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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for February, 2003

Loners

The pleasures, and normalcy, of solitude

February 1st, 2003

BY LANE BROWNING

I saw it again, in a newspaper item about a man who held police at bay in a quiet suburban community. The L word. A nasty, icky, pitiful thing, a thing you scrape off the bottom of your boot or dump hastily into your compost heap.

LONER.

They said Tim McVeigh was one, that years of isolation sparked his murderous explosion. They never print Ted Kaczynski’s name without the “loner” caboose, linking the Unabomber attacks to cabin fever. Lee Harvey Oswald, we’re told, was one, too. And Jeffrey Dahmer. And every Hinckley and Chapman and Whitman and Starkweather and Speck and Gilmore and Gacy.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Browning | Link to this Entry

Assassination history

February 1st, 2003

Column: Don't Ask

BY LANE BROWNING

Dear Don’t Ask:
I just heard it again, some complaining tubby saying that overweight people are the last OK-to-ridicule minority. Come on! What say you?

It’s a fallacy as large as those espousing it.

Look around you, big folks. Check out the fellow with the inch-thick glasses, or the bald guy, or the woman with the Deep South accent. Spend a few days with a really short person. Try facing the world with severe acne, buck teeth, facial scars, a massive nose or huge lips. Trade places with the profoundly shy, the physically clumsy, the tobacco addicted and tone deaf and dyslexic and mentally slow. Walk a mile in the moccasins of the tattooed, the stuttering, the men who never develop facial hair, the women with microscopic mammaries. Yes, fat people get called names, and yes, it’s tough. But they’re not the last anything — torment and exclusion are available to everyone! You think it’s year-round open season on fatties? Well, dozens of “minorities” spin on that carousel every day.Disease, deficit, lifestyle choice, low IQ, low income, addiction — makes no never mind, all persuasions are welcome. Even lower primates deride the different. And at least fatness is epidemic, so the “plus sized” have camaraderie, activism, research and celebrity empathizers. In fact, they’re no longer even a minority in the United States, so they blend right in. It’s thin people who will soon need attorneys and advocates.

I say to the size-challenged: try being, for even a day, a person of color. Better yet, try being a person of color who is overweight. And in a wheelchair. And bald. And from Georgia.

Yes, yes, we enlightened types condemn insensitive, belittling clods, discrimination, cruel judgmentalism. But I reject utterly one particular sub-group: the one that erects for itself a martyrdom pedestal on which is engraved “Last Unprotected Minority.”

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Browning, Don't Ask | Link to this Entry

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