Fun: Some African Musical and other Resources.

September 28, 2013

Where did it start this morning?

This truly eccentric (now defunct) blog site titled Big Head Stevenson which has the wildest musical cloud categories I’ve ever encountered.

Spend some time exploring as it is quite an education in the world of highly marginal sounds and genres. Very taken with his Soul and perfectly ghastly Krautrock selections, and all the African categories are killers. Unfortunately, the sound files appear to be corrupted or beyond my skill set.

When one reflects upon the big musical influences of one’s life, there are no straight lines. By way of example, liner notes on a cassette I purchased of James Chance and the Contortions Live in New York led to a massive binge on Fela Kuti LPs….months of my student scholarship in fact. Short of becoming an international gunrunner, this was the only way of extending the musical boundaries into Afro Beat.

The truly overwrought Mr Chance’s version of JBs King Heroin. 1980. Pre- rehab, rehab,….


Anyway, todays less than linear straight line went from Big Head Stevenson’s blog to The Guardian and music wonk Alexis Petridis HERE on Who is William Onyeabor??

So lets get down with some Lagos funk circa the 1970s, positive lyrics encased in electro-funk. Funk bass lines and brass riffs to die for. And your IQ test for the day: Just what is it about funk musicians and their preference for cowboy hats???

OMG, that is fucking great, so lets have it again.

Onyeabor self-released 8 albums between 1978 and 1985, and his biography is a bit hazy. According to liner notes quoted by Discog, he has enjoyed an interesting life to put it mildly:

William Onyeabor studied cinematography in Russia for many years, returning to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio……. William has now been crowned a High Chief in Enugu, where he lives today as a successful businessman working on government contracts and running his own flour mill.

Beside the Born Again thingy, there is also mention of an English law degree.

Anyway, 13 of his best tracks have now been rereleased on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label.

Interested in extending your knowledge of Afro Beat. Here is an interview with master drummer Tony Allen, the power house who anchored over 30 of Fela’s records.
And you can read about his biography on THIS SITE, which I follow on my twitter account.

978-0-8223-5591-5-frontcover1

On the internet radio front, try RadioPalmWine Nigerian Igbo Radio, and if you are into talking books, try Misha Glenny’s McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime. Glenny has an excellent if hilarious account of the genesis of the Nigerian 419 scam set within the context of the Potemkin state institutions of post-colonial Nigeria and the Biafran civil war where the Igbo people were on the receiving end of induced famine and global indifference. Subsequently deprived of access to the corruption possibilities offered by the institutions of State, the Igbo turned their attention to other means of fraudulent gain. Initially via the fax machine, and then to the instantly global possibilities offered by the internet. Educated and highly creative folk who cleaned big time before the scam became too well known.

For a fictional account of the Igbo perspective prior to and during the Biafran civil war, try Half of a Yellow Moon by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Half way thru this tome at the moment, and its nice to have the female protagonist perspectives of the two sisters.

Back to the 419 scam and think of it as payback for colonial greed. At least that is how many Nigerians view the whole scamming thing. “I go take your money and disappear / 419 is just a game, you are the loser I am the winner.”
http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/i-go-chop-your-dollar-the-nigerian-music-video-about-email-scams

Now, if the peasants in Tubbyland paid their taxes, I would be buying all 28 volumes of Ethiopiques, a free ranging and diverse collect of Ethiopian musics covering the 1960s and 1970s. Google album cover images HERE.

However, like peasants the world over, they ignore their fiscal duties to the State/Me, while privately gorging and guzzling themselves into oblivion when I’m OS on goodwill visits, surfing safaris etc. Consequently, we will have to settle for some Ethiopian funk courtesy of Ethiopian TV with a bit of salacious babe dancing thrown in for good measure.

All linked out.
Enjoy.

