in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Rings and things

Badges
Medals
Brooches
Robes
Sashes
Torches
Belts
Buckles
Boots
Banners
Handshakes
Signs
Chants
Hymns
Vows
Oaths
Prayers
Rites
Rituals
Clans
Crypts
Shrines
Shows
Altars
Buttons
Bows

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Police

The National Police
The Secret Police
The Religious Police
The Tourist Police
The Thought Police
The Traffic Police
The Vice Police
The Sumptuary Police
The Narcotics Police
The Auxiliary Police
The Neighbourhood Police
The Military Police
The Criminal Police
The Municipal Police
The Rural Police
The Border Police
The Security Police
The Secret Security Police
The Secret Security Police Police

Friday, 26 August 2016

Hate

is not the only
failure of imagination.*
There are also hope
and civilisation.

* Graham Greene in The Power and the Glory

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A friend asked me

the simplest way to kill yourself
when you conclude that you are at the end of the road
and don't wish to end up in hopital or a "care home".
She did not like my well-researched suggestion
to use the gently-stifling plastic-bag-and-sleeping-pill method.
She was more interested in the injection of heart-stopping Potassium chloride
until I told her it was horrifically painful ("veins on fire")
and not that quick.

After buying KCl powder on eBay
(but not for the inevitable eventuality)
the "Suggestions based on your purchase"
featured various kinds of syringe.

Isn't eBay thoughtful ?



I did more research on-line.

Jumping from a high building (at least 8 floors)
or a precipice - the survival rate is low.
But jumping from a bridge is NOT the way to go.
Further googling on how to go gently into the long goodnight
I found an amusing, sobering and useful site
offering much cheer:

click here >>>


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The sheer genius of capitalism

A litre-bottle of milk
is cheaper than a litre-bottle of water
(not only if you buy two litres at once).

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Truths

The simple truth
The complicated truth
The plain truth
The twisted truth
The unadulterated truth
The half-truth
The basic truth
The blind truth
The blatant truth
The untold truth
The terrible truth
The inner truth
The deep truth
The unacceptable
The apparent truth
The presentable truth
The hurtful truth
God's truth
The bitter truth
The unacknowledged truth
The whole truth
The philosophical truth
The absolute truth
The hidden truth
The naked truth
The paradoxical truth
The doubtful truth
The disputed truth
The despicable truth
The economical truth
The unlikely truth
The unvarnished truth
The hateful truth
The oceanic truth
The scientific truth
The artistic truth
The elaborated truth
The absurd truth
The psychological truth
The convenient truth
The barefaced, lying truth...

Art is the is the most creative way
to avoid the truth.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Love is

(whatever it may more precisely be)
a continuing conversation.
Hate, however, like civilisation,
is, in Graham Greene's words
'a failure of imagination.'

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Every homeless person

would agree,
and also every refugee
who's forced to roam -
that charity begins at home.

Friday, 19 August 2016

relativity

few of us realise
before it is too late
how the future
will seem to change
our flickering past

until I was
I will be
for an instant
all that the I
who almost fills my world
might have been
have ever been
an imperceptible
footnote to your
imperceptible footnotes

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

One size never fits all.

I have never cared for 'exercise' or effort.
I have always favoured lolling about and reading
As a child, of course I liked to play as children do,
but I loathed 'sports', and have never taken walks
for 'exercise' - only with dogs to share their joy
I would climb a mountain to see a Passage Tomb,
and enjoy hours of planting shrubs and trees
even in rain
but otherwise I would prefer to 'loafe'
(as the Divine Walt put it)
I have spent most of my life sitting in chairs
reading
Am I overweight and unhealthy ?
No
I am very thin and have a strong heart
(the doctors tell me)  And I loafe
and laugh at those mechanical masochists
who 'exercise' to keep themselves 'fit'

Fitness comes from within
The divine

Monday, 15 August 2016

I find it obscene and distressing


that the manic, psychotic, anti-ludic
 Olympic “Games” in Rio de Janeiro
are far more important to our newsmongers
and presumably the demonic demos of our democracy
than (for example) the four-year siege of Aleppo…

Theodore Adorno

wrote:
The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.
But both the order and the chaos are false,
and the quip is falsely neat,
and most people
for most of history
and prehistory
have not had enough to eat.

