You'll find a peppering of Mae West quotes throughout this newsletter to cheer you up. At her wittiest, Mae reminds me a little of Oscar Wilde.
Lately, I've been getting regular hand-written invitations in my post box from the local Church of Scientology to visit their 'Celebrity Centre.'
" Dear Joe, come on down, and hang with your fellow 'Night of the Living Hubbard' homeboys." More or less.
Believe it or not, there is a celebrity centre right here in Melbourne. I guess I'm on their mailing list 'cause I'm somewhat of a celebrity. (Someone please tell my bank manager.) Jeeeeez! They must be getting desperate for some celebration down there.
I've always been curious as to what goes on in the 'back room' at those celebrity centres but I'm a little nervous about going alone. I might go down there as Joe Dolce - but come back as Joe-Dolce-with-the-Control-Bolt-in-the-Back-of-His-Neck. I might not even COME back. The Pod-Person-Joe-Dolce might come back in my place. (And I don't mean iPod) - The Joe Dolce who wears a suit on stage and who wouldn't think 'Shaddap You Face' is funny anymore. That's the certain sign to watch out for, folks. When that other 'Joe Dolce' starts disowning 'Shaddap You Face,' like John Farnham disowns 'Sadie the Cleaning Lady,' then you know it's not me anymore. I've been replaced by the Instant LRonTofu version.
The latest invite I received had this Pearl of Great Price from N. Ron (pun intended):
"The only possible way you could do anything for man would be able to teach man to do something for man.' L Ron Hubbard
Ouch! I get a headache just reading that. Like an ingrown toenail. (Isn't that type of circular reasoning called something in Logic studies? Analasphyxiation, or something? Somebody help me out here . . . .)
As humourist Peter Kay might say:
"If it's true that we are here to help
others . . .
what are the others here for?"
Teachers teaching teachers to teach.
I teach, therefore I teach.
Species Homo Teachus.
Lawd . . . . . . have MERCY!
The Three Axioms of Evol
Axiom 1: If I
give a person a fish, then I feed him for one day.
Axiom 2: But if I teach him how to fish, then I feed him for a lifetime.
Axiom 3: However, if, after 15 years of Scientology, and a hundred grand later, I can teach him how to teach someone else how to teach someone else how to teach someone else how to teach someone else how to fish . . . (then who's going to eat all that baccala?)
Seriously, I like Gandhi's concept of NOT teaching one's beliefs. (i.e. like NOT spoonfeeding C-grade religious ideas into the minds of impressionable young children. (Tom, Katie. Listen up. This means you.) Or into the fading minds of older Italian-American-Australian hippie folk singers. (You talkin' to me?) Gandhi called it 'The Gospel of the Rose.' In other words, the rose doesn't have to preach, it just IS. It's fragrance is its gospel. Or put differently, it's not as important to spend one's life searching for the meaning of life as it is to LIVE one's life so that it HAS meaning.
My inner lapsed Catholic priest, Father Giuseppe, has some good advice. Want to hear it? For free?
FATHER GIUSEPPE'S ADVICE 1: No children are allowed to practice any religion whatsoever or attend any church of any denomination, until they are old enough to vote. Until then, they are encouraged to learn to shoot pool, fingerpaint and speak an Asian or Arabic language.
FATHER GIUSEPPE'S ADVICE 2: No entertainers are allowed to be Scientologists, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, until their 85th birthday, or their teeth fall out - which ever comes first.
So . . . . if the Secretary of Scientology continues to send me celebrity invites - up to my 85th birthday - (2030 - that will be around the 50th Anniversary of Shaddap You Face. Whoa!!!) then I promise I will go down and let them give me an anal probe with the e-Meter, or whatever. Of course, by then, I could be the divine figurehead of my own Church of Shaddapology (an unesoteric term derived from the ancient Sanskrit root-words of 'shaddap' and 'apology') so maybe they could come down and hang out at my own non-celebrity Centre. They might even sing up (not sign up) - and become Shaddapologists. Help me eat all that baccala.
