Apologies to Gary Larson for fiddling with his cartoon a little. Did you know that in 1985, Gary received the prestigious accolade of having a newly-discovered species named after him. The Strigiphilus garylarsoni is a biting louse of a genus only found on owls. Larson was far from offended, and has since said: "Actually, I considered this an extreme honour. Besides, I knew no one was going to write and ask to name a new species of swan after me. You have to grab these opportunities when they come along." One of Larson's more famous cartoons shows two chimpanzees grooming. One finds a human hair on the other and inquires about "doing a little more 'research' with that Jane Goodall tramp?" The Jane Goodall Institute thought this was in bad taste, and had their lawyers draft a letter to Larson and his distribution syndicate, in which they described the cartoon as an "atrocity". They were stymied, however, by Goodall herself, who revealed that she found the cartoon amusing. Since then, all profits from sales of a shirt featuring this cartoon go to the Goodall Institute.
I have an eclectic array of concerts over the next couple of months. I don't know whether I'm coming or going. First the Boomer Festival, on the Gold Coast next week, with Johnny Young, Little Patti, Normie Rowe and Denise Drysdale. Don't laugh. I love Denise Drysdale. We were in a low budget film together. I even asked the screenwriter to write me a special scene with her so I could kiss her. And she did! We nailed it in about 10 takes, as I recall. Nice. After that, I'm competing in the Roddy Read Songwriting Competition in Maldon, with my song, 'Smokin', performing our women-centred show with DIFFICULTWOMEN, flying to Germany for about 3 minutes of work, being a folksinger at the Troubadour and Queenscliff Music Festivals, and performing and camping out with the kids at the mighty Woodford Folk Festival. After that, it's off to Texas to kick George W Bush's butt. Bring him on! (Easy Joe. Calm down. Remember Gandhi and King. Drink some chamomile tea.)
FAVOURITE READER FEEDBACK OF THE WEEK
I passed some of your most recent newsletter on to my unenlightened friends (the ones who don't read it regularly). I also read the pictorialized version on the web, and admired the pictures. Keep of the good, kooky work: more of your kind is exactly what the world needs - within reason, that is. N.W.
Subject: RE: Aloha Zarathustra
. . . As for Zarathustra (or Zoroastra as he was also known later by the Greeks), he has a huge car company named after his creed, deliberately so, by the founding father of Mazda cars Mr Matsuda himself Ahura Mazda being the benevolent force of good and Light. Aloha & Peace be with you, brother Joe, (see, even family names have meanings and perhaps there is a corresponding embodiment/energy-form to the meaning of the word/name Dolce walking in this world among us.. other than it being also manifesting as a jar of tomato paste in supermarkets). Ciao & Amore, Rupert G.
FAVOURITE REVIEW (?) OF THE WEEK
Dear greasy eye-tie wop cunts,
Mama mia! You rest assured, next time I see a need of 1138666 miles of festering spaghetti, 1112300 tons of ravioli, 116120 tons of 'al dente' penne pasta, 138188 tons of parmesan cheese, rancid diseased prosciutto, macaroni fumes, crumbly panettone, a sickly sweet tutti-frutti ice cream, obscenely fat-arsed tenors in inane poncy tuneless operas, Joe Dolce's 'Shaddapa Your Face', 'Que Sera Sera', a severed horse's head on my pillow, tanks with 1 forward and 30 reverse gears, white flags, ceaseless political corruption, seedy bent police, insane suicidal maniacs out in rusty Fiats or on weeny toy Lambretta and Vespa street scooters, Dario Fo, Andrea Bocelli, Benito 'Il Duce' Mussolini, Serie-A footie teams in San Siro, Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti, Giancarlo Fisichella, tasteless United Colors of Benetton advertisements, I Scuderia Ferrari Maranello F1 tifosi, senselessly fast 'Testarossa' dick-replacements, Pininfarina, lop-sided monuments @ Pisa, ruined stadiums @ Rome, Etna, armless indecent nude statues, weedy reedy Bontempi organs, lute tunes, Julius Caesar (a cruel murderer), Nero (just a tyrant), Romano Prodi, Massimo Troisi, an Olivetti typewriter, E.U. Commissioner Emma Bonino, money-grabbing gondoliers in