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At some point in recent Internet history, the Chicago Sun-Times gave its famous film critic Roger Ebert a film blog, to write about film. Well fuck film! Now he just writes hilarious geopolitical rants next to pictures of triangles and octagons, like all bloggers.

Here’s a sample; just skim through the proper nouns to get the gist (this is really the only way to “read” political writing anymore):

The Amish can grow their own food and heat their own homes and feed their own horses, and where does that leave us? Many of my readers right now are living in the middle of vast urban areas, 50 miles from farmland One partner has been laid off, the other fears the same. There are children and mortgage payments. What will they do on the level of survival? I’ve been reading a memoir by Larry Woiwode, who farms his own land in North Dakota and may not have foreseen disaster but seems prepared to deal with it.

How will my family fare? Yes, we’ve earned some nice money in our careers. But I have found that nothing cures wealth like illness. Few people in this country can afford to get seriously ill, and many cannot afford to take a single day off from their job–or jobs. Under Bush we doubled our national debt in only eight years. Now the experts say Obama will have no choice but to increase it even further, with “bailouts” of an increasingly leaky ship. That means spending money we do not have–printing it, in the final analysis. That leads to inflation. Inflation leads to legends of fortunes in pre-war Germany reduced to worthless paper, of people trading shopping bags full of banknotes for a loaf of bread. What does money mean when it is backed only by debt?

What if war in the Middle East cuts off oil, even if OPEC wants to sell it? What if the shipping lanes are blocked? What will happen then? Less developed countries may paradoxically be better off. The closer to the land and to subsistence a family lives, the better-equipped it is to survive. The unemployed family in the middle of a city will have savings, unemployment insurance, maybe government and private assistance of various kinds, and may be able to just get by, but how long will that last? Everybody can’t move in with the relatives. Some people have to be the relatives.

And then George Clooney blew up the Saudi prince’s motorcade, bringing a satisfying end to Pirates of the Caribbean 3, a legal thriller narrated by Morgan Freeman. It’s true.

Ha ha what the hell Ebert! He goes on and on like this for much longer. (“I googled ‘power blackout Oahu’ and found only 17,000 hits. If you know anything about Google, you know this was a freak weather occurrence.”) Amazing. RSS subscription, check. OMG Roger stop engaging the commenters!

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold [Roger Ebert’s Journal]

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46 COMMENTS

  1. Personally, I have a pretty high threshhold for crazy and irrelevent. I don’t dismiss anyone until they start talking about how the Sixteenth Amendment wasn’t really passed or they bring up cryogenics.

    Recent Elvis Presley witnesses and UFO cultists welcome, though! By my standards, Ebert’s non-movie rant is tame.

  2. I wonder if, when WB Yeats was writing “The Second Coming,” he realized it would be glommed onto by everybody writing a whacked-out apocalyptic rant from that moment on, whether it applied or not.

  3. >>I’ve been reading a memoir by Larry Woiwode, who farms his own land in North Dakota and may not have foreseen disaster but seems prepared to deal with it.

    PROTIP: North Dakota is home to many American ICBMs and B-52 bombers; therefore, Larry Woiwode will not have to worry about long-term survival should the economy and world political order completely collapse.

  4. [re=206634]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Right — like when Dame Peggy coined “a thousand points of light” for Bush the First, and saw it turned into the bitterest and most ironic statement of the failure of his administration to enlighten anyone or anything.

    There’s this difference, though: Yeats could write. And there’s another difference: Bush I looks like a resounding success compared to his son. It’ll all get better when Jeb’s elected in ’12.

  5. Wait wait wait, does that say what I think it says? In the top right of the Ebert blog, there’s this little promotional review clip:

    “The comments from readers … are about the best you will see on a blog.”
    — Computerworld magazine

    Well fuck them. That shit might work in the movie industries, taking quotes from other people, taking out chunks and using them for self-promotion. We can do that here, too.

    Several … dozen times a day I click my way to Gawker and Wonkette for a couple of minutes of reading … If you’ve yet to visit these blogs, imagine them as the twin offspring of a date-rape incident between Drudge Report and the original Spy magazine.
    Jack Shafer, slate.com

    And we commenters are far better than those erudite fucktards.

  6. This sounds like a challenge to me…

    “The comments from readers … are about the best you will see on a blog.”
    — Computerworld magazine

    However, do we really want to impress the readers of Computerworld magazine?

  7. If you think THAT’s trenchant political commentary, wait’ll you get a load of the tapes of Gene Siskel underground kickboxing. That motherfucker could really whoop some hobo ass.

  8. Next on Ebert’s schedule: a new blog pissing on FDR speeches and Van Johnson movies.
    Following this, a top ten list of the best Mel Gibson post-apocalypse movies.
    …and by Friday a weekend review of how crappy Chicago winters are.

  9. It has been long believed among people with any logic whatsoever that one should immediately believe the opposite of what Ebert says. His film reviews have poured concrete into this belief, thereby rendering him useless.

  10. And another thing, did you ever see that National Lampoon thing about the book of the month club where every single book title was taken from that Yeats poem?
    The Center Cannot Hold: Memoir of “Gentleman Jimmy” Yablonski, record holder of the most intercepted passes in the NFL
    Its Slow Thighs: Erotica about a three-toed sloth fancier’s forbidden love.
    and so forth.

  11. Sex Drive sounds truly truly awful. Is it on Netflix?

    “magine them as the twin offspring of a date-rape incident between Drudge Report and the original Spy magazine.”

    I prefer to think of us as the true heirs to lamented 90’s S.F. snark mag The Nose.

  12. [re=206657]TJBeck[/re]: I think you were milliseconds faster on the trigger. Do you want to punish me closet Republican style or free love democrat style?

  13. [re=206666]WIDTAP[/re]: “Year of Living Dangerously” is a cool movie. (A young) Mel’s contribution was merely to look handsome, and he did a good job.

  14. Wow, sounds like nearly dying from cancer (has he recovered enough to be able to speak yet?) has really messed him up. Hopefully Wonkette and Campbell Brown will be able to report some wacko things that Eartha Kitt and Harold Pinter said recently, for balance. Cancer: two thumbs up!

  15. Well, somebody had to stand up and some point and say “Non-Amish person, at long last, have you no decency?!” If that had to be Roger Ebert, so be it.

  16. I read that memoir by Larry Woiwode, too, and a MOTHERFUCKING TRACTOR FELL ON HIM AND ALMOST KILLED HIM {spoiler}.

    I don’t know about you, but that never happens in my neighborhood.

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