Favourite Reader Comments of the Week
The name Lalla Arifa struck an obscure chord in my memory and it was more than a week before the penny finally dropped. One of my favourite movies is Claude Lelouch's quirky 2002 romance And now... Ladies and Gentlemen in which Jeremy Irons, as a sophisticated jewel thief, and Patricia Kaas, as a Parisian chanteuse, cross each other's paths in Fez, Morocco. Both are suffering from brain tumours, but each chooses a different approach to a cure: Irons goes under the knife, while Kaas follows the advice of a local spiritual healer and undertakes a pilgrimage to the shrine and burial place of a saintly woman called Lalla Shafira. . . Lalla Shafira is clearly a take-off of Lalla Arifa, and the kind of influence she had on her followers. . . Well worth watching. John C
Regarding 'Chook Flu Panic' - how about starting a database to track how many of your newsletter subscribers take the 'Best natural advice' you quoted, and manage to survive whatever sort of 'influence' comes their way in the next few months? As intelligent as I'm sure the majority of your readers are (hey, I'm one of them!), they are still human and humans are, at base, lazy, easy-way-out seekers (what other explanation is there for less than 50% of the voting age population showing up at the polls and allowing a virus like Bush-u-enza to continue to spread over the land?), who are prone to only reading what's put before them without doing any further due diligence. I think it may have been wise to have posted the disclaimer which your source shows on his website if for no other reason than to cover your ass from the 'Well, Joe recommended I let Gramps cook in his own juices' lawsuits. Best to you this Halloween, my friend ... you little devil. JJ
(Note: JJ, Thanks for the warning! I forgot the US is filled with litigation-happy fools. However, as I was merely 'quoting' verbatim and directing people to the site WHERE THE DISCLAIMER WAS CLEARLY POSTED, I think it'll be cool. Anyway, aside from all the paranoia, that simple advice is hundreds of years old, sound and practical and I think you might find it comes in handy one day when you can't get to your family doctor for your lazy-ass Dick Cheney flu shot. I also think we should review Patch Adams' work and recall that his hospital and doctors refuse as a matter of principle to take out malpractice insurance. They feel it creates a Wall of Distrust between patient and doctor. I guess if they can demonstrate the courage of their convictions in the much more dangerous area of day-to-day medical practice, I can show some mettle in the area of hack journalism. By the way, speaking of Halloween, the next couple of articles are for you, punkin head.)
The Zen of Mae West No.1
The woman who liberated female sexuality on screen was described once as 'the first male chauvinist pig.' She herself said, ' Ohhh , I couldn't give advice to a woman unless I knew her, and I don't know any.'
H A L L O W E E N
Dance of the Demons
by James Carroll
Tonite the children will be out, pretending to be demons. The whimsical traditions of trick or treat, masked mischief, and ritualized mayhem are a way of dealing with a dark mystery. The delightful fright of the haunted house and its spooks initiates youngsters into the macabre realm of mortality. Costumes teach that deception is part of life. The threat at the door implicates even the innocent, who happily enact the abandonment of morality. The figure of the witch is emblematic because this holiday makes a joke of scapegoating murder. Play is never more serious than on Halloween because what the mockery confronts is nothing less than evil.
What is evil anyway? The myths of the devil, a snare-layer existing apart from humans, are well established, from Lucifer to Satan to Cruella. Their legends promote the notion that we descendants of Eve are at the mercy of a wicked enemy whose attacks are from outside. When we personalize that enemy and identify it, we can launch a counter-attack. The battle is what our children enact tonight. Smashing pumpkins is a version of witch-burning; if we like such violence it is because it leaves us feeling purified. Nothing sanctifies the self like condemnation of the other. (article)
The Zen of Mae West No.2
She would frequently donate her Cadillacs to convents because she said, 'Ohhh, nuns on buses depress me.'
