Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions, an uncommonplace-book from the Armpit of Diogenes, binge-thinker jottings since 2008 .

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Against cheap ageism.

Old people
"get grumpy and generationally conservative
and they have to pee too much
and it starts to hurt and they lose their wit
and charm and mental faculties,"


writes Dash Macintyre (whose surname means son of the land,
i.e. wolf) in a poem called Soiled and Sour.

Dear Mr Wolf,
I'm 82 (too old, but not so very old)
and haven't lost my wits, nor wit,
and I have charming encounters
with the postwoman, shopkeepers,
deliverers of parcels,
strangers at the market or in the supermarket. 
I don't pee too much, but too often, 
which is a very minor problem.

I can mend my rimless glasses
and the electric kettle,
I can collect logs in the trailer
and bring them in a wheelbarrow
and stack them in the cellar.

I sometimes forget to flushor zip up my fly.
But if such things appal you
I can (with pity) only sigh.

Though I tend to leave lights on,
I actually drive better (more attentively)
than I used to do, at (usually)
around 500* miles an hour –
and am absolutely neither soiled nor sour.

But you sound rather spoiled...

*intentional error  

Having just pissed, by the roadside, October 2023.
There is no fly on a djellaba, nor on me.




Monday 19 February 2024

A very good example of

why translations should be made only
by native speakers of the input language.

وَإِذْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَالْفُرْقَانَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

is translated in a reputable translation of the Quran as:

And recall that We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion,
so that you may be guided.

Well, anyone whose langue maternelle was English would know
that Anglophones do not talk of The Criterion
but of The Ten Commandments.


Today's contrasting photos.

by Cosmin Gârleșteanu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Denis Sinyakov

 

Sunday 18 February 2024

If you have a good 'theory of mind',

you realise (unlike me)
that others don't have the same view of themselves
as you have of them.

And so you can, if you are manipulative,
manipulate them.

Saturday 17 February 2024

On watching a film called Dry Season.*

Not so terrible to meet your father's killer.
I never knew my hit-and-run father.
Knowing what I do now, thanks to ancestry.com,
I might have wanted to kill him myself.
Had he been killed by Youssouf Djaoro
I'd have licked the murderer all over.











*by the great Chadian Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.


Missile, probably not for Ukraine.

 


Friday 16 February 2024

Thursday 15 February 2024

The Second Amendment*

A man needs a gun

like a man needs a willy.

Poor Man!


*to the USA Constitution, 1791.


Wednesday 14 February 2024

An autis-tickle* joke.

What happens when Asperger'ses get Alzheimer's ?

They become Deep Space Astronomers.


A lunar proverb:

If you look at the moon through glass
what will be may come to pass.


*Be relieved that it is not an autesticle joke.
I have always absented myself when men,
sometimes sniggering, launched into them.


Saint Valentine's Fog.

Wipers clear screen
to see it better.


Today is the Feast-day

of the patron saint of honey-bees.







Tuesday 13 February 2024

Queer Regretz

He had lovely eyes

a lovely smile

upon a lovely face

bordered by

a lovely beard.

He told lovely lies.

He had lovely buttocks

hocks and ballocks

cute cock and even

lovely feet.

He died

choking on a piece of meat.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkfVzCZ68_Q


Monday 12 February 2024

Asperger conclusion ?

Surely it's better to have no friends
at all, than try to connect
with people you don't understand
and neither like nor respect.

And a very beautiful thing, in the end,
is more comprehensible and reliable
than any but the very best friend.


Saturday 10 February 2024

The Painter of the Yellow Chair.

Americans think his surname rhymes with dough.
The English think it rhymes with lough (or loch).
It rhymes with no word in the English language,
but is pronounced just like another Dutch painter's name:
de Hoogh (or Hooch): like hoke with a sore throat
or a cough.
                  What most non-Dutch don't realise
is that the van in Vincent's name
is not pronounced as if referring to a vehicle
or a grotesque pop-singer who lived a mile from me,
but like the German von which sounds
somewhere between fon and fun.

Apart from the difficulty with his name, there is
his appearance, so varied in his wonderful self-portraits.
Yet were he to walk in through the door I'd recognise him.
He might have looked like this, a disputed photograph
(of his double ?) taken in St.Hyacinthe, Québec in 1886,
when he was still alive:


















comparisons taken from 
https://www.vintag.es/2020/06/vincent-van-gogh-rare-photo.html
Is his ear is noticeably different ?



























Ears bleed dramatically.

