Dingo the Dissident

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

Tuesday 23 April 2024

It's a Long Way to Rwanda.

UK passes law to send refugees
to camps near the Mountains of the Moon. 

Venice Biennale:
Refugee Astronaut by Yinka Shinobare

Monday 22 April 2024

Jesus said:

'If you're establishing a hierarchy
put me at the bottom.'

And so it came to pass. 

Sunday 21 April 2024

'Gay Icon'.

 This is mine.

“The Island of Men with Long Beards”

How many more are there ?
Two of them have big ears.

Compare with ikons of St.Onuphrios and others.

I can't imagine why anyone would prefer Marilyn Monroe
or Taylor Swift.  But that's Queer Asperger's for you!

Saturday 20 April 2024

Poster Boy.

From his endless ranting about ‘winners’ and ‘losers’
to his reported habit of cheating at golf,
Donald Trump is a walking, talking monument
to extrinsic values. – George Monbiot

Hugh Hefner, yet another appalling, rich person.

“Power is insidious when it masks itself as generosity.”

Word of the Week

as applied to UK governments since 2010:


This is how antagonistic or adversarial two-party, majoritarian democracies end up.

Three cheers for coalition-governed, proportionally-represented Denmark.

Friday 19 April 2024

Our Limitations.

"Nothing has caused the human race more trouble than intelligence."  Hitchcock's Rear Window, script by Hayes and Woolrich.


The chief limitation of our intelligence
is that it tends to be too particular and narrow-focussed.
Finding it difficult to 'take a cosmic view',
we are very bad at seeing how tight
are the - socially imposed - boundaries of our minds.

"We all want to know whether animals are talking and what they’re saying. Although there’s a weird split personality on this: on the one hand, we want animals to talk; but on the other, we’re scared of animals talking because that would mean we’re not quite as special as we thought." Arik Kershenbaum

 And we might not like what they had to say.

Dear Fellow-racists,

Those few of you
who are bird-enthusiasts,
will know (but maybe not acknowledge)
that blackbirds
sing more sweet than nightingales.

It is the 200th Anniversary

of the heroic death of George Gordon,
Lord Byron, whose Childe Harold declares:

      I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
      I have not flatter’d its rank breath, nor bow’d
      To its idolatries a patient knee...

and farther on:

      I have not loved the world, nor the world me,
      —But let us part fair foes;

Which contrasts nicely with the Biblical First Epistle of John, Chapter 2:

     Do not love the world or anything in the world.
     For those who love the world do not have love for the Father.
     For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh,
     the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life —
     is not from the Father but from the world.

Tuesday 16 April 2024


Culture is war.
In the world we've turned to wretchedness
beauty is unbearable.

Good news is something misreported.

I heard on the radio

that whatsappification

has 'revolutionised'
the toxic mess
of human communication.

But, of course,
there's no evidence
of whatsappiness.

Monday 15 April 2024

Poor Fragile Flower-Fairy.

Queer Mr Bradberry, male model,
says he was appalled
and psychologically damaged
by being invited (but not forced)
to have his penis pleasured
by the mouth of a man
without a snitch,  
in order to get a job he wanted
at prestigious Abercrombie and Fitch.

He did not decline the deal.
I hope the noseless guy
enjoyed a nice little white mini-meal.

Thousands of schoolboys
and boys in horrible institutions
over the decades and centuries
had to endure rather worse simply in order
to avoid years of beatings and bullying
and discrimination
before they became Lieutenant-Colonels
and Captains of Industry or prostitution.

For a glass of good cognac and a fistful of dollars
I'd probably even now
undo my fly* (some people say flies)
– though probably I would, first,
have to pee.  After all, there'd be nothing
to stop me closing my eyes.

*a flap of material permitting an opening or entrance,
as in tent-fly, theatre-fly, often applied to trousers.

In East-Ulster dialect snitch meant nose.
I am not a fan of the oversized, under-performing
human olfactory organ.

It's words, dear Margaret,

that create wars
and can never end them.

(Films don’t get it right,
People don’t scream.
There is silence
before the screaming starts.)

It is easy to write poems against war
In pus-weak protest, thus:

'Many have travelled far
to the place of fire and blackout,
the time without words.
Some have survived
though not intact.
No one comes back.'


Who rages against the Christian
worship of blood and torture,
the defeminisation of Woman
to the 'Virgin Mary',
holy, wholly-hidden, water-carrying
abandoned housewife ?

