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Friday March 20th, 2009

Bearded Lesbian Fishermen

"I wept not, so to stone
within I grew."

Hi folks,

I was rehearsing one of my Sappho poetry-song settings last week and I started thinking about Sappho’s home - the isle of Lesbos.  There are about two million people living on the island.  Do they still refer to themselves as Lesbians? (They used to.) In my mind’s eye, I saw four old sea-salt fishermen, bearded, coming off the boat after a hard day of fishing the Aegean and going to relax for a game of cards and some ouzo -  at their favourite Lesbian bar.   I recently was informed, by my friend Sue, that locals often refer to themselves as lesvians - another way of pronouncing it - to make the distinction. So it follows that a lesbian on lesbos would naturally be a lesvian lesbian. And a french gourmet cook: a lesvian lesbian qui mange les viands. And so forth...

Lesbian Olive Oil is the main source of income for the island. Extra Virgin and Cold Pressed (but referred to as Olive Juice, due to the distinctive flavour of the Aegean).  Sappho’s brother was a merchant in Lesbian Wine, which is still produced.

Lesbos is also the birthplace of a honest-to-goddess saint: Saint Theoctiste of Lesbos.  Theoctiste lived during the 9th century and was born on the island of Mithimna.  She was orphaned from a very young age and became a nun in her childhood and was raised in a monastery in Lesbos.  However, due to her association with the Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani - Hundred Doors (Paros), the "Parians" have her classified as one of their local saints.  At around the time she reached the age of 18, pirates captured Theoktiste, along with other young women, on one of their raids of Lesbos.  Theoktiste managed to escape and wound up at the temple of Ekatontapyliani where she took refuge for over 35 years. During this time she ate wild plants, sunflower seeds and drank Holy Water.

For those who prefer a more expansive diet than Saint Theoctiste’s,  I’ve included some Lesbos les viands delicacies down below in the Recipe section.

Here is the Wikipedia entry for Sappho, with my recording of Sappho’s Fragment 64, (with viola da gamba) translated into English, by Mary Barnard, down at the bottom of their page:

The original poem:

Tonight I've watched
the moon and then
the Pleiades
go down.

The night is now
youth goes;
I am
in bed alone.



Thanks Joe,
whoever you are for persisting in sending me your regular newsletter. You write well but just too much of it. Where the hell do you get all that stamina ... and trivia!!!
Just my way of saying Thank You for your efforts... and keep 'em coming. You mentioned that you are joining Kavisha [Mazzella] for a gig - well, give her my love.
 ... all the best for the few years we have left... Dya Singh

Hey Joe.
 You can't mention end of days without a nod to 12/21/12, which the Mayans, ancient Egyptians and Nostradamus claimed would be the end of the line for us people. There are a couple websites out there on this. We've got less than 4 years to go; better get to writing the rest of those songs you've got inside a little more quickly. Rich Marr. from Flint, Michigan

(Note: Folks, I worked with Rich at the Lamb’s Springfed Songwriter’s Retreat in Harbour Springs, Mich, last year.)

Hello Joe,
. . .  thanks for being our political conscience..... I enjoyed your performance [Guantanamo Bay] on The Shtick.  Cheers from Adrienne

hi joe
i'm pretty sure the most distinct harbinger of the end of days is the ubiquity of febreeze (product of the devil). mange un grenouille pour jesus! love, joan

(Note: For those deficient in Francophila: 'eat a frog for jesus.'  For those deficient in Americana:  ‘Febreze is a brand of household odor eliminator manufactured by Procter & Gamble. The product's active ingredient is cyclodextrin, a modified starch with a donut-like molecule shape. The original formula was developed in Plymouth, England.)

