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  1. #106
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    Thursday, March 01, 2012
    No matter how you slice it,
    you will always end up with the 1%
    engaged in deceiving, misleading, and exploiting the 99%.
    Take away the mumbo jumbo and
    a so-called great or charismatic leader
    will be exposed as an ordinary Joe like you and me
    who is trying to do his best
    and ends up doing the worst.
    By mumbo jumbo I mean what goes on today in the United States – primaries: speeches, debates, TV ads, interviews…
    So what is the solution?
    There is none!
    I like this sentence by Toynbee:
    “Comprehension sometimes consists in just a correct understanding of questions that are unanswerable.”
    Only to the brainwashed everything is as clear as daylight.
    Friday, March 02, 2012
    Our most fundamental assumptions may be invisible to us but they are clearly visible to others.
    We are not all white, neither are our enemies all black. We are not even shades of gray. We are brown…
    As I see it, the main function of our pundits, academics and ghazetajis is to convince the 99% that we owe our survival to our 1%. This may suggest the only contribution of our 99% to our history has been to provide victims.
    If I succeed it will be only because I have added my inaudible whisper to the chorus of countless predecessors.
    We are better at burying than resurrecting.
    Berlusconi: “Am I faithful? Frequently.”
    Saturday, March 03, 2012
    Our Turcocentric ghazetajis love honest Turks like Orhan Pamuk and Taner Akcam but hate honest Armenians. In their eyes Turkish political leaders are the scum of the earth and their Armenian counterparts la crème de la crème.
    In the eyes of their own people Genghis Khan, Timurlang, and Kemal are great men.
    You want to know more about our own General Antranik?
    Ask an Azeri or read an Azeri historian. You may not get the truth but you may have a more balanced view.
    In the eyes of some Georgians (also Armenians and Russians) Stalin was a great leader.
    Propaganda is a bad judge of character.
    A hero is never a hero in the eyes of his victims.
    In the eyes of some great men other great men are midgets. (See Churchill on Gandhi.)
    Greatness, very much like success in Hollywood, is relative: the closer the relative, the greater the success.

  2. #107
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    Sunday, March 04, 2012
    If world history has been shaped by conventional wisdom, give me insanity so that I may keep my sanity.
    Like Brando’s
    “I could have been a contender,” sometimes I cannot help thinking, I could have been a plumber with a regular income, a family, children, grandchildren, a circle of beer-guzzling pals…But perhaps on some other level am I not a plumber? -- and more precisely like the American plumber who had the following motto printed on his business card: “Your shit is my bread and butter.”
    Which reminds me of the dissident who, when asked to identify himself, replied: “I am a shit-disturber.”
    We live in an environment where dealing in crap is more profitable than exposing it.
    Mirabeau on Talleyrand: “He would sell his soul for money, and he would-be right, for he would be exchanging dung for gold.” It is to be noted that Mirabeau was beheaded in his early forties, and Talleyrand died in bed in his eighties.
    For more on this subject see A FIRST-RATE MADNESS: UNCOVERING THE LINKS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MENTAL ILLNESS by Nassir Ghaemi (New York, 2011), where we are told that mental illness may indeed be a necessary ingredient in all great leadership.
    There may be some truth in that.
    But I suspect there may be even more truth in the assertion that what drives great leaders insane is power.
    Monday, March 05, 2012
    One of the worst mistakes a woman can make, Dorothy Parker tells us, is to fall in love. That’s because by falling in love she places all her eggs in a single bastard.
    Throughout our history we too have placed all our eggs in single bastards: if it’s not the Sultan, it’s the commissar; and if it’s not the commissar, it’s our own bosses, bishops, and benefactors.
    Scientists around the world, we are told, discover and name new species all the time. I wonder if they will ever discover the new Armenian that Zarian spoke about: the Armenian who neither curses nor laments his fate; neither begs nor protests; neither boasts of his past achievements nor his present celebrities.
    The new Armenian knows what must be done and does it. He knows that so far he has been on the wrong path. He understands that his so-called virtues are extensions of weakness, cowardice, and greed; and his vices results of ignorance and stupidity.
    Because I dare to say these things am I your enemy?
    Only if you think with the old brain.
    Did I say brain?
    Please forgive the overstatment.
    Tuesday, March 06, 2012
    It is not my wisdom that I try to share but my outrage.
    Catholics have their child-molesting priests;
    Russians their plutocrats and former KGB agents;
    the Yanks their 1%; and you think we never had it so good
    because we are in the best of hands?
    Trying to reason with an Armenian who has made up his mind (if you will forgive the overstatement) is akin to mating with a shark.
    Every line of work has its recurring experiences. With lawyers it’s the career criminal who wants to plead not guilty; with Armenian writers it’s cyberbullies pretending to speak in the name of God and Country.
    We don’t have a silent majority. What we have is a brainwashed majority capable of processing only platitudes delivered by baloney artists.
    Once upon a time there was a man called Financial Success and he had a twin brother called Moral Bankruptcy.
    Wednesday, March 07, 2012
    We are most catastrophically wrong
    when we think we are absolutely right.
    History provides us with so many examples
    of this most common of all aberrations:
    Paris falling in love and abducting Helen.
    The Athenian jury condemning Socrates to death
    on the assumption that they were getting rid of a nuisance.
    The pope persecuting, torturing, and even killing anyone who dared to question his infallibility.
    Napoleon attacking Russia.
    Hitler declaring war on two fronts.
    Stalin purging his ablest men thus planting the seeds of his empire’s disintegration.
    The United States adopting the domino theory in Vietnam;
    and before that, the South declaring war on the North
    in defense of its right to enslave fellow human beings.
    And now, closer to home:
    notwithstanding the Biblical injunction, adopting the absurd notion that a house divided against itself has a better chance to stand;
    our revolution at the turn of the last century in the Ottoman Empire which has been compared to a mouse trying to rape an elephant; and last but far from least, cyberbullies attacking dissidents who support free speech and democratic reforms in both the Homeland and the Diaspora, and doing so in the name of patriotism.

