Dingo the Dissident

DINGO THE DISSIDENT : Qweir Notions in the Anus of Diogenes, weBlog of a nearly-octogenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Prizes, etc.

 go to the persistent, the driven.
This year's Booker Prize winner submitted his manuscript
to no fewer than thirty publishers
before it was accepted.
Bloody hell! Satan's Anus! Devil's Balls!
He must be mad.

In the 1970s I submitted my short short-story collection
to just three, then gave up - and burned it.
There is no shortage of literature,
especially not in English.  The world
would probably never be ready for
my strange little effort, which was,
at best, 'for a minority readership'.
Of one.

I love dogs
but lack doggedness.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

A Musing.

I think that most of my days
have been spent
to a greater or lesser extent
in a haze
in a maze
in a daze.

Belfast 1940/1941

I wonder if my New Year's Eve anonymous
father fucked any other women
before returning to The Theatre of War,
or was it his First Sexual Experience ?
Was he subsequently killed or wounded ?
Was he just weak, or a cad ?
This was the only encounter with a penis
that my mother ever had.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

A possible connection.

Areas which are rich in plants and animals
are also rich in languages.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Covid is just the trigger

of the big pandemic gun:
measles, typhoid, cholera, malaria,
TB and non-infectious diseases, too,
will eagerly erupt, because its
novel rampage will undo
what health services have done.


in the unlikely event
of reincarnation
some creatures will soon re-appear
as artificial intelligences.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Another Catch-22.

"I'm beginning to notice the first signs of dementia."
 - No, you're not.
"So you think I'm just imagining them ?"

Life is scary:
your body's awake but your mind is asleep
or three-quarters asleep
and you flounder in the sliding, slippery, flickering
blurry, inconsistent, incoherent dreamworld
where time is elastic and the connection
between cause and effect is lost, or at least vague.
You are on a kind of moving walkway
between past and present; images slide by,
you can't stop and look at them, you try
walking back, but you can't. You can't
run forward - you're too old. 
You're trapped in your own little dreamworld,
and most of the time you are cold.
You can't recall where you put things,
and, while searching, drop other things
and forget what it was you were looking for...

and your eyesight is bleary,
your hearing's mashed up;
there's the continuous sound-track
of ear-worms and tinnitus (which
in French is called acouphènes).

But sometimes you feel more drunk than doolally.

As in dreams, bits of old memories bubble up,
pushing out or lying on top of
recent events which all slither and melt
to confusion.  You cannot climb out,
and have no fixed motive to do so. You can go
to the toilet, put on your clothes, go to bed, but all the while
you're trying to make sense of what is happening
around you, even of where you are, because
you live only in an untidy, unbound scrapbook 
of disconnected dreams of your past
punctuated by recent fuzzy and incoherent events. 
As in dreams, nothing is what it seems
and your head is seething with stuff that you can't,
and no-one can, get out or banish. 
You can't get out.
Words vanish.

[On reading Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey,
which is not a good thing to read in your eightieth year.]

See also the notes written by my mother when she was suffering from dementia, here >

In the Museum of Sacred Art

there is one special exhibit
for the Visually Handicapped to touch.
It hasn't changed in a thousand years
and is now squirted with disinfectant
after every feeling visitor.
It is called The Buddha's Crutch.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

The Language Conspiracy

There is only one essential word:
'enough' -
overwhelmed by all the others
for thousands of years
in our world-sized, word-defined
prisons of compulsive, cosy verbiage,
deceit and narrative.

How much of our lives is language ?
How much of our lives is lies ?
How much of our lives is not enough ?

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Monday, 16 November 2020

A Covid Vaccine

seems to be to be something of a fantasy, because
it has to be delivered (very expensively) to sceptical populations, and,
having been delivered, will, for the purpose of free movement,
have to be attested (like a cholera or yellow-fever inoculation)
by a document which will be relatively easy to forge...
unless each vaccination is accompanied by a tattooed number
(harder to phony-up) which will remind a few of us of
concentration-camps and totalitarian régimes,
or by some sort of electronic tag
(maybe like a credit- or health-insurance card with PIN)...
Ah dear Covid!  amuse-bouche or hors d'œuvre 
of our future - you have come not a moment too soon.

