Dingo the Dissident

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

Thursday 30 April 2020

For the last day or so

we have been hearing that Corona-virus deaths in the USA
outnumber American deaths in the Viêt-Nam war
(a quarter of a million).

Vietnamese deaths from that war, military, civilian and guerrilla
on both sides amount to well over three million. So,
Covid-19 has quite a way to go...

Wednesday 29 April 2020

If half the effort

devoted to 'conquering' The Virus in such haste
were to be applied to 'de-conquering'
the environment and mitigating climate-change,
we could say that we had matured a little
as a species.  Instead, the War against The Microbe
is filling up the world with yet more plastic waste.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Linguistic sexism.

When a man says
that a woman "has balls" or "is ballsy",
he is (or thinks he is) being complimentary.
Does any woman in any culture praise a man
by saying that he "has cunt,"
is "really uterine,"
"impressively vaginal" ?

Monday 27 April 2020

Mere reportage.

The lives of each under threat from Stalin,
Dmitri Shostakovich invited Anna Akhmatova to visit.
They spent just twenty silent minutes
in each other's company, which the great poet
described as 'wonderful'.
We have no opinion from the great composer
who hardly mentioned it.

Sunday 26 April 2020

Almost nobody patronised this village shop before The Virus came.

But it has had to close during Le Confinement.

The notice in the window gives thanks to the government
for its generous Closure Compensation of 188 euros/dollars.

It opened at the same time as an up-market Tattoo Parlour
just a hundred metres/yards away...

The café-restaurant de Lagardère is even closer.
A very famous (in France) late 19th century novel involved the Hunchback (Bossu)of Caylus and the Knight Lagardère...
                                 and there was a famous Anne, to wit:

Anne Claude de Tubières-Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de Caylus, marquis d'Esternay, baron de Bransac (Anne Claude Philippe; October 31, 1692 - September 5, 1765), French antiquarian, proto-archaeologist and man of letters, born in Paris. He was the eldest son of Lieutenant-General Anne de Tubières, comte de Caylus...

You will have gathered that the village where I live is...Caylus.

Heroes and cowards:

reversible labels
in mind-blinding fables.

Saturday 25 April 2020

My best friend

is on the Front-line of Dog-care
for his friend who is, at this difficult time,
on the Front-line of the War Against the Virus,
maybe injecting sufferers with bleach or Listerine.
I think he qualifies for a face-mask.
His Front-line friend could take him to a drive-in Face-mask Facility.
The dogs, being miniature Schnauzers,
are already charmingly disfigured - no: disguised.

Friday 24 April 2020

Soon it will be time for

Showdown at Dead Man's Gulch.

And the casinos must re-open to launder the drug-money
vital to the Great American Economy.

Thanks for the picture, Al.

Now I understand the rise and rise of Shopping Malls !

Temperatures in the USA can be as cold as in Siberia
and as hot and humid as equatorial Asia and North Australia
or as baking hot as the deserts of Arabia..
They offer a regulated, anthropophilous environment.

But this does not explain their popularity in temperate Europe.

(Don't bristle at the neologism above:
                    the French for a shopping-mall is...un shopping.)

Thursday 23 April 2020

The World

  Getting its Knickers/Panties in a Twist.

With acknowledgement and apologies to Jeff Muhs.

Swiss train-station toilets

cannot be used by people with dogs
(including chihuahuas in little bags or backpacks)
because people allergic to dogs
might want to use them.
Dogs are allowed on Swiss trains,
but station 'restrooms' are run by a different company.

Original post on MesOpinions.org :

Je voyage fréquemment pour mon travail et mon chien, un Chihuahua, m'accompagne partout. Récemment, je n'ai pas eu accès aux toilettes payantes d'une gare suisse. On m'a dit que l'accès au local où se trouvent les toilettes est interdit aux chiens. On m'a dit que je devais laisser mon Chihuahua ( qui était dans un sac ) dans le couloir passant de la gare, à l'extérieur des locaux. C'était ça ou pas d'accès aux toilettes. On ne me fournissait aucune solution. 
J'ai déposé une plainte à la Direction générale des CFF . On m'a contactée très gentillement pour me dire qu'il y a un risque d'allergie. Pas de réponse quant au fait que mon chien peut aussi causer une allergie dans le train où il est admis. 
On m'a dit que trop peu de clients sont concernés par ce problème. 

C'est la raison pour laquelle je propose aux propriétaires de chiens ou à ceux qui aiment les animaux de signer une pétition adressée aux CFF pour exiger qu'une personne seule avec son chien ait une solution qui lui donne accès aux WC.

Les français et les belges devraient signer aussi pour éviter que ce fonctionnement se généralise. 

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Misanthropic Nursery-rhymes

from the Militant Fait-Néant Anthropophobe's Almanack.

1. Notre-Dame is Burning Down

Notre-Dame is burning down, burning down, burning down
Let it burn down to the ground:
The best of Man is his ruins.

