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Friday November 28th, 2008

eh DUH!

“The 1828 presidential campaign between [Andrew] Jackson and Adams had been vicious. Jackson’s forces had charged that Adams, as minister to Russia, had procured a woman from Czar Alexander I. As president, Adams was alleged to have spent too much public money decorating the White House, buying fancy china and a billiard table. The anti-Jackson assaults were more colourful. Jackson’s foes called his wife a bigamist and his mother a whore, attacking him for a history of dueling, for alleged atrocities in battles against the British, the Spanish and the Indians – and for being a wife-stealer, who had married Rachel before she was divorced from her first husband.
 ‘Even Mrs. Jackson is not spared, and my pious mother, nearly fifty years in the tomb, and who, from her cradle to her death had not a speck upon her character has been dragged forth . . . and held to public scorn as a prostitute who intermarried with a Negro, and my eldest brother sold as a slave in Carolina,’  Jackson said to a friend.”
From ‘American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House’, by Jon Meacham.

Hi folks,
The excerpt from ‘American Lion,’ above demonstrates that muck-racking and mud-slinging is nothing new in American politics. In fact, it’s quite tame today compared to bygone years. I just returned from a three week performing and songwriting workshop tour to the States where I also just happened to see Barack Obama win the US election. Wow. It’s still hard to believe that Bush, Blair and Howard are history.  I brought back Obama buttons and a very bling Obama t-shirt I bought off a very serene black man pushing a shopping trolley in front of Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, in LA.  Yes we can!

One Sunny Day
One sunny day in 2009, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Ave, where he’d been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the US Marine standing guard and said, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.”
The Marine looked at the man and said, “Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.”
The old man said, “Okay” and walked away.
The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.”
The Marine again told the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.”
The man thanked him and, again just walked away
The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same US Marine, saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.”
The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”
The old man looked at the Marine and said, “Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it.”
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, “See you tomorrow, Sir.”
(thanks to Bill Lempke)

Granddaughter Mistica's definitive use of the old Roman term, eh DUH! as a response to Grandpa Joe's patronizing attitude. You go girl!


I was conflicted about being away from home for these past three weeks. Our daughter Sara was going through the most intense part of her chemo treatment here in Melbourne, with my partner Lin and her husband Andrew, as her primary care-givers. But I HAD to go to the States as my father had recently had a stroke and I was concerned that I might not see him again. While over there, I made commitments and organized some work to help pay for the trip. But that necessitated me leaving Lin without my support for awhile back here in Melbourne. So I made a nightly practice of setting my alarm for 3 am US time so that I could wake up and talk to her every night around 7 pm her time. These hour and a half nightly chats got us both over the hard parts.  Here’s a nutshell of my adventures in Obamaland.

1.  Painesville, Ohio. Long, long sixteen hour flight from Australia. Miss my connection in Los Angeles, flight rescheduled, arriving into Cleveland airport at midnight. Picked up by my sister, Kathy and her husband Vince. Over the weekend, I make her a Red Velvet Cake for her birthday.   Autumn leaves pepper the ground like auburn and pastel confetti. Mama Rose stops over to have a piece of cake. I realize, like a thunderbolt, that Rose, my brother’s ex-wife’s mother, was the original inspiration for my song, Shaddap You Face! She talks broken english like I do, but her accent is for real - and multiplied by 1000! She is a living tornado and the original and authentic mama!

Performed an eclectic hour and a half set on Halloween night for high school classmates and family at Hellriegel's Inn, an alleged Ku Klux Klan meeting place in the 1800s, where Senator John F Kennedy spoke and where I attended my High School Prom in the late 60s. The show was organized brilliantly by my sister, and we get a full page colour photo and interview in the local paper. Audience made up of mostly McCain supporters. My old classmate David Gollust flew in from Washington, DC, to see the show and also to door-knock for Obama as he felt Ohio was one of the crucial states to campaign in. David was Senior White House Correspondent for Voice of America and traveled on the same plane as Secretary of State Colin Powell many times. Both of us were overjoyed when Powell crossed the floor for Obama.  David and I, and a few others, feel like blue peas in a red pod during the concert. (Ohio went Republican last election. But Democrat this time. Yay!) Jake Rufli, 75, the Lake Erie Girl’s College theatre director from the 60s, who gave me one of my first performing experiences when I was sixteen years old, also attended the concert, which was a great success, due mainly to the fact that I could tie in every single song I sang to experiences originating in my youth growing up in Painesville. A unique one-of-a-kind show. Visit with my Dad (85) who is in good spirits. He’s got a new girlfriend ten years younger who I watched line dancing with the gals for an entire hour at the Senior Citizens Centre. Wore me out just watching! She wanted me to stay until Friday to accompany them down to The Button Box, the Slovakian club, where up to 30 button box accordion players climb up on stage and play polka music! And I thought I was doing the folk thing!  I think my Dad is in good hands.

