Dingo the Dissident

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

Sunday 31 January 2021

Young Mr Yeats feels his belly rumble at Thoor Ballylee*.

I will arise and go now into the scullery,
and a small omelette cook there of magic mushrooms made.
Nine wines have I to choose from, and fresh stream-water free,
and a simple board with plate and damask laid...


Saturday 30 January 2021

A leaf

whose tree is now
paper flushed down a WC
is pressed between
my cerebral hemispheres
invisible to the doctor
or the undertaker.

One good thing about Covid

is that one no longer has
to pretend to be sociable.


Friday 29 January 2021

"I'm good"

 means No (I discovered today) in current American.
But "I'm bad" or "I'm not good" seem not to mean Yes.
In French Oui means Heard.. and in Irish 
there's no special word (adverb, particle, suffix, prefix or interjection) at all.
The word often pronounced (and in place-names transliterated)
 big (beag) in Irish...means small.

Irish pub: The Wee (small) House,

Being a half-pint pansy
I have rarely "been good" for a pint in a pub - or a hole in the wall.

Thursday 28 January 2021

There is a theory

(to which I must confess I'm drawn)
that pale people are obsessed
by skin-colour and 'race'
because they are projecting
their resentment of the beauty
of skins which are not wan.


is one of the less-recognised addictions -
more so since the arrival of Covid-19.

Wednesday 27 January 2021

It took me a lifetime

to learn that if I like the look
of someone, she or he
will not automatically
like the look of me.


 The twig trembles.
The bird has flown.
The twig is still.

Tuesday 26 January 2021

The 'Carbon Footprint'

of people who breed
is potentially, exponentially vast.
Get sterilised fast !

Monday 25 January 2021

It doesn't bode well...

As societies become more complex
people become more infantile.

A culture which thinks that this
is a poem hasn't much of a future.

Saturday 23 January 2021

Let us admire the Cock-eyed Squid

which has one large eye for looking up
and one small eye for looking down.


and the Odd Bobtail Squid, which shoots out
luminescent snot to confuse its predators.
Quite a clown!

Heteroteuthis dispar

Friday 22 January 2021

Confused Cascading Thought

before falling asleep in Caylus.

Tombes, alas!
is not French for falls.

Waterfall, Caylus

just as flies, indeed,
is not English
for vols.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

"Wordplay, playfulness, and humour

are the harbingers of truth. 
When you eliminate the possibility of playfulness, 
you remove the possibility of learning
- which leads to banality, brutality, and destruction."

- composed by Artificial Intelligence !
(But the rest is not so good...

However, the Church of the Divine A.I. could join with the Church of the Other Kind of A.I. and breed a wonderfully-hybrid Master Race.)

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Work Ethic:

Quirk Ethic -
contentment's opposite

though many work contentedly
without the ethic.


Mid-January. Frost.
Snowdrops have not yet appeared,
but I found a cowslip in full bloom.

Monday 18 January 2021

After Vladimir Vysotsky.

 Gloss on the final refrain of  his song  "Охоты на волков"
(The Wolf-hunt)
                             which of course is not about a wolf-hunt.

I abandoned obedience
and got out of their cage
and rejoiced at the shrieks of the sheeple.

I'll keep going, keep going, going on, going on -
but yesterday was better than today.
Tomorrow they will catch me
tomorrow they will kill me.
They'll look for my body and see nothing.
They'll look at my body and see nothing...

Listen to his  'Unruly Horses' - yet another of my favourite songs - on my YouTube Channel.

Sunday 17 January 2021

Another of my favourite songs.

The Hurdy-gurdy Man  from Schubert's bleak song-cycle Winterreise.

Der Leiermann

1. with hurdy-gurdy accompaniment.

2. the original piano version with Thomas Quasthoff accompanied by Daniel Barenboim.

There are also beautiful interpretations by Fischer-Dieskau, and with Hans Hotter and Gerald Moore,
together with the German text by Wilhelm Müller.

Here is my singable translation:

In the wretched village 
a hurdy-gurdy-man,
who with frozen fingers 
plays the best he can.

Barefoot on the ice he
stumbles here and there;
and his little coin-cup
stays forlornly bare.
Nothing on his feet, he
staggers through the cold.
No one puts a farthing
in his battered bowl.

No-one cares to listen
or give him a glance.
Now the dogs are growling;
he has not a chance,

but he keeps on grinding,
doesn't seem to care,
churning out his music
in the chilly air.

Otherworldly relic,
will I go with you ?
Will your hurdy-gurdy
accompany me, too ?

It took me most of a morning to translate these simple lines!

