Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Taking a Pre-Xmas Break.

November 16, 2012

Try as I might, just seem incapable of completing this long piece on Islam, Shiism and young Iranian youth and sex culture, so I’m taking a break for a few weeks. Xmas parties to attend and, it being very hot weather, rural fire brigade duties to perform. Heroic stuff, and I even surprise myself in that department.

This, my second site, has now been graced with 72 posts, a few of which were crap and others of which I’m still quite pleased with. Readership ranges from 60 to about 100 daily, but few comments aside from welcome regulars such as JR. Am particularly pleased however in the readership spread, which covers well over a 100 nations from Japan to Mauritius. Gives a blog lord a warm and cuddly feeling.

There is simply no correlation between posts I still enjoy and those thrown together in a fit of pique. For example, The 21st Century Reincarnation of the Mansion Family….Sino Style is by far the most read entry, yet I rate it ‘the pits’. Thrown together in about seven minutes after being pissed off with Hidden Harmonies acceptance of really anti-Black racist comments made by that psychopath Mongol Warrior.

The guitar piece The Luthiers Art and the Air Guitar Disease is a closely most-read second. Fun to research and write, even though it was done in a public library as I lacked home internet at the time.

I suspect I had the same group of perverted readers for the four or five posts on surfing, surf art and superhot Asian surfing babes. That was my Maxim phase.

The four posts exploring aspects of Malian music culture went nowhere in terms of readers, yet they are the four I would take to a desert island. Ditto KT Shakes Down Babylon which focused on slavery, West Indies cricket and turning whitey into a mass of bruises and broken facial cartiledge.

Being on the shameless side, I think I collated the best Bo/Gu dirt file of any blog on the net.

However, reader quantity equates with blog influence. Consequently, this site remains a small time vanity press, but who cares. While I’m scribbling away, my servants are stealing me blind and laughing at me behind my back. Such is the nature of class struggle today.

Its is pretty hard to maintain the view that the general blog world matters anymore. Consequently, KT contributions on Peking Duck and China Geeks are a few steps removed from snark.

Beijing Cream has well and truly replaced Chinasmack and its ilk with a fast and furious range of serious and silly posts, but lacks its own committed commentariat. General Tao’s potty mouth writing style notwithstanding.

Finally, I’m enjoying commenting on Seeing Red in China in response to pieces by Yaxue Cao.

Remember, rules still apply during the Xmas Party season. No drink driving, putting the hard word on your office secretary or commenting on sites when pixilillated.

See ya soon and, if bored, explore my nearly definitive Blog Roll.

Midnight Eye is unquestionably the greatest net resource on Japanese cinema available today.

The Non-Existent Party Discussion.

November 9, 2012

I’m supposed to be putting together a long piece on Islam, Iran, SEX and fashion but lack the concentration, so lets do a quick one arising out of the Google news reads this morning.

Even my cat is aware that the 18th Party Congress/Circus is presently taking place in that low-rent Third World Casino known as The Great Hall of the People.


China’s Incarnation of Andrei Brezhnev

What happened to my inheritance?

Bo: ” Then again, with a ton of touchdowns like that, I’ve done pretty well even if my future looks pretty bleak”.

Comfort chicks at rest

New No. 1 Comfort Sister Peng Liyuan who really said: “I married Xi because he is a nice guy, even if he’s not too bright”.

Zhang Beili (Wen Jiabia’s wife): the old bitch who has an Imelda Marcos thing about diamonds.

Liu Yongging (R) (wife of Big Specs Hu) and no, “I don’t spend my whole fucking day in the hairdresser”.

Bloody aging hippies

The Stardust Cowboy: Nashville will love this dude.

Shit, I never thought our reform ticket would get up. Let’s high five that, comrade

Now, when one scans the world of the Sino chatterati, one always encounters the occasional nitwit who thinks this dreary bit of theatre really matters in the big scheme of things ie it will decide China’s future trajectory economically, socially and politically. Recall the faux retro Maoism of Bo’s Chongqing versus the softer and more responsive approach to governance supposedly articulated by Guangdong’s Wang Yang (and here Wukan comes to mind, among other things). Old Left versus a new Reform model, or something like that.


