Dingo the Dissident

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

Sunday 31 July 2022

Not the worst crime

that Russians autocrats have committed
is the Service à la Russe, of food in tedious courses
with a inordinate amount of cutlery.  It was introduced
by a Russian ambassador to France
when Napoleon was Emperor.

It boosted the restauration-trade flourishing in France
after the Revolution, when cooks no longer had
aristocrats to cook for and the bourgeoisie desired
some public luxury for the poor to watch
from beyond the windows of the restaurants
(as the starving gaze at TV cookery shows today
on mobile phones).

The serving of dishes consecutively à la Russe,
at first resisted, then became so stringent
and ridiculous in France that even today
hot food is rarely served with cold,
and a simple salad may well be served
as a separate course.

I prefer the Middle Eastern way of eating: the Mē
(originating from the Persian word mazzeh - مَزّه )

of several bowls or dishes to choose from
and eat in any order, like tapas,
but more various and larger.

Fifty years ago,

when I said that capitalism was inherently unsustainable
I was dismissed as a romantic pseudo-Marxist.
Which indeed I was and may still be. 

Saturday 30 July 2022

Bitterness (Acerbitas),

strangely, was not included among the Eight (or Seven)
Deadly (or Capital) Sins.

Yet it is at least as destructive as Envy.

Thursday 28 July 2022

In The Old Days,

when I had a childish faith in democracy,
I (middle-class drop-out) cast my vote
for Ireland's only Marxist party
which is tiny – though probably not because
The Great Karl's great bourgeois pal despised the Irish
and (like many in Britain
and the US at the time)
pronounced them barely human.

Engels wrote that they were a people "almost without civilisation" and with "rough, intemperate ways", with “a southern facile character,” living "in filth and in a state of drunkenness."  Afflicted by  “the idiocy of rural life”, they were an irredeemably backward people who would soon be submerged by the dynamics of industrial capitalism.

 “For work which requires long training or regular, pertinacious application, the dissolute, unsteady, drunken Irishman is on too low a plane.”

"The facile character of the Irishman, his crudity, which places him but little above the savage, his contempt for all humane enjoyments, in which is very crudeness makes him incapable of sharing, his filth and his poverty, all favour drunkenness."

The Condition of the Working Class in England.


Susan Shimanoff, a researcher
at San Francisco State University
discovered it was the most common
'negative' emotion,
and the second most common emotion
of any kind – after 'love'.

[In her sample of Americans.]


Wednesday 27 July 2022

Zhuangzi on Ignorance.

“To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge.”

"When people do not ignore what they should ignore,
but ignore what they should not ignore – this is known as ignorance."

from The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu3rd century BCE.


aim to express the ineffable quality

and uniqueness of love's banality.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

A Biblical Text

that I happened upon recently:

Paul's Epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verses 4-5
(a crisp modern translation)

Whoever is in authority is God’s servant for your good.
If you do wrong, be afraid,
for the State does not punish for no reason.
It is God’s servant,
His agent of punishment for criminal acts. 

So you must submit to the authorities,
not only because of possible penalties
but also as a matter of conscience.

Split personality, schizophrenic morality.

(or simple American Multiple Personality Disorder)

Republican representative went to son’s same-sex wedding
days after voting against equal marriage rights.

Monday 25 July 2022

We all know it, but The System denies it.

“The petty thief is imprisoned
but the big thief becomes a Very Important Person.”

Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, 3rd century BCE.

“To be truly ignorant, be content with your own knowledge.”

Don't mention the P-word

– especially not when Qs are around.

Although 'Monkeypox' is not an STD
it is, like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis-B,
greatly assisted in its spread by Pro***cuity.

Sunday 24 July 2022

I don't think I could write a villanelle.

The very prospect causes me to blench.
I really can't write poems very well.

Maybe a drink would help – of fine Moselle...
This kind of poem's easier to write in French,
although there's lots of rhymes for 'villanelle'

in English. (Very good Moselle!
But I must keep struggling at the wordsmith-bench.)
 – What is that delicious thing I smell ?

It has undertones of caramel.
It can't be coming from that snooty wench
who said I don't write poems very well.

