Dingo the Dissident

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

Friday 31 December 2021

Game of Thrones.

Almost the ultimate
in self-indulgent pointlessness :
the invention of fake languages
as real ones disappear.

Things we acquire

hollow us out
to clutter us up.

Wednesday 29 December 2021

The feeling of being useless.

Ever since St Paul
people in Christian cultures
have felt that they were close
to the world's end.
And so today.
And so we get
and so we spend.

So few kneel down and pray.

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Complicity and Impotence.

Dogs have to listen
almost all the time
to humans madly barking.

'Inspirational Quote'

We have (almost) all been loved
by somebody who's dead.

(Might be suitable for a graveyard gate...)

Monday 27 December 2021

There is something disconcerting

about a lot of sheeple laughing.

Not all Europeans were land-grabbers.

In a letter written in 1804 to New South Wales governor Philip King in Sydney, whom he had befriended, the French explorer Nicolas Baudin wrote:

“To my way of thinking, I have never been able to conceive that there was justice or even fairness on the part of Europeans in seizing, in the name of their governments, a land seen for the first time, when it is inhabited by men who have not always deserved the title of savages or cannibals.

“[I]t would be infinitely more glorious for your nation, as for mine, to mould for society the inhabitants of its own country over whom it has rights, rather than wishing to occupy itself with the improvement of those who are very far removed from it by beginning with seizing the soil which belongs to them and which saw their birth.” 

Saturday 25 December 2021

A Sugar Mountain

requires thousands
of lacerated and
traumatised slaves.
It results in addiction
and millions of rotten teeth.

Elephants are just as edible
as mammoths were,
but we are more delicious
and abundant.

People with big noses

photo by Almina Kaselis


amply illustrate the ugliness
(that some might call 'sublime catastrophe')
of Man's grotesque dominion.

Thursday 23 December 2021

A significant number

of children
do their fathers great disservice
by being born.

I was not one of them, I'm glad to say,
since my father, reportedly a British pilot
who was full of fun,
died in Iraq six months before my birth
in 1941. 

Keith the Thief: yet another cat story.

Kleptomania is a dreadful addiction
even in cats.

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Let us celebrate

every evening meal
as our funeral feast

- with succulent vegetables
and no raised-for-slaughter beast.

(In this way we would, at least,
give some respect to the food we eat
until we were deceased.)

It has been said often that

"There is more than one way
to skin a cat"
(read here 
about the cat-fur trade).

Dog-skins are also part
of the innocent-sounding garment-industry,
but I don't know if the farmed dogs are skinned alive.

Less painfully (for dogs),
leather gloves used to be
cured with dog-shit collected
for the purpose.

Thus we thrive.

Monday 20 December 2021

The ludic

is happily more than ludicrous,
but real play and playfulness
are bad for business.

Sunday 19 December 2021

In earlier less-feudal societies than ours

the monarch's fæces were examined every day
by doctors and astrologers.  The practice
probably continues, more scientifically, for presidents,
dictators, oligarchs, tycoons and royalty.
My stool today, some 22 cm (9 inches) in length
suggests a long life (alas!), and its firmness
is an erroneous indication of my continuing strength.

(Feudalism never disappeared,
but was exported to the European colonies.)

Saturday 18 December 2021

"In the Good Old Days"

servants ironed the master's shoelaces
(those of the ribbon type).
In the bad Nowadays only the super-rich
get such a service - with much more exacting
duties - from  slaves bought and brought
across seas and continents, far from home,
to be imprisoned in cubicles or basements
of mansions in London, Paris, New York,
Berlin, Dublin, Moscow, Rome...

Nero didn't fiddle

while Rome burned - but
modern rulers squabble over coal
and other combustibles.

Friday 17 December 2021

There is the 'particular,'

there is the group,
but there is no 'universal'.

One of the many
self-inflicted curses of humanity

is the strange, oppressive concept of


We say bee, cee, dee and ee - but not ped or ted or wed -

so why do the non-American anglos (and ze French) say zed ?

Thursday 16 December 2021


inspired by Georgios Seferiades (George Seferis)

Play just the notes, 

the melody (if any) -

for words muddy music.

Speak limpidly,

without accompaniment -

for music drowns words.

Animal Lodgings in the USA.

A cat-house
is where you find pussies.
A dog-house
is where you go to repent.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Somebody was talking on the radio today

about The Emotional Needs of Adults.
I would have thought that the definition of An Adult
is A person with few-to-no emotional needs
(of whom there are probably too few
in our ever-more-needy culture.)

This might be my only claim to Adulthood.


You can travel coast to coast in the USA,
"from sea to shining sea"
maybe three thousand miles
(depending on your route)
and encounter just one language.
You will be free to settle almost anywhere
outside a National Park as big
as some European nations.

Travel a similar distance - say from Amsterdam
or London to Tehran - and (depending on your route)
you will encounter at least ten languages,
cultures, cuisines, histories, border police...
but less weather
(no twisters or tornadoes), fewer species
(animal & vegetable), and no right to settle
unless you have money
and an advantageous passport.

A Curious Incident

 of a Bear in the night-time.

Tuesday 14 December 2021

"When you're in bed

you're dead," the dying Morrie Schwartz declared.
Not at all.   Bed can be a vibrant place
and almost heavenly when you're old
- especially when you feel the cold.