Woman's Body Mistaken for Halloween Decoration
The apparent suicide of a woman found hanged
in a tree was ignored for hours because neighbours thought she
was a Halloween decoration. The 42-year-old woman's body was suspended
five metres (15ft) from the ground at the side of a busy road
in Frederica, Delaware, from Tuesday night, police said. Locals
noticed the body early on Wednesday but dismissed it as a Halloween
prank. "They thought it was a Halloween decoration,"
Mayor William Glanden's wife, Fay, told a local paper. "It
looked like something somebody would have rigged up." Police
were called later in the day.
(thanks to paramb)
The Zen of Mae West No.3
Actresses began turning down parts in her films because they know they would not appear to advantage. She once made a slender actress wear a blanket under her dress.
Favourite Reviews of the Week
Shaddup-a You Face!!!!!
" I loved that song! My babysitter used to invite her friends over, drink Screwdrivers and put that song on. I would, very enthusiastically, dance to it and sing at the top of my lungs. "whatsa mattah you! hey! itsa notso bad, itsa nice-a place, ah shaddupa you face!" My key move was moving my arms like I was pedalling a bike with them and simultaneously wiggling my butt like I had seen done on DANCE FEVER with Denny O'tario!!!! Igneous
"The only thing truly awful I bought was my first single which was Joe Dolce's "shaddupa yer face". I think after that no matter how hard I try to redeem myself, I'm ending up in Hell...... in fact I can hear (it) in my head at this moment. AHHHHHHH! DAMN YOU. Devons Daddy
The Zen of Mae West No.4
When asked if if the then unknown Cary Grant would be suitable for her leading man, she said, 'Ohhh , If he can talk, I'll take him. ' Another ex-boyfriend said, 'With her it came through loud and clear that you could be a combination of Einstein and Cary Grant, but you would mean nothing if a well-built fighter with a crooked nose, cauliflower ears and IQ of an ape appeared."
The Meaning of Tingo
by Michael Quinion
It's an odd little volume, which brings together hundreds of words from 140 languages, "extraordinary words from around the world", as the subtitle puts it. These are divided into chapterettes, short sections on a theme. One of these is headed "Atishoo!" and begins by noting that in Japan, one sneeze signifies praise, two sneezes, criticism, and three, disparagement. . . There are 27 words for "moustache" in the Albanian dictionary, and another 27 for "eyebrows". The Persian dictionary gives "nakhur", as "a camel that won't give milk until her nostrils have been tickled", or the Indonesian "didis", "to search and pick up lice from one's own hair, usually when in bed at night". The Japanese have the wonderful "bakkushan", for a girl who looks as though she might be pretty when seen from behind, but isn't from the front. And the meaning of "tingo"? It's from the Pascuense language of Easter Island, meaning "to borrow objects from a friend's house, one by one, until there's nothing left". (article)
"The Meaning of Tingo", published by Penguin
(thanks to Dai Woosnam)
The Zen of Mae West No.5
Her auditioning techniques were always highly unorthodox - several actors reported that the entire procedure consisted of standing behind her and fondling her breasts.
The Miniature Earth
(A lovely multi-media presentation on how the distribution of human resources would look if there were only 100 people. See where you are on the scale.) (view)
(thanks to Stephen Ross)
The Zen of Mae West No.6
Her bedroom had a polar bear rug and a mirrored ceiling because, as she said, 'Ohhh, I like to see how I'm doin.'
" Hi, my name is Jack Ellis. For
several years now I've been studying seduction, NLP, hypnosis,
and... cults. With the publication of a recent book our little
'seduction community' has been exposed. But the power you
gain by learning 'seduction' methods pales in comparison to having
the power and charisma of a cult leader. Let me give you
my own personal example.
I was 25 and very lonely. Being an only child, I had no clue how to relate to women. I was at the end of my rope... but then I found a newsgroup that featured tips and tricks on how to "pick up" women. I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread! After studying this stuff for awhile I actually got pretty good at attracting women, but I could feel something was missing.
