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February 4th, 2005

Geed and Karta

" Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 19,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps only weigh 1.5 tons. "
Popular Mechanics, March 1949

Hey Folks,

I'll be popping in to the Carnevale on Lygon St, Carlton, this Sunday Feb 6th, for a spot in the Tsunami Aid Benefit for the Red Cross, with John Barresi, La Voce Della Luna, Kavisha Mazzella, and others. John is the MC for the Main Stage. Music is from 2 - 10 pm and I'm on around 6 pm.

This week I thought I feature more humour and recipes than usual, as I'm in goofy kind of mood. (I've found some thought provoking recipes for you, too!) Joe

Favourite Reader Comments of the Week

Hey Joe,
Would you be as kind as to clear up a little matter for us pls Did you or did you not keep Ultravox off the No.1 spot all them years ago? My colleagues think I am wrong.. Nice website Cheers 

(Note: True. A few of my favourite quotes from that infamous bun fight are as follows:)

' You wouldn't talk about Churchill and not mention World War II, so why review Joe Dolce's 'Shaddap You Face' and not mention the song's finest moment, 'gotta no respect'? Lest we forget, the dullingly dull 'Vienna' by Ultravox was heading for Number One when the boy Dolce put in a fine late tackle to consign Midge and the lads to the bridesmaid's slot. Joe Dolce, we salute you!'' Q Magazine, UK

'That man and his song have plagued us around the world.' Midge Ure, Ultravox, 1981

'That was a good song. I wish I'd written it.' Midge Ure, Ultravox, 15 years later

(Note: One of my wishes for the 25th Silver Anniversary of Shaddap is to get an acoustic cover version of Midge singing it! If anyone in the UK knows him, ask him to put a quick version down and send it to me.)

G'day Joe,
Been an avid reader since I was put on your list by the songwriters assoc. (I think?) or ASIO I'm not really sure, but I do enjoy your input on the world and your many contributors' offerings. I am also a musician-songwriter-music teacher so your many relevant snippets get copy/pasted to my students of every age-group! . . . . keep up the good work and as Arnold Schoenberg pointed out to George Gershwin on the eve of Rhapsody in Blue's debut performance; "there is not a statue erected anywhere in the world to a Critic!"
Steve Johns BA Mus

(Note: I recall another interesting story about Schoenberg. A famous Hollywood director once wrote and asked him if he would be interested in scoring a movie for him. Schoenberg wrote back that he would prefer to compose the musical score first, and asked if the director could make his film to fit the music. The director never got back. I know the feeling.)

G'day joe,
Thanks for your newsletter- i dont know who enrolled me on your list, but i always read it through. just a comment here,  re: camels, and the quote about there being only a few camels in the wild-- not true, big time. there are at least 500,000 of them living in the wild in australia  check it out-
Ironic isnt it- they are extinct in all the places they are native to, but thriving in australia-  this fact sheet even says that they dont seem to be a big environmental problem, that they do less damage than cattle and horses- and yes, your song about shaddapping your face made a deep and lasting impression on me too- regards, jim newman

Dear Joe,
Wow! Is that really you? Fabulosity! I can hardly type I'm soooooo thrilled. However, I am surprised by your emu suggestion. (ed. How to locate an emu egg.) Squeezing an emu? Not only would the great bird peck the heck out of me, but this smacks of animal cruelty. And an unhappy emu = curdled eggs, no? I don't think the joeys in London Zoo qualify as free-range. But there may be some bouncing around Sussex. I've certainly seen llamas down there (perhaps you have a recipe for Llama a La Dolce?).
Ps, I forgot to mention, I'll be throwing a Shaddap! party on March 4th to coincide with your 25th anniversary concert (wish I could be there to see you). I shall be cooking celebratory 'Joey Dolce'. thanks again. In 'your face',
Emma Pomfret, UK

(Note: Well, I'm always thrilled to meet someone whose thrilled to meet me! Especially when they have the name of a famous and tasty fish. Emma Pomfret is a respected journalist in the UK and so, in hopes that she might speak well of me in future articles, I've also featured a special Llama recipe down below, just for her: Mama's Llama, - and, as she IS from the UK, home of those infernal music polls, (wink wink nudge nudge say no more), a cut-above recipe for fish and chips, Pomfret with Pomme Frites. Mange.)

The Humour of Stephen Wright 1
What's the youngest you can die of old age?