Moreover, most people seem to be half-dead
and semi-conscious even out of bed.

She boasted

about having passed more than 110 amendments
restricting the rights of foreigners.
During her term in office, she also passed a bill allowing for
confiscating of refugees’ assets to finance their care in Denmark.

read more >


ever since our brains enlarged
we've been in need of psychotherapy.

Monday 13 December 2021

The boy who put his finger in the dyke

(an American story published in 1865)

is no more ridiculous than the stories we tell ourselves
about mitigating or even relieving climate change.

A new noun

heard on the radio today: 
(an) uptip.

Sunday 12 December 2021


"A teacher affects eternity; he [!!!]
can never tell where his [!!!] influence stops."
 - Henry Adams

Teachers affect the future of humans - mostly for the worse.

Continuing Catholic Disarray (delights Pentecostals and Fundamentalists)

An Italian bishop has been made to recant
his declaration that Santa Claus doesn't exist
and that his costume was an advertising stunt
dreamed up by Coca-Cola,

while another (homophobic) one in Spain
has been forbidden to practise as a priest
due to Vatican disgust
at his marriage to an author of 'satanic erotica',
including The Hell of Gabriel’s Lust. 

An Anti-bowl.

Yesterday's art-bargain.

from the village advent-market
on the feast-day of St Daniel the Stylite.


Saturday 11 December 2021

Straight talking.

"Love is the only rational act of a lifetime,”
wrote Steven Levine.  

But the most rational act
is the employment of reason,

which allows us to observe that 'love'
covers a multitude of acts
including the most insensitive
as well as the most sensible,

and to dismiss Levine's
"absolute emptiness of things"
as irrational hysteria.

Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, 1991.

photo by Steve McCurry

Friday 10 December 2021

Planting only 'native' trees

during climate-change
is just another puritan stupidity.

On Dissidence.

"Non-conformism is more right-wing than left-wing,"
wrote Anne Pécresse, the centre-right (Gaullist)
presidential candidate in France.

I agree.

Indeed: socialism is essentially co-operative, consensual,
close-knit; and the desire for consensus and cohesion
leads to conformism (labelled 'solidarity') - just as
conformism unchallenged leads inexorably
to oligarchic or strong-man dictatorship.

Thursday 9 December 2021

The main reason why education

is the mass mental mutilation
that I mentioned in an earlier blog

is its transmission of false history,
its inculcation of convenient passivity,

and the adult reluctance to let young minds
think themselves out of and beyond the boxes
which have shrunk their expressivity.

The Other Pandemic

is just around the corner.
In This is how they tell me the world ends
Nicole Perlroth describes the lucrative
Zero-day Market in digital destruction,
internet sabotage, software for cyber-war.

Any bright teenager with a laptop
(let alone a powerful autocracy)
can shut down any internet-dependent
country that they choose.  And all countries
have become internet-dependent
for basic services.

Wednesday 8 December 2021

'The End.'

- A review of a (1997) BBC-2 television documentary
by October Films in which I took part. 
Click the picture to enlarge.

I uploaded the film itself to YouTube.

For hundreds of years,

until the rise of nation-states, European monasteries
operated a kind of trans-national welfare network,
employing the poor and disabled and offering
doctrinal education to the talented.

Men were employed in farmyards, workshops,
fields, gardens and construction.
Women were mainly restricted to 'feminine' activities
in convents and nunneries. 
Thus were many serious social issues solved -
no bureaucracy involved.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Te Absolvo.

"My dark child, when you came to see me last week
you gave Dark Brother Percy great comfort."

"Yes, Father."

"Now he is sad and lonely again, and needs
a kiss and a cuddle, like we all do."

"Yes, Father."

"You remember how he wept pearly tears of joy
last time, after you comforted him in his loneliness ?"

"Yes, Father."

"So I want you to be a kind Christian to him again, my child,
and we both will show our gratitude."

"Yes, Father."

"So, I'll bring  Dark Brother Percy out again..."

An ill omen ?

 Today's Cloud Art
depicts a spiral depression
code-named Storm Barra
& centred on the unpatrolled border
between the Irish Republic
and Northern Ireland.

The Feast of Lupercal.

Yesterday I wrote a review of this wonderful book
for Goodreads...

Monday 6 December 2021



Two Small 'Pandemic Thoughts'.

 1. I suddenly realised the other day
that the endless reporting of the endless pandemic
is very like the daily radio reports of World War Two -
except that they will be issued 'until the end of time'
and be more frequent - and less true.

 2. As the continuing and ineradicable disease
swirls around the world in its varying forms -
along with the devastation, misery and sorrow
of man-made climate-change -
governments buy arms, aircraft, missiles
'like there's no tomorrow'.

Sunday 5 December 2021

History repeats itself -

ever more poignantly.

The Palestinian Authority is
rather in the same position vis-à-vis the State of Israel
as the Council of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto
were towards the General Government area of Nazi-occupied Poland
from 1939 to 1945 - except that it will hang on longer
and not be eradicated by starvation, eviction and elimination,
but by attrition.

Saturday 4 December 2021

In 1941

Stalin revoked the Leninist principle
of free higher education for all. He thus
created a new aristocracy, the nomenklatura.

In 1941, the year that I was born, Belfast
suffered its only bombings by the Nazis,
hitting the house just 100 yards from mine
where CS Lewis lived before he moved to London.

