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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 May, 2007

May 2007 in Black Lamb

Volume 5, Number 5 — May 2007

May 1st, 2007

READ THIS ENTIRE ISSUE IN THE ENTRIES BELOW

In our cover story Greg Roberts humorously exposes America’s remaining — and flourishing — child-labor sweatshop: newspaper delivery. In our page 2 feature, California Dreaming, Terry Ross finds a serious clash of cultures on a road trip to southern California. Actor William Bogert reveals that for him The Best Show Ever was a stage production of Peter Pan more than 50 years ago. Lorentz Lossius (In and Out of God’s Ear) ranges from Melbourne to New York to the Pacific Northwest as a professional cathedral singer.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Month summaries | Link to this Entry

Slave children at dawn

If you're Superman, you just might make the minimum wage.

May 1st, 2007

BY GREG ROBERTS

Thank you, Mr. Dickens, for having alerted us to the appalling scourge of child labor. Your good work helped end the abomination of children picking rags and bones from the banks of the Thames, or walking the filthy streets with a bucket, collecting feces for the tanneries.

What’s that, I spoke too soon? You say the slavery continues? Quite so, governor —thousands of children are slouching through the snow and rain, hard-pressed and sleep-deprived, scrounging for coolie wages.

They are newsboys. They ride their bicycles through the dark streets at four a.m., when the methamphetamine addict is still tacking out at 3,000 rpms, when the angry drunk is pulling the tab on his fourteenth beer, when vicious dogs are at the peak of paranoia.

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

California dreaming

Cultures clash in the land of plenty.

May 1st, 2007

hearstcastle-copy.jpgBY TERRY ROSS

Even when you’ve made up your mind to relax and take your mind off the workaday world, when you want nothing more challenging than a nice view, good meals, and no alarm clock — in short, when you go on vacation — the world and its issues have a way of insinuating themselves.

The road trip to Los Angeles that Cervine and I made just after Christmas seemed like it would be about as weighty as an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. On our itinerary were stops at Hearst Castle, sightseeing in Santa Barbara and Ojai, meanderings in Hollywood, a visit to the Huntington complex in Pasadena with a tour of the (Procter &) Gamble house, as well as a detour south to see the Queen Mary and, finally, a ramble round J. Paul Getty’s villa in Malibu.

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

The best show ever

May 1st, 2007

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

arthurjean-copy.jpgA while ago I wrote about often having been asked who was the best I’d ever worked with, and the difficulty of giving a definitive answer. Less frequently I’m asked what was the best performance I’ve ever seen. That’s an easy one: Jean Arthur as Peter Pan.

Considering how well I remember details of that performance, it’s perhaps surprising that I can’t think of the year, but this is being written from Los Angeles and I don’t have access to my records in New York: suffice it to say that it was comfortably over half a century ago. A few years later there was another production, also a musical, with Mary Martin. It was very well received, and later done on television, and quite a lot of people remember it, and it suffered greatly (in my opinion) by comparison with the Arthur version.

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

How hot was it?

May 1st, 2007

BY ROD FERRANDINO

Setting for tragedy:
South Florida Fairground
West Palm Beach
Most of January, 2007

And the question is when, oh when, will this bleeping show ever end? Is that possibly a speck of light at the end of this almost forever tunnel?

It has been a demoralizing seventeen-day eternity, an energy-sapping, bankroll-depleting, brain-sucking disaster. Not just a garden variety, never-to-repeat, “rear-view-mirror” weekend show, a plentiful type in any forty-four-show year, but, like a hundred-year storm, one for the ages. The “Flood of Ought-seven,” or “Plague,” or “Famine,” maybe a “Drought.” Pick your curse.

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

Invitation to stray

May 1st, 2007

BY GILLIAN WILCE

londoncab-copy.jpgOne of the all-time best-known pieces of advice to tourists visiting London was Gerard Hoffnung’s “Try the famous echo in the British Museum Reading Room.” It was, of course, tongue in cheek — a winning entry in the New Statesman’s weekly competition. Being involved with this competition — including moonlighting as one of the many pseudonymous characters (Ms. de Meaner, perhaps) who inhabited the mythic “Comp. Complex” and set and judged the competitions — was one of the jolliest aspects of working at the New Statesman. Misleading advice for tourists was a favorite and was repeated several times over the years, though none of the results ever quite matched the brilliant succinctness of Mr. Hoffnung’s entry. Another highlight, also before my time (which was in the 1980s), was the Graham Greene parody competition, won by a new name in competition annals, which turned out to be a pseudonym for — yes, Graham Greene himself. I also remember with fondness a competition to provide gnomic sounding but outstandingly meaningless proverbs, like the solemn dictum: ‘“He digs deepest who deepest digs.”’

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

Plagiarism

May 1st, 2007

BY TOBY TOMPKINS

plagiarize vt: to steal and pass off as one’s own (the ideas or words of another) ~ vi: to present as one’s own an idea or product derived from an existing source”
Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary

The battered old dictionary was my wife’s when she was in high school, and I still consult it when I want quick definitions, rather than the windy ones in my Shorter OED. But its blunt, unequivocal definition of “plagiarize” certainly belongs to a simpler, perhaps more innocent era, before stealing became “attribution” and the lawyers began to fatten their wallets on copyright cases involving the Internet.

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

Carpe diem

May 1st, 2007

BY DAVID MACLAINE

frenchhorn-copy.jpgIt had been a bad late February. Flu had swept through the household, and just when my bout shifted from acute to lingering misery, my main computer suddenly failed. The news from the repair shop was grim: lose weeks of writing, all my financial records, and assorted other goodies, or pay exorbitant amounts to retrieve data. It was a problem that needed urgent attention, but instead of addressing it, I was obliged to spend the first day of the week downtown at the county courthouse. Who knew it would turn out to be my best day in months?

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

Dumb jocks?

May 1st, 2007

bballmortarboard-copy.jpgBY DAN PETERSON

The “dumb jock” stereotype has existed for as long as I can remember and I’m seventy-one and started coaching basketball at age fifteen. Are there some dumb jocks? Of course. But I think the subject has to be examined from several points of view and only after setting down some premises. Blanket statements or percentages or numbers are not going to do the trick. Where to start?

Let’s take American women. I live in Italy, and when Italian (and European) women go to the USA, they are amazed at what they perceive as a lack of true femininity in American women. They will say, “Your women have physical beauty in many cases but they lack sophistication.” Just another way of saying someone has athletic talent but does not have intellectual training.

Staying with women for a moment, there is a place in New York City that teaches a course called The French Woman, to teach American women this charm and sophistication. Its ads say, “The French woman doesn’t walk, she glides.” So, the U.S. women in NYC go to study this. My wife is half-French, so I tell her, “Hey, are you going to stop gliding around or what?” She loves this.

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

Life goes on

May 1st, 2007

BY ELIZABETH HART

longneckedwoman-copy.jpgI finally got a trip in an ambulance. I’d had relatively minor trips last year: a hamstring torn while falling over the dog in the middle of the night (he’s still having nightmares), a sprained ankle dodging the sudden rise of a sprinkler head (hey, it was the biggest, scariest one on our property), a twisted knee and another ankle sprained while fainting at the scene of a total stranger’s motorcycle accident — but I’d never been in an ambulance. ’Til now.

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

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