in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Monday, 30 April 2012

Thoughts from the farm

All animals ever want from us
is that we do them no harm -
and we even breed them
to do them harm !

Late Developer

I was slow to mature...
My confused adolescence
lasted nearly fifty years.
But I think I might have
grown up now that I'm
incapable of tears.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Archæology

Digging
to desecrate
and wreck
a tomb for ever
they removed the bones
of violated Leda
lying on a swan's wing
with her baby girl
still clinging to her neck.

A Reader Writes :

Man -
You sure shovel some heavy shit!

Hope I can keep on reading it.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

My Amazon Review

This reader review is of : Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks
  
We are living in the Golden Age of novel-writing in English (which perhaps compensates for it being the Worst Age of English-language poetry). Most of the wonderful books now published are from Old England, but this American book is the best I have read in years.

It's 'Huckeberry Finn' wonderfully and accurately updated, with more than a nod to the almost-forgotten, beautiful Steinbeck of 'Tortilla Flat', 'Cannery Row', etc. The Professor in Banks' book is not quite Doc Ricketts, but there is more than a slight resemblance.

Twain + Steinbeck - plus Dostoyevsky. What greater praise could an American author receive ? (Whether he wanted it or not.)

Despite the grudging reviews by the hacks, make no mistake: this book could change your life, because it tackles the problems of the basis of modern American culture - the culture of 'aspiration', class, gain, greed, sex, punishment and vengeance - and the reality which is the USA in general, and Miami in particular.

I identified with The Kid (not to mention the dog and parrot). Having read Christopher Reich and other great post-le Carré exposers,  I largely identified with The Professor. I sort-of identified with The Writer. I totally identified with this author - who is one of the most compassionate, perceptive, profound and - indeed - self-effacing writers I have come across.

Russell Banks in this book confronts the reality of America's pornographic and prudish society, a society even more hypocritical than that of England. America's largest export is pornography. Its largest lobby-group is the Christian Right - who have managed to make just about everyone in that country afraid of them. Put the two together and you have the reality of the Great American Dream, which has turned millions of people's lives to nightmare - not just in the USA but in every country tainted by American Values.

This is a book against Political Correctness (an Americanism for 'hateful and self-justifying hypocrisy'). It is a book about self-conscious and unselfconscious love. It is beautifully written.

I dare the politically-correct and politically-motivated Nobel Literature committee to endorse Mr Banks as he deserves.

This was the first R.B. book I have read. (Thanks to the BBC !) I shall read everything he has written.

The intrusive 'with'

Languages constantly change,
some more rapidly than others.
Demotic Latin gradually evolved
and split up to make new languages
from Romanian and Vlach
to Romansch and Portuguese.

Thus the Latin word for 'ballock'
(as in 'She kicked him in the nuts')
became the word for 'head'
(though not in Romanian or Vlach).

English is changing quite rapidly,
mainly as a result of immigration
to America, which is having a quite
noticeable Prepositional Effect.
Recently there has been the
'intrusive OF' - at its most extreme,
off of.
Now there is the 'intrusive WITH'.

People no longer speak and talk
and speak to and talk to,
but speak with and talk with.
They meet with rather than meet.
The other day I came across
'administered him with drugs'.

Then there's 'tend to'
rather than 'tend' (or 'attend to').

On the other hand, there is
alarming Prepositional Loss.
A long time ago, Americans stopped
writing to friends, and started writing friends.

In the British Isles we still write to.
We still can protest,
and protest against
(because protest is an intransitive verb
that doesn't take an object).
But in America they can only protest,
as in 'protest the policy'
and cannot simply protest
as in 'I'm not a collaborator,'
she protested...


But why protest ?
It matters not a jot
that language changes constantly,
and that 'never' is becoming
the new 'not'.

Some prisons can be heavenly -

 

but it would be nice to get out,
just for a bit...


(Of course, Heaven alias Paradise is just a vast, 
patriarchal and dogless prison.)