The 1940s were, numerically speaking,
the worst-ever years for human beings :
the millions shipped in cattle-cars
Eastwards to their deaths, the millions
killed by Nazis on the Russian Front,
the millions of Russians, Germans, Ukrainians
killed by Stalin, the thousands of surviving Jews
who fled renewed pogroms in Poland
or shipped themselves South to Mediterranean
and Black Sea ports on their way to Palestine
(stopping off in British camps on Cyprus),
the hundreds of thousands killed by British, German
and American bombs, the devastated cities,
the millions of South Asians in what was British India
fleeing the new India or the new Pakistan,
many of them slaughtered, the hundreds of thousands
of Chinese and Koreans killed by the Japanese,
and hundreds of thousands more killed by famine,
the Indonesians massacred first by Japanese and then the Dutch,
the bombs on Hiroshima and on Nagasaki...and so on,
while I in a bigoted and slumbering suburb of Belfast was aware
of none of it, not even of the celebrations to end the wars,
nor, of course, the Irish Free State more quietly 
becoming a Republic in 1948 than Trinidad and Tobago
this week - though, strangely,
I think that I remember Czechoslovakia,
much less quietly, becoming a 'Soviet Satellite'.


(or satellite) art :
yesterday's weather-systems
over Western Europe.

A big depression comes in from the Atlantic.
Most of Europe is covered by cloud.

Friday 3 December 2021


is the curse of the human mind.
It leads to 'tunnel vision' and
socially-acceptable forms of schizophrenia.

It is better

to be annulled by death
than by life.

Thursday 2 December 2021

Snakes and Ladders,

a British board-game of chance adapted from
an early Indian game, had lost its moralistic
overtones by the time I played it in the 1940s.
But in 1943 the game was introduced to the USA
from Canada with its moral tones restored -
but under the name of Chutes and Ladders,
since, it was said, children did not like the snakes,
which had originally represented sins or vices,
while ladders had represented good acts
leading up to Heaven.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

I had always thought

that the dozens of lost plays
by Sophocles and Euripedes,
along with hundreds of works by other ancient authors,
were destroyed with the Great Library of Alexandria.
But no!  They were looted by the Venetians
when they sacked Constantinople with great glee
at the height of the infamous and appalling
Fourth Crusade of 1204 A.D.

The Eastern Mediterranean after the sack of Constantinople.

Never trust

an optimist.

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Mute Inglorious Shakespeares*.

No matter how perspicacious they may be,
quotations come
only from the famous -
no matter how banal they be.

*Milton is much less quoted.


dogs, donkeys, etc. are generally
more robust than the animals we breed specially
for appearance or performance
(though not for har.diness).  But we mongrel*
humans seem to become less and less robust
and more and more prone to new and rare
conditions and diseases
the more that we keep on breeding
and getting more voluminous and bigger.

Go figure.

* mongrel is closely related to mingle.

Monday 29 November 2021

On Polygamy.

Men are generally
better fathers than husbands.

Men are generally
better servicers than husbands.

is generally unfair to women.

We should get used to the idea.

If we live in a culture
we're part of a cult.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Sex is like jam

or yogurt, or many other products
on a supermarket shelf :
ff you don't like what's on offer
you can make it yourself.


is the idea
of the ideal.

Saturday 27 November 2021

For me, the whole point

of same-sex relationships
is that they do not ape
conventional 'engagements' and marriage,
do not require promises of sexual fidelity,
and, most importantly, are as honest and transparent
as they are, inevitably, in the natural world.

Language is the cause of immeasurable misery.

The English language is rather short

of user-friendly, wholesome words
for uro-genital-anal organs of the body.

But I was reminded the other day of the word
todger, a more grown-up word than willy
and more affectionate than dick.

My dictionary gives no etymology,
but it rhymes with bodger, a travelling man
who made (bodged) and sold
useful items mostly from beech wood.

All bodgers have todgers,
and almost all reavers -
but only half of all badgers
and beavers.

Note: neither of these furry creatures
will accept lodgers.  

Friday 26 November 2021

After Marx.

With mass consumerisation
came commodification, then globalisation
followed by the monetisation
and weaponisation of everything
from the ocean bed to outer space,
and the infantilisation
of the whole human race.

Not hung-up.

I was a boy who loved to hang things up.
With my friend Sam I would take pots and pans
from the kitchen and scullery out to the shed
in the garden where we would hang them
on nails and on hooks in an aesthetic manner.

I have no idea why.  We felt good in the shed.
All my life I have loved to hang things up.
In adolescence I was not hung up
about not hanging out, but hanging in
to read and listen to music.

I started painting so that I could hang pictures up.
My cellar (600 years old) has various paintings,
antique saws, bits of junk hanging up.

Today I hung up a hot-water-bottle in the pantry.

I'm an old man who still likes hanging things up.

Thursday 25 November 2021

I have been amazed

by accounts of my life
during the few years that I kept a diary.
I have a terrible memory, and even after
reading the diaries, forget what I did,
where I went, and some of the people I met. 
I can recall very little of childhood -
just a few incidents
and embarrassments lodged in my brain.
Nor do I remember my first erotic kiss,
my first fall from a bike or a sleigh,
the first time I camped out in the rain,
the first time I saw an alligator.
But this morning, 'out of the blue'
(or rather the black)
I suddenly remembered that, way back
- was it 1962 or later ? -
I asked if I might join the Queen's University
Poetry Group which included Northern Ireland's
future Nobel prizewinner and one or two
better poets than he - but was refused, because
I was not a student of English, but of Philosophy.

