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Old 30.08.2008, 18:19   #1
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Thursday, August 28, 2008
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IDEAS & NON-IDEAS
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Those who have the power to control ideas will, sooner or later and inevitably, gravitate towards the notion that they will function with greater freedom (that is, they can brainwash more effectively) in an environment emptied of all ideas. Remember Napoleon's dictum, “A man with ideas is my enemy.”
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There is a saying in politics: “You can't beat somebody with nobody.” In the world of ideas, however, the only way to beat ideas is with non-ideas, and the more fossilized the non-idea, the better.
Example of a non-idea: “The Turks owe us on account of the Genocide.” Hence the plethora of massacre paraphernalia – museums, monuments, memoirs, editorials, movies, TV documentaries, monographs, demonstrations, seminars, and so on).
Another central non-idea: “We can solve all our problems with money.” Hence the frequency of fund-raising campaigns and the apotheosis of multi-millionaires. How much of the collected loot ends in the wrong pockets? No one knows. Who, after all, gives a damn what Armenians do to Armenians? Not even Armenians, it seems.
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Common sense tells us our assessment of ourselves (that is, our narcissism) will be devoid of all value unless it is moderated, modified, and balanced by other assessments, such as French (“filthy Armenians”), Greek (“Turkish gypsies”), Russian (“cowardly Armenians”), American (“Romanian?”), and last but not least, Turkish. We may think of ourselves as “the first Christians,” but we are also “Christian Turks.”
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Friday, August 29, 2008
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WHO WE ARE
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We are addicts of victimhood. When no one cares to victimize us, we victimize one another.
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A few years ago an Armenian real estate developer named an annual literary prize but after three or four years he ran out of ghazetajis.
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If the Turks are as bad as we say they are, how did we manage to live with them for 600 years? And if we are as good as we say we are, why is it that most of us prefer to stay away from the nearest Armenian church or community center?
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If you want to understand history, begin with yourself. Because if you don't understand yourself, you are condemned to understand nothing.
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My good friend Armen Melikian is right to say that there must be a mechanism in the human brain, no doubt the result of some kind of evolutionary malfunction, that identifies God with the Devil, or is it vice versa?
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Discussion forum: a place where views are exchanged.
Armenian discussion forum: a bordello of verbal abuse.
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Even friendly readers sometimes disagree with the direction of my work. They tell me I will be better off if I were to spend my time more profitably by writing creative stuff – stories, novels, plays, or for that matter, translations of literary masterpieces: all things that will make us proud in the eyes of the world. I suspect the main concern of these misguided friends is not the welfare of the nation but the fear of seeing their role models and probably themselves exposed as charlatans and dupes.
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They want me to translate our great writers provided I say nothing about how they lived and died, or were persecuted and silenced, or were betrayed to the authorities.
Which amounts to saying, tell us anything you want, but don't tell us the Titanic has hit the iceberg. As cover-up artists, they would like to see me following in their footsteps. I don't write for such readers. I write against them. As for our so-called proud Armenians: most of them don't even qualify as Turks.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008
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SOLUTIONS
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Winston Churchill: “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”
None of these things will be available in an environment controlled by individuals with the warmth and charm of a hangman's rope.
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The problem with solutions is not that they are difficult to find but that those who are in a position to implement them refuse to do so.
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In America they say “throw the bums out,” meaning, vote for anyone who runs against the incumbent. We don't have a corresponding expression in Armenian probably because we don't have bums, only statesmen.
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To be polite sometimes means to say the exact opposite of what you feel or think. But in writing, if you fail to be honest, direct, and to the point, you will be either ignored or dismissed as a hack. And that's what my critics want from me – to write like a hack so that they can dismiss me as one.
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To those who get a kick out of insulting their betters, I say, “Be aware of what you say because an insult is also a confession – it may reveal more about yourself than about your target, especially if your insults are motivated by revenge.”
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If only those who pretend to know better also knew when to shut up.
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“I am a Marxist -- of the Groucho tendency.”
If Karl were alive today he would have a good laugh. If Stalin were alive, the Gulag would be his answer. And that's what separates first-raters from second-raters.
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