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Black Humor

August 17, 1987
Reagan's actions would come across as black humor if 20,000 Nicaraguans hadn't already died because of them. I'm about to leave for Matagalpa, Nicaragua, to join other Los Angeles and San Diego teachers building a school there. How ironic that at the same time, those great humanitarians, the contras, are blowing up schools nearby. Let's hope that none of us are killed by contra bullets paid for by our tax dollars. LISA M. EDMONDSON Santa Monica
February 22, 2012 | By Christopher Smith, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Max Raabe is up to something new, which is news itself. The ever-elegant German singer and bandleader has forged a two-decade career resurrecting and performing lost or forgotten Weimar Republic-era compositions from the 1920s and '30s. However, Raabe and his Palast Orchester arrive for local concerts Wednesday and Thursday with a new album called "One Cannot Kiss Alone" that consists of songs written in the current century and largely by Raabe himself. In planning and making the record, Raabe was focused on a question that emerged during his musicology efforts.
September 16, 2010 | By Steve Oney, Special to the Los Angeles Times
During the all-too-brief life of their physically disabled son, Jesse, who died in his sleep five years ago at the age of 17, the actors Marianne Leone (who played the mother of actor Michael Imperioli on HBO's "The Sopranos") and Chris Cooper (an Academy Award winner for his work in "Adaptation"), often sought relief in black humor. They would joke that if they were booked onto an afternoon talk show, their screen ID would read: "Tragic parents of severely handicapped child. " What made the line funny was not just that it was politically incorrect but that it captured their dilemma.
August 25, 1986 | KRISTINA LINDGREN, Times Staff Writer
His tear ducts haven't worked since the "Night Stalker" shot him through the forehead a year ago. But Sunday, as William R. Carns Jr. and his fiancee, Inez Erickson, 30, sat in the pew of a Mission Viejo church, it was plain that he was crying. The pastor of St. Kilian Church had just dedicated that midday Mass to them. Head down, shoulders trembling, Carns said little until he returned home that afternoon. "It was very spiritual," he said, his dry eyes reddening.
June 17, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
Although it doesn't include all of Arthur C. Clarke's stories about Earth ("No Morning After" and "The Nine Billion Names of God" are among the notable omissions), "Tales" offers some of the writer's finest work from the '50s and '60s. "The Road to the Sea" and "The Lion of Comarre" represent early explorations of the link between cultural stagnation and technological advance, a theme Clarke would develop more fully in "The City and the Stars."
March 30, 2013 | By Dennis Lim
With his 1947 provocation "Monsieur Verdoux," Charlie Chaplin completed a remarkable transformation from the universally beloved Little Tramp to a vilified monster both on-screen and off. In the most polarizing film of his career, just issued on DVD by the Criterion Collection, Chaplin plays the title character, a bank clerk who loses his job and finds a new business in murder - "liquidating members of the opposite sex," as he puts it. ...
July 2, 2008 | William Georgiades, Special to The Times
NEW YORK -- On his passport, Nick Flynn lists his profession as "poet," but there is nothing anemic or brooding about his appearance. On a recent afternoon in New York's West Village, he dismounted the bike he rides every day from Brooklyn to Manhattan looking like a man ready to ride another 50 miles. In person, as in his prose and poetry, Flynn is exuberant and present, a friendly force to be reckoned with.
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