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April 22nd, 2005

Beautiful Dreamer

"In the beginning, there was nothing. And God said, 'Let there be Light'.
And there was still nothing. But, you could see it."
unknown

 

Dear Folks,

I have only met a handful of people that have recognized that the tune for one of Australia's most well-known songs, The Pub With No Beer, is identical to the verse melody for Stephen C. Foster's, Beautiful Dreamer! The lyrics to Dreamer, and a little more about Foster, can be found later in the newsletter, but I wrote my own set of words, about Van Gogh, to that public domain melody a couple of years ago, entitled, The Mug With No Ear. It is dedicated to all my friends out there who are tenacious about making a living from what they love doing.

FAVOURITE READER FEEDBACK OF THE WEEK

Dear Joe,
I'm sure your friend C. is a lovely person, but ... D-A-M-N... And people wonder where us bunny-bashin', chicken-choppin', fish-smotherin', cow-killin' meat eaters get the idea that vegans have no sense of humor... (You were kidding about murdering cute little baby kangaroos for dinner, weren't you?) Tartare for now,
JJ

Dear Joe Dolce,
Thank you so much for creating a good world by your wonderful music, also by the Gift on Peace Songs for A Better World. I am a parent to a boy now 14.  My motivation is that all children have the right to rise in a world without war and violence. Because of all the violence also striking the children, I have formed a Global Call. So far it is into 53 languages ...
Love is music ... Yours Sincerely,
Jan Jacobsen, Oslo, Norway

Hey Joe,
This is re the previous newsletter, and only because you don't have any reader feedback about the Beautiful Agony site you mentioned. Am I the only reader who picked up on it? I went straight there and have been back several times since. I love it! And there's a sister site too, quite something, called www.ishotmyself.com. Both projects are something that could only happen in this new digital age (pun! especially re BA) and have all sorts of political, social, artistic and of course sexual resonances. The faces-only policy of Beautiful Agony is brilliant. The whole concept is funny, funky, in your face and extremely sexy, while staying firmly in the erotica camp, rather than porn. . . Thanks!
Param

Howdy Joe,
Another great newsletter. I've got to take issue with the 'Yo Mama' jokes though: as funny as they were, couldn't we throw just a BIT of gender balance in there? Yes, I know it would be a labour intensive procedure to reassign the gender of every second joke over that many lines, but it would be great to see less emphasis on demeaning women and more on the jokes. Yes, I know it's tongue-in-cheek, but we have to remember that many women are still subjected to jokes which are derogatory of them and/or their gender from one end of the day to the other. Merely being reminded of that, be it on a conscious or sub-conscious level, doesn't help women feel entitled to their rightful place in the world. For most people, having a joke made at their expense (or focussing on an intrinsic aspect of their humanity or personality), however good-natured, actually hurts on some level. Often if it doesn't hurt that is because it's surpassed hurt; to desensitisation, which is at least as bad, or to resignation, which is worse. Yes, I know that you and most of us (your readers) are unmisogynist and enlightened souls, but it's not you or us that I'm worried about. The views of many, particularly impressionable/ignorant/stupid people, are reinforced by repetition. Like it or not, distributing a list like that perpetuates that repetition. Think about it: you've got how many tens of thousands of people on your mailing list? Some will forward those jokes, removed from the context of the newsletter of a well respected advocate of women's rights, to people who will forward it again and so on. Suddenly the jokes have escaped the intellectual safehouse of Joe Dolce's newsletter readership and are pinned to the walls of male-dominated workplaces the world over, between titty calenders and obvious office humour cartoons rendered all but unreadable from twenty generations of faxing and photocopying... I used to think it was funny and perfectly acceptable to make sexist/racist/homophobic etc jokes as loudly and often as you like, as long you say them in a funny voice with the goal of taking the piss out of people that actually hold those beliefs. (Occasionally I find myself doing this still). Over time and for the reasons abovementioned, I've come to realise the need to excercise a bit of caution. Not everyone gets the joke. Not everyone can differentiate between irony and conviction. Not everyone hears things in context. This has turned into a rant, sorry Joe! No doubt you understand my point, thanks for your time mate. . . Your comrade in the war against ignorance and miscellaneous bad stuff,
Craig

(Note: Dear Craig, Sorry for the misunderstanding. Being a founding member of the performing group, DIFFICULTWOMEN for over 22 years, and a strong advocate of women's rights over the past three decades, I wasn't intending to make derogatory comments about women, per say, or to further reinforce the patriarchal paradigm . . . . . all I meant to do was to talk about YO MAMA, fool! Peace, bro. Boom boom.)