  3. #108
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    Thursday, March 08, 2012
    Just because some readers agree with what I say
    that doesn’t make me infallible.
    The opposite is also true:
    just because some say I am not just wrong but dangerous, bad, and hostile to the nation, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in a position to deliver a final verdict.
    There are also some readers who are eager to inform me that
    when I say Armenians are bad,
    I do nothing but project my own failing onto them.
    These readers must be mind readers because
    that’s exactly what I do.
    Like most Armenians I too believed what I was told
    by my schoolteachers, parish priests, and scout masters.
    I was born and raised in an Armenian ghetto,
    I had an Armenian education and went to church regularly.
    I even served mass.
    Very probably I have kissed more hands and asses
    than most Armenians.
    Even as an adult I wrote newspaper commentaries and books
    in which I did nothing but recycle chauvinist crapola.
    And now from the specific to the general:
    the only way to explain and justify the majority of Russians
    under Stalin, Germans under Hitler, Italians under Mussolini,
    Turks under Talaat and Kemal (and I could go on…)
    is to say that they suffered from infantilism.
    They never learned to think for themselves;
    they trusted their superiors implicitly
    and they repeated slogans and clichés
    with the consciousness of retarded parrots.
    My message to my critics is therefore very brief and to the point:
    “Grow up!”
    Friday, March 09, 2012
    A good friend of mine has coined a word for self-satisfied dupes
    who take themselves seriously: he calls them “inknahivans.”
    Not being as inventive, I call them inbred morons.
    More accessible. More blunt. My style.
    Churchill’s contempt for Gandhi
    and Nabokov’s contempt for Sartre (also of Freud and Mann)
    have the same root:
    the contempt of the aristocracy
    for the bourgeoisie.
    The blind leading the blind
    and the incompetent leading the ignorant:
    there you have it: an explanation of so many of our catastrophes.
    Our history might as well be variations on this theme.
    As for solution: I doubt if there is a single Armenian today
    who does not know what our problems and their solutions are.
    Even a child knows where divisions are the problems,
    solidarity is the solution.
    Where worship of money is the problem,
    respect for ideas is the solution.
    Where censorship is the rule,
    free speech is the solution.
    Saturday, March 10, 2012
    “You have a low opinion of your fellow Armenians.”
    Not all of them. I speak only of Armenians I have known and dealt with.
    “You are an atheist.”
    It is not the existence of God that I reject but the things that are done in His name.
    “You have been writing for thirty years now. What have you changed?”
    Nothing. But I do not consider that my fault. Communities, societies, nations, even empires, civilizations, and cultures can fail as surely as individuals.
    “How can you judge Armenians without setting foot on Armenian soil?”
    The soil has never been my target.
    “You have pro-Turkish sympathies.”
    I respect all honest men regardless of nationality – and that includes Turks as well as Armenians.”
    “You speak of Armenian affairs but you refuse to get involved in them.”
    We have more than our share of “mi kich pogh” Panchoonies. As for speechifiers and sermonizers: If I were to speak my mind as opposed to recycling the usual crap, I would be tarred, feathered, and driven out on a jackass by the Jack S. Avanakians in the audience.
    “You are not a historian. Your knowledge of Armenian history is sketchy. And yet you deliver judgments on the subject.”
    You don’t have to know everything about anything in order to form an opinion. My knowledge of Russian, German, and Italian history is sketchy too but I know that Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini were on the wrong track. I know about human rights and free speech – concepts alien to our ruling classes. I know that democracy is better than fascism, authoritarianism, and paternalism – the fallacy that says those in power know better because they are wiser. If anything the opposite is true. Power has at no time improved anyone’s character or enhanced his wisdom; and anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

  4. #109
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    Sunday, March 11, 2012
    Our genocide is an expression not only of Turkish criminality but also our arrogance and incompetence; and when we emphasize the first and cover up the second, we fool no one but ourselves. We thus become our own deceivers and dupes.
    If we assume the existence of other dimensions beside our own, we must also admit the possibility that in at least one of them all our contradictions, including that of good and evil, or God and the Devil, will be resolved or reconciled.
    The woman you fall in love with and the woman you marry are two different beings even when they are one and the same. Hence the Greek myth of the lovely bride who on the wedding night reveals herself to be a tangled knot of hissing serpents. Something similar could be said of ideologies and belief systems: they look lovely until put into practice. Hence the saying “When dreams come true they turn into nightmares.”
    If we are survivors, what would you call cockroaches – an endangered species? Am I comparing Armenians to cockroaches? No, of course not! I have never heard a cockroach brag.
    Monday, March 12, 2012
    Some readers disagree with me simply because
    they hate to be reminded that two plus two makes four.
    My taste buds have been so thoroughly corrupted by cheap booze that if some day I am offered a glass carbonated urine and told it’s champagne from the Napoleonic era
    I will pretend to enjoy every drop of it.
    That’s exactly the situation with the average Armenian
    and propaganda. He has been exposed to so many big lies that he believes propaganda to be a harmless version of reality and our leaders have our own best interests at heart.
    There is addiction to big lies as surely there is addiction to nicotine, alcohol, painkillers, and heroin. What rotgut does to your taste buds, propaganda does to your brain cells.
    Tuesday, March 13, 2012
    “A man with an idea is my enemy,” Napoleon is quoted as having said.
    Hitler and Stalin took ideas seriously too.
    So much so that they murdered anyone whose ideas they didn’t like.
    Which is why a smart Armenian is one who pretends to have none.
    A smart Armenian equates life with propaganda and ideas with death.
    The ideas of our Turcocentric ghazetajis may be summed up with three words: Turks, Turks, and Turks.
    Our so-called patriotism and nationalism never rise above tribalism.
    If you want to understand the soul of a nation, read its writers.
    If you want to know the way people deceive themselves, read a collection of political speeches.
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012
    You think I am too critical of my fellow Armenians and I think no one can be critical enough.
    If you love for the wrong reasons you will hate for the right ones.
    I was brought up to love my fellow Armenians. No one ever warned me to stay away from them – as Michael (THE GREEN HAT) Arlen did his son (PASSAGE TO ARARAT).
    So what if I will never be a popular writer? Armenians don’t need popular writers; they already have Arlen and Saroyan – that should be more than enough for the rest of their historic existence.
    When will we grow up as a nation? On the day we discuss our problems without mentioning Turks.
    If Socrates married a shrew, who among us will dare to say he will not make the same mistake?
    I was educated by monks and I have no illusions about them. And yet, I lead a monastic existence. Figure that one out if you can.

  5. #110
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    Thursday, March 15, 2012
    Mitt Romney: I keep thinking of him as the offspring
    of Bugs Bunny and a Tasmanian she-devil.

