Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions, an uncommonplace-book from the Armpit of Diogenes, binge-thinker jottings since 2008 .

Thursday 31 May 2018

Human consciousness

seems to me so widespread
and so fragile
that it must have little depth.
It is only narrative.

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Not only is very little (in life)

as it seems,
but (moreover) very little
is as we deduce it to be.

Being wrong about most things throughout my life
hasn't stopped me going on being wrong
lurching from misapprehension to misunderstanding
until the very sweet end.

(It's best not to have opinions.)

Tuesday 29 May 2018


generally do not "collapse"
(the Spanish Empire is a notable exception)
but slowly decay
and/or dismantle themselves
like the French and British empires
which limp on today.
The "Collapse of the Roman Empire"
is piffle. It began to degenerate
even before it reached
it widest limits and strongest sway -
while Rome was still, in theory, a republic.
The Ottoman empire took at least
two centuries to wither away.
Ebb and flow and ebb are more the norm
than complete destruction by a storm.

Monday 28 May 2018

A Critique

Mind twists
and cannot untwist
and love is not
the most wonderful thing in the world.

Sunday 27 May 2018


Small smile in the sky:
the cosmos is amused by
the planet of pain.

Saturday 26 May 2018

Friday 25 May 2018

'Popular culture'

"... is not the spontaneous expression of the people,
but a profit-driven industry –
it robs us of our freedom
and bends us to conform to its needs for profit."

- Owen Hulatt writing about Adorno. here.

Adorno: "Every visit to the cinema leaves me, against all my vigilance, stupider and worse."
The world-stupefying American cinema was, of course, perpetrated by other Jews-in-exile than Adorno.

Capitalism has morphed from wage-slavery and child-exploitation
to cheap bad food and very cheap thought-smothering entertainment for all.
Panis et circenses...

Thursday 24 May 2018


rarely comes before old age,
even to Dalai Lamas,
and lamentably few old people are wise.
Wiseness has need of very little knowledge,
education, or other costly hoo-ha.
You say dayta and I say dahta.
but they don't stop us telling lies.

Wednesday 23 May 2018


is an 18th century English term
borrowed by Russians in the early 1960s
and soon exported
shortly after the Russian word
Samizdat (самиздат = self-publishing)
was sent around the world.

Dissidents in the USSR
showed that, there, in that post-Stalin circumstance,
"the pen is mightier than the sword".
Under the tyranny of consumer capitalism, however,
dissidents can be safely ignored.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

from "The Times" (London).

Juvenile offenders carried out
almost half of all sexual offences
recorded by the gardaí [Irish police] in 2016,
a report has found.

Go figure.

Monday 21 May 2018

Too many haikai

are depressingly precious,
especially when written in English,
which, unlike Japanese, Russian, Latin,
Estonian, Lithuanian, etc.
is a language with definite and indefinite articles.
But here is a homage to Issa:

From a far cuckoo
comes a disyllabic

Sunday 20 May 2018

A typical Facebook translation.

En France, plus de 120 000 personnes complètent leurs revenus en partageant leur logement sur Airbnb.
In France, more than 120 people complete their income by sharing their accommodation on Airbnb.

Saturday 19 May 2018

Friday 18 May 2018


is a function of property.
Without property-superiority
there would be no employment
- or slavery.

Thursday 17 May 2018

De combien est

le langage faux moins sociable que le silence.

Silence is much less anti-social than false words.

- Michel de Montaigne  (read more

Wednesday 16 May 2018

It has taken me most of my life

to be able to have pleasure
- even joy -
without wanting
the bonus
of sharing it.

Monday 14 May 2018

It is not often

that Ludwig van Beethoven is quoted.
He once said that, if he had known
he would go deaf, he would have been a painter.

Maybe better than Caspar David Friedrich,
or perhaps a dramatic fusion between him and Turner ?

Sunday 13 May 2018

My dog knows

that I appeared upon this Earth
mainly to make him happy.
He often seems to wish
that I could be better at it.

Saturday 12 May 2018

Tuesday 8 May 2018

« Кони привередливые »

A popular song of this quality
could never have come out of North America
or anywhere Anglophone -
though it might have come out of France or Germany.
In English it is perversely entitled
Capricious Horses, which is a typical translator's travesty
of the original Untamed, Unruly or possibly Heedless  Horses -
though, of course, in English, Heedless is too similar to Headless.
(Some translations crassly put Fastidious !)

Other translations of привередливые (priveredlivye) might be:
impetuous, ungovernable, uncontrolled...

Here is the song by the epic Vladimir Vysotsky,

who was a kind of cross between late Tom Waits and Amalia Rodrigues,
and one of the few great singer-songwriters such as Brel

and Brassens. (Piaf did not write the songs she sang so well.)

And here is my translation:


Next to infinity, along the cliff-edge,
I whip my wilful horses, urge them on...
I need some air, I'm gulping wind and fog,
and now in fatal rapture: I am leaving, I'm away...


Slow down, slow down a little, horses!
Slow down a little bit!
Ignore the painful lashes!
- But these horses are so unruly, and so headstrong,  -
and so little time remains to me...
I'll try to end my song...
I'll find water for my horses
and will stay a little longer on the edge.

I may die - and the wind will transport me,
And the sleigh will convey me through the morning snow.
Slow down, my wayward horses!  Slow down a little -
let me prolong my headlong ride into the void.

Slow down, O my horses! Slow down just a fraction!
Ignore the whip and the whipping..
- But I can't control my horses and I have so little time.
I won't finish my song,
I'll lead them to water, I will finish singing
and stay a little longer on the edge.

We're on time - any time is fine for the Creator.
- but why are those damned angels screaming so ?
Or is it just a harness-bell that's jangling ?
Or is it me just screeching vainly at my beasts ?

Slow down, slow down a bit, my horses,
Please stop this headlong gallop to our doom.
- But my horses are quite heedless...
If it's the end for me, let it not be the end of my song!
I'll lead them to water... I will finish my singing

and stay a little longer on the edge.

Monday 7 May 2018

The older I get

the more I realise
that "normality" is mere hysteria,
and "dementia" is nature-wise.

Sunday 6 May 2018

Looking for a source of

'Life is like a sewer. you get out of it what you put in,'
quoted by a commenter (commentator ?) on Tom Lehrer's
Copenhagen Concert on YouTube, I got this link.
Google takes you interesting places, accidentally.
But the quotation seems to be a translation of a Danish quip-proverb:
Livet er som en kloak, Man får det ud af det, man kommer I det.

(Jo, jeg kan læse dansk.)

Saturday 5 May 2018

Confession of a Beard-fetishist.

If only I had met a woman who looked like this

Harnaam Kaur

I would not have sought romance with men.

(But bearded women were rare (or made invisible)
in 1960s Belfast, and Sikhs even rarer.)

Friday 4 May 2018

My dog says:

Forget mindfulness.
Cultivate nosefulness.
(And don't forget furfulness.)

Wednesday 2 May 2018

That notorious quip

by Orson Welles, unscripted, in The Third Man
is doubly odious, because the cuckoo-clock
was not invented in Switzerland,
but in Germany, probably Bavaria,
and the first recorded one
was bought by the Holy Roman
Prince Elector August von Sachsen.