Contrast and compare:
                                         Those, like me,  who were around and interested in the British and Irish Folksong revival of the 1950s and 1960s (thank you Lonnie Donegan!) may remember Cyril Tawney's The Oggie-Man, about the demise of a man who sold a kind of savoury pasty...

Saturday 16 January 2021

One of my favourite songs

is  Raoui, راوي  by the Algerian singer Souad Massi.


This my gloss on the lyrics:


Speak, storyteller, tell us a story.
Make it as long as War and Peace.
Tell us about people gone before,
men of infamy, women of glory.
Tell us about the Thousand Nights and a Night,
A thousand and one ever-falling leaves -
Sinbad and Odysseus on their stormy Sea of Stories,
Sheherazade, Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves,

Start your story, start your story,
Take us away from our misery,
Let it briefly stop being the main part
Of our story. Tell your story, tell your story,
There's a story in everyone's heart.
Tell your story, tell your story,
There's a terrible story in everyone's heart.
Tell your story, tell your story,
There's a wonderful story in everyone's heart.

Start telling while forgetting that we have grown up,
Imagine us as children trusting,
Not knowing what is and what is not crime.
Tell us everything, everything, but keep us
'Once upon a time'.

Here is the (somewhat different)  original text

which of course I cannot read, being a 'blind translator' :

يا راوي حكي حكاية
مادابك تكون رواية
حكي لي على ناس الزمان
حكي لي على ألف ليلة وليلة
وعلى لنجة بنت الغولة
وعلى ولد السلطان

حانجيتك مانجيتك
دنا بعيد من هادي دنيا
حاجيتك ماجيتك
كل واحد منا في قلبه حكاية

حكي وانسى بلي احنا كبار
في بالك رانا صغار
حكي لنا على الجنة حكي لنا على النار
على طير عمره ما طار
فهمنا معانى الدنيا

يا راوي حكي كما حكوا لك
ما تزيد ما نقص من عندك
كاين نشفوا على بالك
حكي لنسينا في هاد زمان
خلينا في كان يا ما كان


Friday 15 January 2021

The backward forwards.

Nation States are like Backward Children
mainly because politicians
are backward and backward-looking -
which is one reason why they keep talking
about going forward.

Come to think of it : human beings
(compared with dogs and bonobos)
are a 'backward' species.

Can 'evolution' be retrograde ?

Thursday 14 January 2021

You might think

that the epithet a pain in the neck
was a bowdlerisation of a pain in the ass/arse/butt.
This is not the case; it refers to the crick
liable to afflict the neck when listening to
and gazing at (seemingly for ages)
boring, long-winded orators
on platforms or on stages.

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Not many people know

 that the Empress Maria Theresa
of 18th-century Austria-Hungary was
pyrophobic after a bad experience
when she was a kid.

She imposed strict laws on the building and upkeep of hay-barns,
and decreed that all tobacco-pipes
be furnished with a lid:

This is a (probably unsmokable) modern variation:

The problem with The Future

 is that it has a murky past.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

In 1990

millions of brainwashed fools like me
thought the world might just get a bit better for most.

Monday 11 January 2021

Every time you pass an animal of any kind

(a dog, a cat, a rat
a slug, a snake, a bird, a wasp, a spider..)
close your eyes,


Porcelain 'shepherdesses' from Dresden
do not, of course, represent keepers of sheep,
but well-dressed courtesans (high-class sex-workers)
who, like the figurines, did not come cheap.

Sunday 10 January 2021

The only things that keep me (cravenly) going

despite my anthropophobia
and our world-stifling sleaze
(often referred to as Our Common Humanity)
are Breakfast, Dinner, Sleep,
My Cherished Plants, my admiration
of Rats - and (of course) Trees.

[No, not masturbation !
Though it's sweet for a bit
when enhanced by

*a neat new word for the wictionary

Saturday 9 January 2021

"Condemnation in Denmark

of children's TV series featuring a man with an uncontrollable penis."

       John Willy-man.

Men's 'dangly-bits' are funny not only to children
but still to me. 
Which is why I could never "take sex seriously"
and used it mainly as an opportunity for fun and games
with the very few like-minded men that I was able,
with much effort, to find - in Paris, or London,
or Northern Ireland. 
I guess I never left the infantile stage of sexuality,
which, along with an infantile perception
of human social reality as a miasma,
doubtless has contributed to
my social and emotional inadequacy.

"Hero of the Planet" - Time magazine.

