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December 2nd, 2005



'I haven't heard sounds like that since the orphanage burned down.'
Mark Twain, to a journalist, after an opera in San Francisco



Dear Folks,

'Papers Pleeeeeeeze!!' I just got back from a week in Cologne, and I was dying to say that little phrase to German Immigration as I went through, but I thought better of it. With the occasional terrorist cell being traced back to Berlin, I might have found myself in some damp cement cubicle getting an anal probe with a scale model of the Hindenburg. I also was reminded of the little tidbit that I read about a Virgin airlines passenger: "I shared a flight to New York with Eddie Izzard last week. At immigration Eddie was dragged off to a private room for further questioning over a 'parole issue'. After about 45 minutes one immigration officer came out looking cross and puzzled and asked his fellow officers - " 'Has anyone heard of Eddie Izzard? He's some weird British guy in there claiming to be a comedian but he's not making any of us laugh.'" (thanks to popbitch)


After performing for the great Troubadour Weekend festival, in Victoria, weekend before last, I immediately flew Emirates Airlines to Germany and arrived 21 hours later, in Cologne, for a pre-record of the Ultimate Chart Show's New Year's Eve Special, with Bananarama, Irene Cara, Jimmy Sommerville (of Bronski Beat,) and Manfred Mann. On my one day off, Channel Four UK flew a crew over to tape another interview and a 'paparazzi ambush' at my hotel for an upcoming program in the UK. The very next day, I flew back 21 hours to Melbourne, arriving home at 1 am, just in time to have a few hours sleep, a hot bath, grab some guitars, pack a bottle of Glenlivet French Reserve 15 Year Old Single Malt (picked up in duty-free in Dubai) and drive the two hours to the Queenscliff Festival for an evening concert! I was groggy but fired up! When it rains, it pours.


Dubai was an eye-opener. The airport was packed with angry looking fundamentalist muslim men sitting four seats apart from their black burqa-cacooned wives. If anyone is under any illusion that feminism is no longer relevant, I suggest you stop in Dubai for a few hours and strike up a discussion with one of these lovely couples. The last time I transited there was in 1981, and the place was crawling with army troops brandishing Kalishikovs. But Dubai is actually now more like Las Vegas. The transit lounge has a shopping area the size of a department store. I got myself a 'Lorenzo of Arabia' ghutra and agal (
Middle Eastern headdress) and a white dish-dash robe, and I surprised my partner Lin with a black chador and veil, (called a sheila, believe it or not!) I'd love to get all dressed up in our new gear, take Lin into the local Carlton mosque and whisper, in my best Peter O'Toole accent, 'We want . . . two large glasses of lemonade.' (listen here to see how to say it properly:) lemonade.wav

Favourite Reader Comments of the Week

Re: I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg . . .
Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed TYPOGLYCEMIA :) -
Evie (boom boom!)

Hey Joe,
Re: Thundabox - 'Here To Ruffle Ya Feathers'
I googled my band ThundaBox and ended up at your website under your Newsletter Archive -
The alBum is actually called: Here To Ruffle Ya FATHERS! Dig your website - although some of your ingredients are extremely hard to come by ... I was in the butchers the other day and the guy started dialling the cops! Anyways keep rockin, catch ewe sune,

Dear Joe,
Re: If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"? - One thousand.
Not one hundred and one? -
John C. and Ian B.

Dear Joe,
I would like to buy a CD from you: Gift (from one Iraqi Child). I have been speaking against the war since my son's death.  Before my speeches, I'd like to play part of it, and at the same time promote the song, it really is one of my favorites. . . . it will be heard before and at the end of the evening. I speak with Ray McGovern who was a CIA analyst for 27 years, he definitely has much to say against this government. Thank you again for your interest and your work as well. I believe that we can stop this killing machine. Will you accept a copy of my documentary? After my son's death I traveled to the Middle East to meet with Iraqi Mothers and in the process started a bridge of Peace, mother to mothers, people to people. InPeacefulService.
Nadia McCaffrey (GOLDSTAR MOTHER * Nadia McCaffrey-International [NMCI] NGO Peace Program for Refugees Women and Children. GoldStarSpeak Speakers Bureau, a peaceful , pro-people organization. Founder of Angelstaff, a 501c3 charitable nonprofit corporation. An all volunteer service for people at the end of life. Workshops coaching in consciousness raising, and awareness with living and dying, a nonprofit Corporation. Home: 209-830 9955 cell: 209-814 7182 www.angelstaff.org Mother of Sergeant Patrick McCaffrey, 34, father of 2 young children, husband of Silvia. An American Patriot, fallen near Balad, Iraq, in an ambush. Patrick was shot by Insurgents, multiple times and died June 22, 2004. Patrick is the first combat death in 58 years history of the California National Guard's 579 Engineer Battalion, based in Petaluma, Ca. "Casualty" 848)

(Note: I sent Nadia a CD of GIFT with compliments. I can't think of a greater honour for a songwriter than the one this wonderful Gold Star Mother has given me.)