I was getting sex all right, but I wasn't getting women to CRAVE me... to look UP to me... to REALLY want me deep inside. Then I saw a television news report about a man with a UFO cult, who had dozens of gorgeous young women fawning all over him - and this guy looks to be over 50 and about as attractive as Fred Sanford! What did this guy have that I didn't? That's when I decided to make a thorough examination of cult masters, gurus, and other 'religious' leaders. The stuff that these guys get away with is amazing! And now I'm here to share my findings with you.
If you're like me, you really don't want to START a cult. But by learning the methods and techniques of charismatic cult leaders, you can bond any woman (or women) to you for the long-term. . . . (article)
The Zen of Mae West No.7
She hated working with WC Fields, also a big star at the time, and is said to have remarked once, " Ohhh, no airforce ever named their inflatable life jackets after WC Fields.'
- DynCorp and Me
by Jeremy Scahill
(Note: In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, journalist Jeremy Scahill investigated the role of private security companies like Blackwater USA, infamous for their work in Iraq, that deployed on the streets of New Orleans. His reports were broadcast on the national radio and TV show Democracy Now! and on hundreds of sites across the internet. In response to Scahill's recent cover story in The Nation magazine "Blackwater Down," the President and CEO of DynCorp, one of the largest private security companies in the world, wrote a letter to the editor of The Nation. Dyncorp CEO Stephen J. Cannon's letter is reprinted below, followed by Scahill's response.)
" . . .Security is only one of many service areas in which DynCorp International works. In the area affected by Katrina and Rita, DI helicopters are providing transportation, DI aviation technicians at several military bases are servicing aircraft that have been deployed for the relief effort, Marine Spill Response Corporation ships with DI crews are repairing oil platforms and cleaning spills, and DI logistics experts are installing temporary housing and office facilities for local officials and relief in St. Bernard Parish."
Stephen J. Cannon
President and CEO
Scahill Replies . . . .
" . . .To hear Stephen Cannon tell it,
DynCorp has been reincarnated as the Red Cross. He objects to
the term "mercenary." The primary quality of a mercenary
is that his main motivation is money. That is why DynCorp forces,
paid much more than regular US military forces, are in Afghanistan,
Iraq, Haiti, Africa, the Balkans--it is profitable. DynCorp itself
is a mercenary, making a killing for its services. In the past
two years alone, the company's revenues have doubled to more than
$1.9 billion. Not bad for not being mercenaries. As a journalist,
I'm afraid I have to judge DynCorp not on the spin of its CEO
but on its record. Here are just a few of the reasons for serious
concern about DynCorp forces operating on US soil:
- DynCorp employees in Bosnia, where the company plays a major policing role, have engaged in organized sex-slave trading with girls as young as 12, and DynCorp's Bosnia site supervisor was filmed raping a woman. A subsequent lawsuit, filed by a company whistleblower, alleged that "employees and supervisors from DynCorp were engaging in perverse, illegal and inhumane behavior [and] were purchasing illegal weapons, women, forged passports and [participating in] other immoral acts." The whisteblower, with whom DynCorp eventually settled, "witnessed coworkers and supervisors literally buying and selling women for their own personal enjoyment, and employees would brag about the various ages and talents of the individual slaves they had purchased." The company's initial response was to fire the whistleblowers. The employees involved in the sex ring were transferred out of the country. Some were eventually fired, although none were ever criminally prosecuted. One of the whistleblowers told Congress, "DynCorp is the worst diplomat our country could ever want overseas.'' (article)
The Zen of Mae West No.8
" Ohhh, his mother should have thrown him away... and kept the stork. "
Vietnam Study, Casting Doubts, Remains Secret
by Scott Shane
WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency (N.S.A.) has kept secret since 2001 a finding by an agency historian that during the Tonkin Gulf episode, which helped precipitate the Vietnam War, N.S.A. officers deliberately distorted critical intelligence to cover up their mistakes, two people familiar with the historian's work say. The historian's conclusion is the first serious accusation that communications intercepted by the N.S.A., the secretive eavesdropping and code-breaking agency, were falsified so that they made it look as if North Vietnam had attacked American destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964, two days after a previous clash. President Lyndon B. Johnson cited the supposed attack to persuade Congress to authorize broad military action in Vietnam, but most historians have concluded in recent years that there was no second attack. (article)
The Zen of Mae West No.9
" Ohhh, those who are easily shocked ... should be shocked more often."
