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Old 24.02.2010, 16:54   #1
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Default Autism

February 21, 2010
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AUTISM
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There is an element of autism in even the mildest form of nationalism or patriotism, and autism is defined as “a state of mind characterized by daydreaming, hallucinations, and disregard of external reality.”
It is autism that leads some people to believe they belong to a superior race or they are God's chosen people.
It was autism that led our revolutionaries in the Ottoman empire to believe we were invulnerable because the Great Powers of the West were on our side.
It is autism (what else?) that makes us believe we are survivors par excellence. So what if the best perished and it is the worst that survived?
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Since I have been a dupe most of my life, I don't particularly care to be duped even if it is for the enhancement of my own self-esteem or for some other nebulous or poorly defined term whose aim is to make me disregard or ignore my perception of reality, and reality tells me in no uncertain terms that God doesn't choose, men do, and when men do the choosing, they invariably choose themselves.
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February 22, 2010
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COMPROMISE
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To reach a consensus, one must compromise, and compromise has been defined as “the introduction of inconsistency to closed minds.”
The key qualifier here is “closed minds.”
Another symptom of closed minds is to think of criticism as negative and of propaganda as positive. Or to view political speeches and flattery as patriotic and to reject objective assessment and analysis as treason. Also to think of free speech not as a fundamental human right but as a crime against humanity.
Our history is clear on this point.
No writer has ever been in a position to silence a boss, bishop, or benefactor.
And now consider the manner in which we treated our best writers from Abovian to Zarian.
A nation addicted to lies may survive, but can it live?
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We have become a nation of cynics as defined by Oscar Wilde – people “who know the price of everything but the value of nothing.”
I doubt if there is a single Armenian today who has not heard of Gulbenkian, Kirkorian, or Manoogian. But how many have read or even heard of Massikian, one of our three most brilliant satirists – the other two being Baronian and Odian.
Once more I am reminded of my favorite literary anecdote which I never tire of retelling because it so beautifully exposes the dark side of our ethos. When on his deathbed, community leaders asked him to leave his estate (Massikian was also a successful lawyer, a wealthy man, and a lifelong bachelor) to an Armenian educational foundation, he is said to have replied: “I'd much rather leave it to a Cairo bordello.”
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February 23, 2010
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THERAPY
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How do you convince someone that he may be smart in the marketplace but a retard in politics?
In psychology, there is a school of thought that believes in “aversion therapy,” which consists in exposing the patient into repellence against his neurotic convictions.
By saying and repeating that we have been moronized into thinking we are smart not just in the marketplace but in all fields of human endeavor, I emphasize not the negative, as some of my critics accuse me of doing, but I engage in the practice of aversion therapy.
I do this because that's how I acquired my objectivity on this issue.
Once, when I said “Armenians are smart” to an alienated Armenian academic (may he rest in peace) whom I respected, he for the first time in our many conversations literally lost his temper, and that made such a powerful impression on me that I suddenly saw very clearly the absurdity of my assertion and the systematic way in which I had been turned into a dupe by our propagandists.
If so far I have failed to expose the lies of our nationalists by aversion therapy, it may be because most ideas, even the best, fail. Violence continues to be popular in films as well as politics notwithstanding Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.
And consider what happened to Marx and his ideas.
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February 24, 2010
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POLITICS
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To support a leader simply because he is “our” leader is a fascist concept. So is obeying laws because “the law is the law.” To be subservient to a system because “you can't fight City Hall” is not good citizenship but cowardly subservience. We owe all our freedoms and privileges today to men who dared to say “No!” to incompetent or corrupt leaders.
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LITERATURE
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We have two kinds of writers: those who look backward (Mesrob Mashdots, Vartan Mamikonian, Turks and massacres) and those who tell us looking backward has turned us into “pillars of salt.” This has been said before and it bears repeating. And I will go on repeating it even if it means being ostracized, unpublished, called “consistently negative,” and “an enemy agent.”
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PROPAGANDA
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Propaganda does not solve problems, it creates them. The illusion of moral superiority, for instance, or the illusion that God takes sides in human conflicts is worse than propaganda; it is a Big Lie and a curse that has destroyed nations and empires and continues to do so in our own days. We are people like any other people because “all men are brothers.”
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RELIGION
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In POWER AND GREED: A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD by Philippe Gigantes (London, 2002) I read the following: “Very early in human history, the autocrat with the big club and the witch doctor with his potions and maledictions, became natural allies. The one with the big club organized the hunt and the defense of the territory. The sorcerer took care of the uncontrollable, the unpredictable and the inexplicable – he took care of God, in other words. The two, king and priest, in modern parlance, ran the tribe through the fear of violence and the fear of 'God.' In that tribal system, they each took a much bigger share of everything.”
To which I will only add: “Nothing further, Your Honor.”
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