A few days ago a friend asked me to stop sending him articles on Iraq and politics. His reason was that he didn't know what use they were to him as he could do nothing about it all and it just made him angry. The following article explains why it is so important to keep sending these articles on to as many people as you can. I think it's the face of the new cohesive protest movement that everybody decries the lack of in today's world. Digital dissent in an information age!! 
Mainstream Journalism is the Voice of Rampant Power
By John Pilger

'The media are like seagulls - they're always looking for a chip.' Max Markson, Agent to the Stars

The Indian writer Vandana Shiva has called for an "insurrection of subjugated knowledge." The insurrection is well under way. In trying to make sense of a dangerous world, millions of people are turning away from the traditional sources of news and information and to the World Wide Web, convinced that mainstream journalism is the voice of rampant power. The great scandal of Iraq has accelerated this. In the United States, several senior broadcasters have confessed that had they challenged and exposed the lies told about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, instead of amplifying and justifying them, the invasion might not have happened. . . (article)

Re: Fatwa
I've wondered since 9/11 why those in the worldwide Muslim community weren't standing up and protesting the hijacking of their religion by the extremists who twisted it to justify their heinous actions. Then again, I could also ask why Christians in this country haven't stood up and shouted down the far-right Christian Conservatives who espouse cutting aid to those most in need, cutting taxes to those least in need and waging war (in some form or another) against all who have the temerity to not share their beliefs . . .I thought it encouraging that King Abdullah of Jordan came out with this statement after the recent attack in Amman:
King Abdullah also urged the world's Muslims to reject the "heretics" who espouse terror, saying the long-term battle to defeat extremism required a cultural shift, according to remarks published Wednesday. Abdullah said in an interview with Milan daily Corriere della Sera that authorities throughout the Middle East must teach in schools, mosques and at all public occasions that extremists do not represent Islam.
"Our populations must ask themselves: Do those who blow themselves up in the middle of a feast with innocent elderly, women and children really represent our religion?" Abdullah said. Best,
(article 1)
(article 2)


Open Letter to George's Mama
by Cindy Sheehan

. . . . "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Barbara Bush, Good Morning America

. . . . Now I have something to tell you, Barbara. I didn't want to hear about deaths or body bags either. On April 04, 2004, three Army officers came to my house to tell me that Casey was killed in Iraq. I fell on the floor screaming and begging the cruel Angel of Death to take me too. But the Angel of Death that took my son is your son.

Casey came home in a flag draped coffin on April 10th. I used to have a beautiful mind too. Now my mind is filled with images of seeing his beautiful body in his casket and memories of burying my brave and honest boy before his life really began. Casey's beautiful mind was ended by an insurgent's bullet to his brain, but your son might as well have pulled the trigger.

Besides encouraging your son to have some honesty and courage and to finally do the right thing, don't you think you owe me and every other Gold Star parent an apology for that cruel and careless remark you made?

Your son's amazingly ignorant, arrogant, and reckless policies in Iraq are responsible for so much sorrow and trouble in this world.

Can you make him stop? Do it before more mothers' lives are needlessly and cruelly harmed. There have been too many worldwide already.


Cindy Sheehan
Mother of Casey Sheehan
Founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace
Founder of Camp Casey Peace Foundation (full letter)


Favourite Review of the Week

"I don't think I should be even telling you this. I've made a discovery."
"Sorry? And this is?"
"There's been a long-standing series of mind control experiments going on for at least thirty years. Everyone's involved."
"And.. er.. right, what form did these experiments take?"
"Bad pop records. I first became suspicious watching old footage of Joe Dolce perfoming 'Shaddap Ya Face' on Top of the Pops."
"Er, everyone needs a hobby, I suppose."
"It's simple! The military-industrial complex was experimenting with a plan to soften people's minds into unquestioning submission! Dolce, who had been programmed already, was on stage in front of the crowd to monitor their reaction! Those so-called innocent records were just government mind control drugs! Administered via the television! I can't tell you too much, but... well, as you're a friend.. watch out for the Corrs, that's all I can say."
MPK Four Foot Eight






If anyone out there is stuck for a Christmas present for that hard-to-buy-for-Italian, I have a few rare copies of my recording of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas - Italian Style,' available on my website. Get it now before the Xmas rush