The True Cost of War
by Cindy Sheehan
" . . A mom whose son committed "accidental" suicide in Iraq about 7 months ago called me this morning. She is beside herself with grief. I remember that the 7th month to the 9th month is the hardest. I think this is true because the profound shock is starting to wear off and the horrendous pain sets in. I so vividly remember the days where I ached so badly I didn't know what to do with my pain. I was afraid if I started screaming, I wouldn't be able to stop until every blood vessel in my brain burst open. I was afraid if I started to hit something, I wouldn't be able to stop until it was completely destroyed. I was afraid that I would have to live every single day with heartbreak so intense and overpowering that I would eventually wear myself out from it.
The ninth month after Casey was killed was the absolute most devastating for me. I remembered the first nine months of his existence in my womb all warm and protected. How his dad and I anticipated his birth with so much joy and expectation. In contrast, the first nine months he was in the cold, cold womb of our mother earth were so joyless, painful, dark and dismal. Having your child murdered for lies, mistakes, and betrayals is so dark and dismal: no one should have to endure what we are enduring.
I was able to reassure the mom in agony somewhat that if she could get through about two more months, she would be able to breathe a little and maybe smile a little and even mean it once in awhile. . ." (article)
The Zen of Mae West No.10
" Ohhh, keep a diary, and someday it'll keep you. "
Vermonters Move to Secede From USA
'Whenever any form of government is destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government in such form as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness.' United States Declaration of Independence
James Howard Kunstler, author of the book about
Peak Oil The Long Emergency, will be the keynote speaker
at The Vermont Convention on Independence to be held in
the House Chamber of the State House in Montpelier, VT on Friday,
October 28th, 2005. Sponsored by the Second Vermont Republic,
the convention, which will begin at 9 am and conclude at 5 pm,
is open to the public and free of charge. This historic event
will be the first statewide convention on secession in the United
States since North Carolina voted to secede from the Union on
May 20, 1861. Organizers of the convention say it has two objectives:
First, to raise the level of awareness of Vermonters of the feasibility
of independence as a viable alternative to a nation which has
lost its moral authority and is unsustainable. And second, to
provide an example and a process for other states and nations
which may be seriously considering separatism, secession, independence,
and similar devolutionary strategies. The Second Vermont Republic
describes itself as "a peaceful, democratic, grassroots,
libertarian populist movement committed to the return of Vermont
to its status as an independent republic as it once was between
1777 and 1791." (article)
The Zen of Mae West No.11
" Ohhh, I go for two kinds of men. The kind with muscles, and the kind without. "
"To believe that the Bush-Cheney scandals
will be behind us anytime soon you'd have to believe that the
Nixon-Agnew scandals peaked when G. Gordon Liddy and his bumbling
band were nailed for the Watergate break-in. But Watergate played
out for nearly two years after the gang that burglarized Democratic
headquarters was indicted by a federal grand jury; it even dragged
on for more than a year after Nixon took "responsibility"
for the scandal, sacrificed his two top aides and weathered the
indictments of two first-term cabinet members. In those ensuing
months, America would come to see that the original petty crime
was merely the leading edge of thematically related but wildly
disparate abuses of power that Nixon's attorney general, John
Mitchell, would name "the White House horrors."
The Zen of Mae West No.12
" Ohhh, is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me? "
by Jim Hightower
" With that twisted macho smirk of his, George W keeps telling us that he's "a war president." So, how's the chief doing? Let's do Bush by the numbers:
-Official count of American troops killed so
far in his war of lies in Iraq: 1,965 and rising daily.
-Official count of those wounded: 14,755.
