Belated Happy Birthday, International Women’s Day!

by Ingrid Robeyns on March 9, 2009

8march

According to “Wikipedia”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women’s_Day, yesterday was the 100th International Women’s Day (I started writing this post yesterday, but spent most of that day at a feminist meeting and having a women’s night out. Sorry. But here it is – better late than never). “Last year, here at CT”:https://crookedtimber.org/2008/03/08/international-womens-day/, we discovered that in some countries this is not celebrated as a social or political event (as it is in Europe) but rather as a day to give your wife or girlfriend chocolates or flowers. So I felt it’d be good to post an old-fashioned political poster, stolen from the very same wikipedia site. Isn’t it awesome? [click to continue…]

Imagining Kevin

by Chris Bertram on March 9, 2009

I finished Lionel Shriver’s “_We Need to Talk about Kevin_”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006112429X/junius-20 (“UK”:http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1852424672/junius-21 )
this morning. Shriver writes superbly, with acid observation dripping from every paragraph of Eva Khatchadourian’s letters. Nor is pleasure (if that’s the right word in this case) only gathered from the writing: Shriver’s plotting and characterization are brilliant – so much that I didn’t see coming. Also impressive is the fact that Shriver gets inside a parent when she isn’t one. A commonplace view is the non-parents can’t really imagine how becoming a parent changes your attititudes. Part of Eva’s problem is that, in her case, it doesn’t — but there’s an imaginative gap to be bridged nonetheless, and Shriver gets across it, and right into the dynamics of a disastrous family. Those who have read the book already will also know that it deals with _big questions_ ™. Since the premise of the book is a mass killing at an American high school, it gets a head start on that. The central idea of the book, that children come into the world with definite personalities that escape their parents’ attempts at moulding, but that society (teachers, politicians, other parents) hold parents responsible anyway, also seems plausible. Discussions on CT (often initiated by Harry) have often dealt with this. A book that I’m keen to recommend to everyone: and certainly one that you should read before Hollywood gets hold of it.

(Irritating fact: when I got to the last page of the book, I was confronted by two further pages with the title “Reading group questions that have arisen from publication of _We Need to Talk About Kevin_ in the USA.” Eva Khatchadourian would have been disgusted.)

Commenters please avoid plot spoilers.

Abort, retry, fail ?

by John Quiggin on March 9, 2009

Every now and then back in the Dark Ages, I would have to deal with the late, unlamented MS-DOS operating system. It wouldn’t be long, as a rule, before I encountered the message “Abort, Retry, Fail?”

Of these, “retry” sounded the most hopeful so I’d choose it a few times, but I don’t think it ever worked. Usually the best thing was to shut down the machine and start again.

This trilemma struck me when looking at the options for US-based banks, and Citigroup in particular.

[click to continue…]