It’s nice to have a new follower:
http://jujufilms.tv/
This site is well worth a visit.
Update
Subtitled: Why the internet is a joy to the world.
Came across this tremendous article in Pop Matters: Lagos Disco Inferno by David Maine which was a review of a 70s compilation release. The title speaks for itself. David, a writer who bears a resemblance to Richard Brautigan, and who runs his own site davidmaine.blogspot.com focussed my attention on another site http://voodoofunk.blogspot.com.au/ run by David Gossner, a music archaeologist/indie music entrepreneur of older Nigerian sounds.

All the above are worth a visit, especially the latter since you will be purchasing a copy of Lagos Disco Inferno. I know you will, after listening to Grotto’s Bad City Girl taken from the above compilation. And if the montage of really bad babes gets you all hot and bothered and leads to domestic discord, don’t ask me to mediate.

See ya.

Miscellany

September 14, 2013

Readers with too much time on their hands would be aware of the electoral shambles which took place in Tubbyland last weekend. Following a subsequent exchange with Justrecently, I’ve decided to form my own political party grounded in the key realities of the 21st century. As of yet to arrive at a name which will capture the essence of this new vehicle of political power, and readers are invited to make polite suggestion.

Key policy positions include:

The incorporation of the Pirate Party’s raft of left libertarian proposals for the management of the digital economy and intellectual property rights;

Non alcoholic ginger beer will be the only beverage served at State functions;

Julian Assange will be given the Order of Australia and installed as Governor General;

All males will take mandatory Creative Cooking Classes beginning in their primary school years;

Full civic rights for gay, trannie and transgenderist folk;

The State will take responsibility for the quality and distribution of all Old School Drugs (marijuana, LSD and high-end opiates). Individuals involved in the distribution of party/designer drugs will be prosecuted with extreme prejudice;

All web lords will be given full journalistic accreditation with the aim breaking the existing sodomistic relationship between mainstream media and the political classes;

All Australian country music will be banned forthwith. No ifs or buts. Its plain fucking embarrassing. (And there is a shattering backstory to this proposal.) As an adjunct to this proscription, Australia will establish a strategic relationship with Mali and other Sahelian states with the aim of re-engineering the musical taste of all citizens here in Tubbyland;

Mainland China would be classified as a Nation State Gaming the Rest of the World and treated accordingly in matters of trade and Sino investment (housing and agriculture in Tubbyland).

I anticipate considerable electoral success, and am certain to capture both the donkey vote and other disenchanteds, as this new grass roots party will be generously staffed by a bevy of Japanese surfer girls.

Furthermore, ASP Pro Surfer Nao Omura will be appointed Minister of Grrrl Power.
nao_omura
nao2

JR will be offered a ministry of his choosing, and if secret negotiations with two other weblords are successful, the electorate will have real voting options next time round.

To be sure, the above involves the renunciation of the principles of hereditary monarchy and absolutist rule (my preference), but sometimes one must consider the greater public good.

Now, to musical matters.

As young sprouts, we spent our teenage years living in a Police State, and I’m not overstating matters.

 Just before the Tower Mill police riot

Prior to Tower Mill police riot

In retrospect we should be thankful for that state of affairs, since it gave rise to great taste in all matters musical. The anthems of our teenage years were for the most part derived from Soul Music. Otis. Sam and Dave. The Four Tops. James and Bobby Purify. In fact, just about anything produced by Motown, Stax and Stax Volt. Being a bit of an Aretha fan is a hard gig sometimes, given that she covered a lot of plaintive dreck penned by the likes of Lennon McCartney, Dionne Warwick and Burt bloody Bacharach- swill of the first order.

Now, there is no denying that Chain of Fools is right up there in the pantheon of killer soul tracks. Alan Parker of The Commitments knew a centrepiece tour de force when he heard one, and he threw a ton of production dollars into his cover version.

This is Aretha at her torchiest best displaying her complete Gospel credentials. You are my Sunshine. Aretha Arrives. 1967. Perfect call and response. Understated brass. (As my producer friend Mark once advised in the studio: “How would Aretha cut it?”.)
Crank up the volume, children.

