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Old 14.07.2012, 15:44   #361
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Thursday, July 12, 2012
****************************
…AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
*********************************************
There are no more Armenians.
Once upon a time, yes.
But not any more.
What we have now are
Ottomanized and Sovietized Armenians.
Also Levantinized and Americanized Armenians.
But authentic Armenians?
They belong to the irrevocable and distant past.
They are the Armenians who built our churches,
composed our folk songs and liturgical music;
and like Naregatsi, when in trouble,
they blamed no one but themselves.
They were honest, unassuming, creative.
They are now greedy, arrogant, sterile, and hollow.
To quote Zarian:
Danger, danger, danger!
#
Friday, July 13, 2012
**************************************
MEMOS TO MYSELF
*****************************
Make it brief.
Make it simple.
Make it accessible.
Avoid academic verbiage like dichotomy and existentialism,
or words that are not in the Bible or Plato.
Paraphrase and steal when necessary,
if the alternative is footnotes longer than your text.
Don’t give the reader a chance to get bored.
Life is boring enough.
So are speechifiers and sermonizers
who speak in defense
of their powers, privileges, and source of income.
Readers who are against you
will be against you even if you combine
the reasoning skills of Socrates
with the eloquence of Cicero.
An Armenian who has made up his mind
is an immovable object.
Ignore him.
An Armenian with Turcocentric views:
let the Turks deal with him.
State your case even if it means making enemies.
Remember, the average Armenian reader
(that is to say myself for most of my life)
is a dupe, a coward, and a barbarian
who owes his survival to bloodthirsty sultans
and murderous commissars.
As for popularity:
leave that to those engaged in politics and prostitution.
The rest is propaganda.
#
Saturday, July 14, 2012
*********************************
IN PRAISE OF FAILURE
********************************
With power comes responsibility.
Or so we are told.
But in reality the higher a man rises,
the greater the insanity.
*
We owe all wars, massacres, concentration camps, and gulags
to men who were successful in reaching the top.
*
Success in one field spells failure in another.
History provides us with so many examples!
The Bible, the most successful book ever written
and a perennial best-seller has created more innocent victims
than nuclear weapons.
In it we are told to judge a tree by its fruit.
If we do that we may have to conclude that
far from being the Word of God,
the Bible may well be the word of the competition.
Which is why I feel justified in saying,
Long live failure!
#
07.13.2012 11:54 epress.am
Հայգրողը՝իշխանություններիմասին. «Ինձատումեն, որովհետևմտածումեմնրանցուզածիհակառակը»
Կանադայումբնակվողգրող, արվեստիքննադատԱրաԲալիոզյանիկարծիքով՝Հայաստանիմեծագույնխնդիրնայնէ, երկրումչկախոսքիիրավունք, քանիորառանցդրահնարավորչէերկխոսությունևառաջընթաց:
«Մենքպետքէմերապագանկառուցենք, օրինակ, Շվեյցարիայիմոդելով, այլոչթեԽորհրդայինՄիության, որտեղխոսքիիրավունքչկար: Երկիրըթեևանկախացելէ, բայցազատչէիրականումմոսկովյանտիրապետությունից: ՌեժիմիգլխինկանգնածեննախկինԿԳԲ-իգործակալներ: Տարբերություննայնէ, որՍտալինիօրոքկոռուպցիաէրիշխում, հիմա` ևկոռուպցիա, ևարտագաղթ», – Epress.am-իհետզրույցումասելէԲալիոզյանը:
Նախոսքով ` հայաստանցիներիմոտկաազատությանսխալընկալում. նրանքմտածումեն, որազատությունըհակասումէիրենցտարածքային, տնտեսական, սոցիալականևմշակութայինշահերին, իրականումճիշտհակառակը, ազատությունըալֆանուօմեգանէցանկացածիրավունքպահպանելուհամար:
Հետևելովհայաստանյանիրադարձություններին՝գրողընկատելէ, որմարդիկհաճախանհանդուրժողենիրենցիցտարբերմարդկանցհանդեպ, ինչը, ըստնրա, բնորոշչէհայերին, այլհետևանքնէիշխանությանճնշմանկամհատուկէհրահրվումիշխանություններիկողմից:
«Ազգայինսիմվոլներըչարաշահելով` իշխանություններըփորձումենմարդկանցկույրդարձնելհամամարդկայինարժեքներիհանդեպ: Նրանքսերմանումենվախ, ինչըհզորզենքէմարդկանցհնազանդպահելուհամար: Մարդկանցարժեքներենտրվումպատրաստի, ոչթենրանքազատենիրենցարժեքներիընտրությանմեջ: ՍակարելիէասելնաևՍփյուռքիհայերիմասին: Իռլանդականասացվածքկա` Իռլանդիանլավտեղէմեռնելուհամար, նույննենզգումսփյուռքահայերըՀայաստանիհանդեպ: Եթեդուչեսընդունումիշխանականպրոպագանդան, դուդառնումեսթշնամի: Հայաստանումինձատումեն, որովհետևեսիմանձիմասինմտածումեմնրանցուզածիճիշտհակառակը»,- ասելէԲալիոզյանը:
ԱզատությանհասնելումիակճանապարհըցույցտալուհամարմերզրուցակիցըցիտելէՀեգելիխոսքերը` իշխանությունըերբեքչիզիջիառանցարյունահեղության:
«Եսարյունահեղությունչեմքարոզում, միայնհիշեցումեմ, որիշխանությանգլուխկանգնածմարդիկխրոնիկսուտասաններենևամենինչիընդունակենիրենցաթոռըպահելուհամար: Բայցեթեարաբականգարունեղավ, ինչո՞ւչիկարողհայկականգարունսկսվել»,- ասելէգրողը:



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Old 18.07.2012, 15:41   #362
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
****************************************
ONCE UPON A TIME IN GREECE
**********************************************
“Have you heard?”
“What?”
“The miracle worker in Palestine who can raise the dead.”
“Big deal!”
“He can actually make a corpse rise and walk.”
“The world is full them.”
“Miracle workers?”
“No, walking cadavers.”
#
TWO OBSERVATIONS
**************************
For everyone who dares to whisper the truth
there will be ten who will try to shout him down.
*
The rich have an excellent reason to believe in God.
God has been good to them.
#
Monday, July 16, 2012
**************************************
BUMS
*************************
In the eyes of our 1%,
we, the 99%,
need their guidance,
even if so far their guidance has been in the wrong direction –
towards massacres, genocide, alienation, assimilation, and exodus.
With such a 1%, who needs sultans and commissars?
*
We are smart?
