Old 06.08.2011, 14:19   #271
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Thursday, August 04, 2011
The Chinese said to their poor, “Get rich,”
and they got rich.
The Americans said to their rich, “Get richer,”
and they bankrupted the global economy.
You cannot travel on the wrong path
and hope to reach your destination.
I know my critics are wrong
when they say what I used to think thirty years ago.
As for critics who speak in the name of God and Country,
they are never right – or they are wrong 99% of the time.
Some of the most dangerous criminals
in the history of mankind were political leaders
who were thought of as infallible – or 99% right.
Bishops, imams, rabbis:
witch doctors with a college education.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Both Turks and Armenians share in common
an aversion to reality.
Turks believe all talk of genocide is fiction.
When repeatedly warned of the coming catastrophe,
Armenians reacted with disbelief.
“Zohrab effendi is exaggerating,”
was a typical reaction.
Even after the cold-blooded murder
of our ablest men in Soviet Armenia,
our “chic Bolsheviks” in the Diaspora
went on repeating the slogan
“Russians are our big brothers.”
Closer to home,
when I speak of our reality objectively today,
I am told to “Shut the f*** up!”
Saturday, August 06, 2011
My critics are my best source of inspiration.
They are my bread and butter.
Once upon a time we were a progressive nation.
But we lost that under the Sultans and the Soviets.
To say all problems can be solved except ours
might as well be a suicide note.
Charlatans will prosper as long as there are dupes;
and honest men will be persecuted
as long as there are charlatans.
To be smart and to be a dupe
are mutually exclusive concept.
To divide and rule has been the foreign policy
of all imperial powers.
As long as we remain divided
we implement the foreign policy of our enemies.
Our dividers are as unaware of their genocidal intent
as Turkish denialists.
When I was young I sought the approval of my superiors
until I realized they were the scum of the earth.
I cannot change the past;
neither can I resurrect the dead.
No one can.
To expose present blunders
is to prevent future catastrophes.
That’s why I prefer to write about our reality today
as opposed to past deeds that cannot be undone.
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Old 10.08.2011, 14:27   #272
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Sunday, August 07, 2011
On the day brainwashed dupes begin to agree with me
I will have no choice but to consider a career move
by applying for a job in the sanitation department
-- which may not be much of a move
consisting as it does in collecting trash
as opposed to exposing it.
The right word at the right time and place
can make a difference.
I have no doubt about that.
If so far I have made no difference
it may be because I have not yet found the right word;
or, if I have found it,
I have not delivered it at the right time and place.
This is why I intend to keep buggering on
until I hit paydirt.
In the meantime I console myself by saying
if what I say annoys the hell out of some readers,
I must be doing something right.
“What Africa needs,” I read today in a commentary,
“is precisely such transmutations of tribal loyalties
to the larger loyalties of nationhood.”
Which simply means, we have no reason to believe
we are ahead of Somalis, Ugandans, and Zulus?
The Tea Party in America reminds me of our partisans
willing to drive the nation to bankruptcy
rather than to compromise for the sake of consensus.
Compromise and consensus have become dirty words with us
because God and all those who speak in His name
have no use for compromise.
Our partisans confuse ideology with theology…
“and because it was a religious war,
there were no survivors.”
Monday, August 08, 2011
When it comes to politics and history,
the average man
(this is especially true of Armenians and Turks)
tends to adopt a dogmatic stance.
His views become an integral part of a belief system
and as everyone knows,
the problem with belief systems
and those who hold them is that
they are never wrong –
very much like the Pope of Rome
(in the eyes of Catholics),
Kemal (in the eyes of Kemalists),
Hitler (in the eyes of Nazis),
Stalin (in the eyes of Stalinists),
Mussolini (in the eyes of Italian fascists),
Mao (in the eyes of Maoists),
and last but not least,
Marx (in the eyes of Marxists –
though Marx himself is quoted as having said,
“I am not a Marxist”).
I was brought up as a Catholic,
and as a Catholic it never even occurred to me
to question the Pope’s infallibility.
But I changed my mind
the moment I began thinking for myself --
as opposed to saying “Yes, sir!”
to whatever I was told
by my superiors, whom I now consider
the scum of the earth).
The problem with believers is that
they suffer from one of the most dangerous
psychological aberrations known to man,
namely, infantilism.
They hate to grow up.
They hate anyone who dares to contradict them.
Above all they hate to think for themselves,
which means, they hate to use that which happens to be
their most valuable possession: their brain.
Believing in gods
(there have been ten thousand of them, we are told)
is bad enough.
Believing in men is infinitely worse.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
What a man believes is his own business.
It becomes our business
only when his belief system
promotes intolerance,
legitimizes prejudice,
and issues licenses to kill.
A belief system that relies on charlatans to exploit dupes
might as well be a criminal conspiracy.
I am not spinning theories and scenarios
based on abstractions.
I am talking about facts and historical reality –
what happened to our parents in the Ottoman Empire,
to our brothers in the Soviet Union;
and what’s happening today
in the Middle East and Africa.
“Yes, sir!” may be said to be
the two most dangerous words known to man.
