Using the same technology that was used in England for the Tom Baker Says application, a company has worked with Roger Ebert’s many DVD commentaries and recordings to compile enough of his voice together that he can now use it to “speak”. Ebert lost his voice (as well as the ability to eat or drink) back in 2006 and has been plagued by various complications since his battle with cancer first started in 2002.

Roger Ebert has not always been my favorite critic, but he certainly set the bar pretty high. He has at times severely flawed his reviews, his review of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie comes off as uninformed and elitist, but it’s hard to knock the overall body of the man’s work. With the physical realm eroding away so much of the actual man, Ebert stands as a testament to the human spirit.

The once wide bodied, thick jawed man is now a shriveled up shell of his former self. To some Roger Ebert might look like some sort of comic book villain or even worse, but despite all the defects of the physical man, the inner being has proved to be so much more than the frame that contains it. Ebert once said of his multiple surgeries to restore his voice, “I am still cancer-free, and not ready to think about more surgery at this time. I should be content with the abundance I have.”

Other poignant quotes include those about why he has chosen to appear in public, “I was told photos of me in this condition would attract the gossip papers — so what? We spend too much time hiding illness. There is an assumption that I must always look the same.”

Ebert is a fighter and he is no doubt a remarkable inspiration for anyone who has doubts about the human will. He’ll appear on Oprah today, revealing his new voice and discussing his feelings on the upcoming Oscars. Not the same old Roger, but yet, very much still, the same old Roger. I watched a small snippet online and it was quite moving.

Esquire had a fascinating interview/article on Ebert a while back. It’s required reading for anyone who cares to understand the complexities of humanity and the tragedies and triumphs of the human condition. What Happened To Roger Ebert? Esquire Magazine

One Response to Roger Ebert Gets Some Voice

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    It hurts me to see him like this, but at least he's back to doing reviews which is his first love. I remember watching him alongside Gene Siskel when I was in my teens, the two became celebrities on their own to the point where "The Critic' did a parody on their partnership. Then Gene became ill and he started wasting away in front of the camera. Roger did a tribute special after Gene's passing and now this has to happen. I always found myself agreeing with Roger on most reviews over Gene somehow. I wish him nothing but the best.

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