R.I.P. Joel Siegel
Sunday 1 July 2007 @ 1:49 pm

A film critic of well-deserved note has passed.

Read Roger Ebert’s eloquent and beautiful thoughts on Joel Siegel’s passing, here.

This saddens me, because a) it’s unfortunate when anyone gets taken too early by cancer, and b) I had a rather shameful row with him last year around this time. It was petty then, but it certainly feels a million times worse now that he’s died.

Sadly, I’ve read more than one obituary of the man like this one…

…in which our back-and-forth was recalled. When a guy’s being remembered post-mortem, he doesn’t deserve the inclusion of that minor footnote in his storied career. I’ say people should only write about all the good things he did, with nary a mention of the dopey time some punk-ass hack’s ego got the better of him and he overreacted to something the guy did/said. Well, I would say that, but I’m in no place to tell people how to write about Joel, considering the fact that, when I did so, it was in such a childish and whiney fashion.

This in mind, I went back and forth about whether or not I had any right to blog about Joel’s death, considering the vehemence of my 347 day old thoughts on what had transpired last July. There didn’t seem to be any way to address his unfortunate passing with the proper respect it deserved.

And then, someone pointed me to Hollywood-Elsewhere.com – where a fella by the name of George Prager was waging a multi-post campaign against me, in regards to Joel, which started simply with this…

I’m with Siegel on this one. Kevin Smith sucks.

Posted by: George Prager at June 29, 2007 04:26 PM

Nearly twelve hours later, completely unprompted, Mr. Prager responded to a question nobody asked, when he quoted my close-t0-year-old blog with the following…

“Your peers didn’t need to hear how you felt about a movie you clearly didn’t get while they were forming their own opinions.”

That’s what really make me laugh. “forming their own opinions” about what? Either you liked this verbal bukkake movie or you didn’t. Not much to contemplate.

Posted by: George Prager at June 30, 2007 08:32 AM

Displaying an astonishing capacity for stick-to-it-ive-ness, Mr. Prager checked back nearly four hours later, apropos of nothing, with this little ditty…

Check out the bowel movement’s website.


No mention of Siegel’s passing but he urges you to see Die Hard (“Why the fuck aren’t you in a theater watching it right now?”)

A class act.

Posted by: George Prager at June 30, 2007 12:20 PM

Mercifully, another poster, name of Bart Smith (no relation), came to my defense with this call to reason…

Kevin Smith’s last post on his blog was made on Wednesday. Seeing as how Joel Siegel was still alive at that point, I don’t see how it can be conveyed as, in any way, insensitive.

Posted by: Bart Smith at June 30, 2007 12:40 PM

Undaunted, Mr. Prager continued…

He should’ve updated his blog. He didn’t. He sucks.

Posted by: George Prager at June 30, 2007 12:52 PM

Then, another call for rationality came from this fellow…

Prager, just because you have time to cyber-stalk Kevin Smith doesn’t mean that Kevin Smith has the time to post on-demand to suit your schedule and desires.

Posted by: Wiggumx at June 30, 2007 02:32 PM

Amusingly (credit where credit’s due), Mr. Prager dropped this little bon mot

I’m sure once he gets back from shorts shopping he’ll get online and issue an apology.

Posted by: George Prager at June 30, 2007 02:46 PM

A one Hallick offered the following neutral position…

For all anyone knows, Kevin Smith is just going to follow the old grain of wisdom: if you don’t have something nice to say, just don’t say anything. Especially when the formaldahyde’s still fresh.

Posted by: Hallick at June 30, 2007 09:46 PM

Then, nearly 24 hours after his initial post on the subject of my non-blogging about Joel’s death, Mr. Prager still kept his (frighteningly) watchful vigil…


Well, what can you say. No class. Smith is where Robert Downey Sr. was in 1977. A has-been. At least he can play the fat funny guy in Jennifer Garner movies. He can work that angle for a few years.

Posted by: George Prager at July 1, 2007 08:17 AM

What Mr. Prager fails to realize, apparently, is that since 1996 (long before I had a blog site), I can always be found here: at our message board at ViewAskew.com.. And it was there that I posted the following utterly class-less “verbal bukkake”…

“Sorry to hear he died. Despite our little… unpleasantness… last year, I liked Joel. I grew up watching him review movies. Sad to learn he’s gone.”

No great shakes, granted, but it was posted at 11:49 on June 30th – the moment I read about his death. More than that, I don’t know what was expected of me: Joel and I had a blow-up, it went away, a year later, he died. No reason to write a blog about it, really; I tend to eulogize relatives only.

As I wrote, I grew up watching Joel’s reviews. And despite that unfortunate “Clerks II” exchange, I liked him (as much as one can like a person they only know from their TV appearances). But writing an entire blog about the man’s passing? Like I said: I didn’t really know him.

However, based on Mr. Prager’s demanding criteria, the moment I die, I now fully expect… nay, demand… that he immediately blog about it. I will leave instructions for the executor of my estate to grind his nuts on the subject if said blog doesn’t appear in a timely enough fashion, as per the exacting standards Mr. Prager’s recently introduced into the annals of netiquette. If it’s not published within one hour of the announcement of my demise, Mr. Prager can fully expect my attorney to link this exchange anywhere Mr. Prager (to be referred to in my Will as “The Man With Two Much Free Time”) posts over the course of the next 35 hours, under the subject heading “PWNED!”

R.I.P., Joel. I regret our last (and only) exchange was what it was, and I’m sorry your memorial thread was hijacked by the cyber-stalking antics of the 209th scariest (or saddest, I’m not sure) person on the ‘net.

And, Joel? I didn’t cuss once in this entire post. Or mention donkey-fucking.



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