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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 the 'Maclaine' Category

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

Not much progress

April 1st, 2007

BY DAVID MACLAINE

durermarriage.jpgI can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a skeptic about marriage. It seemed at best a boring commonplace. I remember my utter puzzlement when the girls in kindergarten invited me over to the corner with the tables and chairs and toy stove and refrigerator and asked me to play “house.” Why would anyone choose to play the role of “husband” or “daddy” and act out the routines of everyday life rather than the far livelier alternatives of “cowboy,” “pirate,” or “Robin Hood”?

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Marriage Issue, Maclaine | Link to this Entry

An honest man

March 1st, 2007

BY DAVID MACLAINE

Late in the morning of September 26, 1976, I was walking on a quiet New Orleans side street, heading toward the French Quarter from Canal Street. It was my first trip to the city; my wife and I had taken Amtrak down from Chicago and had endured a stretch of perhaps six hours, although it felt like more, starting around the time we had crossed the Mason-Dixon line, during which the heating system on our car had been stuck on high. fordgeraldWe had survived the long period of parboiling and were pleased with our lodging in an historic old building just across Esplanade from The Quarter, even more pleased with the discovery that this end of the historical district with its distinctive architecture was removed from most of the overheated tourist trade, was a district in which people simply lived, albeit in houses a couple of centuries old. The night before we had been sitting on an antique four-poster bed to watch Saturday Night Live, a show that had been on the air less than a year and still bristled with novelty. Now we were on our way back from a late breakfast of red beans and rice at a funky little place justly recommended by a dining guide to the city. Jackson Square was only a few blocks ahead of us, but the sidewalk was empty of any other pedestrians beside the two of us. All of a sudden, a car turned onto the street, then another, and we had just barely time to deduce that this was a motorcade, when the limousine reached us , and we were greeted by the waving hands and smiling faces of Gerald and Betty Ford.

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

True Confession

November 1st, 2006

BY DAVID MACLAINE

Okay, I confess it. I’m one of those annoying people who starts coughing when the cigarette smoke drifts over from the cage where the nicotine addicts have been forced to cluster, and am also one of those who says “just water, thanks” and so lets the waiter know that the tab and tip will be smaller than expected. We abstemious types can put a real damper on things, I understand, but what are you going to do?

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Smoking & Drinking Issue, Maclaine | Link to this Entry

Golden age

March 1st, 2006

BY DAVID MACLAINE

One of the most bizarre TV moments of the 1990s was an appearance on Bill Maher’s late-night political talk show Politically Incorrect by comedian Chevy Chase. Chase, who became a household name in the 1970s on Saturday Night Live, left the show early on (a departure unlamented by his colleagues which made possible the launching of replacement Bill Murray’s career) and went on to a film career whose central body of work was the National Lampoon Vacation series. Among his fellow panelists was Steve Bochco, best known as the creator of two long-running police dramas with “blue” in the title. For reasons difficult to understand, Chase used this television appearance to launch a surly attack upon the medium itself. After a while Chase admitted that he didn’t really watch TV, a common affliction of anti-TV zealots, and when reminded of the dimwitted films he had made, defended them as harmless family entertainment. What was intrinsically harmful about television he was unable to make clear, although he acted as though it was a damaging admission on Bochco’s part when he acknowledged that his introduction of occasional partial nudity to NYPD Blue had been worth a couple of ratings points.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Television Issue, Maclaine | Link to this Entry

Pure pleasure

December 1st, 2004

BY DAVID MACLAINE

I know people for whom Christmas connotes nothing but depression and frustration, their memories only of stress, family quarrels, and disappointment. If I were prone to guilt the bleakness of those memories might make me apologize for my own blissful recollection of Christmases past. As I’m not inclined to apologize for my own good fortune, I tend toward paroxysms of ecstasy just by playing back a list of the most memorable gifts.

santaandgifts.jpgThere was the red rocking horse (on springs) I got when I was not yet two, the precise feel of which I can still recall in my deepest body memory. There was the Davy Crockett hat (which, alas, I do not remember), a cowboy hat and shirt I do recall, then a wagon, a tricycle, and a Dennis the Menace doll. Later came the golden age of firearms, including the plastic Winchester rifle I could fan, just like Chuck Connors did in The Rifleman, which would eject cartridges from the side with each pump, and, best of all, the Civil War musket that actually fired a cork miniball fifteen feet or so.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Christmas Issue, Maclaine | Link to this Entry

Roads to rebellion

September 1st, 2003

BY DAVID MACLAINE

When I jot down the names of films that move me deeply despite their absence from Greatest Films lists, I can see at a glance what they have in common. Holiday, Auntie Mame, A Thousand Clowns, The Horse’s Mouth, hell, even Harvey and Woodstock and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: all share some version of the theme that non-conformity is the road to bliss.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Movie Issue, Maclaine | Link to this Entry

The artist as a young pig

June 1st, 2003

freddythepigBY DAVID MACLAINE

In just a few days I’ll have finally finished a quest I began forty-five years ago. A package from amazon.com will arrive bearing The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig, and a couple of hours later I will have finally read every single volume in Walter R. Brooks’ classic children’s series of Freddy books. The majority of the twenty-six titles in the series listed on the back of Freddy and Mr. Camphor, a birthday gift from my grandmother, and the first volume in the series I actually owned, have check marks next to them made by the same ballpoint pen, ticked off within a year of that book’s arrival, when I attempted to tally which volumes in the series I had managed find and read. There are a few more checks added later, in a busy time of tracking down titles, but a few still remain blank: The Collected Poems and a handful of others I have purchased during the last two years. One of them, The Story of Freginald, which arrived a couple of weeks ago, was the very last of the Freddy stories (collected poems are in a different category) that had evaded my attention. The splendid reissue of the series by Overlook Press, which has been proceeding slowly but steadily with several releases each year, is at last on the verge of completion.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Book Issue, Books and Authors, Maclaine | Link to this Entry

Author profile

December 1st, 2002

David Maclaine is a freelance writer who lives in Portland, Ore. He served two stints as classical music writer for Willamette Week, winning several prizes for his reviews, and also wrote extensively about sports, books, and film. His feature articles have ranged in subject from natural history — in gardens, museums, and zoos — to various “alternative” practices, including nude recreation, bicycle culture, and tribal tattoos. He covered the 1987 U.S. Open Chess Tournament for The Oregonian, and his 1990 feature on tournament croquet was honored as that year’s Outstanding Sports Feature by the United States Croquet Association. Since January of 2003 his column Rembrandts and Reruns has appeared monthly in Black Lamb. Readers may contact him via email: lochbuie@hotmail.com.

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

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