Condolences and sympathies to anyone who lost family or friends in the London bombings. I have quite a few readers in the UK and hope none of you were affected by this tragedy.
FAVOURITE READER COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
Just to say your regular e-magazine is an absolute joy, bringing a genuine ray of light into a sometimes depressing and dark day...and making me laugh very, very much. Please don't ever take me off the mailing list...we need you. warm regards, always, Agnes in London
I presume that granpa joe died of bowel cancer, from eating half a tonne of beef at a sitting? Mmmmm? Martin P.
(Note: Martin, you have astutely pointed out the typo in last week's cabbage roll recipe - the correct amount was 500 grams of ground beef, not 500 kg. I apologize and hope that it doesn't discourage you from the kitchen, as that might also explain why you had so much trouble fitting all the stuffing in the leaves, (not to mention the enormous toothpick work required to hold it all together.) However, I would still encourage you to try for the Guinness Book of World Records, for the World's Biggest Cabbagehead Roll, which could be achieved by using the original amount of 500 kg, and approx 350 cabbages, with leaves overlapping.)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 1
(Actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays)
His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
Some day you might get literate enough to read a Scientology book. Not any time soon because slander and destruction are too much fun. See you later. RS
(Note: Oops! I thought I might offend the odd Scientologist out there and I guess I have. Sigh! I will miss losing RS from the newsletter list - but all is not lost. RS and I have exchanged some lengthy and informative correspondence privately since then and it is the first time that a practicing Scientologist of over twenty years has taken the time to discuss some of the finer points of their craft with me. Yehudi Menuhin once said you can always learn more about something from someone who loves it, than from someone who doesn't. But I also recall what Matt Damon recently said in a television interview, ' Don't start asking me questions about my girlfriend, or I might jump on this chair.')
Dear Mr Dolce,
RE: The worst song in the world is not yours!
I can't understand why Shaddup You Face was victim of the ersatz poll taken by a seemingly reputable BBC2. Everyone knows the worst song ever is Stairway to Heaven. I bet if you took a survey (legit of course!) of undertakers, they would tell you it's one of the most popular songs at funerals! Messers R. Plant et. al have left a regrettable musical legacy. At least you COULD dance/sing and SMILE to your ditty! Regards, Francesco
I'm interested in buying ALL the cd you sale on your site, i believe :
Shaddap You Face.
Memoirs of a Mouth Organ.
Could you help me. Ah, I'm interested in all products available if you have other cd (or vinyl??? Better!) I probably will buy. Now I'm writing this email and I'm earing shaddap you face The vinyl edition you can believe me? It is beautiful!! I'm waiting for your answer, Michelangelo S. Italy
(Note: You have to just LOVE these kind of letters - which I get all too rarely. Personally, I haven't eared the vinyl version of my song lately, but I might dig it out - and my cobwebby turntable - and give it a self-indulgent earing. I'm preparing a big fat package for Michelangelo right now. Love your sculptures, mate.)
Hi again, Joe,
The alternative to democracy that I have in mind is what I like to call "Randomocracy", whereby political representatives are selected at random from the adult population. Still representative, still "government of the people BY the people", but replacing the current parasitic political class with actual people. It would still retain some of the worst attributes of ochlocracy (mob rule, or the tyranny of the majority), but would more closely mirror social preferences rather than the preferences of a political machine. I've written "The Randomist Manifesto" (yes, a deliberate echo of Marx - but I don't falsify my footnotes like he did). I will be distributing it towards the end of this year - once I've proofed it and expanded it. It lays out the economic and political rationales for this system (which was practiced by the ancient Athenians, using a "kleroterion" by which they chose officeholders). . . GT
(Note: This letter from GT was too long to reproduce in full but I am looking forward to The Randomist Manifesto and maybe we can offer a link to it via the newsletter, randomly, of course, when it is published.)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 2
She grew on him like she was a colony of E.coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
Favourite Sports Writing of the Month
" Rugby league State of Origin matches deserve hyperbole. These are men carved in muscle of rock and bonded with sinew of steel. They could be the fallen heroes of Valhalla sent back to Earth by the gods to battle for the world. They are mighty and they are fearsome and, in full fury, they are terrible to behold. And that's just the Channel Nine commentary team." Gordon Farrer, The Melbourne Age, Metro, Wed July 6th, 2005
Why English Teachers Retire No. 3
She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
Oprah Not "The Only Mad Cow in America" Thanks to Texas Governor
By John Stauber
A popular Texas bumper sticker reads: "The only mad cow in America is Oprah." Not anymore with the USDA announcing that the first home-grown case of mad cow to be discovered is a Texas beef cow. (article)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 4
The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.