If it weren’t for these two monosyllables,
we would have no organized religions and armies,
that is to say, wars and massacres.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
We like to believe we are eminently adaptable survivors.
There is some truth in that but also a contradiction.
We are so adaptable in fact that in France
we could easily pass for Frenchmen,
in Russia for Russians,
in Greece for Greeks,
in Italy for Italians,
in Israel for Jews, and so on…and
I have even met Armenians
who could easily identify themselves as Mongols in Mongolia
and get away with it.
As for being survivors:
let us not forget that a great many of us,
especially the best and the brightest,
did not survive – compliments of Talaat, Stalin,
and our Levantine philistines in the Diaspora.
And speaking of Levantines:
one of the worst things that happened to us
in the New World is allowing Levantines
to be in charge of our institutions
on the grounds that they are more authentic
and less assimilated Armenians than the average native.
These gentlemen (if you will forgive the overstatement)
have done more harm to the integrity of our communities
than all “social, political, and economic factors
beyond our control” combined.
We like to believe we are smart.
Yes, some of us may well be smart,
but only in the marketplace.
Our political I.Q. or the way we conduct our affairs
might as well be negative.
We are as tribal as the most backward
African dysfunctional nation.
Put two Armenians on a desert island
and they will build three churches – the third
being the one they don’t go to.
What will save us?
What can save us?
As for as I can see, only prayer –
and I speak as an atheist.
“Our Father who art in Heaven…”
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Old 13.08.2011, 15:13   #273
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Thursday, August 11, 2011
They say “We don’t need critics,”
because they hate to be exposed as incompetent fools.
They say “We need solutions,”
thus admitting so far they have failed to come up with any.
Imagine an economist saying to a street vendor:
“I need a new fiscal policy.”
“We don’t need critics!”
Translation: Shut-up!
They say they don’t need critics
because they consider themselves beyond criticism.
They say they need solutions
as if all of our literature dealt
with the eternal snows of Mt. Ararat,
nightingales serenading the moon,
and the mutual torments of love.
You need solutions?
Read Khorenatsi, Raffi, Baronian,
Odian, Zarian, Massikian…
and if you don’t like Armenian writers,
read Greek, Russian, French, English, and American writers,
because in the end they all speak
against ignorance, intolerance, oppression,
incompetence, dishonesty, and doubletalk.
“We need solutions!”
I have never heard a speechifier deliver that line in public.
What I have heard again and again and ad nauseam is
“We need your moral and financial support!” –
an obvious variation of the Panchoonie punch line
“Mi kich pogh oughargetsek.”
Friday, August 12, 2011
Just because Turks disagree with us
it doesn’t necessarily follow that everyone who disagrees with us
is a Turk or a Turcophile.
If outrage were an argument
we all would be like David Anhaght – invincible.
I remember to have read somewhere that
the criminal rate among politicians is much higher
than among ordinary citizens.
If international law were tougher,
most politicians would be in jail.
Egocentrism: the misconception that
what we say matters.
Turcocentrism: the fallacy that Turks continue to be
in charge of our destiny as a nation.
No matter how hard I try
I cannot trust a man who is incapable of speaking
against his own interests.
Assad in Syria, Gadhafi in Libya:
the more incompetent and corrupt a leader,
the harder he will cling to power.
Closer to home: how many of our own political leaders
have resigned because they were not equal to the task?
Saturday, August 13, 2011
There is a familiar type of loud-mouth
and holier-than-thou superpatriot
whose role models are our revolutionaries
in the Ottoman Empire
who promised heaven and earth
and delivered hell.
That’s the way it is with political leaders,
especially revolutionary political leaders:
the more they promise,
the less they deliver,
and the chances are,
what they deliver is not fit for human consumption.
Rhetoric is a euphemism for verbiage
and verbiage is another word for verbal garbage.
If rhetoric were enough,
we could be the mightiest empire in the history of mankind.
We have this in common with the Jews:
history has not been on our side.
Their victory over the Palestinians
and ours over the Azeris have been moral catastrophes.
The Jews have been accused of behaving like Nazis,
and we have been accused of behaving like Turks.
We should teach our children to say:
“I disagree with what you say,
but I will neither raise my voice
nor go down into the gutter to prove you wrong.”
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Old 20.08.2011, 14:21   #274
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Thursday, August 18, 2011
Only Armenian writers writing in Armenian
are eager to inform me that I don’t qualify
as an Armenian writer because I write in English,
as if being an Armenian writer
were an honor and a privilege
as opposed to being a curse and sometimes even
a death sentence.
About the Genocide and its Recognition:
either Turks are mean as well as obstinate (probably both)
or we are incompetent and stupid (ditto).
And speaking of Genocide Recognition:
where would this issue – so dear to all our hearts – be
without the contribution of Armenian writers
writing in odar languages?
Our patriotism teaches us to love our homeland
and to hate our fellow men – including Armenians.
As for criticizing Armenians in open forums
accessible to our enemies:
even when completely blind,
our enemies acquire 20/20 vision
when it comes to identifying our weaknesses and failings.
That’s the way of the world and the jungle.
I have every reason to believe
Turks know more about us
than we know ourselves.
