James Rebanks has written a memoir , The Shepherd's Life, about running his family farm in England's Lake District, "[T]hat teacher’s idea of the Lake District was created by an urbanised and increasingly industrialised society, over the past 200 years. It was a dream of a place for a wider society that was full of people disconnected from the land. That dream was never for us, the people who work this land. We were already here doing what we do. I wanted to tell her that she had it all wrong – she didn’t really know this place or its people at all. These thoughts took years to become clear, but in a rough childish form I think they were there from the start. But in that assembly in 1987 I was dumb and 13, so I just made a farting noise on my hand, and everyone laughed. [more inside]
A Tale of Transhumance: Herding Sheep with Livestock Guardian Dogs (print) in the Upper Green River Basin. [more inside]
What do you do when you own the IP to a beloved 28-year old family classic widely regarded as one of the finest Christmas movies ever? Why you make a sequel of course. [more inside]
On December 24th, 1979, radio personality Alan Maitland started a tradition on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's program As It Happens. That Christmas Eve, Maitland read a Frederick Forsyth story that featured the unlikely meeting of a Vampire and a Mosquito. His telling has been re-aired every year since. [more inside]
Jean Shepherd has been mentioned before but WFMU's Beware of the Blog has finally dug out an mp3 of Shepherd himself telling the story of "I, Libertine" (mp3 link) (wiki). I, Libertine was a literary hoax that began as a practical joke. Shepherd asked his listeners ("the Night People") to go into bookstores and ask for a book that didn't exist. Fueled by bewildered bookstore owners and distributors, I, Libertine eventually did end up as a genuine bestseller, proving his point that the process of choosing bestsellers was flawed.
Jean Shepherd was one of the greatest storytellers ever to be heard on radio. The Jean Shepherd Project collects recordings of these historic broadcasts, converts them to mp3 files and makes them available to be revisited by his longtime fans and by those who wish to discover what great American storytelling is all about. [more inside]