Finally, as part of this Australia-Mali pivot, this is what to expect to hear on all Tubbyland Ipods in the future:

And a nice description of the Desert Music Blues Project is found on this website.

Lot more on the net if you are interested.

Enjoy.

The History of Fever.

September 5, 2013

Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.

Before we get down to this weeks musical history lesson, a really good spray is called for and what better target than the rapidly disappearing Sino-English blog world.

This brings us to The Diplomat, the military tech-head site where US and PRC keyboard warriors gameplay the forthcoming war between these two superpowers. While I’m pretty agnostic re this Clash of the Titans, the possibility of a second 21st Century of Han Shame is a rather attractive proposition. Combine that with the mass butchery the Shia and Sunni seem intent on inflicting on each other within the Tent of Islam and hey, we are heading for a new New World Order where retard cultures get their justifiable comeuppance.

At this juncture, Mainland China is in a no-win situation: genuine reform is an impossibility and the old tried and true methods of domestic social management are reaching their effective end-points. The social, political and environmental ecologies are all pretty toxic. Sowing and reaping, it all comes down to the flawed cultural DNA of 5,000 years of so-called Han racial uniqueness. The exceptional empire of the Middle Kingdom. And what about the glue which holds this empire together – language. Reuters reports today that:

BEIJING (Reuters) – More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language Mandarin, and large numbers in the rest of the country speak it badly, state media said on Thursday as the government launched another push for linguistic unity
Ministry of Education spokeswoman Xu Mei said that only 70 percent of the country could speak Mandarin, many of them poorly, and the remaining 30 percent or 400 million people could not speak it at all, Xinhua news agency reported.

To make matters worse, Liz Carter writing in The Atlantic notes that middle school text books have been dumbed down with the removal of Lu Xun’s essay The Kite plus other works. Apparently, the old fucker and alleged founding father of Chinese literature was too bloody negative and cynical. Probably not in lockstep with Xi’s China Dream. That’s the sub-text, since they offered up the western weasel rationale of offering something more “age appropriate”.

An article analyzing the changes published by Xinhua News Agency, China’s state-run media, noted that, “Middle school students should not be reading anything too deep.” Zhao Yu, an author quoted in the article, voiced his agreement with the decision, stating that, “We shouldn’t make students undertake reflection and critical thinking too soon; instead, we should let them gradually accumulate knowledge.

Draw your own conclusions and read the original. It’s tremendous.

Back to The Diplomat. Not content with their existing monopoly on potential hi-tech blood and gore, they recently stepped onto my turf which the Dear Reader knows to be African music (and non-classical musical more generally), namely Jonathon DeHart’s interview with two Ungandan Afro-Beat artists who are touring the Mainland. Anyway, I was compelled to tap in a semi-respectful comment to the effect that Mr DeHart failed to acknowledge the late great Fela Kuti in the miserable link he provided, and fuck me if they didn’t moderate my comment into the realm of being and nothingness. Obviously, Dehart has a very fragile ego and undue influence with the editors of this site.

Soldierman Nature @ Lio D

Soldierman Nature @ Lio D

All decked out like a couple of Kivu/Democratic Republic of Congo warlords wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Forget these pussy Afro-Beat contenders and go for the Founding Father Fela.
Fela live in 78 – Berlin.

Coffin for Head of State.

Fela’s Burial….brilliant.

And for some background on the monumentally corrupt military dictatorship which hounded Fela, murdered his mother (listen to Unknown Soldier) and sent him into exile, here is Sani Abacha who was poisoned by a couple of Indian hookers out of Dubai while on a viagara jag.
A fabulous google snap shot of all Fela’s album covers HERE and if you want a killer intro to his more accessible oeuvre, try Black President.
black president
Sticking with musical matters, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention Beijing Cream. Okay, we know Corporal Tao has hit on a winning formula centred around Road Kill in its many variations – dysfunctional elevators, scooter and car accidents, cinema verite violence, airport brawls, etc – perfect net fodder for the loawai trailer trash set.

