in the arsehole of diogenes

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

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Monday, 23 January 2017

Sunday, 22 January 2017


is how "Orientals" were most often described
by the British. I find everyone
inscrutable.  I have only 'vibes'
to go on, and they are not at all reliable.
People, alas, are not as readable as dogs.
People are like cats - inscrutable.

Saturday, 21 January 2017


almost literally mindless
are the millions whose behaviour,
attitudes and thoughts are governed
by Tweets, Facebook, other media,
family, religion, peers and employers
- amongst others.

Friday, 20 January 2017

President Trump

will likely not be worse
than (and maybe not even as bad as) Presidents
Harding, Coolidge, Eisenhower, Reagan,
George W. Bush, and JFK
(who slid the USA and allies
into the Viêt-Nam débâcle)
- so what has all the moaning and groaning been about ?

listen to this >

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The preposterous vanity of 'Human Dignity'

is daily mocked by millions
whose lives are ruled by fear and cheap desire :
a vague promise of heaven and the much-more-detailed threat of hell.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Truth to tell,

'truth' is
not necessarily
'serious' -
which is why good jokes are good.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

I hold these truths to be self-evident:

Intelligence is no guarantee of being right.
Imitation is a stronger force than innovation.
People who think that they think are usually just thinking that they think.
(I am one of them.)

Sunday, 15 January 2017


In streets over-bright
the modern flâneur
can find freedom
only at night.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Words are addictive.

Invented to dupe,
they promise connection,
are pushed on us early
so we'll always use them
like opium,
them and no other
form of disclosure,
because we're asleep
until we are corpses.

(Rudyard Kipling wrote:
Words are the most powerful drug used by Mankind.)

Friday, 13 January 2017

George Herbert, he say:

"Give me simplicitie, that I may live."
That's quite a tall order,
especially when we regard simple people
as backward in one way or another.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

I'd rather be unpleasant

than false -
which is why most people
sooner or later
do not think I am pleasant.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

My problem with Socialism

is that there is so little
in all those publications
and protestations
and enunciations
about the rights of dogs.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


I went to see my future
and pissed on it :
my grave which overlooks the river
is surprisingly empty.
And no snowdrops yet.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Silly Willy Blake

"The Tygers of Wrath
are" most certainly not
"wiser than the horses of instruction."

Saturday, 7 January 2017

On reading another excellent novel.

When the best in thousands of people
is what they write
why bother with actual human beings
in the flesh ?

Friday, 6 January 2017

The problem with moralities

is that
if they are elastic they are hypocritical
and favour the rich and powerful,
while if they are rigid
they're cruelly totalitarian.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Einstein, he say:

'We cannot solve our problems with the same kind of thinking that we had when we created them.'
- which is why we continue to create problems.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Lines written while listening to Jeremy Irons reading T.S. Eliot

There are no cocktail smells in bars,
and, regrettably, no sumptuous odour of cigars
- just noise. People are so noisy
even when they think that they are being quiet.
They talk of mortgages and diet.
So little of our noise is musical
and much of our music as banal
as the talk in "rest-rooms" or in bars
where no-one is allowed to smoke cigars.
If "conversation" were banned instead
just think how stammerers could get ahead.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


is Grace from the Great Above,
Sanctuary of the Sensual,
Protection from Ambition,
the Busy and the Toxic:
the tireless and dreamy
Companion of Love.

Monday, 2 January 2017

More from Seneca

on why the rich hate the poor:
Hoc habent pessimum animi magna fortuna insolentes:
quos laeserunt et oderunt.

Those favoured by fortune hate those whom they have wronged.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

What is there to celebrate ?

In olden days, what people celebrated at Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, was their survival. For most of the population the feasts of Christmas Eve and the Eve of St Sylvester were the only time of the year that they had meat, the pig - fed on the plentiful acorns of the oak forests - having been killed at the beginning of December, and every part used "except the squeal".

In remote parts of France, where there was no wheat or even rye flour, they baked a whole huge loaf of chestnut-flour at Christmas, and ate it throughout the year, dunked in thin soup or acidic wine.  This was their staple, and its communal baking was a special event at a special time.  They were surviving.  Chestnut bread is much more nourishing than wheat bread (which is nearly as toxic as sugar), but rather hard to digest.  The rest of the vitamin intake came from turnips, rutabagas, leeks and wild food such as nettles.  Even today, people can be seen scouring the woods for insipid fungi, and the roadsides for edible herbs from bryony to wild asparagus and fennel.