Getting your man onto the Central Committee or the Politburo is all about grabbing your share of the economic pie for your family and guanzi networks at the provincial level. And its a fucking nasty fight to the finish requiring duplicity, ruthlessness and that much vaunted Chinese virtue cleverness. Take no prisoners and eat the wounded, since it is a zero sum game.

Now to my points. Recall John Garnaut’s long expose – Rotting From Within – on the monumental corruption and extreme factionalism existing within the PLA which was published in Foreign Policy in April this year.

To quote from this long, detailed investigation, which is mandatory course material for all site visitors:

Judging from a recent series of scathing speeches by one of the PLA’s top generals, details of which were obtained by Foreign Policy, it can’t: The institution is riddled with corruption and professional decay, compromised by ties of patronage, and asphyxiated by the ever-greater effort required to impose political control. The speeches, one in late December and the other in mid-February, were given by Gen. Liu Yuan, the son of a former president of China and one of the PLA’s rising stars; the speeches and Liu’s actions suggest that the PLA might be the site of the next major struggle for control of the Communist Party, of the type that recently brought down former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai. Liu is the political commissar and the most powerful official of the PLA’s General Logistics Department, which handles enormous contracts in land, housing, food, finance, and services for China’s 2.3 million-strong military.

Well, Garnaut reports today that corruption whistle blower General Yuan has now been given the rough end of the pineapple, supposedly for his close association with Bo Xilai:

BEIJING: The most openly ambitious general in the People’s Liberation Army appears to have been sidelined following his self-styled ”do-or-die” fight against corruption in military ranks.
General Liu Yuan, after missing out on promotion to the Central Military Commission, was also absent from the ranks of 250 party and military luminaries who appeared on stage for Thursday’s opening of the 18th Party Congress, which marked the start of an eight-day leadership transition.
Supporters of General Liu, the son of the former president Liu Shaoqi, had expected him to receive a powerful leadership role in part because of his life-long ties to the incoming president, Xi Jinping.

General Liu’s sidelining, if confirmed, will mark the second fall from grace of an ambitious and powerful princeling this year.
In particular, Liu stepped around the military hierarchy and trampled over the hidden rules of patronage to dislodge a notoriously corrupt general, Gu Junshan. General Gu was deputy director of the People’s Liberation Army logistics department, where General Liu was political commissar, and is now under investigation.
General Gu was known to be close to the outgoing vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xu Caihou, who in turn was a protege of former president Jiang Zemin.

Thanks to John Garnaut and the Brisbane Times for the full text HERE.

Finally, Lets look at so-called reformer Wang Yang, who is trying to walk both sides of the street at the same time.

Avanth Krishnam of The Hindu writes:

Wang Yang, on Friday morning, nonchalantly strolled into the Guangdong Hall, an ostentatiously decorated meeting room in the heart of the Great Hall of the People – the Chinese Parliament building.

Mr. Wang, the Communist Party of China (CPC) chief in the prosperous southern province of Guangdong, appeared to ignore the group of reporters and the flashing lenses, as he crossed his legs, put on a pair of reading glasses and unfolded a crisp copy of the Nanfang Daily.

The Guangzhou-based daily is known in China as a rare muckraking newspaper, famous for its fearless investigative journalism. Its stories have led to the sacking of corrupt officials, but have also landed its Editors in frequent trouble with the authorities. By appearing to endorse the newspaper in public, Mr. Wang — a member of the party’s 24-member Politburo — looked to be reminding the Chinese media of his liberal persuasions.

Read on HERE and realise that Yang was indulging in another bullshit charade.

More “let’s identify the reformer‘ rubbish, this time the Washington Post Li Keqiang, China’s next premier, carries reformers’ hopes.

I know I’ve gone all potty mouth this post, but the author of the above nonsense Keith B. Richburg is a prize fuckwit who probably has never ventured beyond the Beltway.

The Only Game in Town.

November 8, 2012

Credit where credit is due.

The only game in town at present is Two Star General Anthony Tao, who I suspect is a advocate of anti-social paraphilias.

Nonetheless, he has the big 18 or what the fuck they call it nailed:

Read and smirk HERE.

Book Alert and Stuff for Homies.

