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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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Friday, 25 May 2018

'Popular culture'

"... is not the spontaneous expression of the people,
but a profit-driven industry –
it robs us of our freedom
and bends us to conform to its needs for profit."

- Owen Hulatt writing about Adorno. here.

Adorno: "Every visit to the cinema leaves me, against all my vigilance, stupider and worse."
The world-stupefying American cinema was, of course, perpetrated by other Jews-in-exile than Adorno.

Capitalism has morphed from wage-slavery and child-exploitation
to cheap bad food and very cheap thought-smothering entertainment for all.
Panis et circenses...

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Wisdom

rarely comes before old age,
even to Dalai Lamas,
and lamentably few old people are wise.
Wiseness has need of very little knowledge,
education, or other costly hoo-ha.
You say dayta and I say dahta.
but they don't stop us telling lies.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Dissident

is an 18th century English term
borrowed by Russians in the early 1960s
and soon exported
shortly after the Russian word
Samizdat (самиздат = self-publishing)
was sent around the world.

Dissidents in the USSR
showed that, there, in that post-Stalin circumstance,
"the pen is mightier than the sword".
Under the tyranny of consumer capitalism, however,
dissidents can be safely ignored.




Tuesday, 22 May 2018

from "The Times" (London).

Juvenile offenders carried out
almost half of all sexual offences
recorded by the gardaí [Irish police] in 2016,
a report has found.

Go figure.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Too many haikai

are depressingly precious,
especially when written in English,
which, unlike Japanese, Russian, Latin,
Estonian, Lithuanian, etc.
is a language with definite and indefinite articles.
But here is a homage to Issa:

From a far cuckoo
comes a disyllabic
ventrilo-haiku.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A typical Facebook translation.

En France, plus de 120 000 personnes complètent leurs revenus en partageant leur logement sur Airbnb.
In France, more than 120 people complete their income by sharing their accommodation on Airbnb.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Friday, 18 May 2018

Employment

is a function of property.
Without property-superiority
there would be no employment
- or slavery.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

De combien est

le langage faux moins sociable que le silence.

Silence is much less anti-social than false words.

- Michel de Montaigne  (read more



Wednesday, 16 May 2018

It has taken me most of my life

to be able to have pleasure
- even joy -
without wanting
the bonus
of sharing it.

Monday, 14 May 2018

It is not often

that Ludwig van Beethoven is quoted.
He once said that, if he had known
he would go deaf, he would have been a painter.

Maybe better than Caspar David Friedrich,
or perhaps a dramatic fusion between him and Turner ?

Sunday, 13 May 2018

My dog knows

that I appeared upon this Earth
mainly to make him happy.
He often seems to wish
that I could be better at it.


Saturday, 12 May 2018

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

« Кони привередливые »

A popular song of this quality
could never have come out of North America
or anywhere Anglophone -
though it might have come out of France or Germany.
In English it is perversely entitled
Capricious Horses, which is a typical translator's travesty
of the original Untamed, Unruly or possibly Heedless  Horses -
though, of course, in English, Heedless is too similar to Headless.
(Some translations crassly put Fastidious !)

Other translations of привередливые (priveredlivye) might be:
impetuous, ungovernable, uncontrolled...

Here is the song by the epic Vladimir Vysotsky,

who was a kind of cross between late Tom Waits and Amalia Rodrigues,
and one of the few great singer-songwriters such as Brel

and Brassens. (Piaf did not write the songs she sang so well.)

And here is my translation:


UNRULY HORSES

Next to infinity, along the cliff-edge,
I whip my wilful horses, urge them on...
I need some air, I'm gulping wind and fog,
and now in fatal rapture: I am leaving, I'm away...

[but]

Slow down, slow down a little, horses!
Slow down a little bit!
Ignore the painful lashes!
- But these horses are so unruly, and so headstrong,  -
and so little time remains to me...
I'll try to end my song...
I'll find water for my horses
and will stay a little longer on the edge.

I may die - and the wind will transport me,
And the sleigh will convey me through the morning snow.
Slow down, my wayward horses!  Slow down a little -
let me prolong my headlong ride into the void.

Slow down, O my horses! Slow down just a fraction!
Ignore the whip and the whipping..
- But I can't control my horses and I have so little time.
I won't finish my song,
I'll lead them to water, I will finish singing
and stay a little longer on the edge.

We're on time - any time is fine for the Creator.
- but why are those damned angels screaming so ?
Or is it just a harness-bell that's jangling ?
Or is it me just screeching vainly at my beasts ?

Slow down, slow down a bit, my horses,
Please stop this headlong gallop to our doom.
- But my horses are quite heedless...
If it's the end for me, let it not be the end of my song!
I'll lead them to water... I will finish my singing

and stay a little longer on the edge.


Monday, 7 May 2018

The older I get

the more I realise
that "normality" is mere hysteria,
and "dementia" is nature-wise.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Looking for a source of

'Life is like a sewer. you get out of it what you put in,'
quoted by a commenter (commentator ?) on Tom Lehrer's
Copenhagen Concert on YouTube, I got this link.
Google takes you interesting places, accidentally.
But the quotation seems to be a translation of a Danish quip-proverb:
Livet er som en kloak, Man får det ud af det, man kommer I det.