Don’t make me laugh!
Our 1% are smart only when it comes to deceiving the 99%;
and our 99%, far from being smart, are probably dumber
than Germans under Hitler,
Russians under Stalin,
and Turks under Kemal.
*
If I ever say “throw the bums out,”
I have every reason to suspect
all honest bosses, bishops, and benefactors
(assuming there are any left)
will secretly agree with me.
#
Monday, July 16, 2012
************************
NOTES / COMMENTS
*************************************
It is not generally known that
serving one’s fellow men
can be as rewarding an experience
as deceiving and exploiting them.
*
Everybody wants to be somebody;
nobody wants to be a decent human being,
which, in the kind of world we live,
may well be the most ambitious dream to realize.
*
People who make careless statements
and when challenged proceed to defend them,
end up believing in their own falsehoods.
Arguing with them amounts to promoting fanaticism.
#
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
***********************************
AS I SEE IT
***********************
No one can be as deaf as the man
who likes the sound of his own voice.
*
What we call prophecy very often is nothing
but an objective interpretation of human nature.
*
Epictetus once said:
“Of the ten evils we fear, only one happens to us.”
He should have added:
Of the thousand and one evils we do not fear,
all thousand and one will happen to us.
*
Greed, lust, and fear will make the most cunning man
behave like a fool.
*
It is not enough to have the perception to see the truth,
the honesty to admit it,
and the courage to speak;
one must also have the cunning to survive it.
*
When a nation suffers a military defeat,
its poets begin to sing of past moral victories.
#
Always read with a concrete aim in mind – to solve a problem, to expose a lie, to demolish an enemy.
#
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
****************************************
THE HUMAN CONDITION
**************************************
The 1% have more tricks up their sleeves
than the 99% have the imagination to see them.
*
Is the Genocide real or a figment of our imagination?
The 1% in both the United States and Turkey know it to be real.
As for the 99%:
(one) they are brought up to believe what they are told by the 1%, and
(two) they don’t give a damn.
*
Divine justice: the innocent are condemned to death
as surely as the guilty.
*
Imagine if you can our planet as seen from another galaxy.
Imagine further that on that speck of dust
there are billions of creatures all of whom think of themselves
as the center of the universe…
#



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CAREER MOVES
*******************************
By HAGOP BARONIAN
**********************************
translated by a.b.
******************************
Do you want to make a fortune? Be a doctor.
Do you want to dine and wine every day? Be a bishop.
Do you want to be shameless? Go into politics.
Do you want to be innocent? Be a child.
Do you want to be loved? Be an attractive floozy.
Do you want to know what despair is? Grow old.
Do you want to serve your country? Be a parasite.
Do you want to be abused today and glorified tomorrow? Dedicate yourself to selfless intellectual labor.
Do you want to live a life of peace and contentment? Don't give a damn about anything.
Do you want to be refined and elegant? Be rich.
Do you want to be a devoted father to your daughters? Let them learn how to dance, sing, and play the piano.
Do you want to be civilized? Dismiss your fellow Armenians as barbarians.
Do you want to make a lot of money? Sell booze.
Do you want to be a writer? Starve!
#

Last edited by arabaliozian; 18.07.2012 at 15:41.
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Old 21.07.2012, 15:43   #363
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Saturday, July 21, 2012
**************************************
DOUBLE-TALK
**************************
“Tell me who your friends are…”
An obvious euphemism for
“Tell me whose ass you kiss
and I will tell you who you are,”
or rather, what propaganda line you recycle.
I am now paraphrasing one of our elder statesmen
(may the Good Lord have mercy on his soul).
*
I was born again as a human being
on the day I realized I could kick ass
instead of kissing it.
*
The Syrian 1% is disintegrating.
It’s always the same story.
They preach the 99% to fight unto death
in defense of God and Country,
but when death comes knocking at their door,
they run like headless chickens.
*
War is an attractive option only to those
who don’t have to do the killing and dying.
*
After the Golden Age comes the Silver Age,
and after the Silver Age comes the Age of Garbage,
which is where we happen to be today.
Now then, go ahead and brag about that!
#
Saturday, July 21, 2012
****************************************
EXPLANATIONS
************************
What motivates the wealthy (or the 1%)
is not greed but altruism – to create jobs
for little people (or the 99%).
*
Austerity measures are designed for the 99%
not the 1% who are too set in their ways to change or adapt.
*
Massacres are not always crimes against humanity
but necessary means for maintaining the territorial integrity
of an empire or nation.
*
What is the difference between a massacre and genocide?
It depends on the identity of the perpetrators and their victims.
If the perps are our friends
and the victims are politically irrelevant to our interests
it can’t be genocide.
*
There is an explanation behind every explanation.
Leave it to politicians (most of whom are lawyers)
to come up with reasons why
a bloodthirsty sadistic serial killer
should be declared not guilty
by reason of self-defense,
which happens to be a universal human right.
Case closed!
#
THE MAN WHO RAN AWAY FROM THE KING
*****************************************************
By AVEDIK ISSAHAKIAN
**************************************
Translated by a.b.
*************************
Very early one morning
A mighty king was ceased by an urge
To see his realm
To visit and inspect
Every town and hamlet.
Orders than he issued
And with him arose
A retinue of servants,
Soldiers, carriages, and horses.
*
A few days later,
As the crowds roared
And as his Majesty
Made his triumphal entry
Through the gate
Of a distant town,
A humble townsman
Made a sudden exit
Through another gate
And he ran and he ran
Like a hunted beast he ran
Through forests and valleys
Through dark and uncharted regions.
*
“Hold it right there!”
Cried out a stranger
Standing in his path.
“What are you running away from?
Is it the law by any chance?
Are you perchance a bandit?
And if not a bandit, a murderer?”
“I am innocent, I swear,”
Said the townsman.
“Whatever bread I have eaten
I have earned with my own sweat.
I beg you let me explain
What I am running away from.
His Majesty the king, you see,
Is visiting my town.
Now then please understand
What I am about to say.
His Royal Highness
As everyone knows
Is a man of great might
But his brain alas
Is that of a child
I have heard it said
That the farther away
From such a king you stay
The better off you are.”
*
After hearing this
The stranger let him pass.
And the townsman once more
Took to his heels and ran
Through forests and valleys he ran
Through dark and uncharted region.
(1935)
#
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Old 25.07.2012, 14:46   #364
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Sunday, July 22, 2012
******************************
AURORA
**********************
Why do some so-called normal individuals
go unhinged and commit massacres
on unarmed and innocent civilians?