Now, of course,all has changed.  The remote parts of France have, like everywhere in the parts of the world run by pinkish-grays, become obscenely rich.  The old feasts have become meaningless, retained like the living dead by the necromantic necrophilia of Commerce.  All that can now be celebrated is Trade.  Adam Smith's "Nation of Shopkeepers" has become the planet of shopkeepers, willing to use any ploy to increase profit.  Since we live in luxury unimagined by Roman Emperors, we celebrate in like fashion : jadedly, neurotically or maniacally.  And we haven't the cultural wherewithal even to have orgies.  Christianity and Islam killed them a long time ago, and the orgiastic in our brains has simply been converted to greed.

What would Jesus have done at Christmas ?  He would have begged to be crucified.  Or at least smothered by another "towel-head".

Or he would have drunk hemlock from the roadside.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

"To found a great empire

for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers,
may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers.
It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers,
but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers."

- Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations (1776).

Friday, 30 December 2016

Pentti Linkola, true prophet of doom:

"Not only has he called alcoholics, bums and druggies the real life conservationists, he has stated in the article Vuotos ja Suomen Kuvalehti that « It is always better to be unemployed than to work for something destructive ». As one reader of Linkola, Arto Tukiainen, nicely pointed out, a hell for him would be a sweltering throng of people sweating at their jobs.

Linkola has a long history in questioning the significance of employment. In the 1960 article Runo-Suomi vai hyvinvointivaltio he declares that a «mass psychosis» is being developed, making every one who is not employed for each day of the year, everyone who is not participating in the « blazing bustle » as he wonderfully calls it, complain bitterly. In the same article, he boasts he has never had a regular job for more than four months in a year. To him it’s only expected that some fields of profession do not offer enough work year-round. A regular all-year job with the pitiful holidays it offers is, for Linkola, a terrible disaster for the mind and spirit."

"With its every technological invention, celebrated innovation, mankind has made itself useless and alienated itself from the natural world. In recent years progress has been break-neck. Man has been successful in obliterating the roles of producer, refiner, transporter, distributor and serviceman. When we succeed in doing away with the consumer, everything will be finished. A short time of clicking robots. Then a great silence."

"Democracy merely follows the whims and caprices - alias The Will - of the people. The consequences are frightening. The suicidal society that we see around us is what follows. Democracy is the meanest of all known social systems, the cornerstone of the tower of doom. Therein the unmanageable freedom of production and consumption and the desires of the many is not only allowed, but also elevated as the highest of values. The most incomparably serious environmental disasters occur in democracies. Any kind of dictatorship is always superior to democracy, being less likely to lead to utter destruction, because it restricts the individual and the group, their whims and fashions, one way or other. When individual freedom reigns, the human being is both killer and victim."

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The neglected art of the book-cover.

click to enlarge

My own design for the front cover of my first book, Tide and Undertow, 1975.
The background is a facsimile of a draft of a translation from Rimbaud.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Apart from the tomato and other edibles

(including Lophophora williamsii),
the best thing to come out of North America
is Canada.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

After a poem by Martial*

No wonder that the luscious
Celia likes to do the deed
with late-castrated eunuchs -
she'd rather have the frolics
and the risk-free fucks
and lusty although sterile seed
than so burdensomely breed
and have long years of angst and bother
being a failure as a mother!

* First-century Iberian poet who wrote epigrams in Latin.

Monday, 26 December 2016

All liberties

demand responsibility,
not least because they were fought for,
often bitterly..
Freedom of speech, for example,
requires the libertarian to read
and carefully consider
the arguments and statements
of those who disagree with him or her.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas is the proof

of the stupidity of crowds.
More non-Christians than Christians "celebrate" it.
It does more harm to body and soul than
sugar, flour, unnatural fats and alcohol.
Jesus would hate it
since he hated heredity, hierarchy and priests,
dynasticism, wealth and hereditary positions,
republics, democracies and governments,
powers and principalities;
was anti-natalist (and would have inveighed against
birthday celbrations),
shockingly anti-family,
and even if he didn't castrate himself
would advocate mass-vasectomy.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

A lovely map of Europe

as Queen of the World
with orb (Sicily) and sceptre
drawn in the 16th century
by Heinrich Bunting of Hannover,
a white, male German:

click to enlarge

Friday, 23 December 2016

Seneca the Stoic, he say:


- one of the tiles featuring quotations from Seneca
in the little square dedicated to him
in his home-town Córdoba.

