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Old 21.05.2008, 16:41   #1
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Sunday, May 18, 2008
He is that most repellent of all creatures – an ignorant, loudmouth, self-satisfied, smart-ass know-it-all, in short, myself when young. He makes me think of the octogenarian born-again Armenian friend who once told me he hates Turks not because they tried to exterminate us but because they failed to do so. Instead of analyzing our catastrophic blunders, he brags, speechifies, and sermonizes in the name of God and Country—a God he knows nothing about and a Country that he pretends to value more than his fellow countrymen.
In a letter from an Armenian poet: "After writing for Armenians all my life, I am beginning to hate the Turks less."
Ruben Ter-Minassian: "Our cultural achievements and intellectual abilities may be superior to those of our neighbors, but without solidarity we are bound to be defeated, victimized, and exterminated."
Stanislaw Lec: "Only the dead can be resurrected. It’s more difficult with the living."
Search for the truth not in order to find it but in order to uncover ten thousand lies.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Successful crooks appear more honest than truly honest men.
Politicians who profess family values see nothing morally inconsistent in screwing the nation.
Jean Rostand: “The persistence of an opinion proves nothing in its favor. Astrologers still exist.”
It is a waste of time talking to someone from whom you can learn nothing and to whom you can teach even less.
If a little knowledge is dangerous, we all live on borrowed time.
Kant [on the difference between ignorance and stupidity]: “There is no cure for stupidity.”
For our bosses and bishops, literature has only one purpose: to cover up their lies, and to misrepresent their blunders as triumphs of statesmanship.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Idols are the surest symptoms of a society’s backwardness. Stalin in Russia, Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Mao in China, Fidel in Cuba, and Ataturk in Turkey: of these only Ataturk has lost none of his initial hold on the masses. The average Turk continues to be brought up (i.e. brainwashed) to believe Kemal is the Father of the Nation because he saved Turkey from the brink of annihilation. That may or may not be true, but it is equally true that most of Turkey’s problems today – among them the introduction of nationalism in an essentially multicultural and cosmopolitan environment, the forceful rejection of traditional values, the festering Armenian question, the irredentism of the Kurds, the fiasco surrounding the application for membership in the EU, a junta’s shadowy presence and quasi-veto powers, the rise of fundamentalism, laws that curtail free speech, among other violations of fundamental human rights – may be traced to Kemalist dogmas. Turkey will be born again as a truly civilized, progressive, and democratic nation on the day it discards Kemalism to the dustbin of history the way Russia, Germany, China, and Italy rejected their fascist idols.
Why I write the way I do? Am I foolish and arrogant enough to think that I can change anyone’s mind? Certainly not. I write by way of wondering why is it that, that which is clearly visible to me should remain shrouded in impenetrable darkness to others who may well be smarter than I am.
It happens in life all the time. A solution that worked in stage one becomes a recipe for failure in stage two.
Power corrupts and ideologies decline because they fall into the hands of opportunists who care more about their privileges than the welfare of the people. If Kemal were alive today, would he declare himself a Kemalist?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
There are three kinds of men: those who think before they speak, those who think as they speak, and those who think after they have spoken. But they all belong to a minority. The majority of men don’t think.
Who says we cannot agree on anything? For more than a thousand years now we have consistently agreed to remain divided.
In a democracy, truth is not a source of terror because it can be easily buried beneath an avalanche of harmless half-truths and pleasant lies.
We will mature as a nation only when we take ideas as seriously as money.
Anonymous: "You can always count on a rich man’s head to be as empty as an honest man’s pocket."
Galileo Galilei: “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
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