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Old 18.06.2008, 18:07   #1
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Sunday, June 15, 2008
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WHY I AM NOT A PROUD ARMENIAN
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In a world inhabited by proud Greeks, Yanks, Brits, Jews, Turks, and Kurds, I prefer to be a humble Armenian.
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Greeks are proud of their ancient culture. What they fail to mention or explain is why they squandered their priceless heritage to the point that they are now one of the poorest and most backward nations in Europe.
Jews are proud of being the Chosen People. But the truly great and progressive Jews, among them Spinoza, Marx, Freud, and Einstein dismissed all such claims as infantile illusions. And when Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer that begins with the words “Our Father,” he meant that all men are brothers.
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Pride is for people who lack self-esteem. He who has self-esteem does not feel the need to make himself ridiculous by bragging about who he is.
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Another reason why I prefer to identify myself as a humble Armenian is the proud Armenian who wears his prejudices, ignorance, and arrogance as badges of merit and views criticism and dissent, and by extension, free speech and fundamental human rights, as unpatriotic. Such an Armenian ignores the fact that the function of literature, from Socrates to Sartre, and from Khorenatsi to Zarian, is self-criticism. Take away criticism from Western culture, and the West becomes an extension of Asia.
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Monday, June 16, 2008
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SUMMING UP
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We cannot trust the solution to our problems into the hands of our dividers. That would be like trust the flock to wolves in sheep's clothing.
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Turks are not our greatest problem because nations are not killed, they commit suicide.
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If you are a proud Armenian stay away from Armenian affairs. If you make the mistake of getting involved, you will be tarred, feathered, and dragged through the mud. And if you think the solution to this particular problem is being a humble Armenian, forget it. I have been both and I speak from experience. No matter to who and what you are, if you are honest and mean business, the philistines and commissars will get you and you will curse the day you were born.
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A bad Armenian can be worse than the worst Turk.
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Our propensity to create problems far outstrips our ability to solve them.
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I am fully aware of the fact that discussing our problems may exacerbate them, but it is a temptation I cannot resist. May I also confess that exposing baloney artists is one of the very few pleasures that happen to be within my income bracket.
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No one can be as dumb as an Armenian impressed with his own brilliance.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008
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OBSERVATIONS
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To the dupe, reality is not what he sees or experiences but what he is told, especially when what he is told is carefully tailored to flatter his ego.
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Better a deprogrammed enemy than a brainwashed friend.
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In an environment where speechifiers and sermonizers are amply compensated, critics will be seen as nuisances and enemies. The result will be a community swimming in b.s.
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The certainties of my youth are my greatest sources of embarrassment. I shiver and burn whenever I think of them.
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It's no use pretending to know better because no one knows everything and we will never know the truth. The best we can hope to do is expose the transparent lies of vested interests and propaganda.
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The world is a dangerous place where people speak in the name of peace and make war, where they speak in the name of God and do the Devil's work, and where millions of dupes are eager to kill and die in the name of a Big Lie.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008
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A ROUTINE EXPERIENCE
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It might as well be a routine experience with me: readers who assume not only to be better but to know better, and based on that self-serving assumption, they proceed to deliver lectures on patriotism, the kind of nonsense I was exposed to when I was ten. They remind me of our heroic revolutionaries at the turn of the last century who were so sure of their final and inevitable victory that they had a Plan B only for themselves. And like all losers throughout history, they now blame their catastrophic blunder on everyone else but themselves. I once heard one of these revolutionaries (may the Good Lord have mercy on his soul) say, “The chezok [neutral or non-partisan] Armenian is the source of all our problems because he refuses to get involved in Armenian affairs. He is neither hot nor cold. He is nothing.” When Hitler lost World War II and shortly before he had the decency to commit suicide, he put the blame on his fellow Germans, the very same people he had classified as belonging to a superior race. Nothing evil ever dies. Hitler may be dead but his racist ideas continue to live in neo-Nazi skinheads, Putin's ultranationlist Stalinists, and Italy's neo-fascists. I could add our own first-nation-this and first-nation-that propagandists and dime-a-dozen Turcocentric ghazetajis who believe they will usher in a new golden age on the day they corner the Turks into assuming full responsibility for the Genocide, to apologize, and to make financial and territorial reparations. In the meantime they go about pretending there is nothing wrong with us and we are beyond criticism because God and Truth are on our side. It is not that I don't believe what they say, I don't think they believe it themselves.
#
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Old 19.06.2008, 06:12   #2
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and? what are you expecting from the readers?