I am still effetely writing a sort-of-philosophical

Very truthful people

have few friends.
We tell more lies
than we realise.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

An intriguing headline.

 Is it OK to ghost on friends ?

On reading further,
I learned that to ghost on friends
means letting friendships drop -
particularly after covid-confinement.
This happens naturally as you get older
and conversation starts to ghost,
and you can no longer cope with small talk.
Old friends die off to become ghosts in your head,
and, especially if you move far away,
more recent ones ghost on you and don't care
whether you're alive or dead.

Capitalism and Religion.

Sheeple are the muscles
of the slowly-cooking leg
of the Lamb of God.

Stories are not the same as communication.

Perhaps it is because of speech, writing, printing, telephone,
internet and all the expensive paraphernalia* of interaction
that human beings communicate less well than dogs -
perhaps less well than trees (though a bit better than logs)
- because our fear of communion and connection
is as great and as species-specific as our fear of the unknown.

*Paraphernalia originally meant the private goods of a bride
distinct from her dowry.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Monday 22 November 2021

Two Quotations.

Sometimes, even to live is an act of courage.
- Seneca

La vie n'est pas pour tout le monde.
Life is not for everyone.
- Romain Gary, in La Vie devant nous

To appreciate this sculpture properly,

 read the story behind it.

photo by Mark Wilkins

photo by Mark Wilkins

Totalitarianism of Taste ?

Few are the voices raised
against mass-stupefying Hit-music
and its crude, abusive culture
blared around the world.
Mine probably sounds crazed.

Sunday 21 November 2021

I am a healthy

and comfortable Home
for Retired Semen.


is a strange and slippery word.
I am trying to think of men that I would call
quiet, non-assertive, not narcissistic, capable, 
principled but not dogmatic,
forbearing, utterly reliable,
protective but not inclined to smother...

The manliest (maybe the only manly)
person I have known was, in fact, my mother.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Forget Pyrrhus of Epirus.

The quintessential, the ultimate
Pyrrhic Victory has been won
by Man (and his excuses for nurture)
against Nature.

Friday 19 November 2021

Artificial meat - at last

has been created...which actually tastes like meat:
artificial beef can easily be distinguished from artificial lamb,
artificial pork tastes thoroughly like pork.

So will we soon even be able to eat
artificial pangolin, artificial sucking-human,
without creature having been hurt ?


whether physical, sexual
emotional or intellectual
unsurprisingly induces anger
as well as fear - whose expression
incurs discouragement
if not penalty and suppression.

Thursday 18 November 2021

Though possibly less unwholesome

than religion, the elevation
of sport to cult offers only
a different stupefaction.

Baby-zombie bang-bang music
is just a different distraction.

I had never heard of him until yesterday.

Georg Lichtenberg wrote:

"Everything that matters in life flows through tubes." 

and many other aphorisms, including :

"There are very many people who read in order to prevent themselves from thinking."


This comes as no surprise

to anyone who suffered only slightly in the 1950s
at a totalitarian British private school.

Nazis created their elite schools on British model.

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Homage to Ivor Cutler.

Jellyfish are jointless.
People are pointless.

'Americans don't do irony.'

The country which - after Hiroshima and Nagasaki -
ensured democracy in Japan, West Germany, Taiwan,

went on to 'gun down' democracy in Guatemala,
prevent it in the former Belgian Congo,
and (helped by brown-nose Britain) overthrow it Iran,
set up a military dictatorship in South Korea.

I remember the Great Scare about Communist
'brainwashing' - just when the USA's
security agencies started a highly-successful
indoctrination of its whole population,
'master-minded' by Edward Bernays.

So it is not surprising that the United States
is considered 'less democratic' than several other countries
in what used to be called The Free World by Americans.

These include
the Nordic countries of course, Uruguay, Taiwan,
Ireland, Chile, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan...

and ranks 24th, among the 'flawed democracies'
just below France, but above Brazil, Botswana,
Belgium, the Baltic States - and not that far above Mongolia.


Tuesday 16 November 2021

Wells + Orwell.

have replaced our personalities
and infantilised us.
The cages of our minds do not unlock
but get ever smaller. 

After Covid-19 and Cop-26,

those who can afford it in the First World
which miscreated The World that's Not to Last
are moving gently and with ease
into the countryside because of pollution
and (the latest)(continuing) pandemic disease,
while, in the Third World, raped and pillaged by the First,
the desperate poor are moving fast
to slums in choked and choking cities, because
they and their impoverished land are cursed
by overgrazing, drought and loss of trees
or because of rising seas.

Monday 15 November 2021

Wild places

do not deteriorate,
but gardens do -
and outside the tropics
not into wild places
but dereliction.

No policy, no unity, no moral fibre.


Don't dare to give us '...your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...'

Hard of Hearing,

people mumbling or speaking too fast:
yesterday, I heard Xi Jing Ping
when what was said was Stephen King,
which made for a briefly-puzzling newscast.

Sunday 14 November 2021

Small Talk

It's not unusual at my stage of life :

a wave, a smile, a greeting
are as much as I want by way of
communication with others. Indeed,
friendly body-language is
as much as I (and probably they, too) need.

