ran out, exhausted by the severity of his illness, and the multiple surgeries to keep him alive and (mostly) in one piece. One of the many kickers in his article is that every member of the House of Representatives and Senate receives universal health care, no matter what their age. "You should try it some time," says Ebert. (Chicago Sun-Times)

The other is a long, beautiful article on Ebert in Esquire by writer Chris Jones. Totally worth the read.

"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. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."

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