Home, Curriculum Vitae, Press & Reviews, Testimonials, Recordings, Newsletter Archive, Recipes

November 26th, 2004

Great Weather in Iraq and Reykjavik

" I don't understand anything about ballet. All I know is that during the intervals the ballerinas stink like horses."
Anton Chekov

Hi folks,

Well, it's not exactly ballet, but I finally found a copy of the line dance that Simon Ward choreographed for my song 'Shaddap You Face.' (I'm still looking for a way to work it into the Silver Jubilee of Shaddap in 2005.) Here it is for all you bootscooters and cloggers: (line dance)

I have fond memories of Reykjavik, Iceland, when I was a guest there promoting the above song-that-dare-not-mention-its-name, which was Number One on the Reykjavik pop charts in the early '80s. An Icelandic language cover version was released soon after by local singer, Laddi, which I still have a prized copy of.

Unfortunately, Iceland is beginning the feel the impact of global warming.

As Ice Thaws, Arctic Peoples at Loss for Words
by Alister Doyle
REYKJAVIK, Iceland - What are the words used by indigenous peoples in the Arctic for "hornet," "robin," "elk," "barn owl" or "salmon?" If you don't know, you're not alone.

Many indigenous languages have no words for legions of new animals, insects and plants advancing north as global warming thaws the polar ice and lets forests creep over tundra.

"We can't even describe what we're seeing," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference which says it represents 155,000 people in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.

In the Inuit language Inuktitut, robins are known just as the "bird with the red breast," she said. Inuit hunters in north Canada recently saw some ducks but have not figured out what species they were, in Inuktitut or any other language.

Favourite Reader Comments of the Week

Re: Was Jesus a Real Boy? newsletter -
I thought that said "Was Jesus a Real Goy?"
Matthew, New Jersey

You gotta come and play harp on the next Karma County album....award rates.

Hi Joe,
Until recently I was able to access your newsletter via your website, a link that I was very grateful to be told about by a friend. But sadly, that link has gone dead, and I miss your take on the world. Please include me on your distribution list. I need a dose of good old fashioned left wing thinking to cure me of the neo-con mantra that seems to have settled over the Australian landscape. Keep up the good work. Cheers

(Note: The link is active again - changed servers.)

And, (to be fair), Favourite Newsletter 'Removal Request' of the Week

Subject: DELETE
Sorry Joe........"the mind grows on what it feeds upon" and its time to nibble something else.

(Note: That's OK Muz, I've got something else you can nibble on.)

The Role of Boycotts in the Fight for Peace
Notes on Post-Election Strategy
by Paul Rockwell

" Boycotts have often changed the world. The American Revolution began with the Boston Tea Party. The non-violent movement that brought down the British Empire included Gandhi's boycott against British textiles. The Montgomery bus boycott launched the civil rights movement. The United Farm Workers in the U.S., led by Caesar Chavez, were unionized through laborious national boycotts of lettuce and grapes. And of course, the international boycott of South Africa played a vital role in bringing down the system of apartheid.

Sporadic and spontaneous boycotts, local in form, have been taking place in cities throughout the globe. National Public Radio (U.S.) reports that thousands of Europeans, repulsed by the election of Bush, are refusing to buy American goods. One placard in a Paris window says: "Promote peace. Don't buy American." According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, Europe is simmering. "You're going to see American profits disappear. American corporations are going to be in big trouble. It's going to be a mantra not to buy American." (article)


Letter from George W Bush to John Hinckley

You may know they've released John Hinckley from the mental facility he was sent to, for unsupervised visits to his parents' home on weekends. (For those of you who too young to remember John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan in an attempt to impress actress, Jodie Foster.)

This is a copy of a recent pre-election letter sent from President Bush to Hinckley...


Mr. John Hinckley
St. Elizabeth's Hospital
Washington, DC

Dear John:

Laura and I hope that you are continuing your excellent progress in recovery from your mental problems. We were pleased to hear that you are now able to have unsupervised visits with your parents. Both Laura and I know how important family is to the healing process. The staff at the hospital reports that you are doing fine.

As you may know, I have decided to seek a second term in office as your president and I would appreciate your support and the support of your fine parents. I would hope that if there is anything that you need at the hospital, you would let us know.


