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Old 10.05.2008, 16:42   #1
arabaliozian's Avatar
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Default Kazan

Thursday, May 08, 2008
While in Istanbul, Kazan writes in his memoirs (ELIA KAZAN: A LIFE, page 548), “I was heralded as the famous man from Anatolia who denied absolutely that he was Armenian. There was no mention that I was a Greek.”
Speaking of a recent riot, a fellow Greek explains: “They [the authorities] brought several hundred criminals from the interior, gave them plenty raki, the cheap kind, a bottle to each man, put them on the boat to Istanbul, and told them, ‘Go ahead, the city is yours. Take what you want, so long as it’s Greek or Armenian.’” (page 550). Elsewhere (page 558) Kazan quotes an angry Greek woman saying: “They [Turks] are animals, who tasted our blood many times and want more, like animals.”
The scandal is not that criminals behave like criminals, with the blessings of the authorities, but that respectable men say, such things don’t happen in a civilized country like Turkey. And I doubt very much if the orders to riot, or any other relevant documents, are housed in state archives for future scholars who specialize in the study of riots.
Riots happen everywhere, of course, even in the most civilized countries in the world. But I doubt very much if they do so with the encouragement and authorization of the state for the simple reason that as a rule riots in civilized countries are spontaneous eruptions by minorities against the state.
Friday, May 09, 2008
After reading some of my critical articles, a Turkish friend assumes I have Kemalist sympathies. This is the very same mistake Armenian readers make when they accuse me of anti-Armenianism. If I am critical of intolerance, that doesn’t mean I am for Turkish or any other kind of intolerance.
Half-truths and lies come in all colors, sizes, and shapes and they are equally pernicious.
All ideologies and religions come with good intentions. Their true aim is to expand human consciousness by making us aware of the fact that we are not the alpha and omega of existence. But eventually they degenerate into closed systems by pretending to be the alpha and omega of human perception. That’s when critics and dissidents take it upon themselves to remind us we have been duped into thinking truth or god is on our side.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Literary prizes and grants: I have had my share of them, but mostly from Canadian sources. If I am ever awarded an Armenian prize
I will say: “I accept the cash but I reject the honor.”
The trouble with our organizations (and the bosses, bishops and benefactors who control them) is that they are interested in art and I am interested only in money.
To be verbally abused by riffraff is almost to be praised.
To join a party and to view the opposition as the source of all evil must be an irresistible temptation to all simple-minded dupes.
Why is it that we like to explain and justify our shortcomings by mentioning the shortcomings of others? Imagine if you can a murderer or thief pleading not guilty in a court of law on grounds that all nations have their share of murderers and thieves.
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