in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

A Great Epitaph.

Nihil sed bene feci.

(I did nothing but did it well.)


And if you can’t shape your life the way you want,
at least try as much as you can
not to degrade it
by too much contact with the world,
by too much activity and talk.
Try not to degrade it by dragging it along,
taking it around and exposing it so often
to the daily silliness
of social events and parties,
until it comes to seem a tedious hanger-on.

Constantine Cavafy
translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Death and Grief.

I would like to think that,
had I died before my mother,
she would have displayed no grief,
but, as I did when she died, demented,
felt a little sadness and much relief.

Friday, 20 July 2018


(formerly Calcutta, capital of Bengal)
has more theatres than London and New York combined.

Molière was translated into Bengali
before his plays were rendered into English...

Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Quality of Paradise.

Hedonistic - not to say highly sensual - behaviour
condemned by Islam in this world
are offered by Islam in the next.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

American homelessness.

On a legal (federal) minimum wage,
the average American worker needs to work 117 hours a week
for 52 weeks a year
to afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment or house.
Not even two people living together
each with a federal minimum wage
can afford a two-bedroom rental.

But if you're not in a Northern state
perhaps this would be OK ?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Throwing up.

In the 12th century
the word noise meant the same in English and French. 
But the meaning of the French word evolved to 'loud dispute' or 'row' (as in rowdy). 
The Latin origin of the word is nausea - 'sea-sickness'. 
Vomiting can be a noisy business.

Then there's the verb to bruit,
which is related to the modern French for 'noise'
and means 'to let something be known' -
such as that your fellow-passenger
barfed over your mobile phone.

Monday, 16 July 2018

A problem for women.

A big problem for women
is that so many of them
look at themselves through
predatory men's eyes
and make themselves pornographic.
The problem with men
is that most of them fetishize women
and especially their parts and appendages.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

The Fourteenth of July:

The Big French Lie.
Equality and Fraternity
can't co-exist with the Family,
which is, moreover,
not too keen on liberty.

The family is a competitive unit
inside and out.

Two deathless Limericks I penned in 1974.

A gravedigger from Malin Head
was dismissed for not burying the dead.
Said he, with a grin,
"They're all in the bin.
I planted potatoes instead."

A mortician from Southern Viêt-Nam
ended up in a bit of a jam.
He had coffins galore
piled up in his store
and nothing to fill them but Spam.

Friday, 13 July 2018

As for throwing out

the baby with the bathwater,
my dog suggests that you
eat the baby and drink the bathwater.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Monday, 9 July 2018

Wrong way round ?

When I had many friends
my expectations of them were high.
Now that I have almost no expectations,
I have almost no friends.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Neo-Liberal Creator speaks.

not from a burning star,
but from my Great Black Hole beyond all skies
I send you just one commandment:

Saturday, 7 July 2018


the Great Panopticon.
The bigger the data
the more limited
and fragmented our freedoms.
The freest humans
have zero social
and monetary capital.

('Progress' is
oppression by numbers.)

Friday, 6 July 2018

On Overcoming Adversity.

I am proud that I have never,
in my accidental life of ease,
overcome adversity,
but let it wash over me,
or just slunk away
to return only slightly diminished
instead of being guilty of hubris.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Historical, hysterical...

Hyæna's feet,
saltpetre mixed with honey,
the urine of menopausal nuns:
down the centuries,
women have tried amazing strategies
to combat "barrenness"
(which might not have been theirs).

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

I have never understood

why people are so guarded.
To protect themselves
from being found out
as emotionally retarded ?

Sunday, 1 July 2018

They prefer us to be passive.

Isn't it mean
that, to relieve pain,
doctors freely dispense morphine,
but not cocaine
to combat tiredness of the brain ?

Saturday, 30 June 2018

An uniquely human whine:

"a little more time",
from those who feel they haven't lived enough.
But enough time before a death
is the very first breath.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

It should be obvious to all,

and to every general
that there has never been
an undefeated army,
and never will be.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Most novels

involve sexual 'betrayal',
a phenomenon which incurs more opprobrium
than shopping one's neighbours
to the secret police.
We betray each other all the time
in more-damaging ways than the merely marital.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

On 'The Modern Novel'.

Many modern novels describe the fracturing of families
in societies which are being deliberately fractured
by 'capitalist enterprise'.
I am lucky in that I never had to cope with a 'normal, nuclear' family
but was brought up by intelligent, independent-minded women. 
I am lucky in that I was encouraged to read novels at an early age.

If men read novels, they tend to be thrillers
with frequent mention of breasts and guns.
But they tend to prefer 'factual' books, usually historical.

