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Old 03.05.2008, 14:25   #1
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Thursday, May 01, 2008
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READING
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While reading THE ROUGH GUIDE TO FILM NOIR by Alexander Ballinger and Danny Graydon (New York, 2007) I am surprised to note that two of my favorite noirs – THE ROARING TWENTIES and ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, both with Jimmy Cagney, are not even mentioned.
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Sidney Sheldon’s THE OTHER SIDE OF ME: A MEMOIR (New York, 2005) reads more like fiction than autobiography. Orwell is right: “autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction.”
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Edmund Wilson’s review of Saroyan’s 1946 World War II novel, THE ADVENTURES OF WESLEY JACKSON, is included in his LITERARY ESSAYS AND REVIEWS OF THE 1930s &1940s (New York, 2007). Its final sentence reads: “This is surely some of the silliest nonsense ever published by a talented writer.” Elsewhere (page 498) Wilson described Saroyan as “an agreeable mixture of San Francisco bonhomie and Armenian Christianity”—whatever that may mean (one is tempted to ask what the hell does Wilson know about Armenian Christianity?) Wilson is far more to the point when speaking of THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE, he observes “…[Saroyan] achieves the feat of making and keeping us boozy without the use of alcohol and purely by the stimulus of art.”
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In an illustrated article in LE POINT (Paris, April 10, 2008) Larry Gagosian, 62, is described as a “silver-haired playboy,” the offspring “of a modest family of Armenian origin in Los Angeles,” “a ‘killer’ in business deals,” and the multimillionaire owner of three art galleries in New York, two in London, one in Beverly Hills, and another in Rome.
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Friday, May 02, 2008
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ON POLITICS & POLITICIANS
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There exists a wall between Turks and Armenians not because Turks and Armenians hate one another but because so far both sides have been at the mercy of politicians, that is to say, full-time professionals hate-promoters.
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Politicians are megalomaniacs who are not masters of their own destiny but who think they can shape the fate of nations.
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The Iron Curtain fell, the Berlin Wall was demolished, and if the Chinese Wall stands today it stands only as an expensive and useless relic.
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The birth of imperialism: if this mountain is ours, so is the valley next to it. It follows, so is the river that irrigates the valley, and so is the source of the river.
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If Martin Luther King had been an Armenian, he would have said, “I have a nightmare!”
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Have I said this before? No matter. Everything that’s worth saying is worth repeating.
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Saturday, May 03, 2008
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ON THE HUMAN CONDITION
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Like an insect caught in a spider’s web, we live in an invisible network of human relationships and values, which existed long before we were born. The more freely we move in this environment, the more certain our fate of being captured and immobilized.
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Desmond Tutu: “To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self-interest.” If this were true, all prisons would be abolished.
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I once asked a theologian what he thought of Gandhi’s definition of God as Truth, and he said Gandhi’s definition was empty verbiage. That’s when I lost all respect for theologians.
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Cary Grant: “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”
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To my denialist Turkish friends I say: Never trust the word of a state that criminalizes free speech, because to do so amounts to saying yes to violations of a fundamental human right.
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