Who would have thought your letter becoming addictive? You are the Marlboro Man of the new century. As for Harvey [High School], it is being razed in the Fall with a big final dance scheduled sometime in May or June (I think) Maybe you could perform with Bob Mallett doing the tambourine. I see you have contact with Bill Lempke, a legacy from the past. There is no escaping [french teacher] Edith Hamilton's influence. The e-mail comes to my sweet wife of 35 years, but its me, Geoffrey, on the keyboard. Who is that at the door??? Oh no, it is Slick and Emma with cleanser!!! Geof Kent

Geof, see Emma with broom below.  I was going through my 1965 high school yearbook the other day and, as you know, everyone signed little well wishes in the margins near their pictures. Most of my other classmates wrote something along the lines of: “ Joe, best of luck always to a real cute, sharp, sweet and swinging guy! Mary J.”  That kind of thing. But, Geof, you wrote this: ‘ Joe, to a great kid who should have many friends but has few.’  -
  But that’s why I still love ya. I guess you’re one of the few.  Some of the local Lake Erie College girls I steamed up my dad’s car windows with (when I was still under-aged jailbait, now that I think of it – ooh, naughty!) wrote memorable things in my yearbook as well. For instance, college sophomore, Carol Dunlop, who I took to my senior high school dance, wrote this (in French!) Here’s the rough translation:
“Joe, you will forget me, no doubt, but we found ourselves something that will last us for all time. Thank you for giving me the inspiration for my sonnets and I hope that you will continue in theatre. The French Dormitory won't soon forget the only boy that was able to 'visit'  anytime he wanted to!  Carol.”  Carol Dunlop went on to become an acclaimed Canadian avant-garde French-English translator who ran off and married one of the most famous writers in Argentina, Julio Cortazar (Blow-Up). They have both passed away and are buried together in Montparnasse Cemetery. Sigh. Raze the high school but please leave that college.)
Here is a short film clip of Carol and Julio Cortazar in Paris:

Hi Joe,
How did I get subscribed to this list? Never mind! Keep 'em coming!
You had an Irish-American complaining about some jokes a while ago, dare you forward any more Irish jokes? You can claim they're from an Irish-Irishman.
Enjoy, Sean McEvoy

(Note: Thanks Sean! My thanks to the Little People.)

Paddy & Mick go to London to donate sperm. It was a disaster!
Paddy missed the tube & Mick came on the bus!! (boom boom)

A Muslim was sitting next to Paddy on a plane. Paddy odered a
whiskey. The stewardess asked the Muslim if he'd like a drink.
He replied in disgust 'I'd rather be raped by a dozen whores than let liquor touch my lips!'
Paddy handed his drink back & said 'Me too, I didnt know we had a choice!' (boom boom)

Paddy & Murphy are working on a building site. Paddy says to
Murphy 'Im gonna have the day off, Im gonna pretend I’m mad!'
He climbs up the rafters , hangs upside down & shouts 'I'M A
LIGHTBULB! I'M A LIGHTBULB!' Murphy watches in amazement!
The Foreman shouts 'Paddy you're mad, go home' So he leaves the site.
Murphy starts packing his kit up to leave as well.
'Where the hell are you going?' asks the Foreman.
'I cant work in the friggin dark! ' says Murphy. (boom boom)

Q. Whats a Catholic priest & a pint of Guiness got in common?
A. black coat, white collar & you've got to watch your arse if you get a dodgy one! (boom boom)

Paddy & his wife are lying in bed & the neighbours dog is
barking like mad in the garden. Paddy says 'To hell with this!' & storms off.
He comes back upstairs 5 mins later & his wife asks 'What did you do?'
Paddy replies, 'I’ve put their dog in our garden, lets see how they like it!' (boom boom)

Paddy, the Irish boyfriend of the woman whos head was found on Arbroath
beach was asked to identify her. A detective held up the head to which point
Paddy said 'I dont think thats her, she wasnt that tall!' (boom boom)

-  Also, here’s a recent one.