However, it is the musical thread on this site which gets up my craw. Here Tao is again, again and again spruiking fucking Andrew Lloyd Webber. ALW is a major league transmittable disease and here’s hoping Tao gets something in the ear beyond antibiotics.

As for those two twerps he employs to write on Sino musical matters – Josh Feola and Morgan Short – I’ve been baiting both for weeks now in the comments section, but they’re bunkered down in a non-responsive sulk. Pussies!

Oh yes, to the web lord’s recent invitation to do a once-off on his site.
“Sorry Digger. Way below my pay grade”.

Apol for not writing up The History of Fever.
Maybe tomorrow or the next day. Whichever comes first.

Winding Up with 101st Post

August 24, 2013

I’m putting this site to sleep (blog eugenics) for a couple of months, or at least till a decent dose of scribbling inspiration takes over again. I know I should be writing about the collapse of the Sahelian States (Mali, Niger, Central African Republic and Chad) which is a catastrophe now well and truly in progress.

As for China, who wants to be the last rat deserting a sinking ship? That honour goes to Richard of Peking Duck, a blog which now reeks of desperation and futile attempts to realise commenter clawback. The Bo trial to date consists of a lot of smart arsed western journos and web personalities desperately tweeting each other in an attempt to validate their self-worth. And for really fucking lame opinion on the Bo story, just read any of the recycling by Matt Schiavenza in The Atlantic in recent days. And he gets paid cash money for that stuff.

Aside from putting a couple of music contributors on Beijing Cream in their rightful places – very minor loawai Beijing celebs in their own lunchtime/loawai trailer trash – taming nature with a chain saw and responding to fire calls is proving to be far more satisfying. Very macho stuff which often takes place in extremely challenging environments, and which gives rise to adrenaline rushes on par with No. 4 pink rocks.

Now that I’ve got the self-importance out of the way, some of the truly trashy favourite sounds which dominated my soundscape in the late 70s and early 80s.
Eva Records produced possibly the greatest Garage collection of all times in 1982, and in glorious mono. Texas Punk Groups from Texas. Brilliant archaeology.


There are few records worth dying for, but Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 compiled by Lenny Kraal definitely fits the bill. Saw it in a gf’s collection and made the sweet lass sign it over immediately.



The Litter. A brilliant cover band and their original Soul Searching has one of the most killer riffs of all times.

More from their first album.

The Fuzztones from Psycdehelic Eminations.


The Sonics Louie Louie. Provided the hilarious back story on the lyrics somewhere in the past on this site.

This is appalling. Go Go Dancing by Raquel Welch

A really minor gem in the history of Garage. The Sharpels Dare I Weep, Dare I Mourn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzG0NZD_kQs

Winding it up with The Stooges I Wanna be you Dog.

See ya, and expect all of the above selection to be piped thru very bloody loud speakers. None of those pussy efforts you connect to your pc, okay.

Take care.

Notification

August 11, 2013

The life of an Absolute Monarch is supposed to be easy. Flogging peasants, introducing new and interesting taxes, gargantuan banquets awash with alcohol, etc.

Not so, I’m afraid. Just so many projects on the go at present, one of which so overloaded me with adrenaline yesterday that it cleansed the system of decades of cholesterol.

Now, some bloggers overload their sites with cat (Felis silvestris catus) photos when experiencing a writing hiatus, but I won’t take that low path and shall provide some musical culture instead. However, before doing so, I would like to recommend Yaxue Cao’s new China Human Rights site Chinachange.org Original content of the first order and it deserves to be supported.

Wayfaring Stranger. Jack White. The killer first track from Cold Mountain. And the rest of the CD is also worth a listen.

With Mali’s recent elections and its attempt to reconstruct itself, the infectious sound of Amadou & Marian. Mon Amour, Ma Cherie. Live.

One of the enchanting female voices of Mali, Rokia Traori.

Back to work and will be blogging again in earnest in two weeks.
Take Care.