Hi Joe,
We liked the Yo' Mama section. I have a big thick book in French of sayings like that.  Very entertaining.
Maggie

Open Letter: Earth Will Survive, Will We?

(Anyone is welcome to use the following letter, with your own name, in your area of the country.  Send it on to those you think could use it. I have forwarded my signed copy on to the Senators and MPs in Canberra. The more the merrier!)

Earth Day, April 22, is less about the protection of Earth and more about sustaining humanity. Earth will be fine. It's been here about 4.56 billion years. We, modern humans, have been here only 150,000 years or so. The family of humans, hominids, have been here 5 to 6 million years.
 
Should we continue to destroy the conditions that support life, nature - which couldn't care less - will eliminate us. After we're gone, the environment, ecological systems, and biosphere of Earth will restore and regenerate.
 
There are approximately 6.5 billion humans. We add about 1.5 million more of us to the planet weekly(!). It is estimated that in 2050, our population will be 9.1 billion. Because we do not understand our reality and its behavioral demands, we have created an interrelated web of life-threatening environmental problems.
 
We are depleting our resources: forests, fisheries, range lands and crop lands. We're destroying our biological diversity on which evolution thrives. The sixth 'great extinction' is occurring right now. It's the first caused by other than natural causes (meteors). It's caused by us.
 
With powerful new pumping techniques, we're draining our aquifers and lowering our water tables. Systemically, we are polluting our air, water and soil and consequently our food chain. We are depleting our stratospheric ozone that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
 
We're experiencing symptoms of global warming: heat waves, devastating droughts, dying forest, accelerated species destruction, destruction of coral reefs, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, more frequent and intense storms, and rapid spread of diseases.
 
Human life, fragile, is not guaranteed. It depends on our personal choices and the decisions of leaders. Enlightened leadership is crucialand rare. We're in trouble.
 
Sincerely,
Joe Dolce

Circle of Life's Planet Bus Hits the Road!
by Brie Mathews & Alissa Hauser

Soon to roll through a town near you, Circle of Life's Spring 2005 We the Planet tour leaves our homebase in Oakland on April 12th. The Planet Bus will log 6,000 miles on a recycled vegetable oil-powered engine, reaching out to communities all over the country and returning to Oakland in late May. . . Thanks to our mechanics, the Planet Bus was converted to run on 100% recycled vegetable oil, aided with 100% biodiesel (B100). The B100 is only used on engine start-ups and shutdowns in order to raise engine temperature to a level that allows for the smooth transition to the veggie oil . . . Feeding the power to the bus's electrical system (including appliances) are solar panels and 100% vegetable oil generators that kick in only when the capacity of the solar panels are exceeded. The solar project relied on the generosity and technical expertise of Gary Gerber and the good people at Sun Light & Power who even wired the bus floor in such a way as to utilize the heat from the engine to warm the flooring. article

The Beauty of Wind Farms
By David Suzuki

Off the coast of British Columbia in Canada is an island called Quadra, where I have a cabin that is as close to my heart as you can imagine. From my porch on a good day you can see clear across the waters of Georgia Strait to the snowy peaks of the rugged Coast Mountains. It is one of the most beautiful views I have seen. And I would gladly share it with a wind farm.

But sometimes it seems like I'm in the minority. All across Europe and North America, environmentalists are locking horns with the wind industry over the location of wind farms. In Alberta, one group is opposing a planned wind farm near Cypress Hills Provincial Park, claiming it would destroy views of the park and disturb some of the last remaining native prairie in the province. In the UK more than 100 national and local groups, led by some of the country's most prominent environmentalists, have argued that wind power is inefficient, destroys the ambience of the countryside and makes little difference to carbon emissions. And in the US, the Cape Wind Project, which would site 130 wind turbines off the coast of affluent Cape Cod, Massachusetts, has come under fire from famous liberals, including Senator Edward Kennedy and Walter Cronkite.

