Month: September 2006

Beyond the 11th

This is the name of a charity begun by two American widows, Susan Retik and Patricia Quigley: both women were mothers of small children and also heavily pregnant when their husbands died on 9/11, one in each of the planes that hit the Twin Towers.

Many other people lost their loved ones that day, but few have reacted as these women have done. Despite their grief and anger at the terrorists, Patti and Susan are actively engaged in charity work for the people of Afghanistan, the country where most of the hijackers trained before coming to the USA and committing their atrocity.

I heard Susan Retik interviewed on Radio National this morning to mark the 5th anniversary of the disaster. Before 9/11 she barely knew anything of Afghanistan, and her reaction to learning more about the Taliban and their oppression of women was to awaken her compassion in a very personal way based on her own recent tragedy: if life was so bad for women there generally, how much worse must it be for unsupported widows? And what could she do to help them, woman to woman?

Blogiversary! that means food, flowers, feminism and of course, catblogging

Yes, it was a year ago today that the brave ship tigtogblog first set sail! Looking back on ye auld archives, I am struck by my neglect of food and garden stuff recently. V.slack and shame-making.

Food: Truffles (thanks to ABC radio and some chaps in Tasmania who are going to make an absolute bomb now they’re getting in a good harvest – they’ll be able to send fresh “black gold” to Europe out of season). They discussed how to use truffles in cooking, and it all sounded v. finicky – grating slivers on to this and that, and needing something creamy or oily as a base to bring out the truffle flavour and spread it around. Sounds fatmaking, thought I.

But then they mentioned truffle oil.

Weekend Flashback: first Swords and Sandals edition

I feel like I jinxed this last week with my bragging of weather warm enough to wear sandals in the first week of spring. Tonight it is blowing a gale and downpouring buckets of rain. My palm tree shed its dry fronds all over the street two days ago – I guess it’s one way to meet a new neighbour as he helps get them off the roadway.
Ben Hur races Messala
Anyway, to inaugurate the sandals season, it has to be the one by which all others are measured: are they bigger than this?

Courtesy and the Cultural Cringe

Germaine Greer has done her shit-stirring act again with her piece about the death of Steve Irwin, and the usual furore has broken loose, wherein Greer is presented as standing in for all us feminist harridans who hate manly men.
UPDATE: Tracee Hutchison’s piece in today’s Age is an excellent analysis of the essential misogyny driving a lot of the reaction to Greer’s piece – would the outrage have been such a howling uproar if Clive James had written it instead?

Murder in self-defense

I’m ambivalent about this story: Nurse Kills Intruder with Bare Hands.

A 51 year old emergency nurse came home from a late-night shift to find an intruder armed with a hammer in her home, and in a struggle she strangled him to death. He had a long criminal record. One side of me is cheering for her for defending herself against harm, and the message that women are capable of using deadly harm to defend themselves might do some good generally in discouraging predatory men.

On the other side, I don’t approve of killing people unnecessarily. She’s a nurse, she obviously knew that by continuing the stranglehold beyond the time when he was unconscious that she was killing him (a stranglehold has to be maintained for several minutes after unconsciousness before death will occur). That’s a huge physical effort to maintain, even for a 5’7″ 260-pound woman whose job makes her strong.

Why couldn’t she have tied him up once she’d made him unconscious and waited for law enforcement?

Rainy day laffs

Settle back and prepare to giggle, guffaw and snort: 213 things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the US Army.

What a week: Irwin, Thiele and now Brock.

I just heard on the radio that Peter Brock has been killed in a racing crash.

All the boys I went to a country town high school with drove V8s, and all of them looked up to Brockie. He stood above the perennial Ford-Holden wars in terms of his racing hero status, partly because of his cool, calm demeanour – Brock was the Bjorn Borg of Australian motor racing

Why oh why do people want to pry?

That is the moan of TomKat in Vanity Fair about the prurient curiosity regarding their baby. As the NYT points out, when you announce your romance on TV by jumping on Oprah’s couch, announce your engagement at a press conference, and pose tits-and-teeth-out endlessly on red carpets before the pregnancy became inelegant, the public becomes conditioned to a photo-opportunity parade through your lives and