    The only reason some Republicans pretend to love him
    is that they hate Obama even more;
    and they have so many reasons to hate him:
    he is a Democrat, black,
    and engages in class warfare.
    What class warfare?
    Instead of calling it class warfare
    they should call it the triumph of greed.
    In war people die.
    As far as I know no one among the 1%
    has shed a single drop of blood.
    We have a saying: “Kogh sirde togh.”
    Freely translated: “Larceny, paranoia.”
    Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gadhaffy: they were not just bad leaders but also and above all physically repulsive hyenas.
    In their choice of leaders Muslims appear to be
    deaf, dumb, and stupid.
    And I wonder, Are we any better?
    Dzour nesdink shidag khossink.
    Friday, March 16, 2012
    Once a fascist, always a fascist.
    Other nations – including Georgia to the north – had their fascist phase and are now democracies even when it meant going to war against Russia.
    Not us.
    That’s because we have been brainwashed to believe
    we are too smart to be brainwashed.
    Even after the Hamidian massacres,
    an intellectual giant like Zohrab stubbornly remained steadfast in his subservience and faith in the Turkish ruling classes.
    Even when on the eve of the Genocide he changed his mind
    and warned his fellow Armenians of the coming catastrophe,
    they said “Zohrab effendi is exaggerating.”
    They trusted Turks more than their fellow Armenian
    even when he happened to be a highly respected intellectual, lawyer, and diplomat of Zohrab’s stature.
    Too smart to be brainwashed?
    Rather, too blind to read the writing on the wall.
    To those who say, “What do you expect us to do? Go to war against Russia?” No, nothing of the kind.
    But what we can do is at least try to convince the Kremlin
    that as a democracy we can be much more useful to them. Compared to Stalin, Putin is a faceless bureaucratic nonentity.
    His fall is inevitable.
    Russia will democratize.
    But I have every reason to suspect
    even after Russia democratizes,
    Armenia will remain fascist with the full support
    of our even more anti-democratic institutions in the Diaspora. Once a fascist, always a fascist.
    Saturday, March 17, 2012
    If we define tyranny or fascism as the rule of the 1%,
    we shall have to conclude that American democracy is a farce;
    it is in fact a pseudo-democracy.
    But American democracy does not interest me as much as Armenian democracy, which might as well be an oxymoron – with the emphasis on the last two syllables: a democracy by morons for morons. And now go right ahead and call Armenians smart.
    There are some truths that are self-evident,
    such as, “I think therefore I am not” – though the opposite
    (“I don’t think therefore I am not”) is far from true.
    There are other so-called truths
    that owe their existence to propaganda --
    that is to say the approval by a power structure,
    repetition, and general consent.
    Some of the worst and most dangerous lies are “truths” of this kind – “truths” of organized religions, for instance,
    or “truths” legitimized by non-representative or anti-democratic power structures, such as: the authority of a king, sultan, or pope bears God’s seal of approval.
    Again and again history has exposed this type of truth to be a Big Lie, and yet, people, the masses, the majority of mankind continue not only to believe in them but are also willing
    to kill and die in their defense.
    And now, from metaphysics to physics,
    or as Marxists used to say,
    “Let us rise from the general to the specific.”
    My question to you, gentle reader, is:
    Are you or have you ever been a dupe
    who believes this type of Big Lie to be
    the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth?
    No need for an answer now.
    Just reflect on it in your spare time even if it means once a year or once in your lifetime."

  6. #111
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    Sunday, March 18, 2012
    First, they lead us to massacre
    after which they have trouble convincing the world
    that the massacre took place and is not
    a figment of our collective imagination;
    after which they violate the human right of anyone
    who dares to say anything remotely critical about them;
    after which they expect us to believe
    we never had it so good
    because we are in the best of hands;
    after which they enjoy the support of the community –
    or at least a fraction of it.
    When our “aghber”s in the Homeland call us aghber,
    they expect us to believe they,
    and by extension their own leadership,
    subscribe to a superior brand of Armenianism
    and butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths
    or anywhere else for that matter.
    If any one of our writers had survived
    Talaat’s and Stalin’s bloodbath,
    what would he have said about this gigantic hoax
    perpetrated against the nation?
    No need to use our imagination.
    We already have the testimony of a witness for the prosecution –
    an intellectual giant and a man of unimpeachable integrity:
    Gostan Zarian – and I quote:
    “Our political parties have been of no political use to us.
    Their greatest enemy is free speech.”
    Monday, March 19, 2012
    The very same individuals who so far have succeeded only
    in dividing the community now say
    “Armenians are ungovernable.”
    If you can blame others, why assume responsibility?
    That’s the Armenian way.
    The scandal is not that some Armenians,
    who ought to know better,
    make absurd assertions but that they are believed.
    If I were to say for every truth
    there are ten thousand lies,
    there will always be a reader who will say
    the right number is not 10,000 but 9,999 or 10,001.
    I know this to be a fact because once upon a time
    I was such a reader.
    Some of my readers remind me of sharks
    circling and waiting for traces of blood to appear in the water.
    Tuesday, March 20, 2012
    What I write may be described as a faint echo
    of what for better men than I have said.
    (For more on this subject
    A self-righteous Armenians can be as ruthless
    as a bloodthirsty Turk.
    (After writing this line I am reminded of Zarian’s dictum:
    “An Armenian’s tongue can be sharper
    than a Turk’s yataghan.”)
    A smart Armenian?
    I would like to meet one even if it means
    revising all my favorite arguments.
    If I appear as a perennial loser
    it may be because I challenge those in authority
    only with my reason,
    whereas they can retaliate with the might
    of Almighty God and capital --
    make it Almighty Capital and god.
    Wednesday, March 21, 2012
    When a man says he has fathered eleven sons
    and he is proud of all ten of them,
    the question you want to ask is,
    “What’s wrong with the eleventh?”
    Likewise, when a man asserts his certainties,
    you want to know more about his doubts.
    The chances are such a man will pretend to have none.
    Sultans, emperors, dictators, popes, imams, rabbis:
    they are all men with certainties.
    Reason is powerless against them.
    Only time can prove them wrong.
    Sometimes not even that.
    The blunders and crimes of the papacy are endless.
    And yet, it has lost none of its popularity and prestige
    in the eyes of millions.
    What an Armenian finds inconceivable
    is the possibility of another Armenian
    knowing something he doesn’t.
    Friends tell me to block or delete annoying messages
    posted by individuals who contribute nothing to a discussion.
    If so far I have rejected their advice
    it’s because I believe in free speech
    which gives everyone an equal chance
    to make an ass of himself in public.
    One way to win an argument
    is by being incomprehensible.

