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Cockburn, Lyn.

Winnipeg, Lilith Publications. c1986. 175pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-920681-01-8. Distributed by Lilith Publications, 32 Lipton St., Winnipeg, Man., K3G 2G5. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by donalee Moulton-Barrett

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

Lyn Cockburn is a funny lady. She is also, at times, a not-so-funny-lady. At its best, her collection of essays, several of which have previously appeared in Canadian publications, are biting, well-controlled, satiric, and dead on. When Cockburn wilts, as she does occasionally (particularly when dealing with people as opposed to issues), the writing becomes forced and predictable. A comic's worst fear is realized: the audience can see the punch line coming.

Point Blank is divided into seven sections, including "All Sorts of Affairs," which deals with everything from the sanity of Ronald Reagan to the god Profit to that dreaded disease, Liberal bias. Another section, "Gender Gap," takes the issue of sexual equality and shakes the bejeezus out of it. Here the reader meets up with, "Right on, dear," "Stidency is beautiful," and "If this is equality, who wants it?"

In this section a sharp-witted Cockburn confronts, 'The forty per cent solution." Using the element of surprise to add to her well-polished funny bone, Cockburn writes: As it now stands, women earn 60 cents for every dollar earned by a man, regardless of whether women have a grade eight education or a Ph.D.

And it is certainly true that our national debt is in orbit, unemployment figures are staggering and taxes are high.

Therefore, I too am against any proposal to raise women's salaries.

Instead, I suggest we lower all male salaries by 40 per cent. This action will silence all those strident radical feminist voices, reduce the deficit overnight, allow employers to hire more people and, as a side benefit, let men worry less about money as they won't have so much of it.

This is Lyn Cockburn at her best, and this is what makes Point Blank a sure fire good read.

donalee Moulton-Barrett, Halifax, N.S.
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