The National Folk Festival in Canberra was a great way
to spend Easter. The weather was perfect. A couple of fantastic
Difficult Women shows and we had a packed out venue for
'The Inspired Shaddap You Face Competition' which was won
by the dynamic Canberra Celtic Pipes. (More
down below.) I would like to thank all my friends and
fellow artists for making it a memorable and alive event.
You will remember the hoopala I raised recently protesting
the suggested use of Paul Kelly's song, 'Tonight Our Fire',
for the Commonwealth Games theme song. Well, what goes
around comes around. One of the three judges for the 'Golden
Guy Fawkes Award' which is already sold out at the Melbourne
Gaol next Monday night - is none other than Paul Kelly!
I'm one of the musical contestants in that one so I guess I better
be up on my game. ( Ha! Maybe I oughta do a seditious cover
version of 'Tonight Our Fires'.)
I did get an Honourable Mention this week in the USA
Billboard Magazine World Songwriting Contest for my song,
'Crazy Wind'. I wasn't going to mention it but this is
the second time this year that a song that I've written specifically
for a competition - and then totally forgot about - won some kind
of prize forcing me to dig it out again and look at it in a different
David Bridie, Judy Small and Greg Fleet
have come on board for the Unity for Peace Benefit Concert
to help raise funds to bring Cindy Sheehan and other speakers
over for the Unity For Peace Conference in May. The benefit
is on Friday May 12th at Trades Hall in Melbourne. I've also been
invited to sing, 'Gift (from One Iraqi Child)' to open
the public meeting for the conference in the following week.
Favourite Reader Comments of the Week
I dunno how you got my name, but thanks for the email. Good stuff.
(Note: Who's the man?)
REMOVE FROM YOUR POLITICS, Butch
(Note: Who's the . . . . errrrr
. . .)
Have you seen this one? It is said to be the most popular [George
W Bush] screensaver
in the US. (Move Your mouse around.)
Keep up your great work. Cheers, Virginia
"There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange,
purple, and silver!"
'ello luv...'e said....(in a scouser accent)
I use the oil from the skin of my orange,
to quiet the squeak of my door-hinge!
I have three for purple:
hirple - a limp,
curple - someone's bottom, butt, ass... whichever term you prefer;
twerp'll - contraction of "twerp will"; "Twerp'll"
(I believe "hirple" hasn't been counted as a real
word since the 1500's or 1600's, and "curple" must be
some form of dialect because I cannot find it in most places.)
There's also "chilver" which rhymes with "silver",
which is some type of animal... I think it's a young sheep or
a goat or something, but it is definitely a real word
There are two words that rhyme with purple:
1. Hurple - to walk lamely, or with a limp
2. Curpel - A part of a horse's bridle (the bit that goes under
Hinge rhymes with orange in some dialects.
The problem is that there are at least three ways of pronouncing
the word that is spelled ORANGE.
Some people say /o-rin-juh/.
Some people say /o-ran-juh/.
Some people say /o-run-juh/.
In the first pronunciation orange is a definite rhyme with hinge.
You say tomato, I say tomato. Halloran
Senate Hearings on Bush, Now
By Carl Bernstein
(Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward were the
Washington Post journalists primarily responsible for breaking
the Watergate scandal which led to the resignation of Richard
After Nixon's resignation, it was often said that the system
had worked. Confronted by an aberrant president, the checks and
balances on the executive by the legislative and judicial branches
of government, and by a free press, had functioned as the founders
had envisioned. The system has thus far failed during the presidency
of George W. Bush - at incalculable cost in human lives, to the
American political system, to undertaking an intelligent and effective
war against terror, and to the standing of the United States in
parts of the world where it previously had been held in the highest
regard. There was understandable reluctance in the Congress to
begin a serious investigation of the Nixon presidency. Then there
came a time when it was unavoidable. That time in the Bush presidency
has arrived." (article)
Recipe for Holy War: Add Two Nut Jobs and Stir
by Beth Quinn
All right. I'm now officially scared. Having just read Seymour
Hersh's article about Bush's Iran plan, it appears that we no
longer have a case of the good guys versus the bad guys. What
we have here is the bad guy versus the bad guy - two madmen playing
an international game of chicken, ratcheting up the rhetoric to
appeal to their fundamentalist followers. There's no doubt that
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is mad in the head. In fact,
it might help you remember his name if you pronounce it "Ah'm
mad in ee head." He's got a uranium enrichment program going
on so he can build nuclear power plants. But since he's crazy,
there's a lot of worldwide concern that he's going to build a
nuclear bomb while he's at it. The U.N. atomic watchdog agency,
which paid him a little visit last week, says there's no evidence
that he's working on weapons. Even so, the world is feeling a
little squirmy about letting Ah'm Mad In Ee Head carry on with
his nuclear program. Everyone keeps asking him to quit it, but
he's dug in his heels.
So that's one madman on the loose.