The Crime

which permits every other crime:



Saturday 13 November 2021

Knowing the Right People (at the right time).

I never cared for the vapid œuvre
of Giorgio de Chirico.
But I loved the titles -

The Nostalgia of the Infinite
The Soothsayer's Recompense
The Enigma of Arrival
The Uncertainty of the Poet
The Unhappiness of Departure
The Terrible Games
Colonial Mannequins
The Nostalgia of the Poet
The Sole Consolation...

- which were supplied by his friend
the poet Guillaume Apollinaire.

Wikipedia :

the great totalitarian American
monument to mediocrity,
every page the same, without quirk or humour,
presented like dead fish, lacking personality -
nothing stimulating or fresh -
it sits like a vast sub-educational tumour
policed by goon-bots: algorithms made flesh.

Friday 12 November 2021



(read about my own education here)

The Sanctity of Human Life.

Those who believe that The State should kill
(or freeze or starve)
large numbers of foreigners
- not in defence of their citizens' lives -
but of its 'sovereignty' and pride -
can hardly argue that 'human life is sacred'.
Every army is a machine of death.
The ultimate nation-state is a concentration-camp.

Thursday 11 November 2021

Since the Great Fake Enlightenment

our European education systems and prideful cultures
have programmed us to think that we are merely flawed
and can fix our infelicities, our problems, improve our species,
through Education, Science - and Applied Sociology.

The opposite has been the case.

Before the Great Enlightenment Scam
we were told that we were mere and abject victims of
Original Sin and could improve ourselves only
after death, and, before it, only through piety,
humility and Good Works (or acceptable hypocrisy).

Both these attitudes are piffle, codswallop, baloney,
cynical misinformation.
We are Freaks of Nature, organisms so perverse
that we are perhaps unparalleled in any universe.

"Police forces do not vanish,

they become security companies
serving those who can afford them."
 - John Gray (in the New Statesman 3/12/2001)

This is because Nation States created them to protect the rich,
and the rich have now dispensed with nation states.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Written on a hot day in June.*

Let me count the coldnesses:
the coldness that's in human eyes
even when lips are kissing;
the coldness in my brain when
I see that coldness;
the coldness always in my feet;
the coldness of money
and organisations, armies,
governments, cyborgs
and the internet; of our frozen intelligence,
the outer space of Man's ambition;
the coldness of abattoirs,
algorithms and morgues.

*Almost all my blogs are written and dated several months before they appear. The last ones will outlive me, perhaps by several months.

Freedom to, freedom from.

Women are free to play football

but are not free from the bloated

cosmetics industry.

Tuesday 9 November 2021

There is stress

that makes people ill
or unpleasant. 
And there's hospital-stress
which holds them in
suspended animation
until their limbo's termination.

Monday 8 November 2021

Sunday 7 November 2021

SUTH : my Simple Universal Theory of Humanity.

Most of most of us is fiction - probably.
Our 'communities' and nation-states
are notional, our true religions and our true friends
quite mythical, our lives directed and devoted
to ineptly hiding and dissembling,
and creating destructive, adolescent fictions
such as Romantic (or Spiritual) Eternal Love.

There is not much place in the world for those
who are handicapped by expecting 'transparency'
and simple openness in others,
rather than hoardings covered with slogans, tags
blatant lies and bland deceptions.

The truth may be that, despite congratulating themselves
on bring Social Animals, humans - albeit unconsciously -
mostly hate other humans. 
                                        Oh, how we treasure
the sublimated exceptions !

Echoing Greta Thunberg.

Environmental pledges

mean nothing to the kinds of people

who rip out hedges.

Saturday 6 November 2021

On the edge of the oyster,

under the sea, on a rock, a bamboo pole,
the root of a tree, a pebble, a tile or another shell,
its tooth-like but soft cilia swoosh water
over the bivalve’s gills. Its shells are open,
its muscles are relaxed. 

An hour passes;
the oyster has filtered food
from five litres of water.
It has registered the breaking of the waves:
it opens and closes according to the tides.
As a cargo ship sounds its horn
the open oyster shuts in fright.


Friday 5 November 2021

Raw humans

are best avoided.
But - gutted, filleted and cooked by
any of the arts -
they are acceptable in small pieces.

艾未未 Mr Wormwood

Chinese and joyfully unbowed by grief,
has written 1,000 Years of Joys and Sorrows.

His family name 艾 (ài) can be translated as wormwood,
whose silvery leaves are a cleaner of the liver.

His first name 未未  (wèi-wèi)
means different things when pronounced with different tones
(and written differently). 

Art is Coca-Cola.


The buddha of Modern Art ?

'Everything is art, everything is politics...'

Thursday 4 November 2021

The question which the absence

of any mention of the Pyramids
of Egypt in the Bible poses

is answered easily: very few Jews
had ever been there, not even Moses. 

The Oil Industry Trashes the Coal Industry.

I heard on the radio today
that coal provides less energy
(less than 20%)
than 'renewables' in the USA.

Wednesday 3 November 2021

The Anthropocene and the Plastisphere.

Plastic rafting : 

'Invasive species hitch rides on ocean litter.'

They always did, to some (small) extent -
on clumps of seaweed, for example. Or dead creatures.
More recently on ships or jetsam.
The good news is that the more this happens
the more the world will become
unsustainable for humans.