KT Gets Down.

July 11, 2013

Always been a big supporter of Gay/Trannie Rights and other forms of polymorphous sexuality, so it is time to revisit the late 70s/80s, musically that is, as I know you’re bored with modern Japanese surfer girls.

And don’t be a wuss. Lots of Bolivian marching dust, a really fucking ghastly alcoholic concoction which looks like green slime (calvaldos and lemonade), plus a wardrobe that totally pissed off the cat.

Okay, and I will spare the commentary, as I am assuming listeners will have sufficient back-cultural-references and a totally broken moral compass:

Sylvester.

For Miami Vice fans.

Marc Almond’s reworking of Tainted Love, and it’s BBC at its cod best. Great background b/w dancers which relates to a fond memory. Walked into a tv store with me Mum when I was a teenager. One screen had Chuck Berry (probably from Hullabaloo) playing with a dozen of the best background dancers I have ever seen. Systematically turned on every set in the shop to the same channel. We were promptly ushered to the door.

Boy George, after Britain embraced reggae.

Donna, why did you sell out to the fucking lower case christians? From Soul Train and produced by the genius Georgio Moroder.

Okay, there are a few desperate heteros out there I know, so here is the extended version of Papa Was a Rolling Stone.

OMG. This brings back great smoked hours with a hot opposite companion in the jacuzzi, and pioneered by Motown’s greatest producer Norman Whitfield.

Want to really embarrass visitors. Inopportune guests who are really upsetting the moment James Chance @ Lydia Lunch.

Now that you all excited, clean your teeth and tuck yourselves in.

Extended fire duties call.

Bobby Bland

June 29, 2013

Some smooth soul for those smooth seduction moments:

Dear Bobby (The Note)

Great sixties montage added.

History, Biography and Cinema.

June 29, 2013
Boss Kean - Cool Hand Luke

Boss Kean – What we got here … is a failure to communicate

Movie dialogue has a way of worming its way into our subconscious and speech. I personally opt for Stuart Rosenberg’s brilliant Cool Hand Luke 1967, which was mix of Christ-like allegory and general anti-establishmentarism. (Now there is a descriptor which has lost its currency. Many late 60s and early 70s films enjoyed sticking to The Man.) Totally brilliant script, awesome cast and rural prison farm sets which equal those captured in brilliant widelux black and white by Bruce Jackson of the Arkansas Prison Farm in 1975. If you appreciate photography, hit up Jackson’s 17 photos in the NYT and put them on full screen.
While we are into the chain gang theme, presently watching I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang directed by Mervyn Le Roy in 1932, and by god, is it realistic.

Shiela Terry: Pre-Hayes Office really hot babe from flic.

Shiela Terry: Pre-Hayes Office really hot babe from flic.

chain gangwhipping

Anyway, as most folk with half a film education would recognize dialogue from Cool Hand Luke, I will spare you.

Now, the apt dialogue for this post:

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” And you know who it was, okay.

Now, I thought I was finished with the Blue Sky Series, but since my library was kind enough to obtain some good reads by Ian Buruma, let’s really exhaust the Japanese theme.
The China Lover Ian Buruma 2008 Atlantic Books: London

Total lack of editorial control here: To be finished.

I Say Yeah: Rock Rap Confidential

June 24, 2013

Every month I receive a free newsletter by to-be-taken-seriously music critic Dave Marsh. Usually I skim them if they deal with roots-type musicians, others I simply ignore because the genre doesn’t interest me.

This month a piece which is very close to my heart, so I will cut and paste it in its entirety, and also suggest that you subscribe (free) if you want to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of post 1950s music (such as I do).

RRC Extra No. 39: Bobby Bland

Please feel free to forward or post this RRC Extra widely. We only ask that you include the information that anyone can subscribe free of charge to Rock & Rap Confidential by sending their email address to rockrap@aol.com. If you ever wish to unsubscribe, just send an email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line to rockrap@aol.com.

