Strong opinions, weakly held

Roger Ebert on privatization

Turns out the same skills that make a person a keen observer of movies or theater are also useful for observing the real world. Here’s Roger Ebert in The gathering storm:

Sometimes in the noise of the news there will be a single item that pops out with clarity. That happened when I heard about Tracy, California, which is charging $300 every time the fire department answers an emergency call that doesn’t involve a fire.

The essay also explains why it’s so expensive to park in Chicago. I wondered about that last time I was there.

To go back to the beginning, some of my favorite writers were at one time theater or movie critics. New York Times columnist Frank Rich was a theater critic, as was technology journalist and entrepreneur Scott Rosenberg.


  1. Did you ever hear the story about Frank Rich meeting a Stanley Kubrick impersonator back in Rich’s theater critic days? Funny story.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Conway

    Also: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0376543/

  2. The high priced parking in Chicago may not be a bad thing. In the book Traffic, there is a really interesting exploration on the cost that cheap parking adds to a city in terms of congestion, pollution, and accidents.

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