2. (to the tune of Ring-a-ring-a-rosies)

Covid-19 Virus
Surely not the direst
Cough-wheeze mild disease
Too few fall down.

(not even I, alas! - so far...)

Monday 20 April 2020

A contender

for the worst poem published in English
as read on (and transcribed from) the BBC this morning
by its distinguished author
Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate to Her Majesty the Queen of lots of
unfortunate countries.  It is called

but my title would be Bathos, Bathos, Bathos; Bla-bla-bla

The local cemetery is out of bounds,
entrance draped with a candy-striped helix
of incident-tape, chain and padlock
wreathing the gate.
We inch past on a path which flanks the hawthorn hedge,
exchange stares with an astronaut in a HazMat suit
and visor and mask and overshoes and white leather gloves
propped on his spade at an open grave;
the Universe breathless and muggy tonight,
a cold-blooded moon;
marooned villages under the hill,
a stagnant dusk that parts
to allow an ambulance through.

I have often said that poetry in English is dead.
Don't dig a grave for it.  Throw it in a plague-pit.

What you see

when you go through an airport
(especially an international one)
is the made-visible tip of the iceberg
of the Security State.
In a few years it will be able to read your thoughts
as you pass through 'Security'.
In a few more years, it will be able to
change your thoughts, your behaviour -
if by some accident of algorithm
it hasn't already done so.
Al-Qaeda did it an immense favour.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Another Liberation.

Now, for the first time,
people who like to 'have sex' wearing gas-masks
can come tripping triumphantly out of the closet.

Saturday 18 April 2020

The first cuckoo

this afternoon.
                          And surely not
snowflakes rising ... nor even the last
cherry petals ? 
                          No : shreds of styrofoam
blowing in the wind !

One of hundreds of examples

of French-English meaning-drift :

Early Modern French escamper
(to decamp, bugger off, fuck off)
gave English the word scamper
'to run or skip about briskly',
like a little lamb or puppy,
via the (English) noun scamp :
'a villain'.
A village near me in France is called Escamps,
maybe once a nest of cut-purses, swindlers, thieves, 
poachers, highwaymen - or refugees.

Friday 17 April 2020

After Ikkyū

Ikkyū  休宗純Ikkyū Sōjun, 1394–1481  一  [read more]

Cirrus caressing the sky.
Old man ejaculates alone.

Life by numbers. Long life.
Sequoias too.

torpid now nearly eighty I offer my little
hard turds to the Buddha

Avoiding shame.
What I say
and what I think are (I think I hope I think)
the same.

Flowers are silent
Silence is silent
My mind is a noisy flower with the corpses of insect-thoughts sticking to it

Half-dissolved gravestones
can, if you're desperate, be used for grinding coffee.

The painful path is beautiful
and leads to beautiful painless nothing

Memory is a bramble-patch
scratching your every thought
and producing drupelet scabs

Value-laden words
Dirt too is beautiful
and the spiral swirly flush of turds

Blind donkey stumbles over stones into walls and ditches
Pain, no words, no hope

just a drop in the ocean a neutral
drop in the bitter
ocean a tiny drop in
the viral soup

dog-shit can teach you more
than the writings of the holy wholly unholy
fakers of wisdom

I have never seen my brain

constant life constant death
the moon is so attractive

一 after Ikkyū   Anthony Weir  17th April 2020

(from www.beyond-the-pale.uk/zentags.htm)

Thursday 16 April 2020

Update on the panicdemic.

Since the beginning of March
over 45,000 pets in France
have been dumped
or otherwise abandoned.

Athlone, Hilversum, Helsinki, Moscow, Prague, Allouis, Oslo...

"When I was ten Mother had described me as 'having an interest in electronics'. In the September of 1977 I was going to college full time to further the interest that she described me as having had six years earlier.

In the parental house my interest in electronics did not get very far. As a decoration Mother had saved the glass that showed the radio stations on the radiogram that I used to idle my time with at the age of ten, when the rest of the radiogram was finally thrown out. I would gaze wistfully at that piece of painted glass with the radio stations on it and do very little else. It became yet another piece of useless bric-à-brac to cover the top of my bedside table like a forgotten part of a junk-shop window display."

- from Malcolm Walker's The Alien in the Attic.                            Read more >

Wednesday 15 April 2020

'The Banality of Evil'

Hannah Arendt's ear-catching and un-perspicacious phrase
has itself become banal.
It is less easy to condemn the banality of the aggressively comfortable
hypocrisy which allies itself to evil,
which oils and fuels the ancient machinery of evil everywhere,
including Israel.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

On reading John le Carré.

I love psychological
and political thrillers
(with a minimum of violence)
because, despite having read Dostoyevsky and Zola,
I have never had a clue about the inside of other human heads,
nor about what is and was "going on".

I was just 25 when I met a fairly frantic
conspiracy theorist, but even so
I judged people by the faces that I
was poor at reading.

It was only a week or so ago
that I wondered (my unwanted father being 'unknown')
if I had or have a half-sibling somewhere.

