Monday, February 06, 2012

Alternate reasons to celebrate

Today is the Chinese 'Lantern Festival' - the last day of the insufferable tedium that two or three weeks of almost continuous firework overkill become... after about one day.

Relief at the fact that the annual Hell Fortnight will soon be over is considerable; but having to put up with perhaps the most intensive concentration of explosions of the entire holiday this evening rouses a countervailing anguish and trepidation.  It's not a good night to be out on the streets.

On the other hand, I am in fairly buoyant spirits after this morning's (Beijing is thirteen hours later than American EST) Super Bowl. I had been intending to root for the Pats, in deference to a couple of people I know with Boston sympathies. But I wasn't watching the game with them, and I soon found myself being more drawn to the Giants in this game (they were, after all, the underdogs - albeit rather narrowly - and we Brits can't resist an underdog). Their fightback from a wretched 2nd and 3rd quarter was superb.  And the last few minutes were some of the tensest I can remember for a long time. (When was the last time the big game ended on a Hail Mary! play? Well, according to the relevant Wikipedia page - which has already added Tom Brady's failed attempt today - the answer would seem to be NEVER.)

Also, it is Bob Marley's birthday - which has two or three times provided me with an excuse for a party in Beijing. And I'm hoping one or two of my favourite bars might be prioritizing Marley (and friends) on their playlists tonight to commemorate the occasion - and distract us from all the bloody fireworks.

So, to get in the spirit of things, here's one of my favourite Wailers' songs, Stop That Train - which might well be my 'theme song' for the year, since I am pretty well resolved to try to find an escape route out of Beijing within the next six months or so.

I mentioned Marley's friends a moment ago: I think I prefer Peter Tosh to Marley, at least for his singing. And this song was, I believe, a Tosh composition. So... just found a great acoustic version by him.


KingTubby said...

Reggae and Tuff Gong was mentioned, so I better weigh in.

I was also invited to a Marley birthday party by the crap website shenzhenstuff which I used to adorn. Two different reggae groups vying for my attention, but they would have recognized a riddim if it bit them on the posterior.

Now, an essential for any reggae gig is a copious quantity of truly weapons grade ganga, and that is something which China doesn't have. In fact, chinese pot is beyond piss poor in contrast to tubbyland.

Wen - grandpa of the common folk - should do some worthwhile for the rural peasantry in fear of losing their land, and introduce hi-tech pot growing methods. They would then be able to earn a decent income and expats in Sino-land would be happy well smoked campers.

I'm serious.

Having seen Bob, or at least sighted him thru the smoky haze, Im putting up a vote for most classic to 1975 reggae and dub, plus some blue beat.

My concert ticket can be sighted here:

Funny enough, I watched The Harder They Come the other night with the truly excellent directors commentary on. Sociological comment at its very best.

I suppose I should sign off with my theme song:

King Tubby: Baby I Love You so.

D & P Endnote: You forgot The Wrong Box.

The British Cowboy said...

Unfortunately I had to work through the game. At least I was at home so I had the game on. The upside was that the bar I would have gone to would have involved the biggest wanker in the known universe, who I had to be restrained from beating with a beer bottle during the Packers v Giants game.

I don't know if it is that I hate both teams, but I don't think it was AS good a game as everyone else seemed to. And if you want excitement, the best finish I remember is the Titans missing out by a yard or so on the greatest comeback ever against the Rams. Helped I actually liked both teams in that one.

Froog said...

Cheers, Tubby - I had indeed forgotten The Wrong Box (how did you know?!): only saw it once, when I was very young.

I hear there's a remake of The Harder They Come in the pipeline - I am filled with trepidation.

I've never been much of a smoker myself, but I've been told there's some reasonable weed to be had in Beijing if you shop around - imported rather than locally grown, I suspect. General problem with Chinese agriculture: almost everything here lacks much flavour because they overfarm so much, and try to compensate just by dumping chemical fertilizers on to the soil.

Clive Chin did a DJ set here a few years ago. You would have liked that. If you could get in - he appeared at a small nightclub in the hutongs, and it was jam-packed.

Froog said...

Hi Cowboy, good to hear from you. Sorry you had such a shitty day - but relieved you avoided imprisonment on battery charges.

I think I know what you mean about the game. I don't know that the quality of play was that high all around, and the fortunes didn't seesaw from drive to drive and play to play, as you sometimes have with the real thrillers. It was, as the British pundits like to say, "a game of two halves" - or four quarters, anyway: Giants dominating 1st and 4th, Pats 2nd and 3rd. Rousing finale, though: I didn't realise the Bowl had never finished on an all-or-nothing pass before. I was impressed they managed to get so many people in the end zone in such a short time - they must have run like stink.

Isn't it your birthday today/tomorrow? Have a good one! I hope it ushers in a better year for you.

The British Cowboy said...

Yeah, life at the moment kind of blows. Contract legal work. Last week I ended up putting in 80 hours. Even in a week like that, I make 75% of what I used to make, with no benefits, no health insurance, no vacation etc.

The one thing that is a positive is that it is seriously radicalizing me once more. More heads on pikes in 2012.