Venice (an insanitary true sewer), Caneletto, RAI, Greta Scacchi, Andrea de Cesaris, Cicciolina's quite grotesque tits, Casanova, Versace, Armani, Fiorucci, Alberto 'La Bomba' Tomba, Deborah Compagnoni, La Giaconda, Jarno Trulli, Alfa Romeo, Ducati, Maserati, La Mille Miglia, Riccardo Patrese, Zucchero, Adriano Celentano, Lucio Battisti, Vasco Rossi, duo Alessi, Pinot Grigio, Topo Gigio (a funny squeaky wee cute furry rodent), Peroni beer, Chianti, Martini, Marconi, Rossini, Puccini, Verdi, Monteverdi, Vespucci, Columbus, Dante's Inferno, Leonardo da Vinci's quite demented nonsense ideas, Vivaldi's unendurable fiddle tunes, Michaelangelo's so amateur ceiling cartoons, and any more useless unwanted true crap you create, fear not... see, I'll surrender at once... er, I mean let you know. By the way, just a question: I am indeed sure you know just why your Italy is in a boot-shape, don't you? - Easy! Because you see, my fine misty-eyed friends, it seems you'd never get quite as much pure shite out of a tiny shoe. Tee hee! Yes sirree! Now, if you'd excuse me please, I must run... ciao! David Bourke
(Note: I liked this foul and twisted rave because he included me in such good company!)
Religious View from A Bridge
'A priest without alcohol, that's the wrong combination.. Jesus didn't say, take this healthy camomile tea, he offered wine.' Father Michael Fey
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump.
I said, "Don't do it!"
He said, "Nobody loves me."
I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"
He said, "Yes."
I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"
He said, "A Christian."
I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?"
He said, "Protestant."
I said, "Me, too! What franchise?"
He said, "Baptist."
I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"
He said, "Northern Baptist."
I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist."
I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative
Baptist Eastern Region?"
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region."
I said, "Me, too!" Northern ConservativeÝBaptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?"
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."
I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed
(Emo Philips - thanks to Dai Woosnam)
THE BABBLINGS OF PAT ROBERTSON
' Well now we know why those puff-headed preachers of the ultra-right are so eager to have the 10 Commandments plastered everywhere apparently they can't remember them. Take that ever-babbling tower of Biblical love, Pat Robertson. His grip on Commandment number six Thou shalt not kill keeps going all slippery on him.
Not only has Pat called for the assassination of Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, but he has shown a macabre tendency to wish the angel of death on any and all who draw his wrath. For example, this venomous man of the cloth has told his TV flock that he'd like to set off a nuclear bomb in the state department. Then, when Disney World displeased him, he threatened all of Orlando with a hellacious rain of death involving "some serious hurricanes... terrorist bombs... earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor."
This bull-goose loopy blowhard should, of course, be laughed off as a totally-ridiculous sideshow except that he remains welcome in the Republican party's inner circles of power, treated with deference and courted as a valuable political ally by both the White House and congressional leaders. Imagine if some Muslim cleric had called for the assassination of, say, Tony Blair. Oh, the condemnations that would boil out of Washington!
But, with Brother Pat, the reaction from our top governmental leaders was muted or non-existant as though officials were afraid of offending the offender. The state department gingerly termed Robertson's call for assassination "inappropriate." Donnie Rumsfeld dismissed it by saying, oh, well, ... "private citizens say all kinds of things all the time." George W, who wears his Christianity like a radiant political cloak, said nothing about his ally's un-Christian, immoral, and illegal call for the murder of a fellow child of God.
This is Jim Hightower saying... In the eyes
of the Bushites, Robertson's only sin is not that he wants to
kill... but that he said it aloud.'