October 27, 2012

Having given the servants their instructions for the day, and being in a scribble, scribble scribble Mr Gibbons frame of mind, I was going to discuss my three favourite biographies on American roots musicians (Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lee Hooker and The Band) before realising I have a far more important task closer to home here in tubbyland.

The tome in question is Sophisto-punk:The Story of Mark Opitz and Oz Rock by Luke Wallis and Mark Opitz Random House Australia to be released 1.11.2012.
Amazon link HERE.
As my triple autographed FEDEX’d copy is still in the mail, I refer the Reader to net references outlining Mark’s production oeuvre from the mid-70s to the 90s. Wicki HERE, a two part interview containing some favourite clips HERE, and importantly, his website HERE which provides an excellent overview of his massive production list, both here in tubbyland, the States and more recently Turkey and France.

Chances are that if you were on the weekend tear, Mark provided the sonic rock values and anthems that assisted you in your excesses, be it listening to an LP, the radio or getting wrecked in a live venue. “Whether it’s his career-shaping work with The Angels and Cold Chisel or his general dream run in the 1980s (INXS, Divinyls, Models, Australian Crawl, etc.), Mark Opitz is one of the most iconic producers Australia has given the world”, gushed one interviewer.

Kenmore Kids: Mark, KT and Greg: included in the book I believe

Back Porch Majority. Thnx to Andrew

The Light at the Red Orb: Thnx to Andrew Ainsworth.

Thanks to Malcolm Enright:

Eat your heart out Mr Duncan, No 14, Mark No 15.

Max Merrit with Stewie looking angelic

Again with Yuk Harrison this time

Time for an appropriate musical break.

What the hell. Some Otis.

Crikey, I never knew the Purple Hearts did a version of Louie Louie.

And where would the world have been without Mick Hadley and The Coloured Balls. Very detailed info HERE and Mick’s web site page HERE.

Bright Lights, Big City

Last of the Trams: April 1969: A fucking riot if I recall.

Regent Theatre

The Eldorado Theatre

Flea pit par excellence The Alhambra: Three great flics and all the intoxicants one could consume

Now for a noisy break. Getting To Know. Billy Thorpe at his best.

“We’re the GTK film crew. Let us in. Bernie sent us”.

Just got reminded.

This town is not big enough for both of us, punk.

Rock’ n Roll George

Four decades on the road. Now National Heritage Class 1

The professional classes at play 1974.

With your host at 8.07 – 8.08.

Finally, back to an earlier age.

This is tiring. Time for a Bex, a cup of tea and a good lie down.

Footnote. I was wondering why Mick Hadley’s site was inoperative. A bit of research and I’m sad to report that Mick Hadley passed away peacefully on 12 October 2012. RIP and thanks for all the great Foco/Open Door memories.

The Doomsday Scenario

October 13, 2012

A number of female significant others have contacted me requesting that I discontinue the Japanese surfing theme.
“My husband is becoming overheated and is continually bothering me at inopportune moments. Its tiring and can be embarrassing when friends and our religiously-inclined relatives pay a visit”.

Fair enough, so I trawled google news reader and came up with the following:

Bangkok Times: China system could ‘blow up’

China’s top-down political system, under pressure from a growing middle class empowered by wealth and social networks, is likely to “blow up at some point”, says the American academic Francis Fukuyama.

“China has always been a country with a big information problem where the emperor can’t figure out what’s going on” at a grassroots level, said Fukuyama, best known for his 1992 book “The End of History and the Last Man“, which argues that liberal democracy is the fulcrum of social evolution.

While I find the argument that liberal democracy is the fulcrum of social evolution highly questionable to put it mildly, I wasn’t hard to locate the full article by this warrior of the lecture circuit.

This is his excerpt dealing with China taken from AFP 12.10.2012:

Q: You have said that everywhere in the world – except China – religion has been crucial in laying the foundation for rule by law. Can you explain that idea, especially with reference to China?