TO PREVIEW (audio)




This original Canadian songwriting contest winner is now available on 'Protest Songs for A Better World,' available online here:






This is a form letter for fellow musicians and artists who are sick of getting form letter rejections from festivals, publishers etc. When you have reached the end of your tether (as I do often) - just change around a few of the details and pop this in the mail back to the administrative bot who sent one to you. Of course, you have to be prepared to burn that particular bridge for future work with that particular party - but no worries - eventually there will always be a new director who may treat you with the respect you deserve



Dear Director (or Official Pod Person who sends out form letter rejections, as the case may be),

Thank you for your 2006 Letter of Rejection, ONCE AGAIN, on behalf of THE BEARDED POD PEOPLE FOLK FESTIVAL, in regards to Joe Dolce's ANNUAL Application to Perform at next year's Festival. Unfortunately, one of the most unpleasant parts of being an artist/manager is giving festival directors such as yourself the equally bad news that had you accepted our application, we would not have been able to include your festival in our schedule this year ANYWAY, as we are already booked now for another important festival during that time period.

We have had a very high level of interest from festivals this year, with hundreds interested in our show, many of them from interstate or overseas, including prime spots at the National Folk Alliance in Austin, Texas, and major television performances in Germany and the UK. As you can well understand, an artist can sometimes be inundated with offers. This cheap photocopied rejection form letter to you is not meant to reflect on the worthiness of your festival. Many other considerations inform our decision on which festivals we accept and which ones we decline. Some festivals are of very high standard, as is your festival I'm sure (ahem!), and we have ended up finalizing only about one third of the interstate acceptances to applications submitted. We could have done another fourteen years of shows from the festivals we've had to say THE BIG NO to - but time, the extraordinary popularity of the humble artist, and the fact that senior citizenhood is rapidly approaching, puts a strict limit on the number of invitations from festivals we can accept from interstate and overseas.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but don't be discouraged and best wishes for future festivals. We will be sure to once again consider your festival SERIOUSLY for 2007, for a much higher fee of course, assuming nothing more interesting comes our way, even for less money.

Best regards,
The Joe Dolce People


Forced to Marry before Puberty, African Girls Pay Lasting Price
By Sharon LaFraniere
The New York Times

Chikutu, Malawi - Mapendo Simbeye's problems began early last year when the barren hills along Malawi's northern border with Tanzania rejected his attempts to grow even cassava, the hardiest crop of all. So to feed his wife and five children, he said, he went to his neighbor, Anderson Kalabo, and asked for a loan. Mr. Kalabo gave him 2,000 kwacha, about $16. The family was fed. But that created another problem: how could Mr. Simbeye, a penniless farmer, repay Mr. Kalabo? The answer would shock most outsiders, but in sub-Saharan Africa's rural patriarchies, it is deeply ingrained custom. Mr. Simbeye sent his 11-year-old daughter, Mwaka, a shy first grader, down one mangy hillside and up the next to Mr. Kalabo's hut. There she became a servant to his first wife, and, she said, Mr. Kalabo's new bed partner.
Now 12, Mwaka said her parents never told her she was meant to be the second wife of a man roughly three decades her senior. "They said I had to chase birds from the rice garden," she said, studying the ground outside her mud-brick house. "I didn't know anything about marriage." Mwaka ran away, and her parents took her back after six months. But a week's journey through Malawi's dry and mountainous north suggests that her escape is the exception. In remote lands like this, where boys are valued far more than girls, older men prize young wives, fathers covet dowries and mothers are powerless to intervene, many African girls like Mwaka must leap straight from childhood to marriage at a word from their fathers. Sometimes that word comes years before they reach puberty. (article)



There are two great books that I had thought would be too difficult for movies to be made from: 'The Queen's Gambit,' by Walter Tevis, (author of 'The Hustler,') - and 'Perfume,' by Patrick Susskind. The former because it is about a girl chess prodigy, where most of the action takes place in her head, visualizing chess positions and layers upon layers of chess move options - brilliant, if you play chess, but not a lot of physical action. One of my all time favourite books. (Of course, I have just heard about the new fusion sport-game called 'Chess Boxing.' Apparently, you make a certain number of moves on the board against your opponent - and then both of you jump in the ring and spar for awhile. You can either win by checkmate or a knockout. That ought to pep things up a bit for the average punter.)

