Old 18.05.2013, 14:42   #436
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Saturday, May 18, 2013
The average Turk is totally unaware of the fact that
Talaat and Kemal were fascists;
and the average Armenian has nothing but contempt
for “bourgeois democracy” – in case you thought
Armenians are smarter.
In our circles, as in all autocratic circles,
refusing to kiss ass is thought of as a serious offense.
The only way to understand Armenians
(or anyone else for that matter) is to work for them
or to be dependent on their goodwill.
I have dealt with too many crooks
who pretended to be honest men
to be taken in by cheap rhetoric.
I am anti-Armenian only in the sense that
I am anti -myself, which I believe to be
a more useful stance that being pro-myself.
Once upon a time I had all the answers.
That’s when I was a dupe.
To speak of an honest politician
is like praising a vegetarian cannibal.
Some Armenians owe their life to Turks
and some Armenian writers owe their death to Armenians.
My ambition in life:
to write a cheerful book about death.
They behaved like bloodthirsty savages
and we behaved like illiterate idiots
who could not decipher the writing on the wall.
If our leaders emphasize the first (savages)
and cover up the second (idiots)
it’s because this cunning maneuver allows them
to preside over another genocide (sbidak chart)
and put the blame on economic, political,
social, and cultural forces beyond their control.
But competent leadership consists
in confronting and overcomin invisible historic forces
that when left unchallenged
can destroy not only tribes and nations
but also empires as surely as
bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians on the warpath.

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as i see it
Old 22.05.2013, 14:04   #437
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Sunday, May 19, 2013
*************************** *********
As a child I was taught there are
two kinds of “nahadags” or martyrs:
regular nahadags and “esh (jackass) nahadags.”
A regular nahadag is one who dies
in the name of a cause he believes in.
A jackass nahadag, by contrast,
dies in the name of a lie someone else pretends to believe in;
or, in Sartre’s words, someone
who “believes that he believes but he doesn’t.”
There is no such thing as an undeserved defeat
or a moral victory. Both are fabrications of propagandists.
Only the thoroughly and systematically moronized
believe what their politicians tell them.
Patriotism is not an ideology
but an intellectual disease or mass moronism.
Example of Turkish moronism:
After engaging in the wholesale massacres of civilians,
they plead self-defense.
Example of Armenian moronism:
After dividing the nation
or digging its grave
they preach self-sacrifice, heroism, and martyrdom;
and they are believed by systematically moronized dupes
who have been brainwashed to believe they are smart.
Have a nice day.
Whenever I say our history has been
a succession of blunders and catastrophes
and we have been and continue to be
at the mercy of traitors and collaborators with the enemy,
I am asked: “What would you have done in their place?”
My standard answer to that question is:
“Very probably what they are did
and having done so
I would live in shame and degradation forever after.
I wouldn’t parade as a role model to future generations
I wouldn’t adopt a holier-than-thou stance;
I wouldn’t delivery lectures and speeches
on patriotism, dedication to ideals and principles,
self-sacrifice and heroism;
and I wouldn’t attack insult those
who dare to speak the truth.
One of our academics once said to me:
“I agree with everything you say
and I promise I too will speak the truth after I retire.”
This happened about thirty years ago
when he was in his sixties.
But as far as I know he has at no time
published a single word of dissent,
and I doubt if he ever will.
That’s because when you work
for an Armenian political party, organization or bureaucracy
you sign an oath of confidentiality or secrecy.
In effect you promise not to divulge inside information.
Break your promise and you get no more retirement money.
It’s all legal and above board.
Our buggers sure know how to cover their ass.
Richard Burton on John (MALTESE FALCON) Huston:
“Huston is a simpleton. But believes himself to be a genius.
And a self-aggrandizing liar. Cunning at it.”
A “cunning” “simpleton?”
One reason I enjoy reading books by celebrities is that
every other celebrity is treated like ****.
If you like malicious gossip I recommend
I forget the writer’s name – he has also written
Speaking of Capote and Brando:
the best thing I remember to have read about Brando is Capote’s
“The Duke in His Domain.”
After reading it Brando wanted to kill him.
QUESTION: What kind of revolutionaries
rely on foreign support?
ANSWER: Armenian revolutionaries.
A question we avoid asking:
What possessed us to trust Turks, Russians,
and today our own bosses, bishops, and benefactors?