I doubt if I have ever said anything
they didn’t already know.
Friday, August 19, 2011
They believe to have the rare gift
of judging someone they don’t know
and criticizing a text they haven’t read.
Not only do they believe God to be an Armenian,
they also believe His patience is without end.
They have a tendency to believe the absurd
and to reject the evidence of their own eyes.
They may not be happier than us
But for some incomprehensible reason
they appear to be on better terms with themselves.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Finally an objective assessment of Kemal
by a Turkish biographer.
After discussing the fallacies Kemal espoused
(scientism, materialism, nationalism, among others),
we are told, he may have been the right man
at the right time and place
but he was not a great man.
“The key to Ataturk’s success lay not
in the originality of his ideas
but in the singularity of the opportunity he seized.”
See M. Sukru Hanioglu, ATATURK (Princeton, $27.95).
The trouble with most academics is that
they fall hopelessly in love with their thesis.
The most dangerous dupe is the propagandist
who believes in his own propaganda.
A brainwashed Turk and a brainwashed Armenian
might as well be twins.
They belong to no known nation
except the nation of the brainwashed.
They are the cattle of mankind.
We judge people not by how good they are
but how much they love or flatter us.
To the rest we are indifferent.
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Old 24.08.2011, 14:38   #275
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Sunday, August 21, 2011
More often than not
ignorance is not a result of not knowing
but of not wanting to know.
To be a dupe means to place
patriotism and propaganda
above honesty and objectivity.
My Armenian and Turkish critics
sound remarkably alike – no doubt
as a result of 600 years of cohabitation
compounded by fear of reality.
Dupes come in bunches.
Where there is one there will be another.
They need each other’s warmth
like swine in a cold barn.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Because I support the idea
of a united and strong Armenia,
I engage in treason?
And because my critics are for
a divided, weak, demoralized Armenia,
they are patriots?
But the question, the real question,
which nobody cares to ask is:
We survived the Turk,
will we survive our patriots?
What if, when it comes to extermination,
our leaders are better at it than
the Sultan, Talaat, and Stalin combined?
What if there is more truth in what we hate
than in what we pretend to love?
What if we serve the Devil
even when we speak and act in the name of God?
Because I write in open forums
where even Turks can read me,
my readers take notice of what I say.
Otherwise they would have ignored me.
They would have pretended I don’t exist.
They would have saved their spittle
for their real enemies – the opposition.
For more on this subject, see
By Nassir Ghaemi. 340 pages. The Penguin Press. $27.95.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
A hundred years ago
Armenians had to be forcibly driven out from Turkey;
they are now exiting from Armenia on their own.
I should like to see a comparative study
of Armenian assimilation rates
in the Ottoman Empire and the United States of America.
How many Armenian-Americans can read and write
in Armenian today?
After two or at most three generations in America
assimilation sets in.
But even after six hundred years
in the Ottoman Empire – that is roughly
twenty-four generations – we had a vibrant Armenian literature
in Istanbul.
Name a single Armenian-American writer today if you can.
We like to blame Talaat and Stalin
for the slaughter of two generations of our major writers,
but we forget that these writers
were betrayed by Armenians.
The only authentic Armenians today
are the skeletons of our 5th-century ancestors
and even the best of them
were odars with mixed blood.
Our nationalists may portray themselves as superpatriots
but their true intent is extermination – if, that is,
we judge them by their actions
rather than by their verbally stated intentions.
When words and actions don’t match
you may safely discard words as lies – unless of course
you happen to be a certified dupe.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
In theory, patriotism, even nationalism,
stands for freedom from imperial oppression,
beginning with free speech.
In practice, try to disagree with one of our superpatriots
and see what happens.
There is a hangman in all our nationalists.
Only readers who cling to their Ottomanism and Sovietism
confuse my anti-Ottomanism and anti-Sovietism
with anti-Armenianism.
The God of the Old Testament
is a jungle chieftain who thinks men
are such ignorant savages that
they have to be told murder is a no-no.
The secret ambition of all leaders
is to be almighty and infallible, like God.
This is as true of the Pope as it is of Stalin.
Who are our leaders?
In the Diaspora they are faceless Levantine wheeler-dealers
at the mercy of social, political, cultural, and economic forces
beyond their control – in short:
they are in over their heads.
In the Homeland they are dehumanized bureaucrats
accountable only to the Kremlin.
With friends like these, who needs enemies?
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Old 27.08.2011, 14:35   #276
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Thursday, August 25, 2011
The ideal dupe is he
who doesn’t believe he is one.
The true believer is he
who believes anyone who doesn’t share his belief system
is the dupe of a heresy.
Mankind is divided between deceivers and their dupes.
As for the silent majority:
they might as well be an absent factor.
If we judge an idea by its history,
we shall have no choice but to assert
belief systems are the source of all evil.
“Since it was a religious war,
there were no survivors.”
If you think religious wars
are a thing of the past, think again.
Think again!
A useless, not to say, an absurd suggestion
to a believer who by believing
he declares his inability to think for himself
and must therefore rely on someone else’s thinking – no,
not thinking but believing,
which can also be defined as “not thinking.”
