So there I was checking up Roger Ebert’s blog, being the fan that I am.
“The blogs of my blog” it was titled. In it, Roger reveals that he likes to roam around his reader’s blogs just like anyone else. Of course, anyone who reads his blog knows what an infinitesimal rarity it is: One that contains intelligent commentary of the highest order from both its author and its readers (well, with the readers… most of the time)!
Roger’s entries usually surround his life’s passions, yet this one stood out. Here, he chooses to recognize his readers by highlighting their blogs. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration when I say this is the first time I have witnessed any blogger or writer (a Pulitzer Prize winner at that) recognize his constituency in such a comprehensive and thoughtful way.
“The blogs of my blog” highlights several bloggers of varying interests. Roger goes to great lengths to provide excerpts of their writings and backgrounds. If that isn’t proof of an author who actually takes time to listen to his audience, please show me a better one.
I recognized the regulars (as I am one of them). Grace Wang, S. M. Rana, Seongyong Cho, and Marie Haws; no doubt they would be mentioned. I’ve delved into their musings in my extra time and find their words absorbing and invigorating. Their prolificacy, along with Roger’s, is something I envy. I used to write just as much, and as often if not more so. But writing is an activity which you cannot live on where I come from (that’s another blog entry). I hadn’t updated my blog in months, and before that, a year. Still, with my writing aspirations still flickering now and then, I hoped Roger would cite me.
“Michael Mirasol at Flipcritic came to my defense last May when I wrote negatively about a Filipino entry at Cannes, “Kinatay.” Outraged Filipino readers accused me of xenophobia, racism, stupidity and worse. He discusses the dust-up here.
Like a great many overseas readers and bloggers, he has an understanding of American pop culture that would shame many an American. Here he has well-written appreciations of George Carlin, Cyd Charisse, and Stan Winston.”
As Roger would say, “Good Gravy!”
To be completely honest, I thought this was being too kind. I never thought of my writings in ways Roger described. But it meant a lot knowing he actually took the time to read what I cared about. Imagine this recognition, coming from someone who opened my mind not only to the world of film, but to storytelling, art, and a bit of life as well. He did so by revealing a bit of himself to all of his readers over the years, and that is why he is not only respected, but admired. And yes, loved.
Roger taught me how to watch a movie, how to be honest in assessing it. His prose gave form to mine, and his words form to my understanding. I feel so indebted to him; seeing my name recognized as it was, was like a pat on the back. This was the best encouragement I could possibly get.
Orson and Jason, my two best friends, have been egging me on incessantly to keep on with my writing, and yet I held off with one excuse after another (Sorry guys). With this, there are none left.
Roger, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.