The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

had nothing to do with trees or knowledge
or a deity who spake -
it was only Adam's sick fantasy that Eve
was having sexual relations with a snake.

And so they went.

Sunday, 15 November 2020


the pursuit of one desire
in the hope of gratifying several others.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

If you are sufficiently socialised

to want people to take you seriously,
you will, unfortunately,
have to take yourself seriously,
a form of self-abuse
which is the other - very common -
kind of suicide.

Friday, 13 November 2020

The problem with the USA

is so simple that it's insoluble:
it hasn't enough black, brown and red people.

But we need to talk about Canada.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Out of kilter, world in a swelter.

The Meek shall inherit the Earth.
Just a crowd of socialists sharing a desert.

Did Theseus declare an Armistice ?

and then bite off Asterion's balls ?

Or had the Minotaur been gelded as a calf ?

Detail of Theseus and the Minotaur by Burne-Jones.


Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Monday, 9 November 2020

Before the clamouring power

of Western cacophony enveloped Tokyo,
its more sensitive and cultured citizens
would make special and reverent expeditions to a lake
to listen to the subtle music
of water-lily buds popping into flower.

Sunday, 8 November 2020


Margaret Atwood's recent poem is about a word
now rarely heard, as are 'sorrow' and 'Polaroid'.
Another is 'darling'.

I would lament the loss of the word
and, therewith, the idea: 'wholesome'.

Death, unfortunately,

is in our aggressive culture equated with failure,
and must be delayed at all costs
by a philosophically-confused,
incurably sub-Christian,
world-dominating and psychosclerotic
medical establishment, which cannot imagine
that the end of every individual life
will be a successful transition,
not just for the old or terminally-ill,
but for the stillborn as for the midwife.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Solving the face-masks-with-hearing-aid problem.

People with hearing loss have found it to be increasingly challenging to communicate with others who are wearing masks, as they muffle voices and prevent lip-reading.

Glasses must go on last.

Moreover,t he around-the-ear face mask, the most common type, makes hearing-aid-wearers -
especially those who also wear glasses (which inevitably steam up, and should be on a cord) -
liable to lose their hearing-aid, especially on removing or adjusting the mask.

Today, my hearing-aid fell out amongst the Brussels Sprouts at the Saturday market.

The free masks provided by local authorities and governments (I have received 20 already)
are all of the elastic-around-the-ears variety. 
The kind with elastic that goes around the back of the head is not easy to find.

Because of masks, beards will probably go out of fashion again.


'the world'.
They may not be a majority
but they are good at creating and
manipulating or dominating cliques.
Non-'autists' are freaks.

Friday, 6 November 2020

How much further is farther ?

Columkilly, the dark Irish sorcerer
who preceded Njál and other Norse
in Iceland, became a demon of the sub-arctic deserts
and a coffee-drinker, thanks to the glottal-stopping,
whale-overwhelming Danes.
Imagine! Coffee from Arabia to starving, colonial Iceland :
such is Trade - amber from Bornholm to Istanbul...
diamonds and uranium from Ubangi-Shari to the Seine...
coltan from the Congo to Korea...
slaves from the Slave Coast to America (north and south),
'a land farther than death', according to Halldór Laxness,
whose middle name was that of another Irish saint
and who would have been amused to hear
that, in this photo on the jacket of Independent People*,
he seems to me to somewhat resemble Hitler.

*A very funny and sardonic book about Sheeple,
specially appealing to Icelanders and Irish
(Iceland was almost Denmark's Ireland)
but whose English edition was clunkily
translated by a man with a Tin Ear. 
The Danish translation is (of course) much better,
but the book could fit very well into Irish,
the tongue of Columkilly,
predecessor, conqueror of the Æsir.

'A man who is not his own master is as unfortunate as anyone without a dog.'

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Even better than a beard !

And much more characterful
than the sickly make-up promoted
by the global fashion industry.
Aotearoa Does It Again !

Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand's Foreign Minister.

Ye Olde Death and Birth

murder and rot and meta-resurrection
occur daily in the mind

often simultaneously
often undifferentiated

fed by our own
trafficked void
we are the dream-world
living the
nightmare of the trees

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

More reflections on Loneliness.