And if you believe the age of prophets,
like the age of religious wars
belongs to the irrevocable past,
I for one will not be surprised to learn that
in the eyes of some historians
the 20th century is already known
as the century of false prophets –
Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Kemal….
“Believe those who are seeking the truth.
Doubt those who find it.”
Even better:
Believe only those who are engaged in rejecting lies.
Friday, August 26, 2011
We are told
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
We are told
to judge a tree by its fruit,
a man by his actions,
and an idea by its history.
What about religion?
If religion is such a good thing
why has it killed and continues to kill so many people?
Who will believe you if you say
“my religion is the only true one;
all others are heresies?
Not even your co-religionists.
Consider the case of Catholics and Protestants,
Shias and Sunnis, and generally speaking,
all orthodoxies and heresies.
But contradictions don’t end there.
In the Old Testament we are told
“Thou shalt not kill.”
But elsewhere God commands His Chosen People
to slaughter not only their enemies
but also their cattle.
Are we to believe even God contradicts Himself?
Or is it only when He uses words?
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Do you really think
you can run away from justice, like Talaat?
Surely you can’t expect us to believe
that your sources are more authentic
than Pamuk’s, Akcam’s, and countless other
western historians among them Turcophiles like
Arnold J. Toynbee and Bernard Lewis.
Last but not least,
you can’t be serious when you dare to suggest
you know better than Kemal
who at no time denied the reality of large-scale atrocities
and the only reason he didn’t use the word “genocide”
is that it had not yet been coined.
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Old 31.08.2011, 14:29   #277
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Sunday, August 28, 2011
We all try to do the best for ourselves
and more often than not
our best turns out to have been our worst.
To brag is wrong except when a nation does it –
and they do it all the time.
We don’t think unless we are cornered into thinking.
What we do instead is grab the most convenient
or flattering explanation
and hang on to it to the bitter end.
The disappointments of success
are as deep as the disappointments of failure.
The very same individuals who are against free speech
control our educational system, and with it,
our perception of reality.
In politics if you win you brag,
if you lose you lie.
To combat the dread of death
we pretend to live.
It is in the blood (or collective unconscious) of the strong
to divide and rule the weak,
and it is in the blood of the weak to be divided.
To say free speech is our “greatest enemy” (Zarian)
is to imply we are our own greatest threat
to our security and development as a nation.
In that sense, the enemy is indeed us.
Plutarch: “But when the body called the Five Thousand –
which in fact were only Four Hundred…”
Monday, August 29, 2011
There is a type of Latin-American writer,
I read today, who is convinced
“literature can fend off injustice and ugliness
and redeem the world.”
Once upon a time we too had such writers.
But do we have them today?
If you know of one, can you name him or her?
I am constantly urged not to speak about Armenians
as I do on open forums, in the same way that
Turkish writers are urged, nay threatened,
not to speak of Turkish crimes against humanity.
Propagandists on both sides are not interested in facts,
only in figments of their own imagination.
How easily are love and lust confused? --
also arrogance and self-esteem.
Search for the worst in the best
and don’t be surprised if you find it.
Man is prone to superstition
because he cannot answer the most important questions
and his need for answers exceeds
his love of truth or his understanding of reality.
We all love to be loved and hate to consider the possibility
that we may not deserve it.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Knut Hamsun on Hitler’s Germany:
“It’s mass-hypnosis that does it…
Mass hypnosis is an awful thing,
just look at theaters and circuses.”
They are hypnotized into thinking
Turks are too civilized to have committed atrocities
and we are hypnotized into thinking
all Turks are bloodthirsty barbarians.
One could say that the aim of all propaganda
is mass hypnosis.
Or, after the subject has been hypnotized,
you can convince him of anything.
To the Turks, Kemal is a messianic figure
who raised the nation from the rotten corpse of the Empire.
If only we too had a Kemal of our own.
On second thought, we may be better off without one.
One way to explain an alienated Armenian is to say that
he is an Armenian who refuses to be hypnotized.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The older I grow,
the heavier the burden of memories.
Which is why I don’t consider Alzheimer’s
an undesirable condition.
Perseverance is a good thing
but not when it comes to digging your own grave.
I don’t write to save the nation.
I can’t even save myself from boredom.
I drink to drown the Turk in me,
but the bugger is a swimmer with Olympic ambitions.
Political leaders of the West were almost unanimous
in their desire to befriend Gadhafi.
Which may suggest the world is ruled by men
whose IQ is lower than that of a backward African mob.
The Buddha is right: no one can save another – especially one
who has made up his mind to go to hell.
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Old 03.09.2011, 14:33   #278
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Thursday, September 01, 2011
“You have only 400 friends?
I have 5000 of them.”
“Maybe so, but I also have 10,000 enemies.”
“That I don’t believe.”
“If you agree with me that offending an Armenian
amounts to making an enemy for life,
do the math! At one time or another
I have offended sermonizers, speechifiers,
panchoonies, commissars, chauvinists,
Turcocentric ghazetajis, bosses, bishops, benefactors
and all their gigolos and gigolettes…
10,000 may indeed be a conservative estimate. Yes?”
