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Old 19.12.2009, 17:59   #1
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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THE ARMENIAN PRESENCE
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In the last five books that I checked out from the library, I ran into Armenians in all of them.
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In NATASHA & OTHER STORIES by David Bezmozgis (New York, 2004) there is a student identified as an “Armenian” and named "Arnan" (probably Arman).
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In Ted Sorensen's political memoirs, COUNSELOR (New York, 2008), the Armenian mentioned and discussed is Anastas Mikoyan.
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In Edmund Wilson's LITERARY ESSAYS & REVIEWS OF THE 1930s & 1940s (New York, 2007) there are two pieces on Saroyan, one of which is a review of THE ADVENTURES OF WESLEY JACKSON and the other a long overview of Saroyan's works, where we are told Saroyan was more influenced by Hemingway and less by Sherwood Anderson.
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In VENICE: PURE CITY (London, 2009) by the prolific Peter Ackroyd we read about the Armenian island of San Lazzaro, “Where Byron travelled to learn the Armenian language as a way of exercising his mind among the more sensual pleasures of Venice.” The next sentence reads: “There as a colony of Turkish merchants, established as the Fondaco dei Turchi, where a school for the teaching of Arabic was maintained.”
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In THE RICHNESS OF LIFE: THE ESSENTIAL STEPHEN JAY COULD (New York, 2006) the Armenian is George E. Boyajian, a biologist at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of a study “on ammonite suture lines.”
Elsewhere Gould speaks of “our cursed tribal tendency to factionalize, fight, and then, so often in righteous certainty, to define our opponents as vermin and try to expunge either their doctrines (by censorship and fire) or their very being (genocide).”
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Thursday, December 17, 2009
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REVOLUTIONS
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When a revolution succeeds, the revolutionaries turn against one another and engage in cannibalism. This is what happened with the French and Russian revolutions.
When a revolution fails, it becomes a footnote.
But when a revolution results in genocide, it traumatizes the brain so severely that reality becomes a blur, and the line that separates fact from illusion is obliterated.
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The study of history deals not only with what others have done to us, but also with what we have done to ourselves. To emphasize one at the expense of the other is to distort our perception of reality.
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Our history is not just a catalog of crimes committed against us by others, it is also a much longer catalog of miscalculations and blunders committed by us.
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God does not extend His support to those who don't support one another.
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The first step in all solutions to our problems: To approach a new idea with an open mind.
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The greatest truths are also the simplest.
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I repeat myself?
Why shouldn't I?
TV commercials repeat themselves all the time.
And it works.
It must!
If it didn't, they wouldn't waste millions on them.
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Friday, December 18, 2009
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POWER & MONEY
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Nothing can be more deceptive and dangerous than to believe the religion and history taught in schools. If Americans, Armenians, Turks, and any other nationality you care to mention were not duped as children into believing what they are taught to believe, they would no longer be loyal, that is to say subservient, subjects of their rulers. Which means, they would refuse to pay taxes (which is something they would like to do in any case) and even more important, in time of war, they would do their utmost to avoid being conscripted.
All rulers know this and none of them would even consider changing things even if it means continuing to legitimize ignorance, prejudice, lies, hatred, wars, and massacres.
That is why to speak the truth in a world of liars and dupes is considered a capital offense. That is also why to seek wisdom means to provoke persecution, exile, execution, and assassination.
On the day mankind sees the light, we will have only one God and one history, as opposed to ten thousand lies.
If mankind prefers to live in darkness, it may be because the exercise of power has always been more enticing than knowledge and understanding.
It is amazing the things people do for money. Even more amazing is the things they do for power. And power is like money in that one can never have enough of it.
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Saturday, December 19, 2009
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SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE
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My greatest blunders were committed with total unawareness.
So much so that it didn't even occur to me to question their moral validity.
That doesn't make me feel less guilty today.
If anything, the opposite is the case.
I know now that I cannot plead not guilty
by reason of ignorance of the law.
Jung is right: unawareness is the greatest sin.
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Lies have a propensity to generate more lies.
It is not at all unusual for a single Big Lie
to kill six million truths
and as many innocent lives with a clear conscience.
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To be unable to read between the lines
is also a form of illiteracy.
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To say or think “i am smart,”
is the surest symptom of arrested development,
and in some cases,
advanced moronism.
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The hardest thing to master in the art of writing
is the art of deleting.
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