-Number of weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq: 0.
-Total tax dollars thrown into his Iraq war so far, counting the latest $50-billion payment: $260 billion.
-Number of Bush daughters, nephews, and nieces who are of prime enlistment age: 10.
-Number of Bush family members who've enlisted in his war: 0.
-Percentage of Americans who think the Bushites "deliberately misled the public" in order to go to war in Iraq: 52%
-Percentage who now approve of his handling of the war: 32%.
None of these are good numbers for the "war president," but there's an even more startling statistic that the establishment media has deliberately failed to report to you the percentage of Americans who now want congress to consider impeaching Bush if he lied about his reasons for invading Iraq: 50 percent!
This new data from Ipsos Public Affairs, the highly-regarded, non-partisan polling company, shows a stunning surge in grassroots support for removing George W from the White House. It's even more remarkable considering that the media barons have provided zero coverage of the burgeoning sentiment for impeachment. Likewise, not a single congressional Democrat has stepped forward to support what is fast becoming a majority opinion of the people. " (article)
The Zen of Mae West No.13
" Ohhh, ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired. "
We will no longer accept a doctor's certificate as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to the Centre.
Each Minister will receive 52 personal days a year. They are called Saturday or Sunday.
This is no excuse for missing Service. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-Ministers attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where Minister involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to minister through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the cubicles. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the cubicle door will open, and your picture will be taken. After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the Church notice board under the "Chronic Offenders" category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the Church's mental health policy.
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our Church. Remember we are a Church of Choice and we are here to provide a positive Religious experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplation, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.
'Capo di Tutti Cappuccini' Shaddapologist
(thanks to Russell Hannah, for the original.)
The Zen of Mae West No.14
'Ohhh, it's better to be looked over, than overlooked.'
IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT
The first time I received the following letter,
by email - shades of the White Australia policy - I trashed
it. However, my mate, Big Russ, has decided to debate this Aryan
invective with a sincere and lucid response so I thought you might
like to read both. . . .
(- Australia - The Right to Leave Our Country - YOU Have the right - the right to LEAVE!
. . . After Sydney not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Xmas lights. . . . After hearing that the State of South Australia changed its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver's license with her face covered. This prompted an editorial written by an Australian citizen. Published in an Australian newspaper.)
" I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the "politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language! "In God We Trust" is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the
walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like " A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, "THE RIGHT TO LEAVE". If you aren't happy here then f#@* off! We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it. I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please. No matter how many times you
receive it... please forward it to all you know. " (unsigned)
(Big Russ's Big Reply . . . . .)
Coming Down From My Tree
" There's a lot of this stuff being sent
on the internet. Mostly I delete it, but this one got up my goat,
so I'm doing what the author suggests - I'm sending it on, with
my comments- If you want to add something to it then do so and
send it on.
I have received this letter, or whatever, from whoever wrote it (not signed). My name is bigruss (firstname.lastname@example.org) and as far as I can ascertain I am at least a fifth generation Australian. My wife's family tree is full of convicts, which probably accounts for her propensity for picking my pocket.
'In God We Trust' says the unknown letter writer. He/she gives himself/herself away. 'In God we Trust' appears on US coins. It is their motto - Australians simply don't have one. If there is one thing that gives me the shits is someone referring to the way I think as being 'Politically Correct'. I and many of my friends feel the way I do, and are prepared to argue our case, because we believe that our view of the world and our country is the only way that we can survive as a cohesive community.
Lets take the issues one by one.
Have we gone too far to appease people who
come here? If we accept immigrants, (and apart from the Aborigines
we are a country of immigrants) and if we are a decent lot of
human beings, let's help them assimilate and as the generations
pass they will assimilate. How many of our population don't have
Anglo-Celtic names. If they have different religions, well, we
are a secular society so who cares. Believe what you like- I myself
am an Agnostic tending towards atheism and anyone who says I belong
to a Christian Country is talking about a different world in which
I live. I resent that; and if they don't like it I suggest they
go and live in America's deep south.