Further to my blog on the 23rd October ,
here is an interesting article in Aeon online magazine
about Hannah Arendt's views on the condition or state.

However, her argument that totalitarianism and loneliness
exist in a vicious cycle, the one leading to the other,
applies even more to Consumer Capitalism, because
the USSR's type of totalitarianism (at least) 
created a variety of secret communities 
which were lumped together in the category dissident.
In viciously-capitalist societies, dissidence tends to be solitary.

Big Capitalism, whose transnational companies
more or less control our lives, dislikes democracy.
Big Capitalists like dictators - they can be bought more easily
than elected leaders who keep changing.

Capitalism, having encouraged democratic ideals at the beginning,
is now destroying them, not through power-grab
but through induced anomie and loneliness, the breakdown
of traditional systems of co-operation,
and the monetisation, commodification of everything.

My Mask-rack.

(Custom-made ones will soon be available at Ikea
and other trendy outlets.)

I am flying

I am swooping as fast
as time
and time flies past

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Masks - and cacaësque.

Some people seem to be wearing their masks all the time.
A lot of older women, however - not even wearing glasses
 - don't cover their noses.

The other day I saw one of the local, 'weird' wandering men
wearing his mask while having a crap
at the viewpoint beneath a large wooden cross

Every time I pass I remove a bulb.
(But I don't pass very often.
Soon, I'll need to bring a ladder with me.)

which, in this allegedly-secular republic of France
dominates the historically-Catholic village of Caylus,
especially at night.

Evening view from my balcony.

Caylus always supported the Throne
and opposed the Cathar, later Protestant, more-or-less dissident
village of Saint-Antonin 10 miles down the road.

As you know, I don't have a 'smart phone',
and alas! had not brought my camera
to capture the moment of Marc's Mystical-Blasphemous-Innocent Unload.

Getting up in the morning


saves other lives.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

The insatiable monster

 of consumer-capitalism can only collapse
if the USA collapses.  So let us hope
that Donald Trump will either win or lose
the 2020 Presidential election.

National hypocrisy.

Since 1905 the French Republic has proclaimed and insisted
on its solid  'secularity'.  But  'wayside' crosses* are everywhere;
minarets are very rare, and it's hard to find a calendar
without all the Christian saints' feast days listed.

*Thousands of wayside crosses, mostly grotesque, many made of iron,
were erected during the Catholic Church backlash against the Third Republic
before the secularisation law of 1905.  Few have been erected since that date.

Below is one of the more elegant examples,
close to where I live, and built, in the Christian tradition, on top of a 'pagan'
(and ruined) megalithic tomb.

But it was removed (by a fellow-megalithophile ?
- if so, why leave the concrete pillar, incongruously,
on top of the sad little tomb ?  To stop people
tripping over it ?)

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Slavery, colour and racism.

Every culture had its slaves,
usually from enemy tribes or subject peoples.
The Greeks had slaves from Sicily.
Galleys were rowed
by slaves and convicts from Persia to France
Nubia to Germany, Spain to the Crimea.
Romans like Cicero had Greek slaves
as secretaries, and they could be freed
by friendly masters, or buy their liberty.

But in medieval Europe, slavery was outlawed
by Church and State. A Frenchman could not keep
an Englishman as slave, nor a Spaniard
a dark Moroccan Muslim.
When the underpopulated Americas
(not subject to European law)
were split wide open for their gold and opportunities
to grow sugar-cane and cotton, the only place to go
for brute labour - not for secretaries - was Africa,
where they could be taken in their thousands,
very cheaply through networks of coastal traders.
These slaves were shades of black, completely ignorant
of European habits and hypocrisy.

So black-skinned became synonymous not just
with 'pagan' unenlightenment and stain and dirt
(white is the pure, immaculate colour
of a pinkish-grey European's shirt)
but with stupidity as well. Nor can you see
a blush or a bruise on black skin.
This is how European racism began.
The rest is ignorant indoctrination, hate, white misery
and fear of retribution.
Worst of all has been the many yokes of Christianity
still grinding down the African-American.

(Whatever the colour of the human hide
we are all hell-bent on speciecide.)

Maybe a good reason for legalising Methamphetamine ?

