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Old 10.02.2010, 17:25   #1
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February 7, 2010
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, continued, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, pervasive, and unrealistic.” John F. Kennedy
There is a type of Armenian patriotism that believes in covering up the incompetence, corruption, and even the criminal conduct of our leadership on the grounds that, if exposed, our image as a nation may be harmed in the eyes of the world.
Earthquakes, we are told, are acts of God. But victims of earthquakes are not. Earthquakes don't kill people. Buildings do. How many of our contractors and commissars in charge of constructions are in jail today? What guarantee do we have that the next earthquake, which may happen in ten or twenty years, will not kill many more victims?
Our phony patriots are against hanging our dirty laundry out in the open for everyone to see. Americans, on the other hand, believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Who is right?
Who knows better?
To those who say I should write in Armenian for Armenian papers, and not in English in open forums: Our writers from Khorenatsi and Yeghishé (5th century) to Zarian and Massikian (20th century) have done exactly that without any discernible results.
When Zarian assumed a critical stance, he was silenced, driven out of the United State and into Soviet Armenia, where he became an abominable no man. There are even those who accuse him today of having been an agent of the KGB and the CIA, and worse, that in his final phase he went mad.
Generally speaking the average Armenian dupe respects our bosses, bishops, and benefactors much more than our scribblers and vodanavorjis. Bosses, bishops, and benefactors are perceived as men of power, God, and capital (make it, Capital and god). What do scribblers and vodanavorjis do? They try to cook pilaf with words. Let the buggers shut up; and if they refuse, let them starve! Serve them right.
In our environment today Turcocentric ghazetajis are more respected and compensated than writers, even if after a century of verbiage (letters to the editor, commentaries, essays in the foreign press, not to say treatises, documentaries, symposia, and textbooks), they have failed to resurrect a single victim, annex a single inch of historic Armenia, or collect a single red cent as reparation.
When writers fail, they do so on their own and at their own expense. The same cannot be said of our ghazetajis, speechifiers, propagandists, and their assorted fund-raisers and blood****ers who survive and prosper by victimizing victims all over again, as if, once a victim, always a victim were their jagadakir.
February 8, 2010
Asked if he had seen Mozart's DON GIOVANNI, Casanova is said to have replied: “Seen it? I have lived it.” Which reminds me of a similar line in reference to Reagan's longevity as president. When asked if he had heard of Marco Polo, he is said to have replied: “Heard of him? I knew him!”
An old tactic that seldom fails: when cornered in an argument, assume the air of someone with a large store of inside information not available to ordinary laymen like your adversary, and proceed to lie your head off.
Free and fair elections are probably known by corrupt regimes (like our own) as an American disease.
It is fashionable to blame the Yanks for dropping the first bomb on Hiroshima. No one says, Thank God the Japs didn't have it first. And some day in the near or distant future if history repeats itself and the bomb is dropped on Muslim fanatics, they will call it a crime against humanity until they realize the only reason Muslims didn't drop the bomb on New York City or Washington or Paris is that they didn't have it.
An unspoken Armenian mantra: “Tell me what I want to hear and I will believe it even if you happen to be an habitual and compulsive liar.”
A nation that places propaganda above literature is doomed.
February 9, 2010
Another tactic that never fails is to make an assertion so untenable and asinine as to make your adversary give up in despair and disgust. Three examples of such assertions that have been leveled against me follow:
“Armenians are incapable of hatred.”
“The only reason people quit their homeland and emigrate to foreign countries is greed for more money.”
“Criticizing Armenians in English in an open forum on the Internet is akin to treason.”
Armenians cannot engage in dialogue because their aim is not to get at the truth or to learn from one another's experience and understanding but to assert their intellectual prowess by being invincible in argument. So what if in the process they expose themselves as inbred morons? For perennial losers, victory trumps all other considerations.
We like to speak of “the Armenian wound.” What we carefully avoid mentioning is that more often than not this so-called wound is self-inflicted.
If we are at the mercy of unprincipled mediocrities today it's because we betrayed two generations of our ablest men to alien authorities. We could not betray all of them because in the Diaspora free speech is not thought of as a capital offense.
As a result, those who survived were either silenced or treated as parasites and nonentities whose sole contribution to our welfare as a nation has been empty verbiage. After all, who has ever heard of a chef who can cook pilaf and shish-kebab with words?
It has been said that for the shoeless, happiness is a pair of shoes, not the complete works of Shakespeare. Likewise, for the starving, happiness is a loaf of bread, not the music of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. And now that we are neither shoeless nor starving, can we really say we are a success as a nation or a diaspora because we are progressive, civilized and smart? And if we are smart, why do we take pleasure in uttering inanities?
February 10, 2010
How does a jihadist justify the slaughter of innocent civilians?
“My imam tells me if I act in the name of Allah I will be rewarded with a harem of virgins in paradise.”
How does an Armenian justify his stupidity?
“Everyone knows Armenians are smart. Whatever I say must therefore be smart. Those who disagree with me are ignoramuses.”
Everyone does not know Armenians are smart for the simple reason that everyone does not even know we exist because they tend to confuse us with Romanians and Aramaeans. The very few who think we are smart, they mean smart only in the marketplace or as rug merchants.
In a biography of Patricia Highsmith, author of STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (filmed by Hitchcock and partly scripted by Raymond Chandler) we read: “For most of the 1940s Pat never stops falling in love with women – sometimes for no more than an hour or an evening.” (See THE TALENTED MISS HIGHSMITH: THESECRET LIFE AND SERIOUS ART OF PATRICIA HIGHSMITH, [New York, 2009, page 569].)
In a recent issue of LE POINT (Paris, January 2010) one of Brigitte Bardot's old lovers reminisces: “I was 18 when I first met her. She was then a famous star pursued by paparazzi. At one point she whispered to me: 'Listen, I don't go to bed with someone I am not in love with.' Ten minutes later she added: 'But, you know, I can fall in love three times in a single day.'”
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