Against churches looming everywhere
inculcating ignorance and lies
and personal salvation ?

Against mind-shrinking, perversion-inducing
sexual taboos, etcetera etcetera ?

What does it matter whether there's a god or not ?
(Ever the divisive either/or!)

– Unless you're thinking of the Universal, Immutable,
Invisible God of War ?

Sunday 14 April 2024

Complaint from Room 101,

aBBC*, Broadcasting House, London.

Before long, some aBBC radio channels
will have broadcasts with trailers
for other broadcasts – not just at the beginning,
middle and end – but consisting entirely
of trailers and trailers for trailers,
speed-spoken in nasal American voices
(no mellifluous voices like that of Cyril Cusack)
over loud, 'suspenseful' computer-generated musak.

*allegedly-British Broadcasting Corporation.

Munich Protest

I'm sure you will agree
that this 'protest picture' –
put up illicitly by a gallery employee
and quickly removed, as was he
from his job – is not bad at all,
indeed quite fun  –  and much better
than many we might see
in any gallery containing recent art.

Saturday 13 April 2024

This wine

 Château Bourguet*


is produced by the nearest and most northerly
vineyard with the Gaillac appellation
(north and west of Albi in SW France).
I first bought wine from the growers in 2006.
They filled a 10-litre box while I waited.
They had happy dogs.
They now also have a website.
They used to call themselves Domaine
but have self-elevated to Château.

The 2020 vintage is very good (smooth and round,
not tannic; the Merlot appeases the local Fer Servadou)
and goes well with spicy vegetarian dishes,
such as are rarely cooked by the meat-obsessed,
spice-fearing French.

I'm willing to bet that not a single bottle of French red wine
declares (or admits) that it is good with vegetarian dishes.

*Not to be confused with Le Bourget (a town)
Bourgueil (a wine from much farther north,
noted for its raspberryish taste).

Springtime observation.

are not so much
"joyful to be alive"
as being alive to joy.

Friday 12 April 2024

The ultimate in arrogant hubris ?

In 1999, a red, green, and blue tricolour was proposed* as the Flag of Mars. The design symbolises liberty, and also the terraforming of Mars by humanity from a red planet to a green one, and eventually an Earth-like blue one.

from Wikipedia

*by a flag-worshipping American

The poor girl/young woman

is either made of some synthetic material
or has been subject to photo-alteration abuse.

If Americans think she/it is beautiful
they certainly have overcooked
their Hollywood-cultural goose. 

from London's Daily Mail

Thursday 11 April 2024

"One of the doctors was talking to me,"

said Mama.
"You know they all have this awful psychology now...
He thinks that when someone tries to kill themselves
its a cry for help – that's what he called it.
Well, what I know is that when I had swallowed those pills,
I felt completely happy.  I was lying on my bed –
they take a while to work, you know – and it was getting dark outside, and I was looking at the sky and thinking,
there's nothing I need to do.  It no longer matters.
I'll never, ever, have to make another decision.
I've never in my life felt so peaceful."

Judith Kerr: Out of the Hitler Time.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

In her bed,

not the Australian One-eyed Trouser-snake
but the more venomous Eastern Red.

photo by LifeFlight

Temperature Check

It is probably of no interest
to anyone but Lithuanians and me
that today it is much warmer
in Vilnius (24°C)
than in Tenerife (18°C)
or here in SW France (9°C)
where I am more than usually shivery.

I hope that the travellers from sunny Lithuania
carried their overcoats to chilly Gran Canaria.

"Tax evasion

rather than the violation of children
or of human rights [is] always the best way
to draw attention from the federal government."

There are, of course, many federal governments. 


Tuesday 9 April 2024

Snapshot Moments

There are pleasure and
the memory of pleasure
or at least the vague memory
of some of the circumstances of pleasure.

There are lost memories entirely lost
and dead people's memories

and snapshot-memories
and false memories
cooked up by emotions
or algorithms...

fake lives.

It's nice to read a short, sharp poem.


by Ellen Cranitch

How many times did I ask him, are you using?
How many times did he deny it when he was?

He looks into my eyes as he lies.
My eyes register the lie.

His eyes register my disbelief.
His eyes communicate his anger.

At the perversity of this,
My eyes express rage.

We are trapped in the labyrinth of the gaze. 

Monday 8 April 2024

The Millions.

A condescending poet* of the smug asks
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

don't have a choice
and if they're wild they go to prison
and other people oft ensure
that plans go oft awry...

and how precious can one life be
amongst 8 billion merely-visiting
spoilers of the Earth ?

