Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ebert: He Still Speaks Volumes

Two big stories rolled through the news services and social media network this week:

  • A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that aspirin may provide a  preventative quality in breast cancers that are hormone sensitive.  Why?  Researchers suspect that aspirin kicks off processes decreasing aromatase production.  This in turn suppresses estrogen, one of the hormones that fuels breast cancer.   And as these things go, today I saw an article quoting epidemiologist Dr. Susan McCann, Rosewell Park Cancer Institute, who said additional investigation was still essential before women start taking aspiring in any kind of quantity.  So we're back to where we started & you know the drill.....see what your oncologist's recommendations are.  It might now work for you -- not to mention your stomach!

An extraordinary article on Roger Ebert by journalist Chris Jones in Esquire] came across via Slate early in the week.

The first thing you notice when you download the article is Ebert's photo. It's initially startling. But in a short moment you immediately see his eyes -- a dancing blue in a stop-time of intense curiousity, vitality, perhaps joy.  Then go on and dig in.  The quality of the prose, its magic in delving beneath the surfaces and bringing voice to a man who no long has one is something anyone who claims to love writing must study.  If I were teaching journalism it would be one of those "GET OUT YOUR HIGHLIGHTER" moments I experienced years ago reading Tom Wolfe, Capote and Joan Didion called the "new journalism."  Jones is beyond that and better.  The spirit of  Ebert evolves as you read: 

" 'These things come to us, they don't come from us,' he writes about his cancer, about sickness, on another Post-it note. 'Dreams come from us.' "

I'll also say that the article even transcends Ebert's anccer  Given what he has experienced, this is somewhat of a miracle and speaks volumes of both Ebert and Jones.

My final thought is another quote from Ebert, " 'When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.'" 

I'll look forward to hearing what you think.


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