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Old 20.10.2007, 17:36   #1
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Thursday, October 18, 2007
***********************************************
MEMO TO OUR PUNDITS
**************************************
They were discussing the recent Congressional vote on the Armenian Genocide on CNN and I heard one of the talking heads say that Turks and Armenians hate each other and they have hated each other for a very long time. It is human, and therefore understandable, to hate the enemy, especially when he is guilty of an unforgivable, unacknowledged, and unatoned crime – and what could be more unforgivable than the massacre of innocent women and children? Understandable, yes, but also politically, diplomatically, and legally incorrect. Hatred and justice might as well be mutually exclusive concepts. For the ultimate goal of hatred is not justice but the total ruin and destruction of the guilty party.
All the Turks have to do to reverse the American initiative to recognize the Genocide is to emphasize Armenian hatred and the unreasonable demands it inspires.
*
Whenever I mention hatred to our Turcocentric pundits, they tell me I am wrong, they hate no one, they want only justice. Whether they believe this themselves or not is irrelevant. The truth is, so far they have convinced only themselves and no one else. I would therefore urge them to cease and desist. If they carry on as they have until now, they may do more harm than good to our cause. No one in his right mind wants a new gang of terrorists killing innocent civilians and endangering the lives of others who had nothing to do with what happened a century ago. Let cooler heads, preferably diplomats, historians, and experts in international law, handle the subject. But if these pundits are so addicted to their Turcocentrism that they cannot stop writing about it, I urge them to read Saroyan, Toynbee, and Turkish writers like Pamuk, Akcam, and Safak, all of whom have dealt with the subject without hatred. Saroyan went further and said he felt sorry for the Turks. After writing several books on the brutal tyranny of Turks and the Armenian massacres, Toynbee acquired Turkish friends, learned the Turkish language, and became a Turcophile; but went on asserting the reality of the Genocide in nearly all his future books, including the last one. As for the Turkish writers mentioned above: only a handful of petty bureaucrats, fascists, and fanatics accuse them of insulting Turkishness, and what leads them to do so is blind hatred. There is more than enough hatred in the world and the last thing mankind needs is more of it.
#
Friday, October 19, 2007
****************************************
AN ARMENIAN DECALOGUE
& A PRAYER
*************************************************
I.
Thou shalt not believe in white men for they speak with a forked tongue.
*
II.
Thou shalt not believe in self-appointed pundits and ghazetajis whose role models are not historians but other self-appointed pundits, ghazetajis, and partisan agitators for whom objectivity and impartiality are alien concepts.
*
III.
Thou shalt not hate thine brothers for hating them means adopting Cain as a role model.
*
IV.
Thou shalt not believe in charlatans who know everything but understand nothing.
*
V.
Thou shalt not believe in salesmen of bridges and overly generous Nigerian royalties with vast fortunes.
*
VI.
Thou shalt not believe in those who read between the lines for the Writing on the Wall has only one line.
*
VII.
Thou shalt not play the blame-game for it is the favorite sport of baloney artists.
*
VIII.
Thou shalt not oppose or suppress free speech for fear of free speech is the worst kind of cowardice.
*
IX.
Thou shalt not believe everything thou readest in the papers.
*
X.
Thou shalt not believe the promises of politicians for they are written on water.
#
A PRAYER
**********************
Let us now pray for our million and a half who were victimized because their self-appointed, unelected, and non-representative leaders believed in the empty verbiage of white men.
#
Saturday, October 20, 2007
*******************************************
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
*************************************
Gostan Zarian: “The complex psychology of small nations. Their naïve and tragic readiness to entertain great illusions. Their tendency to see decisive historic moments in petty occurrences and insignificant details.”
*
After accusing us of being liars, they now tell us we speak the truth (which they knew to be the case all along).
*
It took them nearly a century to decide that the Genocide is not a figment of our collective imagination. Why the sudden change of heart? One possible explanation: the Dems demanded a raise from Turkish lobbyists and were turned down. The irony here is that the Americans didn’t want any Turkish money; only a partial refund…
*
Anonymous (American): “Our Congress is the best money can buy.”
*
Cui bono? Who benefits? Whoever gets your vote, that’s who.
*
Memo to our Turcocentric ghazetajis: If you think you have the persuasive skills to change a politician’s mind, I suggest you apply them next on our own.
*
Gostan Zarian: “What are we but a handful of persecuted exiles at the mercy of the wind, like dust clinging on stones on dirt roads and assuming their shapes – grateful whenever we fall on a vegetable planted by someone else.”
#
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Old 24.10.2007, 17:53   #2
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Sunday, October 21, 2007
*******************************************
MAXIMS & REFLECTIONS
**************************************
When gentlemen disagree, they apologize; when hoodlums disagree, they vandalize.
*
Bullying may work with children; reason has a better chance with adults.
*
If you are smart, don’t pretend to be smarter because you won’t fool even fools.
*
I don’t write to be believed – I am not a preacher. Neither am I a salesman. If what I have to offer doesn’t appeal to you, take your business elsewhere. Our marketplace has many peddlers that cater to all tastes, age groups, and IQs.
*
Speaking of bullies and charlatans, allow me to quote the elegant words of a Canadian poetess on publishers: “Just when you think you have been screwed every possible way, you run across someone who has read the KAMA SUTRA.”
*
I believe politics to be a filthy business because all power is filth, including our own.