Man arrested after showering commuters 
with money from 30th-floor window.

Police in Chongqing, south-western China, detain man on drugs charges after his benevolence caused traffic chaos.

 The man was taken into custody in Chongqing and was receiving treatment, police said.
Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Chinese police have arrested a man after he scattered a “heavenly rain of banknotes” on commuters from his apartment window while allegedly high on methamphetamine.

Police said the 29-year-old was “in a trance” after taking drugs at his home on the 30th floor of a building in Chongqing, in south-western China, when he began throwing cash out of the window to the streets below.

Local media reported the “heavenly rain of banknotes from the sky”, and a video of the 17 October incident has been viewed more than half a million times.

The footage shows traffic slowed to a crawl, or completely stopped in some sections, as dozens of people left their cars or walked onto the busy road to catch the banknotes.

Police were called and the man was taken into custody. The police said in a statement he had been detained for taking drugs and was under investigation and receiving treatment.

In 2017, also in Chongqing, a woman walked into traffic throwing bank notes behind her, prompting a police officer to pick them up as he followed her. Local media reported she told police she threw the 16,000 yuan (US$2,300) because she was in a bad mood.

Slashing and burning.

Europeans sneered at 'slash-and-burn' agriculture
when they encountered it during their seizure
of far-off lands. They called it 'primitive',
a word they used very liberally.
Now, as they see the whole world slashed
and burned in a more sophisticated way, 
they dream of colonising 'outer space'
rather than mending the planet they have trashed.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Extremists are everywhere...

mathematical extremists,
'liberal'  (Caucasian white middle-class) extremists,
nuclear-physics extremists,
bureaucratic extremists,
academic extremists,
atheist extremists,
pharmaco-medical extremists,
extreme capitalists
extreme misanthropists
hygiene-extremists who change their underwear
more than once a week,
those with extreme wealth,
those in extreme poverty
and even (of course) extreme anti-extremists like me.

News Today

Taiwan, formerly the Chinese island of Formosa,

population 27 million,
has had fewer than 600 corona/covid cases
and only 7 deaths.

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions,
of Urechis caupo
have again been washed up on Californian beaches.

Also known as cockfish (of course) 
and Fat-innkeeper worms (a translation from the Chinese ?)
these sand-burrowers are food for sea-birds,
marine mammals such as the endangered sea-otter,
and human beings, too - especially Chinese,
Japanese and Taiwanese.

"Nature red in tooth and claw."

Humans as perceptive as Schopenhauer
and as poetic as Tennyson
have persuaded themselves
that malice and cruelty are an essential part
of  'the evolutionary process',
and not the foul corruption of the human heart.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

When people talk of 'second childhood'

they tend to think of dribbling,
gabbling and other incontinences -
not the playfulness of five-year-olds
and the tendency to talk to plants and frogs,
inanimate objects, clouds and mist, the moon...
as well as to oneself and dogs.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

French Exceptionalism

If you're white
and don't live in a tower-block
or on  the street
you're alright.

If you're black
and not Muslim (or poor)
stand just slightly back.

But if you're brown
and Muslim
or one of the few remaining Jews,
and poor,
get down, stay down,

read and treasure these Holy Cartoons
and get out of town.

This man


(who doesn't photograph well,
just as my dog Oscar was unphotogenic)

greatly resembles a lover I had
for three - or more - years
just after I came out as a sort-of-a-not-quite-a-bona-fide-sort-of-a-homo
when I was forty.
This man is a great poet.

When I was a child on a big 
bigoted island
where no-one was black,
I prayed God to please make me black.
(I later learned that the great writer Jean Rhys did the same.)
Later on, I prayed God to make me go dead,
and stood out in the dank Irish cold
hoping to catch TB or Rheumatic Fever.
I still am ashamed of - dislike - 
the now-mottled pinkish-gray
of my almost eighty-year-old skin.
I never had, never missed a father.
He probably was white. Maybe Canadian. A white shite
who had a quick shag one  Second World War New Year's Eve
with my (I'd say she was, in her humble way, holy and) virgin mother. 
I wish - despite that damned fucking useless God - forever
that Shane McCrae
had been my father - or, failing that, my lover
if only for one hour of one day.