The simple answer is and must be,
an accumulation of injuries inflicted on them by others
in the name of this or that
moral code or educational system, or law and order.
All I have to do to reach that conclusion is
to examine my own life – and by that I don’t mean
only the injuries that have been inflicted on me
but also the injuries that I have myself inflicted on others.
#
Monday, July 23, 2012
*************************************
HEAVEN AND HELL
******************************
There are so many lies parading as truths
that truth has become a synonym of lie.
*
Power, real power, means
the power to kill and steal
and get away with it.
*
When the 99% do something wrong,
they are punished.
When the 1% do something wrong
they give themselves a fat bonus.
*
Kings, statesmen, popes, imams, rabbis:
they are as habitual and compulsive liars
as murderers and thieves.
Most of them are in fact murderers and thieves.
*
Heaven and hell are predictable places
we are told. But in life, heaven may change into hell
and vice versa without notice.
#
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
************************************
POWER
*******************
Absolute power creates morons.
Sultans, commissars, popes, imams:
the great their power,
the greater the number of dupes.
*
The number one concern of all power structures is power.
This is as true of America as it is
of Russia, China, Syria, and the Vatican.
The Pope has probably devoted more time,
resources, energy, and personnel
on his propaganda against contraception
than against child molestation.
*
Who understands Armenians?
Not even Armenians.
If Armenians can’t understand Armenians, who can?
Only God and He is not in the business
of sharing His understanding with us.
*
My advice to our enemies:
“You don’t kill a man who is committing suicide.”
#
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
****************************************
ABOUT INTERMARRIAGE
**************************************
Dedicated to my good friend Hagop Jelalian
************************************************
In the Armenian ghetto
where I was born and raised,
I was brainwashed to believe
intermarriage meant sleeping with the enemy.
I know better now because
I appreciate the positive aspects of mixed marriages –
namely, the introduction of racial and religious tolerance.
And sure enough, some of our ablest and most progressive intellectuals,
from Abovian to Zarian,
and from Arlen to Saroyan,
married odars.
*
How to explain the popularity of intermarriage? –
about 80% in the United States, I am told.
A man is a man,
a woman is a woman,
and when the two meet, everything else –
moral and esthetic values,
political orientation, financial status,
religious and ethnic prejudices,
fly out the window.
What remains are a man, a woman
and the instinct to be fruitful and multiply.
#
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Old 28.07.2012, 16:07   #365
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Saturday, July 26, 2012
***********************************
PARALLELS
**********************
When it comes to moral progress
(as opposed to technical progress)
mankind has not advanced a single inch.
That may be because
every organization, movements, or power structure
develops its own 1%.
This is as true of the Kremlin
as it is of the Vatican.
The reason why the Vatican has victimized
fewer innocent civilians than the Kremlin
is not moral superiority but military inferiority.
When the popes had the power
they were as ruthless in their persecution of heretics
as Stalin was in his treatment of dissidents.
*
Lenin said, “A bourgeois is a bourgeois
regardless of nationality.”
So is the 1%.
#
Saturday, July 28, 2012
*************************************
PARALLELS (II)
*****************************
Belief systems (from Capitalism to Communism
and from Christianity to Islam) are symptoms of collective insanity.
Which is why a far wiser man than myself
once remarked that Planet Earth
is the insane asylum of the Solar System –
or is it the Galaxy?
*
The phenomenal ease with which
the 1% has been successful
in deceiving and misleading the 99%!
*
Organized crime and organized religions
operate on similar lines.
Fear is their most important ingredient –
fear of hell, fear of Siberian exile, and in the case of the Mafia,
fear of assassination.
*
When I committed my greatest blunders
it didn’t even occur to me to question the logic of my actions.
#
Saturday, July 28, 2012
***************************************
COMMENTS
****************************
Everything and everyone has a price,
including the worthless.
*
Disgust defies eloquence;
that’s why the worst on man has not yet been said.
*
It is the fate of men who are more like women
to meet women who are more like men.
*
In thinking a moderate, in action a fanatic –
that is, if you want anything done.
*
We don’t make an effort to understand ourselves
but we expect others to understand us,
or rather, to misunderstand us favorably.
#
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Old 01.08.2012, 15:27   #366
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Wednesday, August 01, 2012
*******************************************
OUR GREATEST MISFORTUNE
*******************************************
The aim of thinkers
– be they scientists, philosophers, or intellectuals –
is not to entertain the public
but to solve problems.
To say therefore
we need solutions, is to imply that
all our thinkers were no better than mental masturbators.
*
In the eyes of fascists
the only way to qualify as a thinker
is to recycle their propaganda.
*
One of the greatest misfortunes that can befall a nation
is political and religious control of its educational system.
Which amounts to allowing compulsive and habitual liars
to tell our children what’s right and what’s wrong.
*
I have no illusions about democracies.
The Americanized American is as brainwashed
as the Sovietized Russian and
the Anglicized Englishman.
#
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
*************************************
IN THE NAME OF PATRIOTISM
*****************************************
Patriotism teaches us to love our fellow Armenians
and to hate Turks, to which I can only say
I cannot be a patriot because
I love good Turks
and I hate bad Armenians.
*
Like all –isms, patriotism creates more enemies than friends.
Capitalism created communists,
and communism created
crooks, cannibals, and “crocodiles” (Chekhov).
*
There is a type of patriotic reader
who operates on the assumption that
he knows better,
he understand more,
and his belief system is morally superior.
Whenever informed by such a reader
that I am no better than a purveyor of bull****,
I am reminded of a saying popular in Hollywood:
“It may be **** but it has integrity.”
#
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
*********************************
CURIOSITY
***********************
When asked by journalists
what had made him to devote several decades of his life
to the writing of his 12-volume STUDY OF HISTORY,
Toynbee is said to have replied: “Curiosity.”
In his fascinating little book, PHNATOMS ON THE BOOKSHELVES,
Jacques Bonnet writes:
“In Victor Hugo’s play MARION DELORME, the king asks:
‘What is your reason for living?’
L’Angely replies: ‘Curiosity.’”
*
To our sermonizers and speechifiers
who preach love of God and Country I ask:
“How many Armenians have you alienated with your double-talk?”
And if you were to say my kind of writing may also alienate some Armenians,
all I can say is, “Good riddance!”
*
I am suspicious of Armenians
who after centuries of subservience to alien and bloodthirsty tyrants
assume subservience to be an integral part of the human condition.
*
I am suspicious of Armenians
who preach love but practice hatred.
Saroyan comes to mind.
He too preached love but hated his own children.
*
Above all I am suspicious of Armenians
who praise Armenian culture
but practice davul zurna, shish-kebab, and pilaf.