George Bush: 'God Told Me to End the Tyranny
By Ewen MacAskill
'Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah didn't miss the boat.' Mark Twain
George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a senior Palestinian politician in an interview to be broadcast by the BBC later this month. Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did." (article)
(Note: Uh huh. I had Friar George and Father Pat in mind when I wrote the first verse of my song 'Did You Get Stupid from Being Ugly (Or Ugly From Being Stupid?):
George W. Bush 5-Foot Bop Bag
"I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." George Bush
Every once in a while, don't you want to let Dubya know how you feel? Then you need the 5-foot tall George W. Bush bop bag! This inflatable punching bag is made of sealed PVC and features a screw-plugged water pouch at its base to keep Bush coming back for more. (site)
2005 IG NOBEL AWARDS
You might recall last year I told you about these eccentric awards held annually at Harvard University, awarded in categories ranging from Physics, Medicine and Chemistry to Literature and Peace. The winners travel to the ceremony, at their own expense, from several continents. The Prizes are presented to them by a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, all before a standing-room only audience. The KEYNOTE ADDRESS this year was deliverd by 2003 Ig Nobel Biology Prize winner Kees Moeliker (who documented the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck). Here are some of my favourites:
A. Miller of Oak Grove, Missouri, for inventing Neuticles
-- artificial replacement testicles for neutered dogs, which are
available in three sizes, and three degrees of firmness.
REFERENCES: US Patent #5868140.
LITERATURE: The Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters -- General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others -- each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them.
Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University, in the U.K., for
electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust
while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie
REFERENCE: "Orthopteran DCMD Neuron: A Reevaluation of Responses to Moving Objects. I. Selective Responses to Approaching Objects," F.C. Rind and P.J. Simmons, Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 68, no. 5, November 1992, pp. 1654-66.
ECONOMICS: Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.
NUTRITION: Dr. Yoshiro Nakamats of Tokyo, Japan, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting).
Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen,
Germany and the University of Oulu , Finland; and Jozsef Gal of
Loránd Eötvös University, Hungary, for using
basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds
up inside a penguin, as detailed in their report "Pressures
Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations on Avian Defaecation."
PUBLISHED IN: Polar Biology, vol. 27, 2003, pp. 56-8. (site)
(thanks to Frank Dolce)
Men Are From Mars, Women Drink Camomile Tea
A prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus", offered by an English professor who told his class: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. Your partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails, and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."
The following was turned in by two of his English students, Rebecca and Gary.
(first paragraph by Rebecca)
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.
(second paragraph by Gary)
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4.
"Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenceless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F---ING TEA??? Oh no, I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steel novels!"
(Rebecca) FUCK YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!
(Gary) Go drink some tea - whore.
(TEACHER) A+. I really liked
(thanks to Margret RoadKnight)
VARIANT FORM: cam·o·mile. ETYMOLOGY: Middle English camomille, from Old French, from Late Latin chamomilla, alteration of Latin chamaemlon, from Greek khamaimlon : khamai, on the ground (or earth). Indo-European Roots: dhghem: Earth. Oldest form *dhhem-, becoming *dhghem- in centum languages. Derivatives include bridegroom, chameleon, and homicide.
Matricaria recutita, is popular as an alternative to standard Western allopathic medicine for a variety of problems, including stimulating appetite, relaxing tense muscles as well as colic and gastritis. (site)
Music, Film and Art Opinion (not really a Review)
Screenplay by Nick Cave
Directed by John Hillcoat
"Set at the end of the bushranger era, an epic Australian story concerning family, loyalty and betrayal."
Yeah, right. A gang of bushranger brothers goes around butchering innocent people. Eventually they get butchered by one of their own, and the police, who take time out to do this, from their normal activities of butchering aboriginals.
I feel compelled to write something about this film, as so many film critics have been giving it 4 stars and heaping a dunghill of praise on it. By all means, go see it. You must. But watch your back.
I warn you now, if you are a Nick Cave fan, stop reading. Except for the first Birthday Party album, which my old mate, Tony Cohen produced, and which I loved and found sonically innovative, I find Cave boring, predictable, drug-addled, laced with insincere hand-me down Christianity (like much of Dylan's) and utterly lacking of the REAL personal, empowering and life-affirming vision - which is the DUTY of an artist, in my opinion. The absolute duty. And Cave, also like the current latest half dozen incarnations of Dylan, is in my opinion, a lazy lyricist. (i.e. Cave's well-known:
Well, the use of the rose as a metaphor was already a cliche in the 19th century. It's mentioned 8 times in the body of the song, not counting the choruses. When you use such a well-worn image as your central character, there had better be a good reason. I can't find any. The final line is such BAD writing it makes me want to throw something. To the non-thinking person, this song might sound like the classic Appalachian murder ballad. But the song really isn't about anything at all. It's like a bad photocopy of an old song.
