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Old 26.09.2007, 17:32   #1
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Default sept./26

Sunday, September 23, 2007
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WHY ANGELS FLY
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G.K. Chesterton: "The reason angels fly is that they take themselves lightly."
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WARNINGS
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Perhaps henceforth I should post the following two warnings at the head of everything I write.
TO MY FRIENDS: No need to read this. I say nothing you don't already know.
TO MY ENEMIES: You may not enjoy what follows – I may be on target.
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THE CHEERFUL THOUGHTS OF
A BRIGHT-EYED AND BUSHY TAILED ARMENIAN
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It is the fate of some writers, very much like some composers and painters, not to be appreciated or understood by their contemporaries because they are ahead of their time. I can't be one of them because I only recycle the LAMENTATIONS of Khorenatsi and Naregatsi – two medieval writers who wrote fifteen and ten centuries ago respectively.
Several friendly readers have told me they will love me only after I drop dead. Which raises the question: of the approximately one thousand dead Armenian writers (give and take a hundred or two) how many are loved or even read today? I remember an Armenian telling me: "If I can read first-class Greeks, Russians, and Germans, why should I waste my time with our second-raters? I challenge you to name a single Armenian who is as good as Plato, Dostoevsky, and Hesse!"
And speaking of Naregatsi: I once had a talk with Mischa Kudian (may the blessings of the Lord be upon him) -- remember Kudian? He translated Naregatsi, among many other Armenian writers. He was one of the most disappointed Armenians I have ever met. Afterwards I remember to have thought: "I will never be like that. He is too negative about his fellow Armenians. He sees only the worst in them. I will be more positive. I will be more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…"
I am now told I am consistently negative, and I am told this by the very same Armenians whose favorite subjects are Turks, massacres, and denialists. Human beings are bundles of contradictions, we are told. Nothing new in that. Contradictions in themselves are not dangerous. Unawareness of them is. Unawareness allows a man to behave like swine and parade as a paragon of virtue. Hence the spectacle of garbage-mouth nonentities and control-freak simpletons pretending to be superpatriots with leadership qualities fully authorized to tell better men than themselves what to think.
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IT IS NOT WRITTEN!
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Jimmy Carr: "Cats have nine lives. Which makes them ideal for experimentation." If God created us for purely experimental reasons, He also gave us a free will with which to disagree with Him.
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DEMOCRACY
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You say you are right because you have the majority on your side? How do you know? Did you take a vote? How come I wasn't told?
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Monday, September 24, 2007
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JOKES
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G.B. Shaw: "If you want to tell a person the truth, make him laugh or he'll kill you."
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George Orwell: "The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded."
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Jews make great comedians. They love to laugh at themselves. We don't! Perhaps because we are a joke.
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"Why did Hitler kill himself? He got his gas bill."
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Woody Allen: "I'm very proud of this pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch."
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Jimmy Carr: "Mother always said, `If you haven't got anything nice to say, then f*** off!'"
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Terry Pratchett: "Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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Groucho Marx: "These are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."
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Woody Allen: "My grandmother left me nothing. She was too busy being raped by Cossacks."
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Denis Leary: "I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Price."
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"Does the tailor Rabinowitch live here?"
"No."
"Who are you?"
"Rabinowitch."
"And aren't you a tailor?"
"Yes, I am."
"Then why did you say you didn't live here?"
"You call this living?"
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Rowan Atkinson: "Never before have I encountered such corrupt and foul-mouthed perversity. Have you considered a career in the church?"
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Noel Coward: "You live and learn. Then you die and forget it all."
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Wanna read more jokes? See ONLY JOKING: WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH? By Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves (New York, 2006). Not a single Armenian mentioned in it.
#
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
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THE ART OF OBJECTIVITY
AMONG OTHER THINGS
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If after making an assertion you are not haunted by its contradiction, it means you have decided to act as your own attorney, and as is well known in the legal profession, you have a fool for a client.
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All the misfortunes of mankind may be ascribed to the fact that bad men outnumber good ones and they know how to organize themselves and impose their will on others.
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In George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM, the favorite slogan of the pigs (who represent Stalinists) is “four legs good, two legs bad.” The aim of all slogans is to legitimize prejudice and to organize hatred, and hatred not only of the enemy but also of fellow countrymen who dare to question their infallibility.
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There are good men in all nations, but they are so few that it would be a serious blunder to alienate even one of them.
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What’s the difference between an idiot and a dupe? An idiot believes in his own lies; a dupe believes in someone else’s. But that’s semantics. In reality, an idiot will also qualify as a dupe and vice versa. And there is this peculiarity about dupes and idiots: they will never admit to being dupes and idiots.
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I have spent enough time among Greeks, Italians, Canadians, Americans, and Armenians to know the kind of vicious idiot nationalism can create.
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Duke of Wellington: “The real test of a general is to know when to retreat and dare to do it.” This is exactly what our heroic revolutionaries did at the outset of the Genocide. They made a strategic retreat and lived long enough to write their multi-volume memoirs in which to recount in great detail their deeds of valor. As they are fond of saying in Latin America: Long Live the Revolution!
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I once heard an Armenian define free speech thus (I abridge and paraphrase as is my wont): “Free speech is what I say it is. If you disagree, shut the f*** up!”
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We all share the same daydream: to be loved for who we pretend to be.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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ON MORAL SUPERIORITY
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Remember the case of Zohrab’s Kurdish assassin? If you don’t, allow me to refresh your memory. Shortly before he died, it seems, this Kurd experienced a crisis of conscience, confessed his crime, and provided details as to time, place, and manner, all of which was duly published in the ARMENIAN REVIEW, a Tashnak organ emanating from Boston. We know that this Kurd was acting on orders from Talaat, in the same manner that two decades later and acting on orders of Stalin, our commissars in Yerevan murdered an entire generation of our ablest intellectuals. Now, my question is: Has any one of them come forward, identified himself as a killer, and expressed regret for his actions? My guess is – correct me if I am wrong – these commissars and their offspring are now busy ****ing the blood of the people in the Homeland, and in the Diaspora, they are parading as superpatriots and delivering speeches on self-sacrifice and dedication to principles to the rest of us renegades.
I once met such a specimen. He had transparent blue eyes, an open face, and a sincere look. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth or anywhere else for that matter. He spoke at some length of corrupt practices and related atrocities, but added, such things were totally alien to him and he was as appalled by them as any man of integrity. I believed him. I wanted to believe him. Which once more confirms my status as an incurable dupe. Later, I heard from two different sources that this blue-eyed, moon-faced, and Oscar-caliber performed was one of the most corrupt operators in all of Armenia.
There are many forms of denial. When a fool pretends to be smart, or when a crook pretends to be honest, or when a charlatan pretends to be a role model, or when a total ignoramus pretends to have all the answers, is he not a denialist too?
Casting aspersions? No, of course not!
Asking questions? Yes, certainly.
Present company suspected? No comment.
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