MAY 28, 2003

Shout Their Names Into The Wind

"May the left ear of your enemy fall off and drop into his right pocket."
Old Hebrew Curse. ( I think . . . maybe it's Irish? Sicilian? One of those.)

Hi folks,

With the passage of some pretty draconian anti-spam laws in California, I
guess it's time to remind everyone that the purpose of my free newsletter is
to pass on exciting information, for no commerical gain, to those who are
interested in receiving it. There is a clear message at the bottom stating
that I will gladly delete anyone not interested in getting my mailout. And I
mean it. I really do delete anyone who asks. However, many people request I
add their friends, as well. I have gotten a lot of encouragement to keep it
going, from such people as musicians, Ross Wilson, who has passed the baton
on, via his own great website, and Doug Ashdown and his wife Carol, who
actually try all my recipes. Journalists such as John Mangan, of The Age,
have written sympathetically to me, - Alan Howe, of the Herald and Weekly
Times - he and I sometimes get into some heated debates, being on opposite
sides of the fence now and then. Different perspectives on complex
issues helps one's understanding.

" Omnibus argumentis utendum est."
(all arguments must be used.)

But not everyone appreciates my efforts. Here are a couple of comments I've
received recently:

" Do Not send this emial (sic) address any more of your communist
propaganda. You have been warned!!!! "
(Someone from the old school - who obviously can't simply spell DELETE)

(In reference to the petition protesting The Nobel Peace Prize nominaton for
Bush and Blair)

Speaking of getting stuffed, I would have thought they might have least
TRIED the eggplant parmesean recipe, but alas:
"Quod cibus est aliis, aliis est venenum."
(what is food for some is poison for others.)

I've been working on a videoclip this week for my song, 'Crop Circles in My Marijuana,' and include a link to some crop circle photo collections I discovered.

And, for recipes: It's meatballs vs matzo balls.

So either way, break a chicken leg.



Shout Their Names Into The Wind
By William Rivers Pitt

Tuesday 27 May 2003

When you stare into the obsidian darkness of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
in Washington DC, it stares back at you. The stone of the monument is jet
black, but polished so that you must face your own reflected eyes should you
dare to read the names inscribed there. You are not alone in that place. You
stand shoulder to shoulder with the dead, and when those names shine out
around and above and below the person you see in that stone, you become
their graveyard. Your responsibility to those names, simply, is to remember.

Such an awful lesson was learned in the forging of that place, not in
abstractions of military theory, but in blood and tissue and life. It was a
lesson many feared had been lost as American armies were poised at the gates
of Baghdad, and would have to be learned again at a terrible cost. A
house-to-house battle for the city never materialized, and a fight that
could have taken hundreds or thousands of American lives was averted.

It turns out that Soufiane al Tikriti, head of Baghdad's 10,000-strong
Special Republican Guard, was paid several hundred thousand dollars on the
eve of the battle. In exchange, he ordered Baghdad's defenders to stand down
and not resist. On April 8, al Tikriti was ferried out of Iraq by a US
aircraft along with 20 family members. To cover for his absence, US forces
let it be known that al Tikriti had been killed while fleeing in his Subaru.
On April 9, Baghdad fell to American and British forces with little
Remember Rachel Corrie

Stefan Abeysekera sent me a short and beautiful PowerPoint presentation about Rachel Corrie, the 23 year old non-violent activist who was run over and killed by an Israeli tank while involved with an International Solidarity Movement at the border of Palestine. It is a little too large a file to easily include in this newsletter - 356 k - also, most of the major newspaper and media email addresses have automatic filters to trash unsolicited emails containing largish attachments - but anyone who would like me to send this .PPS file to you, just drop me a line by return email:

A Rose For Emily
By William Faulkner

(A free online version of one of the world's great short stories, William
Faulkner's, 'A Rose for Emily'. I've loved this tale for over 35 years.
Still brings a tear to my eye, every time I read it.)

When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men
through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women
mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an
old manservant--a combined gardener and cook--had seen in at least ten

It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with
cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of
the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages
and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that
neighborhood; only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and
coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps--an eyesore
among eyesores. And now Miss Emily had gone to join the representatives of
those august names where they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the
ranked and anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at
the battle of Jefferson.