A: In the Christian West, the Muslim world and India, religion was always a bulwark against state power. In all three religious traditions there was a body of religious law that was not controlled by the state but rather presided over by religious hierarchy. That’s the origin of the rule of law in the West. The development pattern in the West was very unusual because law came first. You had law before you had a strong state, which is why Germany didn’t unite the 1870s – the Holy Roman Empire imposed legal constraints that prevented German unity. China never had a religious establishment that could tell the emperor he couldn’t do things. There was no separate judicial mechanism, so that tradition in China is quite weak. The strong state prevented the formation of groups and civil society that potentially could be the nucleus of the civil opposition to the state. That’s the situation that prevailed for the first 2000 years of Chinese history. As China goes through a period of rapid economic growth, things are changing enormously. Suddenly you’re getting new groups outside of the states that are simply the result of capitalist growth – businessmen, a middle-class, and educated people who are on Sina Weibo [the Chinese equivalent of Twitter]. And they are mobilized.
The high-speed rail accident that happened last year is very revealing because the government had invested several hundred million dollars into this model high-speed rail system. This accident happened very early on and the government’s first instinct was to bury the train that had the accident so that no one could figure out what happened. But they were forced to rescind that decision because people got on Weibo and started talking about it, publishing pictures. Despite the fact that there hasn’t been much organized social protest in China over history, the process of modernization itself creates new social groups that have different aspirations, and it creates a very different kind of situation that the Chinese government has to face. And globalization is critical – China is not is not like North Korea, it wants to be part of the world. Interesting fact; 90% of the members of the Communist Party Central Committee have relatives and assets outside of China. They themselves see that there are alternatives to their system. Despite this long history of state centralization in China there are some reasons to think that it’s not going to be particularly stable going into the future. Having said that, you have to credit them with an amazing performance over the last 30 years.

Q. A year ago, you said that China is at a critical juncture. Is that what you mean?

A. The Bo Xilai affair is revealing of key weaknesses within their system. One of the things that makes their form of authoritarian government work better than Mubarak, or Qaddafi or any of these Arab dictators is became more institutionalized. It was more rule-bound:10-year term limits, can’t get on to the standing committee of the Politburo if you are older than 67, etc. Or so it seemed. The Bo Xilai incident pointed up the limits of the system. One of the reasons they felt they had to get rid of him was that he was a charismatic leader who was reviving Mao-era red songs, developing a populist base that could have blown up this whole system. I call it the “bad emperor problem.” This is the vulnerability they face. Up to now, their leadership has been composed of people who lived through the Cultural Revolution, and they do not want to see that repeated. But once they die off there’s no guarantee you won’t get another Mao.

Q. The Chinese top-tier leadership – composed almost entirely of engineers, in other words a technocratic caste – is extremely mindful of this danger and has taken these and other measures to avoid such a scenario. Why might these steps be insufficient?

A. Here’s an example of why it’s good to have constitutional government. The rules are absolutely clear. In Latin America, for example, there has been a whole series of presidents who have wanted to stay in office forever. But because there is still more of a rule of law in Latin America than other places, they still have to go through this process of trying to amend the Constitution to allow them to do that. The Chinese have a constitution but nobody pays any attention to it. China’s rulers have always resorted to morality rather than to law. This is the essence of the Confucian doctrine – you raise the Emperor to respect order and the public good, and it works in certain ways, but it’s not an effective constraint when you get a really bad emperor.

Q: So despite a revolution and the destruction of a ruling class, you see continuity here.

A: When you look at the imperial rule in the Han or Ming dynasty it’s so familiar because it’s all centralized, all top-down. The emperor wants to create accountability upwards to the center, but there’s no downward accountability to anybody at a local level. China has always been a country — a huge country – with a big information problem where the emperor can’t figure out what’s going on in any of the provinces. This is in so many respects exactly the Communist Party’s problem. Because they don’t have a free media, they don’t have local elections, they can’t really judge what their people thinking, so they constantly have to have these further surveillance mechanisms to try to keep track. That’s one of the reasons I think that system is going to blow up at some point. They lose track of what’s really happening. Even with the slowdown in their economy nobody really knows what’s going on because all the officials have big incentive to lie about how much output their regions are producing. People just don’t trust the statistics. China supposedly has some 50,000 people monitoring the Internet. Yes, the purpose of that is partly repressive, but that surveillance network is also there to find out what the hell people are thinking about. They do polling, to try to solve this problem. This is one of the nice things about democracy — you actually have elections in which people can express their views if they don’t like what’s happening.

Q: You mentioned social networks – do you see them as a potent force in this context?

