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Old 27.06.2007, 17:23   #1
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Sunday, June 24, 2007
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GOOD QUESTIONS / BAD ANSWERS
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“Instead of telling us we are on the wrong path, why don’t you tell us where the right path is?” a reader demands to know.
My answer: The right path does not exist. It must be invented, and everyone must invent it for himself; and even after you invent it, there is no guarantee it will take you where you want to go, assuming of course you know where you are going.
Perhaps the best way to come up with a good answer is by rejecting all bad answers, even if you may end up with no answer; even if the choice is between a bad answer and no answer at all, or between collective catastrophe or individual anxiety.
Remember our revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire: because they settled for a bad answer, we were visited with a collective catastrophe. Something similar happened in Stalin’s USSR, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and more recently with Bush’s reaction to 9/11.
No answer is better than an answer that will create bigger problems. Remember, if an answer makes perfect sense to you and every fiber in your body tells you it must be the right answer, it’s sure as hell to take you straight to the devil.
Perhaps all questions are good and bad at the same time: they are good as long as they remain questions; they are bad when we try to answer them.
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Monday, June 25, 2007
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ILLUSION AND REALITY
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Max Jacob: “An authentic work is one with enough power to change illusion to reality.”
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Whenever I am called a loser by one of my gentle readers, I think, it takes one to know one; and by that I mean, as a loser, I may be in a far better position to understand my fellow Armenians. As for those who think of themselves as winners: I suppose, illusions are commodities within the income bracket of even beggars.
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If you want to understand your fellow Armenians, don’t read our partisan weeklies that recycle an ideological line (99% illusion), read Raffi, Odian, Baronian, Zohrab, and Zarian.
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I have lost several friends because I could not take their religion or ideology seriously.
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Smart readers, who think I am a fool, are my most faithful readers. Figure that one out, if you can.
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Ideologies have a way of bringing together top dogs with underdogs – the first as deceivers, the second as dupes.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007
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GOD, DANTE, AND GALILEO
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As a rule, people feel more comfortable with people who are aware of their own failings and limitations; and their first thought on meeting a megalomaniac is, “the conceited ass!” This minor detail seems to have escaped our fascist charlatans who pretend to be leaders of men on grounds that they know better.
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Like all fascists, ours too need not only foreign enemies but also traitors among themselves.
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Galileo was silenced because his scientific theories contradicted the Bible which being the word of God could not be wrong. Dissidents and critics are silenced because they dare to contradict charlatans who think they know better and they might as well be if not gods than as infallible as God. Megalomania was their undoing but they seem to have learned nothing from history.
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A contemporary Armenian Dante would populate his entire Inferno with our self-righteous megalomaniacs.
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If you believe in something to be true, it is true, provided you don’t expect others to believe it too.
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Whenever I assess myself as smart, some anonymous imbecile is sure to take advantage of me.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007
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CRITERIA
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Since it is impossible to know everything there is to know about the past, we must assume there are some things we will never know. Historians disagree because they operate on the assumption that what they don’t know cannot be as important as what they know. And who decides what’s important, what’s less important, and what’s irrelevant?
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CASE IN POINT
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It is common knowledge that letters to the editor that express agreement with an editorial have a far better chance to be published that all other letters. Once, when I disagreed with an editorial, I was told: “We don’t as a rule publish letters critical of our editorials.” Translated into dollars and cents, this simply means: “Brown-nosers are welcome! All others might as well be irrelevant.”
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CONCLUSION
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An Armenian with partisan loyalties is an Armenian who has allowed his animus to blind his judgment. One is therefore justified in suspecting that those who take it upon themselves to formulate editorial policy or criteria in general are individuals who suffer from an advanced case of narcissism and an inferiority complex of monumental dimensions. This may suggest that what we need more than Turcocentric pundits are psychiatrists.
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