I knew of his existence (thanks to the Great God BBC)  only yesterday!
I'm absolutely sure he would not want to hear from me.

Monday, 26 October 2020

Confession of a Premature Baby

"Sorry I'm early,
but I don't like parties or people,
so I'll leave before someone arrives."

Tombeau "Les regrets".

 A regrettably-young white teacher
was regrettably killed
by a regrettably 'Islamist' Chechen
for showing regrettably vieux-jeu cartoons
to his pupils in a regrettable school
as a regrettably banal example
of Freedom of Speech
in a regrettably-racist
and not-very-secular,
anti-Islamic, aggressively

'liberal' republic
not very far from Kent.

But his regrettable
death was unregrettably painless.

The English kind Henry VIII
had to send to France for a swordsman
to cut off the head of his second (of six) espoused
as cleanly and quickly as possible.
(Her daughter eventually ruled as
a canny Queen of England, but never a wife.)

Decapitation (by mutual consent
at an agreed and agreeable moment,
to music by Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, le père,)
would be for me a marvellous way of departing
this regrettable life.

It could be me without my glasses :

a piece of public art (known as a mural) by Sainer
(signer ?) in Munich, Federal Republic of Germany.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

A las cuatro y media de la mañana

At half past four in the morning -
for millions a fit moment to die -
there also comes to pass
for millions
not arrest by the police
but the extrajudicial obligation to piss.

Music and Consciousness.

The power of music, the power of radio.

Last Sunday (the 18th of October) an item on a BBC programme featured an eighty-year-old man - Paul Harvey, a former music-teacher - with dementia, whose 'party trick' had always been improvisation on the piano of any four notes he was given.

He was given four notes during the broadcast on which he proceeded to improvise.

This struck a chord with so many listeners that the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra was engaged to make a recording which incorporated Paul Harvey's improvisation with excellent orchestration.

The result is an 'uplifting' Brief Encounter mixture of 80% Sergey Rachmaninov with 10% Richard Strauss, which is a powerful reminder than music is more expressive and positive than language, and is a means of bringing consolation and joy to those whose brains are affected by dementia or other disorder. 

Music cancels out the miscarriage and measurement of time which we call 'civilisation'...and allows us to live, like cats, for the sensation of life, not for achievement.

The recording (made by members of the orchestra playing separately in Covid-isolation) will be available commercially from the first of November, 2020, and can now be heard on my website.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

If I Got The Covid

 and quickly recovered
(living contentedly alone and apart).
I don't think I'd let anyone know,
but just avoid people
and keep my distance,
for otherwise I would become
another very tired victim of state apparatus
and its mindless commotion.

I guess that a lot of folk
feel the same way.

And if I got it bad
I'd just stay in bed
(having taken my
convenient suicide potion)

until (of course) I was dead.

Gangrene or Misprint

Cocks went black last night
(Beautiful Voodoo,
and, in Europe, there was
for millions of party-animals
an extra sixty minutes of curfew.

Today's Splendid Word :


For francophone readers, the Word of the Day
(referring to the Mayor of Bordeaux) is :


Friday, 23 October 2020


The word and concept arrived in English
with the Industrial Revolution.
The word solitude remained, with its original,~
neutral meaning.

But the Greeks knew all about loneliness.
For them, it was a state of isolation,
outside the polis or commune,
in the bleak érema (back of beyond, the boondocks,
the sticks, the wolf-haunted wildness or wilderness
beyond the pale of masters and slaves).

An éremos was a solitary, maybe abandoned,
maybe lonely person, absent from civilisation,
lacking in amenities, possibly  one of thousands
of children abandoned 'abroad' and brought up by wolves.
On the other hand, an éremitos was solitary by choice
in a 'lonely, deserted' place teeming with flora and fauna -
hence our word hermit.  The Irish word for a hermitage
was díseart (anglicised dysart) from Latin diserta, a place without people.

Some Irish hermits lived on islands and islets
from birds' eggs, seaweed, sea-scurvy-grass, mussels and limpets
- and may not have wanted for company.

Listen on my website to a brief discussion on the BBC
of contemporary loneliness.

Loneliness goes - and is often confused with - Boredom.
But you're never alone while you still have thoughts.
Even hatred can be pleasant company.