Dhe jetes i afrohet fundi.

(my first Albanian poem)


Ikë e ikë
 On and on
Kënga e mukës
 The same old tale:
Muri luan
 A wall may give way
Burri s'luan
 A man may not
Bota vuan
 The world suffers on



One Great Name for a Town.

Péter Márki-Zay, the challenger
to Orbán's corrupt and vengeful Hungarian plutocracy
is mayor of Hódmezővásárhely -
also known as Вашархељ, Ionești and Vašrelj.

is much harder to pronounce and spell.

Tuesday 2 November 2021


I heard a 'poet' say on the radio

I'm trying to get
on the Front Line
of my Own Humanity.


Scary Iceberg.

 Part of a Cop-26 project by Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter.

It's obvious, really.

The cold

run the world,

which is why

it is overheating.

Monday 1 November 2021

Women further victimised

 - possibly by each other.
It seems that there is no agreed measurement
for breast-supporting apparel*.
Cup-size has no relation to actual volume,
but to the difference between girth below the breasts
and the girth across them.  This could be quite small,
so that a well-built or voluminous woman with large breasts
might require a "B-cup"
while a skeletal woman with average breasts
could claim to be "D-cup" or more.
They now go as 'high' as G.
Moreover, these so-called sizes vary
from country to country.

Thus the fifty-year old rumour that most women
are wearing the wrong size of 'bra' or brassière*
is quite true, as you might now have guessed.

It is much simpler for men.  Since I was 20
I have had a 30" waist, 32" leg
and a pathetic weakling's 36" chest.

*Brassière in French means 'vest/undershirt'.
Down-to-earth Danish has brystholder (breast-holder)
for which the French is soutien-gorge (throat-support).

Go figure! 

Still wearing the socks my mother knitted 30 years ago.

'Waste is a Category Error'
upon which consumerist economies depend.
I belong to the category of folk
who save plastic bags, lengths of string,
adapt, re-use and mend.

Note: 80% of all new products are junked within 6 months.

On watching a film about the 'Ndrangheta.

Families breed enmity.
Monogamy breeds whores.
As long as there are families
there will be wars.

especially gang-machismo,
is horribly-perverted homosexuality.

Sunday 31 October 2021

At the end,

as at the end of Mr Lowell's poem,
there will be - mainly - savage servility.
As for me, a tame resistance
is the spoiled best of my ability.

On the (All Hallows) Eve of the COP-26 Jamboree in Scotland.

The least-harmful humans

are those that are stillborn

and will never water a front lawn -

for with every human birth

comes more devastation of the earth.

Saturday 30 October 2021

An Exhibition

of Happiness will be held
where grave-diggers weep
at the Metropolitan Abattoir
for Silly* Sheep. 

*In its original sense of 'defenceless'.

"Only two pages

of Luxembourg Prime Minister’s university thesis were not plagiarised."

It is unlikely that many care.

I was refused a degree because every one of my 9 papers on the philosophy of Schopenhauer was considered to be an adolescent, quasi-Nietzschean rant against Western philosophy in general.
My professor, Bryce Gallie, actually came to my delightful rural home (no electricity, no hot water, no indoor lavatory, beautiful dog) to express his regrets.  I had to comfort him and cheer him up - because I never had the slightest wish to obtain a degree.  I did a 3-year course in philosophy in order to become wiser, not to qualify myself for a job in mind-smothering academe.

As a result, George Zarnecki of the Courtauld Institute was very sorry, some years later, that he could not offer me a doctorate for my original work and fieldwork (mostly funded by my travel-loving mother, since I was, of course, happily unemployed) on 'marginal' romanesque and later mediæval sculptures.  I didn't mind at all.  I awarded myself the doctorate but almost never mentioned it. Not a single paragraph of my thesis* (sadly reduced by a 'respectable' publisher to a badly-illustrated book) has been plagiarised.  That book is now way out of print and has been superseded by a website and pdf.- which have, of course, been rifled for their photos.  

*The Iconography of Exhibitionism in Western European Medieval Sculpture.

Friday 29 October 2021

When the Disney Democracy,

the meritoxicocracy of America,
falls apart, I will suggest a new national anthem
for the northern and western republic:
Strange Fruit.


It is very sad that the wonderful song
John Brown's Body (which I learned as a small child in Belfast)
was turned into the hideous, triumphalist Battle Hymn of the Republic
(which I learned later in my sickly underclass-battering school)
by a well-meaning, sickly-pietist honky-woman:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
         While God is marching on.

There is, of course, no freedom without equality,
not to mention fraternity.

Thursday 28 October 2021

The medical-pharmaceutical industry

is not so much extending some human lives
as stressfully attenuating many human deaths.

And death is what saves us
from the horror of eternal life.


is always much worse
than we are allowed to see
even by The Guardian,
The Washington Post
or the BBC.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Male Orthodox Jews

wear big black hats
which are as intimidating to me
as military headgear. 

Tuesday 26 October 2021

The good thing about dying

is that you are no longer
a reluctant human,
and are losing your 'sense of self'.

History's Roundabout.

We seem to be back in the 1930s.

Fascism (although watered down)
is rising yet again all over Europe
- and in the USA. Nasty and corrupt dictatorships 
rule far and wide across the world.