I believe in god
but not in the god of
rabbis, imams, and bishops
Where their god enters
propaganda is sure to follow;
and where propaganda enters
can a big lie be far behind?
Throughout our history,
god (or our faith in him)
has been the least reliable source
of strength and support.
When it comes to god
what matters is not how we define him
but how our enemies define him –
especially if they have bigger battalions.

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Old 25.05.2013, 14:42   #438
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Thursday, May 23, 2013
In one of his short stories Chekhov writes
(I quote/paraphrase from memory):
“You are saying man is the architect of his own happiness
and I am saying if you had a toothache
and a shrew as a mother-in-law
you would sing a different tune.”
There is a type of writer whose every statement
needs a footnote
whose every footnote needs a commentary,
and whose every commentary
needs an explanation.
And then there is a type of writer
whose statements mean what they say
preferably in monosyllables,
like “To be or not to be.”
The function of a writer, I was brought up to believe,
is to make the reader feel good and proud of his identity.
I know now that a writer is neither a comedian
nor an entertainer.
The projected map of a future Kurdistan
looks surprisingly like Armenia
only twice as big.
Between a past we cannot change
and a present we can change,
we have allowed our Turcocentric ghazetajis
and genocide academics to turn us into pillars of salt.
If I can explain one little thing
that you didn’t understand before,
I have done my part.
If you read me with the hope to be enlightened,
you’ve got the wrong man for the job.
The world, the people in it,
God above and the Devil below
are a mystery to me too.
And speaking of people:
A hundred years ago they were in the business
of slaughtering innocent civilians
and creating refugees by the million.
They are now busy welcoming them from Syria.
Times change, people change, conditions change
and charity is thrust on some
as greatness is on others.
Good Turks and Armenians exist
but they are outnumbered by the brainwashed.
All wars and massacres begin
in the classrooms of the nation.
They teach intolerance, hatred, and murder
and call it education and patriotism.
And because I say these things
I am thought of as an enemy.
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Old 29.05.2013, 13:47   #439
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The Allah of Turks and the God of Armenians
may not recognize each other when they meet;
but the God of Catholics, Protestant,
Etchmiadznagans and Anteliassagans is one and the same.
The least we can do is worship Him
from a single church thus saving millions
for the poor, the sick, and the unemployed.
I am not asking our bishops to give up
their cherished dogmas, prejudices, secretaries,
accountants, and fund-raisers.
Only the address from which they operate.
You say it can’t be done?
I say where there is a will there is a way;
and where there is no will
there are men whose number one concern
is number one and to hell with common sense and decency.
As for those who want to solve the problems of the Homeland,
I say to them: Start with your own backyard.
Deal with your own bishops, vartabeds and derders –
they may be more amenable to reason and compromise
than our crypto-Stalinist neo-commissars in the Homeland.
You say I repeat myself?
I say sometimes with unruly children you have to.
No writer has ever silenced a tyrant.
In my formative years
I could not recognize a big lie when I saw one.
“Most theoretical ideas turn out to be wrong.”
When I steal I am plagiarized.
In Dante’s INFERNO our Turcocentric monomaniacs
will be condemned to write about Armenians
without mentioning Turks.
Let others count their positives;
I prefer to count my negatives
beginning with the fact that
I am an Armenian who compounded the felony
by choosing to be a writer.
My father was born in Sivrihisar,
birthplace of Nasreddin Hodja.
that’s my only positive I can think of.
When I was a brown-nosing
and cowardly yes-man,
I thought of myself as a loyal, obedient patriotic Armenian.
inferiority complex or objective assessment?
Whenever a reader says something remotely positive about me,
I think: What if he is deceived?
What if I have achieved excellence only in deceiving others?
After each positive assessment
I think of its contradiction and see more sense in it.
We were subservient to Turks for 600 years.
Did anyone ever identify that fact as a negative?
All wars and revolutions are driven by lies and illusions.
Our revolutionaries thinking
with God and the great powers on their side
they couldn’t lose.
Palestinians thinking as the offspring of empire builders,
Allah and Arab oil on their side they couldn’t lose.
Thinking is more like an orchestral performance
and less like a solo recital.
Many factors must be carefully and objectively assessed.
What a book one could write
on the role of wishful thinking in human affairs!
To how many of my patriotic readers I could say,
to prove you are a good Armenian
it is not necessary to behave like a bad Turk.