*
Even when I paraphrase ideas expressed by la crиme de la crиme of our literature, I am contradicted by our crиme de la scum.
*
An unspoken Armenian mantra: “We have no use for writers. We are smarter than any dozen scribblers combined.”
*
I have no need to read the mind of philistines. At eleven we are all philistines. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against philistines. They are my bread and butter. All the good ideas I ever had came to me while reading them.
*
Suppress a trauma and the result will be a neurosis, or so we are told by Freud and Co. Our Turcocentric pundits do not suppress our trauma, they make an obsession of it. The result is the same.
*
An Armenian discussion forum is a microcosm of the nation. Irreconcilable differences and divisions exist because fanatics exist – infallible men who speak in the name of god and do the devil’s work; and if it’s not god it is an ideology or dogma. The problem with ideologies and dogmas is that there will always be another brand of ideology or dogma that will stand in direct contradiction to them.
*
If I have said this before it’s because to repeat that which needs to be repeated is not redundant but necessary.
#
Monday, October 22, 2007
*****************************************
DEFINING TURCOCENTRISM
**************************************************
The aim of Turcocentrism is to remind us that the Turks occupied our lands, desecrated our holy places, forced our boys into the rank of Janissaries and our girls into harems, oppressed us for six centuries, butchered our ablest intellects, raped our women, eviscerated our children, massacred innocent civilians by the million, drove us out of our ancestral lands and into deserts to die of thirst, starvation, and disease. There is no end to the crimes they committed against us – crimes that remain unacknowledged and unatoned to this day.
Turcocentrism is more than an ideology; it is a theology whose god is the devil and the devil is the Turk. Turcocentrism is a reaction to Turkish criminal conduct, and in its extreme forms it is more akin to Ottomanism than Armenianism, and Ottomanism not in the Turkish sense of the word (as referring to a glorious imperial past) but in ours (as evoking defeat, degradation, and death).
“Where there is no vision the people perish,” we are told. In that sense Turcocentrism is not a vision but a nightmare, and as such it is a dead end. It is a wound that cannot heal. It is a trauma that cannot be analyzed, explained, understood, overcome, and forgotten. It is a cancer that cannot be treated. Even if they were to accede to all our demands – which they will never do – our score with them will never be settled because it cannot be settled. What are a few billion dollars and a slice of real estate compared to the martyrdom of millions?
Our choices are therefore clear and the Writing on the Wall unambiguous: Either we come to terms with this reality and look forward or we turn into pillars of salt.
#
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
**********************************************
S.O.B.s
*************************
It is said that the Roman senators attacked Julius Caesar with such blind fury that they injured one another. Moral: Even when the cause you are defending is right (Caesar had declared himself dictator for life) it never pays to go about it like a fanatic.
A fanatic may be thought of as harmless on the grounds that “he may be a son-of-a-bitch but he is our son-of-a-bitch.” But even his friends will reject a pathological case. During the Cold War, Americans supported a good number of corrupt dictators on the above-mentioned s.o.b. principle. One such dictator was Saddam. Moral: An s.o.b. is bad news if not today than tomorrow, and if not tomorrow than the day after.
*
The great French writer, Cйline, was such a pathological case of anti-Semitism that he saw Jews everywhere. At one point, during the German occupation of Paris, he even accused his Armenian doctor of being a Jew, and the poor fellow came very close to being shipped to a concentration camp. For more details, see PARIS: THE SECRET HISTORY, by Andrew Hussey (New York 2006), page 374.
*
When a character in Shakespeare’s HENRY IV says, “I can call spirits from the deep,” another replies, “Why so can I, or so can any man. But will they come when you do call them?” An Armenian who makes all kinds of extravagant claims on behalf of his fellow Armenians or against Turks will be contradicted not only by moderates but also by his fellow chauvinists. The result will be not dialogue but a dead end. Fanatics are not in the habit of admitting error. If they were, we would now be if not an empire than a serious contender. The very reasons that have made of us a beggar among nations continue to obstruct our path today, but we are too busy playing the blame-game and injuring one another to admit the obvious.
*
The Dalai Lama being honored in Washington and soon in Ottawa, reminds me of our own religious leaders who said “Yes, sir!” to notorious s.o.b.s like sultans and commissars ostensibly to save the church and the nation, but ended up saving no one and nothing, not even themselves.
#
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
********************************************
LABELS
********************
When it comes to reading, I prefer to read a human being rather than a label. Even when I read an expert, I prefer one in whom the human being speaks louder than the expertise, the role, the profession, or the angle. By human being I mean someone with more doubts and uncertainties and less dogmas and infallible assertions. Even when wrong, a personal view has a better chance of being right than the best propaganda line that is dogmatic, self-righteous, infallible, and intolerant. I don’t ask anyone to agree with me. All I ask is that he deviate a fraction of an inch from the particular propaganda line that stands between him and reality.
*
Victims need victims too. Victims also victimize. It is this that makes them as bad as their victimizers.
*
Question and answer sessions are based on the assumption that the questioner knows nothing and he who answers them knows everything even when it’s the other way around.
*
Sometimes I am accused of hating myself, to which I can only say, god save me from a narcissist (surely, one of the most loathsome labels) who thinks just because he is infatuated with himself, others should follow his example.