Most Memborable Meals:
Banana Cream Pie, at Hellriegel's Inn
Corned Beef Sandwich, at Slyman’s, in Cleveland
Making Almond Biscotti with sister Kathy, in Perry.

2. Harbour Springs, Michigan. One of seven songwriting staff for the 14th Annual Lamb’s Springfed Songwriting Retreat, hosted by John D. Lamb, a fellow Italian-American paisan. Got off the plane to huge taximdermed black bears in the airport, and a snowdome fall of light powdery flakes in my hair. Winter cold, but stimulating! One early morning, on the way to breakfast at the local redneck diner, I saw fifteen deer grazing in the front of houses!  Late night playing around the fire with fellow tutors, including 1991 Nashville songwriter of the Year and Grammy award winner,  Jon Vezner. One of the staff, songwriter Jim Photoglo, was also a fine cook and I’ve reproduced one of his recipes down below from his website.  (Small cooking world!) Some heated but good-natured debates between me, Jim and the cooks regarding Italian cooking and preferred shortcrust pastry.  The songwriting skills of the fifty attendees were the highest I have ever seen in a writing workshop, and totally blurred the line once and for all between amateur and professional.

Most Memborable Meal:
Gruyere Tart, at Springfed Songwriting Retreat

3. Los Angeles CA (Part 1) Recorded harmony vocals and played an old A-2 Gibson mandolin on my song, ‘Hill of Death’, for Alicia Bay Laurel’s new album. (I used to own an A-2 Gibson but I sold it to raise enough money to move from Star Mountain commune in Sonoma County to Berkeley, in the 70s. Fellow commune member Josh called me a whore for doing that! I was. But sometimes you have to let go of one thing in order to grasp another. Ask any monkey swinging through the jungle.) Session engineered by Scott Fraser, in his home studio, who has worked on many Kronos Quartet albums.  Next day, long seven hour drive up to San Francisco-Bay area.

Most Memborable Meals:
Baja Pork Tacos, in LA airport.
Fresh carrot sticks, hummus, cherry tomatoes, black sesame seed crackers and other assorted healthy rabbit food, at freeway rest-stop swith Alicia. (Side effect: developed an insatiable hunger to eat a rabbit!)

4. Berkeley, Ca.  Arrived late, parked our car in front of Stevanne (Doctor Toy) house, ate a quick Indian meal (was it rabbit?) and then Stevanne drove us straight over to KPFA radio for a live-to-air performance with Derk Richardson, engineered by old friend, Tony Ferro. I hadn’t seen Tony for almost forty years since the last time he recorded me at KPFA, in the 70s. Perfect interview with Derk and dynamic live recording. Alicia drives home with Dr Toy to spend the night.  I drive home with Tony to stay at his house. When I write down Dr Toy’s address, where I need Tony to drop me off the next morning, he says, ‘What? This is right across the street from me!’ Literally. I looked out the window and saw our car! Before this night, these folks had never met. One of the most amazing co-incidences I have ever experienced!

5. Sebastopol, Ca. Next morning, drive up to Sebastopol. Classic hippie town, a throw back to the 70s! But with a natural Whole Food store the size of a city block, where they have things on the shelves like Hemp Milk, Hemp Granola and Hemp Powder. Oh yea, I forgot: Tofurkey. (I couldn’t find a Tofu-rabbit though. Damn!) Age of Aquarius-style show at intimate Studio E. Peace, Love and Activism lives. Free the Tofurkey.  Yeah, baby. Ate a mouth-watering Pecan Pie which I WILL track down the recipe for and give to you soon, I promise.

Most Memborable Meal:
Home Made Pecan Pie, at Studio E.

