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Old 17.09.2008, 19:01   #1
Бакалавр
 
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Sunday, September 14, 2008
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ON LEADERSHIP
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Arthur Schlesinger in a 1967 entry: “It is depressing to think that three of the great world leaders of 1967 – Mao, de Gaulle, and Johnson – are slightly crazy (and most of the rest are mediocrities).
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On Nixon: “He was the greatest **** – probably the only **** – ever elected President of the United States.”
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If I were to write a text on our recent history, a good working title would be “A regime of ****s.” In all fairness to our leaders, I should add that some of them were well-meaning ****s. The fact remains however that none of them was equal to the task. I say this to warn all our politically ambitious upstarts that not everyone is cut out for the job. To surround oneself with like-minded yes-men is easy. To seduce an audience with rhetoric is also easy. But reality is a cold bitch. The rest is bull and bias, and I for one happen to be a born-again anti-bias fanatic.
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The chances are he who believes in God will also believe in the existence of honest politicians.
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Our genocide happened as surely as World War I and World War II; but its reasons, like the reasons of both world wars are not as one-sided as Turks and Armenians assert them to be.
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An atheist who thinks is closer to God than a believer who doesn't.
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Monday, September 15, 2008
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JOHNSON SPEAKS
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President Johnson to Henry Kissinger as quoted by Arthur Schlesinger in his JOURNALS: “Okay, we will do it the professor's [Kissinger's] way. But (glaring at Kissinger) if it doesn't work, I will personally cut your balls off.”
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HOMELAND
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When our patriotic writers in the Ottoman Empire spoke of “homeland” they meant Istanbul. Does anyone know how many of them actually set foot in Armenia?
In the 19th century, even writers born and raised on Armenian soil, preferred to live and work in Tiflis.
In the 20th century, anyone who was someone in Armenian literature in Armenia was betrayed to the authorities and was either shot or exiled to Siberia.
Zarian was the only major writer from the Diaspora who repatriated after Khrushchev's Thaw, and after being treated as a leper, he was either murdered or died as a result of an accidental fall.
The fate of another writer, Navasartian by name, the son of an eminent Tashnak leader in Egypt, was even more tragic if only because he was much younger than Zarian. He either committed suicide, was pushed, or (according to Zaroukian who wrote a book about him) got drunk, lost his balance, and fell to his death from a hotel balcony in Yerevan.
I met Navasartian twice: first time in Greece in the 1940s or early '50s, second time, about ten years later, in Canada. He was a mesmerizing speechifier.
As for writers after Independence, since they are alive and active on the Internet, I will let them speak for themselves.
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FINAL REMARKS
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The Irish say, “Ireland is a good place to die.”
Something similar could be said of our own beloved homeland.
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American political leaders may speak like thugs but ours live as thugs. So please, let's cut out the b.s. when we speak of our homeland.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008
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TENTATIVE ANSWERS
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There are no final answers. Final answers are only for popes, ayatollahs, and fascists. If an answer does not raise two more questions, it cannot be right.
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To be slaves of former slaves (our case) also means to allow ourselves to be brainwashed by brain-damaged dupes.
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We like to say that nations that question the reality of our genocide are motivated by self-interest, thus implying nations that are on our side are morally superior. As for our own moral superiority: we take that for granted and we expect everyone else to do so.
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You cannot judge the conduct of a war by authorized press releases. Neither can you judge the past by authorized textbooks. For the very simple reason that those in authority care much more about their image than the truth.
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To silence dissent means to prepare the ground for a generation of executioners.
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There is a type of charlatan (Bush and Chaney come to mind) who will always be against compromise and for war, provided of course someone else does the killing and dying.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
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POLITICS AND LITERATURE
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All politically motivated assertions contain a fraction of bias and bull. If a politician tells you the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, or two plus two makes four, ask yourself, “What's in it for him?” and if he shakes your hand, make sure there are no missing digits.
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There is a type of charlatan who not only pretends to know all he needs to know but also what's good for the rest of us, even though he has at no time even bothered to ask what is it that we or any one of us wants.
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What could be more naïve for a Turk than to believe Turkish politicians on the grounds that they are Turks. Likewise, what could be more naïve for an Armenian to believe Armenian politicians on the grounds that if they are Armenians they must be honest.
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They resent me because I speak of reality. What they want me to do is sing a lullaby. Literature to them is nothing but variations on “Yes im anoush Hayastani,” which is itself a variation on a poem by Pushkin; which, by the way and in passing, is an excellent proof of the literary theory that says, the greatest source of inspiration for poets is not reality but other poets. But then, this is true of all literary activity. Aristotle is unthinkable without Plato, or Plato without Socrates; or Marx without Hegel; or Dostoevsky without Dickens and Gogol.
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I remember once many years ago reviewing a collection of poems by one of our bishops. It was such a transparent imitation of Verlaine that it qualified as a clear-cut case of plagiarism and I said as much in my review, which was published in an American literary periodical. As far as I know, the good bishops never published another bad poem after that.
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I also remember to have reviewed a volume of poems by one of our political bosses. It was incomprehensible avant-garde trash, but to my eternal shame I praised it highly on the chauvinist theory – yes, I was once a dealer in chauvinist crapola – if it's Armenian it's bound to be good.