A: Definitely. As people get more educated and tech-savvy, these networks are not just localized phenomena but pathways for information on a national scale. The technology is facilitating the growth of a national consciousness that did not exist under the controlled media setting of the Communist regime.

Q: So the social networks become a force for accountability.

A: Absolutely. That high-speed rail accident is a good example. The government was actually forced to dig up those railroad cars and launch an investigation as to what caused the accident. Of course the true accountability slowed down because they’ve got lots of ways to block that. But it’s still interesting because that wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago.

Really profound stuff Team. The vacuum cleaner approach to Sino-analysis, and everything else under the sun and a few things beside.

As for deconstructing his macro and micro arguments, I leave that to someone with serious time on their hands.

After the recent Ammesty report on land seizures, John Garnaut of the SMH again provides a more nuanced analysis based on (yes, real) interviews and (dodgy) statistics..

The slowdown in the Chinese economy is producing an unexpected reduction in violence and social conflict, a senior Chinese security official says.
Falling land prices and fewer transactions have reduced the number of forced land appropriations, which had accounted for an estimated two-thirds of the 187,000 ”mass incidents” reported for 2010.

There is also a counter-argument that Provincial Govts will become ever more reliant on forced land appropriations in order to service their massive debts which have been calculated by Victor Shih.

I look forward to your advice re: any or all of the above.

At least it will take your mind off lustful thoughts.

Even the ChinaDigitalTimes hasn’t stopped so low as to excerpt Fukuyama yet, but I have no shame.

You Read it Here First, Okay

October 10, 2012

On a few occasions I have made a passing reference to some Sino topic, only to see other sites make a big deal out of it a few days later. Mucho aggrieved.

So lets break with tradition and be first for once, and heaven help any site which posts this big-time without a hat tip.

Okay Team, I’m feeling a bit arrogant this morning, but this is tremendous stuff. And I won’t be left in a dark and vengeful space.

Miao Cuihua video protest

Clad in a blue plaid shirt and speaking with a rural accent, Miao Cuihua trips over her words as she demands unpaid wages, her “blood and sweat money” for toiling on a construction project.

Miao is certainly not the first migrant worker in China to complain about unpaid wages, but her act of protest has probably been seen by more of her fellow citizens than any other salary dispute in history.

Rather than going to her former employer’s office or lodging a petition with the government – the normal forms of protest in China – Miao took her appeal to the internet with a cleverly produced video that has gone viral and been reported widely by local media.

The success of the video lies in its mimicry of official propaganda. It is a crude facsimile of the stuffy news conferences regularly hosted by government departments. Miao (likely a pseudonym) stands stiffly at a lectern with the title of the news conference emblazoned on the screen behind her: “Migrant Worker Unpaid Salary News Conference”.

Her wording, from her stuffy preamble to her indignation, is lifted almost verbatim from foreign ministry briefings.

Read on from Beyondbrics HERE.

Be Warned. I will be policing this like a Tong Lord.

The only exception is Tea Leaf Nation, full-stop.

A Rant, Some Recommendations and Asides.

October 3, 2012

Nothing fuels the appetite like beginning a post with a bit of head kicking. And if you follow the early links, you can identify the source of this very bad netiquette on my part. So let’s out the perps, namely James Fallows, Evan Osnos and Jeremiah Jenne, all three deriving financial reward for their scribblings on China. I’m not even providing links since this unholy trinity – who astroturf each others product – simply don’t deserve any additional oxygen of publicity.

Osnos has his venerable publication’s style down pat. Content easily found by any cursory trawl through Google news reader or the BBC. If you’re lucky! Fallows wrote a excellent and technically detailed article on how the GFW works sometime before The Games 08, and has coasted on that effort ever since. Mr Jenne takes great pleasure in advising his few readers that he is undertaking PhD research in some minor American university. Probably has the name card with ‘PhD candidate’ inscribed after his name.

You can bet the farm that he won’t be advising readers if his thesis is rejected (“Not an original contribution to knowledge”) or is subjected to a major rewrite. Its an unpleasant task identifying these empty vessels, but necessary, when one considers the general reverence all three enjoy among the general commentariat.

Now that the eye gouging and ear biting in the scrum is out of the way, let’s go positive, and where better than a hat tip to Beijing Cream run by Two Star General Anthony Tao. A tremendous source of fun posts and serious links. Top of the Pops and a great start to the day.

