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  1. #1
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    Thursday, March 03, 2011
    ********************************************
    MEGALOMANIACS
    ************************************************** *
    They brag about our heroes but they are afraid of free speech.
    They hate to be called cowards but they don't mind behaving like gutless worms
    on the assumption that if the people are stupid enough to believe in their propaganda
    they will be stupid enough not to see their cowardice.
    That's the way it is with all autocratic regimes:
    they demand heroism in action and cowardice in thought;
    and what is even more astonishing, they get it.
    350,000 Armenians died in World War II.
    How many dared to raise their voice against Stalin and his commissars?
    *
    Armenians who say they are for democracy
    and Turks who refuse to recognize the Genocide
    are dupes who believe all politicians are liars except their own.
    They believe it is their duty as good citizens
    to believe what they are told,
    especially if what they are told flatters their vanity.
    It is this kind of aberration that allows
    the Ben Alis, Mubaraks, and Gadhafis of this world
    not only to hang on to power long after they have outlived their usefulness
    but also to establish dynasties like the Bourbeons and Romanovs
    and to rule their nation to the end of time.
    #
    Friday, March 04, 2011
    ********************************************
    MEMO TO EDITORS
    ************************************************** *
    To be for democracy and to be against free speech is a contradiction.
    If you can't see this you must be blind...and
    when the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch.
    *
    MEMO TO FORUM MODERATORS
    ****************************************
    As a critic I am willing to admit that I can be wrong
    because I am only a human being.
    If you think as a moderator you can assert infallibility
    you must be an arrogant fool.
    *
    MEMO TO OUR RULERS
    ***************************
    Turks ruled by intimidation and got away with it for 600 years.
    Are Turks your role models?
    *
    MEMO TO FUND-RAISERS
    ****************************
    Do you know
    (a) who will handle the distribution and
    (b) what is his cut?
    *
    MEMO TO MY CRITICS
    *********************************
    If you have a closed mind
    your criticism is without merit.
    #
    Saturday, March 05, 2011
    ********************************************
    FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
    ************************************************** *
    In today's paper I read Russians are more afraid of the police than of criminals.
    The situation in Armenia is not mentioned
    probably because no one gives a damn about Armenians,
    not even Armenians.
    *
    My quarrel is not with God Whom i neither know nor understand,
    but with the god of popes, imams, and rabbis.
    *
    Truth may also be defined as a lie that you believe in.
    *
    Stalin, Mao, and Franco died in bed.
    Gadhafi ruled for 43 years.
    Those who are in power today cannot tell with any degree of certainty
    how long they are going to last.
    But they will never forget the wisdom of the old Chinese saying:
    "No banquet under heaven is endless."
    *
    The central preoccupation of Armenian intellectuals today
    is how to get closer to the money tree and
    to obstruct the path of those with similar ambitions.
    I remember once when I insulted one of our national benefactors
    in the presence of several academics,
    there was a stunned silence as though I had a committed a capital offense.
    The Turks say, "Among ten men nine or sure to be women."
    I suspect in our case eleven would be a more accurate esdtimate.
    #

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    • #2
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      Sunday, February 27, 2011
      *************************************
      THINGS THAT ARE HIDDEN FROM US
      **************************************************
      Cross-breeding is one of the benefits of being defeated and conquered by multiple races, and cross-breeding may well be at the root of our survival.
      *
      They Ottomanized us to the same degree that we Armenianized them.
      The same could be said of Romans, Greeks, Persians, Mongols, Tatars and Arabs among others.
      *
      In the Armenian ghetto where i was born and raised,
      Armenians came in all sizes and shapes --
      hook-nosed, large-headed, dark-skinned, beady-eyed...
      *
      It is said of Genghis Khan that he had so many wives and concubines
      that according to English geneticists
      his direct descendants today number sixteen million.
      Add to that the descendants of his generals, lieutenants, and soldiers,
      and the number may reach closer to a billion.
      For more on this subject, see Ian Frazier, TRAVELS IN SIBERIA,
      (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010, page 122).
      *
      Cross-breeding may also explain our endless internecine conflicts.
      We are not a collection of tribes but races.
      Solidarity is not in our DNA.
      Like cats and dogs we are driven less by reason and more by biology.
      To brag about our survival therefore makes as much sense
      as to brag about the fact that we are neither kangaroos nor worms.
      *
      These things are hidden from us because
      no one wants to be the bearer of bad tidings.
      But I believe it is by confronting the dark side of things
      that we may see the light. In the same way that
      to treat a disease you need a correct diagnosis.
      You cannot cure cancer by pretending it's insomnia.
      #
      Monday, February 28, 2011
      *************************************
      DEAD MEN WALKING
      **************************************************
      What triggered the Arab uprising in North Africa and the Middle East
      was not the ideas of a philosopher or the words of a poet
      (ideas promoting democracy and words praising freedom
      have been around for thousands of years)
      but the self-immolation of a poor and unknown Tunisian street vendor.
      Which may suggest that criticism and dissent do not overthrow tyrants.
      Ideas move in a metaphysical realm that has no point of contact with reality.
      Writers are not prophets but at best only canaries in a mine.
      Rousseau and Voltaire did not convince the French to rise
      and behead their king and queen, hunger and humiliation did.
      Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov did not end or
      even initiate the disintegration of the USSR
      but the incompetence and lies of the commissars did.
      Subservience to tyrants may not be an ideal condition
      but people appear to have an astonishing degree of tolerance for it.
      Whether I fall silent or go on writing
      will make no difference in the long run.
      To my critics and to our editors who have classified me
      as an enemy of the people and a traitor to the cause, i say:
      "Relax! I am not a threat to anyone.
      Our destiny is not dependent on what I or anyone else writes
      or what you print because we are all dead men walking."
      #

      Tuesday, March 01, 2011
      ********************************************
      THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...
      ************************************************** *
      An Arab-style Armenian uprising is unlikely
      because we have been so thoroughly and effectively
      scattered, alienated, mongrelized, and some would say, moronized
      (if you will forgive my French) that to paraphrase Mark Twain,
      consensus is something we all like to talk about
      but nobody does a damn thing.
      *
      Another negative factor:
      We don't confront a single Ben Ali, Mubarak, or Gadhafi
      but a host of nameless and faceless bureaucrats
      who work behind the scenes and are thus unidentifiable and inaccessible.
      Our future leaders will probably spring from their ranks,
      which means, even if things change they will stay the same.
      O how I wish I were wrong!
      *
      What did really change after our revolution in the Ottoman Empire?
      Instead of being massacred by Talaat
      we were purged by Stalin.
      Different players, same results.
      *
      Why is it that we know the number of victims in the Ottomine Empire
      but not in the USSR?
      Why should a Soviet tyrant be different from an Ottoman tyrant?
      Or, for that matter, an Armenian tyrant?
      An Ottomanized or Sovietized Armenian may well be
      more Ottoman than the Sultan,
      and more Stalinist than Stalin.
      Lenin once said:
      "A bourgeois is a bourgeoi regardless of nationality."
      So is a tyrant.
      #
      Wednesday, March 02, 2011
      ********************************************
      ON TURCOCENTRISM
      AND RELATED ATROCITIES
      ************************************************** *
      Our Turcocentric ghazetajis have reduced our recent history
      to the chronicle of an unsettled score.
      Not a single spark of creativity!
      Like people who are said to be more Catholic than the Pope,
      they are more victims than survivors of massacres.
      I was born and raised among survivors
      and though most of them were illiterate,
      they knew better than to blabber endlessly
      about reparations and recognition.
      *
      When wise men speak
      you search for wisdom even in their banalities.
      When a fool speaks the exact opposite happens:
      even if what he says contains a pearl of wisom,
      you have eyes only for the banalities.
      *
      Revolutions fail because they kill the dog
      but not the dog's master.
      *
      An Armenian uprising?
      It may come -- if it comes -- via China and Russia...
      *
      Life after death?
      If there is one, it may be so different from life as we know it
      that we may fail to see any connection between the two.
      *
      Why is it that inter-tribal conflict have a longer lifespan
      than warfare between nations?
      Some day Turks and Armenians may be friends but
      Armenians and Armenians?
      #