Friday, September 02, 2011
On the day we succeed in throwing out the rascals
we shall come face to face with the void.
Mubarak on trial:
How many political leaders would escape the death penalty
if they had to face justice?
Gadhafi urging his supporters to kill the “rats”
even as he behaves like one.
Tell me who your friends are…
even better, tell me who your enemies are
and I will tell you who you are.
An honest politician?
Only morons believe in oxymorons.
All deceivers begin by deceiving themselves.
They are their own first dupes.
I have little sympathy for survivors.
All my sympathy goes to the victims who did not survive.
Castrating rapists is barbaric
except when the victim is someone I love.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
The average dupe does not know who and what he is.
Hence his need to identify himself –
as if a label, any label,
be it ethnic, religious or ideological,
will confer on him a reality he does not possess.
He may be – or rather his DNA may be –
5% Armenian or Turkish and the rest
a Russian salad of many tribes, nations, and races,
but in an Armenian environment
he will identify himself as an Armenian
and in a Turkish environment as a Turk.
He will go further and kill and die
in the name of god and country –
a non-existent or false god
and a country that has belonged
and will eventually belong to others.
Collective existence is a farce.
There are no leaders,
only pretenders to the throne
whose first and most important project
is not to serve the people
but to obstruct the path of the opposition.
Religions and ideologies may preach compassion and justice
but they all end up practicing cannibalism.
This thought occurred to me
after listening to a radio documentary
on female genital mutilation.
I wouldn’t be surprised in the least
if a future study of history
from the beginning to our own days
will be titled “The Age of Cannibalism.”
A Libyan rebel leader on Gadhafi:
“He called us rats, but he is the larger rat.”
Unmask a political leader and expose the rat.
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Old 07.09.2011, 14:04   #279
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Sunday, September 04, 2011
Overheard: “Corruption in Armenia
is like the weather in America:
everybody talks about it
but nobody does a damn thing."
Life is a game in which after you learn the rules,
the rules are changed.
Zohrab is right:
in life, those who adopt prostitution as a way of life
outnumber the others.
If there is a moral in the Arab spring, it is this:
The status quo may collapse when you least expect it.
I therefore say to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors:
Let that be a lesson to you.
Their lack of awareness is such that
they assume their brand of patriotism
(which is no better than treason)
is superior to selfless intellectual labor.
Our eleventh commandment:
Thou shalt not apply tribal solutions to national problems.
I define a good book as one
that if you haven’t finished it by bed-time
you look forward to next morning
with the impatience and anxiety of a lover.
Automatically contradicting what your adversary says
is not an argument but a symptom of entrenched prejudice.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Armenians are brainwashed to hate Turks.
They learn to hate their fellow Armenians on their own.
I question the validity of all miracles
but I keep hoping for one:
figure that one out if you can.
It is the height of arrogance for a nobody
to strike a modest pose.
Men of power depend on kiss-ass incompetents
much more than on honest critics.
Not being a masochist
I don’t consider the death of a thousand cuts bliss.
A teenager who wins a chess tournament
and another who is forced into prostitution:
guess who is going to make a headline on the front page.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
After silencing me
they say they need solutions, not criticism.
And they pretend to ignore the obvious fact that
without free speech and dialogue
there can be no solutions.
Don’t let them fool you.
We don’t need solutions.
What we need are honest men
whose number one concern is not number one.
There are two kinds of solutions:
authoritarian and democratic.
Authoritarian solutions are based
on the erroneous assumption that authority,
even when catastrophically wrong,
must be assumed to be right.
Which also means,
anyone who dares to question the validity of this assumption
must be labeled an enemy and
silenced, excommunicated, exiled, starved,
burned at the stake or shot.
This is as true of the Kremlin as it is of the Vatican.
Labels change but human nature remains constant.
We are racists not because we hate Turks
but because we hate our fellow Armenians.
If you say my criticism is motivated by self-hatred,
I could say that your rejection of my criticism
is motivated by self-infatuation.
If love of mankind means
loving greed, intolerance, prejudice, fanaticism,
cruelty, stupidity, and ignorance,
I want no part of it.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Incompetent leaders can do more harm
than competent enemies.
It is an established fact known to all except dupes
that the criminal rate among political leaders
is higher than among ordinary citizens.
I understand dupes:
I have been one most of my life.
According to Cicero:
“Freedom is participation in power.”
If we are free, ours is the freedom
of ants, birds, and herbivores –
free to be stepped on, shot at, and devoured.
Nothing works as planned.
Turks believed they can convince the world.
They now know they can’t even convince their own
except the dupes who will believe anything.
Subservience to alien tyrants is understandable.
But subservience to our own?
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Old 10.09.2011, 14:41   #280
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Thursday, September 08, 2011
In a scientific text I read the following:
“The original purpose of the sense of hearing
was to enable an organism to hear the love song of a wooer.”
Further down:
“The higher forms of life,
and possibly the lower ones as well,
would have become extinct a long time ago
if it were not for the pleasures of love –
which are thus more important
than anything that reason is able to produce.”
I think therefore I am?
Hell no!
I love therefore I survive.
Let’s reason together?
Let’s make love.