  7. #112
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    Thursday, March 22, 2012
    You would think that after more than a thousand years
    of defeats, massacres, and subservience to alien tyrants,
    our leaders would have enough sense to say,
    “Let us give solidarity a try for a change –
    we may have better luck that way.”
    It must be obvious by now that propaganda moronizes
    not only the people but also blinds the leadership.
    A regime that terrorizes will view dissent
    as a crime against humanity.
    To see connections that have been carefully covered up:
    that’s one of the functions of detectives and critics.
    There is a familiar type of Armenian
    who is cunning enough to know that
    one way to have the last word
    is to make himself so repellent that
    anyone with the minimum sense of hygiene
    will do his utmost to stay as far away from him as possible.
    Friday, March 23, 2012
    “santorum”: a byproduct of anal intercourse.
    “To die on the job” or
    “To take the Nelson Rockefeller option”:
    death by orgasm.
    Marx’s “religion is the opium of the people”
    is preceded by
    “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed,
    the heart of a heatless world,
    and the soul of a soulless condition.”
    Now, that’s what I call real poetry!
    Not all dialogues end in consensus by means of compromise.
    Some end in death.
    Case in point:
    Shane to Wilson:
    “I’ve heard about you.”
    “What have you heard, Shane?”
    “That you are a low-down Yankee liar.”
    “Prove it.”
    Another example will be found in
    Hemingway’s long short story THE KILLERS.
    Saturday, March 24, 2012
    From the persecution of heretics
    to the massacre of defenseless civilians:
    infallibility may be said to be the source of all violence.
    Neither the sultan nor the pope
    ever thought of himself as prone to error.
    Where there are leaders and followers
    there will be charlatans and dupes.
    One could say that the role of god in history
    has been to legitimize crimes against humanity.
    Or, where god enters, the devil is sure to follow.
    Religions are the greatest enemies of god.
    If willingness to kill and die
    in the name of an illusion or lie
    is a sure symptom of insanity,
    it follows our planet must be
    the insane asylum of the solar system.

  8. #113
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    Sunday, March 25, 2012
    A Canadian poetess on publishers:
    “After you have been screwed in all possible ways
    you run into someone who has read the KAMA SUTRA.”
    This observation applies to so many situations in life.
    Nay life itself for that matter, and more particularly
    to dealing with fellow Armenians.
    ... *
    It’s when you think you are too smart to be taken in
    that you swallow the bait hook, line and sinker.
    The world belongs to bullies, bullshitters, and brown-nosers.
    The surest way of exposing your limitations
    is by pretending to be better than you are.
    All talk of reparations and annexation of historic lands
    is no better than a Ponzi scheme. There is a Madoff in all our Panchoonies and Turcocentric ghazetajis.
    Don’t get me wrong.
    Mention of Hai Tahd scares the shit out of Turks.
    But that’s all it does. All they have to do is take a shower
    and they feel clean again.
    The only way to be happy in this world
    is to be deaf to silent screams.
    When an old man falls in love
    it’s never with an old woman but with a much younger one.
    So much for the spiritual content of love.
    Whenever I am tempted to take myself seriously
    I can always rely on one of my Armenian readers
    to bring me down to earth and to my senses.
    To them I am eternally grateful.
    Monday, March 26, 2012
    All wars are just wars against an unjust enemy.
    ... *
    The sanctity of life?
    Don’t make me laugh.
    The very same people who are against abortion
    are also for war.
    The only way to keep your sanity in an insane world:
    take nothing seriously beginning with yourself.
    Is it His absence or presence
    that I feel more intensely?
    Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    All your life you try to do what’s right
    and you end up doing what’s wrong.
    That’s the only way to explain
    the hemlock, the crucifixion, and the assassination –
    Socrates, Christ, and Gandhi.
    Every idea generates its own contradiction.
    For every believer there will be a non-believer;
    and to complicate matters even more,
    some non-believers will parade as believers and vice versa.
    Hitler was a man of vision
    whose idea of heaven was hell
    to Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and many others.
    Where there is love there will be hatred.
    For every positive there will be a negative
    and the result will be zero or death or nothingness.
    From dust to dust.
    The world is full of idiots who think
    (if you will forgive the overstatement)
    they are smart enough to know what must be done
    and they go right ahead and do it.
    Think of our revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire…
    Philosophers and historians have tried to explain these paradoxes
    and so far they have failed to reach a consensus –
    very much like our own thinkers whose existence (like that of god) has so far eluded a universally valid proof.
    What am I driving at?
    I am not sure.
    Perhaps this:
    If you sit on your ass and do nothing
    or if you choose to die for a noble cause,
    nothing will change and the world will go on
    as before and as it has always done.
    An ant may impress another ant
    but not a pedestrian.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012
    The 1% do not have to lie in order to deceive;
    all they have to do is withhold the evidence.
    First and foremost they are cover-up artists.
    The greatest sin is allowing oneself
    to be deceived, brainwashed, and systematically moronized.
    The system is foolproof because
    we are moronized with our own consent.
    “Thou shalt not be deceived”
    is not in the Decalogue because Moses was with the 1%.
    The secret ambition of the 99% is to join the 1%.
    It is this hope or ambition more than anything else
    that keeps them in chains.
    The 1% does not manufacture chains;
    they hire the 99% for the job.
    Schoolteachers and priests are first and foremost
    hirelings of the 1%.
    All great assertions have direct references
    to this self-evident truth –
    from “The Kingdom of God is within you,”
    to “You have nothing to lose but your chains.”
    You don’t need middle-men to tell you
    what’s what and who’s who.
    The hidden message of “I think therefore I am” is:
    To repeat someone else’s thought
    is to abdicate one’s right to exist as a human being.
    The best answer to the question:
    “Who the hell do you think you are?” is
    “You are full of shit, that’s who I am.”