'Can I have some Irish Sausages, please?' asked the Irishman, walking
up to the counter.
The assistant looked at him and asked: 'Are you Irish?'
 'If I had asked you for Italian sausage, would you ask me if I was
Italian?' demanded the Irishman indignantly.
'Or, if I asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask me if I was German?'
Then, warming to his theme, he went on, 'Or if I asked you for a kosher
hot dog, would you ask me if I was Jewish?'  'Or, if I asked you for a
taco, would you ask me if I was Mexican? Would Ya? Would Ya?'
The assistant said: 'Well, no.'
Suitably encouraged by the success of his logic, the Irishman steps it up
a gear. 'And if I asked you for frog's legs, would you ask me if I was
French?' 'What about Danish Bacon, would you ask me if I was Danish?'
'Well no, I probably wouldn't.' conceded the assistant.
So, now bursting with righteous indignation, the Irishman says, 'Well, all right then,
why did you ask me if I'm Irish just because I asked for Irish sausages?'
 The assistant replied: 'Because you're in Homeware.' (boom boom)
(thanks to Joe Creighton)

The Ongoing Occupation of Iraqi Artists
by Dahr Jamail

For centuries, artists, writers, and intellectuals have been meeting in Baghdad's teahouses over tulip-shaped glasses of sweet lemon tea, cigarettes, and shisha pipes.
A car bomb detonated near one of the oldest teahouses a year-and-a-half ago, causing massive destruction around the area. When it reopened recently, Mohammed Al-Mumain, a 59-year-old biology teacher resumed his visits there. The portly, jovial teacher brought tea for my colleague and I before settling to talk, "The mind needs art and education. I come here because the lamp needs electricity. The lamp of my mind, like that in all of us, needs to discuss and review life continually. That feeds me. When I come here I feel like a teenager again. All that I need, the old culture along with the new, I find here." (article)

Iraq Shoe-thrower Jailed for Three Years
An Iraqi court has jailed for three years the journalist who shot to fame in the Arab world for throwing his shoes at former US president George W Bush.
Muntazer al-Zaidi, a 30-year-old television journalist, had pleaded not guilty at the hearing in the Iraq Central Criminal Court to assaulting Bush during his farewell visit to Iraq last year.
"He was sentenced to three years in jail," defence lawyer Yahia Attabi told reporters outside the Baghdad court.
"We expected the decision because under the Iraqi criminal code he was charged with assaulting a foreign leader on an official visit," Attabi said, adding: "We will appeal this decision."

Meanwhile, you can Throw-a-Shoe-at-Bush, too, in this online game:
(thanks to Bill Van Hecke)

What I’m Reading This Week

Let the Right One In -  the novel, by John Ajvide Linqvist. 500 pages. A great contemporary vampire movie was made from this book .

Catullus - poetry translated by Peter Green. Catullus wrote during the magnificent days of the Roman Empire. Green brings out all his lustiness, with copious notes to help understand the way poets wrote in those times.

Wormwood -  by Terry Collins. Australian sci-fi writer. Introduced by Harlan Ellison. Fabulous and unique book. Collins creates a world of the future in which the Earth has been invaded and colonized by a dozen races. Primary races and Secondary races. The Primary Races act as Bridge Races between humans and those Secondary Races that are totally incomprehensible to humans.  He also practically invents a new language – often quite challenging to read - ito describe this new earth.

What I’m Watching This Week

Frozen River -
Written and directed by Courtney Hunt. The touching story of working class women and mothers  - a white Canadian and a Mohawk Indian - who are forced to smuggle illegal immigrants in the trunk of a car from Canada to the United States in order to make ends meet.

Sleeper Cell 2  -
US mini-series. Darwyn Al-Sayeed, a 30-year-old African-American undercover FBI agent who is also a practicing Muslim, is assigned to infiltrate a terrorist sleeper cell that is planning an attack in Los Angeles.