Censorship and propaganda are Siamese.
As a nation we are not guilty of genocide;
only in creating conditions in such a way
as to make genocide possible.
You cannot reason with a man who is blinded
by his own greed for power.

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Old 01.06.2013, 14:32   #440
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Saturday, June 01, 2013
“You are a disgrace to the nation!”
Am I really?
What about our oligarchs and kleptocrats
whose greed is surpassed only by Wall Street CEOs
who have been successful in convincing themselves
and others that they are too big to fail?
What about our brown-nosers
who have not yet kissed an ass that didn’t smell like roses?
What about our superpatriotic paranoiacs
who see inauthentic or second-class
or bastardized Armenians everywhere?
What about our bosses, bishops, and benefactors
whose sole contribution to our collective existence
has been the introduction of meaningless dogmatic divisions
that make us more vulnerable to so-called
historic, economic, social, and cultural forces
beyond our control?
What about our crypto-Stalinist neo-commissars
who miss the good old days?
What about our dupes who believe everything they are told?
Am I really a disgrace to the nation
or those who dare to speak in its name?
When I was young I relied on the judgment of my elders.
Now that I am old I can rely on no one but myself;
and when I consider the long list of blunders
that I have committed
I have no choice but to conclude
that I must just about the least reliable person on earth;
and if you think those who are now in charge
of our collective destiny are wiser than I am,
all I can say is that we all entertain illusions
that we hate to give up
notwithstanding the evidence against them.
To put it differently:
you are right not to trust my judgment
but you have fewer reasons to trust
the judgment of your “betters”
because historic reality tells us
in no uncertain terms
they may well be the worst scum on earth.
Judge a man by his actions not his words.
Judge an ideology or religion by its history
not its sermons and speeches.
It follows, if we were to judge a nation by its history
we may have to conclude that
Syrians don’t think they deserve to live,
Armenians don’t think they deserve to be a nation,
and Turks use the nationalist or Kemalist card
the way a serial killer uses the insanity plea.
Perhaps death wish plays a larger role
in human affairs than we like to admit.
Perhaps in politics what matters more
than lust for power
is the instinct to kill and die.
If, that is, we base our conclusions on facts
as opposed to speculation and propaganda.

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Old 05.06.2013, 13:57   #441
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Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Adultery should be condemned in all men
except politicians on the grounds that
the more they f*** women
the less they will f*** the nation.
Anti-Semites always proceed from the
erroneous historical assumption
that Jews are the only people on the planet
who occupied a territory by force of arms
and abused the rights of the natives.
My bad memories outnumber the good ones.
Which is why I look forward to Alzheimer’s.
Descriptions of experiences are like shadow of shadows.
When a friend’s mother died, I shared his grief.
But when my mother died I wanted to die.
Democracy has also been defined as
the tyranny of the masses.
There are casualties of war as surely
as there are casualties of peace
and we are casualties of both.
After eating Turkish and Russian ****
we are now asked to eat our own.
In case you don’t like blunt talk,
allow me to inform you that
no one is paying me
to engage in diplomatic palaver.
To be a dupe of political propaganda means
to be a moron who is brainwashed to believe
he is smart.
Ever since I gave up on my fellow Armenians
they have stopped disappointing me.
To be a born-again human being
is more important than being a good Armenian.
It must be obvious by now that
when it comes to solving problems,
politicians may not the best men for the job.
One could even go further and say
they may well be the worst.
An idiot will be more receptive to the words
of a crook and a liar than to those of an honest witness.
Turks quote me: in the eyes of my critics,
it follows I must be in cahoots
with the Sultan, Talaat, and Kemal.
The mother tongue of both
political and religious leaders
is propaganda.
Theology is a systematic effort
to understand and explain
the unknown, the unknowable,
and the incomprehensible.
If I knew how to solve problems,
I would begin with my own.
Most so-called solutions are based
on the general theory that
one man’s hocus pocus
may well be better
than another's abracadabra.
Once when I dared to criticize
one of our cultural organizations
I was told by one of its hirelings:
“Who the hell do you think you are?”
He was not questioning my opinion.
What he was questioning was my right to have one.
In his view the function of someone in my position
is to recycle propaganda.
Only qualified people have a right to an opinion.
One does not bite the hand,
or any other part of the anatomy,
that lays the golden egg.