Unlike the the unholy trinity, Ross Garnaut reporter for the SMH, cans the commentary for serious in-depth reporting by making use of his extensive contacts across diverse Sino circles of influence. While I’ve linked virtually all his pieces (particularly those on Bo/Chongqing before the hammer feel), I missed this long piece on endemic corruption within the PLA published in Foreign Policy in April. Thanks to Eric of Sinostand for the link. Read it and draw your own conclusions about A) the PRCs culture of secrecy and B) its military capabilities.

Speaking of the Bo Business, it’s nice to see that the China Daily has the problem sorted. (Had an even better quote, but lost it in the ether somewhere.)

The CPC Central Committee called on the Party, the country and people of all ethnic groups to closely unite around the CPC Central Committee led by General Secretary Hu Jintao and hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important Thought of the Three Represents.
It urged deeply implementing the Scientific Outlook on Development and unswervingly advancing along the socialist path with Chinese characteristics in order to make new achievements in anti-corruption campaigns and the construction of a clean Party and government, strive for the overall building of a well-off society and create new progress for the socialist cause with Chinese characteristics.

General Tao provides the other link which I wish to highlight, namely James McGregor’s piece in Quartz: BUSINESS 101
Don’t bring your cell phone to meetings in China, you might get hacked.
So basic that even the gormless Australian Governmemt trade delegation to China a few months ago left all their digital devices at home under the threat of strangulation. Finally, dipstick Craig Emerson (PhD) took one small step towards bipolar trade talk reality for a change.

McGregor (another outstanding citizen of tubbyland) has a new e book out HERE, previewed with eight precise answers to eight general questions. In another discussion on The Many Dangers of China’s State Capitalism HERE, he provides the money quote to die for:

“Members of China’s National People’s Congress have become so wealthy that their meetings may best take place in a bank vault.”

Winding up on an XXXX Adults Only note, Adam Minter for Bloomberg states the bleeding obvious in a pointed piece which speaks to the type of civil society being produced in China today: In China, Mistresses and Corruption Go Hand in Hand.

Please note, the point does not reside in the title, okay. Here, I am pleased to report that my Sino hometown Fuzhou is up there in the mistress department.

Forget Minter’s Mandarin link, Richard Spencer of The Telegraph gives you the Top Ten in all their fornicating (doubt it) glory. This was common knowledge pillow talk at the time.

8. Creativity: Lin Longfei, Party secretary of Zhouning county in Fujian. Lin had relationships with twenty-two women, for whom he made a special contacts book. On May 22, 2002, he held a banquet for all twenty-two women at a restaurant in Fuzhou. During the meal, he announced that he would have a gathering every year, and that each year he would give a prize to the woman who satisfied him most. This was such an absurd suggestion that it won a round of applause from the mistresses gathered there.

Minxin Pei in The Diplomat can wait for another day.

You can beat me to it, by spotting the new twist in his old riff.

Musical Interlude

October 2, 2012

As some readers would be aware, I sold off four metres of very collectible vinyl some years ago to a specialist record dealer. And, as expected, it left a major hole in my heart. Just last week however, a visitor to tubbyland came equipped with something like three terabytes of music – somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 LPs (or CDs as we now call them) – which we then proceeded to download onto extra drives.

This sounds great I know, but trust me, the thrill is in the download and not the listening.

500 reggae albums alone. Now, while I’m a major fan due to the influence of my Dad, the great producer and pioneering sound engineer King Tubby, sorting thru the stuff for the killer selection is a task beyond me.

Anyway, this new lease of musical life is also an opportunity to revisit some faves from the past. And I’m not the only weblord declaiming on music at the moment. FROOG and MIKE (cf BlogRoll right) also, even if our tastes differ.

Where to begin and don’t expect anything after the mid-70s.

We should kick off with an instance of high studio drama, namely Phil Spector waving around a gun and then locking Ike Turner out of the control booth while producing River Deep, Mountain High. Phil presently lives in the Big House minus his toupee , and Ike has received a ton of bad press for wife beating before Tina divorced him and reinvented herself in the 90s.