Generally, I consider all of us 'a waste of space'
simply by existing, and everything we do is harmful
in some way or other.  But last year the younger brother
of my only friend in the later days of my
rough schooling died - of Alzheimer's disease,
and I discovered how, although he bred three children,
he (a modern opposite of old Diogenes)
was as near as any human can get to being benign.
Others who come to mind are Diane Fossey, Jane Goodall...

but Peter Pritchard (whose fascination with snakes
I remember from 65 years ago) devoted his life to turtles,
finding them, saving them, protecting them, discovering
new species which were named after him, initiating 
projects for their protection from Guyana to Vietnam.
    “His life was gentle; and the elements
    so mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
    and say to all the world,

Dr Pritchard in his early twenties (above)
and in his sixties (below)

Friday 8 January 2021

Thursday 7 January 2021

Under the extravagant, totalitarian régime

of consumer-capitalism
anyone, any beast, any plant,
any thing that is not exploitable
is surplus to requirements, disposable.

see https://aeon.co/essays

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Those of us who ever considered the question

of how best to live,
have nearly all come across the Essays
of Michel de Montaigne, and admired
his judicious and rational integrity
both in what he wrote and in how he acted
in different official and clandestine capacities
in a time of plagues and civil war.

But his travel diary is less well-known
and equally delightful.  In his year-long journey
(mostly on horseback) through Eastern France,
Southern Germany and Switzerland
to Rome, and via Lucca up through Southern France
back home (near Bergerac), he eagerly noted
local customs, local food (regretting that he hadn't
brought his cook with him) and the peaceful
variations of religion in the places that he passed.
Towns that were part of the Holy Roman Empire
allowed freedom of faith, whereas those ruled
by the Austrian Habsburgs were Catholic.
Some towns in Switzerland were Lutheran,
others followed Zwingli and were more puritan,
but almost nowhere were statues decapitated
or removed, nor organs smashed,
unlike Atlantic Europe north of the Pyrenees.
Some towns could not be entered, due to fear of plague.

And all the time M. de Montaigne, never writing
in the first person, commented on architecture,
vineyards, dress, behaviour, wildlife, beds and linen,
cutlery and comfort, and especially on all the spas
he visited to ease the bladder- and urethral pain
caused by the chronic kidney-stones which killed him 
(like his father) but never complaining.
He was a one-man 16th century TripAdvisor,
but very much more entertaining.

see Fausta Garavina (Paris 1983): Montaigne, Journal de Voyage (with notes and translation into Italian)

and Waters, W.G. (William George): The journal of Montaigne's travels in Italy by way of Switzerland and Germany in 1580 and 1581 [Reprint 2020] Volume: 1 (1903)

and Marvin Lowenthal (New York 1935). The Autobiography of Michel de Montaigne: Comprising the Life of the Wisest Man of his Times: his Childhood, Youth, and Prime; his Adventures in Love and Marriage, at Court, and in Office, War, Revolution, and Plague; his Travels at Home and Abroad; his Habits, Tastes, Whims, and Opinions. Composed, Prefaced, and Translated from the Essays, Letters, Travel Diary, Family Journal, etc., withholding no signal or curious detail. 

Montaigne's own vineyards (which are still producing wine) yielded up to ten thousand bottles a year.

Outrageously, there is no other English translation of his travel-diary.

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Dear Mr [Elon] Musk,

How much would it cost to send
the noisy motor of my mind
on a module to the moon's dark side
while the rest of my consciousness
stays happily behind ?

Yours truly,

Monday 4 January 2021


those who sanely come between
the mindless and the monomaniac.

Sunday 3 January 2021

A matter of scale - never mind ethics.

In the first week of 2021
the European Union
(population 445 million)
unregretfully said goodbye to Brexit Britain,
and signed a trade deal with harshly-totalitarian China
(population almost one and a half billion),

and the newly-independent Brexitstan
(population 60 million)
signed a trade deal with totalitarian Turkey
(population 83 million).
Nobody signs trade-deals with Iran.

The Real Story.

Actually, Yahwé,
I much prefer old bearded men to young beardless women. 
Eve is off playing with her snake -
so I wonder if you'd care to abuse me a little ?
It will, I assure you, get bigger and harder.


There will come a time

when - too late - the grasping fools
realise that a wolf
is worth twenty thousand sheep,
twenty thousand sheeple.

Saturday 2 January 2021


I have never been much interested in joining groups,
and those I have joined I tend to abandon quickly,

but if I lived in faction-torn Lebanon,
I think I might start smoking a pipe again,
and join The Pipe Club of Lebanon,
seen here on one of their outings. 

omáda ομάδα : bloc, team, squad, gang, troop

Friday 1 January 2021

The status game.

Researchers into Black Holes and the centre of the sun
are of much less Service to Society
than those who grow food or disinfect a floor,
but nevertheless are paid at least five times more.

Today is Independence Day

in Brexitstan.