  9. #114
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    Thursday, March 29, 2012
    Writers from Khorenatsi to Naregatsi, and more recently from Abovian to Zarian wrote to save the nation -- until they realized no one can save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.
    When asked why I write, I say I write to kill time or I write because writing has become a habit. I doubt if I have changed anyone’s mind. If I have succeeded in anything it’s making enemies.
    Reality holds all the cards. Compared to reality, arguments, even the best by the most competent philosophers, are no better than empty verbiage.
    Some can read the writing on the wall; others prefer to behave like functional illiterates. To each his own.
    We are born and we die. The same applies to tribes, nations, and empires. What goes on between birth and death we call life, and life consists in a series of hopes and disappointments, minor victories and major catastrophes.
    When a man is on the wrong path, reality steps in; and reality is like a herd of elephants and we are no better than ants.
    Friday, March 30, 2012
    For 600 years Turks played a central role in our collective existence.
    There is no reason why they should continue to do so.
    As for Genocide Recognition:
    it should be obvious by now even to the most naïve
    that in politics and international diplomacy
    “truth” and “lies” are relative terms.
    We may have a far better chance to succeed
    if we choose toe present a united front during presidential elections.
    But if we continue to divide our votes more or less evenly
    between Republican and Democratic candidates,
    then we have as much chance of success
    as a snowball in hell.
    If our Turcocentric ghazetajis do not stress
    or even mention this aspect of our struggle,
    it’s not because they are not aware of it
    but because they are propagandists of the establishment
    and their real aim is not justice
    but to cover up the corruption, incompetence, and divisiveness
    of our leaders whose first and most important priority
    is to maintain their own powers, privileges, and titles (“chairs”)
    as opposed to serving the interests of the community.
    By covering up the divide-and-rule tactics of our leaders
    and by ignoring their violations of human rights –
    among them that of free speech and dissent –
    our panchoonies and ghazetajis have freely chosen to behave
    like our former masters – sultans and commissars –
    they are thus a greater obstacle to achieving genocide recognition
    than the pro-Turkish block in Washington.
    Saturday, March 31, 2012
    If in crimes of passion it’s “cherchez la femme,”
    in crimes against humanity it’s
    faith and patriotism – two of the most sinister words
    in any language.
    If Naregatsi’s LAMENTATION has a moral it is this:
    We are as guilty of the crimes committed against us
    as the perpetrators.
    If you are a writer and if you are objective
    in your assessment of our present situation,
    no need to promote yourself.
    Your enemies will do that for you free of charge;
    as for friends – assuming you have any –
    you will discover that most of them
    will pretend they have never heard of you.
    Why is it so hard for an Armenian to speak the truth?
    Is it because the truth is unspeakable?
    Or is it because he has been so thoroughly brainwashed
    as to equate truth with treason?

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    Sunday, April 01, 2012
    Some troubles fall on you when
    ... you least expect them
    like a thief in the night.
    The Genocide was not one of them.
    A series of massacres had already taken place
    making Turkish intentions abundantly clear.
    Now then, what does that tell you
    about our leadership
    that clung to the absurd notion that
    the Turks wouldn’t dare to finish the job
    because the West wouldn’t allow it?
    And now that the Obama administration
    has refused to use the G word,
    what are our prospects?
    How many more millions of dollars
    do we have to waste on politicians
    to whom truth and honesty might as well be
    words in an alien and incomprehensible tongue?
    Do we give up?
    No, of course not!
    Instead we assign the job
    to a dream-team of lawyers
    willing to work pro bono,
    and we concentrate all our efforts
    on improving conditions in the Homeland
    where, as I write, another genocide is taking place –
    genocide by exodus.
    Notwithstanding our propaganda,
    we are not a great nation;
    neither are we a people like any other people.
    Once upon a time we were slaves;
    we are now slaves of former slaves.
    We have committed the worst blunders
    that a nation can commit.
    There is only one thing left for us to do now:
    not to repeat the same blunders.
    Monday, April 02, 2012
    They Ottomanized us to the same degree that we Armenianized them (in the sense that they no longer look like mongrelized Mongols) with one important difference: whereas they borrowed the best from us, we assimilated the worst -- namely their contempt for human rights, intolerance of dissent, and subservience as the only proof of good citizenship -- a good Armenian is one who says “Yes, sir!” to his leaders.
    Our tribal leaders may say all kinds of nasty thing about one another but that option is not open to the ignorant masses.
    Don’t think of me as a witness who speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; but as someone who is reacting to an unbearable reality. You are free to agree or disagree with me. All I ask is that you take my testimony under consideration.
    Once in a while a reader writes to express his agreement. But so far none of our leaders has gone as far as acknowledging my existence, which suggests I may well be on the right path.
    All our great men – from Abovian to Zarian and from Khrimian Hairik to Komitas – were victims of our own brown-nosing mediocrities. I am not implying I too am great. All I am saying is that I am on their side. If that’s a crime against humanity, I gladly plead guilty as charged.
    Tuesday, April 03, 2012
    We are responsible for everything that happens to us – not when it happens (by which time it may be too late) but before, when we engaged in wishful thinking based on false assumptions – “Talaat is not like the Sultan,” “the West is one our side,” “the Russians are our big brothers.”
    We are not the scum of the earth even if we have been treated as if we were not only by alien tyrants but also our own. What could be more cynical than equating patriotism with subservience to a gang of incompetent charlatans on the grounds that they know best what’s good for the nation?
    Sartre said “Hell is other people.”
    He is right.
    Hell is other people even when they happen to be brothers.
    In our case, especially!...
    Wednesday, April 04, 2012
    To be an Armenian writer means,
    if you are wrong they will disagree with you;
    and if you are right they will hate you.
    If there is a word for compromise in Armenian
    I wonder why it is seldom or never used.
    We slept with the enemy for 600 years –
    600 long years during which
    instead of making history
    we acquired bad habits,
    subservience being one of them.
    Subservience to top dogs
    even when they are s.o.b.s,
    and contempt for underdogs
    even when they are our brothers.
    Subservience to bosses, bishops, and benefactors,
    contempt for scribblers.
    Subservience to lies,
    contempt for the truth.

