Great Works of English Literature (2): “The Hockey Stick Illusion” (or: Bad Smell of the Melodystick Ballgamepole Songline)

I’m a big fan of Chinese rap music, of which more in a moment.

But first:

I was going to do a review of Andrew Montford’s book, which I read at Christmas. But then I lent it to my daughter’s bloke, who’s got a maths degree from St. Andrew’s and whose dad studied statistics at Oxford, and whose two brothers are engineers. (If that doesn’t work, there’s no hope for us).

Barry Woods recently alerted me to Baroness Worthington’s statement that “there are no climate sceptics in China” – an inaccuracy which it is worth countering, for instance, with this:


which Google Translation renders as:

“Hockey stick curve scandal” but which my Chinese dictionary renders as above, and which I prefer.

This Chinese document can be found at thousands of  sites, for example:

[Hint to the CIA, MI6, IPCC, etc. Stick the comments on that site (and thousands of others) into Google Translation, and you’ll have a better idea of the future composition of the atmosphere than anything CRU or GISS can provide. End of message]

It emanates from the  Center for Chinese & Global Affairs. It’s an examination of the hockeystick by a Chinese scientist, and a simple scrolldown reveals the names of Mann, Briffa, Montford, McIntyre and McKitrick.

For those who don’t read Mandarin, I draw attention to these footnotes in English:

– Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!

– if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’ 

and the long excerpts in English from the Senate Committee hearings.

The word rendered as “scandal” by Google Translation, according to my dictionary, can equally be translated as 丑 chôu = “bad, disgraceful”, and 闻 wén =  “smell”.

Isn’t Chinese wonderful? Let’s have a listen to Chinese rap music.

My favourite examples  are at

which is a rap version of a typical Beijing opera:

partial translation thanks to

“Slice me a piece of watermelon, about four or five liang. Only the truly thin-skin watermelon comes with this crisp and grainy texture. 

When the scent of jasmine wafts in the tea room, one forgets all the heat of the summer. Pour a glass of fine wine as your thoughts wander afar. The senses are drunk with the fragrance of the wine steeped within the hutong alleys. As the sun sets at the corner of the old city wall that echoes with the beat of the toy rattle-drum, this native Beijinger feels a little sad, squatting alone at the corner of the wall, receiving not even a passing glance, With eyes unseeing and confusion in my heart, why do I feel so weary today?”

Then there’s Jay Chou’s praise of traditional chinese medicine at:

partial translation:

A Herbalist’s Manual / If Hua Tuo were still alive, worshipping of foreign cultures would be healed. Foreigners coming to learn Chinese characters / Stimulate my national consciousness / Strychnos, Cassia seed, Xanthii, and Lotus Seed /Rhizoma Dioscoreae Bulbiferae, Sophora alopecuroides, Fructus Toosendan, /

I want face / Using my own approach to rewrite a part of history /  This is not something special…follow me in uttering a few words  /  Chinese yam…Angelica sinensis…Lycium chinense…GO / Watch me grab some Chinese medicines and throw in some pride


My reaction is tranquil…hurdle over problems (estimates)

Actions are relaxed and free…you will never learn

Neon signs…organised into a neat manner

In this grand city…waiting (for it) to awaken

My reaction is tranquil…hurdle over problems (estimates)

Using calligraphy to describe a dynasty

Gallant manner to write in standard calligraphy…give a fist of dialogue / The ending starts to become stable / clear…see who is not the most impressive / Refined into what panacea? Kneaded into what pill?

Deer horn must not be sliced too thinly / The old master’s skill can’t just be haphazardly copied / Gui ling gao~yun ling bai yao~ and dong chong xia cao / My own music…my medicine…amount is just right / Once heard that Chinese medicines were very bitter / Plagiarism is even more distasteful / Quickly open the Herbalist’s Manual / Read more books on virtues / Chan su, di long…overturn the underworld

This is our ancestor’s hard work / We cannot lose / This is the light – Let’s sing together / Hey…… / Let me write you a prescription / Especially cure internal wounds of foreign-fawning / A prescription rooted in milleniums of Chinese culture / Has unknown strength


Bend…small corpse bend 

Small corpse bend

Bend…small corpse bend

Dark alleywy lit by light

Bend…small corpse bend

Dig a turnip hole

Bend…small corpse bend

Chanting a curse]

and his equally moving rap homage to his grandmother at:

And that’s not all.

For those of us that appreciate images of women in uniform, what better spectacle than?

(time for  my cold shower)

About Geoff Chambers

Retired illustrator (children's magazines, religious education textbooks, an Encyclopaedia of Christianity, gay contact and female fitness magazines, pornographic strip cartoons etc.) Retired lecturer in English and History of Art in a French University; ardent blogger on climate hysteria, banned five times from the Guardian and twice from the Conversation. Now blogging at
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