6. San Francisco, Ca. Performance at the SF Community Music Centre. Catch up with old friends, including my favourite ex-girlfriend, from the 70s, Upsy Daisy, who is now a professional therapist and happily married with a grown up daughter. Finally met Tilda, in person – a friend I originally met in an online chat group twelve years ago. She was SapphoTK, from Turkey, back then, and I was Geena! That’s right. I was pretending to be a woman. (Hey, I was new to the internet and was just messing around with nicknames. How did I know I was actually going to meet someone REAL?) Anyway, Tilda became a regular pen-pal over the years and led me to the writings of the real authentic Sappho, and a renewed interest in the classics, which has significantly altered the way I write lyrics. Meeting her face-to-face for the first time after a decade of correspondence was profound! I think the Turkish Delight must have been named for Tilda - who turned me onto the San Francisco Mission District – a multi-cultural melting pot mainstreet of energy and human colour. Saw a Mexican mariachi band and a shouting Spanish evangelical street meeting within one block of each other. Bought a hot tamale from a woman selling them clandestinely from a black plastic trash bag. (Don’t laugh - I’ve discovered the best tamales this way! On my last trip to the States, I saw an old Mexican couple selling tamales, about a mile from the airport, out of the back of their VW van. There was a big sign that said: ‘Tamales, 20 for $5.00. I ate the whole bag in the departure lounge.) Renewed my acquaintance with Ramon Sender, a close fried of Lou Gottlieb and mine from the 70s commune days. Ramon is a writer, composer and was co-founder, with Morton Subotnick, of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, in 1961. Ramon, and Joan Sutton’s, son, Sol Ray, designed the famous rising sun logo for Barack Obama’s campaign!! eh Duh! I remember little Sol Ray playing around the communal house when he was as old as my grand daughter, Misty. After visiting friends for a couple more days, the long drive back to Los Angeles.

Most Memborable Meals:
Deep Fried Kosher Pickles, with Tilda
Omelet made with fresh kale and herbs from Joanie Sutton’s garden!
Hot tamale, on the street, in the Mission.

7. Los Angeles, CA (Part 2) Stay at Alicia’s house in Laurel Canyon and meet her longtime boyfriend, Joe Gallivan.  Joe (b.1937) is a tremendous jazz drummer and a living musical legend who has played with Eduardo Chavez, Art Mooney, Charlie Spivak, the Modern Jazz Orchestra, Donald Byrd, Eric Dolphy, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Robert Moog, Gil Evans,  Larry Young  and Wilson Pickett, amongst many others.  Together,  Joe and I discover Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles which he demands I take him back to the very next morning. (I think the boy ain’t getting enough carbohydrates.) On the way to the airport, we stop and have coffee with old friend, Budd Carr, another longtime friend who originally placed one of Lin Van Hek and my songs in the very first ‘Terminator’ movie back in the 80s when Arnold Swartzenegger and James Cameron were still fairly unknown upstarts. Budd has since done the music for just about all of Oliver Stone’s major pictures. Finally, the long sixteen hour flight home to Melbourne. Sleep. Love. Lin. Sara . . .

Most Memborable Meal(s):
Fried Chicken and Waffles with Joe Gallivan at Roscoe’s. (twice!)

Footnote on Longterm Friendship: This advice was given by Andrew Jackson’s mother, Elizabeth, to him right before she died:

‘Andrew, if I should not see you again,
I wish you to remember and treasure up
some things I have already said to you:
in this world you will have to make your own way.
To do that you must have friends. You can make
friends by being honest, and you can keep
them by being steadfast. You must keep in
mind that friends worth having will in the long run
expect as much from you as they give to you.
To forget an obligation or be ungrateful for a
kindness is a base crime –
not merely a fault or a sin, but an actual crime.’

(thanks to Ramon Sender)


Hey Joe,
Whatsamatta you? Nothing, we hope. Haven't seen you newsletter of late.
Regards, Elizabeth

Liz, I am touched that you missed me but are you actually reading the newsletter? Gotta no respect?  I thought I gave plenty of advance notice that I was going away for three weeks. Well, I’m baaaaaack, now!)