  11. #116
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    Aug 2004


    Thursday, April 05, 2012
    We are seduced by a glance and a smile
    and by the time we realize we have been taken in,
    it’s too late – we find ourselves in a hole
    with only one option: to dig deeper.
    I once worked with a cute blonde
    who didn’t say much and what she said
    was more often than not a quotation from the movies.
    In an interview, Updike once said Errol Flynn
    had been a greater influence than Jesus.
    How many of our deepest convictions are quotations of clichés
    based on hearsay evidence by dupes and compulsive liars?
    One man’s hero is another’s villain.
    General Antranik is a hero to us
    and a villain to Azeris who believe
    he massacred innocent and defenseless civilians.
    Who is right?
    When there are two sides to a story,
    the chances are both are wrong.
    Which belief system is right and which wrong?
    Does it matter when all belief systems
    are manipulated by cunning operators
    whose number one concern is number one?
    Friday, April 06, 2012
    It is not ideas and belief systems that I criticize
    but their propaganda.
    It would be even more accurate to say that
    I expose killers who feel justified to murder those
    who disagree with them.
    I attack speechifiers and sermonizers
    who legitimize intolerance and hatred
    in the name of God and love.
    What is intolerance if not fear of truth?
    What could be more absurd than opposing lies with bigger lies?
    Isn’t that what popes, imams, and rabbis to?
    Read the Old Testament and
    count the number of murders, wars, and massacres.
    Review the history of Islam.
    Consider the abuses of nationalism
    and the crimes committed in the name
    of colonialism, communism, and the brotherhood of all men.
    The real atheist is not he
    who questions or doubts the existence of God.
    The real atheist is he who kills in the name of God.
    Who are the enemies of dissent?
    if not killers who hide themselves behind pious platitudes
    that convinces only dupes.
    Isn’t it the quintessence of double-talk
    to divide the community and the nation
    and to ignore the Biblical injunction
    “A house divided against itself cannot stand”?
    And as if that weren’t enough,
    to brag about our genius for survival.
    A house in ruins may exist,
    but can it survive?
    Saturday, April 07, 2012
    If women are less warlike than men
    it may be because they know how easily men are seduced by,
    among other things, empty verbiage.
    Greeks praised moderation above all other virtues,
    and yet their history is an endless catalogue of wars –
    and whenever they ran out of enemies,
    they fought one another
    until they were themselves defeated, conquered, and colonized
    by Macedonians, Romans, and Turks – that’s what I call
    a steady decline and degeneration of enemies.
    So much for progress.
    What about us?
    Because our history is a nightmare
    we like to modify it by nationalist propaganda –
    that is to say, transparent lies.
    If you ever get close to one of our so-called leaders,
    you may be shocked to discover that
    what he says publicly stands in direct contradiction
    to what he says privately.
    That’s another way of saying,
    they are habitual compulsive liars.
    When it comes to being brainwashed,
    it takes one to know one…
    and I bear scars to prove it.

  12. #117
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    Wednesday, April 11, 2012
    We are a nation whose 99% has been thoroughly brainwashed
    to fear and respect its 1% -- in the name of God and Country of course.
    If it’s not the Sultan, it’s Stalin,
    and if it’s not Stalin, it’s former KGB agents.
    When we were children,
    reality was what we saw at the movies,
    not what we lived.
    It is the same with most adults today:
    propaganda is their only reality.
    It is not at all unusual for a smart Armenian
    to be a moral moron,
    or for an academic to be a careerist creep.
    If patriotism were a virtue,
    it would improve men instead of making them willing to kill others
    simply because they believe what he believes.
    You cannot share your understanding with someone
    who operates on the assumption that he already knows and understand
    all he needs to know and understand
    or someone who respects a wealthy rug merchant more
    than a poor poet.
    Tuesday, April 10, 2012
    On several occasions I was successful in having something
    ... that I wanted very badly…with catastrophic results.
    We are the offspring of a nation
    that has spent most of its millennial existence
    brown-nosing some of the worst scum on earth.
    Now then, go ahead and speak to me of Armenian self-esteem.
    It doesn’t take much to convince people
    they are on the side of angels
    and their enemies in cahoots with the devil.
    From writers they demand instant solutions;
    from sermonizers and speechifiers only clichés and platitudes
    and after they have had their fill
    they come back for more.
    Some questions are better answered with another question.
    Case in point:
    when asked how many bosses, bishops, and benefactors I have known,
    I say: “Why don’t you ask me
    how many sultans I have known?”
    Unlike Americans, we don’t have a silent majority;
    what we have is a brainwashed or alienated majority.
    Monday, April 09, 2012
    ************************************************** *
    Crooks outnumber honest men among us
    as well as the rest of the world.
    Honesty has never been a profitable line of work.
    When I consented to recycle propaganda – that is,
    to lie and deceive my readers – I was paid minimum wage.
    When I saw the light and realized I was on my way to the devil,
    I became an abominable no-man.
    I once had a friend who made a comfortable living
    as a goussagtsagan (a partisan activist), oussouchits (schoolteacher),
    and, to compound the felony even further,
    the secretary of an archbishop.
    He died of cancer.
    I am not implying Armenians are carcinogenic agents,
    or working for Armenians is to condemn oneself to an early grave.
    I am just stating facts as I observed them.
    Do with them what you will.
    I have been a crook as well as an honest man,
    and take my word for it, being honest is no picnic.
    I foresee the day when I will write the following message:
    “Dear friend: I have so few friends left that
    if I lose you I will have none.”
    Which reminds me of Garabents’s famous last words
    as reported to me by a mutual acquaintance:
    “I die alone.”
    In case you were born yesterday and are not familiar with the name,
    allow me to inform you that Hagop Garabents (also Jack Karapetian)
    was a broadcaster for Voice of America
    and a popular novelist who did his utmost to offend no one.
    As far as I know he had no enemies
    and he was the darling of the establishment.
    Another one of his famous lines worth quoting is:
    “Once upon a time we shed our blood for freedom.
    We are now afraid of free speech.”
    Sunday, April 08, 2012
    People never tell you what they really think.
    They may avoid lying about little things
    (“it’s raining,” “it’s 4:30 PM,” ”I am hungry”),
    but in important matters,
    as religion and politics,
    or belief systems and ideologies,
    they might as well be habitual and compulsive liars.
    This is especially true of men with power.
    It took the popes of Rome several centuries
    to admit they had been wrong in their treatment of Galileo.
    Neither the popes nor his cardinals and bishops
    will ever admit they “doubt their faith seven times every day”
    (according to an old Italian saying).
    Marx said he was not a Marxist
    thus admitting he did not think of himself
    as the creator of an infallible belief system.
    By contrast, Stalin behaved, very much like the popes of Rome,
    as if he were infallible.
    The difference between Marx and Stalin is that
    Marx was powerless, unlike Stalin, who ruled an empire.
    Moral: the greater the power, the bigger the lies.
    We like to explain and justify our divisions and blunders
    by saying “we are a people like any other people,”
    “we all make mistakes,”
    “there are divisions everywhere," and so on.
    By that we mean, if popes, imams, and commissars lie and deceive,
    why should we be different?
    But I maintain there is a difference, and a big one,
    between liars who deceiver other liars,
    and liars who deceive victims
    in order to deceive and victimize them all over again.

