Dingo the Dissident

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

Friday 31 July 2020

During The Black Death

the shortage of priests
(on The Front Line of Mortality)
became so acute
that the confession of sins
could be made to anyone -
'even to a woman'.

Thursday 30 July 2020

Two First-names.

When I was young, in the nineteen-forties
many older people were called Queenie.
It was several decades later that I realised
that they were baptised Victoria.

The other week I learned
that the very English-sounding Jennifer
is simply a transcription
of the Dutch genever (juniper, gin)
which the Dutch king William III
encouraged the English population to make and drink
instead of Papist French brandy.

more on the introduction of gin to England >

Tuesday 28 July 2020


were not a Swiss invention
nor did they originate in the Black Forest.
But Orson Welles' unscripted
remarks about Switzerland
(in The Third Man)
are not quite so outrageous as I first thought :
no Swiss films come to mind...
although it didn't take me long to find a few -
my quick search did not come to naught.

some films-from-switzerland

Monday 27 July 2020

An oxymoron

is not the same as
a paradox or
a contradiction of terms.

The term Hospitality Industry
is self-flatteringly

Sunday 26 July 2020

No weasel

is as noxious

as weasel-words...

...and no woman

is as disheartening as
a two-faced - or worse, a three-faced - human.

photos by me taken at Corfu and Tuscania
are from my

Friday 24 July 2020

Thursday 23 July 2020

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Chthonic Powers.

Vladimir Putin,
president of the Russian Federation
has such a attractive personality
that he has been able to move Magnetic North
towards Siberia, its true Homeland.


Monday 20 July 2020

Another Note to Self.

When people ask me
that tedious, ritual question
How are you ?  (Not how are you, chum ?)
I must remember to answer:
I'm on the rather happy side of glum.

Sunday 19 July 2020

On Aristophanes' Myth of Love

in Plato's Symposium.

Our "other halves"
if not suppressed inside us
may well be truly other.

We don't have anything to guide us -
except our tendency to smother...

(This did not impress my stuffy tutor
in his stuffy room at my stuffy university
from which I dropped out in the early nineteen-sixties.)

Saturday 18 July 2020

"Needs the corners rubbed off." - School Report, 1954.

I knew the rules, of course,
but never understood them,
never realised that breaking them
made me resemble (to the rule-enforcers)
an unpredictable, unbroken horse.
And then there were the bullies and the teasers.

Friday 17 July 2020

Some people are paid

to count stars in the sky;
others are paid to name them -
as others were paid to name the galaxies they're in.
Why should people not be paid
to count and name the wrinkles in their skin ?

Thursday 16 July 2020

Creative Aphantasia.

How satisfying it would surely be,
like most people, to be able to conjure
even just a sexual fantasy;
or, better still, like so many splendid writers
to invent a story, a character, lines of dialogue.
I suffer from the limitation
of having almost no imagination.

Apparently, Normal People can imagine tastes and smells inside their heads.
Is this correct ?

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Two of a famous poet's most famous lines

were common currency before he published them.
Such irony!
Whatever you say, say nothin' !  was the 'mantra'
of working-class people (not just Catholics) in Belfast,
with reference to the unsympathetic, crass police.
Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests. I'll dig with it.
He digs with a pen was said long ago, in Irish,
of rural boys who worked in offices.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

There is a maggot

which can hatch in happiness -
the little worm of smugness
that turns contentment to conceit.

Monday 13 July 2020

When, prodded by my desperate mother

I signed up to train as an interpreter
I was led to believe that I would have some choice
in the language that I learned.
I wanted to learn a Middle Eastern language
- Arabic or Persian, even Turkish.
But I was told that I would have to
take instruction in Russian.  I refused.
Eventually I was discharged as
Psychologically Unsuitable for Service -
Though really it was Her Britannic Majesty's Air Force
that was structurally unsuitable for the likes of me.

Sunday 12 July 2020


Even in summer
my living-room sometimes smells
of Old Man.

Saturday 11 July 2020

More thoughts on the Curse of Religion.

A religion which is a series of inculcated
beliefs and duties is a kind of blasphemy.

When you think about it
God is food.  If you are a hunter-gatherer
God is the all-providing forest.
If you are a suburbanite or inner-city prisoner
God is the Ultimate Owner
of the supermarket chain you patronise:
Tesco, Walmart, Safeway/Albertsons, Carrefour, Lidl, Aldi...
any in your country that you care to name.

As you'll know from my five thousand eight hundred blogs, 
I'd rather worship Forest than a supermarket food-chain.

Americans bow down to their Starry-Stripey Flag as a Fetish.
Its upkeep costs very little.
The British seem to worship the largest employer in the world: The NHS
(their underfunded national health service which, 'at point of delivery',
is, to all, and even with respect to ambulances,
and like the Fire Service, entirely free).

The former should be revering their (underfunded) National Parks.
The latter their unrivalled, unparalleled, amazing, underfunded BBC.

(Two of the British Broadcasting Corporation's radio channels
have been my Cerebral-support System since 1963.)

Friday 10 July 2020

Zombie-created zombies.

