This and that
Old 30.12.2009, 17:48   #1
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Thursday, December 24, 2009
We are few.
We are weak.
We are vulnerable,
Therefore, we are divided.
Which is like saying:
“I think.
Therefore I am not.”
In our environment,
the devils come disguised as angels.
I once heard a bishop say:
“We are for unity.
It's the opposition that is against it.”
Did he believe what he said?
I am not sure.
But his audience did,
on the grounds that God does not lie.
Neither does a man of God.
Hitler knew what he was talking about when he said,
“The bigger the lie, the more believable it will be.”
We are divided.
So what if we cease to exist?
Cease to exist? No way!
We have existed for thousands of years.
We must be doing something right.
You call a thousand years of subservience to scum existence?
You call a series of massacres and a genocide existence?
I call it worse than death.
Liars are not born but made
and they are made by dupes.
Who is guiltier, a liar or his audience of dupes?
You can rate the IQ of a nation
by the lies of its sermonizers and speechifiers.
We have two kinds of mortal enemies:
those who want to kill us
and those who want us to commit suicide.
We never had it so good.
Friday, December 25, 2009
To prove to a visiting Venetian painter what the neck of a beheaded man really looks like, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, also known as the Lawgiver, had a prisoner brought before him and beheaded.
It is said that the Venetian painter was so shocked by the bloody spectacle that he left that same night under cover of darkness.
That is the difference between that Venetian painter and us.
The Venetian left.
We stayed
We stayed even after Raffi warned us the Ottoman Empire was no place for us because Turks had no respect for human life.
We ignored Raffi's warning in the 19th century as we ignore today Charents's final message concerning our “salvation.” By “we” I mean less the people and more the leaders who speechify during the day about survival and turn into gravediggers under cover of darkness at night.
In my next commentary I will explain why “treason and betrayal are in our blood” (Raffi).
Saturday, December 26, 2009
A nation or a community run by traitors will constantly emphasize the importance of patriotism, self-sacrifice, and heroism. In such an environment, heroes will invariably outnumber traitors.
Traitors don't think of themselves as traitors. They think of themselves as patriots who are doing what must be done to safeguard the survival of the nation. But since in politics, as in war, there are either winners or losers, losers will be classified as traitors by their political adversaries.
Case in point: After the liberation of France, both Petain (a hero of World War I) and Laval were condemned to death by a French tribunal on the grounds that they had collaborated with the Nazis and they were therefore traitors.
Were Krikor Zohrab and Anastas Mikoyan traitors or heroes?
If we judge them by their actions alone (as the French tribunal chose to do) they do not qualify as heroes. Zohrab saved Talaat's life from the Sultan's secret police; and Mikoyan carried out the Stalinist purges in Armenia so thoroughly that to this day only unprincipled mediocrities survive. In other words, their actions resulted in defeat and tragedy.
Are our dividers in the Diaspora today heroes or traitors? If we judge them by the Biblical dictum “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” and by Charents's final “message,” they cannot be said to be heroic figures.
One could of course explain and justify the actions of traitors by pleading extenuating circumstances, which might as well be inadmissible in our context.
The fact remains that both Zohrab and Mikoyan were not just wrong, they were catastrophically wrong, and both paid a heavy price for their blunder. Zohrab was murdered by order of the same man whose life he saved by risking his own, and Mikoyan spent the final years of his life in constant fear to such a degree that he slept with a revolver under his pillow with the intention of killing himself if they ever came to arrest him in the middle of the night.
As for the nation: I will let you decide whether their actions contributed to our collective profile as winners or losers.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The French have a saying: “This little beast is nasty; when attacked, it defends itself.” Except that in our case, the little beast was a wounded tiger with nine lives, and we were no better than a toothless lapdog.
We were slaughtered because we have been thrice cursed with “earthquakes, bloodthirsty neighbors, and brainless leaders” (Avedik Issahakian); and ever since these brainless leaders have been trying to convince us there is nothing wrong with them; it's the rest of the world that's rotten; and what is even more unbelievable is that we believe them.
We lost because we believed the Christian West would not allow the massacre of brothers by bloodthirsty infidels – notwithstanding the fact that the West had already allowed a series of massacres to take place without lifting a finger (see VISIONS OF ARARAT: WRITINGS ON ARMENIA by Christopher Walker [New York, 1997]).
