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Old 18.11.2009, 19:11   #1
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Default diary/7

Sunday, November 15, 2009
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DIARY / 5
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When an American capitalist first heard the passage in the Scriptures that says a wealthy man cannot go to heaven in the same way that a camel cannot pass through the eye of a needle, he hired a succession of theologians and demanded an explanation. Only one came up with the answer that pleased him which was this: The “Eye of a Needle” was the name of a narrow passage under a low bridge in Jerusalem. That theologian went home with a fat check in his pocket.
*
I suspect if you were to ask one of our bishops to explain the line “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” he will say neither can a house with rotten foundations, and what could be more rotten than a heresy?
*
Theologians are like lawyers, they will plead not guilty even if their client is a serial killer who may kill again.
*
“The law is the law,” they say. So is the Word of God. But both cease to be what they claim to be if they are interpreted to mean the opposite of what they say.
*
I enjoy reading pundits who are on my side. I enjoy even more reading pundits of the opposition. But my very favorite pundits are liberals who turned conservative and vice versa.
*
I don’t read to have my ego massaged or my prejudices reinforced, but for the exactly opposite reason.
*
Dostoevsky began his literary career as a liberal and became conservative. By contrast, Thomas Mann began as a conservative right-wing nationalist and ended as a left-wing cosmopolitan liberal. I enjoy reading both. I enjoy them even when they express views with which I am in complete disagreement.
#
Monday, November 16, 2009
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DIARY / 6
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What Romans did to their Christians,
Christians did to their heretics.
Religions and regimes may change,
but man stays the same
and the scum of the earth
always rises to the top.
*
The people who do the most harm to mankind
are, as a rule, the least aware of it.
They may even think of themselves
as the best and the brightest,
or promoters of virtue,
or representatives of God on earth.
Kings, popes, imams:
we may be justified in calling them
certified moral morons.
*
Something to remember and repeat:
Self-criticism is not unpatriotic.
Silencing critics is.
*
It was Kant who said that very often
ignorance is nothing but
cowardice in the face of knowledge.
*
When a chauvinist who recycles crap says:
“Criticism must be constructive!”
what he really means is:
“If recycling crap is good enough for me,
how dare you think otherwise?”
#
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
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DIARY / 7
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I am grateful to all charlatans who,
with their example, taught me the value of honesty.
*
People profess to love the truth
but live as though they were afraid of it --
hence the old Armenian saying:
"If you speak the truth,
you will be chased out from seven villages."
*
The very same people
who pour venom on every line I write
and sling mud at me
(hoping some of it will stick),
accuse me of being negative.
*
In a dictionary of philosophy:
“Generally speaking megalomania is a reaction to failure.
The megalomaniac represents himself
as he would like to be
but as he is not.
Megalomania may also be a symptom
of the decline of one’s critical faculties.”
*
On dogmatism:
“It stands in direct contradiction to criticism,
skepticism, empiricism, and realism.
It fosters intolerance and fanaticism.”
*
To be read by friendly readers:
nothing unusual in that.
To be read by hostiles:
That’s where the money is,
because it means being allowed the opportunity
to introduce ideas where none exist.
#
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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ON THE DEATH
OF ARMENIAN LITERATURE
*****************************
Poverty should not be confused with destitution.
Poverty is the total absence of all luxuries.
Destitution means anxiety, fear, subservience, uncertainty, degradation, envy, anger, hatred, and worse of all, dependence on the charity of swine.
This may explain why our writers, who ought to know better, are more than willing to crap on one another and kiss the posterior not only of an empty suit with money but also his flunkies and hirelings.
Their central concern is not producing a decent line but getting closer to the money tree even if the tree bears poisoned fruit.
*
What is an old man if not a fool with wrinkles?
*
A common Armenian misconception promoted by our ubiquitous and dime-a-dozen Turcocentric ghazetajis: to equate anti-Turkism with pro-Armenianism.
*
Our collective self-esteem is so low that it needs constant positive feedback. Hence the mantras first nation this and first nation that...
*
There is no such thing as an average Armenian. An average Armenian is a self-assessed genius and an unappreciated and misunderstood Armenian.
*
Asked what he thought of Nietzsche, Jules Romain replied: “There are too many unnecessary letters in his name.”
*
After reading one of my things,
an old friend writes: “I am glad you continue to be a patriotic Armenian.”
I don’t have the heart to tell him that
I loathe patriotism.
I love honest men and loathe charlatans regardless of nationality;
and some of the worst charlatans I have met are Armenian patriots.
#
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