To rely too much on god
is almost to surrender to the devil.
Nothing works as planned
even when it works as planned.
Some of the worst things in life
happen when you least expect them.
Your best friend may be your worst nightmare.
It happens in the Bible.
It happens in life.
It happens among Armenians.
It has happened to me.
I am not questioning the validity of Armenian friendship.
I am questioning my naiveté and status as a dupe.
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Old 08.06.2013, 14:02   #442
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Saturday, June 08, 2013
Some divide and conquer,
others are divided, conquered,
butchered and never learn.
One does not speak of ropes
in the house of a hangman,
neither does one speak of vegetarianism
in the house of a butcher –
which is what we do when we speak
of genocide recognition to Turks and Yanks.
You want peace?
Criminalize brainwashing.
We overestimate the value of what we know
even when what we know is a big lie.
The aim of literature?
To call an idiot an idiot.
We need solutions?
A big lie!
What we need is implementation.
When I say I don’t believe in god
I mean the god of rabbis, imams, and bishops
(including the one in Rome).
Anyone who has had the patience and perseverance
to read the final pages of EXODU
and the first pages of LEVITICUS
will be justified in suspecting that god
is a control freak badly in need of a shrink.
The faith of rabbis, imams, and bishops
has deep ties with power, prestige, and income.
Take away one of these ties
and you may end up holding an empty bag.
The difference between fascists
and the ideology of our own political parties is that
fascists criminalize free speech
and our political parties silence dissent.
The result is the same.
And now consider what they share in common:
nationalism, anti-intellectualism, and anti-Semitism,
namely “the three pillars of fascism.”
The secret ambition of all sermonizers and speechifiers
is to brainwash you to believe
you belong with the 1%
even when you are the scum of the earth.
I speak from experience.
During World War II in Greece
I was both stateless and homeless
but I was “educated” to believe
my god was the only true god.
I am not an atheist.
I believe in the Unknown, the Unknowable,
and the Incomprehensible
because I believe Nothing cannot create Something.
If you are a reasonable man
use your brain.
If you are a patriotic Armenian
stop saying ‘Yes, sir!” to our dividers
and grave-diggers.
If you are a good Christian
stop hating your brother.
If you are smart
stop being a dupe.
Remember, Jesus did not say
the Kingdom of God is in the words
of speechifiers and sermonizers
but "within you."
Remember also in a democratic environment
leaders are not your masters but your servants.
They don’t tell you what to think;
you tell them what to do.
In her brilliant and erudite study of Nabokov – THE SECRET HISTORY OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV (New York, 2013) – Andrea Pitzer mentions and discusses Armenian refugees, massacres and genocide on a number of occasions. Among individual Armenians she quotes and discusses are Nina Berberova, an early admirer of Nabokov, herself a brilliant novelist and the author of a remarkable autobiography titled THE ITALICS ARE MINE; and Azat Oganesian, about whom she has this to say in her Acknowledgments: “Translators played a key role on my research. King among them is Azat Oganesian, my research assistant, who poured through and translated interminable numbers of articles I sent him from RUL, the Russian-language newspaper in Berlin, as well as making trips to various libraries on his own to help with this project.”

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Old 12.06.2013, 13:50   #443
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Sunday, June 09, 2013
One does not have to be a prophet to engage in prophecy.
All one has to do is adopt the past as one’s guide –
that is to say, reality, facts, history as opposed to
wishful thinking, illusions, and daydreams.
Raffi Hovannisian lost not because he did not enjoy majority support
but because the oligarchs controlled the bureaucracy.
We will rise against the oligarchs only
after the Russians themselves do so.
In the meantime all attempts at reform and revolution
are doomed to failure. They are doomed to failure
because we are essentially a nation of slaves.
Raffi (not Hovannisian but Hagop Meliq-Hagopian)
was absolutely right when he said
“Treason and betrayal are in our blood.”
So is subservience.
In the Homeland we are subservient to the Kremlin;
in the Diaspora to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors.
Our revolutionaries are not revolutionaries.
They never were.
They rose against the Sultan only when the Turks themselves did so
and only when they relied on the verbal support of the West.
There is an academic word for this kind of conduct,
it’s called mimesis – in common parlance, monkey business.
We may have a better chance to understand ourselves
if we study apes. The alternative approach is
to place our trust and our destiny into the hands
of blood****ers, speechifiers, and sermonizers,
that is to say compulsive and habitual liars.
