The Wit and Wisdom of Roger Ebert
I've always loved Roger Ebert the movie critic since the day I found him and Siskel on PBS on a backwater show buried in the schedule directly after my favorite show at the time about Canadian Animation. (Winner: Most tortured grammar in one sentence for the week.)
Lately, though, he really seems to be coming into a new era of excellence. I think the interaction with everyday folks provided by the web and the political atmosphere in which we find ourselves (all of the paranoia but none of the intellect of the Nixon years!), plus maybe his bout with cancer, have made him one of those priceless elders chock full of wisdom and fun.
For instance, check out this recent exchange on his "Answer Man" column:
Andrew Zimmer, Los Angeles: Q. Recently you have come under fire from readers who don't get the humor in your columns, as in your "Dukes of Hazzard" and "The Aristocrats" reviews. The print media is the absolute hardest place to be witty. A little piece of me dies every time one of your witticisms is mistaken for a sincere attack.
Ebert: A. I hope it is a very small piece. A depressing number of people seem to process everything literally. They are to wit as a blind man is to a forest, able to find every tree, but each one coming as a surprise.
I'm dealing with an especially egregious example of one of these obtuse literal-minded people these days, and this describes them to a "T". Now, each time I deal with them, I'm going to be hearing in my head the sound of someone thwacking into a tree.