OBIT FOR THE OBIT

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Yesterday I wrote about the death of Colleen McCullough, the brilliant, feisty, wonderfully outspoken author and scientist. She wrote a novel that sold 30 million copies. She deserved an obituary in her home country that highlighted her many accomplishments.

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Instead, the Murdoch-owned waste of trees, The Australian, led off her obit with this shockingly sexist paragraph:  “Colleen McCullough, Australia’s bestselling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth.”

Say what?

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The New York Times, on the other hand, led off with “Colleen McCullough, a former neurophysiological researcher at Yale who, deciding to write novels in her spare time, produced The Thorn Birds…..”

Deserved outrage was swift. Would a world-famous bestselling male author have his looks and weight described in the second sentence of his obit? I don’t think so.

The Australian has since said that the obit had been written years ago by a staffer who had since died, and that it should have been edited before being published. How lame is that? No other eyes at the paper bothered to realize what a ludicrously sexist insult was being made?

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Colleen earned the respect she should have been accorded. She deserved better.

All women do.

 

 

 

COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH RIP

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Lurchers of a romantic disposition (which I hope means all of us) will remember when Colleen McCullough’s-Why-does-she-mean-everything-to-me-the-thorn-birds-33195514-245-180 The Thorn Birds miniseries aired on TV in 1983. Barbara Stanwyck nailed one of the most memorable scenes about growing older ever filmed. And Rachel Ward proved that even a priest (perfectly embodied by Richard Chamberlain) can succumb to the lure of the worldly. That chase down the beach—you go, girl!

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The Thorn Birds sold 30 million copies, and Colleen, who just died at the age of 77, went on to write a total of 25 books. She had previously been a neurophysicist who’d done research at Yale for years. She certainly was no dummy.
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And The Thorn Birds is just brilliant melodrama. Even if Colleen called the mini-series “instant vomit.” Bless her soul!