Roger Ebert's illness has been a tragedy for him but a blessing for the rest of us. Having lost the ability to speak he's started to put more energy into his not-always-related-to-film blog. (His twitter feed is pretty good, too, if you're into that sort of thing.)
A while back, he gave us a long reflection on the mystery of Jerry Berliant.
I was to see Jerry Berliant many times over the years. “This isn't an A-list party,” Marlene told me one night back in Chicago. “Jerry Berliant hasn't crashed it.”
The enigma of Jerry Berliant has fascinated Chicagoans for years. The Sun-Times columnist Irv Kupcinet, listing the stars at a premiere, would add: “...and Jerry Berliant, America's Guest.”
It's a strangely delightful tale of celebrity name-dropping, private security, and social engineering ... including an allusion to T. S. Elliot.