R.I.P. Ted Joans
Anyone familiar with my live shows will recall the Ted Joans' poem I perform
with blues harp, (plus a collection of humorous correspondence between he
and I). The poem is titled 'MILE'S DELIGHT' and there is an live recording
of it on my CD, Memoirs of a Mouth Organ for anyone interested.

Poet Ted Joans dies at 74
Monday, May 12, 2003

VANCOUVER (AP) -- Ted Joans, a Beat Generation poet whose work drew from the
African-American oral tradition and blended black consciousness with
avant-garde jazz rhythm, has died. He was 74.

Joans was found dead in his Vancouver apartment May 7, said T. Paul St.
Marie, an entertainer and family friend. He had been in poor health with

The poet was a contemporary and friend of Beat icons Jack Kerouac and Allen
Ginsberg, but never achieved their level of fame during a career that
spanned more than 40 years. Yet he was considered an influential figure in
American and African-American literature .

Great collection of Crop Circle photographs (photos)

Recipes: Balls of a Different Colour

Little Grandma's Meatballs

250 grams ground beef
250 grams ground lean pork
1 egg
fresh breadcrumbs
finely chopped garlic
finely chopped onion
finely chopped parsley
salt & pepper
olive oil, for frying

Mix all ingredients together well. Form into balls, small or medium, as
you like. Fry in the oil until cooked through. (The fresh breadcrumbs keep
the meatballs light - you don't want them too dense, folks.) Eat them as
they are, in sandwiches, or else simmer them in tomato sauce for an hour and serve on
pasta. I was raised on these.

Maestro Meshuga's Matzo Balls

To Hear
VARIANT FORMS: also me·shug·ga
ADJECTIVE: Slang Crazy; senseless.
ETYMOLOGY: Yiddish meshuge, from Hebrew mugg', participle of ugga', to be

Box of fine matzo cracker meal, or matzo crackers, or (last resort) any
saltine biscuits.
6 eggs, beaten
a few drops of water
2 tablespoons of smaltz (chicken fat)
salt and pepper

Matzo meal is hard to find, sometimes - so are matzo crackers. If you are
using whole crackers, place them in a plastic bag, and jump on them, waving
your hands in the air ecstatically, until they are all smashed up. Or put
them in a mortar and pestle, or blender. Get them into a fine cracker meal
any way you can. Place them in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs. Add the melted
smaltz. (this is a key ingredient to the flavour and the 'magic healing
properties' - don't ask me why, just do it!) - I get my smaltz when I make
a chicken stock, I leave the stock in the fridge overnight. In the morning,
the fat rises to the surface. Skim it off and save it for the matzo balls. -
Add the few drops of water. Stir well and leave to sit for half hour. When
it has firmed up, and the cracker meal has absorbed the eggs, form into
balls and drop into a pot of boiling water for about 40 minutes or until
cooked through.
The trickiest part to making matzo balls is getting them light enough. This
is a trial and error situation. You have to find your own way here. If the
mix is too wet, they will fall apart when you put them in the hot water. If
the mix is too solid and firm, they will be as dense as Joshua's goiter. You
have to get them light enough to just hold together so they keep their shape
without falling apart. Light, so a fork passes through them easily.
(Corrective surgery: If the mix is too wet, add a bit more cracker meal. If
the mix is too solid, add a little more water. Mix again and let set for
another 20 minutes or so.) When you get it right, you'll know it. The blind
will be able to see again, the deaf: hear, the afflicted: restored, and the
lame . . . well, unfortunately, it doesn't work for the lame - they still
be dragging.
- You can also just flick tablespoons of the mix into the hot water, like
small dumplings if you choose.
I usually make the matzo balls separately in boiling water, and then add
them to simmering chicken soup, served with fresh chopped dill on the side.
For vegetarians, or for variety, omit the chicken smaltz, and put them in
tomato soup, instead, with fresh basil on the side. That works brilliantly.
Last week, I tried something totally different. I made them and served them
as a side dish with chicken gravy. You can use them like this, as a potato
substitute, for goulash or with soul food dishes like smothered pork chops.
(Slight culture conflict there.)
Next week, I'll pass along some good soul food recipes.

ciao, mazel tov