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Old 11.08.2007, 17:51   #1
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Default aug/12

Thursday, August 09, 2007
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FREE PRESS, ARMENIAN STYLE
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You are of course free to say whatever you wish, provided you say nothing against God and capital -- make it, Capital and god – I mean benefactors and bishops – because, like everyone else, we are financially dependent on the generosity of our benefactors, and because bishops represent god on earth, and who would dare to criticize god? Besides, bishops, or rater their secretaries, provide us with a regular stream of press releases about their activities, projects, and recent developments dealing with the community, plus verbatim texts of sermons, in addition to buying advertising space for such things as Oriental rug sales, banquets, kefs, picnics, and so on and so forth. Get the picture? Criticizing them would be like biting the hand that lays the golden egg. As for our bosses: pretend they don’t exist. They are publicity shy anyway. Most Armenians don’t even know who they are. And remember, your job and mine depend on their say-so. One wrong word and we are out. Otherwise, as I said, you are free to say anything you want about the Genocide, provided of course you make it absolutely clear we had nothing to do with it, except for contributing victims. Perhaps I should also mention some subjects you had better avoid, subjects like solidarity, for instance. Solidarity is a subject best left to our editorialists, they know how to handle it. But just in case you are cornered or stumble into it, say we are all for it; it’s the opposition that’s against it. We are not the dividers, they are. We have always been for solidarity – 100%, body and soul. Same goes for all our other problems. Put the blame on the opposition. But otherwise, as I said, you must feel absolutely free to say whatever you wish, because ours is a free press, and we live in a democracy that considers free speech a fundamental human right…and all that crap.
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Friday, August 10, 2007
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ABRACADABRA
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Americans fought their bloodiest war in defense of solidarity. Have we shed a single drop of blood in defense of our own? If anything, we have done the exact opposite. Our tribal leaders and their dupes have killed one another to keep us divided. Does anyone know how many Armenians have been killed by fellow Armenians in the name of this or that dime-a-dozen ideology – make it, propaganda line – that has since been exposed as a Big Lie? To cover up the devastating consequences of their tribal policies, our dividers are fond of evoking historic, social, and cultural conditions and forces beyond their control, when all they have to do is take a good look at themselves in the mirror. I am beginning to suspect our favorite word is abracadabra, and our favorite mode of perception is self-assessment. We say, “We are smart. Abracadabra!” and lo and behold, we convince ourselves our single-digit IQ has performed a quantum leap to the stratosphere. We say, “We are nationalists. Abracadabra!” and we compound the felony by convincing ourselves we qualify. And when someone points out the fact that we are no better than a bunch of inbred tribal morons, we call him an enemy of the people, a traitor to the cause, and worse, a Turcophile!
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Saturday, August 11, 2007
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AN HONEST ARMENIAN
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The first time I met an honest Armenian I thought he was nuts. I grew up in a ghetto inhabited by refugees whose central concern was survival in an alien environment in time of war – not exactly conditions favorable to the abstractions of literature and philosophy. To a hungry man, it has been said, a loaf of bread and a pair of boots are more important than the complete works of Plato and Shakespeare. Those who could read, read AZAD OR, an Armenian language daily whose fourth (and last page) consisted of obituaries, announcements, and advertisements. As for books: I grew up in a house with a single book, a dilapidated elementary school anthology. It was at the age of thirteen and in Italy that I discovered the world of books and met Vahé Esmerian, a cousin twice or thrice removed. He spoke of Dostoevsky (whose GAMBLER I had just read) and Alishan, the greatest Mekhitarist scholar and poet (“a mental masturbator”), Marx, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and many others. My first reaction to what he was saying was confusion, disorientation, and astonishment. If he is right, I thought, everyone else I had met until then must be wrong. If he is honest, everyone else must be either a dupe or a charlatan. Was that possible? I could not make up my mind. But I sensed that in his presence, the world became a less incomprehensible place and life ceased to be one damn thing after another.
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