    • #3
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      Sunday, March 06, 2011
      ********************************************
      PHOBIAS...AMONG OTHER THINGS
      ************************************************** *
      Is Islamophobia -- that is, fear of Islam -- as irrational as say
      agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) or homophobia (fear of gays)?
      What about fear of child molesters, fear of organized crime,
      or fear of serial killers?
      Why is it that they do not qualify as phobias
      in need of psychiatric treatment?
      Who in his right mind would befriend
      a serial killer, a mafioso, or a child molester
      in the name of tolerance or political correctness?
      Now then, if Muslims have killed many more innocent civilians
      than serial killers,
      why should Islamophobia be thought of as
      neurotic, irrational, unjustified, or, for that matter, politically incorrect?
      I look forward to the day when political correctness
      will be seen as semantic fascism.
      *
      Everyone has a book in him, we are told.
      What we are not told is that
      most books remain unpublished,
      and if published unread,
      and if read forgotten.
      *
      Men who don't understand themselves call women incomprehensible.
      *
      More and more frequently now i find myself saying,
      "I don't remember."
      If it's the onset of Alzheimer's, it is more than welcome
      because my unpleasant memories far outnumber the pleasant ones,
      and nothing would give me more pleasure than to erase them.
      Whoever defined happiness as a "bad memory"
      knew what he was talking about.
      #
      Monday, March 07, 2011
      ********************************************
      REFERENCES
      ************************************************** *
      In eveything I read I see direct or hidden references to Armenians.
      The situation in Lybia, for instances, reminds me of the fact that
      no matter how corrupt and incompetent a leader,
      he will have loyal supporters willing to kill and die for him.
      I am also reminded of the fact that Sylva Kaputikian,
      winner of the Stalin Prize,
      even after the collapse of the USSR
      openly declared pride in having been a member of the Communist Party.
      *
      While reading a review of Alan Riding's
      AND THE SHOW WENT ON: CULTURAL LIFE IN NAZI-OCCUPIED PARIS,
      dealing with French collaboration with Nazis
      and the purges that followed under De Gaulle,
      I reflect that we were at no time de-Ottomanized or de-Stalinized.
      As a result there are still Armenians today who believe
      Russians to be our Big Brothers notwithstanding the fact that as a nation
      we could be their grand-grandfathers.
      *
      In the latest issue of the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
      I read a review of Carol Edgarian's THREE STAGES OF AMAZEMENT
      and another of David Livingstone Smith's
      LESS THAN HUMAN: WHY WE DEMEAN, ENSLAVE, AND EXTERMINATE OTHERS,
      whose subtitle reads:
      "A philosopher argues that dehumanization is necessary
      for genocide, slavery and slaughter to take hold."
      According to Smith,
      "dehumanization is rooted in human nature, not culture."
      Which simply means, Turks massacred us
      not because they are bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians,
      but because they are human beings, like the rest of us.
      Toynbee would agree.
      In one of his many references to Turks and Armenians
      he writes that under certain conditions
      even the most civilized people on earth
      will behave like Turks -- that is,
      if they follow their instinbct and ignore their reason.
      *
      In the review of Carol Edgarian's novel,
      we are reminded that her first book, published 17 years ago,
      is titled RISE THE EUPHRATES.
      #
      Tuesday, March 08, 2011
      ********************************************
      ON IDENTITY
      ************************************************** *

      David Hume on history:
      "Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human natur."
      It follows, to identify Turks as bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians
      and ourselves as progressive, Christian, Westernized, civilized, and so on...
      is as valid as to speak of superior and inferior races,
      or Germans and Jews as defined by the Nazis.
      *
      In a review of ERNEST GELLNER: AN INTELLECTUAL BIOGRAPHY
      by John A. Hall, I read:
      "Gellner seems to have regarded his Jewish identity
      as an obstacle to be overcome rather than an inheritance to be cherished."
      Something similar could be said of our identity.
      *
      Gellner on tradition:
      "...bullsh*t, servility, vested interests, arbitrariness, empty ritual" --
      in short: mumbo jumbo.
      *
      What we need more than anything today
      is an objective assessment of our reality and not
      more Turcocentrism, lamentation, and blame-game.
      We don't need bosses, bishops, and benefactors to tell us
      who we are and what to think.
      As long as we look up to them for guidance
      we are no better than dogs who know their master
      but not their master's master.
      *
      Our identity is not a set of assets handed down to us by our ancestors
      (who may have been more confused than we are)
      but a garbage dump of liabilities.
      Now then, go right ahead and think I am wrong
      because I refuse to flatter your vanity.
      *
      There is a misprint in "In God We Trust."
      The letter "l" in "God" has been inadvertently deleted.
      #
      Wednesday, March 09, 2011
      ********************************************
      THEM AND US
      ************************************************** *
      When accused of sleeping with German soldiers during World War II,
      a French actress is reported to have declared:
      "My soul is French but my ass is international."
      My answer to those of my readers who accuse me
      of being anti-Armenian and even pro-Turkish, I say:
      "My soul is Armenian but i write
      (please note, i am not saying "my pen is")
      ... but I write as a human being.
      I refuse to apply for membership
      in a club, cabal, party, or organization
      for the simple reason that i refuse to be coerced into writing
      what someone else wants me to write.
      Anyone is free to disagre with me on the grounds that
      he is a better Armenian
      and some of the most thoroughly Ottomanized and Sovietized Armenians have done so.
      *
      I have yet to see an Armenian willing to concede to another Armenian
      that he is not a superior specimen who knows better.
      *
      It has been said that ideologies attract the best as well as the worst.
      In our case, the worst far outnumber the best, alas!
      *
      Our men at the top know their business.
      They choose their hirelings carefully.
      They take a nobody, brainwash him,
      give him a regular salary and a title,
      and watch him turn into a parrot
      who will repeat what he is told.
      *
      Speaking of World War II and Germans:
      Hitler began his political career by blaming Germany's problems on Jews,
      and he ended it by blaming the Germans.
      That's the way it is with fascists:
      they will blame everyone but themselves.
      They are never wrong because they are infallible.
      I will never forget the elder statesman
      who blamed all our problems on "non-partisan Armenians."
      When informed I was, like my father before me, a non-partisan, he said:
      "I thought you were one of us."
      And that was the end of our friendship.
      #

    • #4
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      Thursday, March 10, 2011
      ********************************************
      COSMOLOGY
      ************************************************** *
      If I understand recent developments in cosmology,
      we live in a multi-dimensional multi-universe
      in which Big Bangs are routine occurrences.
      Man may not live forever but the cosmos does,
      and what are we if not tiny fragments of the cosmos?
      *
      For the first time in history Armenians in America are free.
      But what are they doing with their freedom?
      They either allow themselves and their offspring
      to be brainwashed by propagandists
      or they assimilate.
      They have as much initiative to shape their destiny
      as a grain of sand in a sandstorm.
      *
      All power structures rely on the support of dupes and idiots
      who believe everything they are told.
      Even after 43 years of incompetence, corruption, and greed
      by an obviously deranged megalomaniac,
      there are many Libyans today willing to kill and die for him.
      Closer to home: there is no evidence to suggest
      that we are smarter or better off than Libyans,
      and judging by the number of our victims so far,
      we may well be dumber and worse off.
      #
      Friday, March 11, 2011
      *********************************************
      SITUATION / SH*TUATION
      ****************************************
      We were defeated
      because we were divided.
      We were bastardized
      because we were defeated and conquered.
      We have been moronized
      because we were divided, defeated,
      conquered, bastardized, and brainwashed to believe
      none of it is our fault
      but must be ascribed
      to geographic, political, economic, and cultural conditions
      beyond our control.
      Which of course is hogwash.
      Everything begins and ends in the convolutions of our brains.
      Which also means there is a way out.
      Ours is not a verdict without appeal.
      If our problems are of our own making,
      so are their solutions.
      The rest is propaganda –
      The kind whose ultimate aim is to moronize.
      #
      Saturday, March 12, 2011
      ******************************************
      FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
      *****************************************
      Propaganda moronizes both the perp and his victim.
      Has a single political leader ever identified himself as a moronizer?
      *
      Genghis Khan openly admitted that
      nothing gave him as much pleasure as killing and raping.
      There is a dormant Genghis Khan in all men of power.
      *
      We speak of political ambition and greed for power;
      not of ambition and greed to serve.
      We live in a world where even the chief executive officers
      of charitable organizations demand and get paid millions.
      *
      The easiest thing in the world: to make mistakes.
      The hardest: to admit them even to oneself.
      It took the popes of Rome several centuries
      to admit they had made a mistake in persecuting Galileo.
      It may take them several more centuries
      to admit they are not infallible.
      *
      Power also means a refusal to see
      that which is clearly visible to others.
      Stalin and Hitler never even considered pleading guilty
      to a single murder.
      *
      No one likes minorities with unsettled scores in their midst.
      Do we have such minorities in Armenia?
      If we don’t, how come?
      If we do, how to we handle them?
      Does anyone know what happened to the Kurds in Karabagh?
      Is anyone interested?
      #

    • #5
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      Sunday, March 13, 2011
      ************************************************** ***
      MEMO TO MY CRITICS
      (IF YOU WILL FORGIVE THE OVERSTATEMENT)
      ************************************************** ****
      If wrong, I can be corrected.
      I don’t pretend to have all the facts
      or to be infallible.
      Neither do I pretend to know everything.
      All my assertions are based
      on theories, guesses, speculations, and assumptions
      that may be exposed as false.
      If you disagree with me, state your reasons.
      However, if you choose to insult me
      anonymously and from a safe distance,
      you run the risk of being identified
      as a cowardly loud-mouth dupe
      who will believe everything he is told
      by individuals who pretend to know better.
      *
      I am willing to concede that
      if I had all the facts and knew everything
      I would probably think otherwise.
      If, on the other hand, you think you are right
      because the majority is on your side,
      may I remind you that majorities
      have been known to be wrong and often are.
      To enjoy majority support is meaningless.
      Stalin in the USSR,
      Hitler in Germany,
      Mao in China,
      Mussolini in Italy,
      Mubarak in Egypt,
      Ben Ali in Tunisia,
      And Gafdhafi for 43 years in Libya
      (to mention only a handful of names)
      had the support of the majority.
      *
      There are still Armenians in America today
      who believe Stalin was good to us.
      There are still skinheads all over the world
      who look up to Hitler as a great statesman.
      I say and repeat: if wrong, I can be corrected.
      By engaging in verbal abuse and name-calling
      you convince no one
      even if you are a boss
      who speaks in the name of an ideology
      (that may well be politically bankrupt);
      even if you are a benefactor
      who speaks in the name of capital
      (before which every Armenian is brought up
      to genuflect and osculate derrieres);
      and even if you are a bishop
      who speaks in the name of God
      Who in His infinite wisdom
      has consistently refused to get involved in our affairs.
      #
      Monday, March 14, 2011
      **************************************************
      REFLECTIONS
      ****************************
      If you think I represent everything
      that is evil in Armenian life
      and you represent everything that is good,
      allow me to share my experience on the subject.
      When I was young
      I too was convinced I was better than others.
      But as I grew older
      I discovered that this type of self-assessment
      became progressively more difficult.
      I now count myself among the lowest of the low.
      *
      If it pleases you to think you are a better man than me,
      be my guest. But allow me to warn you
      that you live in a fool’s paradise
      that is as ephemeral as the illusions of youth,
      as baseless as the propaganda of fascist regimes,
      and as phony as the promises of a politician.
      *
      Do I know better?
      I am not sure.
      But I do know that it makes good sense
      to reject everything that flatters my ego.
      #

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011
      **************************************************
      A ROSE IS A ROSE
      *****************************
      A rose is a rose.
      So is a moron a moron
      and we have our share of them.
      With one difference:
      ours think they are not just smart
      but smarter than anyone else,
      including their fellow Armenians.
      They confuse propaganda with patriotism,
      objective judgment with treason,
      and Ottomanism with Armenianism.
      More Bolshevik than Stalin,
      more Catholic than the Pope,
      more intolerant than the Sultan,
      they rate themselves as true defenders of the faith.
      This may explain why Turks have
      internationally recognized and respected dissidents
      and we have none.
      That may also explain why
      we had better writers under the Sultan
      than we have today under our own bosses,
      bishops, benefactors, and brown-nosers.
      Hence the popular Armenian adage:
      “Mart bidi ch’ellank.”
      Freely translated and paraphrased:
      “We will never amount to anything.”
      #
      Wednesday, March 16, 2011
      ********************************************
      CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE
      *****************************
      Dictatorship means first and foremost
      to live in an environment
      where an ordinary citizen with an average IQ
      is not allowed to use his common sense
      and to call a spade a spade.
      Consider our genocide as a case in point;
      we speak of it as if it were a great tragedy,
      which it certainly was.
      We never refer to it as a wake-up call.
      *
      For 600 years we adopted a passive stance.
      We were brainwashed to believe
      the men at the top knew better.
      On the eve of the great tragedy
      our own men at the top
      (namely, our revolutionaries on the one hand
      and our men within the Ottoman administration
      on the other) failed to reach a consensus.
      Instead of dialogue they engaged in two monologues
      that never crossed.
      *
      Our situation today remains unchanged.
      We have learned nothing.
      We remain divided in the name of tribal loyalties
      and continue to think of consensus
      as if it was an irrelevant concept.
      We have replaced “Red” massacre
      with its “White” variant – namely,
      assimilation in the Diaspora,
      exodus in the Homeland.
      Our fundamental assumptions
      and “truths” – we never had it so good,
      we are in good hands,
      the Russians are our big brothers –
      are Big Lies; and the Bigger of all Lies:
      respect for human rights,
      free speech, and dialogue may be good
      for the corrupt and degenerate West but not for us
      because we are smarter and we know better.
      *
      I am not asking you to believe everything I say.
      All I ask is that you consider the evidence.
      #

    • #6
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      Thursday, March 17, 2011
      ********************************************
      THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS
      ******************************************
      …And this is of great concern to the West
      because where there are Arabs there is oil.
      Where there are Armenians, however,
      there are only rocks and unsettled scores.
      We are less than useless to the West;
      we are a nuisance.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if there are pundits today
      who think Turks should have done
      a more thorough job on us.
      I once met a born-again Armenian in his eighties
      who said as much, adding
      the Genocide had been God’s way of letting us know
      that we don’t deserve to live.
      *
      And speaking of God:
      The side with bigger guns in Libya is winning.
      This may suggest that God doesn’t like to interfere
      in human affairs.
      *
      We say God is great
      in the hope He will be flattered and manipulated
      into supporting our cause.
      *
      The status quo does not represent the will of God.
      The reason Ben Ali and Mubarak fell
      is that no regime is endless.
      The regime in Yerevan will last
      for as long as the regime in Moscow does
      and no more.
      *
      We know and understand a great deal
      except what is unknowable and incomprehensible
      beside which what we know and understand
      might as well be as nothing.
      #
      Friday, March 18, 2011
      ********************************************
      CORRECT ME,
      IF I AM WRONG
      ******************************************
      After every comment I make, I would like to add:
      “Correct me, if I am wrong.”
      *
      In a world where everyone is proud
      to be a Turk, Kurd, Jew, or Armenian
      I prefer to be a humble human being
      if only because humility is a virtue
      and pride leads to arrogance.
      *
      A reader writes:
      “The only thing I know about Armenian history
      is that we were a great nation
      and God was on our side.”
      *
      Insults are verbal massacres.
      To insult a fellow Armenian or
      anyone else for that matter
      is to use words as yataghans.
      *
      Tell me who brainwashed you
      and I will tell you who you are.
      *
      To our superpatriots I say:
      Patriotism and respect for human rights
      are not mutually exclusive concepts.
      Homeland is where a man is allowed to work
      and express his views freely.
      I have nothing but contempt for the kind of patriot
      who treats free speech
      as an invention of the corrupt and degenerate West.
      That’s not patriotism
      but Ottomanism, Sovietism, and fascism.
      #
      Saturday, March 19, 2011
      ********************************************
      QUESTION / ANSWER
      ******************************************
      Criticism is not enemy action;
      dissent is not a capital offense;
      human rights are not inventions of the degenerate West.
      Question: Why is it that I was not taught these truths?
      Answer: Because I had an Armenian education.
      *
      I was not brainwashed.
      I was trained like a parrot.
      *
      Dehumanization comes naturally to a nation
      that has lived under brutal regimes for a thousand years.
      #

    • #7
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      Sunday, March 20, 2011
      *******************************************
      TELL ME SOMETHING
      I DON’T KNOW
      ******************************************
      You don’t like criticism and dissent?
      Get over it.
      Get used to it.
      Get real.
      Even God has His share of critics and dissenters.
      You prefer yes-men?
      May I remind you that all power structures,
      including the most corrupt and criminal,
      rely on yes-men.
      Hitler and Stalin had them.
      So did Genghis Khan and Timur the Lame.
      Massacres and genocides are unthinkable without them.
      And if, like every Tom, Dickhead and Harry,
      you say you prefer those who are with you
      to those who are against you,
      may I ask in what way are you different
      from the rest of mankind?
      Tell me something I don’t know.
      So what else is new?
      What matters is not on whose side we are
      but how we define good and evil.
      When asked to define good and evil,
      an African tribal chieftain
      is quoted by C.G. Jung to have replied:
      “When I steal my enemy’s wives, it’s good.
      When he steals mine, it’s bad!”
      If, on the other hand, you say
      you prefer patriots to traitors,
      consider what happened to German patriots
      when Hitler lost World War II,
      and what will happen to Gadhafi and his henchmen
      after his regime collapses.
      Today’s patriot may be tomorrow’s traitor
      and today’s dissenter may be tomorrow’s hero
      and role model. And if you think
      you are never wrong in your judgment of your fellow men,
      I say, every misguided fool thinks so too.
      #
      Monday, March 21, 2011
      *******************************************
      SELF-DECEPTION
      ******************************************
      “My people love me!”
      declared Gadhafi the other day
      even as he was slaughtering a fraction of them.
      Did he believe in his own lie?
      The more relevant question is:
      Can power and honesty coexist?
      *
      If Gadhafi is a compulsive liar,
      what about popes, imams, and rabbis?
      What could be more absurd than to say,
      all political and religious leaders lie except our own?
      *
      Because truth is beyond men’s reach,
      they will believe in a thousand lies
      even after these lies have been exposed.
      *
      Mine is not a David-and-Goliath confrontation
      but rather that of a horse-fly and a horse – make it,
      a jackass.
      #
      Tuesday, March 22, 2011
      *******************************************
      ON ARMENIAN ANTI-ARMENIANISM
      ******************************************
      All our problems have solutions.
      If we pretend otherwise
      it’s because we have no use for them.
      What we want,
      what we need more than anything else is revenge.
      It’s understandable.
      What motivates a nation
      that has been degraded, abused, and slaughtered
      throughout most of its historic existence
      is not reason but thirst for blood.
      What drives us is not what’s good for us
      but what’s bad for our enemies --
      beginning with Armenians who disagree with us.
      If only because these Armenians,
      unlike our real enemies,
      are within reach, defenseless,
      and in no position to retaliate.
      *
      Armenian anti-Armenianism:
      not exactly an original insight that one.
      Granted.
      Rather, it’s an idea as old as Khorenatsi and Yeghishé
      (historians of the 5th century).
      According to Zarian, a more recent witness:
      “Armenians survive by cannibalizing one another.”
      And in case you ascribe that view
      to an isolated and non-representative intellectual,
      allow me to quote the lyrics of a popular song:
      “One Armenian eats one chicken,
      Two Armenians eat two chickens,
      Three Armenians eat each other.”
      *
      As for our political parties
      whose job it is to solve our problems:
      all they do is legitimize dogmatism, intolerance,
      and ultimately cannibalism.
      After which they voice one of their favorite mantras:
      “What we need is not criticism but solutions.”
      And if you believe that,
      you’ll believe anything!
      #
      Wednesday, March 23, 2011
      *******************************************
      “YOU REPEAT YOURSELF”
      ******************************************
      We all do.
      There is nothing new under the sun.
      Why single me out?
      Am I saying something you don’t want to hear?
      “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
      “Of the gods we know nothing!”
      I wonder why is it that the charge of repetition
      is never leveled against propagandists
      who repeat not ideas – because they have none –
      but slogans, clichés, inanities, and lies.
      What drives them?
      A thirst for justice?
      What about the injustice of violating someone’s free speech?
      *
      Nothing works as planned.
      They must have known this.
      Why else did they have a Plan B only for themselves?
      Their heart was in the right place?
      What about their brain?
      Where was their brain?
      Out to lunch?
      #

    • #8
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      Thursday, March 24, 2011
      *******************************************
      LAMENTATION
      ******************************************
      Let others recycle propaganda.
      I will continue to use my reason and common sense
      because I believe them to be valuable tools
      even when they make me vulnerable
      to charges of treason and betrayal
      by Ottomanized and Sovietized dupes.
      *
      If the scriptures,
      to which we all pretend to believe
      to be the word of God,
      clearly and unequivocally states
      “A house divided against itself cannot stand,”
      I shall have no choice but to call our leaders
      the architects of our own destruction.
      And if you say,
      all rules have exceptions,
      I say, greed for power, incompetence, stupidity, and corruption
      that lead to defeat, massacre, and dispersion
      are consequences not of rules but of aberrations.
      *
      No one is perfect?
      I suggest, that idea does not justify dishonesty.
      As imperfect beings
      we have made our share of mistakes,
      granted.
      Let us therefore begin
      by being honest enough to admit them,
      instead of brainwashing generations of children
      to believe we never had it so good
      because we are in the best of hands.
      *
      Best of hands?
      I have every reason to suspect,
      it’s the worst of hands:
      bishops who fornicate,
      bosses with secret fascist agendas,
      benefactors who harbor royalist ambitions,
      and academics willing and eager to kiss
      any posterior for a regular income.
      Amot!
      #
      Friday, March 25, 2011
      *******************************************
      LAMENTATION / II
      ******************************************
      “We have the leaders we deserve.”
      “We are ungovernable.”
      “Where there are two Armenians
      there will be three opinions.”
      *
      We are all familiar with the story
      of the two shipwrecked Armenians
      on a desert island
      who build three churches.
      When asked by their rescuers
      why a third church, they reply:
      “That’s the one we don’t go to.”
      *
      I am not convinced.
      To blame the people
      is to victimize the victim all over again.
      Solidarity is a function of the leadership
      not of the masses.
      If we remain divided today
      it’s because there are among us deceivers
      willing to place their careers
      above the welfare of the nation.
      To that end
      they fabricate ideological and theological reasons
      (reasons that most Armenians neither know nor understand,
      and if they know and understand, they don’t remember)
      and call their opponents heretics or infidels.
      *
      Mighty empires begin as a collection of tribes.
      It takes a charismatic leader with vision
      to unite them into a single force.
      This is as true of the Athenian Empire
      as it is true of all empires
      from the Roman to the Ottoman.
      *
      Even our monastic orders
      with identical belief systems and aims
      like the Mekhitarists are sooner or later divided
      and consigned to the dustbin of history.
      *
      It was Raffi who once described us
      as a flock without a shepherd.
      It would be more accurate to say
      we are several flocks with as many wolves
      as shepherds – wolves in sheep’s clothing.
      “Mart bidi ch’ellank!”
      #
      Saturday, March 26, 2011
      *************************************
      WRITERS
      ******************************************
      A reader writes:
      “When someone speaks plainly
      I sort of go into shock and
      get somewhat disoriented.”
      If I write plainly it’s because
      I want to be honest, objective, and accessible.
      I have nothing to hide,
      no interests to defend,
      and no prejudices to legitimize.
      Our writers today cater
      to a variety of readers
      with specific demands.
      They treat bishops as men of God
      (therefore untouchable),
      bosses as infallible
      (therefore beyond criticism),
      and benefactors as sacred cows
      (therefore gifts from god).
      As for objectivity and honesty:
      they might as well be skunks
      at a garden party.
      #

    • #9
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      Sunday, March 27, 2011
      ********************************************
      WE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD!
      ************************************
      An article in the travel section
      of our local paper informs me
      that Estonians now have a museum
      dedicated to the atrocities committed
      against the people by the Soviet regime.
      Do we have one?
      If no, when are we going to have one?
      Can we be really “azad” and “ungakh”
      -- free and independent -- as long as
      we are ruled by two sets of former KGB agents
      – theirs and ours?
      #
      Monday, March 28, 2011
      ********************************************
      WE ARE IN GOOD HANDS
      ************************************
      God has given us a brain
      but our educational system teaches us not to use it.
      *
      A system may be foolproof but not crook-proof.
      *
      Our endless controversies and divisions
      have nothing to do with right and wrong,
      or orthodoxies and heresies.
      If they disagree it’s because permanent disagreement
      is to their advantage and the only way they know
      how to defend and protect their powers and privileges.
      As for the people they are meant to serve:
      Let them eat cak(e).
      *
      The Arab revolutions that we are witnessing today
      are organized and carried out by the young.
      An Arab-style revolution in Armenia is unthinkable
      because the regime in Yerevan encourages the young to emigrate,
      and the young have done so by the million.
      The buggers think of everything!
      *
      If an Armenian works for a boss, bishop, or benefactor
      it goes without saying that he will be critical only of Turks.
      Shaw is right: it’s a waste of time
      arguing against a man’s source of income.
      #
      Tuesday, March 29, 2011
      *******************************************
      IN THE NAME OF PATRIOTISM
      ************************************
      Patriotism does not mean love of homeland
      and everything in it,
      including the regime, the secret police
      and its violations of human rights.
      *
      To accept the status quo as an inevitable fact of life
      might as well be synonymous with treason
      if only because it supports the victimizer
      and ignores the victim;
      in the same way that those who deny the Genocide
      do so in support of the victimizer
      at the expense of the victim.
      *
      There is an executioner in every dedicated patriot.
      *
      Unmask an Armenian and come face to face with a Turk.
      *
      It has happened to me more than once
      that I became irrationally angry at the sight of someone
      who reminded me of someone else
      though I could not remember who.
      This may suggest that the gut
      has a longer memory than the brain.
      *
      There is a great deal that is hidden from us.
      *
      We are encouraged not to think for ourselves
      on the ground that our “betters” are paid
      to do our thinking for us.
      The question is:
      Who pays them to think as they do?
      *
      Under authoritarian regimes
      to think is defined as not to think.
      Remember Napoleon’s dictum:
      “A man with an idea is my enemy.”
      *
      I repeat myself, granted.
      But never as often as propagandists
      who not only repeat themselves
      but also brainwash other to do so,
      and all in the name of patriotism.
      *
      Dissent is useful if only because
      it makes us aware of the fact that
      not everyone thinks alike,
      and where everyone thinks alike
      no one thinks.
      *
      Some days I receive so many hostile emails
      that I have no choice but to conclude
      my most faithful readers are my critics.
      #
      Wednesday, March 30, 2011
      *******************************************
      THE REST IS PROPAGANDA
      ************************************
      Like every Armenian dead or alive
      I too have experienced on my own skin
      the inhumanity and contempt that an Armenian has
      for another Armenian.
      No one can convince me that
      we are civilized, intelligent, and compassionate.
      It took history a thousand years to shape our identity
      and it may take another thousand for us
      to be born again as human beings.
      What matters, however, is not our destination
      but the road on which we choose to travel.
      In the meantime it is important that we keep in mind
      some facts about ourselves:
      We are our own worst enemies.
      There is more fiction than fact in our history books.
      The higher an Armenian rises
      the deeper his contempt for his fellow Armenians.
      We are a Christian nation in name only:
      unmask an Armenian and expose the Turk
      or the atheist for whom democracy and human rights
      are alien and degenerate verbiage.
      The rest is propaganda.
      #

    • #10
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      Thursday, March 31, 2011
      *******************************************
      OBSERVATIONS
      ************************************
      The hardest thing in writing
      is the search for the simplest words.
      *
      A lie that flatters
      will be more popular
      than a truth that hurts.
      That’s why propaganda
      is more popular than dissent.
      *
      It took me thirty years to realize
      I had been brainwashed.
      *
      If you don’t think you have been brainwashed,
      you have been.
      #
      Friday, April 01, 2011
      *******************************************
      COWBOYS AND INDIANS
      ************************************
      Today’s champions of human rights,
      Americans were yesterday’s champion violators
      who probably claimed more victims
      than Genghis Khan, Suleiman the Magnificent,
      Talaat, and Stalin combined.
      As for their victims (both Indians and Africans):
      in their endless tribal wars and massacres
      before the white man appeared on the scene,
      they were champion victimizers in their own right.
      *
      History is not written but rewritten and
      it is not white man alone
      who speaks with a forked tongue.
      *
      Speaking of the European conquest of America,
      Toynbee writes:
      “As soon as they had accomplished their murderously romantic historical mission of clearing the North American barbarians out of the way, they themselves were swiftly sucked back into the prosaic Main Street of a pullulating Middletown. The culture of this Middletown had lapsed into a conspicuous vulgarity and barbarism in the realm of Art.”
      *
      When two sets of barbarians clash, the result will not be a new civilization – though historians will be assigned the task of misrepresenting it as such.
      *
      Turks rewrite history?
      Don’t we?
      We do worse:
      We pretend to care about the past to the point of obsession
      in order to avoid thinking and assessing our present and future.
      We have replaced Ottomanism with Turcocentrism.
      What’s the difference?
      Don’t ask me because I don’t know.
      *
      A question that our historians consistently avoid raising:
      What has been our contribution to our own history --
      besides providing victims to victimizers?
      #

    • #11
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      Sunday, April 03, 2011
      *******************************************
      GRAFFITI
      ************************************
      If anyone out there is planning to publish a volume of graffiti,
      I submit the following candidates for his consideration.
      *
      “Stay in school and learn to read and riot.”
      *
      “Aunt Jemima is an Uncle Tom.”
      *
      “No Easter this year – they found the body.”
      *
      “Old soldiers never die -- just young ones.”
      *
      “Hugh Hefner is a virgin.”
      *
      “War is good business – invest your sons.”
      *
      “Be realists, demand the impossible.”
      *
      “Watch out, ears have walls.”
      *
      “Chastity is its own punishment.”
      *
      “Support free enterprise -- legalize prostitution.”
      *
      “Wear contraceptives – the unborn will bless you.”
      *
      “James Baldwin eats watermelon.”
      #
      Monday, April 04, 2011
      *******************************************
      HEROES
      ************************************
      Every nation has its heroes
      who are invariably outnumbered by its cowards,
      and we are no exception.
      *
      Speaking for myself:
      I have at no time identified myself as a hero.
      On the contrary, on more than one occasion
      I have declared myself to be an orthodox coward.
      *
      To those who insult me anonymously
      and from a safe distance, I say:
      Why do you hide your identity?
      Is it shame or cowardice?
      Shame of who you are?
      Fear of retaliation?
      If fear, I assure you, you have nothing to fear.
      I have no interest in harming anyone.
      I am not your enemy.
      Harming you would amount to killing someone
      who is committing suicide.
      I suggest you have more reasons to fear yourself
      because by behaving as you do,
      you expose yourself as a shameless coward.
      *
      Zarian once said,
      “An Armenian’s tongue can be sharper than a Turk’s yataghan.”
      With one difference:
      whereas Turks use the yataghan against their enemies,
      we use it against ourselves.
      As for those who expect me to believe
      those who insult me are motivated by patriotism
      and nothing else, I ask:
      What could be more useless
      than the patriotism of a shameless coward
      who is afraid of his own shadow?
      Why can’t we see this as clearly
      as anyone with an average IQ?
      The obvious answer is:
      Because our average collective IQ
      hovers somewhere between single-digit and negative.
      *
      Finally, allow me to share a professional secret with you.
      The most lethal wound a reader can inflict on a writer
      is not reading him.
      #
      Tuesday, April 05, 2011
      *******************************************
      DIARY
      ************************************
      Saw a classic of French cinema,
      Robert Bresson’s AU HASARD BALTHAZAR.
      Most of the characters in it are nasty, even sadistic,
      the acting is wooden,
      the script clumsily put together,
      the camera-work average.
      What makes the film memorable are the central character
      (a donkey, that after being repeatedly abused
      is hit by a stray bullet and bleeds to death in the middle of nowhere)
      and the music (Schubert).
      *
      I see so many parallels between Balthazar’s life
      and our history – with one significant difference:
      Balthazar is an adorable, saintly creature…
      Which may suggest that survival comes at a price,
      and it is not always the best that survive.
      *
      A system that develops a bureaucracy
      is a system on its way to the devil.
      That’s because in all bureaucracies
      it is the ruthless and the cunning – that is to say,
      the scum – that rises to the top.
      *
      The aim of comedy is to make us forget that
      life is a tragedy.
      *
      “I love to read but I don’t have the time.”
      The words of a self-satisfied imbecile
      infatuated with his own ignorance.
      *
      Old age replaces desire with guilt.
      #
      Wednesday, April 06, 2011
      *******************************************
      WRITERS AND EDITORS
      ************************************
      When asked why he no longer publishes me,
      one of our partisan editors is quoted as having said:
      “Because he writes garbage.”
      *
      I write about life as I have experienced it.
      I write about my fellow men as I have known them.
      To do otherwise –
      to speak of my feelings and thoughts
      based on what others have seen, experienced, and understood,
      would be derivative and, in my view,
      inadmissible because based on hearsay.
      *
      It is different with editors.
      All editors have an editorial policy
      set by the publisher or
      whoever happens to be in authority.
      If our bosses, bishops, and benefactors are unanimous
      in thinking I write garbage,
      an editor has no choice but to echo their views.
      There are dissenting writers.
      There are not and cannot be dissenting editors.
      *
      Nations that have won or lost wars
      think victory and defeat have taught them valuable lessons.
      In reality all they have learned
      is either arrogance or subservience:
      arrogance towards the defenseless,
      subservience towards authority figures.
      *
      Am I saying anything you don’t already know?
      I doubt it.
      #