The other one - our very own nut job in the White House - is licking
his chops over what he perceives as a stubborn challenge from
In last week's New Yorker magazine, Hersh provided a detailed
look at Bush's response to Ah'm Mad In Ee Head. According to Hersh's
sources, Bush wants Ah'm Mad In Ee Head to defy U.N. demands to
quit playing with uranium.
You know why? Because our own madman wants to trot out one of
our own nukes and bomb Iran's madman out of business - along with
a few hundred thousand other Iranians, of course. As one congressman
told Hersh, "The most worrisome thing is that Bush has a
messianic vision." Bush is waging a holy war. He's on a crusade.
And so is Ah'm Mad In Ee Head. . . . . (article)
Attention Citizens! You stand hereby directed to prove your
patriotism by printing out hundreds of the wartime morale posters
below, and distributing them widely throughout your community!
Some titles available:
Fancy a Snort
of Yank Bum?
and many more . . . . site
(thanks to Justine Stewart)
Lock Him Away to Stop the Next War
WE cannot wait any longer for the impeachment of George W.
Bush. Far more efficient to have Bush certified. There is no need
for further debate on his mental state. The US President is bonkers.
Having turned the White House into a madhouse, having taken more
lunatic positions on more issues than any head of state since
George III (are they, perchance, related?). GWB needs a long rest
and a change of medication. And it shouldn't be too hard to guide
him into a padded cell. Just tell him it's the presidential bomb
shelter. . . .(article)
A Maniacal Messianic Prepares to Fulfill His
by Ted Rall
"I have fulfilled my destiny," the president
says manically. He has just entered the nuclear launch codes that
will trigger World War III. Seconds later, he emerges from a bunker.
The Secretary of State squeezes between two soldiers. "Mr.
President!" he shouts. "We have a diplomatic solution!"
He smiles. "It's too late," he replies. "The
missiles are flying. Alleluia. Alleluia."
The above scene, from David Cronenberg's 1983 adaptation of
the horror novel "The Dead Zone," is a classic if slightly
preposterous nightmare of a world destroyed by a demented demagogue.
Now, incredibly, a lunatic out of a Stephen King movie has brought
the United States to the brink of Armageddon.
Until I read Seymour Hersh's expose in The New Yorker and subsequent
follow-up coverage by other journalists about the Bush Administration's
plans to start a war against Iran, I had dismissed talk of George
W. Bush's messianism as so much Beltway chatter. True, he hears
voices, even claiming that God and Jesus Christ talk to him. "I
believe God wants me to run for president," he told a friend
in Texas. Eschewing mainstream religion, he routinely parrots
the apocalyptic ravings of fringe Christianist cults: "And
the light [America] has shone in the darkness [the enemies of
America], and the darkness will not overcome it [America shall
conquer its enemies]," he said during his fevered campaign
for war against Iraq. He mimics Old Testament cadences: "God
told me to strike at Al Qaeda and I struck them," Bush told
the Palestinian prime minister in 2003, "and then he instructed
me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to
solve the problem in the Middle East." Nooor-mal. (article)
Fallout from Chernobyl Will Cause 100,000
Deaths, Says Greenpeace
by Andrew Osborn
The fallout from Chernobyl, the world's worst nuclear
accident, will be 10 times more deadly than previously thought
and will cause almost 100,000 people to die from cancer in coming
years, Greenpeace says.
Twenty years after Chernobyl's fourth reactor exploded, sending
a radiation-lined cloud into the atmosphere, the green, anti-nuclear
campaign group alleged that the human consequences of the disaster
have been woefully and deliberately underestimated. (article)
GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED
1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptise cats.
2) When your Mum is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch
the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
(thanks to al johns)
Nine acts competed in THE INSPIRED SHADDAP YOU FACE CONTEST
at Bill Arnett's Merry Muse venue at the National
Folk Festival in Canberra for the first place 'Shaddap
You Face Showbag', which included signed archival photographs,
buttons and bumper stickers and other memorabilia from the 80s,
a couple of limited edition rare CDs and a generous gift voucher
from the festival. The venue was packed as the Canberra Celtic
Pipes took home the guernsey. However, every one of the nine
great acts had an amazing idea for their variation on my song
and I can honestly say that it pretty much was a tie for second
place amongst the others on the clap-o-meter. We managed
to film the concert with three separate cameras and also made
a stereo DAT recording of the audio. One day, down the track,
I will assemble all this for either a DVD, or as part of a documentary
on the 25th Anniversary of Shaddap. Meanwhile, here are
a list of the artists and what they did. (Special
thanks to Sue Barrett for taking the photos.)
Twice winner of the Lawson-Patterson Songwriting Award
at Port Fairy, winner of the Roddy Reed Memorial Songwriting
Award at Maldon and the Declan Affley Memorial Songwriting
Award at the National Festival, Bruce assembled a crew of
fellow musicians and cohorts, all sharing the first name Bruce,
to storm the stage (and infiltrate the audience) as The Bruces.
