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How should we remember Roger Ebert?
April 4, 2013 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I regret to inform you that Roger Ebert has died. He mattered to me, and to many people here. Jessamyn has deleted a couple of single-link obituary posts on the grounds that "as much as I appreciate the timeliness of this, this guy has been hugely influential here. Maybe someone could make a proper obit post?" I agree. Perhaps we might take a day or two and do that collaboratively, collecting links and stories and making up a grand obituary post of shared memories of his life.

The open thread about his worsening health where some people have been posting about his life.

From Max Power's now deleted obituary thread:
Chicago Tribune Obituary
His final essay: I do not fear death.

Here's an excerpt of something he wrote that really mattered to me, from a blog post about loneliness and the internet. The full article, and it should be read in full, seems to be down at the moment.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow to MetaFilter-Related at 1:57 PM (66 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

There's an active obit post.
posted by griphus at 1:58 PM on April 4, 2013


There is an active obit post that seemed to be okay which is a good balance between the fact that there is also an open Ebert post from yesterday and the fact that we deleted four posts before we got to this one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:00 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's an active obit post.

Ah, that went up while I was writing this. Yes, that's a good start to an obit thread. This thread is closable, unless we want to have a metatalk discussion about what we'd collectively like to see in a good obit post.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:10 PM on April 4, 2013


But hey, now this post is here for those who get all of their world's news from MetaTalk. I know you're out there and don't worry, I won't tell.
posted by item at 2:14 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Small point, but that "final essay" is from 2011. (Just for people who, like me, were thinking that was the blog post that went up yesterday. It isn't.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:17 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


There were four deleted posts in the space of a few minutes.
posted by zarq at 2:19 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somehow, I think it's appropriate that his obit FPP's are approaching a James Brown deletion rate.
posted by klarck at 2:21 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Frank Frazetta had a machine-gun burst of obits too.
posted by griphus at 2:23 PM on April 4, 2013


I appreciate this post, if only because link dumps don't really do his life as much justice as heartfelt thoughts about his writing. Thanks for this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:30 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was going to take pretty huge issue with the "final essay" claim, so I'm glad that post, at least, was deleted.
posted by muddgirl at 2:48 PM on April 4, 2013


quint-post! Is that a new single event record.
posted by boo_radley at 3:01 PM on April 4, 2013


Sadly, no.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:05 PM on April 4, 2013


Sadly, no.

I have to ask, what's the record holding topic and how bad did it get?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:13 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


James Brown, no?
posted by pompomtom at 3:28 PM on April 4, 2013


Wait, what happened to James Brown?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:52 PM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


More than one somebody should make the ultimate MeFi sacrifice and post an obviously-to-be-deleted Roger Ebert thread just so he can take the crown from Brown. Because he truly was a more important icon to the community here...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:54 PM on April 4, 2013


I think James Brown was deleted 7 times before we got a good post.

As for this post, I'll probably close it up soon since the original point was moot given an obit post did go up during the posting of it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:58 PM on April 4, 2013


I was really sad to hear this news today. It's been a privilege to read about everyone's favorite Ebert moments, memories and reviews.

I ran the obit post (well, a description of it) by the mods using the contact form before I posted, because I saw in the preview window that one post that shared a link with mine had already been deleted. They responded very quickly. I would encourage anyone in a similar situation in the future to use the contact form; I felt more comfortable posting after that.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:35 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Last!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:36 PM on April 4, 2013


I don't honestly know what I could contribute. It's harrowing to look at somebody who has passed and say "but he was so much better than me. I don't know what I could say."

I'm not going to post in the obit thread. Not even a period. I don't feel like I've earned it.
posted by Shepherd at 4:42 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ahem.

Last!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:45 PM on April 4, 2013


Lust!
posted by box at 4:49 PM on April 4, 2013


Is there a way we could create a pre-death celeb obit wiki to draw from?
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:52 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to ask, what's the record holding topic and how bad did it get?


Guy Fieri got a lot of them (and a lot of metatalk/IRL love, too)
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:01 PM on April 4, 2013


I think I made a deleted post about Guy, and I don't think mine was the first.