*
I admire a writer who can say in a single sentence what I have been struggling to express in ten or a hundred pages. Example: “No people can be genuinely free so long as they look to others for their deliverance.” From Glenn Loury’s ONE BY ONE FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
#
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Old 27.10.2007, 17:48   #3
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Thursday, October 25, 2007
********************************************
THE CROCODILIAN BRAIN
****************************************************
Writers like Zohrab and Zabel Yessayan make it abundantly clear in their fiction that enlightened Turks respected enlightened Armenians. Our conflict today is not between enlightened men but between our respective lowest common denominator. But then, so are all conflicts. Enlightened men engage in dialogue and reach a consensus simply because it is in their mutual interest to do so. It is different with barbarians.
*
Who is a barbarian? In the eyes of millions, among them learned scholars, Alexander the Great, Suleiman the Magnificent, and Genghis Khan were great men. It is said of Genghis Khan that, when he asked what was the greatest pleasure in life and one said falconry and another something else, he dismissed them with contempt and said, “The greatest pleasure, my friends, is killing the enemy and f***ing his wife.”
Who is the enemy? Anyone whose aim in life is to kill you. Even the church tells us to kill in self-defense is no sin, and the justice system of all civilized and progressive nations agrees. Cherchez not la femme but the crocodilian brain in all of us.
*
When power goes unchecked, it is abused. Who checks the power of our mini-sultans and neo-commissars?
*
An ideology or religion that divides a nation is not a blessing but a curse, it serves not god but the devil, it promotes not progress but degeneration.
*
When reality is against us, objectivity becomes a hostile concept.
*
Jean Cocteau: “Stupidity is always astounding, no matter how often one encounters it.”
#
Friday, October 26, 2007
****************************************
ON MORAL SUPERIORITY
************************************************
Whenever I make an honest effort to understand and explain my fellow Armenians, I invariably run across a self-righteous charlatan who reacts with such hatred and venom that I am reminded of a born-again Armenian in his eighties who once said to me: “The Turks were right to massacre Armenians. Armenians are evil. The Genocide was God’s punishment.”
Never mind about being tolerant of Jews and Turks, most of whom have done no harm to us and may even be on our side. We must first learn to be tolerant of our fellow Armenians.
*
But perhaps, instead of speaking of Jews, Turks, and Armenians, we should teach ourselves to speak of our fellow men.
As children we are all brought up to believe we are normal and we can rely on our understanding of what’s right and wrong. Some of us never outgrow that infantile stage. What does it mean to be normal? Who decides? Our environment of course, or rather, the majority within our environment. What if the majority is abnormal? In Nazi Germany, in Soviet Russia, in Mussolini’s Italy, the majority was dead wrong but only assumed to be right. It went further and it persecuted the minority by supporting a criminal regime. Hence the post-World War II slogan: “We are all assassins!”
*
Well, not quite. Where there are assassins, there will be victims. Is it not safe to assume that the victims are morally superior to their victimizers?
Who is a victim? At all times and everywhere societies may be divided into masters and slaves, top dogs and underdogs, exploiters and workers, killers and victims. One way to define a victim is to say that given the opportunity he would prefer to be a master rather than a slave, a top dog rather than an underdog, and a killer rather than his victim. Now then, who is right and who wrong? Who is morally superior, the killer or the victim who would gladly change places with him? (Remember, even the Church sanctions killing in self-defense.) In such a context, can one really speak of moral superiority?
*
God and his angels may be right or morally superior but for reasons of their own they don’t get involved in human affairs or take sides. Why not? Theologians have come up with many answers that may make sense to them and to their brainwashed disciples and followers but to no one else.
Where does mankind stand today? When it comes to morality and justice, have we made any progress? Do you think God is on your side? You are of course free to think so but don’t expect others to agree with you.
#
Saturday, October 27, 2007
*********************************************
ON FORGIVENESS AND UNDERSTANDING
************************************************************
My Turkish friend and I agree on many things except the word genocide. He denies its reality with the same visceral certainty that I assert it. Last time the subject came up, I suggested the source of our disagreement may well be the fact that as children we were brainwashed by two different sets of charlatans. The main thing is, we don’t allow our disagreement to end our friendship. This is not what happens with fellow Armenians. Even when the disagreement is minor to the point of being insignificant, the friendship comes to a violent end with a torrent of verbal abuse.
*
When I was a little boy I would try to see the positive in the negative and I would invariably find it. Like Pollyanna, after every misfortune, I would play the glad game. At one point I even saw something good in the Genocide: if it weren’t for the Genocide, I thought, we would still be Turkish citizens and share our existence with bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians, instead of living in the enlightened West. One good thing about the Genocide was that it had liberated us from the shackles of Ottomanism!
*
What does the average citizen know what goes on in the world or, for that matter, in the next village? He has no choice but to rely on politicians, editors, and ghazetajis – at best dupes (like our own Zohrab) and at worst, riffraff.
*
In 1981 a Turk by the name of Ali Agca (who, like most Turks, may have been part-Armenian) tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II. Three years later the Pope visited him in his cells and forgave him. He forgave him, yes, but he did not set him free. He set himself free. To forgive is a selfish act. It sets one free from the shackles of hatred. It does not say let bygones be bygones, let’s forget the past and bury the hatchet. It does not cancel the debt the criminal owes to society.
*
Unlike the Pope, who forgave his would-be assassin, we are no longer in a position to forgive Talaat and the perpetrators of the Genocide. But perhaps what we can do is understand the denialists who are denialists not by choice but by indoctrination.