(Something that modern Spaniards should heed
with regard to their treatment of greyhounds
and carriage-horses.)

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A long blog today.

I sent the URL of Mr Mean-Spirited's blog to this blog's loyal supporter,
and he wrote this personal e-mail:

I've been puzzled by the link you sent me in your last email.  

In the probably fictional story about Diogenes of Sinope asking Alexander the Great to get out of the way and stop blocking his sunlight, Diogenes understood or would have understood who Alexander the Great was and the abrasive insult he Diogenes was giving.  Diogenes also implicitly understood his own sense of being a maverick, being understood in his time and place as being a respected philosopher, or at least a respected oddity, eccentric, who spoke the truth and made sense.  By the same token, Diogenes understood he would not be punished, ridiculed, or killed by the most powerful man in the Greek world.  He understood that Alexander's respect and Greek tradition would protect him.  Diogenes understood an important presupposition of Greek thought.  Language is a means to the praxis of consensus, a means of creating a consensus about what is, a means of appealing to and using that consensus as communication of agreed upon facts as facts, and that communication was only possible if the "real," perhaps a fiction itself, was this consensus based on a shared reference to ascertainable facts.  In other words, there was a kind of truth that referenced a shared agreement on the experience of what is and what isn't, i.e., what is fact.

The truth of Diogenes and the truth of your blog wrestles with the entire ambiguity of truth by revealing and uncovering what is really true and thereby exposing what is really false.  The process employs paradox, irony, and insight, depth, wisdom, and intelligence.  That kind of exposure exists NOWHERE in Trump's rhetoric.  I am surprised you have been so misled, but then I am certain you in Europe have been spared the interminable, self-reflexive, self-congratulatory, bombastic, narcissistic rants of a full Donald Trump speech.  

The diatribe and vitriol expressed in your suggested link are precisely the diatribe and vitriol Trump continually expressed during the election, making the important assumption that like Diogenes there was a tradition and a respect that would guarantee a lack of retribution, a kind of immunity.  Trump lied and exaggerated and lied.  He appealed to people's hatred and fears rather than their logic and desire for our common welfare.  Repeatedly, the American press revealed that 73% on average of the claims Trump made in his Hitlerian rallies were provable falsehoods.  Almost three million more Americans, the majority of those who voted, chose Hillary Clinton.  The vagaries of the electoral college gave the minority candidate the win.

I do not understand how a man of your intelligence, who so carefully researches and presents so many fascinating facts about so much interesting information can defend Mr. DT (his initials now turned around in the US to denote the delirium tremens of his fantasy world).  Trust me, you have been exposed to little of the information precisely because you are so far away.  You don't have television.  You have never seen an entire Trump rally (as I am certain you never saw an entire Hitler speech or rally).  Your access is limited.  Your information is limited.

Cynically, you have written that it is good he has shaken things up.  Indeed he has.  But consider this: When Trump refuses to pay the US national debt (at 13 trillion dollars or is it 17?), owed to foreigners, a key financial tactic he has employed in his many bankruptcies (he is by no means as rich as he says he is) of paying pennies on the dollar of his owed debts, and when world markets and currencies tumble as a result, whatever state subsidies you receive will vanish in value--at the very least.  The US, Canada, Russia, and Brazil are the only countries on the globe with the natural resources to survive without reliance on any one else, including each other. The US and Russia as Trump's new lover, have the military power to enact their will anywhere. The dystopia that you have imagined and have suggested awaits in the shadows is potentially nearer than you think.

Get the facts, my man.  Think.  You can call me an alarmist.  Okay.  Enjoy your wine, your music, your reading, your rhubarb crumbles, your access to the world, your audience, and may they not be in as much jeopardy as I think they are, my feisty Irishman who lives so far away!