Desolation Row: Dylan Signs with Starbucks
by Jamie Wilson
His protest songs made him the figurehead of the anti-establishment movement that defined America during the 1960s. But yesterday Bob Dylan was facing accusations of selling out after it emerged the singer had agreed an exclusive deal to sell some of his rarest tracks at Starbucks, the coffee shop chain targeted by anti-globalization protesters as a symbol of American cultural dominance. (article)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 5
McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
Freemasons: Inside the World's Oldest Secret
by by H. Paul Jeffers
This is a fascinating study of one of the oldest 'secret societies' in the world, from its supposed origins at King Solomon's temple, the myth of Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum, through the Muslim-Christian Crusades, the debate over whether the Freemasons were the genuine ancestors of Knights Templar, to present day Freemasonry.
I've always been curious about Masonry. I've performed a half-dozen times at Dallas Brooks Hall, here in Melbourne, which is operated by the Freemasons, and have spent many interesting moments strolling through the great halls gazing up at the photos of those stodgey old men in colourful aprons. Being a cook, I find this part particularly interesting. I even gave a blues harp workshop last year, which was held in the small Masonic Hall in Daylesford (the cool door knocker was fashioned out of a small metal carpenter's square and compass). I found some small paper cups in the kitchen which the members of my workshop placed on our heads and I we made up an improvisational blues song using the words to the Masonic Code that was posted up on the wall. I felt we were all being extremely naughty but we didnt get struck down by lightning - which indicated to me that a healthy sense of humour was allowed within the hallowed walls.
General George Washington, the first president of the US was a freemason, as were half of his generals, including Lafayette, John Paul Jones, (the father of the US Navy), and even Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin and Benedict Arnold!
Prince Hall Masonry, exclusive African-American masonic lodges number today at: 44 Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodges, 500 subordinate lodges, and more than 300,000 Prince Hall Masons. Prince Hall was an American freed slave who was initiated into the Irish Constitution Military Lodge one year before the Declaration of Independence was signed and was granted permission to meet, with other black freemen, as African Lodge No. 1. African Lodges once doubled as locations for church services and for teaching blacks how to read and write.
The book also explains, in great detail, the
Masonic symbolism in Mozart's 'Magic Flute,' as both Mozart
and Hayden were well-known Freemasons.
(Freemasons: Inside the World's Oldest Secret Society. by H. Paul Jeffers Citadel Press 2005 NY)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 6
Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
Banned 911 Ad
This ad was shown once on US television after
911 and then yanked. (ad)
(thanks to Frank Hytten and Basil N Varghes, Brotherhood of St.Laurence)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 7
He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.
Approach: (.mov) Impact: (.mov)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 8
Even in his last years, Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
Polynesians Descended from Aboriginal Taiwanese
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A genetic study helps
confirm the theory that Polynesians, who settled islands across
a vast swathe of ocean, started out in Taiwan, researchers reported
Mitochondrial DNA, which is passed along virtually unchanged from mothers to their children, provides a kind of genetic clock linking present-day Polynesians to the descendants of aboriginal residents of Taiwan. (article)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 9
The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
Toxic Toy Story
Greenpeace wins battle to ban toxic chemicals in plastic toys
STRASBOURG,FRANCE - July 5 - Children's plastic toys sold in Europe are to be made safer following a decision by the European Parliament today to ban manufacturers from using six toxic chemicals to soften the plastic. The ban follows evidence that the chemicals, shown to damage the kidneys, liver and sex organs in animals, can be ingested by children who suck the products. (article)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 10
He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
Rapid Colored Afterimage Optical Illusion
Your eyes can occasionally be fooled and you
may perceive something that is really not there. We call these
optical illusions and they can be an amusing break from our hectic
schedules. Example: (article)
(thanks to Stephen Ross)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 11
The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
Climate Change: One in Six Countries Facing
by John Vidal and Tim Radford
"Poverty is a form of violence" Gandhi
One in six countries in the world face food shortages this year because of severe droughts that could become semi-permanent under climate change, UN scientists warned yesterday. (article)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 12
It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
US Retains Control of Web, Worrying Foreign
By Matt Moore
Frankfurt, Germany - A unilateral decision by the United States to indefinitely retain oversight of the Internet's main traffic-directing computers prompted concerns Friday that the global telecommunications network could eventually splinter.
The "root servers" in question -- 13 computers located mostly in the United States -- are the Internet's master directories. They tell Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic, and Internet users the world over interact with them every day, though most without knowing it. (article)
Why English Teachers Retire No. 13
He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
After Fleeing Polygamist Community, an Opportunity
By Nick Madigan
Hildale, Utah - Carolyn Jessop escaped in the dead of night, her eight frightened children in tow. The town she fled had been her home for her entire 35 years. It was the nation's largest polygamous community, run by an offshoot of the Mormon Church that she described as a "dangerous and destructive cult" that oppressed its women and children. "Women in the polygamist culture are looked at as property, as a piece of meat," said Ms. Jessop, formerly one of seven wives of a motel owner, whom she was forced to marry when she was 18 and he was 50. "We're not looked upon as human beings with rights. The women are basically baby-producers. It's a difficult thing to break away from. You don't contest it." (article)
Why English Teachers Retire No 14
Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.
