Roger Ebert was an honest critic. He was there for the movies. How many others can say the same? At the end, he became as big as the actors and directors he profiled. He was the Trailer before all the trailers. He was the Internet before the web. He was TV when it was still television. Something about him was more familiar and more popular than his co-hosts. Something about his opinion mattered to you. So, I'll say it again, because I really mean it...RIP Roger Ebert. Nobody was better.
When I started blogging over seven years ago, I was doing it purely because I liked to write. Obviously my attitude changed. One of the first inklings I had that I was on the wrong path with this blog business was when I hired a social media intern. She was reviewing all that we did, and was quick to point out that my blog looked "shitty." Her words, not mine.
I was born with a cleft-lip, endured a series of serious illnesses and prolonged abuse. My father was an alcoholic who had heart disease. He died when I was nine years old. Thankfully early on I discovered writing and reading. It provided me with a reprieve from my troubled thoughts and a means of expression that extends beyond superficial appearances.
Literary writing is a worthless profession. Few who write novels, stories and poems make a living from them. This has been true for millennia. Lately the Internet has regressed into a society of feudal manors lorded over by tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Yahoo, who sell e-books for 99 cents or give them away for free. Their "competitive pricing" is threatening traditional publishers and physical books with extinction.
When I asked my son who just returned from a canoe trip was a Lilly Dipper was he said, "It's when you just dip the paddle in and skim the surface without moving the water to push the canoe forward." Of course my "life as business metaphor" brain kicked in. "I know some people like that," I said. And sadly, some of them have never been in a canoe.
I like the fact that my career field is on the worst list. It gives me drive to prove CareerCast.com and the other journalism haters wrong. It motivates me to constantly come up with new ideas, and learn how to be flexible so I can thrive in different work environments that will undergo a lot of changes in the next 50 years.
A former CBC colleague-turned-journalism professor very politely questions the ethics of my writing this column for HuffPost. Surely, he suggests delicately, the internet in general -- and aggregators like HuffPost in particular -- are killing traditional mainstream, general-interest journalism. And, in the process, seriously damaging democracy. My reply...?