in the arsehole of diogenes

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

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Hope is a trap

because it so often leads to
and frustration can lead destructively to

Friday, 27 March 2020


To emphasise how pointless are
the totalitarian attempts to prevent the spread of The Virus,
I woke up this morning with a runny nose.
For the past five days I have been isolated and alone
except for a visit to the almost empty grocer's
and two visits to the almost-empty bakery.

Somewhere, somehow I was infected with the common cold,
which is only slightly more infectious than Covid-19.

The story so far.

Governments have opted for the risk of psycho-social disintegration
in the ludicrous hope that they can prevent the spread of the virus
and hence economic collapse.
No life-skills are taught in schools,let alone the basics of epidemiology;
civilisations have progressively abandoned them,
and all sorts of independence and intelligence have been deliberately discouraged.
Social breakdown will automatically lead to economic 'crash'...

But perhaps I'm being over-optimistic.

Thursday, 26 March 2020


My mind
is my most intimate,
perhaps my most dangerous

Monday, 23 March 2020

"There will be no return to 'normality'

Projection by Matías Segura – Santiago (Chile)

because Normality was the problem."

Rejoice in The Virus !

Hallelujah !
Covid-19 may Save The Planet (from us, for a time)
– but only if a few hundred million succumb.
Where do I volunteer ?

Sunday, 22 March 2020

The chief beneficiaries

of the present panicdemic
(apart from the predatory police)
will be the 'drug cartels'
supplying the 'needs' of rich
and poor alike,
who will continue
almost unhindered
to rake in the trillions
- much of which will be
suitably laundered
through Liechtenstein, Jersey, Grand Cayman, Curaçao...
for lending to
bankrupt governments.

PS  Current beneficiaries (at least in France)
include wild animals, which will not be hunted down
by the usual licensed gangs.

PPS  Online gambling will do quite well, too...

Saturday, 21 March 2020

In times of Crisis

governments treat the governed
(except for the very rich)
like naughty children.

At election times
governments treat the governed
like stupid teenagers.

At all times
governments are composed of stupid teenagers
and the governed actually are
recalcitrant children.

Frankly, most of us
are unqualified to vote,
much less to govern.

Friday, 20 March 2020

The police in France

are in Seventh Heaven
because they again
(after a gap of 75 years)
can stop, question and arrest
anyone who leaves their house
without a silly bit of paper
or a Permitted Reason.

France is always just one Presidential Decree from being a totalitarian state.

Christianity is a scant

and defective morality
without a philosophy
- let alone a basis in fact;
Buddhism a philosophy
upon which religion
and superstition
are often crudely tacked.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Yet another little irony.

an anti-malarial favoured
in French Guiana -
and my drug-of-choice
to end my long life
of mild cultural neurosis
is claimed to reduce the symptoms
and severity of Covid-19
- in 500-milligram doses.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

As I get older

I don't too much regret the diminution of my faculties.
But when my taste-buds start to falter
and I cannot enjoy my cooking any more
will be the time to die (if not before).

Tuesday, 17 March 2020


The god Pan was the god of extreme behaviour,
and is celebrated in the word panic.
But the pan in pandemic
as in pandemonium
comes from the Greek word for all.

Heraclitus is famous for his dictum
πάντα ῥεῖ (panta rhei): All is flow.
Life is tide and undertow.

A misanthrope like me,
Heraclitus reportedly did not like Pythagoras.
Some of his declarations
are cryptic or vague.

My village of Caylus,
during the continuing emergencies
of the Hundred Years War
and another hundred years
of religious, town-burning hostilities,
was visited five times by Plague.

Monday, 16 March 2020


create unhappiness
- which is probably
why they are so popular
and (apparently)
so successful.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Three Cheers for Direct Democracy in France.

Local elections are coming soon in France. 
Remote Rochefourchat in the far south of the country has 6 stone dwellings, a non-functional phone-box, an old church - and just one permanent inhabitant, who was mayor until he resigned a couple of years ago.  His replacement is a Paris lawyer who has a holiday home in the hamlet which continues to be designated a commune, and thus must have a mayor and local council.  The seven councillors represent the total of seven families who are also holiday-homers.

Any public works (on laneways and the only street) are carried out (or financed) by the second-homers.  The requisite 4 council meetings a year take place over a meal around a private table.  There are few decisions to be taken 

"We have direct democracy, as in ancient Athens," declared the mayor.

Friday, 13 March 2020

The miasma

of money
inflates every ego
until it becomes
yet another airship
dropping shit (if not bombs) on the wretched* and the poor.

* Irrelevant aside : why was the title of Victor Hugo's book  Les Misérables not translated into English 
(as The Wretched [of the Earth]) ?