Here is an excellent Aeon article discussing Hannah Arendt's views on loneliness.
However, what Arendt ascribed to Totalitarianism is equally a result of Consumer Capitalism.


Thursday, 22 October 2020

Perhaps the most depressing poem I have ever read.


Margaret Ross

The corpses weigh nothing, nearly nothing, even your breath
is breeze enough to scatter them

We steamed them in tupperware with a damp sponge
then we tweezed the stiff wings open

The wing colors would brush off if you touched them

3,000 butterflies raised and gassed
and shipped to Evolution, the store in New York
rented by an artist hired to design a restaurant

He wanted to paper the walls with butterflies

Each came folded in its own translucent envelope

We tweezed them open, pinned them into rows
on styrofoam flats we stacked in towers in the narrow
hallway leading to the bathroom

Evolution called itself a natural history store

It sold preserved birds, lizards, scorpions in lucite, bobcat
with the eyes dug out and glass ones fitted, head turned

Also more affordable bits like teeth
and peacock feathers, by the register
a dish of raccoon penis bones

This was on Spring

The sidewalks swarmed with bare-armed people
there to see the city

You could buy your own name in calligraphy
or written on a grain of rice
by someone at a folding table

Souvenir portraits of taxis and the Brooklyn Bridge
lined up on blankets laid over the pavement

The artist we were pinning for had gotten famous
being first to put a dead shark in a gallery

For several million dollars each he sold what he described 
as happy pictures which were rainbow dots assistants painted 
on white canvases

I remember actually thinking his art confronted death,
that’s how young I was

We were paid per butterfly

The way we sat, I saw the backs
of the other pinners’ heads more than their faces

One’s braids the color of wine, one’s puffy headphones, feather cut
and slim neck rising from a scissored collar, that one
bought a raccoon penis bone on lunch break

Mostly we didn’t speak

Another life glimpsed in a detail mentioned, leaving or arriving 

She lived with a carpenter who fixed her lunches

Come fall I’d be in college

I smelled the corpses on my fingers when I took my smoke break
leaning against a warm brick wall facing the smooth white headless
mannequins in thousand-dollar shift dresses

The deli next door advertised organic toast and raisins on the vine

Mornings, I tried to learn from eyeliner
and shimmer on faces near mine on the train

Warm fogged imprint on a metal pole
where someone’s grip evaporated

Everyone looking down when someone walked through 
asking for help

At Evolution, talk radio played all day

A cool voice giving hourly updates
on the bombing of another city which it called
the conflict

The pinner in headphones sometimes hummed
or started a breathy lyric

“Selfish girl—

I watched my tweezers guide the poisonous exquisite
blue of morpho wings

Their legs like jointed eyelashes

False eyes on the grayling wingtips
to protect the true face

The monarch’s wings like fire
pouring through a lattice

Copyright © 2020 by Margaret Ross.
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 22, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.


'Human dignity'

is cosmetic:
something we make up
out of arrogance.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Another caption in execrable taste.


Sitting on a dildo, high on cannabis wafers,
'No African-American kid's dick is too big for me to swallow.'

Monday, 19 October 2020

Those Damned Cartoons

originally posted in the North-Jute newspaper Jyllands-Posten
are still causing havoc. - most recently the beheading of a secular schoolteacher
near Paris.

(this is not one of the Danish cartoons)

Until yesterday I had not seen any of the offending six cartoons.

Here they are.

I don't think any of them is particularly blasphemous
nor particularly funny.

It seems that the cartoon which caused the most offence
was the one about the failure or rupture of the supply-chain of virgins in Paradise.

The deeply offensive myth of the 72 Virgins offered to the pious male
after death derives from a Hadith composed either by

Al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī (Arabic: الحكيم الترمذي‎; (The Sage of Termez) or

Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn ʿĪsā as-Sulamī aḍ-Ḍarīr al-Būghī at-Tirmidhī
(Arabic: أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى السلمي الضرير البوغي الترمذي‎; Persian: ترمذی‎, Termezī; 824 – 9 October 892 CE / 209 - 279 AH),
often referred to as Imām al-Termezī/Tirmidhī. He was a Persian of Arab descent belonging to the Banu Sulaym tribe, an Islamic scholar, and collector of Hadith who hailed from Termez (in present-day Uzbekistan).