Around the time (late 1960s) that I first started painting, (strongly influenced by Vincent of the Severed Lobe
and his pedestrian follower Vlaminck),
I was struck on my left lug by a thug with a broken bottle,
and the blood spurted over my clothes and over the telephone and the telephone box a mile down the road.
Ears bleed profusely.
It was nearly severed, but was patched up quickly
in the hospital (another 4 miles away)
where I was brought by car.
I still have the faint scar. 

Yellow moon and cypress, self, no stars,
1966.


Tipping-point.

Over twenty years ago

I read about

the possible interruption or reversal

of the Gulf Stream.

Nobody seemed to care a tinker's pizzle.


Friday 9 February 2024

Untouched and unharmed.

Outlying remnants of ancient forests have been identified
on hundreds of cliffs in southern France,
and, lately, all over the world – 
even close to motorways.

May they rest in peace.





Thursday 8 February 2024

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Monday 5 February 2024

Most noses

are beautiful – on dogs and donkeys
elephants, ant-eaters, possums, pandas, pangolins,
gorillas, polecats, capybaras, rats and rabbits
and rhinoceroses,

and many individuals of
a couple of the human 'races' –
though not the ugly, bony honks
on most, including us palefaces.

photo by Amadolou


'









On the other hand, almost all human and primate ears
are beautiful and fascinating.

* * *

the-evolution-of-the-human-nose---why-is-it-so-big ?

how-we-found-the-genes-that-control-nose-shape-and-what-they-say-about-us

Leprosy might make a nose (painfully) more proportionate but a 'nose-job' is more advisable.  I think I'd like a nice wet, black dog-nose (and, of course, black skin) instead of the protuberance I have so long lived with.








Sunday 4 February 2024

Foreignness.

Neither I nor the British will watch movies that are dubbed.

The Americans won't watch subtitled films.

Cinema, more than any other art, is (and essentially)
a propaganda medium.

Neither the British nor the Americans will buy books
whose authors' names contain the letters Ø, Đ, Ł, etc.
and so the authors' names are changed
to Nesbo, Indridason, Milosz...



Saturday 3 February 2024

Talking to No-one.

I am interested in almost everything
(apart from sport and gossip)

Most other people seem interested in almost nothing
(apart from gossip, and – in men's case – sport)

And so, living alone, most of my conversations*
are in my head, you see,
in e-mails and with books I'm reading,
and with radio 4 on the BBC...

...and, instead of being snooty about your smartphone
I should be very grateful for the freedom
and the intelligence to live without one.

I'd really rather have an onion-peeler.

*Language for Noam Chomsky is a computational module restricted entirely to the individual, and devoid of communicative, cultural or social aspects.
If it has any remaining purpose or function, it exists merely for talking to oneself.
 


Friday 2 February 2024

Not sci-fi fantasy,

but a photo of the setting sun and the aurora borealis
taken from Senja Island, Norway, by Alex Wides
in September 2023.



Thursday 1 February 2024

The brain is a very strange beast.

Some kind of synæsthesia,
perhaps, produces penile erections
when I am eating raspberries.

(For me, the moon
is stranger than TV.

But soon,
perhaps, TV on the moon...)


Wednesday 31 January 2024

By the 1960s

in 'The West', adolescent banality
had replaced geriatric complacency.

Hence the slow decline (through apathy)
of crude and fragile 'Western Democracy'.


Tuesday 30 January 2024

The Christian theologian Karl Barth

declared that anyone
could find God in a dead dog.
But God was only a ghost,
not even one of the living dogs,
all of whom are gods.


Monday 29 January 2024

On the Back.

A current exhibition, Reversos, at the Prado, Madrid,
displays (by mirrors) the reverse side of paintings such as
The marriage of the Virgin by an anonymous artist.












Several of my own paintings are double-sided.
For example, on the back of this quiet 
County Down Landscape










is this joyous Portrait of Carlo Martino.




Sunday 28 January 2024

Saturday 27 January 2024

The UK in the 1950s

was so drab (but wonderfully quiet, safe and peaceful)
that when 12" (30 cm) LPs became widely available
in 'the provinces', culture-starved boys
like myself wrote to Decca, HMV, etc.,
begging for free, random record-sleeves. 
Amazingly, we received them – probably because
the recording had been superseded and they were old stock.   

I remember this splendid blue and gold photo
of Tutankhamun's mummy, which remained
until the 1990s on a wall of my boyhood-bedroom. 
 

LP sleeve, 1953.
















(On the day I wrote this, I listened on the internet
to a performance of the beautiful 'cello version
of Franck's sonata in A
broadcast from St Mark's Church, Dundela, Belfast,
less than a kilometre from where I lived.)