List!
posted by box at 5:13 PM on April 4, 2013


Don't think "love" is the word I'd use for the Guy Fieri threads.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:14 PM on April 4, 2013


Wait... Guy Fieri is dead?
posted by sparklemotion at 5:15 PM on April 4, 2013


No.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:19 PM on April 4, 2013


because I saw in the preview window that one post that shared a link with mine had already been deleted.

That is a sweet feature.

As to the original question of this post: obviously we should remember him with a movie marathon, how else?
posted by jacalata at 5:28 PM on April 4, 2013


Faster pussycat!
posted by boo_radley at 5:30 PM on April 4, 2013


Guy Fieri is dead?

Guy Fieri will never really die. He will be preserved, lying in state with a proprietary solution of hair gel, fake tan and high fructose corn syrup.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:34 PM on April 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Lastest?
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:36 PM on April 4, 2013


Only someday to rise again and break free from his batter fried sarcophagus.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:02 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Guy Fieri will never really die. He will be preserved, lying in state with a proprietary solution of hair gel, fake tan and high fructose corn syrup.

And, with multiple pairs of melted plastic sunglasses forged on the back of his skull.
posted by ericb at 6:05 PM on April 4, 2013


I think all obit posts should be placed in a queue and the day after the death the best gets approved. This would incentivize people to make quality posts and remove the incentive to be first. The links from the other attempts could flesh out the best obit post.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:19 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


And, with multiple pairs of melted plastic sunglasses forged on the back of his skull.

CrimERRR!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:29 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


And instead of dots, we will honor his service to humanity with 🍔's
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:33 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


His final wish was to be cremated and have his ashes blended into a vat of his signature donkey sauce, which would then be offered to NYC restaurant patrons as an $1000 per ounce topping for their Fiere Fajitas....
posted by zarq at 6:45 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sorcerer! How didst thou concoct yon hamburger?!
posted by batmonkey at 6:46 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Blast!
posted by item at 7:05 PM on April 4, 2013


In deference to his wishes, his body was left where it fell until it was cold before it was allowed to be carried anywhere.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:08 PM on April 4, 2013


Why do people keep linking that Salon article as his final essay? It was written in 2011.
posted by kmz at 7:34 PM on April 4, 2013


Aw crap, I missed LobsterMitten's comment above.
posted by kmz at 7:35 PM on April 4, 2013


Apparently the 🍔 is a thing.
posted by unSane at 7:43 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


To be honest, I heard about his death on local media. I had no idea that the Salon article I posted was "old." It is STILL relevant. A glorious meditation on existence.

There where no obits online except the Ric Kogen one, so I went with it.

I grew up watching Roger and Gene, and was ecstatic when Mr. Ebert would do social or political commentary.

That he posted a "leave of presence" only to pass a day later has really broken my heart in a way I couldn't imagine.

He will be missed.
posted by Max Power at 7:54 PM on April 4, 2013


To be clear, I think Ebert's meditation on death is awesome and shareable. But labelling it as his 'last essay' is the sort of neat narrative that doesn't really exist in the real world. I think the fact that Ebert has been directly facing his own mortality for a long time... and reacted not with passive submission but a vibrant burst of life... It's inspiring to me.
posted by muddgirl at 8:04 PM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'll put this here because I don't want to put it anywhere else.

Mr. Ebert, I have always loved you, Even when we didn't agree I loved you. You were the go to guy for any movie. But more than that, you taught me how to eat again. I looked at your face and I was afraid. Even when you looked as if you were smiling all that I saw was cancer. And death and bones corrupted. Your latest work, your happiness with you and your wife frightened me. My father died, and you were still there. My mother had lung cancer and you were still there for me. I am weak Mr. Ebert. But you were as strong as strong can be. And now you are gone from the same kind of final disease. And this is not right. You fought the fight. You died. But you didn't lose. You won. I still love you man. You will never die. Not in my book.
posted by Splunge at 8:23 PM on April 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Only someday to rise again and break free from his batter fried sarcophagus

No one can beat mummy's cooking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:45 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had been wondering where to put this odd rambling essay on restraunt reviewing and Guy Fieri.
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, that went up while I was writing this.