In the 1930s
people like me were aghast at
the terrible, stoppable rise of demagogues
backed by big businesses,
at the weakness and ineptitude of politicians
in quasi-democratic countries.
There was a widespread feeling
that another world war was coming or inevitable.
But they didn't foresee just how terrible it would be,
nor could they imagine the atomic bomb.

Since it was dropped we have poisoned the world
for our comfort. This time round the wars will be many
and long and appalling and linked to unstoppable
changes in climate and movements of people. 

Few of us realise that if the poisoning stopped tomorrow
the world would keep on warming, the oceans keep on rising
for centuries, if not millennia to come.

Only 'Apocalypse-mongers, Doomsdayers' like me
realise - or much care - that the tipping-point
has passed already in the brief period of the Anthropocene,
our short and bloody, vicious anthropo-obscenity.

The raving Revelations of St John were not so ludicrous and wrong -
except that there will be no second coming of a saviour,
and, because of a quirk of evolution
all the rough beasts will have long since gone.

With every successful human birth
yet more destruction of the earth.

Forensic details here:

On the Shortness of Life, 49 CE, by Seneca.

'We actually live only a small part of our lives.
All the rest isn't life but the mindless filling of time.'

I will be 'outlived by' the socks I'm wearing,
which my mother knitted me six years before she died.

Monday 25 October 2021

Corruption begins

with the desire to do well.

Three Cheers for Netflix !

Beneath the load of shit
they serve up to 'brainwashed' proletariats
and lumpenbourgeoisies
of the 77-year old Fourth Reich,
they sneak in excellent films from Romania,
Argentina, Iceland, Italy...and terrific documentaries
like this German one (may not be available in the USA).
(The subtitles are unusually good.)

Saturday 23 October 2021

The Miasma of Facebook.

So much rumour,
so little humour -

or, to put it more bluntly -

so much shit,
so little wit.

Thursday 21 October 2021

Armies need opponents.

The bigger the army
the more dangerous the enemy.

The more police there are
the more criminals there turn out to be.

Scary Steven Pinker.

The Panglossian Professor Pinker defines Rationality
as The use of Reason to Achieve Goals...
which tells us much about the acclaimed author
and the assertive, aspirational, greedy
and aggressive culture that is so rationally
melting the poles.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

The Secret, the Truth and the Lie.

The Secret is that there are always other secrets.
The Truth is that there are always
further or older truths - and contradictions.
The Lie is that the secret is this
and the truth is that
and are here or there,
and that the Secret and the Truth
are anywhere.

Planet Earth : The Disaster Movie.

There was a moment
when cinema moved from merely imitating life
and life started imitating cinema.
Now we are all yawning or sleeping
or slinking our way through
the long, slow-motion disaster movie
into which we have turned the world.
And I feel guilty about drinking coffee.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

More males than females, of course.

There are serial rapists,
and there are monogamous rapists.

'Unique events that led

to civilisation mean its demise
could eliminate meaning in galaxy for ever,’
says idiot scientist in today's newspaper.

Never mind the amazing biodiversity
which tragically allowed human civilisation
to arise, prosper and destroy
the amazing biodiversity!

(It hardly needs pointing out that meaning is a silly abstract construct
of the overheating human brain.)

Monday 18 October 2021


like smiling
can be aggressive
or defensive
or automatic
or all three at once.

Recently overheard in an English classroom

by Michael Rosen

"He doesn't speak English, Miss.

He comes from the Congo, Miss.

I translate for you, Miss.

He says that the bad men kill his grandfather, Miss.

He says that the bad men kill his grandmother, Miss.

He says that the bad men kill his dad, Miss.

He says that the bad men kill his mum, Miss.

He doesn't know how he got here, Miss.

He can't say how he got here, Miss..."

Sunday 17 October 2021


not so long ago
wore shackles, anklets
or collars to signify their lack of status
if the colour of their skins was not enough.
Now, quasi-voluntary drones,
their multi-ethnic successors, much less tough,
must carry mobile phones. 

"Bag for Life"

If a plastic Bag for Life
lasts less than a month
in the countries of the rich
before being discarded
(because it doesn't look new
or has a stain or two)
we can deduce that - by the rich -
climate change is disregarded.

Saturday 16 October 2021

In praise of dandelions - and negritude.

Gardeners love exotic plants
and collect them from all over the world.
They are forever trying to suppress their native species -
dandelions, daisies, ground elder, brambles...

On the other hand, white gardeners tend not
to like exotic people from anywhere
(especially not richly-coloured ones).

In distant, former-colony Singapore, I read,
dandelions are not a 'weed',
but a glorious exotic species, tended carefully
and grown from carefully-imported and selected seed.

for Akala

Meaningless slogans.

 Liberty!  Equality!  Fraternity!

Liberty without equality
is tyranny.

Fraternity without equality
is hierarchy.

Hierarchy is essential
for capitalism.


Thus Spake Swami Vṛka.

Friday 15 October 2021

Resisters dispersed.

were Cathars
then Huguenots
then Luddites.

At the beginning of the 19th century
more soldiers were ordered to advance
against hand-weavers in England
than against Napoleon's armies in France.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Poor cows :

their udders grotesquely,
painfully enlarged by humans -
some of whose females seek similarly,
weirdly to enlarge their (empty) mammaries!

Wednesday 13 October 2021

European music

is totalitarian, subservient to a score.
All other musics are improvisational.
Yet Europe produced the doomed
liberal democracies. Might this be
a strange example of enantiodromia ?

