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Old 24.10.2008, 23:26   #46
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I love Ara's writings, I adore it, I admire him!
The rest of must follow my suit and take another look at his writings, they will definitely share my views
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Old 25.10.2008, 17:43   #47
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Thursday, October 23, 2008
***********************************************
ON GOD
*****************************************
I don't believe in the God of priests, mullahs, and holy scriptures, but I also believe you may let go of God ( whoever he may or may not be) but God will never let you go.
*
ON STYLE
***********************
Hit and run. Make your point and move to the next. If you make sense they will get the message. If you don't make sense, at least you haven't wasted their time and yours.
*
ON CRITICS
*************************
To how many of my critics I could say, Anyone who thinks as you do, does not deserve Naregatsi, Raffi, Baronian, Odian, Zarian, and Massikian. These gentlemen dedicated their lives in an effort to expand your horizons and you have deliberately chosen to live as though they never wrote a single line.
*
ON RECYCLING ENEMY PROPAGANDA
******************************************************
The ignorance of some Armenians is such that some of them go as far as recycling enemy propaganda in the name of patriotism. As when they say, “Our literature and culture flourished during the Soviet era,” which amounts to saying Russian literature flourished under Stalin, and German culture reached its apex under Hitler, Goebbels, and Himmler.
*
QUESTION
************************
Why anyone in his right mind would read me if he can read Shakespeare and Tolstoy? -- unless it is for the pleasure of verbally abusing a fellow Armenian simply because he refuses to flatter his colossal ego.
*
ON SUPERPATRIOTS
**********************************
A good Armenian superpatriot hates not only all Turks but also the whole world including and above all fellow Armenians who don't share his limitations and prejudices.
#
Friday, October 24, 2008
***********************************************
THE CREAM OF THE CRAP
*****************************************
With the right camera angle and lighting, fragments in the life of the most pious and respectable married couple in the world could be made into a pornographic movie. That's what my critics do with my ideas.
*
Ignored, misunderstood, insulted, rejected, silenced, starved, exiled, shot – at long last Armenian writers are now for all practical purposes extinct. Where Talaat and Stalin failed, our bosses, bishops, benefactors and their assorted hirelings succeeded. Nothing succeeds like perseverance.
*
Heaven or hell – I don't care where I end up as long as it's where my friends are. I can't imagine happiness surrounded by dupes and charlatans.
*
Anonymous does not mean faceless. No degree of anonymity can hide the ego of a loud-mouth phony with the guts of a mouse and the memory of an elephant.
*
It happens to me all the time. After they find out what I am against, they accuse me of being for it. It makes sense, no?
*
If you speak the truth to a liar, he will come up with a bigger lie; and the bigger the better. And what could be bigger than choosing one's own tribe as God's Chosen, or one's own race as the Superior Race. And it came to pass that the Superior almost exterminated the Chosen, and the dumbest did the same to the smartest (self-assessed, of course).
#
Saturday, October 25, 2008
***********************************************
LIARS
*****************************************
Sooner or later reality will step in and let you know in no uncertain terms that you are on the wrong track – as when after 600 years of subservience....
*
If I repeat myself it's because there are ten thousand lies but only one truth.
*
I am an easy target. I can be silenced and buried as easily as a dog. But who can bury Socrates, Voltaire, and Gandhi whose ideas I have been paraphrasing?
*
Immortality? I have already achieved it in the minds of our liars.
*
Plato says somewhere that an honest man can never be as wealthy as a crook because, he explains, an honest man will employ only honest means to acquire his wealth, whereas a crook will employ honest as well as dishonest means. This may explain why you will never hear one of our benefactors say that he is an avid reader of Plato's dialogs.
*
Hirelings are not in the habit of questioning the competence and integrity of their bosses. To the publishers, editors, and moderators who have silenced me, I say: If a nation cannot survive the opinions of a minor scribbler, can it be worth saving?
*
When it comes to preserving their power, our bosses are more than willing to sacrifice the demands of justice and fundamental human rights. But when justice and human rights are denied to a single man, everyone should feel threatened.
*
A prophet is any man who speak about what he sees as opposed to what he is told to see.
#
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Old 25.10.2008, 23:43   #48
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arabaliozian,

I would have called you a genius, but I'd better not. Geniuses are better off dead and silent rather than coming up with revelations that others may find uncomfortably true to put up with.