#
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Old 30.10.2007, 16:54   #4
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Sunday, October 28, 2007
********************************************
WHO IS A FASCIST?
***********************************
People may think, feel, and speak like fascists but they object strenuously to being identified as such. How to recognize a dyed-in-the wool, real McCoy fascist? Easy! Follow the instructions below.
*
THE THREE PILLARS OF FASCISM
********************************************
They are nationalism, anti-intellectualism, and anti-Semitism.
*
NATIONALISM
**************************
Not only are we nationalists, we also brag about it. We wear our nationalism like a badge. We look down on anyone who dares to say anything against it. We may even cover him with verbal abuse. I speak from experience.
How do we define nationalism? Answer: Love of country, contempt for fellow countrymen.
*
ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM
*****************************************
Read a history of our literature and draw your own conclusions. But if you are too busy to read books of no interest to you, take my word for it: our treatment of intellectuals has been a disaster area and we could easily qualify as one of the most anti-intellectual people on earth. We lost two generations of intellectuals under Talaat and Stalin, and both “purges” (to use a euphemism) with the cooperation of our philistines. But the worst was yet to come. Where Talaat and Stalin failed, our bosses, bishops, and benefactors (“Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation!”) succeeded. Our intellectual class today has been so thoroughly marginalized that it might as well be extinct. The very few who exist, if at all, have gone underground, sometimes literally.
Oh! don’t get me wrong. We love and venerate poets who sing the eternal snows of Mount Ararat and the “sunripe flavor” of our language (whatever the hell that means) but we prefer to speak English in America, French in France, Greek in Greece, Turkish in Turkey, and with a forked tongue with one another.
*
ANTI-SEMITISM
********************************
Anecdotal evidence: after visiting New York City, an old schoolteacher of mine came to see me. “We saw a lot of Jews there,” said he. “They are people like us, don’t you know. They dress like ordinary folks, they walk like ordinary folks, and they look like the rest of us. Zarmatsa mnatsi!”
What about Jews who are pro-Turkish and anti-Armenian? Speaking for myself, I do not see them in terms of pro and anti, and if I were cornered to do so, I would say they are pro-themselves, and they have every right to be, and more power to them. Why are we surprised (like my senile schoolteacher) to learn that Jews are like everyone else, not to say, like us? So what if after millennia of persecution they have learned the hard way to place their own survival above the survival of others (who may or may not be anti-Semites)? When was the last time we placed the survival and welfare of other nations above ours?
Speaking of Armenians and survival, allow me to conclude by quoting Zarian, one of the greatest connoisseurs of the Armenian psyche: “Armenians survive by cannibalizing one another.”
*
P.S. ON NATIONALISM
**************************************
After writing these lines, I read a long article-interview with Serge Tankian, leader of System of a Down, who is identified as an Armenian from Beirut and “a thoughtful, erudite man…a fervent social crusader with a special interest in the Armenian genocide.” We are further told he espouses the thesis that “nationalism” is one of the three evils that haunt mankind, the other two being “greed” and “indifference.”
#
Monday, October 29, 2007
*******************************************
THE SOURCE
***************************
At the source of all divisions there is a dogma, that is to say, a charlatan who asserts infallibility by speaking in the name of god or ideology. The hidden message of all dogmas is: “No need to think for yourself. We will do the thinking for you. All you have to do is give us your consent, trust, and support” (which, in our context, means taxation without representation). After centuries of subservience to sultans and commissars, nothing comes more easily to us than to say, “Yes, sir!” to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors (“Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation”).
*
PORTRAIT OF A LEADER
*****************************************
After ASSessing himself as a good Armenian, he expects everyone to think as he does. But when it comes to thinking, to accede to preconditions is to conform, to parrot, to echo. When thinking surrenders its freedom, it ceases to be thinking and Homo sapiens ceases to be sapiens, he becomes a robot, a slave, a sheep whose destiny is the slaughterhouse.
*
MAILER SPEAKS
*****************************
Norman Mailer in a recent interview published in a French magazine: “The tentative title of my next book is ALL PRIESTS ARE LIARS.”
*
CLASSY VERBAL ABUSE
************************************
When a 19th-century English scholar by the name of Seely published a book about Jesus, a contemporary reviewer described it as “the most pestilential book ever vomited from the jaws of hell.” The book became a best-seller.
*
PRIORITIES
****************************
Our future is more important than our past. That doesn’t mean let bygones be bygones and amnesia. It only means rearranging our priorities.
*
POLYBIUS SPEAKS
*********************************
Somewhere Polybius explains that good constitutions and laws make good citizens. In a just society, he writes, “vice will not readily spring nor will men be easily overcome by their enemies.” Except of course when they have been shaped by laws enacted by their enemies – in our case, Ottoman and Soviet constitutions and laws.
*
ON AMERICAN POLITICS
************************************
In this morning’s paper, the Dalai Lama on American politics: “No matter what the intentions, methods become unrealistic. So instead of solving the problem, they increase the problem.”
Whenever I hear an Armenian say that this or that boss, bishop, or benefactor (Woe!) is a good man with good intentions and as such beyond criticism, I am reminded of the American clichй: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” And whenever I am told I am wasting my time, I say, “I am gathering the material for a book.”
