Roger Ebert - Malignant society

Roger Ebert - Malignant society

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According to the reactions Ebert received on his Journal in the Chicago Sun-Times, many of his followers agree with the claims he makes. He begins his editorial with the comparison between the film critic and the canary in the coal mine delivering a message of fury at the descent of the society into "idiocracy". This analogy is supposed to alarm those still intelligent and curious readers, interested in significant things and able to think critically. The 500-word limit on all the entertainment writers and the disappearance of many critics like Michael Wilmington from Chicago Tribune, Jack Mathews and Jami Bernard from the New York Daily News, Kevin Thomas from the Los Angeles Times and Jonathan Rosenbaum from the Chicago Reader can be compared with the death of a canary in a coal mine. Ebert is claiming that the Associated Press wants its writers to focus more on what its clients "apparently hunger for", affairs, addictions, disease, failure, success, arrests, scandals, and who has been seen with who. In Ebert's eyes, the "CelebCult" is destroying the society by teaching "shabby values to young people", violating people's privacy, and imposing a new standard of achievement. He is blaming the newspapers for "voluntarily" exposing themselves to the "CelebCult" and for firing experienced film critics. But Ebert doesn't stop here. He takes the blame further and makes the readers responsible for the new virus called the "CelebCult." Is the neighborhood gossip that attracts the "reader." Ebert is even questioning the legitimacy of the reader when he asks "when was the last time they read a paper?" Was the reader really trained not to think or he brought this on himself with his own desire of drama and gossip? Even thought Ebert is focusing more on the newspapers and the role they have on "infantilizing" the reader, he is aware of the important role the reader has on the descent of the society.It is not the newspaper that got small, it is the people that lowered their expectations. The consumers became so small minded that they wanted Christmas items to go on sale in October, those gas guzzling vehicles are still maintained even when the gas comes from those that want them eliminated. Fanatic fans occupy their time being mesmerized by baby pictures of celebrities, while every wanabe star comes out with their version of a catchy celebrity name conjunction and then we see the complete contradiction: weight loss plan infomercials are watched while eating a Whopper. The "CelebCult" can be associated with the middle class, with the average people that are so used to being average that they don't know what is beyond average. Students got used with failing and dropping classes, even the parents who pay for their children tuition got used with it. Even though people know that the food they eat is not healthy and they know they could improve their life style they don't put any effort in changing anything because they got used. People got used to just make enough money to pay the bills. They got used with "made in china," that they don't mind the bad quality of the products they buy. They even got used to be used by others. In other words people do not care anymore.

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