Speaking for myself, I would have more trust in an ape;
at least an ape is less prone to engage
in double-talk, deception, and betrayal.
“You are not always right,” a reader informs me.
To be always right has never been one of my ambitions.
As a matter of fact, if I had a choice between being always right
and being always wrong I would choose being wrong
if only because being always right
would place me in the same category
as some of the worst charlatans, bullies, and mass killers
in the history of mankind.
Even when dead wrong, however, I like to believe
I never deliberately mislead my readers
or exploit their limitations by recycling a propaganda line
or speaking in defense of a power structure or regime.
How many of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors
can say as much?
A good friend of mine once said to me:
“I agree with you but I don’t say so in public
because they may think you have brainwashed me.”
But I am not in a position to brainwash anyone
if only because I don’t write for children
who cannot yet think for themselves.
I write for adults who are free to reject what I say
whenever they disagree with me.
Neither do I subscribe to a specific ideology or belief system
that happens to be my main source of income, prestige, or power.
I operate more like a solitary voice in the wilderness and,
in the words of Socrates,
“My poverty is proof of my honesty.”
The higher a man rises
the bigger the size of his blunders.
How many dared to say to Stalin
“You are wrong” and lived to tell the tale?
Closer to home:
How many have dared to say
to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors,
“By dividing the community
you dig its grave”?
Infallible men are not born but made
and what makes them are dupes, cowards, and “yes men”
afraid to say the emperor has no clothes, no brain, and no balls.
In the USSR they said Stalin was wrong
only after he dropped dead and was buried.
“Bishops are men of God,” I was informed by a reader once.
“You should speak of them with greater respect.”
If bishops are men of God,
bosses source of power and prestige,
and benefactors sources of income,
that only means our own mini-sultans and neo-commissars
continue to live, rule, and scare the **** out of anyone
who dares to question their wisdom, integrity, honesty,
dedication, patriotism, infallibility, and statesmanship.
“Mart bidi ch’ellank!”
Honest men: do they exist?
I am not sure.
I would define an honest man as one
who has not yet been exposed as a crook.
From Roman emperors to Ottoman sultans –
mankind has been at the mercy of ruthless crooks
and pathological liars.
Has anything changed?
If Zohrab was taken in by Talaat
and Stalin by Hitler,
can anyone claim to be immune
to propaganda?
If we are smart,
why do we consent to be subservient
to a political leader
with the moral compass of an ape
and the charisma of a robot?
Are North Koreans, Syrians, Turks, Russians,
and Latinos better off?
What about Greeks and Italians?
What about the Swiss?
Where would they be without the money
of blood-****ing tax cheats?
What about Canadians?
Listen, I live in Canada and I read the papers.
Don’t talk to me about honest men.
I could go on…

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Old 15.06.2013, 14:35   #444
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Thursday, June 13, 2013
Dialogue: I am all for it;
but not with a closed mind,
or a self-righteous fanatic,
or a member of the party
(it makes no difference which party),
or a bully who believes the word compromise
is for the weak and the unprincipled:
in short, an Armenian.
There is a type of reader –
and I have had several of them myself –
who begins by saying
“I read everything you write,”
and ends by saying
“You are a disgrace to the nation.”
There are two schools of thought:
the first says “We need critics,”
and the second: “The only good critic is a dead critic.”
Did I say two schools?
Make it one.
I am a slow-learner.
It took me many years to realize that
you cannot argue against a propaganda line.
“We have played a key role
in the preservation of our identity and culture
in the Diaspora,” I heard one of our speechifiers saying.
They brag a lot -- our partisans and panchoonies;
they lie a lot too.
I should like to hear at least one of them saying
they have also alienated a few.
I once received a letter from one of our political parties
that said in effect they will support me
provided I first write a series of profiles of their leaders.
In my reply I said that I was not qualified to do that job
because I didn’t even know who their leaders were.
I should have added,
neither did I care to make their acquaintance.
If you say “God is on my side,”
God is sure to withdraw His support.
What is our unspoken policy towards writers?
Treat them like ****
until they come to terms with reality.
Nothing in life happens
the way things happen in books and movies.
Being an Armenian is a rare privilege,
or so I was brought up to believe,
until I realized it is closer to being a nightmare.