George W. Bush President

P.S. By the way, are you aware that John Kerry is fucking Jody Foster?
(thanks to Richard Flohil)


Bloopers from Church Newsletters 1
~ The Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. ~

Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin's Evolution Theory

Almost half of Americans believe God created humans 10,000 years ago
by Frank Newport

Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence. The rest say they don't know enough to say. Forty-five percent of Americans also believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago. A third of Americans are biblical literalists who believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word. GALLUP POLLS

Bloopers from Church Newsletters 2
~ The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church. ~

Proposal For A Design Change To The U.S. Flag
by "Diamond" Jack Holgroth

("Diamond" Jack Holgroth is a Game Theoretician who currently teaches a course in Advanced Game Theory for Theologians at Fellowship University. He servedduring the Cold War as a Game Theory Tactician for the Department of Defense and single-handedly developed an elegant solution to the "Fisherman's Quandary", a game theory problem that was crucial to the winning of the arms race and that was famously intractable - until Diamond Jack came along. Jack also enjoys vexillology and can signal Bible passages from memory in fluent semaphore.) - Note: Vexillology: the study of flags.

"The current design, although obviously beautiful and rich in the pageantry of American history, doesn't fully convey the nature of our Nation to today's ignorant people. In years past, additional information about America and the Values we hold dear would be supplied via our schools and media, allowing our citizens to associate the Flag with these cultural and social facts. However, nowadays these institutions can't be trusted as they have come under the sway of the Secular Elite and more often than not spew the virus of anti-Americanism rather than healthy civic instruction. As such, the confused American citizen of today doesn't know what to associate Old Glory with, and is just as likely to want to burn it as to pledge his allegiance to it. Furthermore, those few still in the know who take the time to pledge their allegiance are under pressure from decadent Secular forces to divorce the symbol of our Nation from He Who makes our Nation strong and righteous: The Lord, Almighty God.

For these reasons, we need to make a design change to our Flag, the most visible symbol of our Nation, so that we can educate the ignorant and keep our citizens focused on our cultural values without being led astray by hate-filled, anti-American and anti-Christian demagogues.

Here, then, is our proposed new design: (photo on website) The thirteen stripes that represent the thirteen founding colonies are now presided over by a single, large stripe of pure, Heavenly white. Across this stripe is emblazoned in a royal blue the name of He from Whom our Nation's providence flows. The stripe's position above the field of stars is also symbolic, showing the transcendency of His throne in Heaven over the Universe. Besides the symbolism, the design forms a clear rebus, allowing even the most abjectly hebetudinous of our citizens to learn and remember that we are "One Nation, Under God". " (site)

Bloopers from Church Newsletters 3
~ At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice. ~

Reaching The World One Piece At A Time!

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children...
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them  on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV

Each quality guaranteed cookie contains one of 420 uplifting Scripture verses in the familiar fortune cookie-style, and is individually-wrapped to maintain freshness. (site)

Bloopers from Church Newsletters 4
~ Next Sunday, a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and get a piece of paper. ~


I recommend John Safran's impressive achievement in creating 'John Safran VS God,' now available on DVD. Like a cross between Ali G and Michael Moore, but taking it even further, in eight episodes and an hour and a half of uncut and bumped segments that were omitted from the SBS television series, John flies to London and convinces a muslim cleric to put a fatwa on Australian tv host, Rove McManus, sneaks into the USA to meet the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan and attempts to persuade him to let him join, even though he's Jewish, takes part in bloody ritual chicken and goat slaughter voodoo in Haiti, vomits peyote in Mexico, tackles the Extreme Mormons, Scientologists and Freemasons, the Catholics, even the Vikings, gets beaten by Buddhists, and in the climax to the film, personally goes through a violent and excruciating catharsis with US television evangelist and exorcist, Bob Larson, who literally whacks him about with his bible, all the while being held down by four burly African-American assistants. You won't know whether to laugh or cringe. Both are allowed. Funny, intelligent, courageous and enlightening. I had to buy this one 'cause there's just too much to get through in one sitting.


Making Sense of Saddam Hussein's 'Exit Strategy'
by Barry Levinson
(Barry Levinson is a writer and film director.)

How did Saddam Hussein end up in a hole in the ground with a rug and a fan? How is that possible? How could anything so absurd happen? . . .

Here was a powerful man with an estimated $10 billion in his personal account who came up with an exit strategy that completely lacks any logic. . . .

Was it members of Mr. Hussein's inner circle who thought this up or agreed with his hiding arrangement? Did they debate the pros and cons of living in a hole with a rug and a fan? One of them must have suggested, "Why not have plastic surgery, live on a yacht and enjoy the rest of your life? Travel." There must have been other proposals considered.

It was widely thought that Mr. Hussein might pay up to $4 billion to live a luxurious life in exile. In fact, there were all kinds of rumors and various scenarios as to what he might do. Everyone assumed there must be some ingenious plan. But Mr. Hussin finally said, "Get me a house in an average neighborhood, dig a hole, get me a rug and a fan ... and a million dollars in case I have to order out." . . .

I don't believe Mr. Hussein ever entertained an exit strategy. He never believed he would have to leave. He never believed the United States would ever attack Iraq. Why? . . . (article)

Saddam Lawyers May Sue U.S. for War Crimes

AMMAN (Reuters) - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's lawyers are considering legal action against the United States for war crimes in Iraq. . . (article)

(Note: I'd like to see that on Judge Judy.)


