In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_sand-storm-poster-2016

Sand Storm

A fairly familiar critique of patriarchy from a humanist and feminist perspective, but one that’s put across with some very impressive filmmaking skills by a…

Thumb_ujj6jeeebtdlbzcjwaoybnyeq8c

Deepwater Horizon

Everything here feels routine—more like an inevitability than a work of art or even a piece of entertainment.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

This will be on the test

I watched Sarah Palin's interview with Charles Gibson, and felt uneasiness stirring in my stomach. The feeling did not involve politics. Somehow it was personal. Gradually, memories churned to the surface.

I was in class. I had been asked to answer a specific question. I could not. I hadn't read the book, or listened to the lecture, or done the research. The teacher was looking at me in expectation.

You know what I did. You've done it yourself, or seen it done. I couldn't say "I don't know." I replied with generalities about the subject, and then edged into something I did know about it. I masked my ignorance with my most confident tone of voice.

The teacher repeated the question.

My nightmare was happening to Sarah Palin. Gibson asked her questions she didn't have an answer for. No, I'm not thinking about his stumper on the Bush Doctrine. I doubt Bush could have answered it. I'm thinking of her reply on "reform." When Gibson asked her to name three items in the Bush budget she would reform, she couldn't. She replied with generalities and drifted into sound bites. He asked her again. More vague language. He asked: "Three things. One. Two. Three." I think that's when my stomach began to churn.

Gun control. She opposes it. Gibson observed that a majority of Americans support a ban on AK-47s. She praised the tradition of gun ownership in Alaska, mentioning "protection, hunting, and sport." With machine guns?

Abortion rights? "I am pro-life but respect other peoples' opinions." Would she respect the opinions of others if choices were substituted for opinions? "What we do not need is a cultural divide in this country." Of course we do, lots of them. Otherwise everybody would have to be on the same side. Words have meanings.

She was caught flat-footed. I've been there. She made a popular speech at the GOP convention, which was written for her. She has repeated sound bites from it ever since. This was the first time we have heard her speaking spontaneously. She crammed, she employed rhetorical strategies, she evaded specific answers. But she had not read the text, or listened during the lecture, or done the research. Charlie was looking at her in expectation.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Hooray for Hillary: Commander-in-Chief

An article about Hillary Clinton's historic nomination as the first female presidential candidate and the most qualif...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus