Men in a position of power need flattery
as much as a starving man needs bread.
Their intolerance and hatred of dissent
is rooted in vanity and not
in some kind of ideological opposition.
They don’t give a damn about ideas and ideologies
which they consider a waste of time.
To them intellectuals are no better than children
and ideas their invisible toys or
verbal hallucinations or ghosts
and they don’t believe in ghosts.
Words are good only when they glorify
and flatter their egos.
In their own eyes power is a blessing from God.
It follows, whatever they do
bears God’s seal of approval.
Hence degenerate rulers
and moronic multimillionaires
operating on the assumption
they are the uncrowned kings of the community.
History is clear on this point.
Power drives men mad.
Power is not a blessing but a curse.
At the turn of the last century
in the Ottoman Empire the sultan
had a thousand concubines
and as many versifiers,
among them Armenians,
singing his praises.
Talaat was more enlightened.
He counted among his friends
several intellectuals
among them our own Zohrab.
But as soon as he acquired power
he had Zohrab assassinated.
Napoleon put it best when he said
“A man with an idea is my enemy.”
Turcocentrism may also be defined
as an ideology that says
we are not the architects of our destiny.
It follows, the only logical explanation
of our misfortunes is: “Shit happens.”
Consider earthquakes as a case in point.
What we are not told is that
according to experts
“Earthquakes don’t kill people; buildings do.”
Nothing comes more naturally
to a compulsive and habitual liar than
to cover up and to lie.
The priority of all businessmen is profit.
The more profit the better.
Likewise, the priority of all politicians
regardless of race, color and creed is power –
the more power the merrier,
even if it means the destruction of the nation.
Our dealers in chauvinist crapola
expect us to believe
what applies to all politicians
does not apply to our own
who rule and divide by the grace of God.
To me, the ultimate odar (foreigner)
is the Ottomanized and Sovietized Armenian.
We have survived – no one denies that –
but survived as what?
Armenians who classify themselves as the best,
sooner or later expose themselves as the worst.
“We are a people like any other people.”
“Don’t flatter yourself.”
“We are a people like any other people.”
“Don’t flatter yourself.
Even our greatest intellectuals and poets,
like Zohrab and Charents, were dupes
of enemy propaganda.”
“What would you have done in their place?”
“Probably what they did and having done so
I would deserve universal ridicule and contempt.”
I will never forget the angry letter
one of our elder statesmen sent me
after reading one of my anti-Soviet tirades:
“Saroyan loves the regime.
You think you are smarter than Saroyan?”
You say I simplify complexities?
What does propaganda do?
What is propaganda if not the mother tongue
of self-satisfied idiots and their dupes?
“You repeat yourself.”
“Not as often as our propagandists.”