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    Aug 2004


    Saturday, April 14, 2012
    “Idol-makers don’t believe in idols,”
    says a Chinese proverb.
    Something similar could be said of politicians.
    Do politicians believe in their own propaganda?
    I doubt it.
    Did Hitler really believe Jews to belong to an inferior race?
    Whenever it was pointed out to him
    that one of his aides had Jewish blood, he would reply:
    “If true, he will try twice as hard to prove his loyalty,”
    or words to that effect.
    Goering had a similar reaction: he would say,
    “I decide who is and is not a Jew.”
    A dupe, by contrast, is one who believes what he is told
    even when what he is told is propaganda.
    A politician’s primary concern is power,
    not truth and ideas. He will say and do anything
    that will legitimize and enhance his power.
    The Pope may doubt his faith seven times a day,
    but a dupe never.
    A dupe is brainwashed to believe
    “Mussolini ha sempre ragione”
    (Mussolini is always right);
    in the same way that a good Catholic
    is brought up to believe the Pope is infallible,
    and a patriotic Armenian is brainwashed to believe
    a nationalist historian’s version of the past
    is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
    and anyone who does not share his convictions
    is a pro-Turkish traitor.
    There you have the roots of our
    disagreements, divisions, decline, and degeneration.
    Saturday, April 14, 2012
    One of the best books on Armenian history
    that I remember to have read many years ago
    was by Armenian historian who was also
    a Tashnak leader.
    When asked what history’s verdict would be on him,
    Churchill is said to have replied:
    “That’s doesn’t worry me because I plan to write it.”
    And he did.
    And it was a best-seller.
    And he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
    Had Hitler won World War II,
    MEIN KAMPF would have been one of the most widely translated
    and used textbooks in schools.
    Once when I published an interview with a Tashnak leader
    (may the Good Lord have mercy on his soul),
    a Ramgavar leader (ditto) wrote an angry letter to the editor
    in which he exposed me as a dupe
    and the Tashnak leader as a charlatan.
    Whereupon the Tashnak leader,
    in another letter to the editor,
    dismissed the Ramgavar as a Stalinist stooge.
    For an Armenian to believe an Armenian historian
    is as bad as for a Turk to believe a Turkish historian.
    Textbooks written by nationalist historians
    might as well be conspiracies of liars.
    Who takes nationalist historians seriously?
    “All professions are conspiracies against the laity” (G.B. Shaw).
    “There is a sucker born every day,” or is it every minute?
    Writing textbooks is a racket like any other,
    and having written one myself, I plead guilty as charged.
    Saturday, April 14, 2012
    What’s a plea of insanity to murderers,
    patriotism is to political leaders.
    Greed for power, never!
    Love of God, Country or King, always!
    In a democratic environment,
    political leaders are classified as public servants.
    In an authoritarian or anti-democratic regime
    the men at the top behave as masters
    and as if that weren’t preposterous enough,
    they also claim to be infallible
    for the simple reason that
    they represent God on earth.
    Dictators don’t claim to represent God because,
    like Roman emperors, they classify themselves as gods.
    You may now guess to which category
    our own leaders belong.
    Ajarian, the foremost expert on the Armenian language
    used to say, “Who among us can claim to know
    the Armenian language?”
    The same could be said of Armenian history.
    Even in a democracy our political leaders behave
    like our masters who can do no wrong.
    They can do no wrong even when they divide the community,
    which amounts to saying,
    even as they plot the destruction of the nation.

  14. #119
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    status quo

    Sunday, April 15, 2012
    Even after they systematically raped our daughters
    and brainwashed our boys to kill and die
    in their imperialist wars
    we continued to be their “most faithful ethnic minority.”
    Individuals like Krikor Zohrab and Roupen Sevak
    persisted in believing that deep down
    Turks were nice people who meant no harm to Armenians
    and we could safely trust our collective destiny
    into their hands.
    If they had any doubts on that score
    they did not share them with the people.
    Even our political and intellectual leaders were dupes.
    On more than one occasion
    I have been told by angry readers:
    “What did you expect them to do?
    Urge the people to abandon their 'babenagan douner'
    (ancestral homes)?”
    Why not, may I ask, if the alternative was
    wholesale massacre and deportation into the desert?
    Once when I reviewed the memoirs of a Russian KGB agent
    in which he stated that several of our political leaders
    (among them Tashnaks) were KGB plants,
    an insider berated me for blabbering about things
    I knew nothing about and understood even less?
    What if, he said, these so-called former KGB agents
    could be of greater use to us?
    Leave it to an Armenian to see things
    that are not there.
    Monday, April 16, 2012
    Ideologies and religions – belief systems, in short –
    claim to have found a path to truth or god;
    and anyone who dares to disagree
    must be classified as a heretic,
    and as such, an enemy –
    and an enemy not only of the belief system
    but also of mankind.;
    and based on that blatantly false assumption
    they proceed to divide civilizations, societies,
    empires, nations, and communities.
    There you have the root of all evil,
    beginning with intolerance, persecution,
    and ultimately war and massacre.
    I am not voicing a theory here.
    I am simply stating facts available to anyone
    who has eyes to see, ears to hear, and brains to think –
    and not to think that he is thinking
    but simply to say, if you add 2 to 2
    what you get is neither 5 or 22 but 4.
    If you believe god is one,
    or three in one, or, for that matter, four in one –
    why should that be a good enough reason
    to torture and kill another
    who believes the right numbers are five in one?
    And yet…
    The stated aim of all belief systems is to save mankind;
    their unstated aim, however, is the destruction of the world.
    Man is born in sin, we are told.
    So are belief systems – born in arrogance
    that leads to greed for power.
    I don’t believe in belief systems.
    Tuesday, April 17, 2012
    A nation that has lived in darkness for a thousand years
    will prefer to go on living in darkness for another thousand years
    if the alternative is to see the light.
    My aim is not to solve our problems
    but to say and repeat the obvious
    ... when the obvious is ignored or forgotten.
    My aim is not to provide answers to the most important questions
    but to question the honesty of those who pretend to have them.
    If I can place a small distance – even if it is a fraction of an inch –
    between us and our certainties -- that is to say lies –
    I shall consider my mission accomplished.
    A religion of love will practice hatred;
    and a religion of intolerance will practice intolerance.
    A nation that brags about its high IQ
    will be subservient to morons,
    both foreign and domestic.
    In the eyes of pragmatists,
    daydreamers are contemptible jerks.
    In the eyes of our leaders,
    writers will be mental masturbators.
    To solve a problem,
    you must first acknowledge its existence.
    You may now draw your own conclusions.
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012
    ************************************************** *****
    We have many brilliant minds in all fields of human endeavor
    but not a single brilliant idea.
    Our ablest academics study the past (medievalism and massacrism)
    but none of them seems to be interested in our present and future.
    I wonder why.
    Is it because somewhere very deep inside
    they have given up on us?
    Or is it because there is no money in it?
    Our benefactors and panchoonies spend millions
    building schools, churches, and community centers
    as if raising wall mattered much more than promoting solidarity.
    Solidarity with us is very much like Mark Twain’s weather.
    Every speechifier and sermonizer loves to quote Charents’s final message
    (“Oh! Armenian people, your salvation etc.”)
    but nobody does a damn thing.
    “Where there is no vision the people perish” –
    and we are perishing in both the Homeland and Diaspora –
    by exodus and alienation respectively,
    both of which have clearly definable socio-economic reasons
    that can be isolated, named, and prevented.
    But no one seems to give a damn!
    The very same activists who speak of patriotism during the day
    turn into gravediggers under cover of darkness.
    Solidarity is not a commodity you can buy on the marketplace.
    Neither is it tax deductible.
    Could that be one reason why it is not popular
    with our bosses, bishops, and benefactors?
    I am not casting aspersions, just wondering…

