Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker here since 2008.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

An Early Anti-War and Anti-Waste Poem

(from the 17th century) :

Jack Sprat will eat no fat
and Jill doth love no leane,
And yet betwixt them both
they lick the dishes cleane.

Georgia O'Keeffe

is, allegedly, the only female painter
to fetch high prices in salerooms.

The appalling male painter, Georg Baselitz,
notoriously declared that
Women can't paint

Georgia O'Keeffe painted like a man ?

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

It is almost a truism

that firearms in 'peacetime'
(i.e. no situation of international
or intranational hostility)
tend to be carried
by men who fear challenges
to their assumed virility.

Weedy sea-dragon

or seedy weed-dragon
in its habitat of kelp, now
diminishing all over the world.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

When you're feeling low

don't be ashamed to visit youTube
and be uplifted by someone looking after
a geriatric bat 
or setting puzzles for
or having morning coffee with a crow.

And don't fail to read the comments!

Under the Cascade

of events which we have caused
it seems likely that
we were designed to fail
either by a nasty deity
or through overreaching evolution –
the origin's irrelevant.
And true to form we find it easier
to discover the origin of stars
than to investigate the source
of destructive and habitual human wilfulness.

And so we speed so heedlessly
the eventual Martianisation of the world.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Hypocritical Schadenfreude.

I have 'been right' about the collapse
of The Biosphere since around 1965
when I was 24. I won't live long enough
to suffer from the effects to which I am contributing
while still alive.

I drive
my thirty-year-old car once or twice a week
to markets and even to a supermarket, 
and a few months ago
shat on my scruples (feeling only a little less smug)
by taking a cheap flight to Morocco...
where I bought a rug.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

More than 20 million farm animals

A truck carrying pigs was tracked travelling for 32 hours non-stop
 in the US in August 2021 without the animals being unloaded.
Photograph: Hugo Borges


in the US alone
die on their way to abattoirs,
are condemned,
and have to be disposed of
'humanely ?'.

read more >

(If you can't be vegetarian, be cannibal.
 Fat white children under five are more succulent
 than tortured pig.)

'The world is too much with us',

Will Wordsworth in his limping sonnet wrote.  

But worse,
*we* are too much
(that is to say cut-throat
interfering) with the world :
a double curse.

Beside the rubble

a penny-farthing bicycle
without a saddle
in Bakhmut, Ukraine. 

photo by Bülent Kılıç

Today's Interesting Fact.

'An estimated 1.3 million' people in Britain
are part-time naturists, which is about
the same number as the membership
of the (Anglican, Episcopal) Church of England.

naturism-in-britain-is-booming >

Saturday, 6 August 2022

'Authentic' Tourism:

Choosing the ho[s]tel with bed-bugs.

(The only place I encountered bed-bugs was Amsterdam,
a particularly picturesque and soulless city.)

Trying to go up the down-escalator.

Until today I had assumed
that everyone had more or less
the same torrent of monologue
that I have in my head.

But some favoured people have none at all,
living serenely inside their brains,
rather than continually scrabbling like rats
to clamber out of sludge-blocked drains.

Friday, 5 August 2022

As cities grow bigger, the misery gets greater.

(It is obvious that
the more widespread and populous the civilisation,
the more widespread the waste, the pressure
and the stress, the impositions and the devastation.)

My contribution to the 'Abortion Issue'.

Think of abortion as sparing a foetus

the grinding awfulness

of being human...the continual consciousness

the shame...

A merciful release long before

the merciful release that death is

for those who have been born and lived

and had to answer to a name.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

A note on the Hindu caste-system.

For a Brahmin it is unclean
to clean,
which less-clean, lesser folk must do.
Such is human rationality :
absurd, tortured and torturing.

Nice one!


Little Yellow Aeroplanes.

All the flights in the world yesterday,
as shown by Flightradar 24.

I'm not sure about the blue ones...private jets ?

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Goodbye 'several'.

Rest in Peace.

I'm sorry that you have been replaced
by 'multiple', which I always thought
a noun, a mathematical term – as in
'four and two are multiples of eight.'

But I will not disown you;
I will stay faithful to 'many' or 'several'
which are now 'as caviar to the general'.