#
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
****************************************
DIARY
***********************
A sad day for American literature:
Gore Vidal is dead.
*
Saw a lovely Chinese film, THE ROAD HOME.
Unforgettable.
Most of the time I had tears in my eyes.
*
We cannot agree with one another
but we expect our enemies to agree with us.
Figure that one out if you can!
*
Armenians who are pro-Assad
on the grounds that he is pro-Armenian
should not be surprised at Turks
who raise monuments to Talaat and Kemal.
*
After assessing themselves as morally superior,
they assert moral superiority
but they succeed only in speaking with a forked tongue.
The malady of all sermonizers.
*
In one of his essays Aldous Huxley says
too much singing damages one’s critical faculties –
something to do with lack of oxygen in the brain.
He may have a point.
Beniamino Gigli was a fascist,
Pavarotti was blinded by his American success,
and Maria Callas by Onassis’s wealth.
#

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Old 04.08.2012, 15:37   #367
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Thursday, August 02, 2012
*************************************
POWER AND PROPAGANDA
******************************
Dissent also means
refusing to recycle a tyrant’s propaganda.
*
The hardest challenge a writer confronts
is to speak with his voice.
Until then all he can do is speak with someone else’s voice
or recycle someone else’s propaganda.
*
Writers come in all sizes and shapes.
But no writer in the history of mankind
has ever silenced a tyrant.
*
When tyrants go about their murderous task of silencing writers,
they invariably target the best.
*
After persecuting, terrorizing, torturing, and killing countless heretics,
popes assert infallibility.
*
The ruthless cunning of the 1%
is rivaled only by the ignorance, stupidity, and cowardice
of the 99%.
#
Friday, August 03, 2012
*********************************
GOD IS GREAT
************************
No one gives up power without a bloody fight,
Hegel tells us.
And so it is.
Consider what’s happening today in Syria.
And if the Popes of Rome
no longer persecute, torture, and burn heretics
it’s not because they saw the light and became non-violent;
but because it took countless massacres and wars
(one of which lasted a hundred years) to stop them.
But that’s not all it took.
It took powerful reformers
like Luther, kings, emperors, and dictators
like Henry VIII, Napoleon, and Mussolini
to check their abuses of power.
It took dissidents like Voltaire, Gibbon, Renan, Marx, and Nietzsche.
As a matter of fact, the Popes had many more dissidents
than Stalin, Hitler, and Mao combined.
If they continue to have followers today
it’s because men need belief systems
as alcoholics and drug addicts need their poison.
Man, it has been said, cannot create a single worm
but he has created ten thousand gods.
The very same people who rejected Jesus
believed in Madoff.
Figure that one out if you can.
Allawa akhbar!
#
Saturday, August 04, 2012
*************************************
QUESTIONS IN NEED OF ANSWERS
********************************************
To our bosses I say:
Don’t tell me how much you have accomplished.
Tell me instead how many you have alienated.
To our fund-raisers I say:
Don’t tell me how many millions you have raised.
Tell me instead how much of it ended in the wrong pockets.
To our benefactors I say:
Don’t brag about the number of schools you have built.
Tell me instead what’s being taught there.
To our academics I say:
Don’t tell me how many books you have published.
Tell me instead who reads them?
*
In Chekhov’s UNCLE VANYA I read:
“The ganders will cackle a bit – and then they’ll leave off…
They’ll cackle and leave off…”
#
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Old 08.08.2012, 14:51   #368
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Sunday, August 05, 2012
***********************************
WONDERS NEVER CEASE
***********************************
One way to sum our past is to say that
we are victims of hit-and-run accidents
all of which could have been avoided
had we behaved more defensively –
or rather, had our leadership etc.
*
The overwhelming majority of Armenians today
are predisposed to doubt an honest witness
and to believe everything they are told by our 1%.
*
The main function of all educational systems
is to create dupes by convincing them that
as dupes they will go farther and accomplish more in life
than as individuals who operate on the false assumption that
they are fully equipped to think for themselves.
*
You may have noticed that
when an Armenian makes it in the odar world,
he stays away from the unholy tangle of Armenian affairs.
This may suggest that our affairs are conducted
not by our best but our worst.
*
Some people will do anything for money
especially if they find themselves on the verge of starvation,
say, like Armenians scribblers.
I once met a hireling of a benefactor
who wanted me to translate a volume of his verse.
I once even met a benefactor
who wanted me to write his memoirs.
On still another occasion I met a novelist
who was the secretary of a bishop.
Not only did this character take himself seriously
but he also expected me to do so.
Wonders never cease!
#
Monday, August 06, 2012
**************************************
CONFESSIONS OF AN
ORTHODOX COWARD
***************************************************
“Treason and betrayal are in our blood,” said Raffi.
He was a man of courage, daring, and integrity.
In modern parlance, he had cojones.
Compared to him I am no better than an orthodox coward.
The worst thing that I have said about us is
“subservience is in our blood.”
Which, if you think about it, boils down to the same thing.
If you say “Yes, sir!” to anyone with authority,
will you ever dare to say “No, sir!”
when he orders you to betray your brother?
*
Did we ever behead any one of our kings?
Did we ever condemn to death any one of our collaborators?
When Stalin reinstated Etchmiadzin
he did so for a pragmatic reason:
he ordered the Catholicos to bless the war against Hitler
and to encourage the youth to volunteer
instead of deserting the army;
and the Catholicos did what he was told.
He went further.
Under Gorbachev he (the Catholicos)
opposed independence.
*
Perhaps the Genocide was only a warning
which so far we have failed to heed.
#
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
*******************************
AS I SEE IT
******************************
They say Americans are money-obsessed.
What about Russians?
Both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky died shortly after
family arguments over money.
After a stormy scene over money in Chekhov’s UNCLE VANYA,
a character says:
“The row they made this morning – and shooting, too – a regular disgrace!”
To which another comments:
“Yes…a subject worthy of the brush of Aivazovsky.”
*
We have all heard of man’s original sin.
What about God’s original sin?
Instead of creating good men,
He created bloodthirsty barbarians.
Why?
Nobody knows.
Nobody will ever know.
*
Sometimes it is easier to die for one’s country
than to live in it.
*
Perhaps I write too much.
Nobody will ever say I have read everything he has written –
not even I.
#
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
**************************************
DIARY
********************
My mother believed everything she read in the papers
except what I wrote in them. As for me, I believe nothing,
including what I write.
To believe is a verb in whose proximity
I feel inadequate, alien, and thoroughly ill-at-ease.