The other 'impossible' book ( I thought) to make a film out of is 'Perfume,' the story of a serial killer named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, with a super-human sense of smell, obsessed with creating the perfect perfume by distilling the essence of beautiful virgins. It's all about fragrance, and therefore, I assumed, not ideal for a visual medium, such as film - except for perhaps some future development in Smell-O-rama. But Tom Tykwer, the director of 'Run Lola Run,' has been given the green light and a 60 million dollar budget to attempt to turn this book into a movie. (Maybe Chanel could do a tie-in Scratch-n-Sniff card?)



Statements from Executed Offenders
Texas Department of Criminal Justice


 " Yes sir.  I would like to apologize to the victim's family and all the grief I have caused them.  I would like to say I love the girls next to them.  Praise the Lord.  Let's go, Warden.  That's it." Robert Dale Rowell - Execution date: November 15, 2005 (site)




Catholic Priest Pin-Up Calendar


Financial Advice For the Day

In 2001, if you had bought $1000.00 of One-Tel stock, it would now be worth about $9.00 to you as an unsecured creditor if you are lucky. In 2002 if you had bought HIH stock, you would have about $6.50 left of the original $1,000.00. In 2003 if you had gone overseas and bought ENRON you would have less than $5.00 left. But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of Beer only one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminium recycling price, you  would have $24.00. Based on the above, the best investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.
(thanks to Bigruss)




Pete Townsend, (guitarist and songwriter of THE WHO) has a personal Blog Website including a free serialization of his book, 'The Boy Who Heard Music.'
(Pete's Blog)





Here's a great alternative to using butter on popcorn. (In fact, it actually tastes BETTER than butter and it's GOOD for you.)

1. Make popcorn the usual way, in safflower, sunflower or olive oil. Tip: Leave the lid slightly ajar while popping to allow the steam to escape. This will make a crisper result. (Note: DO NOT POP THE POPCORN IN THE FLAXSEED OIL! Flaxseed oil should always be used raw and unheated.)

2. Sprinkle some unheated organic flaxseed oil over the top, in place of butter.

3. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Serve. (Add garlic, chillies or even whole flaxseeds, for variations.)

Flaxseed oil, used in this manner, is a tasty replacement for butter. Period. On toast with jam, promite or vegemite, on corn-on-the-cob, in mashed potatoes, etc.) Just remember never to cook it.

About Flax, Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil

I always try to keep a can of organic flaxseed oil in the fridge. The kind I use is Australian-made Stoney Creek Organic Brown cold-pressed, unrefined and GMO free.
Stoney Creek Website

The flax plant, an ancient crop, yields the fiber from which linen is woven, as well as seeds and oil. The oil, also called linseed oil, has many industrial uses-it is an important ingredient in paints, varnishes, and linoleum, for example. (Note: Ok Ok - keep reading!)
Flaxseed oil also comes in an edible form. Like olive, canola, and most other plant oils, it is highly unsaturated and, therfore, heart-healthy because it contains alpha-linolenic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is an essential fatty acid used as a source of energy by the body. It also serves as the parent substance to compounds that regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, heart rate, blood vessel dilation, the immune response, and the breakdown of fats. Essential fatty acids are also used to make brain and nerve tissue. (Note: All right!) Foods high in alpha-linolenic acid (such as walnuts and flaxseed oil) are a useful addition to the diet of anyone who wants a leaner, healthier body. Flaxseeds have yet another very interesting component-lignans - which may have antioxidant actions and anti-cancer properties. Lignans are a type of fiber, and at the same time a type of phytoestrogen - a chemical similar to the human hormone estrogen. Flaxseeds are the richest source of lignans. When you eat lignans, bacteria in the digestive tract convert them into estrogen-like substances called enterodiol and enterolactone, which are thought to have anti-tumor effects. Lignans and other flaxseed components may also have antioxidant properties - that is, they may reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals. Flaxseed oil is also nature's greatest vegetarian source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids - essential nutrients that help keep cells in peak condition, and has been used in connection with Constipation, High cholesterol and Systemic lupus erythematosus.




Today you would be ninety-seven
if you had lived, and we would all be
miserable, you and your children,
driving from clinic to clinic,
an ancient fearful hypochondriac
and his fretful son and daughter,
asking directions, trying to read
the complicated, fading map of cures.
But with your dignity intact
you have been gone for twenty years,
and I am glad for all of us, although
I miss you every day-the heartbeat
under your necktie, the hand cupped
on the back of my neck, Old Spice
in the air, your voice delighted with stories.
On this day each year you loved to relate
that the moment of your birth
your mother glanced out the window
and saw lilacs in bloom. Well, today
lilacs are blooming in side yards
all over Iowa, still welcoming you.

~ Ted Kooser ~
from Delights & Shadows