People who don't like Bandwagons

don't go anywhere.


Tuesday, 2 August 2022

My 'Goodreads' review

of Memorial, by Bryan Washington,
which featured in an edition of BBC World Service's Bookclub:

The British Sunday Times described this bleak book as 'tender, wistful and profound'.  I found it shallow and brutal.  The first (totally banal and stupid) of three epigraphs warns the reader: "Everybody, everywhere, is always talking about the same shitty thing."

This book is "a shitty thing".  The fæcal word occurs several times on almost every page, which gets a bit trying.  The book implies that (half-)educated queer Americans say 'shit' and 'fuck' (not to mention 'motherfucker') all the time.  If this is the case, it tells us all we need to know about the American education system.

There is no difference in tone or voice between the two main characters.  They are in a totally mechanistic relationship, emotionally anæsthetised and solipsistic.  Their homosexuality is anti-sensual and of the wham-bam penetrative kind, which does no service to queerness – though, since Gay Liberation, it certainly appears to have become more brutal. 

I found it both depressing and trivial, and something of a slur against queer men; many of us are holosensual rather than brusquely sodomitic.

Mr Washington should read some Jodi Picoult to learn how to write well and impart empathy into his narrative and his characters, rather than trying pathetically to emulate the dehydrated William Burroughs

I am not surprised that I found this book in a 'Remaindered'. pile of its own at quarter-price.  I am much less surprised that it is an "American Best-seller", some of which seem to be churned out of some Writers' Factory (maybe in China!).

"It's surprising how cheerful one can be

when one gives up hope."

Terence Rattigan, Separate Tables, part II.

Monday, 1 August 2022

Food for thought.

Chloral hydrate
often called merely 'chloral'
was the first manufactured hypnotic drug
(after the opiate laudanum, often referred to
merely as 'my drops') which could be taken orally.

It was widely used by the middle and upper classes
in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods
– and in 'Mental Institutions' up to World War Two.

Like most such drugs it is addictive,
but, according to Wikipedia,
'left patients much more refreshed after a deep sleep
than more recently invented sedatives.'

Women's Football.

The European obsession
with organised, competitive
(semi-totalitarian) sports
spreads like a pandemic.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Not the worst crime

that Russians autocrats have committed
is the Service à la Russe, of food in tedious courses
with a inordinate amount of cutlery.  It was introduced
by a Russian ambassador to France
when Napoleon was Emperor.

It boosted the restauration-trade flourishing in France
after the Revolution, when cooks no longer had
aristocrats to cook for and the bourgeoisie desired
some public luxury for the poor to watch
from beyond the windows of the restaurants
(as the starving gaze at TV cookery shows today
on mobile phones).

The serving of dishes consecutively à la Russe,
at first resisted, then became so stringent
and ridiculous in France that even today
hot food is rarely served with cold,
and a simple salad may well be served
as a separate course.

I prefer the Middle Eastern way of eating: the Mē
(originating from the Persian word mazzeh - مَزّه )

of several bowls or dishes to choose from
and eat in any order, like tapas,
but more various and larger.

Fifty years ago,

when I said that capitalism was inherently unsustainable
I was dismissed as a romantic pseudo-Marxist.
Which indeed I was and may still be. 

Saturday, 30 July 2022

Bitterness (Acerbitas),

strangely, was not included among the Eight (or Seven)
Deadly (or Capital) Sins.

Yet it is at least as destructive as Envy.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

In The Old Days,

when I had a childish faith in democracy,
I (middle-class drop-out) cast my vote
for Ireland's only Marxist party
which is tiny – though probably not because
The Great Karl's great bourgeois pal despised the Irish
and (like many in Britain
and the US at the time)
pronounced them barely human.

Engels wrote that they were a people "almost without civilisation" and with "rough, intemperate ways", with “a southern facile character,” living "in filth and in a state of drunkenness."  Afflicted by  “the idiocy of rural life”, they were an irredeemably backward people who would soon be submerged by the dynamics of industrial capitalism.

 “For work which requires long training or regular, pertinacious application, the dissolute, unsteady, drunken Irishman is on too low a plane.”