CRY, CRY, CRY…. Dave Marsh writes: Bobby Bland was, in his prime, the most powerful blues shouter of all time, though capable as well of a caressing tenderness. “Turn On Your Lovelight” is what the rock world knows, I guess, but the man’s legacy is also in “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do,” “Farther Up the Road,” “I’ll Take Care of You,” “I Pity the Fool,” “Cry Cry Cry,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” to my ear the finest “St. James Infirmary” of them all, the entire Two Steps from the Blues album (the best Southern soul album, even including Otis’s; it has the impeccable and beautiful and scary “Lead Me On,” for many the greatest performance of his career. The list goes all the way up to his Malaco sides, particularly “Ain’t No Love In the Heart of the City.” It is not true that Bobby Bland never made a bad record; it is true that his ratio of great to mediocre is as high as any other singer you can name, in any genre you care to cull.

To call him Bobby “Blue” Bland always seemed redundant to me—as if he could be heard for so much as eight bars and you wouldn’t know that this was his core, his essence and, one way or another, a heap of your own. But you can make too much of this essentialism–finally, you know Bobby Bland’s name and music less well because he was like his audience. He was a key voice of the black Southern working class from the ’50s onward. His role was to play the shouter from the anonymous ranks, the totally heart broken man among an all-but-totally heart broken folk. (And of course, once in a while, shouting with all the more exuberance because of that every day heartbreak.)

He was completely non-intellectual about the whole enterprise, as far as I can tell. He told Peter Guralnick that his ambition was to be able to sing each song the exact same way, every time he sang it. A strange kind of perfectionism. But his command of tone and phrasing was so great that for me he held the place that Frank Sinatra held for a lot of other people. “Lead Me On” in particular has never not brought me to tears. Not once, though I sometimes listened to it many, many, many times in a row–when I was by myself, the way that particular act of allegiance is best performed. And you know what? He sings it the same way every time.

Perfection is something he knew a lot about. And I, especially the I who found him on the radio and held him very close to the center of my being for the better part of half a century, will never be able to thank him enough. Or often enough. Or even express what I’m thanking him for altogether adequately.

I will tell you the real truth: He was, for me, probably the greatest blues singer of any kind, and the reason I can say this now instead of at the beginning is quite simple: I started listening to Two Steps from the Blues.

“No matter what you do, I’m gonna keep on loving you and I’m not ashamed, oh no, I’m not ashamed.”

Please forward this RRC Extra to five friends. To subscribe to Rock & Rap Confidential, just email rockrap@aol.com. Subscriptions are free.

For the uninnitiated, an obituary HERE and another HERE.

And a holiday to the Caribbean with a comely companion of your choice, if you can give me the Deadric Malone reference. No googling, please. Scouts honour.

I would like to add to Marsh’s selections by recommending Reflections in Blue.
Brilliant songs, silky vocals and brass riffs to absolutely die for.
Produced by Steve Barri (who cut his teeth recording early surf music) who understood Southern Soul to its very core.
Nothing from my recommendation on youtube, so here are two old chestnuts.

This Week in Sport.

June 21, 2013

Beginning on a positive note, the China Dream Team, coached by Xi Jinping, had a belated win in the Babes in Space Series.

“The Shenzhou 10 astronauts (or “taikonauts”) beamed down China’s first live space science lesson video to 330 elementary and middle-school children in Beijing from their position onboard the nation’s Tiangong 1 space module. More than 60 million students and teachers also watched the televised broadcast from around China, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.

Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping — the second Chinese woman to fly to space — demonstrated the high points of weightlessness during the lecture while Zhang Xiaoguang photographed the lesson, which was broadcast live on China’s state-run CCTV news channel”. Thnx to http://www.space.com
In a carefully choreographed number of set plays, Ms Wang struck martial arts poses, fooled around with scientific thingies, and generally smiled her way into the Sino pantheon of positive role models alongside Lei Feng, Gu Kalai and Li Peng.