Hey Joe
RE: Tap That
Hope u have a great trip to the US. As always enjoying your newsletter and will miss it! I am fervently hoping you do bring back a new President!!!!!
Couple of things: - not sure what the title of this week's newsletter  [Tap That] refers I missing something here? . . .
 Lastly, wishing you all the very best with all your healthful initiatives. Your lack of scientific method (ie combining a whole stack of techniques at once, thereby rendering them all immeasurable) may be deplored by purists, but in the interests of throwing everything you've got into life (which appears to be your admirable approach to pretty much everything) may you and yours enjoy all the fruits (and sprouts) of health, and inspire the rest of us! Cheers, Justine Stewart

Justine, ‘Tap That’ is what John McCain says to Barack Obama at the end of the dance off video clip. Watch it again.)

Joe Dolce,
RE: Adolf Hitler’s Trout with Butter Sauce Recipe
Please unsubscribe me, I’ll have nothing to do with someone who flaunts the last meal of a tyrant whilst his cronies tried to kill off the rest of the millions they starved and gassed to death as he took the coward’s way out.  You are a disgrace and didn’t learn from what you printed did you.... I’m a gentile too! Linda D

(Note: Ouch! Another one bites the dust. How come I didn’t get any negative comments from any of my Jewish readers about this recipe? Maybe it's only offensive to shiksas. Funny, Linda - you don't look like a gentile.)

G'day Joe,
I met Lou in San Francisco in 1976, backed him up at Golden Gate Park when we Siva Kalpa hippies put on a show, and visited Morning Star. It was overgrown by then, but still had a great vibe. Lou was a great mentor and we always include some of his songs whenever Family Band plays. Not that often nowadays. Creative Destruction is one of my favourites. Good luck with everything. Regards, Steve Kenney, (down at Carrum).

(Note: Steve, I forgot about Creative Destruction! I remember Lou playing that on the piano.)

My name is Savannah Lopez, I am a student of Iain Boal. . . Iain thought that you might be able to help me on my research project that I am attempting to do (but need some help!).
I really want to explore the whole idea of free love and the implications of such an ideology, What did this mean for the woman's body? How was it/ could it be used in order to conduct the hegemonic white male values of the hippies? To what extent did the males and women appropriate it, if at all.
I was wondering if you would be available for an interview, or if you could direct me as to who would be key people to help me along with this project. Perhaps there are books you know of that could help explain that phenomena? I know that there is a free sex commune currently in Berkley and I was wondering if you knew the name? Iain wasn't able to recall it.  Thank you so much for your time! Savannah Lopez,

Hey folks, help Savannah out with any insights if you went through this.  I lived on several free love communes, but they always made me pay. Boom boom. I know that there were double standards on Wheeler’s Ranch, Star Mountain and Morningstar: most guys liked sleeping with a lot of different girls but didn’t like it too much when their partners did it. (See Oil Change Instructions down below for further insights on this.) I always thought this was hypocritical of men and tried to practice ‘what’s good for the goose is good for the gander’ free love but you have to remember: I have Sicilian-Calabrian genes. Two thousand years of jealousy and blood-revenge patterns don’t just disappear with a few acid trips! But we all certainly tried! I’m sure that many of my readers would also be interested to know the whereabouts of that free sex community in Berkley. Good luck, kids. Bring your therapist with you.)

I've been on you mailing list for about 3 years now and you have entertained, inspired and occasionally frustrated me, so much that I've encouraged numerous others to join up. Thank you and please continue in the same vane (sic).
Any chance you could promote a project of mine in the next email?
It’s for a charity, War Child Australia that I do volunteer work for.
War Child works with children and communities affected by war to help rebuild
their lives and promote positive change to help prevent further conflict.
In May 2009 War Child is working with Inspired Adventures to hold the War
Child Cambodia Challenge (11-22 May 2009). Some basic information is
below. Any support you can provide will be gratefully received!
The War Child Australia Cambodia Challenge 2009 will be held 11-22 May 2009.
This tour will be amazing and will include:
*       Cycling through the beautiful Cambodian countryside
*       Exploring the incredible Angkor Wat temples
*       Helping the local children at the Landmine Museum orphanage
Participants will be required to raise a minimum of $6,500 to participate
in the challenge. This money is donated to War Child Australia, once
expenses are deducted (at least half of monies raised goes to War Child
Australia). Places are limited and based on a first come first served
basis. Not only will this be a truly memorable adventure (and a reason to get
fit!), it’s all for a worthwhile cause – supporting War Child Australia.
So you’ll be able to fundraise for War Child Australia AND the costs of
the trip!
There are a limited number of spots, so don’t delay or you’ll miss out!
Please feel free to pass this onto anyone you think might be interested.
Thanks again for the years of laughter.
All the best. Nat James
State Coordinator, War Child Australia