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Old 21.06.2008, 18:00   #3
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Thursday, June 19, 2008
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CROCODILES
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Politics and literature don't mix. Politics, power, and propaganda are inseparable. Where goes one, the others are sure to follow. By contrast, the aim of literature is to understand reality by exposing the inconvenient facts that have been swept under the carpet. Hence Hemingway's definition of a writer as one with “a built-in sh*t detector.”
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It is a serious blunder to identify a regime with the people and its culture. To do so amounts to saying Hitler is an extension of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, or Chekhov and Stalin share similar aims. Speaking of Chekhov: in one of his letters to a friend (Suvorin, I think) and in an eerily prescient passage, he refers to the next generation of Russian leaders as “crocodiles.” which may suggest that, you don't need supernatural powers to predict the future. (In this connection, see also Dostoevsky's THE DEMONS, sometimes also translated as THE POSSESSED.)
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“You can't criticize the Homeland if you have never been there,” I am told. With the advent of the computer, I don't feel the need to go anywhere because I receive a veritable avalanche of e-mails by fellow Armenians who have been there, done that, and now sport the T-shirt. Once I even received two books by a retired bishop in which he exposed the corruption within the hierarchy.
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I have noticed that only Armenians who are in the business – and it is a business – of fund-raising that ascribe all our problems on the war, the earthquake, and the blockade and completely ignore the contribution of our crocodiles and “mi kich pogh” panchoonies to our present malaise.
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Whenever I run into a smart-ass, loud-mouth, cowardly bully who insults me anonymously and from a safe distance, I have no trouble predicting a brilliant future in politics.
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Friday, June 20, 2008
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BULLIES AND YES-MEN
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When the men at the top are bullies, the result will be a society of cowardly yes-men.
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After they convince us we are smart, perhaps even the smartest people on earth, they treat us like idiots. Patriotism, that is to say flattery (“chosen people,” “superior race,” “it takes seven Jews to fool an Armenian”) is one of the oldest and most effective instruments of mass persuasion.
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The honesty of dupes, like the faith of the brainwashed: what is it worth?
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Once, at the beginning of my career (if you want to call it that) one of our elder statesmen called me a genius. Shortly thereafter when I wrote something with which he disagreed, he called me an idiot. Easy come, easy go. Sic transit gloria mundi. Or, as the French say, “He who can kiss, can bite.”
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If our literature were a person, he would be a beggar in rags on the verge of starvation. We treat our literature the way we were treated at the turn of the century in the Ottoman Empire. Now then, tell me: In what way are we different from them?
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People who know and understand, search for more knowledge and understanding. By contrast, the ignoramus is satisfied with his own ignorance.
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Saturday, June 21, 2008
*********************************************
SPEAKING WITH A FORKED TONGUE
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In a land of instant coffee
they want instant solutions.
Instead of doing what they can do,
they demand that others to
what they don't want to do.
Instead of reforming themselves
they want to reform the nation.
Even as they engage in cannibalism
they speak of solidarity, unity, and brotherhood.
They think of our writers as some species of song birds
who did nothing but serenade the moon.
Gentle reader, if you are one of them
my advice to you is:
Don't believe everything you are told
by those who pretend to know better
because they are better.
Don't be afraid to raise your voice and say
you refuse to be taken in by baloney artists
who speak with a forked tongue.
Beyond that there isn't much you
or anyone else can do.
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Old 21.06.2008, 18:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Andersen View Post
and? what are you expecting from the readers?
nada! / ara
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Old 22.06.2008, 02:31   #5
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C'mon Ara

at least 1 bl of people in the world now watches football (Canadians read soccer) and lives with it. Break writing this serious things and come boil with us !!!
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Old 25.06.2008, 18:14   #6
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Sunday, June 22, 2008
*********************************************
ON MURDER
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Of you expose a liar, a rapist, or a murderer, you don't need to deliver a sermon against lies, rape, and murder -- unless of course you are infatuated with the sound of your own voice.
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You may have noticed that the very same people who demand instant solutions to our problems are themselves part of the problem. It follows, these gentlemen will never be satisfied with any solution that will expose them as dupes or charlatans. And if a reform-minded person were to appear among them, they will dismiss him as an ignoramus or a daydreaming fool, sometimes even an enemy of the people. They will laugh at him. They will insult him. And if he keeps talking they will silence him. What they want, what they really need, is not a reformer but a messiah. And if a messiah were to appear among them, they will crucify him. I am reminded of Antranik Zaroukian's words: “Even as they speak of crucifixion, they nail us to the cross.”