Good novels are, however, social-anthropological
(which women excel at)
and it is a great pity that they are treated as entertainment,
categorised as 'literature',
and not publicly recognised as Narrative Collections of Insights.
Since the collapse of poetry (in English, certainly) they are now
the only (necessarily oblique) accessible source of  wisdom.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Back in the USA,

"Back in the 1960s, [New Economics Guru Milton] Friedman
envisaged a society in which we’d all be wealthy, thriving entrepreneurs.
What we got in reality was a pay cut, reduced holiday or sick leave,
a chronic skills deficit, credit-card debt and endless hours of pointless work.
If anything, the story of human capital theory in Western economies has been about
divesting in people, not the opposite."

continued in AEON >

The result is a fragmented, polarised society of loners
who are obsessed by the ethos of self-serving competitiveness.
Blindly attached to money, insecure and paranoid - no wonder
so many are so unwell today.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Bordeaux (where the wine comes from)

is starting to collect via dinky street-ashtrays
the 200 million cigarette-butts/ends
that have been dropped on its streets every year.
At present, however, they are being stored in a warehouse
until the authorities decide whether to use them entire as fuel,
or to divide up the components for separate recycling.

From Northern Ireland to Istanbul

a spectre is haunting Europe:
the spectre of neo-Fascism.

Friday, 22 June 2018

On Tortured (and torturing) Genius.

With great talent
comes great stress.
At last I realise that I am fortunate
in suffering from neither.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Found in my Midsummer Cracker:

Capitalism is also totalitarian.

The manipulation of the masses
through the manipulation of debt
is so much subtler
than concentration-camps or the Gulag.

'Grip and Grin'

is, I have discovered, the neat term
applied to important public handshakes,

and not to the 'genital grab'
practised by some societies - men to men
and women to women - and, like the handshake,
signifying friendliness.

Kids quite like it,
but not hysterical American mommas
who would, of course, associate it with
a sinister kind of fake friendliness,
or with President and Commander-in-Chief Trump.

Nor is it the same anthropological phenomenon as
the grabbing of one's own crotch to ward off bad luck.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Two Haikai

Any time of year
full moon is like a disc of
pitted human skin.

Fluttering fly-past.
That old raku bowl is a
pleasure to drink from.

raku = enjoyment, fun, entertainment, comfort...

Monday, 18 June 2018

On YouTube

the animals are much more beautiful
and life-enhancing than the humans.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

On the mystery of the disappearance of the Neanderthals.

I don't think that they were all butchered
by homines 'sapientes' (and/or eaten),
but simply 'absorbed' (under pressure of rape, etc.)
by the craftier species - thus, perhaps, providing
an anti-ambitious, anti-competitive, unobsessive
(opt-out/dissident) gene, which, unfortunately,
is far too recessive.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

I tend to think

that anyone famous
must be bogus
- but there are and have been
some exceptions.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Starry Night

- a grand galactic
and multi-galactic
moonlit party in the sky.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

On the Planet of the Apes-blinded-by-Self,

the problem with Love
is not that it 'alters when it alteration finds'
but that it desires
- indeed, requires -
to be requited, and if unrequited
(oh, the horror!),
It and the Lover may seem worthless -
at least for a time.
This is a childish error.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

"Suffer the little children..."

Interesting to compare these 3 photos:

"Honor thy Father and thy Mother..."

Statue of Baphomet in American Satanist "Church".

Lithuanian devil-figurine.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Wikipedia on the wonderful Michel Petrucciani

who was born with a debilitating bone disease:

In certain respects he considered his disability an advantage,
as he got rid of distractions like sports that other boys tended to become involved in.

And he hints that his disability was helpful in other parts of his life.

He said:
            "Sometimes I think Someone Upstairs saved me from being ordinary."

Monday, 11 June 2018

One of the many useless bits of information

that the English do not know
is that nearly 99% of smashable
and effaceable religious (Catholic) art
(as well as a large number of churches,
abbeys and monasteries)
was destroyed by the recently-established
Church of England
(when Michelangelo and Cellini were alive, elsewhere)
in its hysterical, iconoclastic phase.

Yet the old liturgical musical tradition
pretty well - and uniquely - survived
and evolved to modern days.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

In a world where people are defined by their employment

(or employment prospects),
the ludicrous category of 'nationality',
and the hue of their skins,
I am pleased to have rejected
my given 'nationality',
and never to have had a job.
For most of my life I've been paid to be poor
(which suits my innate frugality)
but have always regretted
my 'Caucasian' pallidness.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

"...he knew that most elderly people

were not wise at all
but only wore a thin veneer of  cheap wisdom
as a sort of armor against the world."

- David Guterson: Snow Falling on Cedars.

Friday, 8 June 2018

In our culture of aggressive control

it is not surprising
that the word kind
so rarely features
when we describe others,
especially male others.

Thursday, 7 June 2018