Favourite Gratuitous Mentions of the Week

“ Now there have been many arguments of who is or was the greatest group or singer of all time. Some people have said that it is ELVIS PRESLEY, other have claimed The Beatles, it's even been rumoured that JOE DOLCE has been tipped as the greatest singer of all time and who could argue with that! as he had that wonderful all round sensational hit with SHADDUPPA YOUR FACE. We would say that BENNY HILL was by far the better of the two singers as BENNY HILL had those wonderfully lovely west country dulcet tones which by far outweigh the Italians tenor type of singing style. But Joe Dolce had something else that made him a big hit with the older Italian women, although for looks, Benny Hill had the sex appeal. However, all these other singing greats above could not out-strip the undisputable greatest group and singers of all time THE RUTLES. THE RUTLES have had a career spanning many decades which is very very long time, and what's more they are a British group and Bob Dylan can't even claim that.” Network

“[Gordon] Brown’s behaviour in the past few years has been cause for grave concern in Westminster. In 2003, he publicly called for brain implants for kilt wearers, a mass culling of radio disc jockeys and the execution of eighties pop star Joe Dolce.”  Sir John Cornish, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

“Shaddupa Your Face” was sung by Joe Dolce, an American, but was recorded in Australia where it was a massive success. I believe it charted in the UK also (where they still love a novelty song). Dolce had a kind of Chico Marx routine going. He came to my school 20 years after it was a hit and spoke to us about something or other I don’t recall.”  Elliot Cowan, Cartoon Brew

“ ‘Shaddup You Face’ was a Lou Monte song…and  ‘Pepino the Italian Mouse’ was another old italian song…actually looking back at all the songs, they are all old Louie Prima/ Lou Monte/ old italian songs…it would be hilarious to hear them in duck form…’  Tominia, Dumm Comics

“ ‘Shaddap You Face’ - in Florence, we often say ‘ma stai zitta vai a letto e copriti il capo’ meaning ‘stop talkin shit, shame on you!’” Akire72
“ Tony Soprano would eat Joe Dolce for breakfast.” Somebody Somewhere,  80s Music Lyrics

YouTube Specials

Presidential Jeopardy, with Jay Leno. Special guests Abe Lincoln, George W Bush and Barack Obama.
(thanks to Frank Dolce)

Condi Rice Freaks Out

Interview with Mirka Morra
(with Henry Greener, on The Shtick)

Open Letter to the Republican Traitors (From a Former Republican)
(thanks to Bill Lempke)

Flatulence Filtering Underwear
With the Patented Activated Carbon Rear Panel

Shreddies underpants offer a solution for sufferers of functional bowel disorders such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and crohn's disease. Anybody that suffers from flatulence problems will know of the social issues that it can cause. Shreddies flatulence filtering underwear are a serious medical solution to the relief of bad wind and work by passing the flatus odours through an activated carbon filter inside the underwear. By passing the odours through the filter, the bad gas is then odour free and allows the wearer freedom from the problems it can cause in social situations.

Legendary Etta James threatens to 'whip' Beyonce
Etta James has threatened to "a*s whip" Beyonce Knowles. The legendary singer has slammed Beyonce's rendition of 'At Last' - a song which Etta, 71, is famous for performing - at US President Barack Obama's inauguration, claiming she "can't stand" the singer.
Speaking at a Seattle concert earlier this week, Etta said: "You guys know your President, right? You know the one with the big ears? Wait a minute, he ain't my President, he might be yours, he ain't my President. You know that woman he had singing for him, singing my song - she's going to get her a*s whipped. "The great Beyonce. I can't stand Beyonce! She has no business up there, singing up there on a big ol' President day, singing my song that I've been singing forever."
Etta was not the first person to sing the song, but her version is the best known.
Beyonce - who portrayed Etta in her latest movie 'Cadillac Records' - was asked to perform 'At Last' at the ceremony.



Origami de Dólares
Making origami from dollar bills!


Lesbian Stuffed Pumpkin Flowers

25-30 pumpkin flowers
1/4 kilo of feta cheese
 2 eggs
 1/2 glass of ricotta cheese
 salt, pepper, oil for frying.

For the batter:
2 glasses of flour,
1 glass of water,
1 egg
1/2 tea-spoonful of salt.