Hi Joe,
What an experience we had, listing to your performance at Hellriegel's Inn, in Painesville, Ohio USA.  My wife Charolette and our friends John & Marilyn, enjoyed your music and stories,  you know, your music made me think, wonder and realize what life can be, when you do it your way,  thanks. I only knew you for your one song,  then your brother Frank told me long ago, you had a lot of other stuff out there, I never checked in to it then, I wish I had, then Frank forward me your news letter a few months ago and wow it's off the hook, great stuff,  I forward it to my brother Denny in Arizona and he was hooked too, man something my older brother likes that I like (Ha, Ha) . . .  Chris Dingley Sr. HHS "73"

Re: San Francisco Community Centre Show
Thanks for a truly memorable evening, bro! I meant it when I called you 'the lean, mean music machine!' Amazing what comes out from under your fingers! Ramon Sender
Ps. Don't know if you follow the TEDS lectures on line, but this guy Paul Stamets is truly hot: "Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World" truly great stuff!

Re: KPFA Berkely ‘live’ to air performance and interview
What a great job you did, Martin Luther King, Jr was incredible....your soloing has become polished and really defined.. really proud of ya, Frank
Here is the radio interview:

What I’m Reading This Week
AMERICAN LION, by Jon Meacham. Andrew Jackson in the White House.
A DEATH IN ZAMORA, by Ramon Sender Barayon.  An account of the Spanish civil war and of Ramon’s quest to find out the truth about his mother’s murder by a fascist assassination team in his hometown of Zamora.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS, by Neil Gaiman. I love this guy. He is to horror fiction what Philip K. Dick was to sci-fi. He also writes a mean children’s story. (Coraline.) ‘His fecundity, coupled with the overall quality of his work, is both wonderful and a little intimidating.’  Stephen King

What I’m Listening to This Week
LHASA, La Llorona.  Dusky Spanish and French singing chanteuse from Canada. How I imagine Frida Kahlo would sound if she sang.

What I’m Watching This Week
VIET CONG. De-classified documentary about the world’s most effective guerilla army.
HELL BOY 2. Sequel to the original. The most faithful adaptation of a comic book hero to the big screen ever.
THE GREAT DEBATERS, with Denzel Washington. If you want to refresh your memory a little to some of the challenges Barack Obama faced to achieve what he has achieved (and the challenges we all still face!) watch this film based on a true story.  
‘Marshall, Texas, described by James Farmer, Jr. as "the last city to surrender after the Civil War," is home to Wiley College, where, in 1935-36, inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and his clandestine work as a union organizer, Professor Melvin Tolson coaches the debate team to a nearly-undefeated season that sees the first debate between U.S. students from white and Negro colleges and ends with an invitation to face Harvard University's national champions. The team of four, which includes a female student and a very young James Farmer, is tested in a crucible heated by Jim Crow, sexism, a lynch mob, an arrest and near riot, a love affair, jealousy, and a national radio audience.’

Charles Lynch (1736 – 1796) was a Virginia planter and American Revolutionary who headed an irregular court in Virginia to punish Loyalist supporters of the British during the American Revolutionary War. The terms "lynching" and "lynch law" derive from his name.
Lynch was born in Virginia to Quaker immigrants from Ireland. The city of Lynchburg, Virginia, was named for one of his family members, probably his brother John.
In several incidents in 1780, Lynch and several other militia officers and justices of the peace rounded up suspects who were thought to be a part of a Loyalist uprising in southwestern Virginia. The suspects were given a summary trial at an informal court; sentences handed down included whipping, property seizure, coerced pledges of allegiance, and conscription into the military. Lynch's extralegal actions were retroactively legitimized by the Virginia General Assembly in 1782.
"Lynch's Law", referring to organized but unauthorized punishment of criminals, became a common phrase, as was used by Charles Lynch to describe his actions as early as 1782. Variations of the term, such as "lynch law", "judge lynch", and "lynching", were standard entries in American and British English dictionaries by the 1850s. (from wikipedia)

Body Facts
It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
 One human hair can support 3 kg (6 lb).
 The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.
 Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
 A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.
 There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
 Women blink twice as often as men.
 The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.
 Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
 If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
 Women reading this will be finished now.
 Men who read this are probably still busy checking their thumbs.
(thanks to Jim Testa)