It is time for some perspective. With the growing urgency of climate change, we cannot have it both ways. We cannot shout from the rooftops about the dangers of global warming and then turn around and shout even louder about the "dangers" of windmills. article

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,
Lull'd by the moonlight have all pass'd away!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea
Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelie;
Over the streamlet vapors are borne,
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

 

Stephen Collins Foster wrote the lyrics and music for Beautiful Dreamer in 1862. The song lay dormant in a publisher's office for two years. It was a soldier's morphine-dulled description of his battlefield amputation and feverish vision of the angel of mercy who nursed him. Foster was the first American composer to support himself solely by writing music. He wrote more than 200 songs in his short lifetime. Seven songs were outstanding and were recognized worldwide: Way Down Upon the Swanee River, My Old Kentucky Home, Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair, Old Black Joe, Oh Susanna, Nellie Was a Lady and Beautiful Dreamer. They were endorsed by the historic National Folk Music Association. But Foster became a pauper. At the age of forty years old, he was penniless and living on the bowery in New York City. He suffered a fall, one cold January night, and was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he died January 13, 1864, from the injuries. Shortly after his death, Beautiful Dreamer was published. Had he lived, the song would have changed his fortune. Beautiful Dreamer became his legacy and is one of the most enduring songs in musical history.

Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world
By David Keys and Nicholas Pyke

Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of papyrus scraps bearing long-lost words by the literary giants of Greece and Rome. For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.

Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed. In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament. article
(thanks for the above two items to Maireid Sullivan)

JOKE

When Charles De Gaulle decided to retire from public life, the British ambassador and his wife threw a gala dinner party in his honor. At the dinner table the Ambassador's wife was talking with Madame De Gaulle: "Your husband has been such a prominent public figure, such a presence on the French and International scene for so many years ! How quiet retirement will seem in comparison. What are you most looking forward to in these retirement years ?" "A penis", replied Madame De Gaulle. A huge hush fell over the table. Everyone heard her answer... and no one knew what to say next. Le Grand Charles leaned over to his wife and said: "Ma cherie, I believe ze English pronounce zat word, 'appiness!'

Hyping Terror For Fun, Profit - And Power
by Thom Hartmann

What if there really was no need for much - or even most - of the Cold War? What if, in fact, the Cold War had been kept alive for two decades based on phony WMD threats?

What if, similarly, the War On Terror was largely a scam, and the administration was hyping it to seem larger-than-life? What if our "enemy" represented a real but relatively small threat posed by rogue and criminal groups well outside the mainstream of Islam? What if that hype was done largely to enhance the power, electability, and stature of George W. Bush and Tony Blair?

And what if the world was to discover the most shocking dimensions of these twin deceits - that the same men promulgated them in the 1970s and today?

It happened. article

(thanks to Stephen Ross)

Women Need Not Apply
by Mary Zeiss Stange

 

Amid the welter of speculations surrounding the conclave that convenes Monday in Vatican City to select the next pope, one fact is certain: No women will be involved in the process. Indeed, the College of Cardinals is the most exclusive, and arguably the most powerful, assembly in the modern world that can still get away with such systematic gender discrimination. The cardinal-electors might as well post a "No Girls Allowed" sign on the Sistine Chapel door as it swings shut behind them. article

Life Span Calculator

Based on your current situation, it calculates your expected life span. We never know when we will die, but this calculates the odds and lets you know what you can do now to increase your lifespan. Some of you are already doing a lot. It's very interesting. article
(thanks to Dai Woosnam)

Bob Jones University

 

(Ed. Note: This Christian college is not so remarkable for what you are allowed to do . . . rather, look at what you are NOT allowed to do . . . especially the last item.)

