The shape of the world a generation from now will be influenced far more by how we communicate the values of our society to others than by military or diplomatic superiority. William Fulbright, 1964

Monday, October 02, 2006



Abu Bakar Ba’asyir is right to say naked ladies are more dangerous than bombs. In fact they can be equally lethal fully clothed – that’s why they’re so often dressed to kill.

As the crazed cleric must have noted in his study of the English language (well, the coarse American version), many young women are labelled ‘blond bombshells’. Or ‘atomic dames’. A few years later and they become ‘old boilers’. These can also be dangerously unstable when overheated.

The more crass dub certain pointed parts of a woman’s anatomy as ‘bazookas’ while those us who are refined are content to admire a woman’s arms. As in armaments.

Obviously for good reason.

Ground crew at US air bases in Vietnam used to paint pictures of buxom bimbos on the ordnance primed to be dropped by B52s on the Ho Chi Minh trail.

The Americans lost that war, which should negate the whitebeard’s point. But nothing can neutralise his ridiculous reasoning.

All husbands know domestic life can sometimes be more blast than bliss. It certainly leads to explosive moments.

How many times has she stormed out and banged the door? Or slammed down the phone? Or her foot?

The toothy radical and former jailbird is spot-on: Bang, bang, bang. That’s marriage. Take cover.

In any contest over ownership when she refers to ‘mine’ it’s usually the Claymore version. Think of the language of fashion and how much is about weaponry: Tank tops, needlepoint, stilettos, chokers … That didn’t happen by chance.

Miss isn’t an honorific – it’s an abbreviation. For Missile. And usually unguided.

A man’s role in a relationship requires him to be on red alert at all times, as in a bomb squad, ready to defuse a volatile situation. Like suggesting the dinner might be more palatable if it hadn’t been nuked in the oven while she gossiped on the phone.

In this example any misplaced word is likely to result in the launch of a verbal grenade.

In fact it’s unfair to mock. Ba’asyir may outrage the feminists but he’s in good company with his observations, though almost 400 years out of date. The English dramatist William Congreve warned us in more elegant terms with his lines:

Heaven hath no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.

So hearken, all singles of whatever faith, to the wise words of the sage of shariah.

Stick with nitro-glycerine – it’s more stable than wedlock. But a lot less fun.

(First published in The Jakarta Post 2 October 06)

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