As I read through your lines, I admire your sharpness of mind, penetration, your bitter sagacity and this very peculiar acumen of healthy criticism that pretty much resembles a surgeon's knife dissecting a blindman's eyelids sewn together by some caring hand to spare him the pain of seeing the reality. In this sense, your surgeries are mostly successful, but they leave your patients bleeding, in a way that they don't survive the truth and end up worse than before.

This "-yan" at the end of my last name leaves me really without any choice, I am Armenian and I can't help it. At different times of my life I found myself without anything to be proud of apart being Armenian. That may be and is ridiculous. But still, I would so much like loving being Armenian with just a few good things to cling to.

I have a very humble request from you. Would you please help me find what is there to be pin-pointed that would reasonably be worth being proud of for an Armenian who is no longer blindfolded???

Help us save the patient. With his eyelids torn apart he can't sleep.
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Old 26.10.2008, 16:54   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante View Post
arabaliozian,

I would have called you a genius, but I'd better not. Geniuses are better off dead and silent rather than coming up with revelations that others may find uncomfortably true to put up with.

As I read through your lines, I admire your sharpness of mind, penetration, your bitter sagacity and this very peculiar acumen of healthy criticism that pretty much resembles a surgeon's knife dissecting a blindman's eyelids sewn together by some caring hand to spare him the pain of seeing the reality. In this sense, your surgeries are mostly successful, but they leave your patients bleeding, in a way that they don't survive the truth and end up worse than before.

This "-yan" at the end of my last name leaves me really without any choice, I am Armenian and I can't help it. At different times of my life I found myself without anything to be proud of apart being Armenian. That may be and is ridiculous. But still, I would so much like loving being Armenian with just a few good things to cling to.

I have a very humble request from you. Would you please help me find what is there to be pin-pointed that would reasonably be worth being proud of for an Armenian who is no longer blindfolded???

Help us save the patient. With his eyelids torn apart he can't sleep.
I have spent half of my writing career translating our great writers -- Zarian, Zohrab,
Zabel Yessayan...wonderful human beings and excellent writers...
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Old 26.10.2008, 17:00   #50
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The death of an illusion
*********************************
When I went into this business, my ambition was to share my feelings, experiences and convictions with my fellow Armenians: to be, in a sense, a tiny piece in a vast mosaic of other feelings, experiences and convictions. I have since come to realize that some of my readers (surely the most persistently hostile and vocal) are quintessentially anti-mosaic: one color (brown for recycled crap?) is good enough for them. If it were up to these bigots, Armenia would be better off with a single political party and leader whose title would be neither "nakharar" nor king but sultan: His Serene Majesty Sultan Jack S. Avanakian. As the old saying goes: "You may take an Armenian out of the Ottoman Empire but you cannot take the Ottoman Empire out of an Armenian [make it, Turkish gypsy]."
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Old 26.10.2008, 23:51   #51
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Dante jan you also fascinate me with your comments , we need more intelectuals to participate .
Ara you just opened another can of warms with your last comment , suggesting that Armenians are Turkish gypsies . most of the time I agree with you but this one hurts, ouch .
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Old 28.10.2008, 16:36   #52
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Originally Posted by Sevana View Post
Dante jan you also fascinate me with your comments , we need more intelectuals to participate .
Ara you just opened another can of warms with your last comment , suggesting that Armenians are Turkish gypsies . most of the time I agree with you but this one hurts, ouch .
in Greece, armenians were called "turkish gypsies."
perhaps because the armenian ghetto looked like a gypsy encampment.
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Old 04.11.2008, 00:20   #53
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Ara, please use English language for this section.
Note that I've created a sub-section called "Comments" mainly for your posts, please use that section for your articles/comments/thoughts.

Thanks for cooperation.
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Old 05.11.2008, 19:11   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid View Post
Ara, please use English language for this section.
Note that I've created a sub-section called "Comments" mainly for your posts, please use that section for your articles/comments/thoughts.

Thanks for cooperation.

who are you?
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Old 06.11.2008, 00:02   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabaliozian View Post
who are you?
Sorry, I haven't introduced myself. I am admin and owner of this site.
Let me know if you want to know more about me. Meanwhile I will move your new article to this section and expecting you to follow it.