Why do you think the memoirs of a bordello madam
will sell many more copies
than a treatise on reason by an eminent philosopher?
We are a dysfunctional nation
because we preach love of country
and practice hatred of fellow countrymen.
To our leaders the Homeland is a symbol
with which they identify – and when they speak of love
in a patriotic context, it is they who want to be loved
because they know they are unworthy of anyone’s love.
Bugger the old farts!
Friday, September 09, 2011
Only an Armenian who has not “known” a Turkish woman
or an Armenian woman who has not know a Turkish man
(in the literal as well as Biblical sense of the word)
is capable of harboring anti-Turkish sentiments.
I will go further and say that
there is no such thing as a Turk
or, for that matter, an Armenian.
National identity is an artificially created label
based on propaganda rather than any other factor.
Take a child, any child,
place him in an environment whose educational system
is controlled by individuals who identify themselves as Turks
(or any other nationality you care to mention)
and forever after that child will identify himself as a Turk.
It is a statistically and historically established fact
that when they first set foot on Armenian soil,
Turks (or rather, those who identified themselves as such)
were a minority.
It follows, after 600 years of co-existence and concubinage,
they are now very probably more Armenian than Turkish.
Wars and massacres are declared and committed
not by nations but by politicians and their brainwashed dupes.
All nations have such criminal gangs
and it would be the height of absurdity to assert
Armenians are an exception.
I am not denying the fact that
“Turks” massacred “Armenians.”
What I am saying is that criminals (and their victims)
will use any excuse to justify their actions
and prejudices respectively;
and to ascribe the crimes of a few
on the majority might as well be
a working definition of racism.
After writing these lines
I read the following by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“For what man who is master of himself
does not laugh at a king?”
Likewise, for what man who can think for himself
does not laugh at the likes of Kemal
in whose system of thought
Kurds are Mountain Turks and Armenians Christian Turks,
instead of human beings who happen to be living
in a territory called Turkey today
but was known by another label yesterday
and will be known by still another tomorrow?
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Between power and wisdom,
who will choose wisdom?
Birth is not a beginning
and death is not an end.
We think of them as such
because our perception of reality is limited.
In cosmic time, a lifetime is shorter
than a fraction of a second.
From the TALMUD:
“Who is rich?”
“He that rejoices in his portion.”
“Who is a hero?”
“He who conquers his urge.”
I like all sentences that begin with the words,
“It has been said.”
Lord Byron on Italy:
“They make love a good deal here,
and assassinate a little.”
On women:
“My wife is perfection itself – the best creature breathing.
But mind what I say – don’t marry.”
Camus on love:
“Loving a human being amounts to killing all others.”
“Les seuls paradis sont ceux qu’on a perdus.”
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Old 14.09.2011, 14:06   #281
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Sunday, September 11, 2011
All children believe in what adults tell them
especially in matters dealing with God and Country.
The world conspires to make us dupes;
and by the time we realize what happened
we have either killed or died as soldiers, terrorists,
and believers in false gods and big lies.
We are not smart – we never were
in things that really matter.
For 600 years we dropped our pants and exposed ourselves
to the Turks.
Tell me, my friend,
how smart is that?
The more we try to control events,
the deeper the realization of our powerlessness.
The source of all wisdom is within your subconscious,
very much like the Kingdom of God.
Strinberg: “Ever since childhood,
I have looked for God and found the Devil.”
Perhaps because they are one and the same.
Either that or our perception of reality is so defective
that we confuse one with the other.
The astonishing ease with which blessings become curses.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Imperial powers prefer to deal with corrupt regimes
because the corrupt are more easily manipulated.
This is as true of America as it is of Russia.
Remember that next time you speak of our big brothers.
Freedom in a democratic context
means much more than free elections.
It means freedom from want,
freedom of expression,
freedom of assembly, movement, and faith.
Have we ever been free?
Do we know what freedom is?
Freedom to grow a fat belly – is that
the beginning and end of all freedom for us?
During the day they speechify
on freedom and patriotism,
on God and Country,
but at night they engage in wheeling-and-dealing.
Hence their favorite slogan, “Do as I say…”
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
On man’s inhumanity to man:
If you have ever asked yourself,
How can one human being do such a thing
to another human being?
My tentative answer is:
Some human beings cease to be human
when they join a party or group
that subscribes to a belief system.
They oppressed us with fire and sword.
We oppress ourselves with ignorance and intolerance.
The result is the same.
The massacre continues.
Even people who act in the name of the Devil say
“God is with us.”
To fanatics moderation is treason.
So is reason to the unthinking.
Freedom of speech allows the fanatic
to expose himself as a fool.
We should have a commandment
or a constitutional amendment to protect free speech
instead of a tacit consensus to violate it.
Memo to my anonymous critics:
Democracy and intolerance of dissent
are mutually exclusive concepts.
If I am wrong I can be corrected.
But if those in power are wrong
the damage can be as incalculable as another genocide.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
In theory we are all against the massacre
of unarmed and innocent civilians,
but give us a chance and we will gladly even the score
and call it justice.
This is only a guess, of course,
based on how mean we can be in disagreement.
To how many of my critics I could say:
“Don’t stop, please! Keep writing.