Carnal Knowledge 1
"Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship." - Sharon Stone

Our Velvet Revolution
by Granny D

(Doris "Granny D" Haddock is celebrating her 95th birthday (Jan. 24) with a quick speaking tour in Florida over the next few days and then speaking at the January 20th Inauguration Day Protests in Washington, D.C.)

. . . But as for our freedom, what do we have left of it? No man or woman is free whose life is built upon the suffering of others. Slavery enslaves the master more than the slave, for the master is enslaved in mind as well as body. And so we take off our shoes at the airport and are too dumbed-down to think why, and we send our children to factory schools that are the abattoirs of their tender imaginations and grand potentials, and we are too hypnotized to think much of it. We bow our heads to our bosses, without the clear minds to mourn for our human dignity, for we dare not miss a paycheck or else the credit card and mortgage bales on our backs will come crushing down on us, and that is all that matters, we have been programmed to believe, not think.
Our lives have been stolen; we have no place to go, no meaningful choices--only meaningless, consumer choices. Decide to live the life of a poet, or a farmer, or a vagabond, or a philosopher, and count the cost of that. Can you afford it--can you afford freedom? Are you free to make big changes in your life, or do you have too many obligations to others? . . .
. . . .The sharing of email and our occasional standing together in protests is the best we . . . can do to create the community of democracy and raise the barricades of its defense. Or is it? We tend to fall into the politics of victimization and anger. We are defensive, when in fact our only real success must come from another way: from the promotion and spreading of a lifestyle that we model with lives of joy and justice and sustainable common sense . . .
(thanks to Maireid Sullivan)

The Humour of Stephen Wright 2
I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.

Carnal Knowledge 2
 "There's a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling.  So, what's the problem?"- Dustin Hoffman

The Last Word on Fascism in the United States
(a little flash movie that sums it all up) movie
(thanks to Joe Simonetta)

Carnal Knowledge 3
 "There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, 'I know what I'm doing. Just show me somebody naked'."   - Jerry Seinfeld

An elderly couple had been dating for some time and decided it was finally time to marry. Before the wedding, they had a long conversation regarding how their marriage might work. They discussed finances, living arrangements and so on. Finally the old man decided it was time to broach the subject of their physical relationship. "How do you feel about sex?" he asked, rather hopefully. "Well, I'd have to say I like it infrequently," she responded. The old guy paused... then he asked, "Was that one word or two?

Carnal Knowledge 4
" It's been so long since I've had sex, I've forgotten who ties up whom." - Joan Rivers


A mother passing by her daughter's bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then she saw an envelope propped up prominently on the center of the bed.  It was addressed, "Mom."  With the worst premonition, she opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:
" Dear Mom,  It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new boyfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you. I've been finding real passion with John and he is so nice, even with all his piercing, tattoos, beard, and his motorcycle clothes But it's not only the passion mom, I'm pregnant and John said that we will be very happy.  He already owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. He wants to have many more children with me and that's now one of my dreams too.  John taught me that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone and we'll be growing it for us and trading it with his friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so John can get better; he sure deserves it!  Don't worry Mom, I'm 15 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Some day I'm sure we'll be back to visit so you can get to know your grandchildren. 
 Your daughter,  Judith 
PS: Mom, none of the above is true. I'm over at the neighbor's house.  I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card that's in my desk center drawer. I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home.
(thanks to Joe Creighton)

The Humour of Stephen Wright 3
I had a friend who was a clown. When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.

Carnal Knowledge 5
 " You don't appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman. Stuff you pay good money for in later life."    - Elmo Phillips

Mind Reading Puzzler
Here's another tidbit from Stephen. If anyone can figure out how this is done, be sure to let me know! This is a mind-blower. Click Here!

The Humour of Stephen Wright 4
I want to get a tattoo of myself on my entire body, only 2 inches taller.

Carnal Knowledge 6
 " Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same."    - Oscar Wilde

To the Tax office

This is a real letter that a farmer in County Longford posted to the Taxation office in Ireland in reply to an income tax demand, explaining why he had not paid tax for several years.

Dear Sirs,

Your letter arrived this morning in an open envelope and it would have given the son and myself pleasure had it not revived in us a melancholy reflection of what has gone before. You say you thought the account could have been settled long ago, and you could not understand why it hadn't.

Well, here are the reasons:

In 1987 I purchased a hay shed on credit.