I was lucky.  I might instead have received this:














or even worse.



Friday 26 January 2024

Back home in Greece

from their Sobibor bus-trip.














Already in 1973,

Olivia Manning wrote, of middle-class functionaries
and retirees :

'These people were the devourers, the enemy.
They made a ruthless demand on life. For them
the world was being squandered, is resources used up,
its wildlife decimated, it seas polluted,
the sea-life destroyed and the seabirds in their thousands
killed by their accursed oil tankers.'

'...If those people were guilty, was he not guilty, too ?
'...he was the most guilty because, more often than not,
he chose to put the destruction out of his mind.'

from  The Rain Forest.

Olivia Manning was also the author of  The Balkan Trilogy
and  The Levant Trilogy.

Later in the book another character predicts:

'We could be due for another killer as all-pervasive as the plague...
'It could be hibernating in some unexplored corner of the earth,
some fragment of primitive forest, and carried by a creature so small that no-one has noticed it...
'Not necessarily a virus, but probably: a disease as contagious as smallpox,
as virulent as plague, coming newly into a world without inherited immunity
and no present knowledge. It would take time to isolate. Before being isolated, it could bring human numbers down at a very satisfactory speed.'

This sounds partly like HIV and partly like Coronavirus.


In full spate

the local waterfall.



Thursday 25 January 2024

In his last speech as President

of the USA, Dwight D. Eisenhower
(who, through the Dulles brothers
weaponised the CIA)

voiced his misgivings about
The Military-Industrial Complex,
which may turn out to have been
less toxic to the planet
than the Medical-Pharmaceutical conspiracy. 



Wednesday 24 January 2024

Humanity

is not something
we should celebrate.

Let us self-inculpate
since we cannot self-immolate.


Monday 22 January 2024

The most beautiful thing.

If you are very poor, you can
with a particular,
usually undesirable, kind of luck
do what most of the human race
cannot: leave no trace.


Sunday 21 January 2024

The latest estimate

for the cost of cleaning up Britain’s nuclear-power sites
is
over 300 billion dollars/euros.




I read somewhere

(a long time ago)
that Homo sapiens could have become extinct
at any time before the 16th century.  

But since then we have become
complainingly inextinguishable 
(the title of Nielsen’s 4th Symphony) 
due to simple numbers (at first) but more recently
due to the huge power gained from machines
and industry, electricity,
hygiene and medicine
and the other things contributing
to what we are pleased to call
standard of living.  


Great news for the Planet ?

 


THOSE WINTER SUNDAYS

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices? 

Robert Hayden, 1966


Saturday 20 January 2024

Thursday 18 January 2024

Shakespeare's famous line

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods...
(Gloucester in King Lear)

might now be re-written:
As flies in spider-webs are we to The State.


Wednesday 17 January 2024

Have you noticed

that people no longer become ?
Instead, they transition to,
just as people no longer imagine
but envision.

The English language will soon
retro-transition to Latin pidgin.


After Harlequin ladybirds came Stink-bugs.

Since I moved here a few years ago (is it six, or eight ?)
shield-bugs have proliferated inside the house in winter,
on floors and walls and windows. 
They are also known as stink-bugs,
because, when touched, they emit a smell
a bit like bitter almonds (cyanide ?)
which I quite like.
I'm sniffing my fingers while I type.












Now, are you going to tell
me that I've no sense of smell ?

I certainly would find it difficult to distinguish
the aroma of a Saint-Nectaire cheese
from the odour between my toes.


Does it really require a 'think-tank'

to come to this conclusion ?

Migration to Europe will increase in 2024, thinktank says.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Generalisations

are usually partly true.

The article headlined ‘Populism is all about hair’
listed Hitler, Trump, Kim Jong-Un,
Wilders of the Netherlands,
Milei in Argentina. 

I can add Thatcher – not to mention
Mussolini's buzz-cut and Stalin's
splendid and fatally-endearing moustache.

But exceptions include Perón, Marcos, Franco,
Batista, Gaddafi, Napoleon,  
Salazar, Saddam Hussain, Mao Zedong...


Street-lighting.

In Caylus,
as in many French villages,
most street lights are extinguished at midnight.

This should benefit
the several species of bat.

When I moved here, 
an orange sodium light glared all night
opposite my house, just ten feet away
across a narrow street
unfrequented even on a summer's day.  

I disconnected it
and nobody ever came to fix it.
I'm pretty sure that no-one noticed,
let alone reported it.

But maybe when the sodium lights are replaced
with LEDs, the cutting of the wire will be noticed.
Or maybe not...


In most French villages, most streets are empty after 8 pm.