Sarah Palin offered $2 million to appear in porn film
Husband Todd offered $100,000 and a snowmobile if he'll co-star, says Florida adult film producer.
(thanks to Stefan Abeysekera)


Bobby Mc Ferrin "Blackbird"

Great high tech info site!
(thanks to Frank Dolce)

Film Comments


The Movie of the Screenplay of the Adaption of the Collage of the Composite of the Comic Book of the Travel Ad

I won't spend too much time reviewing this movie as there isnt much to review even though it was three hours long. Two film in one actually. The film up to the Darwin bombing. And the film after the Darwin bombing. Everyone should see this movie. Actually, everyone should see all of Baz Lurhman's films. Once. Mainly because of the stunning cinematography, which is always thrilling. Baz works hard to give us all a good thrill ride. After awhile, however, you notice the weak storytelling, and the jerry-rigged music scores.

First what I didn't like. Then what I did. Like all Baz's movies, it suffers from poor writing skills. That's because Baz wrote it. The only movie he didnt write, which I did like, was 'Romeo and Juliet,' which was thrown together by that hack Hollywood screenwriter, William Shakeshvartz. Good yarn, that. Taking a theme as large as AUSTRALIA creates much expectation. I mean, he could follow up this film with NEW ZEALAND, then ENGLAND, and maybe even ITALY. Like James A Michener did. But big expectations deserve big outcomes, not just big images. Imagine 'Gone With the Wind,' without the Wind, 'Lawrence of Arabia,' without the Arabs or 'Walkabout,' without the Walk. You get the picture. Literally. The Picture. Like someone once said about California supermarket fruit and supermarket blondes: big, bright, and shiny . . but no flavour. I didn't like 'The Wizard of Oz' counter-theme idea throughout because, other than a bloody overused cliche, like the actual Wizard of Oz himself, I could see the Wizard of Baz behind the curtains pulling the strings and turning the wheels. It is practically impossible to suspend belief when you can see the director's feet sticking out from beneath the curtain. All I could think of at these times was: millionaire actors acting with other millionaire actors, directed by a millionaire director, produced by other millionaires, making more millions for millionaire studios - while us mugs sit in the dark, looking desperately for the MAGIC, and, meanwhile, struggling to pay our bills. I didn't like the hypersexuality of Hugh Jackman, in his 90-day moneyback guaranteed Rambo body, and the practically non-existant sexuality of Nicole Kidman, although I did like her tongue-in-cheek reprisal of her character from 'Portrait of a Lady.' The whole opening scenes felt like watching a kids' film. Like 'Babe'. I didn't like the Americanization of the cattle droving scenes: the first time Jackman astride riding his horse, my partner and I both turned to each other and said outloud in perfect synch under our breath: 'Marlboro Man!' The 'Lonesome Dove' big Americana-style western music under the wide shots of the droving was like a Little Australia on the Prairie. Just plain wrong. Speaking of the music, I did like the ambient score, but disliked the major thematic musical ideas, especially the pinching of one of the key signature themes of Bach's 'Sheep May Safely Graze,' and glued onto something else. I didn't like the overuse of cartoon humour for the white characters and the underuse of it for the aboriginal characters. Native Australian people have some of the best natural humour on the planet. Watch the Bush Mechanics. Portraying ethnic people as overly serious and profound, especially in lightweight adventure stories such as this, is a form of sublimated racism and ignorance of the real culture. I didn't like the length of the film. Too long to support such an average story. In my opinion, the drama should have focused on the Darwin bombing, by the Japanese, and looked at that in detail.  That’s a story that still needs to be told properly. And instead of portraying the Japanese as cardboard bad guys, show their point-of-view intelligently. That would have been interesting to see and understand. All the love story components and outback stuff could have remained the same, but the film would have served a greater purpose than just 2-D entertainment.