All wars need Big Lies,
so do all divisions.
We are a failed nation
at the mercy of a failed regime
run by former KGB agents.

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Old 19.06.2013, 13:59   #445
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Baronian and Odian:
were they patriotic Armenians?
What about Baruir Massikian
when he saw more merit in a Cairo bordello
than in our own institutions?
What about Zarian when he said
our political parties have been
of no political use to us?
Why is it that politicians,
even when they are pathological liars
and mass murderers
like Hitler and Stalin identify themselves
as great patriots?
Why is it that we equate patriotism with blindness?
A final question: What is the most frequently misunderstood
and abused word in the world?
Moral: Next time you hear one of our speechifiers
use that word, start counting your spoons.
“To emphasize the positive is better,”
I am reminded once in a while by concerned readers.
To identify those who poison the well:
if there is a positive way of doing that
I am all ears.
Where there are academics
there will be two schools of thought.
Case in point:
“Under capitalism man exploits man.
Under communism it’s the other way around.”
Trust an academic’s judgment
as much as you would trust
the judgment of a religion or political leader
who speaks in defense of his belief system or ideology –
that is to say, his power, prestige, and source of income,
not necessarily in that order.
To paraphrase Socrates again:
No one will ever accuse me of speaking
in defense of my source of income
for the simple reason that
it has never exceeded minimum wage.
None of our national benefactors has ever said to me
what one of them is quoted as having said
to one of our distinguished educators and poets:
“I hire and fire people like you every day.”
As a child I thought words meant what they said.
I now suspect they mean the opposite.
What is justice?
It depends on who is in charge of dispensing it.
I write as I do not because I know better
but because I got tired of saying “Yes, sir!” to idiots.
To make a comfortable living
by exploiting someone else’s crucifixion or massacre:
What a racket!
There are two kinds of people:
Armenians and odars and I feel alien
in the company of both.
Unlike Turks we are not guilty
of committing and covering up genocide.
We are, however, guilty
of placing our trust in a leadership so incompetent
that, in the words of a friend,
“cannot even lead a dog to the nearest fire hydrant
or catch a flu bug in an epidemic.”
If incompetence were a crime against humanity
how many of our leaders would escape hanging?

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Old 22.06.2013, 14:36   #446
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Thursday, June 20, 2013
In my formative years I don’t remember anyone
remotely interested in explaining to me
the difference between democracy and fascism;
and I am no longer surprised when a reader demands to know
what’s so great about democracy.
When those in power forget they are servants of the people,
abuse of power and fascism become inevitable.
Knowledge is power, we are told.
What we are not told is that individual knowledge
is powerless against collective ignorance.
I don’t hate my enemies as much as I hate myself
for allowing them to intimidate me.
Not to be able to read between the lines
is also a symptom of illiteracy.
We are a nation of dreamers – make it daydreamers.
We brag about being survivors
even as we are experiencing two “white” genocides
(exodus and assimilation).
“The Jews survived,” an elder statesman once informed me,
“because of their Book. We need such a book and I am writing it.”
He sent me a few fragments
which I could not finish reading.
To explain their financial bankruptcy
a Mekhitarist monk once said to me:
“We were deceived.”
They were deceiver because they were promised great wealth.
All they had to do, they were told,
was liquidate their assets and invest the cash in the stock market.
Blinded by greed it never even occurred to them to suspect
their financial advisers were a criminal gang.
I once wrote a short story that began with the words:
“When I first read a Sherlock Holmes story,
I wanted to be a detective.
When I first heard a Rossini overture
I decided to be a composer.
When I saw Marlon Brando in ON THE WATERFRONT
I wanted to be an actor.
When I read Casanova’s MEMOIRS….”
What happened to my daydreams?
Who and what am I today?
The answer: Not just a scribbler but an Armenian scribbler,
that is to say, the lowest form of animal life.
Mankind: a collection of nobodies
at the mercy of misguided fools.
Learn to read between the lines –
that’s where the money is.
Success is a trap.
Failure a challenge.
Treat a success story as you would treat a warning.
Decisions are based on what is known and predictable;
but it is the unknown, the unknowable and the unpredictable
that conspire to bite your ass.
To be lucky means to knock on the wrong door
and to have the right man answer it.
To be unlucky means to rely on luck.
A Turkish scholar once informed me
that as an Armenian I was in no position to be objective
about a great man like Talaat.