“Listen – are you breathing just a little,
and calling it a life?”

Millions cannot breathe more than just a little...


*Mary Oliver (1935-2019), a Pulitzer Prize-winner, of course.

Sunday 7 April 2024

I guess it has changed quite a bit.

Jaffa Street, Jerusalem, early 20th century.
It could be a photo of almost any large town
in the Ottoman Empire at the time.

Lebrecht Music & Arts / Alamy Stock Photo

Saturday 6 April 2024

Maybe saintly aliens

will arrive before AI turns us into zombie slaves,
though (I not-so-vatically opine)
most of us are zombie slaves already.

It will take only one confirmed sighting
for millions of people (and/or zombie slaves) to panic,
though maybe not so effectively as the Gadarene Swine.

Friday 5 April 2024

Are you ever annoyed

at yourself for being
annoyed by others ?

I used to be.

In the ancient walled city

of Harar, in Eastern Ethiopia
(home to Rimbaud for many years)
beautiful hyænas are fed (not just on Friday)
to reward them for keeping
the streets clean and tidy.

Hyænas were my favourite animal in my reluctant visits
to the horrible, cold, sordid Bellevue (Belfast) Zoo.
I also liked the snakes, who looked uniquely comfortable.

Springtime in Quercy.

Under the hedgerows of flowering quince 

& wild plum the purple Honesty

(Lunularia, Moonseed, Pope's Pence)

in a land (as Balzac showed)

dedicated to 'honest avarice'

with hardly a germ of generosity.

Thursday 4 April 2024

When people talk

about 'the soul'
you can be pretty sure that what
they are really talking about
is self-importance.

Soul=Ego with booster-rocket.

Will we soon be the only people

 in the world not playing
'the beautiful game' ?

The fabulous fun of
environmental destruction !

And...surprise, surprise:

Wednesday 3 April 2024

My favourite lines in American cinema.

I can’t spend more than 48 hours in this dump.
  Yeah, Vegas is a two-day town.
I was talking about America.

from Todd Phillips'  War Dogs (2016)

Spring Clean

In 1960, when I was a teaching assistant
(lecteur) in Tunisia, I bought traditional weavings
in a village near the holy city of Kairouan
(Qayrawan whence we get Caravan)
called Ksar Hellal, to use as curtains.
I have always loved things made by country-folk.

Over the years they suffered damage – e.g. from dogs
and moths,  I have just one or two fragments left
that I use as seat- and cushion-covers.

Yesterday I decided to give them their first wash
in sixty-four years.  I washed them twice:
the water was black.  I rinsed them four times.
The water was nicotine brown.  I put them through
a gentle rinse-cycle in my (recently-acquired, second-hand)
washing machine, then two more rinsings
until the water was fairly pale (kept for watering plants).

Here is one piece hanging on my balcony to dry.

Clean at last !

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Almost everywhere

there are unwalkable sidewalks

and un-navigable pavements.

Especially if you're blind.


 at TK-Maxx !

photo by Mark Wilkins on FlickR

Monday 1 April 2024

It's taking a long time, Isaiah.

'Humankind will be dispossessed and deprived ;
even the rich and powerful will be humiliated.'

chapter V: verse 15

Better late than never ?

"Illegal Immigrant" ?


'Bandele ‘Tex’ Ajetunmobi : self-portrait. A self-taught photographer, he had stowed away on a boat to Britain from Lagos, Nigeria in 1947. He chose to leave Lagos as he found himself an outcast on account of the disability he developed from having infantile paralysis (polio).

'After settling in East London, he began recording the daily lives of his friends and acquaintances, particularly on the streets and in the pubs, shops and clubs around Whitechapel, Stepney and Mile End. He continued to document the area for almost half a century, focusing on immigrant communities and the multi-racial nature of the area.'

Most of his photos have been lost or destroyed.

more pictures >

"Things can only get better!"

In 2004, scientists at the University of Texas made an alarming discovery: 43 foods, mostly vegetables, showed a marked decrease in nutrients between the mid and late 20th century.

According to that research, the calcium in green beans dropped from 65 to 37mg. Vitamin A levels plummeted by almost half in asparagus. Broccoli stalks had less iron.

Nutrient loss has continued since that study. More recent research has documented the declining nutrient value in some staple crops due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels; a 2018 study that tested rice found that higher CO2 levels reduced its protein, iron and zinc content.


Taliban issue edict to resume stoning women to death.