We were slaughtered because our Christian brothers in the West were at war and too busy slaughtering one another to give a damn about an obscure tribe of Christians being slaughtered by infidels on another continent (see the Preface of G.B. Shaw's ANDROCLES AND THE LION).
We lost because “we were tiny islands in a Turkish sea” (Hagop Oshagan).
We lost because our revolutionaries were long on enthusiasm and short on experience. One contemporary scholar refers to them as “twenty somethings” (see Michael Bobelian, CHILDREN OF ARMENIA [New York, 2009]).
We lost because we underestimated the strength and determination of the Turks to defend their 600-year old homeland.
We lost because we believed in the professed brotherly love of serial killers. (Consider the case of Zohrab saving Talaat's life by risking his own.)
We lost because we were divided. (See the correspondence between our revolutionaries and Artin Dadian in Pars Tuglaci, THE ROLE OF THE DADIAN FAMILY IN OTTOMAN, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL LIFE (Istanbul, 1993).
We were slaughtered because we have been fed “a steady and monotonous diet of shameless flattery and transparent lies” (Stepan Voskanian).
We were slaughtered because our conception of history has been shaped by “deceivers... the smoke of incense, and the sound of sharagans” (Nigoghos Sarafian).
Far from being an unexpected and unforeseeable Tragedy that “fell on us like a thief in the night,” our genocide might as well have been “an invitation to the beheading) (Nabokov).
Monday, December 28, 2009
Patriotism is an irrefutable argument only to patriots.
So is fascism to fascists.
If faith and truth were one, we would have only one religion and no jihads.
Faith guarantees nothing.
To say that faith is beyond criticism is to justify a big lie with a bigger lie.
Deceivers exist because deception works.
It is astonishing the number of great men who were taken in by Hitler and Stalin, both of whom made a mafia godfather look like a benevolent uncle.
To an overly sensitive person, a wrong word can be as catastrophic as a volcanic eruption or an earthquake.
Turning points in one's life may happen not in noteworthy events but in insignificant occurrences that may at first escape notice.
To most Armenians the Genocide is only a page in our history – the darkest page, granted, but still only a page.
Books, including history books, are one thing, life another.
The average Armenian is much more seriously wounded by an insult than by any single page in history.
To ignore or cover up our problems is also to reject in advance all possible solutions.
We will mature as a nation only when we take ideas as seriously as money.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
It is not safe to stand between a hungry lion and his kill.
Likewise, between a crowd and its cherished illusions.
I write what I think because deep down I know no matter what I say, I will be ignored. That's the way it has been in the past, and I see no evidence to suggest that things may not continue on the same path in the future.
My quarrel, my real quarrel, is not with my fellow men. My quarrel is with myself for allowing deceivers to brainwashed me in the name of a false deity or big lies.
They emphasize the importance of love because they are hateful and they know it. Was it love that drove Jesus to use the whip against the money-changers in the temple?
Was it love that drove the Orthodox Church in Russia to excommunicate Tolstoy, or the Catholic Church to torture and massacre heretics?
To those who say that was then and this is now: may I remind them that the Russian Church, like our own Etchmiadzin, went on to legitimize Stalin's regime, and the Catholic clergy engaged in serial child molestation.
Dupes of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but leaders with the moral quotient of swine.
I call an enemy a friend if what he says enhances my understanding of my fellow men and myself.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The original aim of nationalism was to liberate the nation from the tyranny of imperial powers. In theory. In practice, however, it simply replaced one tyranny with another. That's the way it is with organized religions, ideologies, and mass movements: they begin as liberation and end as oppression.
Analysis and flattery (or propaganda) are mutually exclusive concepts. You can have either one or the other. You cannot have both.
On more than one occasion I have heard it said, “If you criticize benefactors, they will stop giving.” I have never heard anyone say, “If we starve writers, they will stop writing.” Which may suggest, money is everything, ideas nothing. Which may also explain why as a nation we are so brain-dead that even the Turks are ahead of us. This assertion may outrage some, but not as much as it outraged me when I first heard it about forty years ago.
Our editors and activists have been dishing out anti-Turkish venom for such a long time that it has acquired the authority of a Decalogue.
There is a kind of vulgar bluntness that is the soul of elegance.
Speaking of his fellow Americans, Thoreau once said: “The greater part of what they call good I believe in my soul to be bad.”
Anonymous: “A live dog is better than a dead lion.”

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