To me a holy book is only a perennial best-seller
written, re-written, edited, and re-edited by mediocrities
whose number one concern is not truth but power.
*
Saw for the third time AMARCORD, my favorite Fellini.
Most of it is based not on reminiscence but
(according to his friends) is pure fantasy.
It was filmed not in Rimini, where Fellini was born and raised
but in a studio in Rome.
*
In Mavis Gallant’s DIARY, written in Madrid
and recently published in the NEW YORKER, I read:
“The children masturbate
the way children in other countries skip rope or roller-skate.
Spanish parents must consider it like teething –
they take no notice whatever.”
#
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Old 11.08.2012, 15:51   #369
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Thursday, August 09, 2012
****************************************
THE ANSWER
**************************
We think that we think but we don’t think;
and when we speak
we speak more like parrots than reasonable beings.
Our ideas are not ours but someone else’s.
Marx said he was not a Marxist,
and yet the world is full of them.
Christ never said he was a Christian,
and yet there are billions of them all over the world.
*
I am all for free speech and against censorship.
That doesn’t mean I support pornographers or, for that matter,
imams who promise 73 virgins to sex-starved teenagers;
or habitual, compulsive, and dogmatic liars
who control our educational system.
*
I am for gun control;
that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to have a gun
when confronted by a violent intruder or drug-crazed addict.
*
There are Armenians today who support Basher Assad.
There were Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
who on the eve of the Genocide were pro-Turkish.
There were pro-Nazi Armenians
who fought against Bolshevik Armenians during World War II.
*
Life is full of contradictions that cannot be reconciled.
What’s the answer?
I wish I knew.
All I can say is, let’s begin by refusing to identify thinking
with recycling someone else’s propaganda
especially when that someone else is an enemy.
#
Friday, August 10, 2012
***********************************
ARMENIAN ANTI-AMERICANISM
*********************************************
Armenians from the Middle East come in all sizes and shapes
but they all share on thing in common: anti-Americanism.
In their view American presidents like FDR and Truman
have killed more innocent civilians
than Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, and Attila the Hun combined.
Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the War of Troy: they were all plotted, provoked,
and executed by Americans.
The Serpent in the Garden?
A CIA agent in disguise.
*
Many years ago one of our elder statesmen warned me:
“An Armenian from the Middle East
will walk past an elementary school
and forever after brag about his university degree.”
*
As recently as last week,
because I dared to adopt a critical stance towards Basher al-Assad
I was dismissed as a dupe who has been brainwashed by Western media.
*
I have no illusions about America.
I have fewer illusions about the rest of the world,
including Greece, where I was born and raised,
Italy where I was educated,
Canada where I now live,
and Armenia, my so-called homeland
which i don't plan to visit.
*
If they hate America why do they live in America?
Their pat answer:
They don’t hate America.
They love Americans.
What they hate is American politics.
What if American politics enjoys the support of the majority?
*
The sad truth is they hate America,
they hate Americans,
and what they hate even more are fellow Armenians
who dare to disagree with them.
I speak from experience.
#
Saturday, August 11, 2012
****************************************
GUILTY AS CHARGED
*********************************
Whenever my critics run out of arguments
they accuse me of hating my fellow Armenians,
to which charge I don’t mind pleading guilty.
I will go further and say that
when it comes to hatred
I don’t single out Armenians.
I hate the hateful regardless of nationality.
I hate all fanatics who pretend to be moderates.
I hate double-talk.
I hate child-molesting priests and fornicating bishops
who preach chastity.
I hate moral morons who think dissent is a crime against humanity.
I hate bullies.
I hate intolerance.
I hate dogmatists who operate on the assumption that
anyone who refuses to share their prejudices,
misconceptions and fallacies deserves to die.
Unlike my critics, most of whom are no doubt good Christians,
I don’t love my enemies. I can’t!
And I don’t mind admitting that
I consider that a failing on my part,
and I look forward to the day when
I will love everybody,
but I also know that the chances of that happening
might as well be nil.
I am no angel and I remember to have read somewhere that
when a man tries to be an angel
he runs the risk of losing something much more valuable,
namely his humanity.
I plead guilty to the charge that
as a human being I am vulnerable to all the weaknesses
that flesh is heir to.
But I will say this in my defense.
I have at no time asserted moral superiority.
I leave that to my critics.
#
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Old 15.08.2012, 15:00   #370
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Sunday, August 12, 2012
************************************
SATURDAY NIGHT AND
SUNDAY MORNING
REFLECTIONS
**********************************
After visiting the Homeland during the Soviet era
a friend reported the following exchange:
“Why all the fuss about Watergate?”
“The President lied.”
“So what? – they lie to us all the time.”
*
We are a nation of a thousand and one Watergates
but so far not a single book on the subject,
not a single public hearing, impeachments, trial,
guilty verdict and incarceration.
I am now talking about both the Homeland and the Diaspora.
Result?
Our “Nixons” and their gangs of co-conspirators
continue to be in charge of our destiny as a nation.
*
Faith and superstition,
knowledge and ignorance,
lies and truth:
they might as well be Siamese twins.
*
I don’t spin theories.
I speak of historic reality.
*
If you elevate your intellectual superiority to a dogma
you condemn yourself to learn nothing.
*
Every transgression comes with its own inbuilt punishment.
God is too big, mighty, and important
to sit in judgment over all your petty little disgusting sins.
He neither judges nor punishes.
He relegates all that to you.
#
Monday, August 13, 2012
******************************************
ON CERTAINTIES
******************************
Whenever we say “I believe”
we should teach ourselves to add
“I could be wrong.”
Certainties are the source of all evil.
*
Honesty is an unwelcome intruder
because it exposes cowardly charlatans
who love to project the image
of fearless men of integrity.
I could be wrong…
*
To be popular means to be harmless –
to pretend to love everybody
even when you can’t stand the buggers.
*
Am I right or wrong?
I am not sure.
At best I may suspect I am moving in the right direction
if only because I am in the company of far better men than myself –
from Socrates to Solzhenitsyn.
#
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
*******************************************
BARBARIANS
****************************
You cannot civilize the civilized
(also called the syphilized).
You have a better chance with barbarians.
*
Financial bankruptcy is invariably preceded by moral bankruptcy.
History provides us with so many examples –
from the Roman Empire to the USSR and the USA;
and closer to home, the Mekhitarist order.
*
Tyrants from Hitler to Assad
would rather see their country reduced to rubble
than give up power.
(How to explain the quiet exit of Sultan Abdulhamid II? –
a bloodthirsty tyrant if there ever was one.)