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Speaking of the murder of Archbishop Levon Tourian in December 1933 in New York, Charles King writes: “The murder cemented divisions within the Armenian diaspora that have remained in place until today, for unlike the many other perpetrators of violence against Armenians – from Ottoman pashas to Soviet commissars – the authors of the twentieth century's most spectacular public murder of an Armenian cultural leader, inside an Armenian church, were Armenians.” See THE GHOST OF FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE CAUCASUS (New York, 2008, page 178).
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Monday, June 23m 2008
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COPS
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After the collapse of the USSR, writes Charles King in THE GHOST OF FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE CAUCASUS (New York, 2008), traffic cops in Armenia used to buy their job. There was even a pricing system for the purchase based on which sites were likely to be the most profitable. “For example, a roadblock on the way to a fashionable restaurant outside Lake Sevan commanded the highest price because citizens were reckoned to be carrying a significant amount of cash on their way to those destinations. The officer would then recoup his initial financial outlay, plus profit, through the collection of fines.”
Now I am in a better position to understand why, after a visit to the Homeland, a friend told me, “Everyone wants to emigrate, except cops.” I also remember an American friend saying, “Armenian traffic cops must be just about the ugliest men I have ever seen.”
Again, according to Charles King, drivers of expensive cars were not stopped because they were assumed to be men of influence.
Elsewhere he remarks: “Dysfunctional politics can sometimes serve the interests of politicians themselves even as they lead the people they claim to represent towards certain ruin.”
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The more talk of patriotism, the more corrupt the state. Hitler was a patriot. So was Mussolini. As for Stalin: he was the only head of state who called World War II “the Patriotic War.”
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Nothing offends me more than the spectacle of an idiot preaching patriotism.
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The most effective way of destroying a nation is by lowering its standards, so that every imbecile can parade as a genius, and every dupe as a statesman of vision capable of solving all our problems.
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All nations have their share of imbeciles, but in our case the imbeciles are either at the top or most likely to get there.
#
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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FOOLS, DUPES, AND MESSIAHS
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In a commentary headlined “No hope for democracy,” I read: “There is not going to be a revolution in [Mugabe's] Zimbabwe. Half the working-age population lives abroad.”
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
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There is only one solution to an intolerant community, and that is tolerance. I am therefore suspicious when those who parade as problem-solvers become intolerant in defense of their solutions.
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When a problem and a messiah meet, the problem is sure to prevail.
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An average, garden-variety fool is smarter than the smartest dupe. No fool will ever be taken in by a bearded charlatan who promises him an afterlife in which he will spend his time deflowering virgins, unless of course he is also a dupe.
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When I was a boy I wanted to be a famous writer. Not a good writer or a great writer, but a famous writer. In my old age all I want to be is an honest witness, and I am beginning to suspect being an honest witness among Armenians is a far more demanding undertaking than being a great writer.
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You can recognize a brainwashed dupe by the fact that he is dead from the neck up.
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An Armenian's capacity to dish out and/or consume verbal crap seems to be limitless.
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We survived the Turk. Will we survive the Armenian?
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The shortest list in the world: that of living Armenian intellectuals.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008
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THE ROAD TO HELL
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Self-interest and ideas are mutually exclusive concepts. Where self-interest enters, ideas exit.
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I don't judge a man by his nationality or loyalty to a tribe, race, or ideology. I judge him by the degree of humanity he has been successful in defending against the dehumanizing forces of the world and his fellow men.
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No one can save a man, let alone a nation, that does not want to be saved or is programmed for self-destruction. Only a total ignoramus with messianic ambitions will tell you, if we do this, that, or the other, we will save the nation. And if you were to ask why I go on writing and what is my real aim, the answer to the first question will have to be, “Force of habit,” and the answer to the second question, “If I can convince an intolerant Armenan to be less intolerant, I consider it a major victory.” And if you were to ask next my number of major or minor victories, I would have to say either none or plead an amendment – the one dealing with self-incrimination.
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According to Charles King in THE GHOST OF FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE CAUCASUS, (page 226), constnat talk of genocide “has encouraged a patriotism built on victimhoom,” which has stunted our ability “of confidently looking to the future.” To our Turcocentric ghazetajis I say: “And you thought you were doing us a favor by defending our interests?”
Whoever said “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” sure knew what he was talking about.
#
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Old 25.06.2008, 18:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Երեխա View Post
C'mon Ara

at least 1 bl of people in the world now watches football (Canadians read soccer) and lives with it. Break writing this serious things and come boil with us !!!
the good book says = to each his own.
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