Movies are the most powerful empathy machine of all the arts. When I go to a great movie, I can live somebody else's life a little bit for a while. I can walk in somebody else's shoes. I can see what it feels like to be a member of a different gender, a different race, a different economic class, to live in a different time, to have a different belief.
This is how I feel about adult videos. It describes what I feel when I watch a video. I'll never perform 99 per cent of the acts I see in adult videos and I'll certainly never perform them with anyone as beautiful or sexually talented as the people in those videos. I'll never be a woman or a transsexual; or even a man with a really large cock. I'll still be me, albeit with depleted fluids, when I'm done watching an adult video. But while I'm watching I can be one of the people on the screen and, at least in my mind, see what they're seeing, smell what they're smelling, taste what they're tasting, feel what they're feeling -- yes it's all in my imagination, but the images grant that power if they're done well. At a minimum the videos put me in the same room where I can watch, unseen and unnoticed, pursuing my voyeuristic hobby.
Roger Ebert brought film criticism into the mainstream of American culture. He not only told us what he thought about movies but he taught us how to THINK about what we saw. I'd like to think that he made us better consumers of film, but that would be asking too much, considering that some truly execrable work has garnered millions at the box office.
RIP Roger Ebert. Even when I didn't agree with you on a particular film you were always two thumbs up in my book.