: : crazybrave has moved to <a href="http://crazybrave.net">http://crazybrave.net/</a>: August 2004

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Joe Cinque is Dead

I finished reading Helen Garner’s new book a little while ago, and it’s been taking a while for it to percolate through my brain. I think the book is powerful and sad. It is beautifully written.

The Cinques are stoically anguished, smack in the centre of the maelstrom of a murder trial. Garner uses herself, and the intimacies she discloses, as a bridge to get us over to them and to the intimacies they disclosed to her.

Garner is an extremely proficient author. I think a lot of the time of her voice reading; it’s so expressive in a thin lipped big hearted way. I am a little suspicious that the “personal touches” may be more structural than revelatory, but it really doesn’t matter.

The similarities between my personal geography and that of those Garner writes about are strong. I grew up 5 minutes drive from Joe’s family’s house south of Newcastle, I studied at ANU law school, and now I live 5 minutes walk from where she killed him. I clocked it at the lights the other day, and it was quite odd. I knew it was number 79, because that features in the bizarre OOO call that Singh made when Joe was dying. I knew it was near, because for some unfathomable reason, number 69 advertises its location in three foot tall burgundy letters high on the second storey. And I was walking up to the lights, feral toddler, shopping, kelpie and all and I saw that house. Where for more or less a week she tried to kill her devoted lover.

I grew up with a pretty good idea of the true crime genre, mainly due to my dad - my mum's preference was for made-up crime. I felt the absence of the little plug of glossy photo pages and was a bit cut that the comments on Gianna's blog disclosed that there was a photo of Joe at the end of the story.

Singh’s family were doctors and tried to get her scheduled (committed involuntarily). I find it hard to believe that you would want your kid locked up in a psych hospital unless you were deeply convinced they really needed it. Particularly if you had any medical experience.

People didn’t believe what she said because they were used to her ridiculousness. I look at the people experiencing that situation and I can see how no-one thought it was the right thing to do to get help. From where? Why? Once I sought (unsolicited and unwelcome) help on behalf of a colleague who obviously had a persistent and increasingly serious eating disorder. It seemed to do no good.

I've posted before about the Australian Women's Weekly August edition on official Mrses and why you should vote for their Mr's. The Cinques were in the same edition, but they didn't make the front page.

There is a weird little article that runs through some serious, personal, horrible involuntary life changes that Garner has made, little sacrifices of pieces of herself offered up. The article concludes, completely justly, that Garner is a marvellous writer, and has written a marvellous book. She has written a beautiful introduction to feelings we hope we will all be spared.

Recovered memory

Some very clever and interesting people like Mr. Barista have been talking about how our memory works recently.

I was born in 1971.* The first election campaign I can really remember is the trouncing of Malcolm Fraser, i.e. the victory of Bob Hawke.

My family was strongly atheist (later mellowing to agnosticism in my Dad) and fervently Labor. Branch meetings were on Sunday morning, at my primary school. Elections in the uber-Labor area that I grew up in were a cause of excitement: initially chippies and coke after letterboxing, later, sly grog at the big parties. I can remember the telly being taken downstairs and set up in the garage, the buffet out the back. My mum, until recently, had enough cheap cutlery and crockery to do a sit-down three course dinner for 200.

And I can remember all the people watching telly changing when that man came on the telly and cried. They were calmer, and happier. This effect lasted for years.

My desire is to see that moment for us, to have that dragon-slaying victory.

* Which puts me in the Year of the Pig. Pardon me for mentioning but.

Optimistic, but not confident

You need to be careful mentioning astrology. It's just not quite the thing in some in-tell-ect-ewell circles. I'm interested in why people do stuff; astrology is one frame you can examine that with, if you're so minded.

A friend of mine, Karen, studied astrology professionally. Last weekend at her house I found a 1996 book by one of her teachers. It's "50 Australian Charts" by Dennis Sutton. Here is part of what he said about John Howard:

"Howard displays subtle (Pluto) arrogance (Sun). Pluto is the planet of unity or disunity, but when it's square Saturn and afflicted it tends to tear things apart.

The most interesting aspect in his chart is Uranus in the 12th house conjunct the Ascendant. Uranus is the extremist planet and John Howard is in many ways a political extremist, but these extremist aspects of his character are kept hidden (12th house).

His extremist political views are kept secret, because when they're revealed they attract secret enmity. John Howard's secret enemies (12th house) are other political extremists."

So not Beazley or Crean, then.

However, if the Currency Lad is right and Latham is "a deranged piece of trailer trash" (meoww! down kitty!) we might just be in with a better chance than I'd thought.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Leaders' Wives

I have gained new insights into Janette Howard courtesy of an article in the August edition of the Australian Women’s Weekly’s titled: “Leading Ladies: Why the Women of Australia Should Vote for Their Husbands”. Unfortunately the article is not online, but keep an eye out for it next time you’re at the doctor. (That is, of course, if you can afford to go – our local GP costs $52 a pop, $60 if you get crook on the weekend).

The Weekly provides a “fact file” on Mrs Howard, Mrs Latham, and Mrs Anderson. Mrs Howard, a Leo, taught English and History at Randwick Girls’ High School before marrying John; I do hope she was also teaching them good values. Mrs Howard is a fan of science fiction and Harry Potter. She likes “historical detective stories, but generally historical books annoy me – they’re too loose with the truth.”

Oh dear. That can't be making things easy at home.

The article contains some other lovely tidbits, particularly Jeanette’s comment “Part of me would be really pleased to go back to my own home.” Indeed. I could not be more delighted myself.

Mrs Lacy – “she always uses her maiden name” – is “reed slim after two children”. How aspirational!

She achieves this reed slimness by serving guests “store bought sandwiches” which she herself refuses, saying she holds back during the week so she can gutz herself with Mark on the weekend.

It sounds like he arouses her appetites in general. On Friday after he’s put the kids to bed it’s a glass of wine and some takeaway in the kitchen and then an early night. Endearingly, “Janine grins with sudden warmth, and a faint blush creeps into her pale face. 'We are both usually pretty tired', she adds hurriedly.”

Let's hope he's had a good rest and will be back on the job soon.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Going back

I've had a little "going back" theme happening this week, it's been very interesting. I have been working two days a week since May, and as my days are changing, over the last couple of weeks it happened to be that I worked Thursday-Friday and the following Monday-Tuesday. This meant that the little guy spent more time in a row in the care of someone other than me than he has before.

I didn't realise I'd worked four school days in a row until I breezed into the house on Tuesday night, deliriously happy and enjoying myself. It got a bit harder after that. It's been taking me a while to readapt to the rhythm of being 24 hours with a toddler, particularly one who's just started to go to daycare one day a week and seems to have learnt how to bash people up there.

Looking forward to work tomorrow. What did you learn at school today?

Monday, August 09, 2004

My friend Smegs had an erotic dream

About this dude. What d'ya reckon would be an appropriate thing to say to her about that?

Monday, August 02, 2004

shhh ...

I skipped the loud music and am enjoying the quiet.