The good news for the planet

is that, sooner or later,
some guys will fire a nuclear
bomb at something someone
important thinks is important.
Or they will simply strap it
to their bodies.
The bad news for the planet
is that (by Murphy's Law
of the Sublunar)
it's more likely to be later
than sooner.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Anorectic

This pedant has come across
the first writer to employ the correct
adjective from Anorexia,
and sends his thanks
to Russell Banks.

The end of history

was a long time ago.
For Plato,
writing was a kind of insult
to language.

And were Diogenes
by my side, he'd be agreeing
that language is a kind of
mockery of being.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

London, MMXII

A Yeatsian gloss on Cavafy


What are we all waiting for,
crammed into the Square ?
Miracle ? Bird ? Thunderbolt ?
A fabulous son-et-lumière ? Or just
the President's drunken soldiery ?

Why is nobody doing anything ?
Why is it so quiet,
so breathless ?

The Golden Bird is due today,
the superhuman Hades-cockerel,
a glowing glory-bird of man-created metal
to awe the Terrorists.

The Terrorists are due today,
in mire and fury, flames and blood,
flames begat by flesh
upon the marble pavements,
their ancient mummy-cloths
unwound in mire and blood,
and screaming agony of trance.

The Terrorists.
The checkpoints.
The soldiers prance.

Mummy-cloths unwind
and no trains run...

Why now this restlessness,
suddenly all this noise, confusion ?
How grim the faces have become !
Why are the plazas emptying so rapidly,
people rushing home in awful apprehension -
a complicated, dreadful dance ?

Along the winding, nervous paths
the bloody checkpoints.

Before me float the images,
of men or shadows,
misery-begotten ghosts
and golden handiwork of sound and light,
the zombies and the instruments of blood and mire...

The checkpoints.
The Terrorists.

It's midnight. Midnight in Trafalgar Square,
the moon emotionless.

Where are the Terrorists ?
A Big Man has come back from the Frontier,
He says there are too few checkpoints.
He says our vigilance is not enough,
even though those terrorists are a threat no longer.



[click here for Cavafy's original poem]

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Sixteen hundred 'posts'

Although I have been writing my blog
every day for 4 years, almost nobody reads it.
The average entry is read by just 3 people.

Google in its Blogger guise provides statistics,


including this peculiar map, which suggests
that my audience in Russia is BIG.
But another set of statistics (way down the page
on the right) tells me that I have no readers
in Russia - though someone, once, in Tajikistan,
accidentally read one posting.

Apart from Jindra (see below) and
my nearest and dearest,
my most loyal readers live in England,
Saxony and Panamá.

According to the statistics, a large proportion
of my small number of readers come from You-Tube-look-alike
porn sites that I had never hitherto heard of.
I think there must be something wrong
with Google's gathering of statistics.

CAVEAT LECTOR.

Finally, I would like to thank Jindra for supplying
most of my readers - who come straight from his site.
I think most of 'them' are actually him.

PS/NB
A Faithful Follower writes:
"Please remember that there may be scores (hundreds ?) who, like me, never visit your blog, but retrieve all your posts via RSS feed."

'Beauty

is in the eye of the beholder.'
Yet, like art,
it is largely defined
by the wilfully blind.

The poet Novalis wrote :

"Poetry heals the wounds inflicted
by reason." 
I think he was wrong.
Poetry ensures that we remain afflicted
by every treason created by language,
whether Rilke or a pop-song.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Government

is primarily a protection-racket,
and secondarily, like religion,
an undefeatable, highly-defensible
criminal enterprise -

but


to be a 'national' of Ireland,
whose Defence Forces number just
nine thousand, do not include an air force,
and will never be a part of NATO.
On the other hand,
why have any defence forces at all ?
The answer lies in the potato.

"Clothes make the man,"

Mark Twain said (or wrote).
"Naked people have little 
or no influence on society."