Jokes amongst Muslims about this ridiculous Hadith must date from at least the eleventh century.
Cartoons about the beheading of journalists, cartoonists or teachers may now seem to be in poor taste
but will probably not incite further beheadings.

But this one might:


The caption below this superb painting by Bellini
could get me death threats from the crazy 'Christian Right',
but, fortunately, Freedom of Speech by millions means that
only ten people read my blog, none of them (so far as I know)
from the Raving Right (or the Loony Left).
I don't think that Jyllands-Posten , The Onion, 
or even Private Eye would print it,
nor any schoolteacher parade it, as an amusing example of
our cherished and much-vaunted Freedom of Expression.

Simeon:  I enjoyed you when you were a virgin; 
I look forward to enjoying your son. 

We need to talk about Education.

To suck an ecclesiastic cock
(as unpleasant as the meat
in school dinners I was forced to eat)
might not be more abusive to the child
than swallowing catechismic junk,

and considerably less than being forced
to be right-handed - with the ensuing
physical and emotional confusion,
the utter unacceptability of eating
with the same hand that wipes your arse.

Attending to a teacher's dripping dick
would have been for me much less unpleasant,
outrageous, and problematic
than years of forced cross-country runs
and rugby in the rain and mud,
mind-twisting nationalistic 'history' lessons
and the sheer misery of mathematics.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Joey - In Memoriam.

I always hated to see animals in cages,
so when I was given a budgerigar (rather than the dog I wanted)
I used to take him out in warm weather
to perch and preen and fly among the apple trees.
He would come back into his cage and await another outing.
But eventually, inevitably one afternoon he flew away,
never to return.
That was seventy years ago today.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

The Mummy Industry - an insight into early modern Christian Europe.

"For most of the history of European collection of mummies,
the primary thing Europeans did with them was grind them up...
mummies were considered a [beneficial] drug."

read on >

'Mummy-juice' as a 'cure' for Covid-19 ?
Maybe better and much rarer, nobler than beef extract...
Cannibalism will always attract.

see also 
Sugg, Richard, 2011, Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The history of corpse medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians, (Routledge). 

Friday, 16 October 2020

An Enema of the People

found Covid in tap-water.
She's now dead
and so is her daughter.

On Death and Dying.

My neighbour Josette
who is 'three years my junior'
and has various ailments
says that what keeps her going
is curiosity about how things will turn out.

Of course 'things' are not cakes or crème brulée,
but keep on developing, fracturing, metamorphosing.
As for me, too, death is not dreadful at all.
My dread has always been our dreadfulness
and our malignant machinations;
that dread will die with me.

What worries me unduly is the prelude to the Great Release
from life's prison, the gradual incapacity, maybe pain - or worse.
Like Josette (and many) I'd like to exit suddenly:
a massive stroke or heart-attack (preferably in bed),
or even blown by bomb-blast into smithereens.
Meantime, in the freezer, I store The Other Means.

In many human cultures, for example Austria-Hungary
before the First World War, suicide was a respected act.
'The grieving relatives' were expected to get over it.
(I often wonder if the Wrong Side won that war.)

if I were incapacitated (for example) by a partial stroke,
being a superannuated loner, with no relatives,
I'd be quite happy for the underpaid to give me morphine,
empty my bed-pan re-fit the catheter
(my morphine experience - while I listened to a surgeon saw off
the head of my femur - was wonderful)...

...except that I am too aware of the huge financial
and environmental cost
of keeping millions of people alive just for the doctrinal sake of it -
while slaughtering other people and animals
with horrible abandon -

except that food in French hospitals is vile and meaty,
no salads, no satisfaction let alone joie de vivre in eating it.
And if I were to be sent home
with underpaid carers to pop in and out, to do this and that
with catheters and needles,
I'd get similarly vile reheated meals delivered by a van.
In that case, I'd still have The Other Means
and probably manage to employ it.
But  I must remind myself
that very few of us suddenly become completely incapacitated
or fall into a coma. (NE PAS RÉANIMER* will shortly
be tattooed on my belly by the sexy inker just 3 minutes from my door.)

