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Old 16.08.2008, 16:49   #1
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August 14, 2008
Empires may rise and fall but the loud-mouth idiot who thinks he is smart is indestructible.
The Armenian who verbally slaughters his fellow Armenian does not have the right to say he does not harbor homicidal feelings towards the Turks.
It is difficult to doubt, question, or dislike someone who tells you what you like to hear. Hence, the popularity of political charlatans.
Russian saying: “The heart of another is a dark forest.”
If a Jew says anything remotely critical about his fellow Jews, he is accused of Antisemitism. If a Turk dares to agree with an Armenian, he is accused of insulting Turkishness. If an Armenian says anything that is honest and objective, he is accused of insulting Armenishness. Now then, in what way are we different from them?
It is an unfortunate fact that my ideal reader no longer cares to identify himself as an Armenian not because he is a bad Armenian but because he is a decent human being.
The more unwavering a man’s commitment to his own self-interest,
the more altruistic the principles he pretends to espouse.
The words of an honest man don’t need definitions; but the commas of a crook should be carefully examined under a microscope.
Even when our predictions come true, they do so in such an unexpected manner or context that their accuracy becomes irrelevant.
August 15, 2008
QUESTION: Is it true that your enemies outnumber your friends?
ANSWER: If they do, it may be because I don't write to make friends. As for aiming at best-sellerdom: There is no such thing as a best-selling Armenian writer.
Q: How do you explain that?
A: We don't have independent publishers or, for that matter, a competitive literary marketplace. All our publishers and book distribution centers are in the hands of political and religious institutions with their own sets of dogmas -- which means their own walls of censorship.
Q: What made you decide to become a writer under these conditions?
A: A combination of ignorance and hubris. Plus the fact that I happen to be an unemployable misfit.
Q: You are tough on yourself and tougher on your critics, why?
A: Critics? You mean kibitzers. We don't have critics, only meddlers who insult me.
Q: And you insult them back?
A: On occasion, yes. Why not? You may not be aware of the fact that writing for Armenians is a blood sport. In the 20th century alone, two generations of our ablest writers were betrayed to the authorities by their fellow Armenians and slaughtered by fascist regimes. Also, in our environment, good manners is sometimes confused with weakness and rudeness with strength. I think it was Bismarck who said, “With a gentleman I am a gentleman, with a pirate, a pirate-and-a-half. But there is still another reason why I don't hesitate to insult those who insult me. Sometimes, that's the only way to acquire a faithful reader. Armenians hate to read. They believe they are too smart to need the two cents' worth of a scribbler. That's why they have consistently starved their writers. Not that I enjoy insulting people and being hated by them. But for a writer, to be hated is preferable to being ignored. Luckily, most of my readers are not aware of this fact.
August 16, 2008
History teaches us that fascists lose even when they win. No one has ever said military victories are moral triumphs, or censorship and violations of human rights promote consensus and progress.
If you say anything that is worth saying, you will be attacked by those who speak a great deal but avoid saying anything.
It is not easy for an Armenian to say “I disagree with you.” “Fool” and “idiot” come more naturally to him. I have even been called a “coward” by readers who write anonymously and from a safe distance.
How to express your patriotism? Verbally abuse anyone whom you deem less patriotic than you. That's the Armenian way.
Like all tribal people, when we say nation, what we really mean is tribe – my political party, my church, my backyard, my chickens.
To be an Armenian writer is to be a perennial loser. And yet, compared to my predecessors, I am just about the luckiest of them all. Most Armenian writers never made it past forty.
It is silly for an Armenian or Turk to justify the actions and policies of their respective political leaders. Politicians are a species apart for the simple reason that those with power and those without it share nothing in common.
There was a time when I would wonder what kind of Armenian would betray his fellow Armenians to the enemy. I now have my answer: the kind of Armenian we meet every day on our discussion forums – dogmatic, self-righteous, brainwashed, infallible, with the ego of a giant, the brain of a midget, and the moral compass of a whore.
Once upon a time I thought to understand the past, you must study eyewitness accounts, official documents, novels of the period, statistics, biographies of key players, and so on. But I know now that the best key to the past is the present, that is to say, human nature. Times may change, fashions may change, names may change, but some things never change.
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