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Speaking of politicians and poets: If Zarian is right, Ottoman sultans have inspired more poetic tributes by Armenian poets in Istanbul than Armenian politicians in Yerevan.
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Old 18.09.2008, 22:14   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabaliozian View Post
There is a type of charlatan who not only pretends to know all he needs to know but also what's good for the rest of us, even though he has at no time even bothered to ask what is it that we or any one of us wants.
What a perfect portrait of yours!
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Old 20.09.2008, 14:38   #3
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Well, an interesting diary of yours, dear arabaliozian.
And the saddest part of it is that it perfectly proves your being truly Armenian, i.e. enormous level of self-destruction.
I wish you a little bit of faith in people (including Armenians)
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Old 20.09.2008, 17:52   #4
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Thursday, September 18, 2008
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YOU WANT A FRIEND?
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You have a far better chance with a dog than with Homo sapiens.
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YOU CANNOT ARGUE WITH A BISHOP
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Church unity has become a Utopian illusion because so far no one has been successful in convincing two bishops that one of them owes his position of eminence to the KGB and the other to the CIA.
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YES, SIR! (I)
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Everything a man says to a tyrant is driven by cunning and hypocrisy. Tyrants know this and they are flattered. They prefer dishonest brown-nosers to honest critics.
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YES, SIR! (II)
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The two most hateful words in my dictionary. To those who say “Yes, sir!” are fine words because they stand for respect for authority, I say, maybe so, but you cannot solve problems by dropping your pants and bending over.
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MUCHO MACHO
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They believe God to be on their side and, as long as they follow the Guidance and regardless of what happens in this life, they will spend the next deflowering virgins, and no one speaks in defense of defenseless virgins.
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NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANTIY
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Once upon a time there was a fearless driver who, when warned to avoid certain neighborhoods and to drive more defensively, would say, “As long as I follow traffic rules I have nothing to worry about.” And now, after the inevitable, all he does is stare into space with expressionless eyes and say, “It wasn't my fault. It wasn't my fault.”
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SITUATION/****UATION
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To be a posthumous success means to be a living failure, and for every writer that fails there are at least a dozen bishops who succeed.
In the Ottoman period, if it wasn't the Turks, it was TB.
In the Soviet period, if it wasn't a bullet in the neck, it was the Gulag.
In the Diaspora today, if it's not being dependent on the charity of swine it's the death of a thousand cuts.
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Friday, September 19, 2008
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Only crooks and barbarians fight. Sooner or later all civilized men reach a consensus through compromise.
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An Armenian with a highly developed spirit of contradiction doesn't feel the need to think. He contradicts first and comes up with reasons next, even if these reasons convince no one but himself.
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You may have noticed that people who screw other people, unlike their victims, always have good reasons for doing what they do.
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As soon as rules and criteria are established, there will always be those who will exploit them to their advantage, and in time assume key positions. In human affairs evil always triumphs – from commissars in the USSR, and televangelists in America, to holier-than-thou sanctimonious child-molesting pricks everywhere.
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On their way back from the Homeland my mother and sister were approached by one of their elderly travel companions, who said to them: “Please, don't mention our bad experiences to Ara, he may write about them.” It is beyond me why some people think covering up misconduct or abuses is patriotic, when obviously it is the exact opposite. Who after all benefits from filthy washrooms and unsanitary hospitals? Surely, not our tourist industry.
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What I do is a waste of time, I know that now. Even if I were to succeed I would fail. Consider the life, work, and influence of even the greatest reformers like Luther and Marx. What have they accomplished? They simply replaced one form of exploitation, abuse, and corruption with another. Which is why I have lowered my sights. My aim now is to give our riffraff insomnia, even if the insomnia lasts no more than a fraction of a second.
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In the biography of an English writer (Simon Gray, 1936-2008) I read that he deplored “the ugliness and bad manners of his contemporaries,” he thought “we live in exceptionally stupid times,” and “State education was controlled by savages who should be strung from lampposts.” Nothing further, Your Honor!
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Saturday, September 20, 2008
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THEM AND US
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One of the obscenties about our genocide is the average Turcocentric ghazetaji who has convinced himself and his dupes that our welfare as a nation depends on bloodthirsty subhuman savages. He at no time is willing to consider the possibility that not all Turks are savages, and that some of them may even be more civilized than he.
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Like most Armenians, I have followed many controversies in our media,
but I have at no time heard an Armenian say: “I was wrong!” or, even better, “I was dead wrong because I placed my own ego, interests, family, political party, church, or tribe above the interests of the nation or, for that matter, humanity as a whole.”
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“Hatred,” Gandhi said, “injures the haters, never the hated.”
Marx said capital dehumanizes not only the worker but also the capitalist himself.
And now listen to Pope Pius XI: “Dead matter leaves the factory ennobled and transformed, whereas men are corrupted and degraded.”
It is safe to assume that by “men” the Pope didn’t think of the workers only but also their exploiters and society as a whole.
All this to suggest that we dehumanize the Turk at the cost of dehumanizing not only ourselves, and our communities, but also our relationships with one another.
To see evidence of this all one has to do is follow any intramural controversy in our press or discussion forum on the internet, including this one.
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Assessing oneself as infallible may well be the surest symptom of terminal cretinism.
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