Established in 1927 by evangelist Bob Jones Sr., Bob Jones University is known as the citadel of biblical Christianity for its adherence to the Bible as mankind's only source of faith and Christian practice. Throughout his travels, Dr. Bob Jones Sr. saw students whose faith was shaken during college, and he recognized the need for a thoroughly Christian school to train America's youth. His vision was to establish a training center for Christians from around the world that would be distinguished by its academic excellence, refined standards of behavior, and opportunities to appreciate the performing and visual arts. At the same time, Dr. Jones's intent was to make a place where Christ would be the center of all thought and conduct.

Residence Hall Life - What Not to Bring:

* Posters of movie and music stars and fashion models are not permitted. The subjects of personal photos should exhibit the modesty and appropriate physical contact we expect from our students.
* Music must be compatible with the University's music standards:
* New Age, jazz, rock, and country music is not permitted.
* Contemporary Christian music is not permitted (e.g., Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman, WOW Worship, and so forth).
* Televisions and DVD/videocassette players are not permitted in the residence halls; computer DVD players may not be used to view movies.
* You may not possess or play computer and video games rated T, M, or A or having elements of blood and gore, sensual or demonic themes, or featuring suggestive dress, bad language, or rock music.
* Due to space considerations, appliances such as mini-refrigerators and microwaves are not permitted in residence hall rooms. A refrigerator for medical-related needs and microwaves are provided in each residence hall.
* Residence hall students may not watch videos above a G rating when visiting homes in town and may not attend movie theaters.
* All weapons must be turned in for storage. Trigger locks are required for pistols. Fireworks are not permitted on campus.
website
(thanks to John Jacobs)

What Does Love Mean?

 

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca - age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are  like that. They look gross when they kiss" Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." Bobby - age 7

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka - age 6

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked  at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.  He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore." Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody . You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine - age 5

Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross." Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." Jessica - age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find  the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"
(Thanks to Jan and Terumi)

RECIPES

Roasted Cauliflower With Gruyere Cheese Sauce

Roasting the cauliflower first with olive oil, salt and pepper, then topping it with a gruyere cheese sauce gives this dish its unique flavor.

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and black pepper
parsley for garnish

Sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese

Method:
Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss together cauliflower florets, olive oil and salt and pepper. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until tender. Near the end of roasting time, in medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour until blended and slightly browned. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth.
Add salt and pepper and simmer for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cheese until melted and well blended. Place cauliflower on serving platter and spoon sauce on top. Sprinkle with parsley for garnish.

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Chestnuts and Sautéed Beet Greens

Ingredients:
3 links of Italian Sausage
pine nuts, toasted
small-medium greens from 4 beets
large clove of garlic
olive oil
half fresh red chillie, chopped
20 fresh chestnuts
parmesan cheese, grated
parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
500 gr spaghetti

Method:
Cut an X in the flat side of each chestnut, boil in some water for 10 minutes, and peel, one at a time, leaving the remainder in the water. The chestnuts are easier to peel if they are hot. Peel the outer skin and as much of the inner brown skin as you can. Set aside.
Bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Put a little oil in a frying pan and cook the sausages for a couple of minutes. Then cut them into one inch pieces and continue frying until a little crispy on the outside and cooked through out. Set aside. Put one tablespoon of oil, the red chillies and the chestnuts in the same pan and cook for about two minutes until cooked through. Salt liberally and set aside. Put another tablespoon of oil in the same pan, the garlic and the beet greens and cook a couple of minutes until they wilt and soften. Combine the sausage and the chestnuts in the pan with the beet greens and a couple more tablespoons of oil and cover to keep warm. Turn off heat. Place the pasta in the water. Stir frequently. Cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and toss in the pan with the sausage, chestnuts and beet greens. Serve on a plate with grated parmesan cheese and parsley to garnish.

Twigs
 
And so
 it has taken me
 all of sixty years
 to understand
 that water is the finest drink,
 and bread the most delicious food,
 and that art is worthless
 unless it plants
 a measure of splendor in people's hearts.
 
~ Taha Muhammad Ali ~
 (Never Mind, translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi, and Gabriel Levin.)

 

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