#
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
***************************************
VERSIONS OF THE PAST
*********************************
In his PAST IMPERFECT (New York, 2004) Peter Charles Hoffer explains that the official version of American history is essentially that of its dominant WASP minority, which means, Indians, women, immigrants, Catholics, Jews, and Blacks are marginalized to the point of irrelevance. The result, he goes on, is more fiction than fact, and more fraud than honest narrative. To further illustrate and expose the dishonesty of pro-WASP and pro-Establishment historians, Hoffer discusses at considerable length the works of, among others, Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin, both of whom were also accused of plagiarism.
What Hoffer says of American historians could be said of all nationalist historians, or for that matter, anyone who approaches his task with a belief system or ideology. To see the amount of fiction and fraud that has gone into a history of, say, Christianity by a Christian, read Edward Gibbon’s DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. For more details on this subject, see also GOD’S FUNERAL by A.N. Wilson (New York, 1999).
*
CIVILIZATION AND BARBARISM
**********************************************
To be civilized also means to disagree in a civilized manner. One does not have to be a prophet to predict that those who disagree like barbarians will have more enemies than friends, and since it is impossible to agree on everything, the chances are they will make enemies even of their friends.
*
ENDS AND MEANS
******************************
In the final analysis, everything we say leads either to tolerance or intolerance, to love or hatred, to peace or war. If those who are partisans of intolerance, hatred, and war knew they would have to confront the enemy in a field of honor, I suspect they would think twice before spewing their venom.
*
ARMENIANS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE
****************************************************
“Since very few Muslims had traveled in Europe or commanded its languages, Ottoman and Iranian rulers often relied for their dealings with European states on agents who were drawn from their Christian minorities, Greek or Armenian.” From AFTER TAMERLANE: THE GLOBAL HISTORY OF EMPIRE by John Darwin (London, 2007), page 204.
#
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Old 01.11.2007, 19:15   #5
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I know why some armenians love turks. Turk is a sincere guy, he dictate his point of view by brutal force, he f*cks his ennemies without any phylosophy or ideology. The life with a turk is very simple, obey him or die.

The life with a armenian in comparison is a very nervous thing. the Armenian never says clearly what he want from you. The Armenian plays with you like a cat with mouse, and this game can last a whole life, there are no rules with the armenian, you don't know what you should do to get his favour so you finish by hating the armenian because he f*ck your mind without even touching you ....
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Old 01.11.2007, 21:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mono View Post
I know why some armenians love turks. Turk is a sincere guy, he dictate his point of view by brutal force, he f*cks his ennemies without any phylosophy or ideology. The life with a turk is very simple, obey him or die.

The life with a armenian in comparison is a very nervous thing. the Armenian never says clearly what he want from you. The Armenian plays with you like a cat with mouse, and this game can last a whole life, there are no rules with the armenian, you don't know what you should do to get his favour so you finish by hating the armenian because he f*ck your mind without even touching you ....
Mono, please don't generalize!

I'm sure many Armenians correspond to the portrait you're doing of Turkish people and many Turkish who correspond to what you defined for Armenian! And in each class you could add all the nationalities in the world.

In other words there are many Turkish and Armenian who are really good people regardless of what they believe, and these are the ones I'll be always proud of counting as my friends!

Peace!
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Old 02.11.2007, 15:31   #7
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Mono, please don't generalize!
Well well. I just replied to this kind of generalisation

Quote:
All the Turks have to do to reverse the American initiative to recognize the Genocide is to emphasize Armenian hatred and the unreasonable demands it inspires.
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Old 03.11.2007, 03:45   #8
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You know what Mono , I am fed up with Armenians like you who put Armenians down , give us some credit .
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Old 03.11.2007, 07:02   #9
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You know what Mono , I am fed up with Armenians like you who put Armenians down
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Old 03.11.2007, 13:57   #10
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Aras topics are very intense , many of his postings anger me , but he also hits the nail on the head , one day when I am in Ontario Canada where I think he lives , I will try to meet him , I would like to know more about his thoughts

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Old 03.11.2007, 16:45   #11
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
****************************************
COUNTING TO TEN
*********************************
1.
“And the jock shall dwell with the nerd and the cheerleader lie down with the wimp and there shall be peace upon the campus.” From BREWER’S DICTIONARY OF MODERN PHRASE & FABLE, compiled by Adrian Room (London, 2000), page 473.
*
2.
If we have more writers than readers, and more chiefs than Indians, it may be because we have neither writers nor chiefs.
*
3.
There is no sound as deafening as the whisper of your conscience.
*
4.
The hardest thing in life is to admit one’s mediocrity and cowardice.
*
5.
Never trust a man whose spirit of contradiction exceeds his common sense.
*
6.
Naregatsi may indeed be right. You don’t need psychoanalysis to achieve sanity. All you need is the humility, objectivity, and courage to admit your failings.
*
7.
If you think you have all the answers it may be because you haven’t yet begun asking the right questions.
*
8.
He who sees only the best in himself will see the worst in others.
*
9.
When a man decides to do the devil’s work, he will speak in the name of god.
*
10.
Today’s quotation in our paper is by Bertrand Russell: “Few people can be happy unless they hate some person, nation or creed.”
If the kingdom of god is within us, so is the person, nation, or creed that we hate.
#
Thursday, November 01, 2007
**********************************************
DEFINITIONS
********************************
In BREWER’S DICTIONARY (mentioned above), ACTION FRANCAISE is described as an ultra-nationalist, proto-fascist, anti-democratic, and anti-Semitic group that during World War II collaborated with the Nazis – how’s that for consistently? It ceased to exist after 1944, when its leader, Charles Maurras, was given a life sentence.
