Being an Absolute Monarch in the 21st century is a hard gig. Especially if you model yourself on those hard men who laid waste to Medieval Europe and who further enhanced their rotten reputations by invading the so-called Holy Land. Times were simpler then. One basically terrorised the peasantry, deflowered virgins on the village dungheap and pissed on the castles wall hangings during massive banquets of badly cooked meat. Little wonder Islamic emissaries to Europe routinely commented on the high incidence of body odor among this self-appointed feudal royalty.
Now, lest you think I’m indulging in hyperbole here, I strongly recommend that you dip into Norbert Elias’ two volume set The Civilising Process. Incidentally, FOARP now resides in Elias’ hometown Wroclaw, Poland (formerly East Prussia).
You can only soak your citizen peasantry so much tax-wise before they start thinking about an out, and reading up on republican democracy. In order to avoid this ghastly prospect, one has to adopt creative ways of generating new revenue streams in this age of fiscal austerity. And where better than in the private for-profit sector of the economy. As previously noted in Fine Cotton Races in Wuhan, even potential republicans in tubbyland follow
The Sport of Kings – The Horsies – and thoroughly approve of organised gambling.
In consequence, we are opening a Sports Book (an awful Americanism) and launching K-TAB.
This is your opportunity to double that bank account you have put aside for your childrens education.
And where better than a flutter on the future prospects of Sino-lands First Family.
Bo Xilai: 20 years (with no parole or community service option) in Qincheng prison.
5 to 1 on. Not the most attractive odds, I admit.
Gu Kalai charged with “intentional homicide”, which in US TV dramas means MURDER ONE in big headlines: Two in the brain pan and a shallow grave in some obscure Anhui land fill.
10 to 1 on. Again, perfectly crap odds.
And I won’t even offer odds on her
Baldrick accomplice flunky Zhang Xiaojun. It is a foregone conclusion that he is in for the Big High Jump into future fertiliser, such is fate of all underlings who attach themselves to the wrong guanzi networks.
Side bets on the odds that Gu had sex with Heywood before hand – thus weakening him by draining him of his precious bodily fluids – prior to forcing the contents of the poisoned chalice down his throat. This is a bit tasteless I know, but even Ladbrokes took bets on the appearance of aliens during the Olympic’ Opening Ceremony.
Please contact me via email for my odds on this one.
And two more giving you an opportunity to really clean up on a Quadrella.
Jiang Zemin will really die for real before the next full moon.
500 to 1.
The PRC’s National Male Soccer Team will take gold in London.
7,000 to 1.
So there you are. Be reckless, give up the day job and arrange your Carribean travel plans now.
In the interest of transparency re: China’s Soccer Team, I recommend this article on the signings of Anelka, Drogba et al by Shanghai Shenhua.
The money quote.
One popular online comment sums it all up: “Who could refuse the chance to earn astronomical payments for playing football with a group of amateurs?”
As noted, it is about money, power and politics and not the Beautiful Game. A fashion accessory for PRC’s corrupt mega wealthy.
Let’s now lighten up with some Social Notes.
Custer of ChinaGeeks is departing Beijing for perfectly valid health and family reasons and we wish them well.
While on the subject of the recent flooding of Beijing, you have to cast doubt on the continued rise and rise of the Middle Kingdom via an academic footnote by Karl Wittfogel:
Wittfogel is best known for his monumental work Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power, first published in 1957. Starting from a Marxist analysis of the ideas of Max Weber on China and India’s “hydraulic-bureaucratic official-state” and building on Marx’s sceptical view of the Asiatic Mode of Production, Wittfogel came up with an analysis of Oriental despotism which emphasized the role of irrigation works, the bureaucratic structures needed to maintain them and the impact that these had on society, coining the term “hydraulic empire” to describe the system. In his view, many societies, mainly in Asia, relied heavily on the building of large-scale irrigation works. To do this, the state had to organize forced labor from the population at large. This required a large and complex bureaucracy staffed by competent and literate officials. This structure was uniquely placed to also crush civil society and any other force capable of mobilizing against the state. Such a state would inevitably be despotic, powerful, stable and wealthy. (Wiki)
I don’t know which words to highlight, given the irony that China’s uber power city can’t even manage to build a decent underground drainage network. So much for the much touted Sino Engineering Mentality. And don’t even ask about my flood experiences in second tier cities after moderate precipitation.
Finally, we should note that Tom over at Seeing Red in China is returning to the US to extend his education. Now Tom – an erudite individual who guides us less-intelligent members of the chatterati through the socio-cultural byways which make up China today – has a college degree in anthropology. (Like any other degree, it simply indicates that one can spell one’s name correctly.)
Anyway, our weblord is planning a p/g in theology and development economics (a combination which speaks for itself), combined with US church visits where he will no doubt impress with his anecdotes about the paganistic, superstitious and materialist conditions which prevail in China today.
You have got to admire American christians and their centuries old ambition to convert the Han Hordes. I could provide references on this point, but won’t since that is your homework, Dear Reader.