Thanks
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Old 08.11.2008, 18:00   #56
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Thursday, November 6, 2008
****************************************
A SERIAL HUSBAND
********************************************
Best-selling-author Michael Crichton of JURASSIC PARK fame dead of cancer at age 66. “A devoted husband,” according to his widow; “married five times,” according to the obituary.
*
ON POWER
*********************
Power corrupted the Republicans under Bush not because the Republicans are more corruptible than the Democrats but because only saints are immune, and saints stay away from politics. Neither Thomas Mann nor Einstein were saints, but they were wise enough to say no when offered the position of head of state of East Germany and Israel respectively. As a “Mahatma” (great soul) Gandhi too rejected all positions of power in India. Obama may be America's answer to Gandhi and as such less corruptible than most politicians but the same will not be the case of everyone within his administration.
*
NOTA BENE
*************************
More often than not, it is in our efforts to appear smarter that we expose ourselves as fools.
#
Friday, November 7, 2008
****************************************
WHITE TRASH (I)
********************************************
Where fools outnumber the wise, charlatanism will be confused with charisma.
*
Speaking of Sarah Palin, a Canadian pundit said something to the effect that she looked like a semi-porno queen and was popular with the white trash. True or false? Who cares! “Se non vero, ben trovato.” Freely translated: “Even if not true, it's damn good.” Anyone who says to see Russia from one's porch is to know and understand them deserves it.
*
WHITE TRASH (II)
************************************
Because the first Armenian writer I translated into English was a Tashnak, I was identified as a member of the Party by the opposition. And when ten years later they realized they had been wrong, they offered to hire my services. They said they were willing to pay a goodly sum (I don't remember exactly how much – probably less than minimum wage) if I were to write biographical profiles of Ramgavar leaders. I informed them I was not qualified to do that because I didn't even know who they were. That's when I acquired the reputation of being an ingrate and an enemy of the people.
*
WHITE TRASH (III)
************************************
A friend in Toronto tells me he plans to attend a lecture on “Good Turks” by one of our prominent academics. Next I hope this academic will consider a lecture on “Bad Armenians.” You may not believe they exist, but take my word for it, they do. Like all nations, we too have our share of white trash who consider themselves la crиme de la crиme.
Speaking of good Turks: during the last few years I have made a few Turkish friends, which also means ten times as many Armenian enemies. I am not complaining. My worst enemies have also been my best sources of inspiration. If it weren't for them I would now be busy entertaining the bourgeoisie by writing love stories.
*
WHITE TRASH (IV)
********************************************
Raffi: “Our capitalists and merchants are the most corrupt and degenerate members of the community. Nothing good can come out of them. These people worship only money. They are men without a country. They belong to no nation on earth. Profit is their only homeland.”
*
Raffi: “We don't have an aristocracy. We have no elites and no leaders. What we have are merchants and clergymen. Merchants are trash. As for the clergy: they have always been against individual freedom.”
#
Saturday, November 8, 2008
****************************************
BIG LIES
********************************************
Insult an Armenian once and he will spend the rest of his life trying to get even. An eye for an eye is no longer good enough for him. He wants both eyes, ears, tongue, arms, legs, and a vital organ. An insulted Armenian ceases being an Armenian and becomes a Turkish viper.
*
Once in a while I am told I should not expose our failings in open forums. Why not? Our writers have been exposing our failings and contradictions intramurally with no effect. Shaming our dividers and gravediggers in the eyes of the world may be more effective.
*
A committed Armenian speaks in the name of a belief system and all belief systems create dupes as surely as chickens create eggs. With one difference. Eggs can be consumed.
*
The only time priests, rabbis, and mullahs speak the truth is when they call one another liars.
*
Organized religions are useful in so far as they stress the importance of morality in human affairs. But they also introduce prejudice which is the source of intolerance and countless crimes against humanity. Monopoly on truth is not just a lie but the Biggest Lie ever conceived by men.
#
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Old 08.11.2008, 18:01   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid View Post
Sorry, I haven't introduced myself. I am admin and owner of this site.
Let me know if you want to know more about me. Meanwhile I will move your new article to this section and expecting you to follow it.