The central function of politics is
to brainwash fools to believe they are smart.

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Old 26.06.2013, 13:52   #447
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Those who control our educational system
do so not because they support learning
but because they want to cover up
the nefarious role they have played
in our decline as a nation.
They are as hungry for knowledge and understanding
as sultans and commissars.
I share my understanding;
they share their propaganda.
They identify themselves as patriots
and me as a traitor.
Q: Can someone with the moral compass of an ape
and the charisma of a robot win a democratic election?
A: Yes, of course!
Q: Where?
A: Armenia.
If you don’t know where to begin,
the end is as good a place as any.
What does the Homeland share with the Diaspora?
In both dissidents are rejected and brown-nosers prosper.
Consider what happened to Greeks and Jews
after they rejected Socrates and Jesus respectively.
A nation that rejects its critics digs its own grave.
Nothing new in that.
Americans have a word for it:
Snafu, meaning “Situation Normal All F***ed up.”
Far from being the best and the brightest,
ruling classes are more representative
of the lowest common denominator.
Individuals may learn
but mankind as a whole – judging
by the number of present conflicts, wars, and related atrocities –
seems to be immune to instruction.
We are all citizens of Snafuland.
Success, real success, means total and uncompromising contempt
for success as defined by failures.
Overheard on the radio early this morning:
“From a market economy we have become a market society.
In California today if you don’t like your prison cell
you can get hotel-style accommodations for $90 a day.”
Which one of our political bosses today
is not a millionaire or the hireling of one?
What happened to the generation of
Nikol Aghbalian, Rouben Der Minassian,
Ohandjanian, Vratsian, Aharonian?
How could they vanish without leaving a trace?
Or rather: Am I moving in the right or wrong direction?
I suspect I am moving in the right direction
when I think the opposite of what I was taught as a child.
Allow me to explain.
When the educational system of a nation
(also known as its brainwashing apparatus)
agrees with its political system
(that claims to have a single aim in life,
namely, the welfare of the people)
I have no choice but to agree with Hamlet’s verdict –
there must be “something rotten in the State of Denmark.”
The Fall of Man and to fall in love:
in both instances the main characters are
a man and a woman; or, in the words of Anonymous,
an old wise man who is never or very seldom wrong:
“Men and women, women and men: it will never work.”

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Old 29.06.2013, 14:42   #448
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Thursday, June 27, 2013
My ambition, my real ambition in life
is to introduce humor in hell.
Armenians have a legal mind:
they never ask a question whose answer they don’t already know.
An Armenian in search of wisdom is like a Greek bearing gifts.
Confronted by total annihilation men may learn to co-exist.
As for Armenians: I am not sure about them.
After all, every rule must have its exceptions.
I was asked once to translate the diary
of an unknown and unpublished writer on the grounds that
“he could be another Shakespeare.”
On another occasion I was asked to translate a poem
on the grounds that after reading it
a friend of the family had said:
“This should be translated!”
If you say Turks are the scum of the earth,
I ask: What’s the difference between them
and the rest of the world?
If you say there is nothing wrong
in hating a bad writer who spreads lies,
I ask: What about incompetent leaders
who lead the nation to genocide?
Why does the average smart Armenian
allow himself to be brainwashed by charlatans?
The obvious answer must be:
Because it allows him to live in a fantasy world wherein
(a) Armenians are the good guys,
(b) They are God’s chosen, and
(c) their military defeats are moral victories.
Am I saying anything you don’t already know?
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the USSR:
they remind me of myself as a child
when I respected no one
and feared everyone.
They call me negative
because my favorite subject is not massacres.
Everything I say to my fellow Armenians,
American, French, English, German, and Russian writers
have said about their fellow countrymen.
Mankind has been and continues to be
at the mercy of hoodlums –
Goebbels not Goethe,
Hitler not Hesse,
Richard III not Shakespeare,
Stalin not Solzhenitsyn.
In the eyes of their contemporaries
neither Socrates nor Jesus were successes.
I wonder how many Greek mothers
were overheard saying to their sons,
“Behave! Do you want to end up like Socrates?”
And Jewish mothers…
Never speak kindly of yourself:
no one will believe you.
Why do I write as I do?
The answer must be:
Because I am no longer dependent
on the charity of swine.