There are fairly detailed entries on GENOCIDE and YOUNG TURKS, in which Armenians are not mentioned. The historic assessment of Young Turks is on the whole on the positive side and it ends with the words: “Young people eager for radical change to the established order.”
The phrase AGREE TO DISAGREE is defined as “To cease discussion because neither side will compromise.” If an Armenian Moses ever makes an appearance among us, I do hope he will make this definition the first commandment of his Decalogue. To cease discussion! Why should that be so un-Armenian? Is it because as perennial losers we find the prospect of a meaningless verbal victory irresistible?
While reading the entry on Sartre’s HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE, it occurred to me that in our case “other people” could be replaced with Turks, and in the absence of Turks, fellow Armenians.
#
Friday, November 02, 2007
********************************************
SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE SULTAN
**************************************************
In a review of a new biography of Conan Doyle, I read that “the Sultan of Turkey, a man with a thousand concubines, used to have Sherlock Holmes stories read aloud to him in translation…What did Conan Doyle have that a thousand women above the Bosphorus could not supply?”
*
CHARLES AZNAVOUR ON HIMSELF
**********************************************
In a recent interview published in LE POINT (Oct. 11, 2007) I read: “France is my country, not Armenia. My heart is French, my soul Armenian. It’s like coffee and cream: once mixed they cannot be separated…I don’t know if I believe in God but I would like to believe in the immortality of the soul…I don’t watch television. Television is for the young and the old. I am neither young nor old…I am not a star. Everyone recognizes Bruce Willis, not me.”
*
A FAMILIAR SCENARIO
***********************************
It happens every day. I read about it in the morning paper. An addict needs a fix, doesn’t have the money, walks into a bank, says he has a gun. The teller follows the routine set by the management and hands him a wad of cash. The bandit rushes out to a waiting stolen car, if he has a partner, or disappears in the crowd, and by the time the cops arrive, there is no trace of him in the neighborhood. Problem solved. Another fix taken care of until tomorrow.
I see this kind of scenario played out every day on our discussion forums. A member doesn’t like what another says. No need to stand on ceremony or engage in dialogue or even make sense. Just don the mask of a superpatriot or that of a Bible-quoting sanctimonious prick and let him have it…all in the name of God and Country of course. Problem solved or compounded? Who cares? What matters is instant satisfaction.
*
A DIGRESSION
***********************************
Questions: A garbage-mouth superpatriot and a born-again reborn in the gutter? You see an inconsistency here? Who cares! We are Armenians. Rules of inconsistency or logic do not apply to us. We make our own rules. We know better.
*
HISTORIC PARALLELS
**********************************
Speaking of instant satisfaction: consider the actions of our heroic revolutionaries at the turn of the last century. They didn’t like the way the Empire was run. What to do? Ask wealthy Armenian merchants to finance your insurgency. If they refuse to cooperate, kill a few as a warning to the rest. Even better, take over a bank, threaten the Sultan with death, and damn the consequences. As for the judgment of history: why worry about that if (in the words of Churchill) you are going to write it?
#
Saturday, November 03, 2007
*********************************************
SCANDAL
******************************
When in the 19th century the English in India banned suttee (the burning of widows), the Hindus objected saying it was their custom. “Very well,” the English responded. “We also have a custom. When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.” And that was the end of suttee in India. Moral of the story: Never justify criminal conduct simply because it has been around for such a long time that it has become a custom.
*
What manner of men burn defenseless, innocent women in the name of tradition and get away with it? To put it differently: What kind of pervert legitimizes criminal conduct and what kind of cowardly dupes accept him as a role model instead of hanging him from the nearest tree?
*
In the name of tradition, millions of women today are genitally mutilated not only in Africa but also in the United Kingdom. Closer to home: in order to support their families hundreds of thousands of men emigrate and thousands of women engage in prostitution because our blood****ers refuse to give up their corrupt practices legitimized during the Soviet era. Whenever this subject comes up, we like to say it will take at least two generations… that simply means, we have done nothing, we are doing nothing, and we plan to do nothing, in the name of tradition. The message to the blood****ers is a simple one: Carry on as before. You have our blessing. We respect your judgment and we trust your ways even if the result is poverty, prostitution, and exodus or “white massacre,” i.e. assimilation.
*
I think of our fables that end with the words: “Three golden apples fell from heaven…” and I cannot help reflecting that this may indeed explain the large number of permanently damaged skulls among us.
#
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Old 07.11.2007, 18:14   #12
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Sunday, November 04, 2007
***********************************************
HAYADIATS
***********************************
It happened when I was nine or ten. After a very brief exchange with a Greek official, an older friend of mine said: “That man is hayadiats.” That was a new word for me and I couldn’t even guess what it meant. Later I realized it meant “Armenian-hater.” Jews are better off – they only have anti-s; we have haters, and not all of them goyim. Did the Greek official know enough about Armenians to hate us? I doubt it. Hatred, like love, has nothing to do with knowledge or understanding. It comes from the gut and is therefore blind. Some people have an instinctive drive to hate anyone who is different perhaps because they consider themselves the equivalent of the gold standard. Because I hold views different from theirs, fellow Armenians have called me all kinds of names. In the Ottoman Empire Armenians who betrayed Baronian to the police, and in the Soviet era Armenians who betrayed our ablest men to Stalin’s executioners (not all of them Russians or Georgians) probably thought of themselves as law-and-order gold-standard types too. And if you think the era of sultans and commissars belongs to our irrevocable dark past, it may be because, like a Chagall character, you float in a realm that is above the clouds.