Thanks
if you give me the link, i will be glad to move my things there.
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Old 09.11.2008, 00:20   #58
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AKB Forums > Miscellaneous > English Only > Comments

click on Comments

you don't have to move, I've already done this. Just start new topics in that section.

thanks for cooperation.
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Old 15.11.2008, 18:10   #59
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Thursday, November 13, 2008
****************************************
JACK S. AVANAKIAN
********************************************
After the first profanity, I stop reading. If you have read one garbage-mouth anonymous Jack S. Avanakian, you have read them all. They might as well be xerox copies of one another.
*
Never call a self-assessed Armenian genius an inbred moron. If you do, he will be so blinded by hatred that in his efforts to prove you wrong, he will spend the rest of his life proving you right. That's because hatred makes a man stupid, and no one can be as stupid as a self-assessed genius.
*
I remember a friend telling me: “Do you know why there are no famous Armenian mountain climbers? Armenians are jumpers. They want to reach the top with a single jump.”
*
When a fanatic speaks of patriotism, he means love of country and contempt for countrymen who do not share his fanaticism. Give such an Armenian enough power and he will start by exterminating his fellow Armenians before he tackles the Turks.
*
Being Armenian looks easy only in Saroyan’s fiction. In reality it is such a demanding enterprise that most Armenians give up the effort and assimilate, and I for one do not blame them.
*
There is a type of Armenian who thinks just because he is an Armenian he is also an expert in Armenian affairs, which is like saying, just because an elephant is an elephant he is also an expert in zoology. Did I say elephant? Make it jackass.
#
Friday, November 14, 2008
****************************************
MY TWO CENTS
********************************************
The worst way of solving a problem is by silencing those who speak of it.
Likewise, the only way to be positive is by ignoring or covering up the negative.
If I am classified as negative it may be because the only way to be positive in our environment is by lying. And the beauty about political lies is that more often than not you don't even have to invent them, it will be done for you.
*
“The Russians are our Big Brothers.”
“Mer hairenik, azad angakh.”
“We are Armenians!”
I have always wondered what the hell that meant.
“We are all Armenians!”
Odian makes fun of that one in his COMRADE PANCHOONIE: “'We are all Armenians, we are brothers. Why can't we live together? Why must we fight?' That filthy bourgeois kept repeating, not being able to comprehend that conflict is the basic condition of life...'” thus Panchoonie in one of his regular reports to the Central Committee that invariably end with the immortal punch line: “Mi kich pogh oughargetsek,” which is now the favorite mantra of our dime-a-dozen fund raisers.
“Mart bidi ch'ellank!”
I see more truth in that punch line than in all the speeches and sermons delivered by our windbags.
*
When told to “give them hell,” an American presidential candidate (may have been Truman) is quoted as having said: “I don't do that. I tell them the truth and they think they are in hell.”
You may now draw your own conclusions.
#
Saturday, November 15, 2008
****************************************
ASSH***/s
********************************************
When Nixon called Trudeau “an assh***” Trudeau is said to have commented: “I have been called worse names by better people.” Meaning: If I can survive the verbal abuse of good men, why should I give a damn what riffraff think of me?
*
The eminent Canadian poet Irving Layton on his critics: “Just because they have an assh*** they think they are entitled to an opinion.” He delivered this line to an audience of librarians, schoolteachers, and students.
*
For a year I worked in a chain of department stores, first as a stockboy then as an assistant to a manager who expected me to adopt him as a role model. Once he bragged about being the youngest manager in the history of chain stores in Canada. Shortly thereafter Wal-Mart drove our chain stores out of business.
*
“You are a fool,” a gentle reader informs me. I suspect this reader will hang himself on the day he decides to read a wise writer. But if history teaches us anything it is that when a truly wise man appears, all the assh***s of the world conspire against him. Perhaps I owe my survival to my limitations.
*
There is a new book out titled DO ANTS HAVE ARSEHOLES? -- AND 101 OTHER BLOODY RIDICULOUS QUESTIONS. (The answer, by the way, is yes, they do.)
*
I for one do not underestimate the cunning of fools – after all, they run the world.
#
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Old 22.11.2008, 21:57   #60
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Sunday, November 16, 2008
****************************************
SUMMING UP
********************************************
History is one because the past is one, and even God, it has been said, cannot change the past.
*
Nations disagree on what happened because they invent their own past. This is common knowledge among historians but not among dupes who in all times and everywhere outnumber historians by a million or even ten million to one.
*
