Seconding Edward Champion’s praise for Roger Ebert:

“But the year’s best comeback has to be Roger Ebert. After losing his voice, Ebert has funneled all of his energies into expressing himself on the page, most often through his blog. And he’s been a delight to read, whether he’s demolishing Ben Stein or making mischief by reviewing only eight minutes of a movie. While other essayists have ossified in their old age, Ebert appears to have developed some much-needed piss and vinegar. His writing has become more iconoclastic and provocative. And I’m convinced that this new direction has much to do with the freedoms of blogging. When you’re writing in an unfettered medium, you can pretty much do anything you want. And Ebert’s phoenix-like transformation into an astute, take-no-prisoners writer for the people should serve as a lesson to the bitter and lifeless dunces who complain of ‘blogger tics‘ because they know deep down they’re drier than the Gobi Desert and have no business writing in the first place.”

From Champion’s best-essays-of-08 rundown, which is worth your while (h/t Tina).