If you liked the 'The Passion of the Christ', you probably will like The Proposition. They both share central gruesome, stomach churning whipping scenes. (The Passion's was more gruesomer.) They both have brilliant cinematography and costume and set design (The Propostion was more beautifuller). They both make a grand Opera out of Ugliness. (Even marks.)
And they both are, basically . . . myopic and distorted. Point one percent of reality. (More on that later.)
We get enough Mr Magoo journalism from Fox News, on the little screen - I don't need more of it from fellow artists and musicians, on the big screen. Nick, m' boy, go hug your grandchildren, make a nice dinner, count your blessings, son. You've got your whole life ahead of you. Stop itching that needle sore - it'll just get infected.
If anyone out there cares to tell me what the 'vision' of THE PROPOSITION is, I'm listening. I came out of the movie quite angry but now have decided that that very passion was a manipulation of my emotions by the filmmaker. (You know how in a horror film when the air headed teen in pajamas goes down into the basement with a flashlight alone saying, 'Is anyone down there?' when you know the monster is hiding under the stairs? Doesn't it make you angry that anyone could be that stupid? That kind of emotional manipulation.) So what you are reading here now from me comes from calmness and collected thoughts . . . dare I say: a chamomile reflection?
That said, I don't plan on being polite about it at all. I have always detested 'view from the gutter' art - when it is bereft of humour. Disenfranchised people have the most brilliant senses of humour, in my experience.
I've had the privilege of working with Australian playwright, Phil Motherwell, on about a dozen plays over the past 25 years. Phil is an ex-junkie and ex-crim, a surrealist and Australian historian, with a brilliant sense of humour and the absolute master of this style of drama. He understood the 'art of the street' lyric writing better than anyone I have ever met. In one of his songs, he wrote:
Make a film with a fisheye lens about someone with haemorrhoids taking a bloody crap for an hour, spend 10 million bucks shooting it, hire John Williams or someone like that to do the score, Industrial Light and Magic to do the CGI effects, expand it up on the big screen - and what do you have? Certainly it can be argued that the haemorrhoids 'really happened'. But pass the popcorn and the Preparation H.
Australian journalist, Philip Adams said recently that:
'NINETY-NINE per cent of the time, in 99.9 per cent of the world, NOTHING happens. While we reel at the news of shocking events, from volcanic eruptions to terrorist attacks to someone being arrested for having sex with rabbits, such goings-on represent 0.1 per cent of the total, which is close to totally uneventful. Macro and micro, our personal lives and collective existence are remarkably unremarkable. If the media told the truth about what's really going on which is virtually zero its circulations and ratings would crash.'
Adams has struck the nail on the cabeza: 'Our personal lives and collective existence are remarkably unremarkable.' From a journalist's point of view, that is.
But, in real life . . . really?
I say that our personal lives and collective existence are UTTERLY AWESOME AND GLORIOUS! And that, my friends, marks the difference between the GENIUS artist/writer/poet and the everyday hack technical wizard. Any fool with a pencil can magnify the violence of our society and history and trade it in the marketplace. Just go down to the video shop.
But it takes an authentically gifted soul, with a personal VISION, to recast the everyday things that most of us call ordinary and overlook, and show us the eternity and mystery that slips us by, so that we can say, 'Ah yes, I see now - this moment IS beautiful!' Anyone of our grandparents' lives is worth a dozen Hollywood films. Distance always creates mystery.
THE PROPOSITION represents about a Philip-Adams-point-one-percent of Australian history. I can defend this with one simple illustration: The three main aboriginal characters in the film . . . are all LACKEYS of the white man. Traitors to the aboriginal people. THERE IS NO HONEST AND SYMPATHETIC PORTRAYAL AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE OTHER 99% OF ABORIGINAL CULTURE IN THIS FILM WHATSOEVER.