You hit the post button 35 minutes after the other one went up. Thanks for . . . a very thoughtful post, I guess?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:24 PM on April 4, 2013


You hit the post button 35 minutes after the other one went up. Thanks for . . . a very thoughtful post, I guess?

Computer crash just before I posted. I should have doublechecked the blue after I rebooted and remade the post. A hard mistake to justify given that 35 minutes was time enough for an obituary to be posted ~three times.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:46 PM on April 4, 2013


Is there a way we could create a pre-death celeb obit wiki to draw from?

It's underused, but (theoretically) we have one.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 10:34 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


FelliniBlank: "CrimERRR!"

Honestly, Crimer Show has me obsessively checking Twitter in a way I never have before. It is awesome, and never gets old.
posted by koeselitz at 3:20 AM on April 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tell me about it. I was too busy to check it for the past few days, and when I did last night, I'm like HOLY FUCK (looks at camera), Detetcive has PUPEY!
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:16 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


While I understand why newspapers do them, I don't see why doing a pre-death celeb obit is a good thing for MetaFilter.

It seems a little creepy, for one thing. Also, it's counter to how this site operates - people make posts to the front page. If they're good, they stay up. If they need work, or break guidelines, the posts are removed.

That's how it works.

Creating a ready-to-launch celeb obit draft article on a wiki would seem to indicate that there is an "approved" post, but MetaFilter is more organic than that.

As always, invest in a text editor or something and have an obit for your favorite nearly-dead celebrity ready to go, so you can be first in the door when the Grim Reaper calls.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:18 AM on April 5, 2013


I've sometimes posted obits a day or two after the fact because it's taken that long to compile better news stories, good links and perhaps a decent quote about a person's life. But it can be a lot more stressful to put together a good, more carefully constructed post on breaking news. I find I check the front page more frequently than usual while working, to make sure no one has beaten me to the punch.

It shouldn't matter. I can and have just slipped a bunch of links into a comment in a post that got there before mine, and will probably do so again. No big deal. But still, there's a "beat the clock" feeling that's hard to shake.

The pre-written obit post feels like a good idea. Especially since the mods are setting a higher bar for obits. Also, since many people's first post to MeFi is an obit, why not make it easier for them? But every time I've tried to write one in advance it feels a little ghoulish. ymmv.
posted by zarq at 11:02 AM on April 5, 2013


A good obit post always includes a wikipedia link, a TvTropes link (if applicable), a link describing a singular act of courage (bonus points for NYT coverage), and a Youtube/Vimeo encapsulating the essence of the deceased.
posted by Renoroc at 6:51 PM on April 5, 2013


🍔

...

How
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:46 AM on April 6, 2013


Unicode Character 'HAMBURGER' (U+1F354)
posted by unSane at 5:54 AM on April 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


eponysterical.

Too soon?
posted by terrapin at 11:50 AM on April 6, 2013


I actually think this post is already turning out to be more thoughtful than the other post. Highlights from the discussion in the blue include:
.
.
.
.
and my personal favorite:

.

Along with Scorsese's documentaries on American cinema, Roger Ebert is responsible for transforming the way I look at film. He helped my outlook evolve from cheap Saturday night entertainment to true artistic appreciation and near obsession. More importantly, he showed me how to live when I was merely passing time until death. And I think that if a period is all you can muster for this articulate man's eulogy than you might as well not bother. I'm seriously sick of scrolling past a million fucking dots to read something of substance every time one of my heroes dies.
posted by WhitenoisE at 12:07 AM on April 7, 2013


You know there is a script that will remove all the dots, right? Of course now that I've said this I totally can't find it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:36 AM on April 7, 2013


Is this it?
posted by box at 9:45 AM on April 7, 2013


Oh sweet jesus thank you
posted by WhitenoisE at 11:28 AM on April 7, 2013


.
posted by box at 11:38 AM on April 7, 2013


Last!
posted by chavenet at 1:42 PM on April 7, 2013


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