While Mrs Wang, a married major in the Chinese air force and a rather plain looking doxy, scored big on the Dream Team’s propaganda leaderboard, cynics would be more interested in how the 330 school children were selected for this edutainment. You can bet the farm that Beijing’s power mums went into guanzi and red envelope overdrive when the selection process was announced.

Meanwhile, back in the real world of work, searching for work and weekend relaxation, China’s national football team is now on par with the Japanese Army during its period on the Mainland in the popularity department. Successive losses to Holland, Uzbekistan (where the fuck is that) and the Under 21 loss to a second string team fielded by minnow Thailand played at home, casts doubt on the whole football enterprise in Sino-land. Shanghaiist provides a pretty good account of this new low, and Why China hates its football team by Adam Minter must be the most syndicated article in months.

The Hefei defeat took place on Xi’s 60th birthday – Happy Birthday, Pal – but he has been displaying all the signs of some sort of serious mental affliction prior to this embarrassing drubbing. China Sports Review reported in July 2011 that:

“After the meeting, Sohn Hak-kyu gave a football autographed by Park Ji-Sung to Vice President Xi as a present. As a football fan, Xi expressed that China’s World Cup qualification, hosting of the World Cup and winning the World Cup are his three wishes”.

Now Xi is now suggesting some sort of football alliance with premier narco-traffickers Mexico during his recent visit South of the Border:

“I’m a football fan myself. The Chinese football players have worked very hard, but so far, our national team has qualified for the World Cup only once. It was Mr. Bora Milutinovic who led the Chinese football team to the World Cup and who also happened to be the head coach of Mexico’s national football team. We hope our two countries will win even more gold medals in cooperation,….”

Rather than mention his Chinese Dream in this speech, he envisaged a “global vision” and a “comprehensive strategic (Football) partnership” with Mexico.

Make of this nonsense what you will, but I think he is clearly deranged or has ingested some of the more dangerous substances which go into traditional Chinese medicine.

While the Chinese national men’s football team now ranks above Pitcairn and the Falkland Islands – no mean feat – readers would be wrong in blaming the monumental corruption which permeates the Beautiful Game from top to bottom, or the coach Jose Antonio Camarcho, who I note has a tightly written contract which the Chinese Football Association cannot simply cannot weasel out of without really pissing off FIFA. Among other things, salary and who on the China-side is responsible for covering his tax bill, Camacho’s contract wisely contained no mention of performance indicators. Wise fellow and welcome to world of real grifters like Mourinho.

No, to understand the root causes behind this lack of Sino football fighting spirit, we have to go back to a report in the Yangtze Evening Post (since deleted) when a coach from Tianjin Locomotive identified the key to football selection success:

“Genital examination is necessary. Looking at a boy’s penis size and shape can give you an idea of his hormone level. Boys with short, thick genitals and tight scrotum are good for football playing.”

Given its lack of success on the football pitch, we could draw some conclusions about the norm in China, but I’m not so sure, since we are entering the complex world of evolutionary biology and human sexuality.

Readers will recall the recent Report in the National Academy of Science on male member size and its capacity to attract women. I should add that the data used in this study was based on a large selection of Italian males, all of whom were no doubt relatives of Alessandro.

He has loved many women, very much. Thnx to  Heart of Beijing

He has loved many women, very much. Thnx to Heart of Beijing

The findings of this study really exercised the readers of Science Now – 280 comments in all – and many expressed scepticism, noting a range of other female considerations not factored into the investigation. The most interesting came from Ana Mercedes, independent escort based in Zurich, who argued:

“What about a pretty face, a nice refreshing smile, and even more important for male attractiveness, a beautiful and charming personality?”

You can meet Ana here and bring your cheque book. Harmless site, okay.

So if you are a member of the Chinese men’s football team and are experiencing member anxiety, but have a pleasant personality and a shit eating grin, Ana could be worth a visit when you next get an away game in Europe.

Your performance on the pitch might improve and you will help Xi fulfil his China Dream.