When political leaders speak of principles, what they don't tell you is that their most important principle is their power.
*
When a man makes a big mistake, he ruins his life. When a political leader makes a big mistake, he ruins the nation. But a political leader has an advantage over an ordinary citizen: he can rewrite history, because power also means the power to misrepresent and mislead.
*
The surest way of creating dupes is by controlling the educational system,.
*
In a civilized environment dissident writers are awarded the Nobel Prize (Mann, Shaw, Sartre). In an uncivilized environment dissidents are silenced, exiled, starved, shot or driven to suicide.
*
Sometimes to rewrite history does not mean to invent lies. One may also rewrite history by selecting facts. Hence the definition of propaganda as “a fraction of the truth.”
*
One way to deceive dupes is by first flattering them into believing they are smart, progressive, civilized, and superior to all others, and therefore impossible to deceive.
*
One index of barbarism is intolerance, and intolerance means first and foremost tolerance of prejudice, lies, and injustice – all in the name of patriotism of course.
*
The more backward a nation, the greater the number of its bullies, thugs, fanatics, and fools who operate on the assumption that truth is on their side and anyone who dares to say otherwise is either a misguided simpleton or an enemy of the people.
*
One way to judge the health of a nation is by its creative impetus. When we brag about our Golden Age and our medieval music and architecture, we tacitly and unknowingly admit that when we lost our independence and adopted subservience as a way of life, we also lost an important fraction of our creative impetus, our identity, and our humanity.
#
Monday, November 17, 2008
****************************************
“I AM A PROUD ARMENIAN,”
SIGNED “ANONYMOUS”
********************************************
For every proud Armenian there are probably ten, perhaps even twenty proud Turks. So that if we adopt pride as a weapon, we lose once more.
Instead of saying “I am a proud Armenian,” let us learn and teach others to say : “I am a humble human being and all men are my brothers.”
*
For everyone who says I am a proud Armenian, there are probably as many not so proud Armenians who cannot speak Armenian, bear foreign names, are married to odars, and stay away from Armenian community centers, schools, and churches.
*
The average Armenian (assuming such a creature exists) probably has more friends among Turks than among Armenians, if only because half of Turks are probably half-Armenian.
*
I have never heard an Armenian say “I am a proud half-Armenian,” even if most Armenians are exactly that. I have said this before and it bears repeating: on a good day I can trace my roots all the way back to my father.
*
The so-called loud-mouth proud Armenian who proclaims his patriotism anonymously from the gutter and by means of insults and profanities against anyone who dares to disagree with his infallible views (which on closer inspection turn out to be misconceptions, fallacies, and prejudices) is the very best argument against himself.
*
To say “I am a proud Armenian” amounts to rattling one's chains of subservience and degradation.
#
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
****************************************
VARIATIONS ON A FAMILIAR TUNE
********************************************
“Every other Armenian is a critic,” I am told. “Do we need another one?”
Or: “What we need is solutions, not criticism.”
I agree, and I don't mind admitting that when it comes to solving our problems I have been a total failure. But then, how many of our problems did Khorenatsi, Naregatsi, Shnorhali, Abovian, Raffi, and Zarian solve?
It is to be noted that both Khorenatsi and Naregatsi wrote a LAMENTATION, and Abovian's masterpiece is titled VERK HAYASTANI. As far as I know, none of our writers ever wrote a book or a poem titled SOLUTIONS.
*
Perhaps what we need is not writers but a Messiah. But I suspect as soon as we get one, we will crucify him because the first thing he will do is drive our bosses, bishops, benefactors, and all their hirelings and brown-nosers out of the temple with a whip. I also suspect, if he lives long enough to deliver a sermon, he will not provide verbal solutions but say, “The solution to your problems, very much like the Kingdom of God, is within you.”
*
Don't get me wrong. Armenians have a deep-seated respect for writers, messiahs, and ideas, provided of course they are not of domestic but foreign provenance. Consider the three most important ideas that have shaped our character and destiny as a nation: Christianity, nationalism, and Marxism. Not only have we adopted these ideas as our own but we have also shed our blood in their defense. But then we have shed blood in defense of even the Ottoman and Soviet empires. During World War II, we fought on both sides of the front. And no matter how hard I try I cannot think of a single instance when a single Armenian shed a single drop of blood in defense of an Armenian idea.
#
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
****************************************
DOUBTS AND CERTAINTIES
********************************************
In life doubts outnumber certainties.
*
Beware of the man who has more answers than questions.
*
There are no final answers. If an answer does not raise two more questions it cannot be right.
*
Only dupes and fanatics have more answers than questions.
*