*
An alcoholic odar academic in need of cash
once wrote a book titled ARMENIA: CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION
with the financial support of an Armenian foundation --
the wealthiest foundation on earth, it has been said;
and to this day there are Armenians who take the title literally.
*
There are two kinds of phonies:
those who try to expose the phony in themselves and in others,
and those who identify it with patriotism.
#
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
***************************************
IT BEARS REPEATING
******************************
To write for Armenians means
to write for readers who know better.
*
As an Armenian I try to understand my fellow Armenians
beginning with myself.
As an Armenian writer I do my utmost to be objective
and to say what I think.
*
To say what you think may not be a crime against humanity
but it is treated as one.
*
To be an Armenian writer means
to be exploited by the 1%
and oppressed by the 99%.
*
As a nation that has lived in oppression
for most of its collective existence
we assume oppression to be
an integral part of the human condition.
*
Nothing comes easier to a nation
that has experienced a series of massacres
than to engage in verbal massacre --
all in the name of patriotism of course.
*
I don’t write in the name of patriotism.
I write in the name if common sense and decency
which recognize no cultural and political boundaries.
*
Smoking is bad for you.
Everyone knows that including smokers.
Divisions are bad for a nation.
Everyone knows that,
including our dividers.
#
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Old 22.08.2012, 14:57   #371
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Sunday, August 19, 2012
**************************************
CONFESSIONS OF A PLAGIARIST
*********************************************
If no one writes as I do it’s not because
I am an original writer, far from it.
As a matter of fact, everything I say
is a paraphrase, a quotation, or a variation on a theme
stated by far better men than myself.
Case in point: many years ago, I remember,
speaking of a national benefactor
one of our elder statesmen said to me:
“As a product of the Ottoman Empire
he is no better than a frustrated sultan.”
*
A few years later when I had to deal with the hirelings
of this benefactor I remembered my elder statesman’s words
and saw the truth in his theory.
Once, again many years ago, when
in the presence of an Armenian academic --
an honest man for a change --
when I said Armenians are smart,
he came very close to losing his temper.
*
It took me a while to realize that
far from being smart, most Armenians are damn fools.
If Armenians like to assess themselves as smart
it may be because no fool will ever identify himself as a fool,
or a dupe as a dupe, or an idiot as an idiot.
I will go further and say that when it comes to politics
we fully qualify as inbred morons
for the simple reason that
for most of our collective existence
we have allowed ourselves to be divided, oppressed,
and occasionally massacred by relative morons.
And for saying that I have been described
as an ignoramus who hates himself
and projects his hatred onto his fellow countrymen.
There is some truth in that.
*
All analysis begins with self-analysis,
in the same way that all propaganda is carefully tailored
to flatter the ego of dupes.
History provides us with so many examples!
Even when they behaved like bloodthirsty barbarians
Germans were brainwashed to believe
they belonged to a superior race.
The Soviets were brainwashed to believe
they were the most progressive,
and anyone who dared to question that absurd assertion
was either shot in the neck or ended in the Gulag.
The only reason I am still alive today is that,
as a Canadian citizen I am beyond the jurisdiction
of our pseudo-sultans and neo-commissars.
#
Monday, August 20, 2012
************************************
PARAPHRASES
**************************
Not everyone who speaks in the name of God
is a messenger of God,
and he who speaks in the name of Capital
is a messenger of the Devil
even when he builds cathedrals.
*
It is not at all unusual for a very smart Armenian
to say some very dumb things.
*
Our spirit of contradiction is so highly developed that
when a Turk disagrees with me
I ascribe it to a distant Armenian in his family tree.
*
If you paraphrase Socrates
be prepared to be judged by individuals
who will behave like members of the jury
that condemned him to death.
*
Christ is recrucified every day by Christians.
(In case you haven’t guessed already,
I am now paraphrasing Dostoevsky and Kazantzakis.)
#
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
**************************************
DECEIVERS
********************
The Pope may doubt his faith seven times a day
(according to an old Italian proverb)
but he will never admit it.
He will go further and assert,
in matter of faith he is never wrong.
No one will ever say he is the proud offspring
of former commissars or KGB agents
for the same reason that no king
will ever admit to being the offspring
of ruthless killers and rapists,
no priest will ever admit to being a child molester,
and no democratically elected head of state
will ever admit to being better at making promises
than delivering them.
The 1% has ruled by deception
and continues to do so to this day
because it can always count
on the ignorance, stupidity, and cowardice of the 99% --
in case you thought I had a dog in that fight.
#
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
**************************************
WHAT IS RIGHT
AND WHAT IS WRONG?
*******************************************
When I was young
I too had an opinion on every conceivable subject
including subjects I knew nothing about.
*
As a child I thought,
or rather was brought up to think,
if the Pope of Rome,
all his cardinals and bishops,
and billions of Catholics
believe in the existence of God,
who am I to deny it?
*
As a teenager I thought
if great leaders like Stalin and Mikoyan,
and millions of Russians
and great intellectuals like George Bernard Shaw
are communists, who am I to side with blood-****ing capitalists?
Besides, what have capitalists done for me,
a slum-dweller, that I should side with them?
*
I know now that we live in a world where
everybody is wrong and
there is no such thing as an infallible belief system.
It is the quintessence of evil to say
I am right and everyone who thinks otherwise is wrong
therefore my enemy,
and it is my duty to be against him
and when necessary to kill him
because to kill in the name of God and Country
is not a crime but a sacred duty.
*
I know now that if God exists
He does not take sides.
If He stood by and did nothing
when His only son was crucified,
why should He side with a nonentity like me?
If God did not lift a finger to stop the massacre
of millions of innocent civilians by bloodthirsty barbarians,
can we really say He is always right?
#
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Old 25.08.2012, 15:45   #372
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
***************************************
OF DOGS AND FLEAS
*********************************
Where there is abuse of power there will be victims.
Where there are victims there will be victimizers.
Where there are victimizers there will be dissent.
Where there are fascists there will be violations of human rights.
*
Under Stalin we had Stalinists
who were brainwashed to believe
they were not fascists but patriots.
Under Hitler we had pro-Nazi anti-Semites.
And under Putin today we have Putinists.
Even Talaat had his share of Armenian supporters,
among them Zohrab, himself a highly sophisticated
and brilliant intellectual, political leader, diplomat and writer.
*
Sometimes I am asked:
What would you have done in their place?
-- meaning Armenians in fascist regimes.
My answer: I don’t know.
Very probably I would have done
what they did – i.e. taken the easy and safe way out:
be a Nazi under Hitler, a Stalinists under Stalin, and so on.