The task of art today is to bring chaos into order. Theodor Adorno
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/theodor_adorno.html
The task of art today is to bring chaos into order. Theodor Adorno
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/theodor_adorno.html
The task of art today is to bring chaos into order. Theodor Adorno
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/theodor_adorno.html
The task of art today is to bring chaos into order. Theodor Adorno
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/theodor_adorno.html

Sunday, 14 August 2016

One enquiry leads to another...

The only horse-drawn vehicles which I knew as a child in Ireland
were the Trap (with pony) and the Irish Jaunting-car.
Much later I learned of Fiacres,
named after the Hôtel de Saint-Fiacre in Paris,
where carriages gathered for hire,
and that Saint-Fiacre was one of three Irish saints called Fíachra, namely
St Fiacre of Breuil, (died 670), who built a hospice for travellers
at Saint-Fiacre, in the Seine-et-Marne.

So I wondered if the Hackney carriage came from the inner London district of that name.

Indeed not.
It comes from the French Haquenée, originally denoting a quiet, moderately-sized mare
suitable for ladies, and thus also for pulling carriages.
The horsey verb 'to hack' is from the same source.
Then I wondered about the Landau, the Post-chaise (or Shay)
the Brougham...the Barouche...

and found this interesting web-page,
on which no mention was made (before I e-mailed the author)
of the Berlin[e] (now used in French to describe a ‘sedan’ motor-vehicle
[
‘saloon’ in British English],
which term comes from the rectangular configuration of a ‘sedan-chair’
[sedio in Italian]). 
Break (in French - Shooting-brake in English)
and Cabriolet, (now also abbreviated to cab in English, as in taxi-cab)

also denote the designs of modern automobiles.

A Dog-cart can be a horse-drawn vehicle designed to carry dogs as well as humans,
or one drawn by a large dog, especially in the Low Countries,
for delivering milk and eggs.

click to enlarge


















A photochrom from the late 19th century showing two pedlars selling milk from a dogcart
near Brussels, Belgium.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Lead

is the pliable metal
the roofer of the rich
the poisoner of the poor
the metal of death
the liner of coffins and sarcophagi,
quite different from the lead in man's pencil:
fragile and voluble graphitic carbon -
carbon which made us
on this carbonic chthonic and tectonic
Earth to dwell
ignores us
and our hysteric helium heaven
as well as our carbonyl sulphurous hell.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Rock-music and Relevance

"Remember when, I forget his name
but that rocker who wrote  The Marseillaise...
remember when his song started getting
all that airplay in 1792, and suddenly the peasantry
rose up and overthrew the aristocracy ?
There was a song that changed the world.
Attitude was what the peasants were missing.
They already had everything else -
humiliating servitude, grinding poverty,
unpayable debts, horrific working conditions.
But without a song, man, it added up to nothing.
The Sans-culotte style was what really changed the world."

- from Jonathan Franzen, Freedom.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

On the Planet of Pain

It is silly to be miserable
about misery beyond us
and beyond our power to ease. 
Better to frolic,
listen to music –
and even hug trees.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Why the European Union was established :

To abolish war it is necessary to abolish patriotism, 
and to abolish patriotism it is necessary first to understand that it is an evil. 
Tell people that patriotism is bad and most will reply: 
‘Yes, bad patriotism is bad, but mine is good patriotism.’

- Lev Tolstoy

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Monday, 8 August 2016

A kind of Sampler

click the photo to enlarge














of motifs
engraved in Irish passage-tombs,
the rug which I designed
and my mother knotted
over forty years ago
has unfortunately rotted
in my damp Irish house.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Vespasienne

is the name for stand-alone public toilets in France.
These were mostly pissotières on wide pavements
(particularly in Paris) or in squares which, in the late 19th century,
replaced the columnal, one-man urinoirs introduced in the 1830s.
The latter were transformed into Colonnes Morris which served as
surfaces for the adhesion of advertisements.

Vespasienne or Pissotière (left) and Colonne Morris (right)
on the Boulevard Saint-Michel, 1978.  Photo Anthony Weir.
























Vespasiennes took their name from the Roman Emperor Vespasian,
and became not just Encounter Facilities for gay men,
who called them tasses (English: cottages)
but also opportunities for soupeurs or piss-drinkers
to throw in a crust of bread at some time in the day
and retrieve it, piss-sodden, some hours later.
To discourage homo-cruising, some could accommodate only two men
who faced each other, but were blocked by a solid dividing wall.