    • #12
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      Thursday, April 07, 2011
      *******************************************
      FRIENDS
      ************************************
      The tribal Muslims of the Middle East and North Africa
      are ahead of us.
      They have finally discovered that
      their greatest enemies are neither Jews nor Americans
      but their own corrupt, incompetent, and authoritarian leaders
      who portray themselves as father figures and role models.
      *
      For daring to say as much a few years ago,
      I lost several close friends from the Middle East.
      This may suggest that even well-educated Armenians
      are predisposed to believe recycled enemy propaganda
      and reject the judgment of a brother.
      *
      I call Muslims our enemies
      if only because after a thousand years of coexistence
      they have contributed nothing but misery
      to our collective existence
      and blind subservience to authority
      to our character as a nation.
      #
      Friday, April 08, 2011
      *******************************************
      WHY DO YOU WRITE?
      ************************************
      When asked that question,
      I make it short and harmless by saying
      writing has become a habit
      and habits are easier to keep than to give up.
      *
      Why do I write?
      I write because as a teenager
      I fell in love with the 19tn-century Russians.
      I write because I like to share
      my understanding of reality.
      I write to expose deceivers.
      To achieve immortality?
      Why should I care what happens to me
      after I am dead and buried?
      *
      Why do I write?
      There may be many other reasons.
      There is always a difference between what we say
      and what we really think.
      I write because I cannot do anything else.
      I write because I have done many others things
      and I have failed in all of them.
      I write because I hate to work for money.
      #
      Saturday, April 09, 2011
      *******************************************
      THE UGLY ARMENIAN
      ************************************
      We have many problems which we will never solve
      if we don’t teach ourselves to separate fact from fiction.
      Like the rest of mankind
      we are not as lovable as we think we are.
      Saroyan’s “stylized” Armenians (his own qualifier)
      may be cute and lovable
      but according to the published memoirs of his wife and son,
      Saroyan himself was far from lovable.
      To the Russians we are known as “cowards.”
      To the Greeks as “Turkish gypsies.”
      To the French as “filthy.”
      To the Italians as smarter than Jews – meaning,
      worse than Jews and thus to be avoided in the marketplace.
      To the Americans, as Middle-East variants of their native Indians.
      *
      The truth is, as poor and homeless displaced people
      we were welcome nowhere, including our own homeland.
      Armenian survivors of World War II who repatriated
      were not only called “aghber”
      but also treated like garbage.
      Not that our Sovietized brothers and sisters
      treated one another more humanely.
      If they had, several generations of our ablest men
      would have survived successive waves of Stalinist purges.
      *
      When I am expected to believe
      Arabs of the Middle East welcomed survivors
      of the Genocide with open arms,
      forgive me if I find that hard to believe.
      We are told many Armenian orphans were adopted
      and treated kindly by their new parents.
      What we are not told
      how many of them were abused and raped.
      We are told 97% of the population in Armenia is Armenian.
      What we are not told
      Why is it that minorities are practically non-existent there?
      Is it because we are intolerant, unfriendly, clannish,
      tribal, and hostile to all outsiders?
      I will let you answer that question.
      And if you think I write as I do
      because I am driven by self-hatred,
      please don’t tell me you are one of those
      narcissistic Armenians who have been brainwashed to believe
      since we are beyond criticism we can do no wrong.
      #

    • #13
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      Sunday, April 10, 2011
      *******************************************
      HOW TO JUDGE
      A POLITICAL LEADER
      ***********************************************
      In John Buchan’s GREENMANTLE (1916)
      the Young Turks are described as
      “a collection of Jews and gypsies.”
      True or false?
      I don’t know and I don’t care.
      What matters here is not their family tree
      but the fact that some of our greatest intellectual
      and political leaders trusted them.
      *
      It is not my intention to convince anyone
      to think as I do, but only to show that
      (one) recycling enemy propaganda
      is not the only way to think, and
      (two) just because someone speaks in the name of
      patriotism, nationalism or some other noble cause,
      it doesn’t necessarily follow he is right.
      *
      All enemies of democracy
      speak in the name of an ideology.
      No fascist has ever declared himself
      to be anti-nationalist or anti-patriotic.
      On the contrary,
      *
      some of the most celebrated proponents of patriotism
      have been foreign intruders and outsiders.
      Napoleon was not a Frenchman,
      Stalin was not a Russian,
      Hitler was not a German,
      and one of our greatest symbols
      of patriotism and heroism,
      Vartan Mamigonian,
      was not an Armenian.
      *
      Moral of the story:
      what matters about a political leader
      is not his dedication to a noble cause
      but his respect for human rights, free speech, and democracy.
      The rest is enemy propaganda.
      #
      Monday, April 11, 2011
      *******************************************
      IN AN UNDEMOCRATIC ENVIRONMENT
      THE SCUM RISES TO THE TOP
      ***********************************************
      “If you speak
      you are kesh.
      If you don’t speak
      you are esh.”
      *
      I came across this charming haiku
      in an Armenian website the other day.
      I have been called both kesh and esh by readers
      Who have somehow managed to convince themselves
      they are better and wiser.
      *
      With age comes wisdom,
      except when your aim is power,
      in which case with age
      comes more greed, prejudice,
      ignorance, and intolerance.
      *
      We tend to look up to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors
      on the grounds that they have more money and power.
      In this context we consistently avoid asking the question,
      What have these gentlemen done for us so far
      except to divide, deceive, and lead us
      to massacre, exile, and subservience?
      *
      Now then, I ask you ladies and gentlemen
      (if you will forgive the overstatements)
      what have our dissidents done
      except trying to enhance our solidarity
      and share their understanding with us.
      Why should solidarity, tolerance, and understanding
      be treated as failings or vices
      and divisiveness, dogmatism, and intolerance
      as desirable patriotic duties and virtues?
      *
      What makes you think your bishop
      knows better than someone else’s pope, imam, or rabbi?
      *
      God is with us?
      That was one of Hitler’s favorite slogans too.
      Why is it that where God enters
      intolerance follows, and with intolerance,
      heresies, persecution, and death? –
      the death of the spirit if not the body.
      *
      The scum rises to the top
      even in democratic environments.
      That’s because, as Plato explains somewhere:
      honest men will use only honest means
      to achieve their goals,
      unlike crooks
      who will use both honest and dishonest means.
      #
      Tuesday, April 12, 2011
      *******************************************
      SYSTEMS
      ***********************************************
      We are brought up to think
      all belief systems are wrong except our own.
      All politicians are crooks except our own.
      All historians lie except our own.
      Terrorists?
      We never had them.
      Ours were freedom fighters.
      All our wars were defensive wars.
      All our defeats were moral victories.
      This may suggest that
      the aim of propaganda is not to inform
      but to brainwash,
      and the aim of educational systems
      is not to educate but to moronize.
      #
      Wednesday, April 13, 2011
      *******************************************
      MEMORIES AND REFLECTIONS
      ***********************************************
      As a child I thought of war, starvation, and homelessness
      (all of which I experienced)
      as inevitable facts of life.
      I was brought up to believe in God
      who in His infinite wisdom had a plan for me.
      What exactly had been His plan
      for those who did not survive?
      That was a question I did not ask.
      In my infantile eyes Almighty God made the decisions
      and men had no choice but to say “Thank you, Lord!”
      *
      When as a teenager I met an adult
      who spoke as I write today,
      my initial impression was that he must be nuts.
      How dare he question God’s wisdom?
      I know now that what he was questioning
      was not God’s wisdom or even His existence
      but the judgment of those who speak in His name –
      popes, imams, and rabbis
      who in another era would condemn one another to death
      as frauds, heretics, and blasphemers.
      #

