Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday morning, praise the dawning

And yes, an insightful Sunday morning it has been, with plenty of things dawning on me during my perusal of various British newspapers. Oh, the seductions of the internet ....

First (thanks to The Times): Miss Cauliflower is truly the silly prude that I have always suspected her to be:
I clean myself, which surprises people. I shower every day. I shave all the parts you’re meant to shave as a woman nowadays. Obviously, nobody is like Helen [the "protagonist" of Wetlands]. But the fun in writing the book was getting all the secret stuff out — all the things women are ashamed about. For instance, with my husband, I don’t leave dirty knickers lying around. I hide them, take them myself to the washing machine. Why am I so embarrassed, even in my own flat?
Haven't I said it all along: Miss Roche is a frigging nut case. I mean: how dirty do the knickers of a well-showered woman get in 24 hours?

Would someone please find her a sensible psychologist specialising in behaviour therapy to sort out her various spleens? How this person managed to conceive a child, let alone go through pregnancy, give birth and then mop up kid poo and puke is beyond me.

And would someone please find me a sensible psychologist specialising in behaviour therapy to sort out my obsession with Charlotte Roche?

Secondly, over at the Guardian, Ruth Sunderland finally heralds this paper's long overdue entry into the 1970s. In her Comment is Free post on the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum she writes:

The big theme at this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) was "Shaping the Post-Crisis World". The idea that that can be achieved while excluding half the population is breathtaking in its arrogance and shows that the male Davos elite remains mired in its own preening self-regard and complacency. They have wrecked the world economy, but seem oblivious to the idea they may not be the best people to rebuild it. Ignoring the contribution women can make is ridiculous at any time, but how much more so when there is a clear need to reflect on the macho, tooth- and-claw brand of capitalism that caused the crunch in the first place.

Macho capitalism ... Ruthy, sister -- your brave attempt to keep the purple flag flying is very sweet indeed, but I really think that in perpetuating the myth -- comforting though it may be -- that women are better people than men you are oversimplifying matters.

Let me draw your attention to a case that is currently occupying the public debate in German (which you probably haven't heard about, the only German topic Britons have been willing to engage with for months being bloody Wetlands).

This case involves a representative of what you, Ruthy, would probably consider "the better sex": Maria-Elizabeth Schaeffler, a Franconian entrepreneur who last year took over the German tire manufacturer Continental with the aim of putting her family business on the global economic map helping the ailing firm -- on tick, of course.

Realising that she has overextended herself financially with this deal, Mrs Schaeffler has been doing a fair bit of canvassing for state funding amongst her cronies in the CSU, much to the dismay of the rest of the government. Both Peer Steinbrück and Angela Merkel have refused point blank to come to her aid.

Of course Schaeffler's recent mink-clad appearance at some Audi-sponsored VIP-event in the socialite hot spot of Kitzbühel didn't help. Somehow she doesn't quite manage to pull off the image of the caring businesswoman slogging her guts out for the German job market that she likes to flaunt.

UPDATE: The German press is all aflutter, because -- ooh, aah -- Charlie Roach is getting plenty of media attention in Britain right now. Here's the link for the more than meta-information.


Francis Sedgemore said...

I didn't read that article by Sunderland as I have more important things to do today such as clean the toilet. Instead I had a quick glance at my horoscope. But on seeing the title on the Observer front page, I couldn't help but compare the feature with those advertorial boxes inserted by production editors during editorially lean times. It must be the credit crunch.

The Wife said...

'Fraid you must explain. The electronic version doesn't have a front page. Not that it matters -- as far as journalism goes, Britain has been going through a credit crunch for the last seven years or so.

But at least now it's official: "Half of Britons reject evolution" (now, I wonder how one manages to do that ....), as opposed to only 20% in Germany (according to your recent post).

Francis Sedgemore said...

"The electronic version doesn't have a front page."

Yes it does.

And indeed it would seem that your country is a beacon of the enlightenment compared with Blighty.