Those who want to influence society
are dangerous -
and the most basic right
(hence the most venerable form of protest)
is to be unclothed - but if 'white'
(which is to say
blotchy pinko-bluish yellow-gray)
well out of sight.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Tonight was 'World Book Night'.

It was quite cold on the street.
I gave a Book of Mormon to a Sh'ia
and a Qu'ran to a Baptist,
and walked away from one of many
tiny, twinkling bonfires.

When I grow up

I want to be
the bumper-sticker on my car
which reads: Why bother ?

A mature and handsome woman,




















well-known to television viewers
in the British Isles, remarked on radio
that she admired (from behind)
fit young male cyclists while driving.
Male listeners protested -

the very descendants
of Builders of Empire,
who inhabit a country
where every day for forty years
bare breasts have prominently
(and to my and any Muslim mind
distastefully) appeared
in newspapers - to guarantee
their multi-million circulation.

This is just one of the lesser reasons
why any extra-insular mind
would conclude and maintain
that the sort-of-United Kingdom
is an institution run by and for
the dangerously insane.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Friday, 20 April 2012

The seas

which engendered life,
and for millions of years
have kept doing so,
are fast turning into
the planet's tears.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The three sections of society

most reliably
untrustworthy :

the police and other
'law-enforcers',

the press,

social workers
and other clergy.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The War against Nature

In Helmand, in the 1970s,
Americans tried to create
an irrigated Afghan Eden.
Of course, they failed.
The ground turned saline,
dams and channels cracked,
and almost the only plant that thrives
in such a place sprang up : the poppies.
Poppies of Afghanistan,

larger and more succulent
than those of Flanders Fields,
of martial remembrances of war and lies,
(and tales of babies bayoneted out of wombs),
which yield the poppy-seeds of Jewish feasts
and ancient tombs.

Poppies - reviled as weeds - hardly grow
where agriculture's at its meanest:
they are almost rare in Ireland,
for example (though
that isle is full of mushrooms),
but in Afghanistan they flourish
just like (though in a different way)
the dandelions that Europeans constantly
cut down, uproot and spray,
and which forever will rise up another day.
















click the picture

Monday, 16 April 2012

Isn't Democracy Splendid ?

"The strivers, the battlers and the family-makers"
- i.e. the people who trashed the planet
for the nasty, brutish and short British Empire,
and keep on trashing the planet in the name of Growth -
were praised today by the British prime minister,
and urged to vote for his repulsive,
snooty, and more than slightly sinister
political party.

The Tomb of the Unknown

In the world's largest
and most prestigious Pet Cemetery
on the Ile d'Asnières just outside Paris,
only Mario Vargas Llosa mentions
a Tomb of the Unknown Dog.
He probably was joking, if not sneering.

Not even on Mauritius
is there a Tomb of the Unknown Dodo.
Nor - strange to say - anywhere
is there a Tomb of the Unknown Penis,
unless you (mischievous and not god-fearing)
include minarets.

Nor will evolved simians place flowers
on a Memorial to the Terrible
Unknown Hominid.
If they do, their end will be as
bleak and ineluctable as ours.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Milk of Canine Kindness

flows forgivingly
in many ways.
But the milk of human kindness
comes in only three :

1.















2.














3.

re Roger Casement

















An important reason
why homosexuality was banned in Britain
and throughout its nasty, brutish
and not-too-short Empire
must surely have been
that man-loving men
were too likely to admire
and try (transparently or subtly)
to prevent the subjugation, decimation,
and outright elimination
by psychopathic, powerful individuals
of handsome, harmless, naked aboriginals.

Friday, 13 April 2012

after Hafiz حافظ

The small mind
sometimes scientifically
puts everyone
and everything
into its trite
and stultifying cage

while the grown mind
belonging to the kind
of man who ducks his head
when the moon is low
(call him fool
or call him sage)

keeps dropping keys
through the age
of night
for beautiful
brawling prisoners.