What I did like was having the film told from the point of view of the half-caste boy. That was groundbreaking. The depiction of the bombing of Darwin was powerful, even though it did feel like watching 'Pearl Harbour' again. Still, this event did happen and it's good to see it visualized, although the one-sided way it was done won't do much for the Japanese tourist trade. I liked seeing the pantheon of classic Australian actors such as Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, Bruce Spence, Max Cullen, Ben Mendelsohn, David Gulpilil and David Wenham (who did some of the only real acting in the film.) It felt like a grand aussie family reunion. Baz might as well have included Aussie-American C&W singer, Keith Urban, singing the soundtrack. Why not? It makes as much sense as the American western music he used. But I especially liked the photo in Women's Day of Byran Brown's wife, Rachel Ward, wearing one of Lin Van Hek's dresses at the premiere of the film! That was a buzz! Now Rachel Ward has taste. ( But what I really missed most of all in this film was the REAL Australia I've come to know and love. Budding filmmaker Russel Hannah gives us a better script idea below:

You know you're Australian if....
You know the meaning of 'girt'
You believe that stubbies can either be worn or drunk
You think it is normal to have a Prime Minister called Kevin.
You waddle when you walk due to the 53 expired petrol discount vouchers stuffed in your wallet or purse.
You've made a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering the garden.
When you hear that an American 'roots for his team' you wonder how often and with whom.
You understand that the phrase 'a group of women wearing black thongs' refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.
You pronounce Melbourne as 'Mel-bin'.
You pronounce Penrith as 'Pen-riff'.
You believe the 'L' in the word ' Australia ' is optional.
You can translate: 'Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way  to  Maccas.
You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.
You call your best friend 'a total bastard' but someone you really, truly despise is just 'a bit of a bastard'.
You think 'Woolloomooloo' is a perfectly reasonable name for a  place.
You believe is makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin.
You understand that 'Wagga Wagga' can be abbreviated to 'Wagga' but 'Woy Woy' can't be called 'Woy'.
You believe that cooked-down axlegrease makes a good breakfast spread.
You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis.
You know, whatever the tourist books say, that no one says 'cobber'.
You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again'.
You believe, as an article of faith, that the confectionary known  as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.
You still don't get why the 'Labor' in 'Australian Labor Party' is not spelt with a 'u'.
You wear ugh boots outside the house.
You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them.
Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language.
You understand that 'excuse me' can sound rude, while 'scuse me' is always polite.
You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasions via your  nose.
You understand that 'you' has a plural and that it's 'youse'.
You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle.
Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules of beach cricket.
You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what  they call 'Anzac cookies'.
You still think of Kylie as 'that girl off Neighbours'.
When returning home from overseas, you expect to be brutally strip-searched by Customs - just in case you're trying to sneak in fruit.
You believe the phrase 'smart casual' refers to a pair of black tracky-daks, suitably laundered.
You understand that all train timetables are works of fiction.
When working at a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer.
You get choked up with emotion by the first verse of the national anthem and then have trouble remembering the second.
You find yourself ignorant of nearly all the facts deemed essential in the government's new test for migrants.
You will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand!!
(thanks to Russell Hannah)

Oil Change Instructions for Women:
1) Drive into Ultra Tune when the odometer reaches 10,000 kilometres since the last oil change.
2) Drink a cup of coffee , read free paper.
3) 15 minutes later, write a cheque and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.
Money spent:
Oil Change: $40.00
Coffee: $2.00
Total: $42.00

Oil Change Instructions for Men:
1) Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, write a cheque for $50.00.
2) Stop by the Bottle Shop and buy a slab of beer, write a cheque for $40, drive home.
3) Open a beer and drink it.
4) Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
5) Find jack stands under caravan.
6) In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
7) Place drain pan under engine.
8) Look for 9/16 box end wrench.
9) Give up and use crescent wrench.
10) Unscrew drain plug.
11) Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil: splash hot oil on you in process. Curse and swear.
12) Crawl out from under car to wipe hot oil off face and arms. Throw kitty litter on spilled oil.
13) Have another beer while watching oil drain.
14) Spend 30 minutes looking for oil filter wrench.
15) Give up; crawl under car and hammer a screwdriver through oil filter and twist off.
16) Crawl out from under car with dripping oil filter splashing oil everywhere from holes. Cleverly, hide old oil filter among rubbish in wheely bin to avoid environmental penalties. Drink a beer.
17) Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to gasket surface.
18) Dump first litre of fresh oil into engine.
19) Remember drain plug from step 11.
20) Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
21) Drink beer.
22) Discover that first litre of fresh oil is now on the floor. Throw kitty litter on oil spill.
23) Get drain plug back in with only a minor spill. Drink beer.
24) Crawl under car getting kitty litter into eyes. Wipe eyes with oily rag used to clean drain plug. Slip with stupid crescent wrench tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame removing any excess skin between knuckles and frame.
25) Begin swearing fit.
26) Throw stupid crescent wrench.
27) Swear for additional 5 minutes because wrench hit bowling trophy.
28) Beer.
29) Cleanup hands and bandage as required to stop blood flow.
30) Beer.
31) Dump in five fresh litres of oil.
32) Beer.
33) Lower car from jack stands.
34) Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during any missed steps.
35) Beer.
36) Test drive car.
37) Get pulled over: arrested for driving under the influence.
38) Car is impounded.
39) Call loving wife, make bail.
40) 12 hours later, get car from impound yard.
Money spent:
Parts: $50.00
DUI: $2400.00
Impound fee: $75.00
Bail: $1500.00
Beer: $40.00
Total: $4,085.00
But you know the job was done right!
(thanks to Jim Testa)