This is my reply:

Mr Mean-Spirited reflects, I think, Middle-American attitudes: the blacks are getting uppity again, Family Values are being destroyed by homos, we’re being swamped by Latinos, etc. etc.   

Jim Crow is not very recently dead, just biding his time.  Mr Mean-Spirited won’t travel by airplane any more because he can’t carry his gun on board !

You don’t realise the degree of Schadenfreude towards Big Brother USA that exists potentially in Europe.  Many ordinary people would be thrilled at the collapse of the American economy, and would only realise too late that they had to pick up the pieces.  But the pieces would not be that big – certainly not for people like me.  Of course the internet would eventually collapse for lack of hardware, but it could be argued that it has had its day.  People living in the countryside would hardly be affected: Europe could survive much better than Cuba, and look how well it survived!  In fact, the economic collapse of the US would be a fantastically good thing for climate change: China would go bankrupt too, so no more coal-fired power-stations.  India would go back to its fairly sane existence between 1947 and, say, 1987.  Russia would lose its oligarchs and revert (like Ireland) to the not-so-dreadful state it was in just before WW1.  California (already a bubble-state sailing in its cloud of self-congratulation towards The Singularity) would become a country in its own right, exceeding Switzerland, Holland and Belgium in its liberalism.  Texas and Florida might become fascist republics, and New York might declare itself an International Zone (a turbo-charged and very rich version of Tangier or Panama).  New Mexico might decide to re-join Mexico, which would then become rich from the legal and more-or-less controlled/taxed production of marijuana, financed by tobacco companies which would move south.

It might also be a good thing for the threatened EU – or else (as John Gray hopes) it too might break up or become a mere trading area with only food to trade.  Not a bad thing.  We would still get oranges from Morocco as in the 15th and 16th centuries.  Former refugees might drift back towards the new Caliphate in Baghdad, Tehran or Damascus.  Sa’udi Arabia etc. would go back to being a nasty little desert kingdom. And plastic bags might become units of currency…  Fabulous and wholesome  recipes for nettles would be invented, and wolves would again be heard around Caylus.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

I must almost-guiltily confess

that I am one of those people who, infuriatingly, have "a charmed life".
I managed, without intention and despite
my Ulster Protestant middle-class background and dreadful private school,
"by chance", successfully to avoid employment, marriage,
success, achievement, wealth (and their appalling train of tribulations)
to by-pass merit and meritocracy and, despite Bureaucracy,
become a Cosmopolitan Déclassé
living a hermetic life of invisible and ironic fun,
on very little money from the British Militarist State
in fructiferous. sensual south-western France.
This has been pure luck -
partly accounted for by being born out of wedlock in 1941.

Friday, 16 December 2016

People are very good

at following rules,
which is why we programme them
by sending them to schools.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


is not wisdom
any more than is 'good sense',
nor are the wise
necessarily astute,
or even smart.
But they will always be apart.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Just as I think that

life is not a linear narrative
but a series of interlocked experiential quanta,
so I think that happiness
is a more or less continuous
series of small, discrete pleasures
of the eye, the ear, the skin,
the tongue and the intellect.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Diogenes, he say:

'twixt orgasm and ejaculation
floats The Word:
The Deity Delusion
is absurd.

(For most people
life is less like truffles
than like turd.)

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The rich

seek 'happiness' as their right.
The rest of the world
doesn't even ask for happiness,
just for a lessening of pain.

Saturday, 10 December 2016


moral inertia;
mental hyperactivity -

except that many well-paid jobs now involve no activity whatever
(and very little responsibility)
thus are, effectively, Non-jobs.

Friday, 9 December 2016

The Bad News

and the compulsiveness
is killing the world.

The Good News:
"hygiene" is killing humans
(but very, very slowly).

Thursday, 8 December 2016

I simply can't

understand how people can buy crap
and third-rate kitsch and ugliness
merely in order to sell it to crap-lovers,
especially at Christmas.
Have they no shame ?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

In the middle of my last night

in my decayed Irish home
a rat climbed on to the duvet
(on the futon on the floor)
to say Goodbye.
No, it was not a dream.
I left her a bar of chocolate(80% cocoa)
as a token of my esteem.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

I recently read

that in the later Middle Ages
more women were immured in European convents
than in Ottoman and non-Ottoman harems.