Have a 'Sneak-Peek'

 at a poetic rebus...

Tuesday 12 October 2021

I have always disliked the frequently-quoted

& meretricious line from a popular song :
'Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.'
Does it mean that you're only free 
when you are without food or home or shoes,
and so must beg on the street or be
or be locked up or raped as a refugee -
which is no freedom at all ?
Or is it another way of saying
that freedom comes with your last breath
when you rise or fall
into heaven or nothingness -
that liberty is death ?

(Or am I just obtuse ?)

Monday 11 October 2021

It is a mistake

that many men make
to think of literary fiction
as frivolous or escapist.
On the contrary, it is often
a many-layered means of insight
into the racked complexities 
of human minds and cultures.
Good fiction is meta-truth
more penetrating than mere fact.

I am an Anne Tyler person.

 "Sometimes when he was dealing with people, he felt like he was operating one of those claw machines on a boardwalk, those shovel things with which you tried to scoop up a prize but the controls were too unwieldy and you worked at too great a remove."

- Anne Tyler, Redhead by the Side of the Road, 2020.

Sunday 10 October 2021

...but even if there were a plan
it would, at best, be no more than
tinkering at the edges of apocalypse.

(More likely: it would be concocted by
the powerfully stupid and insanely rich.)

Saturday 9 October 2021

Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Balkhī/Rūmī,

simply known as Rumi,
said :
Never appear to be what you are not.

Unfortunately, this is difficult for sheople
because it runs counter to the ethos of almost
every civilised society, where compulsory pretence
and hypocrisy soon turn childish authenticity
to adult slime and slick and rot.

Rūmī also said:
                  Religions are like candles,
useful for finding your way in the dark.

But now we have LED torches and electric light
- until we burn the world up in our childish spite.

One of the few certainties

in the Christian Gospels
is that Jesus had no interest at all
in Family Values.

Thursday 7 October 2021

Somebody must have said a long time ago

that stupidity
is an ingredient
of arrogance
and arrogance
breeds stupidity.

Dear Steven Pinker,

Regarding your latest, desperately upbeat book,
we are, unfortunately for the biosphere,
not 'rational beings'. We are cunning,
calculating, crisis-creating creatures,
who have not, by any stretch of the imagination
'made the world a better place'.

We use reason mostly for self-glorification,
destruction, denialism - and saving face.

Wednesday 6 October 2021

« Comparisons are odious. »

A big mistake
that most of us make
is to compare ourselves
constantly with others.

The deepest principle in human culture
is the craving to be appreciated.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

No-one ever told me that I was naive.

Indeed, I didn't realise it myself
until I was over seventy-five,
in fact nearly eighty.
Maybe they mistook my confident naivety
for a new kind of maturity.
Some may have simply decided
that my earnest innocence
should not be challenged or derided...

Monday 4 October 2021

Dear Human Sheeple,

I am a not-very-happy
changeling/prisoner on your planet.
Because of Covid and lack of transport
I have not been able to get back
to Cynotopia Minor.
But thanks for your financial support
during my compulsory sojourn.

Yours sincerely,


Canary Volcano.

They are saying that the countryside
has been destroyed by lava-flow -
but the countryside was ravaged
by humans long ago.

Sunday 3 October 2021

« Pablo Ruiz Picasso, you stand accused

of the dastardly crime of
Cultural Appropriation
from the late Paul Cézanne
and Juán Gris...» 

Nobody cares a bullock's fart.

Domestic strimmer,
deep-sea mining :
the war against the world
is not declining.

In a zero-sum struggle that nobody wins
we dump bits of the planet
in colour-coded bins.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Dodgy Questionnaires.

I recently volunteered to fill in a sociological questionnaire
with the typical 'tick the applicable box' questions.
Half-way through I was confronted with the question
Are you right-handed / left-handed / ambidextrous ?
I am none of these.  I am one of - possibly millions -
of people who were punished for being left-handed,
and, being right-handed in some tasks, left-handed in others,
can be defined as confused.
The stupid (and eminent and probably right-handed)
compiler of the questionnaire was evidently unaware
of this small - but important - demographic. 
I did not complete the questionnaire.  I wrote to its compiler
and received no reply. I conclude that the statistics
derived from box-ticking questionnaires are unreliable.

Friday 1 October 2021

Coming across the word 'gabble'

in a book I was reading on a train to Spain
(though I alighted at Toulouse)
it occurred to me that it may have come
from  ¿ Habla [español] ?
Indeed a similar word with the same meaning
entered Middle Dutch at the time of the Spanish
occupation of the southern low countries...
Babble comes from Babel and its many-tongued tower,
and Greeks called non-Greek speakers [ba-ba-] Barbaroi.

World War One song
(probably originating in Armentières in 1915)
Mademoiselle from Armentieres, parley-voo...

A World War 2 version of this began:
Two German officers crossed the Rhine, parley-voo
Two German officers crossed the Rhine
to fuck the women and drink the wine,
inky-pinky parley-voo.

from Wikipedia:
                            'Inky Pinky' was a Scottish children's name for parsnip and potato cakes, but it has been suggested that an onomatopoeic reference to the sound of bed-springs is a more likely soldier's ribald derivation.'

Another version has Inky-Dinky, which might be a jocular corruption of the German Ich denke.

Ich denke, also bin ich.