You are a living proof of everything
I have been saying about Armenians –
narrow-minded, rude, intolerant, ignorant, dogmatic,
self-satisfied, loud-mouth…”
God is not in the business of explaining the incomprehensible.
We must either find a meaning in our genocide
or dismiss it as incomprehensible.
By making of it a collective obsession
we accomplish nothing but reinforce our image
as perennial victims and losers.
As for justice: let’s leave that to belly-slitting lawyers –
we can afford them.
It was only after observing the ease with which
we are Americanized that I was able to identify
our Ottomanized and Sovietized brothers.
A peculiarity of dupes is that
they tend to take themselves and their views very seriously.
Let’s make one thing clear once and for all.
They did not divide and rule us.
We divided ourselves.
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Old 17.09.2011, 14:35   #282
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Thursday, September 15, 2011
It is narcissism and nothing else
that allows a political leader to think
he is the best thing that happened to his nation…
until he is driven to exile,
or arrested, condemned to death, or assassinated.
There is probably more narcissism in politics
than in any other line of work.
It is narcissism and nothing else
that allows Turks to believe
our genocide is a fiction of our imagination.
Likewise it is narcissism of the most primitive kind
that allows us to think
we are smart and progressive
when the historic evidence proves otherwise.
It is narcissism and nothing else
that allows the very rich to behave like swine
and to believe they are la crème de la crème.
The astonishing ease with which both men and women
confuse an ephemeral infatuation with eternal love.
The rule is and must be
anything that flatters are vanity
should be dismissed as a lie.
Friday, September 16, 2011
The headline of a commentary in my morning paper reads:
“Canada’s self-image needs a reality check.”
There follows a list of misconceptions and fallacies
that have become common currency in Canada,
a country with a long democratic tradition and a free press.
You may now imagine the number of our own misconceptions
that have been consistently covered up
by our controlled press and authoritarians power structures.
The headline of another commentary on the same page reads:
“Is it time to rethink think tanks?”
Can we do that?
Do we have them?
There are 4500 active think tanks in the world,
we are informed here.
My question is:
Is any one of them Armenian?
In the section dealing with local news,
another headline reads:
“Region’s suicide rate still high.”
Do you know – does anyone know -- our own suicide rate?
Does anyone care to know?
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Gandhi was a double dissident –
critical of British colonialism
as well as many facets of Indian life.
In a new biography we are told:
“This made him a rather more balanced nationalist
than the many who remarked on the victimhood of their race
or argued for the superiority of their own culture.”
See Jad Adams, GANDHI:
(New York, Pegasus, 2011, page 56).
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Old 21.09.2011, 13:46   #283
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Sunday, September 18, 2011
My ideas are subversive and dangerous?
What about the ideas in the Bible?
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
“Without vision the people perish.”
“Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
The trouble with our censorship is that
its ultimate aim is to violate
not only my human right
but also God’s divine right of free speech.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Divisions don’t bother me as much as
the lies that are spoken in their defense.
Liars don’t bother me as much as
their efforts to make you believe that
they believe in their own lies
and they expect you to do likewise.
I may consider making an effort to agree
with our bosses, bishops, and benefactors
on the day they make an effort
to agree with one another.
My answer to those who tell me
if I do this that and the other
I may be more popular:
My obscurity is too well established
to be vulnerable to any kind of
promotional or advertising campaign.
I have committed so many blunders
that I don’t deserve to live.
The only thing that keeps me going
is the fact that almost everyone I know
has committed worse blunders
yet nothing could be further from their thoughts
than suicide.
Instead of voicing your suspicions
redouble your vigilance.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
He who violates my human right of free speech
is in no position to determine his degree of guilt or innocence.
If it were up to fascists to judge themselves,
they would be unanimous in pronouncing their victims guilty.
The sons and daughters of well-known Armenian writers
that I have met or heard from
prefer solitude to the proximity of their fellow Armenians.
That may be because they know something
most Armenians don’t -- namely: to survive
in our environment one must either lie
or be penalized for his honesty.
I repeat myself?
That may be because I am a bad writer
and you are a worse reader
for reading a writer who is not worth reading.
All problems and solutions begin and end
in the convolutions of our breains – which of course
does not apply to the brainless.
Love is the mightiest creative force of all
because it sees somebody in nobody
and meaning in the meanigless.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Gerald Durrell’s memoir MY FAMILY
AND OTHER ANIMALS (1956) contains
a hilarious portrait of Gostan Zarian.
Gerald Durrell: not to be confused
with his better-known brother Lawrence
who also wrote extensively on Zarian.
A headline reads:
“Syria blames terrorists for country’s violence.”
The trick here is and it has always been,
to portray yourself as a victim even as you victimize.
In detective stories I am more interested in the dialogue
than the plot.
If only there were writers
who specialized in rewriting difficult texts –
Hegel rewritten by Chekhov.
Dupes hate critics.
They view criticism as enemy action.
Poetry, it has been said,
is when two words meet for the first time – as in
“fearful symmetry” (Blake) and “beeloud glade” (Yeats).
His handwriting is so bad that
his “morale” looks like “merde.”