Spector obviously liked to live dangerously, since Ike was no slouch when it came to personal ordinance. Once in the segregated 1950s a carload of drunk white boys thought they would indulge in a bit of nigger bashing and ran the band off the road. Ike promptly pulled his piece out of the glove box, walked over to the driver, shoved it in his ear and asked him about his death wish.

True, and this is a prime example of Ike and Tina chitlin circuit sound.

Bobby Bland in his glory days.

Tav Falco (and Panther Burns) made a grand entrance and then stuck his flick knife onto our table. I confiscated the bloody thing. One of a million versions.

It is pretty hard to dredge up any interest in blues these days, but Otis Rush is still worth a visit.

And, as you guess, this is what Mayall and Clapton listened to before they cut the Beano album so many decades ago, taken from Rush’s 1956 Cobra sessions.

For pure down home rusticity, Duane Allman and Johnny Jenkins.

When every vocal group was named after a bird.

A reworking of Jamo Thomas’s I Spy for the FBI by soulmiester Luther Ingram with a brilliant visual history of the FBI’s COINTLEPROgram to kill off (literally) the Black Panther movement in the States. Brilliant reworking of a Northern Soul dance fave.

And if you want the bookend, listen to The KGB made a Man out of Me by the Barracudas, fun English retro band.

The TAMI Show 1964. The Stones followed and one look at Brian Jones and you knew he was fucked.

Shifting genres, before concluding.

The Chocolate Watch Band.

First off, a snappy single.

Recall The Sopranos, the end of the very last episode, when you see Tony walking down the street away from the camera. Thought bubble. The Mob’s glory days are long gone, finito. Here am I, owner of a titty bar, squabbling over small time garbage contracts with Johnny Sacks. No longer even important enough to get whacked when when dining out, unlike my illustrious predecessors, who got clipped when gorging at Umbertos Clam House, John and Mary’s Italian American Restaurant and Sparkes Steak House. This was the audio.

The Chambers Brothers. This long track ushered in FM radio and they also made the cover of Time magazine

You decide on this one.

Wang Ligun….more trivia and Grand Blog Theft.

September 18, 2012

Since a number of weblords on the blogroll (right) insist on posting photos and commentary on their cats (of all things), it is time to share with the Dear Reader an image of my positively superior animal companion, which by the way is a male King Parrot.

I know. I know. I should be writing on more musical matters, but with the trial of The Mongol aka former Chongqing cop supremo Wang Ligun now concluded, its time to dust off the old dirt file and make a couple of new entries.

Again, its John Garnaut of The SMH. Think of the crap fare served up on The Bill and read about the million dollar police cafeteria built by Wang in Chongqing:

“In the UK they say there is no free lunch, but have you seen the Chongqing Public Security Bureau? It costs 10 million a month!” Beijing lawyer Li Zhuang, who was famously arrested by Wang in 2009, said.
Wang, on trial today for myriad crimes including defecting to the United States, built a fancy canteen at every district police station after he was promoted to police chief in 2009.
The centrepiece was a vast two-storey dining establishment with brass fittings, golden floorings and curtains at the opulent bureau headquarters – replete with its own lake – that he renovated in downtown Chongqing.
A local lawyer, Zhou Litai, who dined with Wang there on several occasions, fondly recalls the a-la-carte Japanese, Chinese and Western food, followed by offerings of seasonal fruit.
But dining at the central police cafeteria was a ceremonious and austere occasion, with Wang, of course, at the centre of the liturgy.
“People wait for him before they start eating and they would often line up and applaud to welcome him into the room,” Zhou said.
“He allowed no phone calls, no casual chatting and no leftover food.”

And Malcolm Moore of The Telegraph.

Chen Xiaodong, who wrote “Siberian Tiger Legend”, a biography of Mr Wang from his time in Liaoning, recorded that Mr Wang was not the sort of policeman to sit in the office.
“He always went to the crime scene, every time,” he wrote. “Once there was a body in a lake, floating on the surface. He could not wait for them to fish it out, so he took off his clothes and jumped in. When he got close, he dragged the stinking body onto the shore. He said he took so many showers afterwards, and even washed his hair with toothpaste, but he still smelt terrible and could not eat for several days.”
When a disgruntled businessman bombed the house of a judge in Tieling in 1994, Mr Wang was once again first on the scene. “He was the first into the house, and he found all the heads and matched them to their bodies, checking them over and over,” noted Mr Chen. At the time, Mr Wang was 34, “quite a beau”, and “decisive, brave and authoritative”.