No one can save a man, let alone a nation, that has chosen to take the road leading to self-destruction.
*
The most interesting man in the world is a bore to himself. Hence the old Armenian saying: "Marte martov g’ella." A man is made [whole] by another.
*
If a bigot is not yet a killer, it may be because history has not yet given him an opportunity to act out his convictions.
*
Religion, nationality, ideology: in so far as they enhance our understanding, they are assets. In so far as they raise walls between us and our fellow men, they are liabilities.
*
We don't need a messiah to do the right thing. But if you choose to wait for one, be prepared to wait for two thousand years, and even then...
*
I come up with an 11th Commandment every other day. I've got two of them today: “Thou shalt not be a dupe,” and “Thou shalt not say 'We need solutions,” when what you really mean is 'Shut up!'”
*
My aim in life is not to solve problems but to be readable. If I achieve that goal I may some day, if I live long enough, to stumble of an insightful line.
#
Thursday, November 20, 2008
****************************************
ON FREE SPEECH
********************************************
I believe in free speech for two important reasons:
(one) It is a fundamental human right, and
(two) Armenians don't believe in it, which is another thing they share in common with the Turks. With one difference however: the Turks have a law against “offending Turkishness” -- a misguided law, granted; even a foolish law, also granted. But a law nonetheless.
The same applies to commissars in the Soviet era: they did whatever they did in accordance with the laws of the land.
Unlike Turks and Soviets, we don't have a corresponding law that authorizes anyone, even the wisest among us, to violate anyone's fundamental human right of free speech. What we have are pseudo-patriotic neo-Stalinist self-appointed commissars who behave with the inflexible conviction that they know best what's good for the nation. It never even occurs to them that a great many of our defeats, catastrophes, and tragedies are a direct result of his misconception.
#
Friday, November 21, 2008
****************************************
ON SOLUTIONS
********************************************
If you think of solutions as verbal formulas, you will never find them.
*
THE LESSONS OF THE PAST
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Whenever I quote Naregatsi or Raffi, I am told I live in the past. Translation: history is bunk and literature a waste of time. And I think of Bazarov, the nihilist in Turgenev's FATHERS AND SONS. I also think of Tolstoy who at the end of his life gave up literature, hated Shakespeare, and became a born-again Christian atheist whose central idea was “the Kingdom of God is within you.” Unlike Bazarov, Tolstoy didn't kill himself but ran away from home and died at a train station in the middle of nowhere.
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EXPLANATION (I)
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If I am harsh with meddlers it's because I am not running for office and I don't mind if I lose to the opposition – as long as I am allowed to do my work without needless interruptions. I may be hungry but not to the point of starvation and willing to say “Yes, sir!” to anyone who dangles a carrot at me.
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ANOTHER 11th COMMANDMENT
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Had Moses been an Armenian I suspect he would have come down with a commandment that says something to the effect that one should not confuse the dung heap in one's backyard with Mount Ararat.
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EXPLANATION (II)
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Stupidity is infectious and wisdom is not transferable: that's the only way to explain mass movements, wars, and massacres.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008
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DECLINE AND FALL
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For eight years I worked in a large financial institution. There was such an accumulation of petty little rules and regulations that there was only one old man in our department who remembered them all. Once when I dared to suggest that these rules could be easily simplified and streamlined I was treated as a blasphemer and even my co-workers turned against me. One way to explain the collapse of these institutions in America today is by saying that they concentrated so much on meaningless rules and regulations that they lost sight of the essential and collapsed beneath the weight of their own bureaucratic inflexibility.
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It has been said that truth is found at the end of an obstacle course of errors. For those ready to admit error, the obstacle course is short; for the infallible, it is endless.
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Give a good Armenian anonymity and a computer and watch him behave like a bad Turk.
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“We are doing our best” is not the same as “We could do better.”
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Never ask for solutions if your are in no position to introduce and implement new policies.
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Tina Brown: “It's great when people trash you, it means you are interesting.”
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