(Jo, jeg kan læse dansk.)

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Confession of a Beard-fetishist.

If only I had met a woman who looked like this

Harnaam Kaur
























I would not have sought romance with men.

(But bearded women were rare (or made invisible)
in 1960s Belfast, and Sikhs even rarer.)

Friday, 4 May 2018

My dog says:

Forget mindfulness.
Cultivate nosefulness.
(And don't forget furfulness.)

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

That notorious quip

by Orson Welles, unscripted, in The Third Man
is doubly odious, because the cuckoo-clock
was not invented in Switzerland,
but in Germany, probably Bavaria,
and the first recorded one
was bought by the Holy Roman
Prince Elector August von Sachsen.

Monday, 30 April 2018

"Liquid Lunch".

Redundancy !  Pleonasmitude !
Luncheon comes from a Middle English word
meaning Midday Drink,
and only much later truncated
and enlarged to Midday Snack.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

I have been trying to think

of good things that have come from the USA
to Europe (especially the British Isles,
which have the misfortune of a shared language)
since, say, 1900, and have, so far, come up with nothing
that is not greed-oriented, environment-destroying,
socially-divisive or toxic - except for jazz.

Its legal system is punitive, its penal system vicious,
and as for its quaint and hallowed 18th century Constitution -
why is it that no other country has adopted it ?

Saturday, 28 April 2018

I understand President Trump

insofar as he hates the bourgeoisie
even more than I do.
He wants a system of rulers and ruled,
millionaires and poor working proles
(no intellectuals, no hobos)
for him to rule over like a monarch -
and no tiresome middle class people such as those
who wrote the US Constitution -
whereas I would like humans to be just one class
of cheerful non-workers, like Bonobos.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Why I love The Web.

Fun statistical fact: Cows are about 300 times more likely to kill you than coyotes.

Minor side-note to statistical fact:
If it was common for people to keep several hundred coyotes on their property and routinely chase them into a corral and handle them, this statistic would be different.

- This is a great summary of ‘conditional probability’, a statistical property which many people grapple with unsuccessfully.
.
- This post just made me realize that both coconut trees and vending machines, items often quoted in wacky death statistics, are both things that people often shake vigorously.

(from my favourite tumblr site)

Thursday, 26 April 2018

"Knowing oneself"

depends a lot on how you define or think of "self". 
And as for "knowing" - how can we know anything ?
except that we are trapped in "selves" 
which can be turned inside out and liberated
to become molecules of accident-prone freedom.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Osamu Dazai -

an int'resting guy...


































"I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity,
truly splendid of their kind-of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough)
any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware even that they are deceiving one another.”

― Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Evening sky, from my balcony.


"The intellect of man

is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,"
wrote William Butler Yeats -
who made some perfect poems
(Byzantium, Sailing to Byzantium,
The Circus Animals' Desertion...)

but certainly did not live life perfectly -
unlike Akhmatova, whose poetry
I (who did not live in Russia under
the sociopathic Stalin Monster)
cannot relate to. Maybe it's the translations
since poetry is so rarely well-translated.

For me, Anna Akhmatova's
life was one of the most impressive poems ever lived.


Monday, 23 April 2018

The rare banana-fish

makes a delicious dish
when baked with snails
and rusty nails,
or boiled with slugs
and Persian rugs
or fried with love and jellied dove,
or dipped in silage
with extra mileage
and eaten with oodles of squish.


Next week I will present exciting recipes
for the extremely rare


fish-foot.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Friday, 20 April 2018

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Photo...

of a mural sgraffito
under a by-pass at Caussade
in south-west France.

(taken today)



















(click the picture to enlarge)

One of the silliest of sayings

is An Englishman's Home is his Castle.
If that were the case,
A Frenchman's home is Fort Knox.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Sex Habit

is worse than heroin or glue
addiction
because it not only propagates
infections and affliction,
but people, too.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Sunday, 15 April 2018

On prehistoric (?) hut-ruins on Dartmoor (England).


on Facebook:

"Grimspound is such a cool site. I love the fact that you can literally step into a 3,000 year old house... Marvellous. Really gets you back in touch with the ancestors."

Why does anyone want to get in touch with 'the ancestors' ?
Mine would chop me up into little bits, castrate me, burn me alive or throw me to the English.


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Whatever happened to Afternoon Tea ?

Women's Work Ethic killed it off.
I so enjoyed it in the 1950s
when my mother came home from teaching infants.
Now I have Afternoon Absinthe
and a small cigar.
I am the Emperor of Au Revoir.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Information does not necessarily have meaning,

and the "information value" of a message
depends in part on the range of alternatives
that were killed off in its choosing.
As in the making of a sausage.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

for Raúl in Asunción.

I have just read that Guaraní
is (after Latin)
the second most-used language of taxonomy ?

To have no (or very few) friends

is no big deal.
But to have enemies can be fatal. 
Poor old Joe
(failed-poet and lapsed-seminarian)
Vissarionovich Djugashvili had thousands.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

I guess that only human beings

have the bizarre and subtle concept of absurdity,
because we are the only absurd beings.