Eye Witness 'Hero' Testimony Is Conclusive
That North Tower WTC Collapsed From Controlled Demolition
By Greg Szymanski
What happened to William Rodriguez the morning of 9/11 is a miracle. What happened to his story after-the-fact is a tragedy. But with miracles and tragedies comes truth. And truth is exactly what Rodriguez brings to the whole mystery surrounding 9/11. Declared a hero for saving numerous lives at Ground Zero, he was the janitor on duty the morning of 9/11 who heard and felt explosions rock the basement sub-levels of the north tower just seconds before the jetliner struck the top floors. He not only claims he felt explosions coming from below the first sub-level while working in the basement, he says the walls were cracking around him and he pulled a man to safety by the name of Felipe David, who was severely burned from the basement explosions. (article)
" . . .Rodriguez is a 911 hero who rescued many victims from the WTC, where he was a janitor in the North Tower; he accompanied firemen up the fire tower and let them onto the floors with a master key. For his acts of heroism, President Bush honored Rodriguez at the White House. Later, however, he realized that the "official" story is a lie. Rodriguez heard "explosions" in the North Tower before the building fell, confirming the 2+ Richter scale seismic recordings prior to the fall of each tower. . ." (article 1) (article2)
Avocado gets its name from the Aztec word for testicle. av·o·ca·do Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural -dos also -does Etymology: modification of Spanish aguacate, from Nahuatl Ahuacatl avocado, testicle. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Joe's Chinese Eggplant Parmesean with Sausage
8 -10 long thin baby chinese eggplants (about 1 1/2 inch in circumference)
flour for dredging
2 Italian style pork sausages
half litre tomato puree
1/2 teas red chillie flakes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped finely
half cup white wine
1 tble sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
finely chopped parsely
1 cup finely grated parmesean cheese
Preheat oven to 300 C. Cut each baby eggplant down the centre, dredge in the flour, shake off excess flour and set aside.
Place about half cup of olive oil in a pan and fry the sausages. About half way through cooking, butterfly the sausages and flip. When the sausages are cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside. In the same oil, cook the eggplant halves until brown on both sides. Set aside. To make the sauce, in the same oil, saute the onions until opaque, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the white wine and cook for a couple of minutes until the alcohol evaporates. Add the tomato puree, the sugar, pepper and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Place a little sauce in the bottom of an oven-proof casserole dish, layer the eggplants on top, spoon over most of the sauce, add the sausages, top with the remaining sauce, sprinkle the parmesean cheese over, cover and bake for about 40 minutes. Sprinkle parsely over top and serve with garlic bread.
OM OF THE WEEK
(Note: This week's poem, Omm el Hazina, is a translation of one of my own 'poems' - a song lyric, actually. It has an interesting history. It was originally written as part of a triptych of three songs, in Latin, Arabic and Hebrew, with the working title of 'Mater Dolorosa'. My friend Carol Hasna agreed to translate the English lyric for me into Arabic, with the help of her mother and family. Then Sula G, who was one of my mentorees in the Darebin music project last year, and Carol's good friend and writing partner, asked to record Carol's mother, Rose, reading the Arabic version over one of her instrumental tracks on her new CD, 'Chocolate and Cherries.' I agreed - and heard the recording last week - which I loved. So here is the Arabic translation, the original lyric and some information where you can find the CD.)
Omm el Hazina
Ya om el hazina, Ya Om el hazina
Ya om el dunia, Irhami, Irhami.
Ya om el tarikh, Ya Ommi, Irhami.
Min baa'yal-zikrayat Al-mookad'dassa
Al-moobaa'sara hoona wa hoonak
Hafizzy aala-el-hakika, bee radaaki,
Ya om el dunia, Irhami.
Inhadi min tahta azabaki, inhadi
Irjaii ila kawaneen al-kha'iir maktouba
Min hal-haali el-taabani la tastaslimi
Wala shai'ya-sa alaiki, wa'rhami
Hatta folostine wa Israel
Iza allah radi
Ya om el dunia, Irhami.
Sorrowful Mother, sorrowful Mother,
Mother of countries, have mercy, have mercy.
Mother of history, Mother, have mercy.
Out of the scattered remains
Of blessed memory,
Save the truth, with your consent,
Mother of countries, have mercy.
Light of the world, up from the depths of misery,
From the time of the unwritten common law,
Out of discordant harmony,
Do not despair.
Nothing can stand in the way,
Palestine and Israel, God willing,
Mother of history, have mercy.
English Lyric by: Joe Dolce
Arabic translation by: Carol Hasna & family
Spoken word by: Rose Hasna
Music by: Sula G
From the CD 'Chocolate and Cherries,' by Sula G,
Distributed through: SOUNDVAULT RECORDS
Why English Teachers Retire No. 15
She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
(thanks to Stephen Ross)