But having done so I wouldn’t expect future generations
to look up to me as a hero or a role model
or a lover of freedom and a defender of human rights,
or a noble specimen of humanity.
*
The problem with fascists is that
they dig their own graves with their own hands
and expect the rest of the world to look up to them
as morally superior.
*
I don’t spin theories.
I speak of historic reality.
If you lie down with dogs,
you will get up with fleas.
#
Friday, August 24, 2012
*************************************
“KILL A COMMIE FOR CHRIST”
******************************************
The aim of philosophy is to introduce meaning
into a meaningless world.
The aim of religion is to introduce cannibalism.
Remember: no one has ever killed anyone
in the name of Socrates or Spinoza.
*
What makes the 1% smart is greed.
What makes the 99% dumb is cowardice.
*
The bloodthirsty disposition of the few
and the cowardice of the many:
there you have it – an abridged history of mankind.
*
Trying to make a good impression on others
by pretending to be better than we are
might as well be an admission of inferiority.
#
Saturday, August 25, 2012
*************************************
POLITICS 101
*************************
If a political leader cannot see the coming catastrophe,
what is he good for? – besides making bombastic statements
about past achievements?
*
We are so hungry for past achievements that
we even brag about being the first nation in the 20th century
to be targeted for genocide.
Has anyone ever bragged about being run over by a truck?
*
Once upon a time I too was a patriot.
I looked up to our leaders
the way Turks look up today to Ataturk,
the way the Soviets looked up to Stalin
and Germans to Hitler.
But I am no longer a child.
*
Propaganda explains nothing.
Its sole aim is to convince and persuade
by avoiding all explanations.
*
Nationalism is a game in which
victory invariably goes to the strong,
never to the just.
*
I am against chauvinism for two reasons:
when we emphasize the positive in us
and cover up the negative,
we run the risk of deceiving ourselves.
But when we do the same to others,
we may make friends,
and we need friends more than we need
self-satisfied blind men
who pretend to have 20/20 vision.
*
If our leaders could not see through
the likes of Talaat, Stalin, Hitler,
and more recently, Assad,
they might as well have been blind,
and “when the blind lead the blind
both shall fall into the ditch,”
which is exactly where we are today – the ditch,
compliments of our “betters.”
#
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Old 29.08.2012, 15:10   #373
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Sunday, August 26, 2012******************************************* CONFESSIONS OF AN EX-MORON************************************************ One of the worst things that can happen to a man is to be dependent on the charity of swine. If you have never been there, consider yourself the luckiest man on earth.*There is more hatred than love in what I write, or so I am told. To which I say, surely I can’t be the only game in town. There must be many others more favorably disposed towards our “betters.” Let them be the good cops to my bad cop.*For 600 years we were dependent on the charity of swine. We were even grateful and loyal to them. Even after they legally abducted, converted, and brainwashed our boys to kill and die in their imperialist wars; even after they raped our daughters and used them as concubines and whores, our gratitude and loyalty never wavered. On the eve of the Genocide they called us their “most loyal ethnic minority.” What did that get us, may I ask? So you still think if I am kinder to our swine they will have a better chance to see the light and change their ways?*If our “betters” go about their business with the shameless arrogance of bloodthirsty oppressors it may because they know something we don’t know, namely: if they control the educational system and the press they can convince even the dumbest people on earth to think they are the smartest. I speak from experience. Even as I went about committing some of my worst blunders, I did so with the awareness that as the offspring of the smartest nation on earth I could do no wrong.#Monday, August 27, 2012************************************** FROM MY NOTEBOOKS***************************************As soon as I am tempted to take myself seriously one of my patriotic readers takes it upon himself to remind me that no one gives a damn about what I think or say. I am grateful to these readers. One of the worst things that can happen to an Armenian writer is to think that like the rest of mankind he deserves to live.*Even the smartest Armenian will speak like an idiot if he has been brainwashed as a child.*Love is like alcohol: after intoxication, hangover; after blissful harmony, ulcer; after heaven, hell.#Tuesday, August 28, 2012********************************** CHARLATANS*********************To see the invisible and to understand the incomprehensible: we all share that ambition, but somewhere along the line some of us give up and pretend to be satisfied with answers fabricated by charlatans – popes, imams, rabbis who, unable to convince one another, brainwash defenseless children in the name of education.*We have the rare gift of saying a great many things except that which must be said. *The brainwashed cannot speak for themselves.*Fascism cannot be defeated with arguments. It took a world war to defeat fascism and even then it was only a temporary victory. There are more fascist regimes today than there are democracies, and there are fascists even in democracies. They may not call themselves fascists but they are as fascist as the fascists under Mussolini who was said to be “always right” (“Mussolini ha sempre ragione”)very much like popes, imams, and rabbis.#Wednesday, August 29, 2012************************************** RATS****************** We now know something we didn’t know until last night: When “Mrs. 1%” fell sick “Mr. 1%” took good care of her. It follows, the 1% know how to take care of their own and make it look like they do this out of Christian charity and compassion.*Fascism may also be defined as the encounter of useful idiots with moral morons.*I have every reason to suspect communists of all nations now pray for a Republican victory because then the chances of a Russian-style revolution in America may be greatly improved.*Writes David Brooks in THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Romney attended Harvard, studying business, law, classics and philosophy, though intellectually his first love was always tax avoidance.”*One of my favorite cases of mixed metaphors goes something like this: “Mr. Speaker, I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air and darkening the sky; but I’ll nip him in the bud.”#
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Old 01.09.2012, 15:39   #374
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
*************************************
BULLIES
***********************
In any given group victims outnumber their bullies;
and yet, bullies are allowed the freedom to victimize.
*
It took slaves and workers long centuries
to unite against their masters and exploiters
only to develop their own set of bullies –
more tyrannical, more ruthless, more bloodthirsty.
*
Why did it take women thousands of years
to assert their rights?
Even as I write these lines today
most women spend more time, money and energy
to make themselves more desirable to their oppressors
than to develop the kind of solidarity
that will give them the strength to assert equality with men.
*
And finally, consider the 99% versus the 1%.
In an enlightened society the 1% would probably be in jail;
and yet, they are allowed the freedom to sermonize and speechify
in the name of God and Country,
or freedom and prosperity.
*
One may be justified in suspecting that
what motivates most men and women
is not common sense and decency
or even self-interest but
cowardice, greed, and ignorance.
#
Friday, August 31, 2012
*************************************
DECEPTION
************************
Don’t believe everything you are told.
Believe even less everything you read.
The aim of human communication is deception.
This is not a personal prejudice but a universal truth.