I am a failure because my readers know better.
If only I could choose a different audience…
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Old 24.09.2011, 14:31   #284
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Thursday, September 22, 2011
It never ceases to amaze me
the greed with which we cling to the illusion
of our own importance no matter how often
we are exposed as irrelevant.
Our genocide?
The West wouldn’t allow it.
The recognition of our genocide?
If we write enough books,
produce enough eyewitness accounts,
and organize enough demonstrations,
the West may finally see the light.
Historic lands?
All of America is someone else’s historic land,
so what?
Perhaps truth or reality itself is a territory
beyond our comprehension,
and God Himself is the negation of the “I”
and everything connected with it.
If Calderon is right and “life is a dream,”
it may not even be our dream but someone else’s.
In my younger days our elder statesmen
would seek me out and give me advice – all of it useless.
History may become more comprehensible
if you think of serial killers as failed political leaders.
What if I am wrong?
I will be dead wrong on the day I assert infallibility.
Friday, September 23, 2011
If you search long enough for something
you are sure to find a substitute.
The more I deal with Turks
the more I like my fellow Armenians;
and the more I deal with Armenians
the better I understand Turks.
A writer is someone who has developed the art of speaking
even when he has nothing to say.
My mother believed what she read in the papers
except what I wrote.
Spengler: “The less one needs others,
the more powerful one is.”
My ambition in life when young:
To come to terms with death.
My ambition now:
to die in order to have the final answer
which may or may not exist.
There are no questions and answers in reality –
both begin and end in the convolutions of our brains.
We are told space must have an end.
We are also told space is being created
with the speed of light.
It follows, no matter how fast we travel
we will never see what’s on the other side of space.
Love means being always on the verge of tears.
Love feels as though your insides
were being surgically removed
without anaesthesia.
If you have not experienced love,
you don’t know bliss.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Almost everyone I have been reading about recently
has been analyzed. I have never been near an analyst
and I doubt very much if I ever will find myself
in the same room with one.
What could he tell me that I don’t already know?
And what could I tell him?
Where would I begin?
I am misunderstood and spat upon by hoodlums?
Who hasn’t been?
Homer, it is said, was kicked out of seven villages,
all of which, after he died, claimed to be his birthplace.
To this day no one knows where he was born or,
for that matter, buried.
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Old 28.09.2011, 13:54   #285
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Sunday, September 25, 2011
They fascinate me and I see them everywhere.
AVANIM (Stones) an Israeli film
whose unstated but clearly implied moral is:
Rabbis may be as much of a threat to the survival of Israel
as Palestinians.
Search for the enemy within and you will find him.
They may talk of God
but the means they employ belong to the Devil.
This is as true of rabbis as it is of imams and popes.
They may praise rebirth and resurrection
but what they promote is death of the spirit.
What could be easier than deceiving children?
And are not adults children is disguise?
Do we ever give up – are we capable of giving up --
childhood illusions?
Are we not our own most gullible dupes?
When asked if Cary Grant was homosexual or bisexual,
one of his wives (he had five of them) is reported to have replied:
“I was too busy f***ing him to ask.”
There should be a Nobel Prize for the best remark of the year.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Most of my life I kept my thoughts to myself
out of fear of offending men in positions of power.
I was a coward but refused to admit it.
I behaved like a fool and thought I was wise.
Nothing comes more easily than to preach heroism
and to promote cowardice
in the name of tradition, law and order,
respect for authority, and countless other
fictional considerations.
If you are a fool
do not attempt to share your wisdom
with better men than yourself.
Are you wise or brave enough to admit
you are a fool?
To the rich, money is the quintessence of all wisdom.
Between the virtues of the rich
and the vices of the poor,
which would you choose?
The criticism of idiots
is more of a testimonial than an indictment.
More important than education itself is
who does the educating.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
To know perfection
we must first experience the degradation
of life on earth.
Heaven will not be heaven for me
if I can’t play the Beethoven Sonatas like Schnabel
and Bach like Glen Gould.
Anonymity will make a hero out of a zero.
Promises are one thing, delivery another.
The two might as well be strangers to one another.
Whenever I see an odar
joining one of our discussion forums on the internet
I would like to post the following message:
"Welcome to this forum, dear friend.
Please remember to ignore the hooligans among us.
They represent no one but themselves."
It must be obvious by now that
one doesn’t have to be a Turk in order to behave like one.
Nothing comes easier to an Ottomanized Armenian
than to behave like a Turk with the certainty that
he is discharging his duty as a patriotic Armenian.
The same applies to Sovietized Armenians.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Once, when after a loud argument,
Socrates’ wife poured a pail of dirty water on his head,
he said: “It generally rains after thunder.”
More recently, while massaging his wife’s neck,
Louis Althusser (1918-1990) strangled her,
he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Women disappoint men
because they find men disappointing.
The difference between dialogue and Armenian arguments is that
the aim of the first is synthesis or consensus,
the aim of the second is verbal assassination.
Gide: “Le plus grand bonheur, après que d’aimer,
c’est de confesser son amour.”
Valery: “Combien de gens meurent dans les accidents,
pour ne pas lacher leur parapluis!”
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