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That truly tears me up. I just recently viewed his commentary on the film Citizen Kane. He was truly a very smart and well spoken film critic. While I didn't always agree with him I always had the upmost respect for him and never went to see a movie before hearing his word on it first. My prayers go out to his family. He will be missed.

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Yeah, I disagreed with him vehemently sometimes (mostly on the basis of his hypocritical damning of slasher films), but he was easily the more measured and reasonable of the two of them (Siskel, obviously). A great writer who brought criticism to the mainstream.

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We never got the show, so I've only been introduced to him since he's been online and I quite liked his style, even if he did give away plot points sometimes. I liked that the cancer didn't get him down and he still soldiered on, even developing a whole new fan base since then. Fantastic guy.

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It's funny. Nearly every person I follow on Twitter who's British is reacting with Wizard of Oz lyrics. I have one American friend who thinks this must be Britain's greatest tragedy. I kinda want to smack him. (He also worships Ronald Reagan and is the same age as me. That just doubles the desire to smack).

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I'm not commenting on Thatcher's passing on either Facebook or Twitter because, frankly, both my feeds are full of comments from both ends of the political spectrum and I don't want to add to the sewer.

I know relatively little about Thatcher's prime ministerial terms, despite being born halfway through that tenure and her being a major political figure in recent history. I was not directly affected by her policies, as a child to two middle class parents in a part of the country that wasn't majorly affected by the downturn in British industry over the 1980s. Arguably, because I live in the North, my salary is greatly reduced from what it would be in or around London because the Thatcher government did a lot to create a big wealth disparity between the northern and southern halves of the country. That successive governments in the past 23 years have been unable to regenerate the region is either a direct consequence or a separate failure of the British political system. Again, the choice depend on your political persuasions.

Relying heavily on the BBC's walkthrough of her 11 year "reign":

Relative positives of her reign: Answered the call of the Falkland Islanders, improved the overall economy of the nation, contributed in some part to the end of the Cold War, allowed tenants the right to buy council houses, succeeded as a woman in politics/female leader of a major nation.

Negatives of said reign: Practically abolished British manufacturing - particularly in the North, created a divisive resentment from/of the working class which still exists today in both forms, legislated against homosexuality, overt privatisation, antagonised Northern Irish policy that the IRA were emboldened for the next 10-15 years.

It's too simplistic to quote "ding dong the witch is dead", in the same way she doesn't deserve a hagiography. But try telling people that on social media....

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