Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker 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
universality.


Alphabetical.

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

Stream

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.


U-Haul.

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
the 
confiscating of refugees’ assets to finance their care in Denmark.

read more >








Probably,

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

Inevitably,

"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

Hmmm.

 


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'.


Meteorological

(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

Compartmentalisation

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.