    warning: if you ever receive an e-mail from me
    asking for financial assistance, please ignore it.

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    Sunday, April 22, 2012
    All our great writers,
    from Khorenatsi to Raffi,
    and from Abovian to Zarian,
    have been sources of embarrassment to our leaders
    (in the sense that they have exposed their shortcomings)
    who must now pretend to be on the side of our literature.
    In the parable of the camel and the eye of the needle,
    Jesus equates financial success with moral failure.
    I am not implying our benefactors are liars and degenerates,
    only suggesting that they too,
    like the rest of us poor moprtals,
    are not beyond engaging in occasional double-talk.
    To love a harmless enemy – nothing easier.
    To love an enemy who slashes burns, and rapes?
    When asked that question, Tolstoy is said to have replied:
    “Things like that don’t happen every day.”
    I know better because I read my morning paper.
    It is the mightiest of this world who take ideas seriously,
    but only ideas that are against them.
    Indifference is the best revenge.
    Monday, April 23, 2012
    No one can be as ungodly as men who speak in His name –
    and I am not thinking only of imams…
    An adult who repeats what he was taught as a child:
    that to me is one of the surest and most unmistakable symptoms of retardation.
    Everything has been explained by far better men than myself.
    What I have written so far might as well be footnotes to a footnote.
    Even the mightiest empires decline and fall.
    Even the most creative cultures stagnate and degenerate.
    We call our degeneration survival and we brag about it.
    If being against organized religions means
    rejecting Gregorian chant, Bach’s Cantatas, Mozart’s REQUIEM,
    Negro spirituals, and our sharagans,
    then I am more Catholic than the Pope.
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012
    Turks say the Genocide never happened.
    It’s a figment of our collective imagination.
    Americans are afraid to use the G word.
    What’s happening here?
    To those who don’t understand, allow me to explain.
    Both Turks and Americans are guilty of massacres.
    Very probably they have killed an equal number of innocent civilians:
    the first to preserve their empire,
    the second to raise it.
    As imperial powers they speak the language of top dogs
    which might as well be incomprehensible to underdogs.
    They have neither friends nor enemies, only interests.
    Arguing with them is a waste of time.
    They will never see the world as we see it.
    We may be successful in convincing isolated voices
    here and there, now and then,
    but we don’t have enough money to convince the majority.
    In politics and international diplomacy,
    right and wrong might as well be irrelevant commodities.
    There is only one way out of this impasse:
    to vote as a block.
    On the day American candidates realize
    We have the power to make or break them,
    we may have a better chance to be heard.
    Until then we might as well be a voice in the wilderness.
    The Jewish vote is a deciding factor in American politics
    because Jews are better at presenting a united front.
    I feel justified therefore in suggesting that
    our leadership – our lord and masters,
    or bosses, bishops and benefactors,
    or the gang that can’t shoot straight …call them what you will –
    are as guilty as denialists because
    instead of uniting the community
    they have polarized and paralized it.
    Very much like Turks and Yanks
    they have allowed their interests, or powers and privileges,
    to speak louder than the interests of the nation.
    That indeed is the root of our status as perennial losers.
    Dostoevsky is right:
    “You can’t imagine how powerful a single man can be.”
    Or, for that matter, a single community or nation,
    when it speaks with one voice.
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012
    Two new books that I look forward to reading:
    ANTON CHEKHOV: A BROTHER’S MEMOIR by Mikhail Chekhov, and
    Watched a lovely French film titled SEQUINS in which one of the central characters is named Mrs. Melkonian whose son Ishkhan dies in a car accident.
    My definition of hell: to be dependent on the charity of swine.
    Obese people dig their own grave with a fork; writers with their pen.
    In our environment patriotism is sometimes confused with shish-kebabism.
    Brahms used prostitutes. In his old age Gandhi was obsessed with his sexuality and slept with naked teenagers to test his resistance to temptation.
    Cats hate the water but love fish: hence their tolerance of man.
    During World War II READER’S DIGEST rejected contributions by Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht.
    Thomas Mann loved Walt Disney. So do I but I prefer Warner Brothers’ Bugs Bunny.
    The disagreement of fools: depressing rather than irritating.

    Warning: If you ever receive an e-mail from me

    asking for financial assistance,

    please ignore it.

    It's probably from a pirate in Somalia.

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