________________
















read more by Hafiz >


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A rare example of a failure of human cruelty.















A wolf, caught in the mountains of (Catholic) Northern Albania, was put into a pen with a worn-out and 'useless' donkey, so that humans could revel in a cheap and gory spectacle.

However, the wolf did not tear the donkey apart, but immediately seemed to size up the situation and simply teamed up with his fellow-victim in what amounted to a beautiful peaceful protest - which shows that wolves can be better Christians than the Pope.

(But of course, any mammal is likely to be "a better Christian" than any Christian.)

The Italian text of the report appears in the commentary (below).

Let's face it :

supporters of civilisation
(and they are legion)
would rather have Great Art
than actual happiness.

"There you are, content and happy,
which is the last thing you should be,"
said Clive James (on the radio last night)
about the effect of psychiatric drugs
on writing.

Let's face it :
supporters of civilisation
don't want happiness around at all
because it's productive
only as an unreachable goal.

My first reader in Armenia

visited my blog today.

Hooray!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Sled Dog

[ I tried to re-blog a poem from another Blogger site,
but
only the title transferred properly...so...]

click this to read the poem.

Misery

like an omnipotent god
meticulously
considers
everyone,
capriciously
rejects a few.

The Great Western

Cargo-cult

worships Opportunity,
believes it should be created
everywhere, increasingly,
and should be seized
lest The Vacuum be displeased.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Giraffes

vocalise in frequencies so low
that humans cannot hear them.

Seals
hear mainly through their whiskers.

Electric eels
(which are not true eels but knifefish)
use electric current as sensors
to steer them,
and to stun their meals.
Unusually, it is with good reason
that humans fear them.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

There is now quite a fashion

for finding things offensive
and, therefore, taking offence.

For years now I have been offended
by waking up each morning.
It makes me tense.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Idleness was an aspiration

until, quite recently,
the Work Ethic made it
a sin even for the rich.

Now,
even in a wealthy nation
with generous social welfare,
the idle mostly live in
sordid deprivation.

Friday, 6 April 2012

An excellent example of an irrational and arrogant statement:

'Everything we are and everything we have
from the skyscraper to the highest religious abstraction
comes from one attribute of man -
the function of his reasoning mind.'

- Ayn Rand

What use is our 'reasoning mind',
our self-attributed intelligence,
if what we do is obey rules and orders all the time,
follow leaders, watch TV, buy products -
and let ourselves be influenced
by warped and creepy people ?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Child-abuse in 1950.

At semi-private school, forced to eat
my dinner after all the other
boys had left (and while, I was reminded,
little Indian and Chinese boys were starving) -

pickled beetroot with slimy white sauce,
tripe, tongue, steak and kidney pie,
liver whose main feature
was tubes like hollowed-out grey larvæ -

I would much rather have been sucked
or fondled, or even kissed
(but definitely not fucked)
by the biology or Latin teacher.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

There is a phrase

used by the class-obsessed
(and world-ravaging) English:
"as common as muck",
which suggests that
they don't accept that earth is good,
that muck provides them with their food.



[For around a hundred years
the British referred to edible food,
whether from North Africa, France,
Denmark, Russia or Italy,

as foreign muck.]

Many people's lives :

houses which are all extensions
and no home.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Individual

in France is crushed
because the herd is paramount
and dislikes initiative
(God is French, and therefore rational);

in Britain is permitted,
even encouraged - so long as
the rules are obeyed
(God is an Englishman, his rules are fair);

in Ireland is celebrated throughout
the culture, but only
for 'harmless eccentricity'
(God is a Catholic and far away);

in the USA is apotheosized
within the culture whose only morality
is aspiration, the gangster-culture
which inevitably
crushed the ideal republic,
the dissenting, dissident republic of ideals.
God is an American - the Original,
with the right to bear arms,
an Individual.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Just stop the clocks

It is not time that tyrannises us,
but we who mechanise each other
by 'regulating' time.