*
GOSTAN ZARIAN
********************
When I first read Zarian, I sensed immediately that I was in the presence of an Armenian with his feet planted firmly on planet earth. Don’t get me wrong. The average Armenian is not a daydreamer. In the marketplace he can be a tough, shrewd, ruthless operator (hence the popular Italian saying: “It takes seven Jews to fool an Armenian”). But when it comes to writing, he turns into a timid little rodent afraid of his own shadow.
*
MORE ON ANTI-SEMITISM
**************************************
Anti-Semites have the questionable habit of putting Jews under a microscope and seeing things there that are not visible to the naked eye. It doesn’t even occur to them that if they were to give the same treatment to the Vatican or to any other race, creed, nation, or tribe (including Armenians) they will be surprised at the amount of dirt they can dig up. We all swim in the same “enfer de merde” and none of us can afford to assume a holier-than-thou stance.
*
A FINAL COMMENT ON BETRAYAL
*********************************************************
About the Soviet-Armenians who betrayed an entire generation of our best writers to Stalin’s executioners: far from being anonymous, faceless, brainwashed dupes, they were the elite of our intellectual and political leadership. For more on this subject, see PAK DERNERI GAGHTNIKE (The Secret of Closed Doors): CHARENTS, BAKOUNTS & OTHERS, by D.V. Gasparian (Yerevan: Apollon, 1994, 727 pages).
#
Monday, November 05, 2007
**************************************
THE COBRA & THE MONGOOSE
**************************************************
The best things in life are free, they say. They also say, you pay most for the things you get for nothing. Flattery, for instance, may be free but it can also come with a heavy price, especially if you believe it.
*
You tell a fool he is smart and he will think he is infallible; he may even adopt a criminal career thinking he will never get caught. Hence, the more than a thousand Armenian inmates in Los Angeles prisons. I am reminded of the cobra that got so used to biting rats that it ended up biting a mongoose.
*
Differences of opinion among us are so radical that we might as well be aliens to one another. Instead of counteracting this dangerous trend, our speechifiers and sermonizers encourage it. Only when it comes to raising funds do they emphasize the importance of brotherhood.
*
A writer does not choose his readers, in the same way that a law-abiding citizen does not choose his mugger.
*
“Who remembers Armenians today?” Well, what about Biafrans? Who remembers them? I suspect not even Armenians.
#
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
*********************************************
TOOTHLESS DOGS AND PROPHETIC GOATS
******************************************************************************
Whenever I am insulted anonymously or from a safe distance, I think of the old Armenian saying: “A toothless dog always barks from a distance.”
*
There is more common sense in our people than in the wisdom of our bishops. Hence the saying, “If there were wisdom in beards, goats would be prophets,” and “Better a wise delinquent than a foolish saint.”
*
Willed ignorance is the kind of ignorance that is freely chosen because it is thought to be to one’s advantage. People who know or ought to know better but pretend otherwise are like the jackass that “travels to the Holy City forty times but it still comes back a jackass.”
*
You may think of reading and writing as harmless activities. Medieval Jewish scribes who copied the Holy Scriptures knew better. “A single misplaced word or even letter,"they said, “may mean the destruction of the world.” The bloodthirsty disposition of men is such, however, that even when copyists do a perfect job the result may be war and massacre. Millions of people have died because someone at the top of the food chain did not understand what he was reading, or he understood but pretended not to. What could be more clearly and unequivocally stated than “Thou shalt not kill”? And yet, at one time or another theologians have justified and legitimized torture, war, and massacre in the name of the Almighty.
*
At the source of all our divisions and misfortunes search for the “fool who threw a stone into a well and forty wise men could not haul it out.”
*
Hagop Baronian: “Do you want to dine and wine to your heart’s content every day? Be a bishop.”
*
Rick Bayan on bosses: “The alpha male in a tribe of baboons.”
*
Neshan Beshigtashlian: “Priests wear black cassocks because they are in perpetual mourning, and what they mourn is the death of the human being within.”
#
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
**********************************************
GULBENKIAN, MIKOYAN,
BARONIAN & PARAJANOV
*********************************
My BREWER’S DICTIONARY OF MODERN PHRASE & FABLE quotes “Mr. 5%” (Calouste Gulbenkian) as having said it was “better to have a small slice of a big cake than a big slice of a small cake.”
The M in “MiG” we are further told stands for Mikoyan, the G for Gurevich, and the “i” means “and” in Russian. I am sure our aghbers from the Homeland know all this already, but their aghbers in the Diaspora may not.
*
Speaking of what we know and what we don’t: There is a type of Armenian who knows more about Turks than about Armenians, and the only thing he knows about Armenians is that they were massacred by the Turks. I once asked one such specimen if he knew anything about Armenian literature and he said he did not. Had he read a single Armenian writer, I asked next, and he replied he had not. Someone must have told him reading Armenian writers is a waste of time because none of them will tell him anything he doesn’t know already, even if what he knows is nada.
VIVA LA REVOLUCION!
*
Speaking of Armenian writers: in the introduction by one of our pro-Establishment pundits to an English translation of Baronian I read that Baronian had been so nasty in his depiction of his contemporaries in Istanbul that he fully deserved to be betrayed to the Ottoman police. Is it conceivable that no one, not even the translator, bothered to point out the fact that this pundit was legitimizing betrayal?
