Friday, August 29, 2008

Ebert Skewers Mariotti

Read the open letter here at the Tribune.

There is a reason Ebert has a Pulitzer. The man can write. The man has passion. The man has heart. Some of the most moving 9/11 commentary was written by him. I will link to it below.

Dear Jay,

What an ugly way to leave the Sun-Times. It does not speak well for you. Your timing was exquisite. You signed a new contract, waited until days after the newspaper had paid for your trip to Beijing at great cost, and then resigned with a two-word e-mail: "I quit." You saved your explanation for a local television station.

As someone who was working here for 24 years before you arrived, I think you owed us more than that. You owed us decency. The fact that you saved your attack for TV only completes our portrait of you as a rat.

Newspapers are not dead, Jay, and this paper will not die because you have left. Times are hard in the newspaper business, and for the economy as a whole. Did you only sign on for the luxury cruise?


Now as to the 9/11 Commentary by Ebert. I completely disagree. I say rebuild the World Trade Center, bigger badder and louder than before. However, the man can write. Here is what he wrote:

Make It Green

BY ROGER EBERT

If there is to be a memorial, let it not be of stone and steel. Fly no flag above it, for it is not the possession of a nation but a sorrow shared with the world.

Let it be a green field, with trees and flowers. Let there be paths that wind through the shade. Put out park benches where old people can sun in the summertime, and a pond where children can skate in the winter.

Beneath this field will lie entombed forever some of the victims of September 11. It is not where they thought to end their lives. Like the sailors of the battleship Arizona, they rest where they fell.

Let this field stretch from one end of the destruction to the other. Let this open space among the towers mark the emptiness in our hearts. But do not make it a sad place. Give it no name. Let people think of it as the green field. Every living thing that is planted there will show faith in the future.

Let students take a corner of the field and plant a crop there. Perhaps corn, our native grain. Let the harvest be shared all over the world, with friends and enemies, because that is the teaching of our religions, and we must show that we practice them. Let the harvest show that life prevails over death, and let the gifts show that we love our neighbors.

Do not build again on this place. No building can stand there. No building, no statue, no column, no arch, no symbol, no name, no date, no statement. Just the comfort of the earth we share, to remind us that we share it.

Copyright � Chicago Sun-Times Inc.

September 14, 2001

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