Incidently, no Islamic person has ever knocked on my door and tried to convert me, but lots of weirdo Christians have.
I know lots of Islamic people- how about Mohommed el Masri; plays NRL for the Bulldogs and probably should play for Australia. Australia is their country, they don't want to make it an Islamic State- they just want to practise their religion the same way as I want to practise my non- religion.
Of course anyone can leave our country, except perhaps Aborigines (where the hell would they go) but why should they? After all society changes; we are not the same country we were 100 years ago. All my daughters friends have Macedonian Parents, My Next Door Neighbour is an Italian, two of my nephews are married to Asians (one Chinese one Japanese), Another niece is married to an Indian, (at least I think he's an Indian, I just regard him as an Australian). We are changing as a society, we are evolving as we have been since 1788.
I'm glad my Swedish, French, Scottish, Irish Forebears didn't leave because someone suggested they didn't fit into what was someone's stylised version of what was a 'Christian Anglo Australia'.
The bit about Christmas Lights is just Bullshit. I'm not Christian but it is heritage and I support it. If this has happened, then I think it's probably a figment of the Medias determination to put a wedge in Australian society (and I bet it was the Murdoch press). If the shops have decided not to do this then it is a commercial decision; don't blame multiculturalism, blame the pursuit of the mighty dollar- and I bet our writer likes that.
Lets get one thing straight; I presume because I disagree with this writer's letter that I'm one of the 'politically correct', then so be it. I have children (and if the buggers get off their lazy arses I might one day have grandchildren). I have seen Australia change enormously in my 60 odd years here- it will continue to change because the mix of people who come here bring their own cultures, their own religions and we should not brand them all because of a few people who make statements In the press. The thing I would defend to the death is the right of free speech. THAT's what this country is about and that's what I feel comfortable about. Watch out for the terrorism legislation- free speech, particularly criticism is in their sights.
The anonymous writer of this letter doesn't understand that we've always been a multicultural country and that we are the result of two centuries of multiculturalism. The second and third generations of our migrants will certainly speak English but it doesn't hurt to make the first generation, who will be the forebears of future Australians, a little more comfortable in their new country.
By the way, God doesn't offend Moslems- they believe in him (yes him) it offends me and my children, we don't believe in him. Then again we can't leave- we've been here for between five and eight generations and have no where else to go. We tolerate God and I would hope God botherers tolerate us and other peoples' Gods. We love it here and love Australia, It's our country and we don't want the country to be what the anonymous writer suggests.
By the way- editorials in newspapers are written by the editor- not 'Australian Citizens'. I'm game to put my name on the line; how come this character isn't? " Regards to all, BigRuss
The Zen of Mae West No.15
'Ohhh , sex is emotion in motion.'
Christmas Baccala with Potatoes and Olives
1 pound dried salt cod, cut into 4 x 4-inch
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 3 onions, sliced
* 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 -inch dice
* 4 cups chicken or fish stock
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
* 1 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and sliced
* salt and pepper to taste
* flour for dredging
Soak the cod in cold water for 24 hours. Change
the water 5 times to remove the salt. Drain and pat the cod pieces
dry with a towel.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Dredge the cod pieces lightly in the flour and shake off the excess. Add the cod to the pan (do not overcrowd) and brown on one side. Carefully flip with a spatula and brown the other side. Once browned, remove the cod from the pan. Drain on paper towels and set aside in a warm spot.
Brown the onions in the same pan that the cod was cooked in. Once the onions are nicely browned, add the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are also browned. (If the pan is too dry, add a few drops of chicken stock.)
Once the potatoes have browned, add the rest of the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then mix in the thyme, parsley, and olives.
Lay the browned cod on top of the potato mixture, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the cod over carefully and cook for 10 minutes more. Remove carefully to a warm platter using a spatula and serve immediately.
The Zen of Mae West No.16
She once asked her director if she looked as old as Marilyn Monroe - when West was 61 and Monroe was 28.