My bet is that indigenous activists in Australia are going to find this film VERY problematic. On the one hand, finally a film to portray the white colonialists, writ large, as ruthless and brutal (of which many were). But it also portrays the aboriginal people the same way. Basically, EVERYBODY is vicious and brutal. What kind of world is that? I don't believe that world ever existed.
Black People Love Us!
'We are well-liked by Black people so we're psyched (since lots of Black people don't like lots of White people)!! We thought it'd be cool to honor our exceptional status with a ROCKIN' domain name and a killer website!!' (site)
On Rosh Hashanah there is a ceremony called Tashlich where Jews traditionally go to the ocean or a stream or river to pray and throw bread crumbs into the water. Symbolically, the fish devour their sins. Occasionally, people ask what kind of bread crumbs should be thrown. Here are suggestions for breads which may be most appropriate for specific sins and misbehaviors.
For ordinary sins.....................White
For erotic sins.........................French Bread
For particularly dark sins..........Pumpernickel
For complex sins.....................Multigrain
For twisted sins.......................Pretzels
For tasteless sins....................Rice Cakes
For sins of indecision...............Waffles
For sins committed in haste.....Matzoh
For sins of chutzpah................Fresh Bread
For substance abuse...............Stoned Wheat
For use of heavy drugs.............Poppy Seed
For petty larceny.....................Stollen
For committing auto theft.........Caraway
For timidity/cowardice..............Milk Toast
For silliness, eccentricity.........Nut Bread
For not giving full value.............Shortbread
For jingoism, chauvinism..........Yankee Doodles
For excessive irony..................Rye Bread
For unnecessary chances........Hero Bread
For war-mongering...................Kaiser Rolls
For dressing immodestly..........Tarts
For causing injury to others......Tortes
For lechery and promiscuity.....Hot Buns
For promiscuity with gentiles....Hot Cross Buns
For racist attitudes..................Crackers
For sophisticated racism..........Ritz Crackers
For being holier than thou.........Bagels
For dropping in without notice...Popovers
For impetuosity.......................Quick Bread
For indecent photography.........Cheesecake
For raising your voice too often...Challah
For pride and egotism...............Puff Pastry
For being overly smothering.......Angel Food Cake
For laziness.............................Any long loaf
For trashing the environment......Dumplings
For telling bad jokes/puns........Corn Bread
(thanks to Callahan Burke)
Chamomile in the Cayce Readings
Most often, Edgar Cayce recommended chamomile as a tea to settle the stomach and work with the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract. Chamomile was mentioned in 22 readings between 1923-1941. Examples:
' A mild camomile and saffron tea combined, see? Proportion about one to twenty (1 to 20) of each and this combined, and then mix with water and cooled. This, as we find, will reduce inflammation throughout the mesenteric system.'
'We also will find that occasionally camomile tea, made in the same way and manner - this used instead of the Saffron, will enable the system - with these being kept in the line as has been outlined - to create more of a muco-membrane in the stomach and intestinal system, see? and keep up those rubs as given for the limbs, and we will find changes coming about, betterments for the body.'
'At least three times each day give a mild camomile tea, to reduce the disturbance in the intestinal tract and especially to settle the stomach. Pour a pint of boiling water over a teaspoonful of the camomile and allow to steep as tea. These would be the proportions. The dosage would be a teaspoonful three times a day - of the tea, you see; made in the manner indicated.'
'Camomile tea and Saffron tea altered form time to time, a little of these in place of water at times, will settle the stomach and make for the releasing of the irritations. '
'We would keep to the taking, more often, the Saffron Tea as indicated; and we would change or alternate this at times with Camomile Tea. For these tend to form, in the regular activities of the body, the best in the gastric flows for the intestinal disorder. ' (site)
The beat goes on for Howl
In the years after he wrote Howl,
Allen Ginsberg alternately described the poem as a song of spiritual
liberation, a homage to art, an ode to gay love and a lament for
his mentally ill mother.
The Beat poet who defined his times with the salvo, "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness," gave perhaps the most adroit explanation, however, upon publication of the original facsimile edition of the tour de force that had launched his career more than three decades earlier.