    • #14
      Registered User
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Location
      canada
      Posts
      556
      Thursday, April 14, 2011
      *******************************************
      FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
      ***********************************************
      If we define friends as those who agree with us,
      and enemies as those who disagree,
      we shall have to conclude that
      some of our best friends are Turks,
      and some of our worst enemies are Armenians.
      *
      Our greatest enemy is not the Turk
      but free speech.
      *
      Where free speech is the enemy
      there will always be men at the top
      who pretend to know better.
      They may not be historians, economists, or philosophers,
      but they will pretend their understanding
      of history, economy, and philosophy to be superior
      to anyone else’s, and there will always be others
      willing to agree with them.
      *
      Even mighty empires are afraid of words.
      *
      Tyrants rule by inspiring fear in others
      but they are themselves afraid of words.
      *
      In undemocratic environments
      men are ruled by cowardly fools.
      #
      Friday, April 15, 2011
      *******************************************
      THREE QUESTIONS,
      THREE ANSWERS,
      & TWO MORALS
      ***********************************************
      If the Americans refuse to recognize the reality of our genocide,
      what are our chances of some day convincing the Turks to do so?
      My guess is:
      1 in 1,5 million.
      *
      If Americans who like to identify themselves
      as champions of democracy, free speech and human rights
      are afraid to use the “g” word,
      what are our chances that some day
      in the near or distant future
      the Turks will include that word
      in their dictionaries, encyclopedias, and textbooks?
      This time I will let you do the guessing.
      *
      Third question:
      What do Americans stand to lose in this context?
      A friend in the Middle East?
      What about Turks themselves?
      What do they stand to lose?
      The obvious answer is:
      billions in reparations (money they don’t have)
      and an important fraction of their real estate
      which they stole from us 600 years ago
      as, more recently,
      Yanks stole America from the Indians,
      “fair and square.”
      *
      At the turn of the last century,
      our revolutionaries promised freedom and historic Armenia
      but delivered death and pestilence.
      *
      Moral I:
      If you make a promise you can’t deliver
      your credibility is bound to sink lower
      than a snake’s belly full of buckshot.
      *
      Moral II:
      You fooled me once, shame on you.
      You fooled me twice, shame on me.
      *
      You find what I say depressing?
      Don’t blame me.
      Blame reality.
      I deal in facts, not fiction.
      If you prefer fiction,
      read romances with happy endings.
      #
      Saturday, April 16, 2011
      *******************************************
      IS GOD A FASCIST?
      ***********************************************
      Who hates writers?
      Fascists.
      Where fascists enter
      writers are silenced.
      If you don’t believe me
      it may be because you suffer from amnesia.
      I suggest you refresh your memory
      by reading a book on fascism
      or a history of our literature.
      *
      In both the Ottoman Empire under Talaat
      and the USSR under Stalin
      our writers were the first victims.
      And if you say,
      “So you dare to think of yourself as a writer?”
      I will reply:
      “I don’t speak as a writer.
      I speak as a witness
      who refuses to be a dupe
      and to recycle the propaganda
      of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors
      who speak in the name of God and capital
      (make it, Capital and god);
      and I speak as I do
      because I refuse to believe God is a fascist.
      Fascists are afraid of free speech
      because they want everyone to believe
      they are infallible and
      they hate to be exposed as frauds.
      God, by contrast, is afraid of nothing.
      This may suggest that God,
      unlike the god of popes, imams, and rabbis,
      is neither a fascist nor a fraud,
      and because I say so
      it doesn’t necessarily follow
      that I am in league with the Devil.
      #

    • #15
      Registered User
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Location
      canada
      Posts
      556
      Thursday, April 14, 2011
      *******************************************
      FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
      ***********************************************
      If we define friends as those who agree with us,
      and enemies as those who disagree,
      we shall have to conclude that
      some of our best friends are Turks,
      and some of our worst enemies are Armenians.
      *
      Our greatest enemy is not the Turk
      but free speech.
      *
      Where free speech is the enemy
      there will always be men at the top
      who pretend to know better.
      They may not be historians, economists, or philosophers,
      but they will pretend their understanding
      of history, economy, and philosophy to be superior
      to anyone else’s, and there will always be others
      willing to agree with them.
      *
      Even mighty empires are afraid of words.
      *
      Tyrants rule by inspiring fear in others
      but they are themselves afraid of words.
      *
      In undemocratic environments
      men are ruled by cowardly fools.
      #
      Friday, April 15, 2011
      *******************************************
      THREE QUESTIONS,
      THREE ANSWERS,
      & TWO MORALS
      ***********************************************
      If the Americans refuse to recognize the reality of our genocide,
      what are our chances of some day convincing the Turks to do so?
      My guess is:
      1 in 1,5 million.
      *
      If Americans who like to identify themselves
      as champions of democracy, free speech and human rights
      are afraid to use the “g” word,
      what are our chances that some day
      in the near or distant future
      the Turks will include that word
      in their dictionaries, encyclopedias, and textbooks?
      This time I will let you do the guessing.
      *
      Third question:
      What do Americans stand to lose in this context?
      A friend in the Middle East?
      What about Turks themselves?
      What do they stand to lose?
      The obvious answer is:
      billions in reparations (money they don’t have)
      and an important fraction of their real estate
      which they stole from us 600 years ago
      as, more recently,
      Yanks stole America from the Indians,
      “fair and square.”
      *
      At the turn of the last century,
      our revolutionaries promised freedom and historic Armenia
      but delivered death and pestilence.
      *
      Moral I:
      If you make a promise you can’t deliver
      your credibility is bound to sink lower
      than a snake’s belly full of buckshot.
      *
      Moral II:
      You fooled me once, shame on you.
      You fooled me twice, shame on me.
      *
      You find what I say depressing?
      Don’t blame me.
      Blame reality.
      I deal in facts, not fiction.
      If you prefer fiction,
      read romances with happy endings.
      #
      Saturday, April 16, 2011
      *******************************************
      IS GOD A FASCIST?
      ***********************************************
      Who hates writers?
      Fascists.
      Where fascists enter
      writers are silenced.
      If you don’t believe me
      it may be because you suffer from amnesia.
      I suggest you refresh your memory
      by reading a book on fascism
      or a history of our literature.
      *
      In both the Ottoman Empire under Talaat
      and the USSR under Stalin
      our writers were the first victims.
      And if you say,
      “So you dare to think of yourself as a writer?”
      I will reply:
      “I don’t speak as a writer.
      I speak as a witness
      who refuses to be a dupe
      and to recycle the propaganda
      of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors
      who speak in the name of God and capital
      (make it, Capital and god);
      and I speak as I do
      because I refuse to believe God is a fascist.
      Fascists are afraid of free speech
      because they want everyone to believe
      they are infallible and
      they hate to be exposed as frauds.
      God, by contrast, is afraid of nothing.
      This may suggest that God,
      unlike the god of popes, imams, and rabbis,
      is neither a fascist nor a fraud,
      and because I say so
      it doesn’t necessarily follow
      that I am in league with the Devil.
      #

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