*
Another case in point: Speaking of Parajanov, I remember one of our chic Bolshevik elder statesmen saying: “He was a syphilitic homosexual and a black marketeer. They should have sent him to the Gulag and let him rot there.”
*
As you may have guessed by now, I am not one of those who says, if it’s ours, it must be good, or my country right or wrong, or my mother drunk or sober.
#
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Old 10.11.2007, 17:43   #13
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Thursday, November 08, 2007
************************************************
OUR PROBLEMS & THEIR SOLUTIONS
****************************************************
You tell a self-assessed leader of men that he couldn’t even lead a mutt to the nearest fire hydrant, or a self-assessed genius that he doesn’t even qualify as an inbred moron, and you will not only fail to convince them but you will also acquire an enemy for life. I speak from experience.
We may not know or understand one another but there is one thing we can say with some degree of certainty and that is, we are not who we think we are and no matter how hard we try we will never be.
Identity, image, meaning, truth – these are poorly defined concepts that we assume to be certainties within our grasp. Hence the endless controversies, arguments, misunderstandings, conflicts, and ultimately, wars and massacres. From Diogenes in search of an honest man in broad daylight, to semanticists studying the meaning of words, and philosophers exploring the meaning of meaning: we swim in a sea of uncertainty and we expect to be believed even when we don’t believe.
The hardest part about solving a problem is not finding its solution but acknowledging its existence. A problem that is (a) clearly stated and (b) acknowledged is almost solved. These two conditions will never be met in an environment dominated by sermonizers and speechifiers who speak with a forked tongue, and ghazetajis whose central message is, we have no problems because there is nothing wrong with us. The problem, you will be informed, is not with us but with the Turks. Armenians who know better however will tell you the Turks are not our real problem; our real problem is the Turk within. The Turks divided and ruled us for six hundred years. Who divides us today if not the Turk within? If we have failed to solve our problems so far it may be because our speechifiers, sermonizers, and ghazetajis, have consistently refused to acknowledge their existence.
#
Friday, November 09, 2007
********************************************
PAPER TIGERS AND DRAGON SLAYERS
**********************************************************
Our revolutionaries in their Ottoman phase may plead not guilty on grounds of inexperience, naпvetй, the overconfidence of youth, or even insanity. But what is one to make of their present Turcocentric phase and after a century in which to ponder and reflect on their blunders?
*
If I were to define our Turcocentric pundits, I would say they are paper tigers that like to identify themselves as dragon-slayers, or harmless aghbers who think Armenian history begins and ends in 1915, or Wizard-of-Oz types full of sound and fury signifying vochinch…
*
The greatest concern of a man in power is to establish his legitimacy perhaps because he knows it to be a figment of his febrile megalomaniacal imagination.
*
And speaking of megalomania: to quote the Bible is not the same as quoting God. Neither Moses nor the prophets were gods. They only spoke in His name. So did Mohammad. If God ever writes a book, there will be one and only one version of it. Because God neither rewrites nor edits, neither does he abridge or expand.
*
Once in a while, to cut me down to size, our philistines like to remind me that I am not the only Armenian writer who has been rejected or ignored by his fellow Armenians. To which I can only say, “That is why I speak with the strength of many.”
#
Saturday, November 10, 2007
*********************************************
THE NATURE OF NARRATIVE
*********************************************
What we call reality is an infinite number of facts and factors some of which go back to the origin of the universe. A narrative, by contrast, is an artificial construct that consists of a carefully (even if unconsciously) selected number of facts and factors with a specific aim in mind, such as a plot, a thesis, or the truth, or rather a version of it. Even a so-called objective and impartial narrative is based on a very limited number of facts that are emphasized at the expense of others that are ignored or covered up or shunted aside as marginal or irrelevant. This may explain why there are as many versions of the past as there are historians. This may also explain why man cannot create a single worm but he has created ten thousand gods.
*
For every belief system there will be another that contradicts it.
*
For every truth there will be ten thousand doubters and twice as many liars.
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In politics, fiction is referred to as propaganda.
*
If you have a receptive audience, it’s amazing the amount of b.s. you can dish out and get away with it.
*
In a book titled ON BULL****, a contemporary American philosopher asks: “Is the love of truth itself merely another example of bull****?”
*
MEMO TO OUR EDITORS
************************************
In the Op-Ed page of our paper this morning a headline reads: “Press freedom is still just a dream in some countries.”
#
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Old 10.11.2007, 19:52   #14
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Originally Posted by Sevana View Post
Aras topics are very intense , many of his postings anger me , but he also hits the nail on the head , one day when I am in Ontario Canada where I think he lives , I will try to meet him , I would like to know more about his thoughts
totally agree!
just need to mention that arabaliozian's postings are mainly not his own thoughts, but quotes from diff places, diff ppl. i bet he shares most of the ideas he quotes, but others he just collects to point us on them
& ja, i'm afraid he's not in canada maybe never been..

arabaliozian, dear, u have no other life than collecting so many sayings by armenians &/or about armenians? hope u're well rewarded for your efforts
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Old 11.11.2007, 00:14   #15
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I do agree with you Moonlight about most of Aras' postings , some are his thoughts and some are quotes , never less he is a diffecult person to fully understad .
I am pretty sure he lives in Canada .
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