Peter Russell Clarke (X-rated Bloopers and Outtakes) 80's
(thanks to Frank Akers)

A Lawyer and a Jew
A lawyer and an elderly Jewish man are sitting next to each other on a long flight. The lawyer is thinking that Jews are really pretty dumb that he could trick them easily.
 So the lawyer asks if the Jew would he like to play a fun game.
 The old Jewish man is tired and just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.
 The lawyer persists, and says that the game is a lot of fun.
 “I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me only $5; you ask me  one, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500.” he says.
 This catches the Jew's attention and to keep the lawyer quiet, he agrees to play the game.
 The lawyer asks the first question. “What's the distance from The Earth to the Moon?”
 The elderly Jew doesn't say a word, reaches in his pocket pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer.
Now, it's the Jew's turn.
 He asks the lawyer, “What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?”
 The lawyer uses his laptop and searches all references he could find on the Net. He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows, all to no avail. After one hour of searching he finally gives up.
 He wakes up the Jewish man and hands him $500. The old Jew  pockets the $500 and goes right back to sleep.
 The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer.
 He wakes the elderly Jew up and asks, “Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?”
 The Jew shrugs, reaches in his pocket, hands the lawyer $5 and goes back to sleep….
(thanks to Peter Marks)


The Dolce Shoe

Price    $115.00
Cheetah Print Sandal.
Pony hair upper.
Approximately 4" sturdy heel on a platform rubber sole.
Red sock lining.
Criss-cross straps with buckle details.
This sandal will stand out with any outfit and it's as comfortable as it is chic!



6 medium to large sweet potatoes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
½ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke potatoes in three places each with a fork, and rub with oil. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet, leaving as much space between them as possible, and cook in the center of the oven about 60 minutes, or until a knife goes in easily. Meanwhile, melt the butter, add the cream, spices and salt and heat through. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them open, scoop out the meat, run it through a potato ricer, or mash it, and mix in the butter-cream mixture. Stir until smooth. Transfer to a buttered 7"x11"x1½" baking dish and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let potato mixture come to room temperature and remove plastic wrap, before placing in a 350 degree oven. Heat for 45 minutes until hot.
(thanks to Jim Photoglo.)

On Painting

I attend to my work and I love it.
But today the languor of composition disheartens me.
The day has affected me. Its face
is deepening dark. It continues to blow and rain.
I would sooner see than speak.
In the painting now, I am looking at
a beautiful lad who is stretched out
near the fountain, probably worn out from running.
What a beautiful child; what divine noon
has now overtaken him to lull him to sleep. -
I sit and look so for a long time.
And again it is in art that I rest from its toil.

~ CP Cavafy ~
(translated from the Greek, by Rae Dalven)

Newsletter Archive  and  Recipe Index



Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Doughboy [aka George W Bush] passed away yesterday of a yeast infection (boom boom) and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. (boom boom) He was 71.

George W Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. (boom boom) Dozens of celebrities
turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and  Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours. (boom boom)

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. (boom boom) Doughboy rose quickly (boom boom) in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. (boom boom) He was not considered a very smart cookie, (boom boom) wasting much of his dough   (boom boom) on half-baked schemes. (boom boom) Despite being a little flaky at times, (boom boom) he still was a crusty old man (boom boom) and was considered a positive roll model (boom boom) for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, (boom boom) three children: John  Dough, (boom boom) Jane Dough (boom boom) and Dosey Dough, (boom boom) plus they had one in the oven. (boom boom) He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. (boom boom)

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes. (boom boom!!)
(Thanks to Bill Lempke)