For millennia (despite the Christian and Muslim claim that Death
held no horrors for their kind of Believer)
it was the prospect of a gruesome Afterlife
which was so dreadful.  People did not live so long
nor die protractedly. Now, more and more of us
have no fear of a mediæval Hell.
We, in our moral decadence, just want to leave this life
unsufferingly, neatly, unbothered and untubed,
and, like ancient Greeks and Romans, well.


Wednesday, 14 October 2020

A las cuatro y media de la mañana

At half past four in the morning
for millions
comes to pass
not arrest by the police
but the obligation to piss.

I cannot believe

that Black Souls Matter
to the racist, sexist, polyphobic
god of the whites' religion

but Black Minds
think differently

Tuesday, 13 October 2020


We are all victims
of history: hundreds and hundreds
of historical accidents
and unintended consequences
which have made not only our terrible, collapsing
human world and shrivelling Earth,
but you and me, accidents
(and maybe unintended consequences)
of sperm and egg and birth.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Word of the Day.


Interesting Anglo-Indian Words

current in English, from a longer Wikipedia list.

from bandhna (बांधना) to tie.
from bāngṛī बांगड़ी, a type of bracelet.
"Britain" (as a term of endearment among British troops stationed in Colonial India): from Hindi-Urdu vilāyatī (विलायती, ولايتى) "foreign", ultimately from Arabo-Persian ولايتي "provincial, regional".
from बंगला banglA and Urdu بنگلہ banglA, literally, "(house) in the Bengal style"
from chītā, چیتا, चीता, meaning "variegated".
from 'chaṭnī', چٹنی ,चटनी, ultimately derived from full-infinitive word 'chāṭnā', چاٹنا ,चाटना, meaning 'to lick'.
from khāṭ, खाट, a bed.
from Dinghi, small boat, wherry-boat
Heavy denim* fabric, also referring to trousers made thereof, from Hindi डूंगरी (ḍūṅgrī, “coarse calico”), the name of a village.
[*Denim itself is an Anglo-French word describing the coarse Calico** fabric made in Nimes (de Nîmes) and used in North America to make Jeans, a word which comes from the French for Genoa: Gènes.
is a corruption of Calcutta (Kolkata), which produced a fabric which Wikipedia says is less coarse than denim...]
from Jagannath (Sanskritजगन्नाथ jagannātha), a form of Vishnu particularly worshipped at the Jagannath Temple, PuriOdisha where during Rath Yatra festival thousands of devotees pull three temple carts some 14m (45 feet) tall, weighing hundreds of tons through the streets. These carts seat three statues of the deities, meant to be two brothers and their sister for a 'stroll' outside after the ritual worship session. They are fed by thousands and thousands of worshipers with holy food, as if the icons were living. Early European visitors witnessed these festivals and returned with—possibly apocryphal—reports of religious fanatics committing suicide by throwing themselves under the wheels of the carts. So the word became a metaphor for something immense and unstoppable because of institutional or physical inertia; or impending catastrophe that is foreseeable yet virtually unavoidable because of such inertia.
from جنگل जंगल jangal of Persian origin, another word for wilderness or forest, which was borrowed from Sanskrit जङ्गल jaṅgala meaning "uncultivated land, desert."
from ख़ाकी khākī "of dust colour, dusty, grey", cf. Hindi ख़ाकी - Urdu خاکی [ultimately from Persian].
from Loot لوٹ लूट, meaning 'steal'. Robbery

and so on to:

from Hindi and Urdu, पैजामा (paijaamaa), meaning "leg garment", coined from Persian پاى "foot, leg" and جامه "garment" .
Derived from Hindustani chāmpo (चाँपो [tʃãːpoː]) (verb imperative, meaning "rub!"), dating to 1762.
from Thagi ठग,ٹھگ Thag in Hindi-Urdu,meaning "thief or con man".
possibly from Hindi ठीक है, बाबू (ṭhīk hai, bābū), meaning "it's all right, sir".
Toddy (also Hot toddy
from Tārī ताड़ी, juice of the palmyra palm.
from Urdu طوفان toofaan.[A cyclonic storm.
from Hindi baramdaa बरामदा, but ultimately from Portuguese.