Possibly due to the fact that I simply have grown out of the habit of watching, or maybe because I just don't give a damn about any of that stuff anymore, I stopped watching Oprah years ago.  So, every now and again, when she has a topic that piques my interest or an interview that moves me, I make a point of paying attention.  I don't watch, I can't watch anymore... it nauseates me, but, I do pay attention.

I paid attention yesterday.  Roger Ebert, fellow Chicagoan, fellow writer, movie buff extraordinaire and all around good guy was on.  The shock of seeing the photo of him jawless, literally, took a moment for me to process, and considering his inability to actually speak left me speechless, but, naturally hearing that he was using cool technology to actually "talk" to people made me glad his "voice" was still out there.

I remember way back in the day, when I was a kid and Roger and Gene Siskel were just two movie critics with the two major local papers in Chicago with this cute little show, "Sneak Peeks", on WTTW 11.  It came on late in the evening on Thursdays as I recall, and I would fall asleep next to my father as they argued about technical stuff and not so technical stuff, screenplays and actors.  It was the local show to watch at the time.

When they went big time on us (as all great voices in the world do), we were happy for them.  I wondered if the show would change, the men would change, the world would change because of the way they saw cinema.  It all did.  If Roger and Gene didn't like it, it was a flop.  If the thumbs went up, it was #1 at the boxoffice that weekend.

After Gene's death in 1999, I was convinced Roger would fade into obscurity, but was glad he didn't.  Although, like Oprah, I stopped watching all the time (I was never very good at sharing the local favs with the world), I enjoyed watching him with lovely Chaz on a red carptet somewhere.

As I read the summary of the Oprah show he was featured on, I discovered his website and greedily began reading his comments.  Such sweet nectar!  It's better than the newspaper column, better than the show, better than ever.

So what, Roger can't fuss like the grumpy, old curmungeon he really truly needs us to believe he is; so what if his vocal cords are gone and he now sounds like a computer.  His "voice", his amazing VOICE is alive and well, and he will continue to see the world and write about it as only he can.

Get well soon Roger, I love you!


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