Great ice-breaker and perfect opening to the event. WEBSITE
An accomplished classical musician, and Phd in Botany, by profession,
Peter was probably the bravest contestant, agreeing to perform
a solo cello fantasia, sandwiched in between two very high energy
groups, Bruce Watson and The Bruces, and the Canberra
Celtic Pipes. But I think that extreme vulnerability worked
for him as he managed to bring out some intriguing musical variations
in that simple little tune that would have made Elgar smile. WEBSITE
CANBERRA CELTIC PIPES
Assured that probably three pipers would participate, there ended
up being about twelve members on stage, including percussion,
a friggin' field drum, and a stunning angel dancing the Highland
Fling! I think they should release their version as a single.
A joyful experience! WEBSITE
The reknowned country/folk singer-songwriter delivered a creative
and personal interpretation (complete with his own unique accent
- which, as he said, 'starts Italian, passes through French,
but somehow ends up sounding Indian.') WEBSITE
Award-winning, Scottish-born songwriter and singer, Alex agreed
to do this with only one day's notice and created a semi-improvised
wonderfully personal Scottish dialectal account. WEBSITE
THE BLACK NONNAS
Commedia Academy's Giri Mazzella's and Sanjiva Margio's Sicilian
mourning dresses and black spectacled mamas rule. (Peter Grayling
was also part of this group, looking like the befuddled Wizard
of Oz tin grandma with rouge on his nose.) Sanjiva told a remarkable
true story of how when he first came over from Sicily, he was
thrown in jail for stealing a sheep! 'Shaddap You Face' was
played every morning over the intercom to wake the prisoners!
Welcome to Australia, maaaaaaaate! WEBSITE
An accredited master of pygmy yodeling and uvular fluttering,
Mal came up with a calypso beat box loop, stream of consciousness
reggae rap version, with brilliant audience participation. WEBSITE
This legendary Australian bush band came up with a kinky cross-dressing
variation that I think captured succinctly the long forgotten
tradition of the Sardinian bacalla spit-roast. WEBSITE
An urban Greek blues band who created a virtual pop fusion of
familiar tunes using the imagery from 'Shaddap.' (Example:
The Beatles 'Get Back' - "Jo Jo was a man who thought
he was Italian . . . ") all the while playing bouzouki,
baglama, and oud. WEBSITE
GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
1) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from
a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
2) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers
to ask you the questions.
3) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
4) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
(thanks to al johns)
The Men Who Have Sex With Dolls
Elisabet Alexandre, for Marie Claire
" . . . Doll lovers claim their unhealthy pursuit is not
just about carnal pleasure. For Malcolm, a 48-year-old British
IT specialist, his plastic companion is a silent soulmate - someone
to love, trust and share his life with, knowing she'll never desert
him. A grey-haired recluse living in south-west England, Malcolm
has not had a successful relationship with a woman. 'I've never
had any success with relationships, and it's badly affected my
quality of life,' he admits. 'When I've tried to joke with a woman
on a date, I've felt like people nearby are looking at me, embarrassed
on my behalf.' Recently made redundant, Malcolm now spends his
days writing a novel about airline pilots, his other passion in
life. After a last attempt with a dating agency, Malcolm came
across RealDolls online. 'I bought Rebecca a few months ago with
the money left from my redundancy payment,' he recalls. 'In my
imagination, she's 14 and earns pocket money by working in her
school library. 'She's very important to me,' he continues. 'I
feel affection for her which goes beyond sexual desire. . . .
THE PSYCHOLOGIST'S VIEW
'The behaviour of these men is very unhealthy,'
says clinical psychologist Ron Bracey. 'They are motivated by
the desire to avoid rejection. They also share a need for control,
which is demonstrated by the pleasure they take in designing their
ideal woman, then making all the moves and decisions in their
"partner's" life. This control fixation is usually a
reaction to a bad experience, where sex has been a source of humiliation.
These dolls allow their owners to indulge in fantasies which would
be criminal acts in the real world, such as under-age sex. The
doll could either be an outlet for this desire or, worringly,
make the man more likely to act it out in real life.' (article)
EFF Debate: "Email - Should the Sender
SAN FRANCISCO - What is the future of email? Should anyone
ever have to pay to send it? Or would payments undermine free
speech on the Internet? These are just a few of the questions
raised recently by AOL's controversial plans to adopt a "certified"
email system. (article)
At age 4 success is . . .. not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
At age 17 success is . . having a drivers licence.
At age 35 success is . . . having money.
At age 50 success is . . . having money.
At age 70 success is . .. . having a drivers licence.
At age 75 success is . . . having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . not piddling in your pants.
(thanks to al johns)
Lup Chong Rice
Here's another creative way to make rice - the texture is melt-in-your-mouth.
1 cup white rice
2 cups water
2 Chinese Lup Chong sausages
Soak the rice in the water for about half hour. Slice the sausages
on the diagonal about an eighth inch thick. Place in a small pan
over low heat, stirring until the sausage slices start to release
some of their fat. The idea is to reduce the amount of fat in
the sausage, (careful: without burning them!), also giving
a nice flavour to the sausages. Pour off the excess fat and reserve
Bring the water and rice to a boil, add the sausage slices,
stir, cover, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer
for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest,
covered, for another 10 minutes.