Is it from a kind of sweet quenelle ?
It's more attractive than the stench
that's coming from the body in the well

which has begun to bloat and swell
and rot like feet in a wartime trench.
(I really can't write poems at all well,

and definitely not a villanelle!)
Maybe I should start again in French.
Il y avait une chanteuse : Coccinelle,

a media sensation, I've heard tell –
on Wikipedia – a transgender wench...
I really can't write poems very well
and I'll never try no more to write a villanelle.


(As-tu lu The Scarlet Pimpernel ?
Nothing to do with pimprenelle in French...)

Dylan Thomas' macho 'Do not go gentle into that good night'
is a villanelle.  Several have been written by the great Wendy Cope.

"I want to surf the Zeitgeist

to where it's all happening."

– Liz Truss, likely to be next prime minster of the UK.

Saturday 23 July 2022

Buttering the Sky (after Hafiz* — حافظ)

Putting on my shoes

Boiling water

Toasting bread

Buttering the sky

Parcelling the rain:

that should be enough contact
with The Divine in just one day

to drive anyone


                               more >

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muhammad Ḥāfez-e Shīrāzī 

I daren't go out

to today's Medieval Fair in the village.
If caught without a smartphone,
I risk being burned as a heretic.

Friday 22 July 2022

It has been a long process.

"There was no important reason for Mandalay's existence.
It never possessed a strategic or commercial importance,
and the whole district had had a detestable climate since,
centuries before, pious kings had cut down all the trees
to be used as fuel in brick-making for pagodas."

— Norman Lewis, Golden Earth, 1952

Thursday 21 July 2022

Tuesday 19 July 2022

'Dehumanised' –

 if only I could be!

In Germany,

the proportion of people
who have resisted smartphones,
facebook, tik-tok, instagram and twitter

is much smaller than those
(mostly trade-unionists
and communists)
who resisted Hitler.


Forecasters of climate change
have not quite realised (or failed to tell us)
that it is not a simple linear progression.
Nor will it be exponential,
but somewhere in between –

some kind of fluctuating sequence
like the death-wriggles of a worm,
for which there is perhaps no algorithm
and for which I cannot invent a term.

Desertification: Surviving solitary Date-palm, Iraq.

Monday 18 July 2022

It is hardly known

that Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
four-times-president of the USA, and well-disposed
to the poor and bereft,
wanted to introduce not just a minimum wage
but also a maximum income
beyond which 100% tax would be imposed.

Spot the Woman.

In this bizarre painting of 'Timeless' or Eternal Russia
the only woman to be found in a sea of wartless men
(I have identified Rachmaninov, Dostoyevsky,
Tchaikovsky...and Jesus – but where is Stalin?)

is a pin-up (extreme left)
who seems to have wandered in, weeping,
from a drug-infested, possibly abusive photo-shoot.
All that pious, inhibited testosterone !  It's just as well
that the fresh air is wafting away the smell !

detail of painting by Ilya Glazunov, 1988.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Not all the facts,

Mr Sweeney or (hiding and wood-haunting,
pronounced-the-same) Suibhne,
there's more than the Trinity of The Three Facts:

when you come to flaunting brass tacks
there's much more than twice as much as 

just birth and copulation and death:

in between there's a pile and a heap
of consuming, excreting and sleep

Birthday Gift of the Sacred Fart

which is Life or is Death and is bad or is good,
inhabited vacuum, escaped-from breath...

Beginning and end :
when you come to the bend

there's no way (through the wood)
no way to tell them apart.

Feminism at half-cock.

It seems that women can only be accepted

as possible almost-very-nearly equals

when they play competitive 'contact' sports

(boxing, football) and play men's games

in male-created hierarchies.

Saturday 16 July 2022

One way or another

we are 'cooking our goose'.

Would Nuclear War be a better (if more alarming)
end to the short, obscene Anthropocene Age
than the burning up of the planet ?

Would Nuclear War and the brisk end of farming
hasten or slow down global warming ?

A Lionfish

near the ancient coastal town of Korykos, Turkey.

photo from theguardian.com

Friday 15 July 2022

A Brand-New Neologism !

I seem definite and even doctrinaire
and make many an unpopular assertion
I'm really
rather a perhapsish Person.

Thursday 14 July 2022


Hello, Product.
— Hello to you, Product!
We're all Products here,
even when we're not, and long ago,
and we are all Reproducts
and Retro-proto-reproducts, too,

Products of Untoward Seduction
or Voluntary Intimacy, Upbringing,
Education, Medical Intervention,
Alienation, Abuse, Desire, Shame,
Grief and Regret...