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Old 03.07.2013, 15:06   #449
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Sunday, June 30, 2013
All dupes are brainwashed to trust the judgment
of their superiors even when their superiors
happen to be the worst scum on earth.
The world is at the mercy of bloodthirsty cannibals
who like to parade as peace-loving vegetarians.
Genocides come in all sizes, shapes and colors,
including red, blue and orange.
The fist thing tyrants do is confiscate the idea of patriotism
and call everyone who opposes them unpatriotic.
Once oppressed always an oppressor.
Once a dupe always a brainwasher.
You take it when you have no choice.
You dish it out the first chance you get.
When asked which side you support,
always say (to quote a good friend of mine)
“I am with the good guys.”
Nobody ever warned me that
the right path may also lead to a dead end.
I write therefore I learn.
Every belief or ideological system produces
its share of academics.
Grub is better than no grub.
I write to share my anger.
Bishops, imams, and rabbis:
you either believe in all of them or none.
To choose one and reject the others amounts to say
“I refuse to think for myself;
I prefer to be a dupe of propaganda.”
It has been said that it takes five generations
to produce an English gentleman.
It took more than two thousand years
to produce the average Armenian wheeler-dealer
and his dupes…
You may now draw your own conclusions.
Armenian identity is like a layer cake
whose bottom layer is shrouded in mystery
and whose top layer is more Ottoman and Soviet
than Armenian.
For 1500 years our writers –
from Khorenatsi and Yeghishe (5th century AD)
to our own days (Zarian and Massikian)
have exposed the corruption and incompetence
of our political and religious wheeler-dealers
with the result that they are more corrupt,
incompetent and divided than
at any other time in our history.
What does that tell you
about Armenian contempt
for selfless intellectual labor?
As they say in Washington:
“You want a friend? Get a dog!”
A dupe is a dupe regardless of nationality, ideology and religion.
Kemal’s dupe and Stalin’s dupe might as well be twins.
Now then, go ahead and say Armenians are smarter than Turks.
Our history in a nutshell:
We owe our misfortunes to enemy action –
beginning with the enemy within.
Worth remembering:
All orthodoxies, heresies and divisions in general
are conceived by the 1%.
I have lost many friends
but I have never lost a single enemy.
All belief systems have a ready answer for every possible question,
a plausible explanation for every objection,
and a counter-argument for every argument –
just like Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Old 06.07.2013, 14:29   #450
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Thursday, July 04, 2013
Can there be such a thing as an honest capitalist
in the eyes of a Marxist?
Or a good infidel in the eyes of a Muslim?
Or a good Armenian in the eyes of another Armenian?
Kemal was smart: he knew he could count
on the ignorance and stupidity of the average Turk.
Our bosses, bishops, and benefactors are smart too…
Atheists are not born but made
and what makes them is
the arrogance, intolerance, and cruelty of men
who speak in the name of God.
The enemy within is invincible.
“Homo homini lupus” (man is wolf to men).
What is an Armenian to another Armenian?
A lamb?
The Turks were smart:
they knew they could get away with murder.
We were dumb: we thought they wouldn’t dare!
In a recent issue of the NEW YORKER,
that until recently consistently refused to print profanities,
I read the following exchange:

“You asshole,” she snarled.
“You’re the asshole,” I said.
“I hate you.”
“Ditto,” I said. “Ditto and square it.”

Because I favor short lines
some readers think I am a poet.
I am not!
I don’t remember to have ever written a single line
about nightingales serenading the moon
or the eternal snows of Mount Ararat.
Not my style.
As a failure I write about failures.
It tales one to know one.
And I don’t write.
I snarl!
And speaking of poets:
In Armenian-American parlance
poets are referred to as vodanavorjis.
The 1% may know better
but when they are wrong
they are catastrophically wrong –
universal bankruptcy, wars, massacres, genocides…
I have more critics than a dog has fleas.
I like to reply to all of them
including the contemptible ones.
But I draw a line to those who are beneath contempt.
In the first one-third of my life
I was mostly busy committing blunders.
In the second, I tried very hard not to repeat them.
And in the final third my main concern is
coming to terms with my mortality.
As for saving the nation:
I leave that to our dime-a-dozen pundits
with Napoleonic ambitions.
If I can make a nuisance of myself
to a handful of readers,
I ask for nothing more.
Now then, go ahead and call me
a megalomaniacal daydreamer.

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