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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Friday, 30 November 2018

On Prayer.

Most people
especially kids
pray for good things
to come to them:
prayer as metaphysical and venal tool.

I prayed only
for tuberculosis
so I would not have to go to my odious semi-private school.

(I also stood on the shed roof below my bedroom window on winter nights
shivering bravely for as long as ten minutes as a time,
in the hope that I would get pneumonia or rheumatic fever,
which I never.)

The Invisible Hand of The Market

holds millions of people
by the throat.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

The Homosensual

is a man who discovers
that his penis is more antenna
- or ground -
than receiver.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Cheese and Music.

Ireland produced no cheeses -
but a lot of good music,
especially Slow Airs.
France produced hundreds of cheeses
but very little good music.
French peasants
were too busy making cheese to make music.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The choice

for most of us, it seems,
is to dissemble
or be disassembled.

for Édouard Louis & Didier Éribon


Monday, 26 November 2018

a first line by Wisława Szymborska

There is no debauchery worse than thinking.

Nie ma rozpusty gorszej niż myślenie.

Belief > doctrine

Doctrine > dogma
Dogma > cant
Belief in Democracy,
in Western Values,
is not as rational as we imagine.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

What is Art ?

Art is one or both of these:

artefacts that you appreciate;
artefacts that make you think
often by engaging the emotions.

Music, dance, ceramics, painting, writing...

Art exists largely because
language is so inefficient,
insufficient.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

The Possessed.

Most men are islands -
women, too, I think -
though claiming to be peninsulas at least.
We are too complex to be able
to relate to one another, so we like magnets,
compulsively connect to things instead:
a tragic species-specific love-affair with property.

Friday, 23 November 2018

What's so wonderful about courage,

'pushing yourself to the limit',
and overcoming all sorts of adversity ?
I'm content to be a cowardly and petty
(if stubborn) resister of Authority.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

I don't claim to know anything about Love -

but I guess it must - at least - be like
a Romantic trio - by Beethoven, Schubert,
Brahms, Chausson - or a Nocturne by Chopin.
But less repeatable.

Monday, 19 November 2018

When does dog-shit stop

and become just mud...

and mind ... ?

Nelson Mandela asked his grandson

(who had come to Robben Island to see him)
what he (the grandson) wanted to do when he grew up,
the boy answered: To go to prison.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Even as we extinguish them,

animals are mercifully unaware
of our intentions.

How can anyone be "free"

who has been stultified and desensitised
- if not turned into a zombie -
by an "education" system ?

Freedom can be achieved only by the utmost stealth,
and thus is nearly as precarious as it is precious.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Movies.

As a child in Belfast in the 1940s and 1950s
I didn't much care for Cowboys and Indians,
I hated circuses, Disney, Tom & Jerry
and all loud, violent films.
I particularly hated Tarzan
because he was grotesque
and hideously white.

I guess I fancied Kirk Douglas in "The Vikings",
but of course I had to be in London to see
my first non-American film, the first to show me cinema as art
and as true as poetry:
Bergman's The Virgin Spring.

Since when I have seen rather few American movies.

For a misanthrope

love is,
simply and purely,
the absence of dislike.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

"This world

is a comedy to those who think,
a tragedy to those who feel."

- Horace Walpole, English Historian.

For us who think and feel,
this world is, of course, a tragicomedy,
or, if you prefer, a plutonian joke -
Elektra written by Aristophanes.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The rich man who looks at the sole of his shoe

is checking for dog-shit;
the poor man is checking
that the sole will get him home or to the hostel.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Spirits and demigods

are celebrated with joy
and wine and flowers. 
All-powerful gods need blood.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Having a go (Joe)*

for Antony Beevor

Glorious Hitler Weather
on the Leader's last birthday,
the cruellest, enclosed month of 1945.

From corpse-tattered gardens,
through burnt-out ruins
where no-one's left alive,
the sinuous scent of lilacs
insists its sweet, voluptuous dance
upon the evening air
with the languorous impassiveness of plants.

Then Lenin's birthday.
Then Shakespeare's on the feast-day of St George
(patron saint of Moscow, Georgia and of England).
Then all Berlin collapses into void,
the city split between destroyers and destroyed
as soldiers spend their seed and energy
in drunken gang-rape -

and rush to the next starving, recently infected woman,
the next stinking ruin wherein to re-engorge.



* 'Have a go' was a BBC programme popular near the end of the war in Europe and afterwards.
   During the Third Reich, a warm, sunny spell was called Hitler Weather.
   There are references in the poem also to a famous Paris café-bar popular with surrealists
     and once frequented by Lenin,
   Eliot's Waste Land, and Baudelaire's Harmonie du Soir.

Cent Ans Après : Remembrance = Glorification

Military parades
commemorate only militarism.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

There's always a dictator

at hand to fill a cultural-philosophical vacuum,
just as there's always an urinal
to put in an art gallery.

read on >


Reality

cannot, of course, be what we're told,
but what we find out.  Which is why
so few of us live it and in it. (innit?)

Friday, 9 November 2018

Civilisation is the symptom

of the implosion of human consciousness
- from the visceral to the virtual.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

I have found it sadly surprising

how un-sexy 'actual sex' is,
compared with certain music,
dogs, beech-trees, paintings...
and having my back scratched.

It is almost impossible "to speak Truth to Power"

unless you have some power,
in which case you have lost
some of your grip on truth.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Two splendid Americanisms

from one of the best novels of the nineteen-thirties:

questionize,
shamery.

[Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God]

And two more from the magnificent Zora:

Niggerati,
coon-dick
-
illegal alcohol smuggled during Prohibition in the trousers/pants of 'coons' (African-Americans).

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Lifestyle:

what "...we now preposterously call
any way of life
whether it has style or not."

- Alistair Cooke, 9th September 1977.

Every army is a blasphemy.

Every victory is absurd.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Here in smug middle-class Europe

we crassly thought that the 45th president
of the United States was a tasteless joke -
but no : he's a poke
in the eye of reason,
and not just for a season.

Ecstasy.

At the moment of death, the springbok
raises the long white hairs on its spine
like a fan, which is unfolded for a minute or two
before slowly closing on the animal's extinction.
This fan was also unfolded in the springbok's
happiest moments, as when playing
and acrobatically displaying.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Nose to nose at midnight.

The most comfortable bed-fellow
is a dog. (Very light
snoring to my right.)

What is it about settled societies and minorities ?

Everywhere minorities are threatened,
(Roma, Jews, Ingush, Albanians, Kurds,
Vlachs, Rohinja, Forest People,
Desert People, Cherokee, lepers, hunchbacks,
witches, inverts...hundreds more...)
by rampaging and irrational majorities
who have nothing to fear from the oppressed
but much to fear in themselves.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The past. The future ?

In 1945 an estimated 100,000 women were raped
in Berlin alone.  Of these, around 10,000 died,
mostly by suicide.

The death rate was thought to be much higher
among the 1.4 million who had been raped,
often several times, often by gangs of Russian soldiers,
in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia.

[source: Berlin: The Downfall 1945, by Antony Beevor]