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Old 05.11.2008, 19:12   #1
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Sunday, November 2, 2008
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BAND OF ROBBERS
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Saint Augustine: “What is the state without justice: A band of robbers.”
I should like to hear one of our dime-a-dozen pundits and patriots say as much. As a matter of fact, the other day I did hear one of our speechifiers speaking about “the Armenia of our dreams...the dreams of our fathers and grandfathers...the alienation of youth...poverty...” and more to the point “a great deal remains to be done...” But he never went as far saying the challenge we confront today is converting a band of robbers to a band of brothers.
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“The Armenia of our dreams!” What about the reality of our diaspora? Let's dream about that for a moment, shall we? A diaspora that speaks with one voice and treats all Armenians as brothers. A diaspora whose leaders treat the human right of free speech not as a Utopian illusion but as a basic requirement for any progressive community. What could be more self-serving and misleading for a diasporan boss than to speak of divisiveness, corruption, and alienation as if these were problems that needed to be solved only in the Homeland?
What is a diaspora without mutual tolerance? What is a community that values entertainment, food, and sports above the exchange of ideas or the development of consensus?
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Where there is no free speech, a braying jackass and a barking dog will enjoy more freedom of expression than an honest man. To those who say I have been silenced because I am wrong on all counts, I say, even a broken down clock shows the right time twice a day, and I ask: Who among us in infallible – our Turcocentric ghazetajis or the hirelings of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors who parrot their propaganda line?
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What is the worth of a man who is afraid to say what must be said?
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Monday, November 3, 2008
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MEMOIRS
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It took me many years to find a job that I truly enjoyed doing, and when I finally did, no one had any use for me.
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A LOSE/LOSE PROPOSITION
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If you are wrong they will disagree with you. If you are right, they will disagree with you even more.
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COMPROMISE
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Do we have a word for compromise? If we do, why is it that no one ever uses it – at least I for one have never heard anyone use it.
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WHY WE ARE INTOLERANT OF CRITICISM
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Because we believe one should not mess with perfection.
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AN ARMENIAN STORY
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They asked the village idiot to translate the braying of an ass, and when he did, the villagers were divided between those who believed him and those who did not. There were no survivors.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008
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CHOICES
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We either speak the truth or we conspire with liars.
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Very often in life what we don't know or what is hidden from view matters much more than what we know. To make visible that which is invisible, that's the function of literature. The rest is either propaganda or escapism.
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What is the worth of a dupe's “I believe,” or a child's Santa?
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We choose to see only facts that support our prejudices and fallacies. All other facts are either ignored or don't register on our consciousness.
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We see the best in ourselves and project the worst on others after which we confuse projecting with exorcism.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008
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SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY
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We slept with the enemy for 600 years – 600 long years during which instead of making history we acquired bad habits, subservience being one of them. Subservience to top dogs even when they are s.o.b.s, and contempt for underdogs even when they are honest men. Subservience to bosses, bishops, and benefactors, contempt for scribblers. Subservience to lies and contempt for the truth.
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In an environment where wealth is seen as a blessing, I brag about my poverty if only because, in the words of Socrates, “my poverty is proof of my honesty” -- which might as well be a declaration of war against all liars. I have never owned a car or even a bicycle. I walk. I walk in all kinds of weather. I walk for miles. I walk even in snowstorms, and as I walk, I think of Dostoevsky on his way to the House of the Dead in Siberia.
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The sev is in and the esh is out! To racists around the world, a day that will live in infamy. To underdogs everywhere, a giant step for mankind.
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