The two men and one woman I have been most close to
have African feet.  "Africans maintain
that we derive our spirits from our fathers
and our blood from our mothers,"
wrote John the Perspicacious.

Monday 13 April 2020

At the Airport.

The price of apparent safety
is the apparent loss of personality
- and sometimes the real loss
of something small and valuable
(if only sentimentally).

Sunday 12 April 2020

'Zero-sum game'

This term gets bandied about mystifyingly,
usually by unpleasant people.
I looked it up on Wikipedia
and am none the wiser.
Does it mean Winner Takes All ?
If so, why not say so ?
A game to me is a kind of play,
not a nasty competition
which finishes with winners and losers.
Death recognises neither - nor anything.
Is it a 'zero-sum game' in non-existence ?

Saturday 11 April 2020

Stupid Middle-aged Yellow Men.

If the Chinese had had the wit
and the good will to close
all their international airports
at the end of December, there would have been
no panic-demic. Hindsight, of course,
is easier and much more glib than foresight.

Friday 10 April 2020

"Good Friday"

The Cardinal-Archbishop of Westminster
told us on the radio this morning
that Jesus died of asphyxia on the cross,
not even considering a heart-attack,
tetanus, dehydration, battery, lack of food,
a combination of some or all of these - plus
of course, hematohidrosis and loss of blood...

I'm glad I failed

to do so many things,
to be as others wanted,
I'm glad
that I declined some invitations,
left early, failed to cope
with certain situations,
I took the earlier bus*,
didn't take someone's advice.

I'm glad I never had a job or wife or child,
brother, sister, father or grandfather;
I'm glad I was for so long immature
and challenging and wild;
I'm glad I kept away from hypocrites
and never myself pretended to be what
I was not and never could have been.

I'm glad I live alone
in what I (but rampant consumers would not)
consider to be considerable, unearned luxury.
I'm glad that I am glad to be such
a quiet, self-motivating, unconsidered parasite
within a culture and a horribly-parasitic species I'm ashamed of.

I hope that I do not 'protest too much'.

*Had I taken my usual bus on Bloody Friday 1972,
I would have been injured by an IRA bomb in the bus-station.

Thursday 9 April 2020


is just a pretty, loaded word
for narcissistic and religiose psychosis.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Tuesday 7 April 2020

One of the many Lists of Love.

Desire and lust (of course),
hastilude and jousting,
infatuation, adoration,
possession and possessiveness,
great fondness, heartsomeness,
lasciviousness, lechery,
control, concern,
romantic foolishness,
sensual-spiritual fun,
debauchery, insanity,
sentimentality, servitude,
escape, co-dependence,
tingling ecstasy,
pure empathy,
panic, hate, fear,
self-inflation, self-deflation,
sweet fondness,
affectionate toleration...

...and more...

Monday 6 April 2020

No country is too small to have a Gulag.

In Enver Hoxha's little "communist" Albania
(the size of Massachusetts)
a little group of "Enemies of The People"
was collectively sentenced
to 1,700 years' hard labour, exposure and starvation.

Sunday 5 April 2020

Johann Wolfgang von Gœthe

did not like humour.
He thought it beyond infra dig,
hateful.  Maybe in his early life
the only humour he encountered
was 'dirty jokes' - which indeed
are utterly hateful. 
And so  the sadly sententious von Gœthe
missed out on irony, and the ridiculous...

...which is also missing from the Grimm brothers'
Märchen or 'fairy tales',
many of which date from the Thirty Years' War,
when famine was so universal that wolves
actually did raid villages for what they could find -
food-scraps, shit or abandoned babies.

Saturday 4 April 2020

I have already mentioned

that in Istanbul there is an old and Ottoman tradition
of being kind to dogs, especially on cold nights.

But I didn't say that Mehmet Ali Ağca,
the Turk who tried to assassinate the Pope in 1981,
now devotes himself to looking after dogs and cats 
in that ancient city of Byzantium.

Friday 3 April 2020

Bears and the 'Pandemic'

The hideous industry of draining bile from the ducts of live bears
- the profitable glory of Traditional Chinese Medicine -
encouraged by the Chinese government,
is doing very well out of Covid-19.

In Thailand, there are Bear Bars where there are bears in cages
hardly larger than themselves.
Stupid, evil people can go in and choose the bear whose bile
will be "milked" on-the-spot for them.

This sort of thing makes me hope that 100% of humans die
of something much worse, and far more agonising
and protracted than a flu virus.

Thursday 2 April 2020

Rough Cloth.

When my mother, despairing
of 'my future' pressured me to join the Air Force (!)
55 years ago,
I declined the opportunity to be an officer
and joined the ranks as a trainee interpreter.

This one of several unlikely futures
lasted just six weeks because of my insubordination.
I certainly was not made of  'military material'
though, being of slender build, looked well in a uniform.

Already anti-British,
I had looked forward to being a spy in a tie.

Things have come to a pretty pass

when the only semi-sane leader
is the dictator of Belarus !
Vodka and saunas are certainly more attractive
than silly surgical masks.