Thursday, 12 March 2020

On religious toleration.

Because almost all religions are insults to intelligence
rather than philosophies
we should be minimally tolerant of them all equally, doggedly.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Against the tide.

After the withering of heroic verse
poetry should be allied to prophecy
not to the banality of anecdote.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

In celebration of self-isolation.

(Today, for the first time, I looked in Twitter
after reading about this guy.
This is not a recommendation.)

Brian Bilston

March 6th 2020

Coronavirus for me
holds few fears:
I’ve been self-isolating now
for twenty-five years.

The Income-tax Principle*

People who can well pay
don't pay.
People who can barely pay
are made to pay
in more than one way.

*as observed by one who has never paid tax on revenue because of a (purely relative) lack of income.

Monday, 9 March 2020

The shock

that I had when I first kissed a man
at the age of 39
was that I liked it.
He had a beard
and moustache,
for which (I heard
unreliably on the radio)
there are 17 words in Albanian.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Bongs and dongs in England

Great Peter
Little John
and Big Ben
are all bells,
not fond nicknames for men's dongs.

Friday, 6 March 2020

When you don't have a father, a grandmother can be just as effective.

She didn't 'cripple me for life'
except according to the retrospective
evaluation of her kind.
I think that she empowered me at an early age
to be a happy, solitary drifter
by whacking my left hand when I used it
'inappropriately', and by sending me
to a nursery school where a co-conspirator
did the same - but with a ruler's edge.

And so I stammered, was farouche, had tantrums,
and tended to resist 'authority'
(which is usually just authoritarianism).
In my slow dissociation from social norms and expectations
these grim women were the thin end of the wedge.

I wear a watch on my right wrist
but cannot write with my right hand.

Thursday, 5 March 2020


is a big mistake
that can lead to doing
which is an even bigger one.

- The Aimless Drift Society of Shirkers, Drop-outs,Starers into the Middle Distance,
   and Writers who Cannot Write.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

from "The Tanners" (1907) by Robert Walser.

“How revolting it is when those grossed out on high-end goods and services
keep on blaming the poor for their poverty!"

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Monday, 2 March 2020

Francisco Goya meets Otto Dix:

Two of my favourite drawings by the great
Foma Jaremtschuk:

Foma Jaremtschuk (1907-1986)was born in a remote Siberian village in 1907. In 1936 he was arrested and sent to a Siberian labour camp - where he spent most of his life before being moved to "psychiatric facilities", where he died in 1986.

Some time in the 1950s and early 1960s, while under the care of Dr. Mikhail Kutanin, head of the Saratov Psychiatric Clinic, Jaremtschuk produced a remarkable body of drawings. Though completely untrained and using only the simplest of materials, he created a pictorial universe that is utterly compelling yet terrifying.

His drawings, between raw fantasy and realism, speak eloquently of the appalling experience of the extremely harsh life in the Soviet Gulags.

More pictures here

They should be reproduced on walls as 'Street Art'.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Phrase of the Week :

Bottleneck of Genetic Drift.
I think that's us, the species which boils worms alive
to make silk, kills elephants to make silly ornaments
and has already caused the extinction
of hundreds of species.

The populations and genetic drift of mammals
'exploded' after minotaurs dinosaurs became extinct.

I wonder which species will benefit after we wipe ourselves out ?
(It certainly won't be ear-worms !)

Saturday, 29 February 2020

In 1948 (also a leap-year)

a year before the pseudo-Marxists
came to power in mainland China,
George Orwell published 1984,
a hugely-influential book
recently translated into Uyghur
and published far to the west in Turkey.

Many of the horrible predictions
that Orwell made have come to pass,
not in Russia nor elsewhere (apart from North Korea)
but in Xinjiang,
so as to wipe out the 'dangerous'
Muslim and Turkic culture of the Uyghurs. 
Children are taken away to be 'educated',
women are 'encouraged' to marry
Han-Chinese men,
and all are instructed to sing
happy songs of love for China, the Party
and Big Brother, Xi Jinping.

Xinjiang's capital, Kashgarh is an oasis
between a sand-desert to the east
and the mountains to the west
shown on this satellite view.
The Uyghurs have enough to contend with
besides forced education and suppression of their language.

If copies of 1984 in Uyghur are smuggled into Xinjiang,
will it do anything to help the huge province's
small number of Turkic inhabitants ?

Friday, 28 February 2020

A possible cure for constipation

- if the sufferer could actually think
of besmirching such an exuberant object.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Man attacks left-handed waitress.

Nantes, France, February 26th.

A customer in a coffee-shop threw his cup of coffee in the waitress' face
and slapped her because she served him with her left hand.