If you go to
you will see an image of a person
which is not a photo of an actual person
but a computer-generated image.
Click on the refresh button of your browser
or wait two minutes
and the image will change
to another "fake person"
and another, and another, almost without end,
any of whom could become your Facebook Friend.

Thursday 9 July 2020

The Bear-garden.

The seeds of apples brought
from the Eden of the Western Himalaya
and sown in fertile places all the way to Europe
were from varieties chosen over centuries
by sweetness-loving bears.

The Russian for this creature -
медведь, medvyed,
means melissophile, honey-lover -
but it might just as well have been apple-eater.

Wednesday 8 July 2020

For much of my life

I have experienced a faint unease,
a feeling of being inappropriate
- not just socially - but existentially.
Will Self has felt this, too. He also
would like his 'consciousness to be
a reverie of landscape' if not landscape's reverie.

Tuesday 7 July 2020

St Edna of Tuamgraney (county Clare)

Asked by The Guardian what was her 'Comfort Read',
Her Irish Majesty, Edna O'Brien, replied
I do not read for comfort. I read to be quickened, enlightened and brought to the frontiers of feeling.

For many quite bright people, however, the quaint Old Testament is Comfort Reading...

Monday 6 July 2020

There is more art in nature

than in 'Art',
which is more a matter of attribution
than inspiration.

(I thought that there was a famous quotation:
there is more art in nature than nature in art -
but it seems I wrote it myself 50 years ago.)

Apparently*, more and more people are reading poetry.
That is because more and more poetry is pretentiously-expressed banality.

*that is to say - I heard it on the radio.

Pomacanthus imperator.  More here.

'Oil-bird'of the South Seas.

Sunday 5 July 2020

"Fish are nothing like us - except that they are sentient beings."

click to read on...

     Zhuangzi and Huizi were enjoying themselves on the bridge over the Hao River.
Zhuangzi said, "The minnows are darting about free and easy! This is how fish are happy."

     Huizi replied, "You are not a fish. How do you know that the fish are happy?"
Zhuangzi said, "You are not I. How do you know that I do not know that the fish are happy?"

     Huizi said, "I am not you, to be sure, so of course I don't know about you.
But you obviously are not a fish; so the case is complete that you do not know that the fish are happy."

     Zhuangzi said, "Let's go back to the beginning of this. You said, How do you know that the fish are happy; but in asking me this, you already knew that I know it.
I know it right here above the Hao."
— Zhuangzi, chapter 17 


high-pitched, nasal, artificial
and actually unclear
American women's voices
grate on my ear.

I have a gut-feeling that
this strange fashion-trend may be due
to an unconsciously white-racist reaction to deep and gorgeous,
chthonically-feminine Afro-American voices
such as those of Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.

On the other hand:


Saturday 4 July 2020

The Dissident Bible, chapter I, 1-4.

In the Beginning was Plenty,
and Plenty was Enough,
and Man knew it not.

And God whispered in Man's Inner Ear
and told him that he could reproduce at will
unlike the Beasts and the Lily of the Field.

But reproducing plentifully was not enough
and overpopulation befell Man's habitat
which he called, variously Eden, Atlantis, Shangri-la.

And so we spread and spread
(we would say advanced)
until we populated the Whole World
while Satan danced.

Friday 3 July 2020

Why I don’t write about George Floyd.

 a poem by Toi Derricotte

Because there is too much to say
Because I have nothing to say
Because I don’t know what to say
Because everything has been said
Because it hurts too much to say
What can I say what can I say
Something is stuck in my throat
Something is stuck like an apple
Something is stuck like a knife
Something is stuffed like a foot
Something is stuffed like a corpse

Copyright © 2020 by Toi Derricotte.
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 3, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

I have long been puzzled

by Christian attitudes to Death.
If it promises a soaring to Heaven why are Christians
so frightened of it ?  If it threatens a descent to roaring Hell
why don't they even try to live elegantly, generously, well ?
Why are they obsessed with living longer
instead of better ?  Why do they bleed the resources
of the polluted and denuded  planet
in expensively extending the lives
of people progressively incapacitated by their age
- not to mention their disjunction from modernity
their distance from enjoyment and delight ?
Why do they (at such expense!) seek quantity
and not quality of life ?
Why can't they view it as release ?
Why have Christians trashed the world so they
can live more richly, consume ever more
and die so spiritually deprived ?
I guess they don't believe in Heaven or in Humility
or in anything much beyond draining to the very dregs
their cups of acquisition,
beyond multiplying themselves
and the consumer-goods of Christmas and chocolate Easter eggs.

Thursday 2 July 2020

From the Ministry of Truth they came

to ask why they had not received my claim
to be a member of the Human Race.
I asked if I could choose - could I
for example apply to be a wolf ?
They said Don't waste our Time,
and if I didn't send in the requested claim
I'd be committing an Inhuman Crime
and would be expunged without a trace...
and if I did, and was successful,
I'd receive a New Improved Personality
and a more complaisant face.

Wednesday 1 July 2020


Note to Self :

Look for other IMPORTANT note to self.
(not this one: In every cloud
                       I see the souls of dogs.
It won't be another poem
or be numbered among my many thousand blogs.
Dispose of it.)