Prepare and wash the pumpkin flowers. Mash the feta cheese into a bowl, add the ricotta cheese, the 2 eggs and some pepper. Mix well. Fill each pumpkin flower with one spoonful from the filling, dip one by one into the batter and fry in hot oil both sides.

Lesbian Liokafta
(the fisherman's favorite sun-dried fish dish):

1 kilo of fish (i.e. mackerel, tuna fish),
salt, pepper, oregano.

Clean the fish removing the head, innards and scales. Open them in half and add salt, pepper and oregano in between. Tie their tails with a string and hang them to dry into the sun for a day or two (keep away the flies). Broil them on a well heated grill and after they're cooked evenly coat them with oil and lemon.

in the Beginning . . .

sunrise reveals
a pair of red panties
adam snores,
naming birds
lilith, lying next to him,
crosses her legs on his sleeping hand
the hot stars vanish
dawn engorges skin-thin tissue of cloud,
lifting an erection of light
lilith awakens
to a white spider
of consciousness
walking across her face
sloughs away
like skin off a burning saint
lilith pulls on her fishnets,
leaves a note,
signed with a fake name,
and goes back to her own place
adam, naked and bursting,
rises, half-asleep,
still pregnant with rib,
to urinate, gratefully,
on a nearby fig
somewhere, a prophet,
sizzling in visions,
mistakes a familiar hard-on
for a short snake
much is lost in translation

~ Joe Dolce ~

Newsletter Archive  and  Recipe Index

Joe Dolce  CD, 'The Wind Cries Mary,' chosen as ALBUM OF THE YEAR by 97.1 FM, 3MDR Radio, Melbourne!

“ . . . [Shaddap You Face] . . . one of the most misunderstood songs of the rock era. . .” Christie Eliezer, The Music

' . . .as everyone out there knows, spending a fortune on champagne and an expensive hotel room doesn't necessarily mean the sex will be any good. eg. I had probably the most intense orgasm of my entire life in the back of a plumber's van while the radio played 'Shaddap You Face'.  Latrobe RABELAIS

Protest Songs For A Better World is a thirteen-track rally cry anthology of original protest songs selected from submissions from around our troubled globe. All the tracks are wake up calls, but my personal highlights include: Joe Dolce's, Did You Get Stupid from Being Ugly (Or Ugly from Being Stupid?) . . . “ Mike Jurkovic , Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

Listen to some excerpts via the link below:
Joe Dolce Electronic Press Kit


The Gay Rancher

A successful rancher died and left everything to his devoted wife. She
was a very good-looking woman and determined to keep the ranch, but knew
very little about ranching, so she decided to place an ad in the
newspaper for a ranch hand.

Two cowboys applied for the job. One was gay and the other a drunk. She
thought long and hard about it, and when no one else applied she decided
to hire the gay guy, figuring it would be safer to have him around the
house than the drunk. He proved to be a hard worker who put in long
hours every day and knew a lot about ranching.

For weeks, the two of them worked, and the ranch was  doing very well.

Then one day, the rancher's widow said to the hired hand, 'You have done
a really good job, and the ranch looks great. You should go into town
and kick up your heels.'

The hired hand readily agreed and went into town one Saturday night. One
o'clock came, however, and he didn't return. Two o'clock and no hired

Finally he returned around two-thirty, and upon entering the room, he
found the rancher's widow sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine,
waiting for him.

She quietly called him over to her. 'Unbutton my blouse and take it
off,' she said. Trembling, he did as she directed.

'Now take off my boots.' He did as she asked, ever so slowly.

'Now take off my socks.' He removed each gently and placed them neatly
by her boot's.

'Now take off my skirt.' He slowly unbuttoned it, constantly watching
her eyes in the fire light.

'Now take off my bra.' Again, with trembling hands, he did as he was
told and dropped it to the floor.

Then she looked at him and said, 'If you ever wear my clothes into town
again, you're fired.'
(thanks to Marcus Whitaker)