The left hand is tabooed by Islam because (in right-handed people)
it is designated to be used for arse-wiping.
Of course, we left-handed people use our right hands for this purpose,
and our watches are on our right wrists,
so you can tell a left-handed person, a 'southpaw' in American parlance,
from yards or metres away.

I wonder which hand he slapped her with...


concerns itself with our failure
to connect with each other.
Science concerns itself with such things
as tinkering with DNA
and sending computers to the sun.

(In other words, we are brilliant
at breaking down and measuring,
but utter rubbish at simple mutual harmony.)

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Time and its quality.

Least-mentioned and most-enduring
of colonial evils
was the introduction of necessary employment.
Its absence is now seen as
(and has often become) personal
or cultural failure, catastrophe
rather than an opportunity
to celebrate Free Time.

The freedoms that nation-states bestow
do not include free time or nourishment,
because capitalism's cult of numbers,
growth and 'going forward'
turns people into mere economic
units, groups and classes,
a to-be-closely-regulated spate
of consumers and providers.

Money is holy. The world is not.
Time and its quality are defined
and doled out by the State.


Tuesday, 25 February 2020

When I listen to music

I hear three things at once:
my ever-present tinnitus,
my almost ever-present ear-worms
(which vary enormously from Machaut
to Mahler, Marley and Methodist hymn-tune),
and the music I have voluntarily chosen.
There might be background noise as well.

If someone talks above all that
I am involved in tiring, cerebral acrobatics.

And if I turned on speech-radio
rather than music it is all too much, too much.

Monday, 24 February 2020

While reading John le Carré's "Mission Song".

John le Carré is certainly, like me,
ashamed to be a Western European
pinkish grey-skinned person.  I suspect that,
like me, born British, he might be ashamed to be human.

I hope he is about to write about the latest White Man's Shame
of childish panic about an alleged pandemic
(2% mortality rate, less than 50% infection rate)
while slow and bloody, ultimately efficient
genocide is quite cynically permitted to occur in Syria
by almost every politician outside Syria.

Who is worrying about the effect the latest influenza virus
might have in the ignored-by-all
(except the Turks and Kurds and Syrians)
crammed refugee camps of south-eastern Turkey ?
Almost no-one.

Sic progressit - And so it goes...on and on...and on...

Can language-abuse get any worse

which I came across the other day.

Just one more little thing to make me lose the will to remain on the planet.

An unrelated language-note:

The English word journey
comes from French journée
meaning the (sunlit) length of a day.
So a journey was a day's travel.
by horse or on foot.

The French for journey or trip
is voyage, (from voie: way or path)
whose meaning
has in English been confined
to a sea-crossing.

There are hundreds more examples
of how meanings slip - and sometimes reverse -
from French to English, and even
(as with etiquette and ticket) back to French again.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Technology breeds

and technology to counter
It can only end in tears
and fire, not ice.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Zoö-pornography - food for disgust.

More than one and a half million
pornographic films of animal sexual abuse
are freely available
and watched
every year in France and the UK... 
Many more in North America.

More than 10,000 human beings
visit online ads for sexual experiences with animals.

from (France)

Friday, 21 February 2020

Shakespeare was wrong.

The world is part-stage,
part-holding camp,
and for most it's
just a place wherein to perish.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Wonderfully-wacky Word of the Week

Go figure!

Most intellectuals

have little understanding.
Those with understanding
tend not to be intellectual.
On the radio the other day
I heard that hairy men
tend to be intellectuals
(and/or the other way round ?).
My aunt had a sweet little moustache
but was not an intellectual,
and was always forgiving
but rarely understanding.

I did not care for princes or princesses,
but fancied hairy ogres when I was very young.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

The problem with people

(I find)
is not so much that they are so limited,
but that they are so self-limiting.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


doesn't just happen.
It has to be permitted.
In The Real World
(which I luxuriously keep at bay
though Consumer Choice)
thought is a complication.

Monday, 17 February 2020


the French word for career
also means quarry.
The English word quarry
also means intended victim.
I have done what Yevtushenko
(whom I have not much read)
recommended in his poem about Galileo*,
and pursued a career (not a quarry)
of not pursuing one.

Kарьера (Career)

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Cool swells.

North Americans (but never British)
used to say that things (or people) were
A male person could be A swell.
Swell swells have gone.
Now they (and some British) say
that people (or things) are funky
or are cool.
But now there seems to be a semantic rule
that neither male nor female is ever called
A funky or A cool.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

" have invented God -

[as] a being capable of understanding."
- Graham Greene, The Quiet American.
...of understanding the cosmic joke
of bird in the hand and pig in a poke.