They were introduced elsewhere in Europe -
especially in Amsterdam - and even in Ireland!
Dublin had elaborate ones installed for the Roman Catholic Eucharistic Congress of 1932,
(other kinds of congress certainly resulted) -
but Belfast had a fine anglo-indian one (in harmony with that city's
hideous, pretentious and copper-domed City Hall) much earlier.
Strangely, I can find only one picture of it on the web:

- which it shares with a trolley-bus.  It is, I believe, now languishing
in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum about 20 kilometres east of Belfast.

The Paris vespasiennes have now disappeared,
initially because Mme de Gaulle was horrified by homosexuality.
(Click here if you can read French)
and I watched one of the last - a famous cruisy one in the Tuileries gardens -
being destroyed... 

In the 1980s I met a very sweet pastry-cook in a 1950s concrete tasse in Le Havre
a communist city where they were slow to disappear)
and whence - extremely unusual in France - he drove me home to his bedroom
in the flat which he shared with his parents.

Marvellous twenty-first century single-man vespasiennes have recently been introduced in Paris.
What goes around, comes around.






















Some more examples here >
                                                         and here >

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Lists

There's always a list,
no - many lists -
and always
at the very least
one list (if not a hundred and two)
which includes you,
long before you are on the list of the dead.

Where there is Government there is counting of heads.
Civilisation is composed almost entirely of lists.
Voter-lists, passenger lists, lists of prisoners, soldiers,
shopping-lists...
Lists are neither false nor true,
they are just lists, but one or more of them
might do for you.
There are lists of pacifists and terrorists -
and the Great List that is Google,
and the even greater list that The Alleged God
(or Big Bang) is always adding to
and perhaps even subtracting from.

The Sublime and Gentle, Holy Walt had lots of lists in his holistic,
outpouring poetry.

                                Here is a list of  what I think are my Good Points:
I am quiet.
If I am drunk or stoned, I am even quieter, and smile a lot.
I grow things for their beauty and my pleasure.
I am surprisingly patient:
I waited 40 years for my Puya to flower.
I have a little badger-sanctuary
where I planted a Pseudopanax ferox.

























I don't bother people,
have no ambition or desire to raise myself above them,
avoid people so as not to frighten or annoy them.
I am an excellent translator of poetry.
I had no and am no father: I had myself sterilised.
I have "low sex-drive", am not driven by anything
except avoidance of stress.
I am not possessive, so I am incapable of sexual jealousy,
and have no political or financial acumen,
have never been a debtor. 

I have always liked go to bed early.
I love poetical lists.
I love dogs, the bigger the better.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

How can one respect scientists,

intellectuals, famous writers and broadcasters
when they don't seem to know
that an epicentre is one of two centres
of an ellipse ?

Monday, 1 August 2016

As Diogenes

(and, who knows ? perhaps Jesus)
might have been frequently overheard saying:
the most beautiful and important thing
is to have no followers or following.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Civilisation's greatest assets

are loneliness and
a constant fear of lowliness.

Capitalism's true foundations
are loneliness and
a constant fear of lowliness.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

What politicians and rulers do

is project their inner turmoil
until it finds brief residence
in the popular propense.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Good Luck

often comes
to people who think they have it.
(I'm very glad I did not
run over that rabbit!)
Many people are a great trouble
to others and themselves
just out of habit.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

There is no such thing as time.

We invented it
with addled minds
and ever since
we have been panicking
ever faster
and rushing ever more inventively
towards disaster.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

We fondly think

the human mind can analyse,
but all it really does is banalise.
And in this unsatisfying situation
everything we do is self-congratulation.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

All thought

boils down to wondering
whether or not you really have a mind
or are merely imitating
the fantasy of other human beings.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Freedom

is not a matter of choice
between one thing and another,
but the recognition that such a choice
is an imposition.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

I have, eventually, realised

why 'happiness' is so
(universally ?)
unpopular:

it gives a strange,
floating
brain-dancing feeling,

which might cause panic in many,

and doesn't
(constantly ?)
reinforce
earthbound ego
as unhappiness and discontent do.