In 1988 I bought a combine harvester, a manure spreader, two horses, a double barrel shifter, two cows and ten razorback pigs, also on credit.

In 1989 the bloody hay shed burnt to the ground leaving not a damn thing. I got no insurance either as the bloody premium had lapsed. One of the horses went lame and I loaned the other one to my brother who starved the poor bugger to death.

In 1990 my father died and my brother was put away when he tried to marry one of his sheep named Hilda. A knacker got my daughter pregnant and I had to pay him a grand to stop him becoming one of my relatives.

In 1991 my son got the mumps which spread to his balls and he had to be castrated to save his life. Later in the year I went fishing on the Shannon and the bloody boat overturned, drowning two of my sons, neither being the bloody eunuch who was by now wearing his sisters make-up and dresses. Not long after, he emigrated to America with the new parish priest. They are now married and trying for children.

In 1992 my wife ran away with a pig jobber from Drumlish and left me with newborn twins as a souvenir and I had to get a housekeeper, so I married her to keep down expenses. I had a hell of a job getting her pregnant (to qualify for more children's allowance). I went to see the doctor. He advised me to create some excitement at the crucial moment, so that night I brought my shotgun to bed and when I thought the moment was right I leaned out of bed and shot both barrels through the window. The wife shat the bed, I ruptured myself, and the next morning I found I had blown both doors off the barn, shot my best dairy cow and killed the bloody knacker who was in the hay loft with my daughter trying to get more money out of me, which he did because I had to pay for the bastard's funeral expenses.

The next year, 1993, someone cut the balls off my prize bull, poisoned the water, and set fire to the house. I was bollixed and took to the drink and did not stop until all I had left was a pocket watch and a weak bladder. Winding the watch and running for a p*ss kept me busy for a time.

This year I took heart again and bought (on the hire purchase) a bulldozer, tractor and trailer and a new bull. Then the Shannon flooded and washed the bloody lot away, my second wife got V.D. from a land inspector and my last surviving son died from wiping his arse on a poisoned rabbit. I also had to put down four dogs who were worrying the sheep.

It surprises me very much that you say you will cause trouble if I don't pay up. If you can think of anything I've missed, I should like to know about it. Trying to get money out of me will be like trying to poke butter up a hedgehog's hole with a red hot needle. I'm praying for a cloud of cat's shite to pass your way and I hope it will fall on you and the bastards in your office who sent me this final demand.

Yours for more credit,
John Murphy
(thanks to Jim Testa)

The Humour of Stephen Wright 5
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Carnal Knowledge 8
 " It isn't premarital sex - if you have no intention of getting married."    - George Burns
(thanks to Stephen Ross) 


Chitarra Bolognese with Star Anise and Fresh Coriander
If anyone loves the fragrance of Vietnamese Pho (star anise, basically), then you will love this combination.

Olive oil
1 kg ground beef or mince
1 onion, diced
2 lemon grass stalks, white part, cut in halves
4 whole star anise
medium piece fresh ginger, thickly sliced
1 litre of tomato puree
125 ml brandy
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste
Spaghetti alla chitarra

Heat oil in crockpot. Cook minced beef until brown. Add onion, lemon grass, star anise, garlic and ginger and toss for about 10 minutes. Add brandy and tomato puree. Bring to boil, lower to simmer and cook on low heat for about 1 hour. Add a little water if necessary. At the end of the cooking time, add the salt and pepper to taste. Serve with spaghetti alla chirarra with fresh chopped coriander over the top. (No parmesean cheese.)


Pomfret contribute one of the main groups of table fish in India. They are found every where in the tropical sea of the Indo-pacific region. Though the pomfret occur all along the coast of India, the main area of abundance are Gujrat, Bombay coasts on the west coast and Orissa and lower West Bengal on east coast. Of these, the major landings are from Gujrat fish landings. The following three species contribute fishery in Indian waters: Pampus argentius (Sliver pomfret), Pampus chinesis (Chinese pomfret) and Parastromateus niger (Black pomfret). Pomfrets feed on macro zooplankton; salpids, hydromedusae forming the major items. The juveniles feed mainly on small crustaceans. E.g. acetes, lucifer etc. the pomfret appears to be mid water species, which leads a BOTTOM LIFE (boom boom!) during the earlier immature stages and the change of habitat may be one of the reasons for the change in their food habits.