Howl, he advised readers in his preface, was meant to be an "emotional time bomb that would continue exploding". With nearly 1 million copies in print, it is one of the most widely read poems of the 20th century. Still, critics disagree about the place Ginsberg's best-known work holds in American letters.
But even its detractors acknowledge that his provocative assault on the Cold War and conformity roared across the cultural landscape in a way that continues to resonate a half-century after its storied debut at a San Francisco art gallery. Ginsberg first publicly read Howl as a work-in-progress on October 7, 1955 - a date that holds as much meaning for followers of the Beats as Bloomsday, June 16, does for fans of James Joyce's Ulysses. The Six Gallery reading, as it has since become known, preceded by a year the poem's publication and the moral outrage provoked by its defence of homosexuality and drug use. The wine-soaked gathering also featured poets Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Phil Lamantia and Phil Whalen and was hosted by elder statesman Kenneth Rexroth. Admirers regard it as a turning point that took poetry out of the Ivory Tower - creating space for dissent and presaging the youthful rebellion that inspired folk music, (my emphasis) sexually explicit performance art and more recently, poetry slams.
"Poets now read all over the place, but at that time they didn't - if they were famous, they maybe read at the Museum of Modern Art," said Jonah Raskin, author of American Scream: Allen Ginsberg's Howl and the Making of the Beat Generation.
"This event was breaking ground in that there were people who said, 'Let's read in this funky art gallery' and were the opposite of silent. They were ranting and roaring and howling."
At 29, relatively new to San Francisco and bearing the psychic scars that had landed him in two mental hospitals, Ginsberg was the last and least-known in the five-poet lineup.
As legend has it, his raw, intensely personal evocation of desperate souls "who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts" stole the night.
His friend, novelist Jack Kerouac, was in the audience of about 150 at the performance. "Scores of people stood around the darkened gallery straining to hear every word," Kerouac recalled afterward. "Everyone was yelling, 'Go! Go! Go!"' (article)
(thanks to Stefan A)
3D Chamomile Field Screensaver
Scene of a chamomile field with flying bumblebees and butterflies. (site)
Moroccan Chicken with Dates and Almonds
"Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Mark Twain
(Note: This recipe dates from medieval Baghdad and is mind-bogglingly good and quite a unique way to prepare a chicken! I guarantee mouths will drop open when you serve it.)
400 g Mejdool dates (approx 20)
juice of 2 lemons
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
20 blanched, lightly toasted whole almonds (as many as dates)
2 teasp cinnamon, mixed with 1 tsp mace, half teas nutmeg, half teas pepper and salt
1 large chicken, salted inside and out
saffron (few strands soaked in a little lemon juice and a couple tbls of water
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp water
100 g flaked and toasted almonds (for garnish)
To blanch and toast almonds: The night before, soak the whole almonds in some water. In the morning, drain the water and pour boiling water over the almonds, leave for 3 minutes, then drain and with your fingers slip the skins off the almonds. Dry the almonds with a towel. Place in a small pan and place in a hot oven for about 3 minutes until they start to go light brown. Remove and set aside. Place the flaked almonds in the same pan and toast these as well. Set aside in a separate dish.
Pit the dates by gently removing the stones
with a small knife. Steep the dates in the lemon juice for one
hour. Fry the onions in the oil until transparent. Let cool. Stuff
each date with an almond and some onion, and roll in the spices.
Stuff the chicken with the dates. Sew up the cavity. (Use the
left-over dates to surround the chicken in the pot.) Add the soaked
saffron and liquid to the remaining spice mixture and rub into
the outside of the chicken. Cover the bottom of a flame-proof
casserole dish with the remaining onions and add the chicken.
Drizzle the honey and water over top, cover and stew on top of
the stove gently for two hours or more on the lowest heat. (Slow
cooking!) Baste occaisionally, adding a little more water if you
Remove the chicken to a platter, open up the cavity so you can spoon out the dates. Surround with the sauce and sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds.
Serve with saffron rice, a salad . . . . . and some camomile tea.
(source: Gaby Nonhoff, Berlin.)
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