"The facile character of the Irishman, his crudity, which places him but little above the savage, his contempt for all humane enjoyments, in which is very crudeness makes him incapable of sharing, his filth and his poverty, all favour drunkenness."

The Condition of the Working Class in England.


Susan Shimanoff, a researcher
at San Francisco State University
discovered it was the most common
'negative' emotion,
and the second most common emotion
of any kind – after 'love'.

[In her sample of Americans.]


Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Zhuangzi on Ignorance.

“To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge.”

"When people do not ignore what they should ignore,
but ignore what they should not ignore – this is known as ignorance."

from The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu3rd century BCE.


aim to express the ineffable quality

and uniqueness of love's banality.

Tuesday, 26 July 2022

A Biblical Text

that I happened upon recently:

Paul's Epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verses 4-5
(a crisp modern translation)

Whoever is in authority is God’s servant for your good.
If you do wrong, be afraid,
for the State does not punish for no reason.
It is God’s servant,
His agent of punishment for criminal acts. 

So you must submit to the authorities,
not only because of possible penalties
but also as a matter of conscience.

Split personality, schizophrenic morality.

(or simple American Multiple Personality Disorder)

Republican representative went to son’s same-sex wedding
days after voting against equal marriage rights.

Monday, 25 July 2022

We all know it, but The System denies it.

“The petty thief is imprisoned
but the big thief becomes a Very Important Person.”

Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, 3rd century BCE.

“To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge.”

Don't mention the P-word

– especially not when Qs are around.

Although 'Monkeypox' is not an STD
it is, like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis-B,
greatly assisted in its spread by Pro***cuity.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

I don't think I could write a villanelle.

The very prospect causes me to blench.
I really can't write poems very well.

Maybe a drink would help – of fine Moselle...
This kind of poem's easier to write in French,
although there's lots of rhymes for 'villanelle'

in English. (Very good Moselle!
But I must keep struggling at the wordsmith-bench.)
 – What is that delicious thing I smell ?

It has undertones of caramel.
It can't be coming from that snooty wench
who said I don't write poems very well.

Is it from a kind of sweet quenelle ?
It's more attractive than the stench
that's coming from the body in the well

which has begun to bloat and swell
and rot like feet in a wartime trench.
(I really can't write poems at all well,

and definitely not a villanelle!)
Maybe I should start again in French.
Il y avait une chanteuse : Coccinelle,

a media sensation, I've heard tell –
on Wikipedia – a transgender wench...
I really can't write poems very well
and I'll never try no more to write a villanelle.


(As-tu lu The Scarlet Pimpernel ?
Nothing to do with pimprenelle in French...)

Dylan Thomas' macho 'Do not go gentle into that good night'
is a villanelle.  Several have been written by the great Wendy Cope.

"I want to surf the Zeitgeist

to where it's all happening."

– Liz Truss, likely to be next prime minster of the UK.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Buttering the Sky (after Hafiz* — حافظ)

Putting on my shoes

Boiling water

Toasting bread

Buttering the sky

Parcelling the rain:

that should be enough contact
with The Divine in just one day

to drive anyone


                               more >

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muhammad Ḥāfez-e Shīrāzī 

I daren't go out

to today's Medieval Fair in the village.
If caught without a smartphone,
I risk being burned as a heretic.

Friday, 22 July 2022

It has been a long process.

"There was no important reason for Mandalay's existence.
It never possessed a strategic or commercial importance,
and the whole district had had a detestable climate since,
centuries before, pious kings had cut down all the trees
to be used as fuel in brick-making for pagodas."

— Norman Lewis, Golden Earth, 1952

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

'Dehumanised' –

 if only I could be!

In Germany,

the proportion of people
who have resisted smartphones,
facebook, tik-tok, instagram and twitter

is much smaller than those
(mostly trade-unionists
and communists)
who resisted Hitler.


Forecasters of climate change
have not quite realised (or failed to tell us)
that it is not a simple linear progression.
Nor will it be exponential,
but somewhere in between –

some kind of fluctuating sequence
like the death-wriggles of a worm,
for which there is perhaps no algorithm
and for which I cannot invent a term.

Desertification: Surviving solitary Date-palm, Iraq.