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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 'Peterson' Category

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

They used to do it in Italy

April 1st, 2007

BY DAN PETERSON

,span style='width: 55px;'>Marriage, Italian Style. This 1964 film classic by Vittorio De Sica, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren at the height of her beauty and sexual power, says it all: marriage, in Italy, is something different from marriage anywhere else. Part of this is due to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and its stand against divorce. The result was that, for years, marriage was a one-shot deal. No seconds.

This brings us to the all-important figure of the mistress. I coached the Virtus Bologna basketball team for five years, 1973-78, when people supposedly had to toe the line with regard to marriage and fidelity. Yeah, right. I’ll say this: I did not know a single Bolognese man over thirty-five with decent economic means who did not have a mistress. I mean, they were like status symbols: Mine is better than yours.

There is a famous anecdote in The Italians, by Luigi Barzini, in which a married couple go to the opera. The wife, using her binoculars, says, “Dear, who is that beautiful young girl with Mario?” The husband says, “My dear, please be discreet. That’s his mistress.” The wife then scans left and sees her husband’s mistress, seated in the loge section, then scans to Mario’s mistress and says, “Ours is better!”

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

Les neiges d’antan

March 1st, 2007

BY DAN PETERSON

Snow in Italy is a must in the mountains, which depend on the ski industry for survival, but is a no-no further down the peninsula, where the tourist trade is geared toward “Sunny Italy.” Now, living in Milan, I find myself halfway between those two realities. Still, snow in Milan is rare. Fog is common. Rain is common. Snow is rare.

But, as happens in life, when it decided to snow in Milan in January of 1985, the elements did not go halfway. The basketball team I was coaching, Olympia Milan, had a European Korac Cup game one Tuesday night with Stade Français of Paris. That day it snowed like it often does in my home town of Chicago. Well, Evanston, but right next to Chicago.

When I say the snow banks were well over one meter high, I am not kidding. The town was paralyzed. Traffic in Milan is a hassle any time, as Milan has more cars per kilometer of street, some 750+, that I don’t even have a car. As I’ve said before here, you can’t drive in Milan and you can’t park here. So why should I bother with a car?

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

Never

November 1st, 2006

BY DAN PETERSON

Iam one of the least qualified guys on the planet to speak of smoking and drinking. I do neither and never have. I was cured of this early on by my father, who did both. He was a policeman, ending up as a lieutenant, in Evanston, Illinois. When I was about three or so, and we are talking 1939 here, he used to have some of the guys on his shift over to the house once a month for a session of poker: stud, draw and the rest.

manfrowningatbottle.pngOf course, they all smoked and all had a glass next to them. I thought it was beer and I wanted to taste it. So I was making a nuisance of myself: “Beer, Daddy, beer!” It was not beer but, rather, whiskey. I had no clue as to the difference. My dad said, “You want beer? Stick out your tongue.” Which I did. He dipped his index finger in the whiskey and then put it on my tongue. I tried to spit out the taste for an hour.

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

Reality and me

March 1st, 2006

BY DAN PETERSON

This is the TV issue? Well, folks, I am a walking, talking head on TV in Italy. So big-headed have I become that I now have a “manager” for my TV work, the legendary Tony Toscano, with whom I have a hate-hate relationship. As a matter of fact, I am going to fire that SOB the very next time I speak with him. Why not? He is down for at least two attempts on my sanity and safety. Let me explain.

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

Escape from “escape”

September 1st, 2003

BY DAN PETERSON

Before I address the question of whether or not any movie ever affected my life in any way, I just have to get this down for the record: movies today are absolute crap compared to films of past generations. Examples abound but I would indicate The Mexican as a case in point. I have not paid to see a movie in thirty years but I do reluctantly sit through them on intercontinental flights… or flip them off and sleep.

The problem is that there are no good ideas and no good stories. A movie should tell a story — a great story — but that’s not the way it is today. Today it’s “escape.” Of course, that’s more crap.

Buildings exploding. Has anyone ever heard of a building exploding in real life — except for 9/11? Cars flipping. Has anyone ever seen a case of this? I watch films of real chases and I have never once seen a car flip over.

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

Author profile

December 1st, 2002

Dan Peterson is a native of Evanston, Ill., born there seventy-one years ago. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. He coached the national basketball team in Chile for two years, 1971-73, taking fourth in the South American championships and seventh in the Worlds. He then coached in Italy for fourteen years, winning five Italian titles, two European titles, and three Italy Cups. He was Italian Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1987 and European Coach of the Year in 1987. His Black Lamb column is called Sleepless in Milan.

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

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