He had a taste both for gritty police work and for the theatrical. In Tieling, his Mitsubishi jeep was famously tricked out with extra headlights on the roof, facing both front and back, so that on a dark night he could be seen coming from far away.”He would jump into his car in a black coat and shoot his gun into the sky,” remembered Mr Zhou.

Even more damning, Wang plays the bloody accordion.

Tales of yet more eccentricities emerge.

Wang would turn up at police stations deep in the night to catch officers sleeping, bawl them out and then storm out, said a Chinese businessman who met Wang several times at city functions. He also demanded continuous supplies of fresh flowers and towels, said another source with access to city officials.

A former colleague of Wang’s in northeast China said he would sometimes perform the autopsies on executed convicts himself because he claimed he wanted to see if “their hearts were black or red”.

And finally, there is the Graham Greene Third Man theory being touted by the Wall Street Journal about his walk in to the US Consulate in Chengdu.

Just imagine the state of US-PRC play, if the consulate had granted him asylum.

Finally, Dear Reader, I would like to warn you against Bo-Gu-Wang blog substitutes. General Anthony Tao of Beijing Cream is continually copping material from my dirt file, so here is a list of site entries which provide the total A to Z on this whole hilarious Sino Officialdom Fiction file.

Accept no substitutes or Anthony come Late-lies:

Unnamed Sources: This is totally out of control.
Political Interference @ Amazing New Revelations: Sports Book Closed
KTs Sports Book
The Chongqing Sino Circus: The Last Two Acts.
We Owe the Party a Vote of Thanks.


Slapping Therapy

Apparently, Bo subjected The Mongol aka Wang Ligun – a less than stable vessel – to Chinese slapping therapy, an apparent cure for high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Mr Bo belted his police chief in the face after he told him that his wife, Gu Kailai, was “highly suspected” of murdering Englishman Neil Heywood, says a Xinhua report of court proceedings released overnight.

John Garnaut SMH

KTs Master Class…Follow-up to previous post.

September 16, 2012

When asked as a callow princeling, what were the three greatest inventions enjoyed by mankind? I wouldn’t have hesitated. Simple. The LP or long playing record for style, the automobile for travel adventure with comely companions and the hot shower to wash away previous excesses.

Today however, being older and better informed, I would simply say “the langenaria siceraria“, which is none other than the bottle gourd, opo squash, long melon or calabash. Wiki has a tremendous entry, noting that this cultivated vine has played an integral part in the genesis and migration of humanity. It has both culinary and cultural uses, and here we will be focusing on the latter.

It’s the diversity of shapes which make them so interesting

So begins the Master Class on how to make a calabash-based instrument.

Now, you could go the long way and grow a langeria siceraria which could take ages, so the happy citizens of tubbyland go online to The Gourdfather and select a calabash of their choosing. If you are US based, HERE is your link. And it you want to know why I’m such a smarty pants on the subject, THIS is the read for you, and which I’m referencing for a lot of information below. Finally, if you’re hit the links, you will realise that choosing a gourd is a bit like choosing a partner: they are all different so its a question of the type of music you wish to play.

Gourds lend themselves to the following instrumentation based on the Sacks-Hornstabel system:

Idiophones – which is to say a solid material which you hit, stamp, shake, knock together, scape, rub, pluck (mbira) and hit in a complex manner (xylophone).
Try this sample of the marimba by the African Dream Marimba Band of Capetown.

And in the same family:

Mbira or thumb piano

Mbiras come is a massive variety of styles, many to which transform into cultural objects par excellence, as evidenced by THIS google image save:

Membraphones: basically a drum of any type.

Aerophones: any gourd based intrument you blow through such as the god-awful sounding Indian pongi.

Finally, chordophones: any instrument which uses a vibrating string as its sound source.

Unquestionably, the greatest instrument in this category is the African harp-lute or Kora.

Griot Lamin Saho

Now I see that the class is not on-task: sleeping, texting and chatting up members of the opposite sex, so we will resume this afternoon.

I was going to set some homework on How a String Vibrates, but this type of math is way above my pay scale.