It has been said and repeated by far better men than myself,
among them Socrates who went further and said
people (including the 1%) use words
with total unawareness of their meaning.
*
Turks don’t view the Genocide as a tragedy
or a crime against humanity
but as a military victory to celebrate
and brag about among themselves.
(“We taught them a lesson they’ll never forget!”)
*
Armenians don’t view treason and betrayal
as a capital offense but as a necessary means for survival.
To some degree we are all perverts and liars,
and to say otherwise is the height of self-deception.
*
You think I enjoy being the bearer of bad tidings?
I think of myself as an objective observer
and an interpreter of reality.
As for the world at large:
the consensus seems to be:
Let bygones be bygones.
Concentrate on the future.
What’s done is done and cannot be undone.
*
Asvadz medz eh!
Not an original slogan, granted.
But what’s the use of originality if it can fix nothing?
#
Saturday, September 01, 2012
*****************************************
CONFESSIONS OF A
MEGALOMANIAC
***************************************************
A megalomaniac with an inferiority complex.
That’s me.
I write for Armenians who hate to read
because they know better.
Armenians who brag about
their highly developed instinct for survival
even as they dig the nation’s grave.
Whoever said “At the beginning was the word,
at the end garbage,” sure knew what he was talking about.
*
Neither Khorenatsi nor Naregatsi,
neither Raffi nor Zarian were successful in toppling
the thick impenetrable wall that stands
between our men of contemplation
and our men of action – writers and politicians.
*
“Our political parties have been of no political use to us;
their greatest enemy is free speech”(Zarian).
*
The average Armenian dupe is convinced
nothing and no one can fool him,
not even the combined cunning of seven Genoese
(the smartest Italians, it has been said)
seven Greeks, and seven Jews.
And yet he is taken in by partisan slogans
whose sole aim is to divide the nation.
*
To divide and rule.
That’s enemy action.
It follows, as night follows day,
and as sunset follows sunrise,
our partisan patriots are our enemies.
Now then, go ahead and contradict that.
#
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Old 05.09.2012, 15:00   #375
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Sunday, September 02, 2012
***********************************
SEMANTICS
***********************
Freedom to a bully means
the freedom to bully the weak and defenseless.
Freedom to a racist means
the freedom to view a fraction of his fellow men
as inferior and himself as superior.
To a capitalist it means the freedom to exploit.
To a tyrant it means the freedom
to oppress, enslave, and when necessary, to slaughter.
*
Until very recently, in my own lifetime as a matter of fact,
“Anglo-Saxon democracy” in the Southern States
freedom meant classifying “Jews, Catholics, and niggers”
as alien, hostile, and undesirable minorities,
that is to say, the scum of the earth.
*
It is not enough to say what must be said;
you must also be careful to say it to the right person.
In that sense, all our writers have been preaching
to the deaf, dumb, and stupid.
*
Freedom is not the only word open to abuse however.
All important words – truth, justice, equality, objectivity…
among many others – can be easily perverted
to mean the opposite of what they really mean.
To a nationalist historian, objectivity means
to cover up the negative and to emphasize the positive,
and if there are no positives, to invent them.
*
To subscribe to an ideology or belief system means
to abdicate one’s common sense and reason,
and to accept a Big Lie as the Truth.
Patriotism in our context means love of one’s country
and hatred of one’s fellow countrymen beginning with those
who dare to disagree with us.
*
And speaking of Catholics:
An Irish priest to a little schoolgirl:
“Tell me, daughter, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“A prostitute.”
“What’s that you said?”
“I said a prostitute, Father.”
“Thank God for that. I thought you said a Protestant.”
#
Monday, September 03, 2012
****************************************
SEMANTICS (II)
*****************************
Speaking of words and their meanings:
When we speak of nationalism
what we really mean is tribalism.
In our context freedom means only the freedom
to choose a foreign master.
Patriotism means loyalty to a gang of partisans
and “mi kich pogh” panchoonies.
And what is our anti-Americanism
if not disguised pro-Bolshevism?
*
When an Armenian says to another Armenian
“I disagree with you,” what he really means is
my brainwashers disagree with your brainwashers.
Or, it is not we who disagree
but our bosses and bishops.
Which may suggest,
even our disagreements are not our own;
or to paraphrase Zarian,
even our trash has not been picked up from our own backyard.
*
I know I am on the right path
when what I think today
stands in direct contradiction
to what I was brought up to believe yesterday.
*
Zohrab is right: Subservience corrupts everything it touches,
including the noblest virtues.
When near in the end of his life
Charents dared to speak of solidarity
he was careful to hide his message in a poem so cunningly
that only his most loyal friends could locate it, and – you guessed it –
it was one of them who betrayed him to the authorities.
#
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
******************************************
PROPAGANDA AND DISSENT
**************************************
Don’t think of me as someone who knows better.
Think of me as someone who provides a perspective
that contradicts a propaganda line.
*
How to recognize a propaganda line?
Easy! A propaganda line emanates from a power structure
and all power structures rely on a class of individuals
who make a more or less comfortable living
by misleading the people:
schoolteachers, priests, sermonizers, speechifiers, and the press.
Another peculiarity of propaganda is that
there will invariably be another propaganda line
that contradicts it; and by contradiction
I mean not only abstractions but facts.
(Genocide? What genocide? It never happened.
It’s a fiction of our imagination.)
*
All power structures have the means to silence dissent.
By contrast dissent is powerless as well as solitary and unprofitable.
Consider the case of our own dissenters.
Most if not all of them were silenced, starved, ostracized,
betrayed to the authorities or murdered in cold blood.
*
The Romans had a legal principle that said
the surest way of identifying the guilty party is by asking
“Who benefits by the crime?”
Dissent is not and cannot be a crime
(though more often than not it is treated as a capital offense)
because there are no beneficiaries, only losers – namely,
the dupes of propaganda and the dissenters themselves.
*
In America today there are two propaganda lines
that contradict each other,
and there are dissenters who say
it is not politicians that control events but corporations.
*
In our own Homeland and Diaspora
there is a propaganda line that says
we never had it so good
because we are in the best of hands,
and there are dissenters who say
our power structures are rotten
and we are experiencing not one
but two self-inflicted genocides:
assimilation in the Diaspora
and exodus in the Homeland.
*
Who is right and who wrong?
Up to you to decide.
And there you have another difference
between propaganda and dissent:
dissent gives you a choice.
Propaganda does not.
#
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
********************************************
BENE****TORS
******************
I don't trust the judgment of the powerful and the rich.
The greater the wealth, the emptier the suit.
In an environment where benefactors are kings,
only brown-nosers prosper.
#
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