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Old 12.11.2008, 19:38   #1
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Sunday, November 9, 2008
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THE DARK SIDE
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All power structures, be they tribes, nations, empires, cultures, and civilizations, have a dark side, and I don't mean here only empires like the Roman, Mongol, Ottoman and Soviet empires, but also “free,” “democratic,” “civilized,” and “progressive” empires like the United States of America that saw nothing inconsistent in declaring “All men are created equal” and practicing slavery, discrimination, and even ethnic cleansing, in addition to legitimizing and supporting some of the most corrupt regimes of the 20th century.
What about our dark side? If we have one, who speaks of it?
To answer this question I once published a DICTIONARY OF ARMENIAN QUOTATIONS in which I selected passages from the works of prominent writers from the 5th century (our Golden Age) to the present, beginning with Khorenatsi and Yeghishé to Zarian and Zaroukian, all of whom have exposed our dark side, namely the corruption, incompetence, and divisiveness of our leadership and its dupes.
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The other day when I quoted Raffi in an essay, I was told by a gentle reader that things have improved since then and Raffi's dissenting views don't apply because we no longer live in the 19th but in the 21st century. To this reader I suggest he read such 20th century representative writers as Issahakian, Zohrab, Shahnour, Massikian, Zarian and Zaroukian to see that there has been no progress in our institutional life and that things have been getting worse rather than better. And if we no longer have respected writers today willing to speak of our dark side it's because our bosses, bishops, benefactors and their hirelings have been more intolerant and ruthless in silencing anyone who refuses to recycle their benevolent and paternalistic propaganda line whose message is, we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands. As a result, we now have a generation of dupes so thoroughly brainwashed that they call anyone who refuses to live in their fool's paradise a liar, an idiot, and a dispenser of verbal crap.
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This morning, on the radio, in an interview, Farley Mowat, a Canadian author of 87 books: “I was a victim of the propaganda of our time.”
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Monday, November 10, 2008
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ANALYSIS
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Analysis: “Separation of a thing into the parts of which it is composed.”
Also a method of reasoning or treatment that may lead to an objective assessment or accurate diagnosis.
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Siamanto: “Our perennial enemy – the enemy that will eventually destroy us – is not the Turk but our own complacent superficiality.”
“Complacent superficiality”: A diplomatic circumlocution for stupidity; a reluctance of going beyond appearances; a phobia of depth; also a fondness for easy answers flattering to the ego.
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Why did Abovian commit suicide?
Why did Raffi say “Treason and betrayal are in our blood”?
Why did Gomidas take refuge in insanity?
What was it that prompted Zarian to say, “Armenians survive by cannibalizing one another”?
If you ask these questions to a boss, he will speak of our heroic past and love of freedom. What he will not do is quote the secret and unspoken motto of our revolutionaries: “When the going gets tough, the tough take flight.”
If you ask a bishop, he will quote a line from the Bible but never the right line, such as “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” or “Where there is no vision the people perish.” (Speaking of vision: We are the offspring of men who for 600 years kissed Turkish butt; and when it wasn't Turkish butt it was Russian butt. At the center of our vision there has always been a butt.)
If you ask a benefactor, the very best he can do is write you a check and suggest you see a shrink. His business is making money, not analyzing the collective unconscious of the nation; and money for him is the alpha and omega of all human wisdom.
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Another question: why is it that our greatest literary masterpiece is the LAMENTATION by Naregatsi (our Dante and Shakespeare combined) which consists of an endless catalog of sins, vices, failings, and aberrations?
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Nigoghos Sarafian: “Our history is a litany of lamentation, dread, and massacre. Also deception and abysmal naiveté mixed with the smoke of incense and the sound of sacred chants.”
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Hagop Baronian: “Truth is a language that if not spoken is forgotten.”
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For more quotations relevant to our malaise (another circumlocution for collective insanity) that our pundits and ghazetajis pretend not to know and our brainwashed dupes hate to know, see my DICTIONARY OF ARMENIAN QUOTATIONS.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008
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REFLECTIONS OF A GIAOUR
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We don't choose our parents, nationality, and religion. Most people born and raised in Muslim or Christian countries are Muslim and Christian respectively, and they all share the conviction that theirs is the only true religion and all others are heresies and their followers infidels destined to burn in hell for all eternity. Most Germans born and raised in Hitler's Germany were fascists, and most Soviets in the USSR of Stalin were communists. They were, in other words, very much like Muslims and Christians, cases of arrested development.
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To those who verbally abuse me whenever they disagree with what I say, I ask: How old were you when you acquired the infallible views you hold today? And more often than not I don't even have to wait for an answer to add: “No further questions!”
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Patriotism is a noble sentiment. If anything it should make a man a better person. That is why I don't believe a word of what a garbage-mouth dupe says when he speaks in the name of patriotism or he expects me to believe his brand of patriotism or belief system is a cut above mine, and he is therefore qualified to look down at me as an enemy of the people, a heretic, and an infidel whose fundamental human rights can be violated with a clear conscience.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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UNPLEASANT ENCOUNTERS
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Most Armenian disagreements boil down to one side insisting that his hearsay evidence is more admissible than your eyewitness account.
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To acquaint yourself with the kind of hatred that leads one nation to exterminate another, follow an argument between two anonymous Armenians in a discussion forum.
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A jackass is equipped to understand only the braying of another jackass. To paraphrase a popular Turkish saying: “What the hell does a jackass know about khoshaf (stewed raisins)?”
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If your perception of reality is based on what our nationalist historians, bosses, and bishops say, in what way are you different from a Turk who has been exposed only to the propaganda line of his nationalist historians, mullahs, and Kemal?
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If I sound stupid sometimes it's because I want to be accessible to my audience.
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There is a type of “inknahaivan” dupe (self-satisfied jackass) who will believe anything that flatters his ego.
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To those of my readers who would like to dance on my grave, I say, if you die before I do, I shall mourn the loss of a Muse.
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A gentleman does not insult another anonymously. To paraphrase a sexist Turkish saying (with apolos to the ladies on this forum): “Among ten men nine are sure to be women.”
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