Friday, 22 July 2016

The Beautiful and Bizarre Pointlessness of Some Human Activity

After six years,
4,200 hours of shooting,
and 720,000 pictures,
wildlife photographer Alan McFadyen 
finally managed to take a perfect shot
of a kingfisher diving into the water
WITH NO SPLASH.

























But true appreciation of life is
appreciation of its pointlessness,
and the best way to live
is in the pleasure
of its pointlessness.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

After "When the shit hits the fan..."

my favourite American expression is
"There aren't many ways to polish a turd."
And (Christ in a Humvee!) so much American shit
has hit fans, so many turds reconstituted,
wiped clean of flies,
and coated with Kefvar or Teflon or both
and polished until they shine like young soldiers' eyes.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The wolf

is full of wolf;
the bear
is full of bear.
Even so, my deary-o,
the world
is full of care.


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Do you come here often to play ?

Urinoir (musical ?) au Bar Balkanic, Tours.

Happy humans are not only invisible

and inaudible behind, beneath
the volcanic smog of anthrópoid misery -
but they leave no record of
(let alone a recipe for)
their happiness.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Life is just

a big, bad joke,
big, bad joke...
- And who's afraid of
the big, bad joke ?
- Only the rich
and religious folk.

The least difficult and most animal

art is also the most fraught,
because most religions and moralities
ensure that all creativity, innovation
and transcendental development
in its design and execution
is nipped in the bud by guilt.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Locks and keys are instruments of the Devil.




















This is a detail of a 12th century Anastasis (depiction of the Resurrection) in St.Mark's, Venice.
The alleged Messiah "hath broken the gates of brass and smitten the bars of iron asunder"
(as is written in the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus).
The handsome mauve chap with inviting beard and buttocks is Satan,
alias Lucifer, who dared to challenge the Führer (or First Secretary) of Heaven.
He is being trampled on by Mr Goody-Goody who has nail-holes in his feet.
I like to think that locks and keys and chains are entirely devilish.
The rich and the bourgeois, obsessed with 'security', are...
entirely devilish.

A silly joke to lighten things up.


Saturday, 16 July 2016

In 1921,

the colonial administration of the French Congo (later the People's Republic of the Congo)  engaged the Société de Construction des Batignolles to construct a railway through 500 kms of the hilly and ravine-riddled land between Brazzaville and the Atlantic coast, using forced labour recruited from what is now southern Chad and the Central African Republic. Like Spain and Portugal, France did not ratify the 29th article of the International Labour Organisation's Forced Labour Convention of 1930. Misery and anger among the native population towards this conscripted labour and other equally-outrageous forms of oppression led to the Kongo-Wara rebellion of 1928-1931. During the period of construction (which lasted until 1934) there was a continual heavy cost in human lives, with total deaths of slave labour conservatively estimated in excess of 17,000, from a combination of industrial accidents, cruelty, malnutrition and diseases including malaria. In 1946, France's new Third Republic finally condescended to ratify the ILO's article 29, because of indigenous indignation and revolt.



This was just one small part of the French Republican Empire which, like the equally murderous British one, was spread around the globe, from Indo-China to most of West and North-West Africa, to the Caribbean and on to French Polynesia.  Hundreds of thousands of colonists occupied Algeria from the 1830s on and, later (after an extended and bloody war of occupation), Morocco, dispossessing everyone who had productive land.  Slavery was not abolished in Morocco until 1926. 
Occupied Muslim Algeria's main export was low-grade vin de table for the poor of palate and income in 'metropolitan' France.  The Algerian war of independence throughout the 1950s was a particularly vicious struggle, and at its end, French colonials moved en masse to the southern coast of France and to Corsica. They were followed by Muslim Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian unskilled and very low-paid workers who were herded into urban ghettoes all over France, especially in Marseille and Paris.

The French Republican, like the British Monarchical, Empire killed millions of 'natives' all over the world, and brought misery, deracination and deculturation to millions more.
Now France declares three days of mourning for fewer than a hundred dead rich locals and tourists (including 10 children, who seem to be more valuable than grannies) in a bizarre little 'lorry-massacre'.  The death-toll of dogs and puppies has not been announced.


It is impossible to wake up

the stubbornly-asleep -
who yet cannot be said
to be actually dead...