Jay Fullmer, 38, yesterday became the first American to get to grips with the concept of irony.

"It was weird" Fullmer said. "I was in London and  like, talking to this guy and it was raining and he pulled a face and said,  "Great weather eh?" and I thought - "Wait a minute, no way is it great weather".  Fullmer then realised that the other man's 'mistake' was in fact  deliberate.

Fullmer, who is 39 next month and married with two children, aged  8 and 3, plans to use irony himself in future.

"I'm, like, using it all the  time" he said. "Last weekend I was grilling steaks and I burned them and I said  "Hey, great weather."
(thanks to Mac Hoban)


" Martin loved to cook, especially soul food. He made smothered cabbage, pork chops, fried chicken, pig's feet, pig's snout, and pig's ears. ( He said: 'They're good and they're cheap.') Also . . . turnip greens (Southern style with ham hocks and bacon drippings), and corn bread. " Coretta Scott King, from 'My Life With Martin Luther King, Jr.'

- Note: I've made all of the above, except the pig's feet, snout and ears. But I have eaten pig's feet a few times, and I've made pig's tails (which are roasted crunchy, like pork crackling, and then served in a gravy.) Here's a little Texan snack, after a hard night of line dancing, for all you cowpokes:

Barbecued Rattlesnake

1 Rattlesnake, freshly skinned, head removed, 4' or longer
barbecue sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Cut snake into 4-6" sections. Marinate the snake in barbecue sauce several hours. Wrap sections in tinfoil and barbecue over charcoal or 45 minutes. To keep meat from drying out, baste with barbecue sauce every 10 minutes. (Careful not to choke on the rattle.)

Fagioli Bianchi Con Salvia (Divinorum)

This recipe is from Mietta O'Donnell (sort of). White beans with fresh sage leaves. I was fortunate to perform many times at Mietta's unique arts restaurant, in Melbourne, with Lin Van Hek, Difficult Women, once with New Zealand author, Kerri Hulme, and a couple times, with Costas Athanassiou, for the premiere performances of my C.P. Cavafy songcycle, 'When the Lips and the Skin Remember .'

400 g white beans
100 ml olive oil
3 g fresh sage leaves (salvia)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper

Soak beans overnight, pour off water and rinse. Place in a pan with half the oil, sage, and chopped garlic. Cover with water and cook very slowly for 2-3 hours or until beans are tender. Add salt, pepper, and remainder of oil before serving.

If you like, you can add some fresh spinach leaves to the beans near the end of the cooking time, cover and let rest awhile before serving.

(I've never really tried this recipe with Slavia Divinorum, which is the hallucinogenic variation of common Sage, but I include the idea here more in a theoretical spirit, for fellow peace & love ex-hippies who appreciate these kind of things.)

Salvia Divinorum (also known as diviner's sage or simply salvia) is a psychoactive plant, a member of the sage genus. The plant is grown by the Mazatec indigenous people of the Oaxaca mountains of southern Mexico in isolated, moist and secret plots. It has been used by their shamans for centuries for healing during spirit journeys. It is a pure cultivar that does not seem to occur in the wild anywhere in the world.

Legal status: Salvia Divinorum, Salvinorin A, and Divinorin A are not listed in the Controlled Substances Act in the US, but became illegal in Australia and Finland in 2002. Salvia Divinorum is still legal throughout the United States. However, on January 23, 2003 the city of St. Peter's, Missouri passed an ordinance that prohibits the sale of Salvia Divinorum to anyone under the age of 18. The restriction is modeled after the state's tobacco law. St. Peter's is the first, and so far only, city in the nation to restrict the sale of Salvia Divinorum.

Salvia Divinorum User Guide

Potions and Concoctions



On Being Called to Prayer
(While Cooking Dinner for Forty)

When the heavens and the earth
are snapped away like a painted shade,
and every creature called to account,
please forgive me my head
full of chickpeas, garlic, and parsley.
I am in love with the lemon
on the counter, and the warmth
of my brother's shoulder distracted me
when we stood to pray.
The imam took us over
for the first prostration,
but I kept one ear cocked
for the cry of the kitchen timer,
thrilled to realize today's cornbread
could become tomorrow's stuffing.
This thrift may buy me ten warm minutes
in bed tomorrow, before the singer
climbs the minaret in the dark,
to wake me to the work
of thought, word, deed.
I have so little time to finish (only I
know how to turn the dish, so the first taste
makes my brother's eyes open wide) -
forgive me, this pleasure
seems more urgent than the prayer -
I take refuge in You
from the inextricable mischief
of every thing You made,
eggs, milk, cinnamon, kisses, sleep.

~ Patrick Donnelly ~