Friday, February 11, 2011
Goodbye to all that - Roger Ebert's Journal
As kids, we've all asked each other stupid questions like "if you could be blind or deaf, which would you choose?" I've always chosen blind over deaf – as a musician, this is a no-brainer.
I never gave any thought to what it might be like to lose the power of speech until it happened to Roger Ebert; his intimate sharing of the experience through his writings has made it real for me. And, well, it seems to suck a lot more than you could imagine. I'm wordy and social and love more than anything to make people laugh. How do you toss witty banter about if you have to stop the conversation so you can write down your witty reply? A quote from this post:
"When first coming to terms with the fact that I would never speak again, I filled my head with denial and coping strategies. I would use my computer voice, for example. And I do. But that is no way to participate in the flow of a conversation, and I realize so clearly now that conversations are all about the flow, the timing, the music. Now that IBM's Big Blue has beaten a grandmaster at chess and promises to win at Jeopardy, I have a challenge that will grind it to a halt: I challenge Big Blue to tell a joke in a voice that has the tone and the timing, the words and the music, just right."
I know nothing about the Boulder Conference on World Affairs that he's giving up. (OK, I now know a little something, from reading one of his previous blog posts). But clearly he loves it dearly, and he's walking away from it, more or less, because he can't keep up. And that's breaking his heart.