Deep-Fried Pomfret
(Ca Xot Ngot) Vietnamese

150 g Rice flour
50 g Corn flour
1 teaspoon Caster sugar
1/4 Ground turmeric
2 Spring onions, green part, finely chopped
2 Egg whites, whisked until frothy
125 ml Cold water
1/2 cup Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
4 Pomfret, filleted

Sift the rice flour, corn flour and sugar into a large bowl with a pinch of turmeric. Stir in the spring onions, egg whites and water. Combine thoroughly to make a batter. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Coat the pomfret fillets in the batter and fry them, in batches for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with pomme frites and Thai sweet chili sauce.

Peel potatoes completely. This is important, because the skin impacts a heavier taste, not the typically light pommes frites flavor. Cut into strips, and soak in cold water from 10 minutes to overnight - you want to soak the starch out so the potatoes don't burn on the outside or become too soft inside. Drain and dry. Blanch at a low temperature (250° to 280°F) in vegetable oil until the outside begins to turn white (right before it starts to brown). Drain, then steam in steamer for one minute. Fry at a high temperature (350° to 360°F) until golden brown.


A FEW LEFT OF CENTRE RECIPES (for those of you who are left)

Mama's Llama


1kg/2.2 lbs Braising or Stewing llama, cubed
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 teasp Cumin Powder
Salt and Black Pepper
3 tbsp ghee
1 large Onion, chopped
approx 480ml/16 fl.oz. llama Stock
1 tbsp freshly chopped Coriander leaves (cilantro)
400g/14oz Spinach, roughly chopped
180ml/6fl.oz. Water
150g/5oz fresh green peas
1 large Potato
The zest of 1 Lime

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, cumin salt and pepper. Place the llama meat in a large dish, add the garlic mixture and mix well with your hands. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan, add the meat and brown on all sides. Add onions and cook, stirring until soft and transparent. Add 240ml/8fl.oz. of the stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat slightly and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring from time to time and adding more stock as necessary. Place the spinach and coriander in a food processor or blender together with 180ml/6fl.oz. of water and process until smooth. Set aside. Peel the potato and cut into small cubes then add to the cooked meat together with the spinach mixture. Mix well and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender. Add the fresh peas cook for a further 5 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the lime zest. Serve hot with white rice.

(penis of ox or bull) Yemini Dish


500 grams penis
black pepper
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion chopped
cloves of garlic

Scald the penis and clean it.  Boil 10 minutes, remove and slice. Brown the onion, garlic, coriander in oil.  Add penis and fry.  Mix (and add) chopped tomato, pepper, cumin, saffron and salt.  cover the pot.  Cook over low flame 2 hours, adding a little water from time to
time to prevent burning.  Serve hot.  Season with hilbeh.

Note: Hilbeh is a mixture of ground fenugreek seeds that have been soaked in water for two hours, drained, mixed with tomato puree and a little zhuq.

Note to the note: Zhuq is a spicy mixture of ground black pepper, caraway seed, cardamom, dried red peppers, garlic, and fresh coriander. (Got all that?)

(horse rectum) Kazakhstan Dish


100 g of karta
green pepper or dill to taste

The thick part of the rectum is washed without removing fat, then carefully turned inside out so that the fat should be inside, washed once more and tied up on both sides. (Karta can also be dried and smoked. To dry it, karta is strewed with fine salt and kept in a cool place for 1-2 days. Then hung uo to dry. Karta is smoked during 24 hours, then dried during 2-3 days.) After washing it well, karta is boiled for 2 hours on slow fire. Before serving, it is cut in rings and decorated with green pepper or dill. Enjoy!

(From Cariadocís Miscellany - Fifteenth Century recipe)

Take faire Garbage, chikenes hedes, ffete, lyvers, And gysers, and wassh hem clene; caste hem into a faire potte, And caste fressh broth of Beef, powder of Peper, Canell, Clowes, Maces, Parcely and Sauge myced small; then take brede, stepe hit in + e same brothe, Drawe hit thorgh a streynour, cast thereto, And lete boyle ynowe; caste there-to pouder ginger, vergeous, salt, And a litull Safferon, And serve hit forthe. (Note: Probably goes well with Penis of Bull, a side of Horse Rectum and a nice Chianti!)


The Real Work
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
~ Wendell Berry ~
 (Collected Poems)





p.s. The Humour of Stephen Wright 6
If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer ???????????