Productivity and even Unproductivity.

It's nice to be a Product like any other
using, abusing and meeting Products
in this Production-line of genealogy
and Production-liability
and non-liability
and productibility
and destruction

on this definitely-not
Planet of Production
and Reproduction.

Castrating the Hyænas.

"Once a street child in Kenya and a grave digger in the UK,
Professor George Wajackoyah (63) has become a political sensation
by running for Kenya's presidency on a promise to turn the country
into a major exporter of marijuana, snake venom and hyenas' testicles, although many question the feasibility of his plans."


(I discover late in life) is southern-states
rhyming slang for 'cock'
(of the male piss-organ kind)
which rhymes with 'rock
of the fun-fair, bed- (not cradle) kinds.
Hence this Candyman and other verbal schlock.

Rock candy, not to be confused with British
seaside rock,
which is less phallic but harder.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

The Two Berts.


declared that to find happiness too early in life
is like contracting syphilis at puberty :
it ruins the constitution.

I think of Schubert.

A state governed from the top

cannot possibly be democratic.

A centralised, hierarchical system means concentrated power,
and concentrated power favours concentrated wealth.

– George Monbiot

Monday 11 July 2022

Mr Putin is absolutely not

Another Hitler'. He has a bold
and clear-eyed view of
The American Hegemony,
simply seeks to wreck it
– and restore Ukraine 'to the fold'.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Observing tourists

passing my house,
gazing blankly straight ahead
or at their smartphones,
or walking briskly their eyes cast down,

I conclude that their minds
are so cluttered by the
accumulating junk of culture
that they notice nothing.

How can they be expected
to question the origins and destinations
of what they wear and use and eat
and drink and put onto their feet ?

Saturday 9 July 2022

"In the depths of my heart,"

wrote Gustave Flaubert.
"I can't avoid the conviction
that my dear fellow-creatures
(with a few exceptions)
are worthless."

Why make exceptions ?

Friday 8 July 2022

High sensitivity and mild autism

are very similar,
and may just be different names
for different kinds of awareness.

read more about HSP >

I scored high on an HSP test...

Thursday 7 July 2022

I am a collage

that doesn't dislike merely its frame
but also the surface it's painted on -
and maybe the paints and bits of maps which compose it.
The art-work's title is Entropy.

I hope they had great sex together.

ex-British Prime Minister and the son of a Russian 'Oligarch'
 whom he appointed to the Upper House of Parliament.

Maybe we should be less concerned about Democracy

and more about having governments
which are neither criminal nor incompetent.

They are not numerous at the moment.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

The vast range of inequality

among humans has little to do
with primate hierarchies
(matri- or patri-linear)
and much to do with the un-nature
of culture.

Tuesday 5 July 2022

For Bonobos

"sex is as banal
as a handshake, though much more fun,"
wrote Frans de Waal.

That would be good for us...
though for us, handshakes
can turn into arm-wrestling, or worse.

Monday 4 July 2022

" The whole dream of democracy

(wrote Flaubert)
"is to raise the proletariat
to the same level of stupidity as the bourgeoisie"
 – who, wallowing in hypocrisy,
aped the aristocracy
– who aped the kings and popes
and khans and emperors
who dreamed of Omnipotence.

And now even I live a life undreamed of
by Roman autocrats.



is a crude but logical construct,

whereas human life on earth

is anything but.

Sunday 3 July 2022

Some of us

have delusions of grandeur.

Others have delusions of intelligence,
competence, social acceptability
or/and sexual attractiveness.

I regret to say that I have a had a little of all of them
except the last.


Marriage is just a relationship
with a label –
and a price-tag.


Saturday 2 July 2022

Once upon a time there was a princess –

 I don't like princesses.

Once upon a time there was a prince 

 I don't like princes.

? ? ? 

 Once upon a time there were two hairy ogres
and they lived happily until ogres
became deeply unfashionable
and were discontinued.
The End.

– Or maybe they were Ainu.

Friday 1 July 2022

False accusations

of rape must be almost as old
as rape itself (and potentially
more deadly) and were once
a defining feature of life
in the Deep South of the USA.


are trying to decipher
the ancient Cretan language Linear-A.

Astronomers are thrilled to find a new B
lack Hole ... while Lesser People
doss down on their doorsteps
and beg on the streets

and ice disappears from the North Pole.