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  1. #91
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    Sunday, January 08, 2012
    *****************************************
    JACK S. AVANAKIAN
    STRIKES AGAIN
    *******************************
    “I write all the time and
    I never run out of things to say,”
    one of our writers
    (let’s call him Jack S. Avanakian)
    once bragged to me.
    “I can write about anything,” he went on.
    “I can even write about not being able to write.”
    Maybe so, I remember to have thought.
    The question is, is what you write readable?
    I for one have never heard anyone say.
    “Last night I had some fun reading Jack S. Avanakian
    and came across the following interesting line...”
    Only the intellectually bankrupt brag.
    *
    One of the worst things that can happen to a man
    is saying or even doing the wrong thing
    with the conviction that it is the right thing.
    And if you think that’s exactly my case,
    allow me to remind you that
    everything I say has been said before
    by far better men than myself.
    Originality is not one of my priorities.
    My aim is to remind readers of things
    they no longer remember or they prefer to forget.
    Our educational system is designed to promote amnesia.
    As a result we are a nation that suffers
    from collective and self-induced
    and departmentalized Alzheimer’s.
    We have the memory of elephants
    when it comes to what others have done to us,
    but we pretend not to remember
    what we have done to ourselves.
    Which is where I come in.
    #
    Monday, January 09, 2012
    *****************************************
    IF
    *******************************
    If the thing you need most is money,
    prepare yourself to be exploited.
    If what you need is understanding
    prepare yourself to be misunderstood.
    If you need respect,
    prepare yourself to be insulted.
    What we need and what we get
    might as well be black and white.
    *
    I believe there is life after that.
    I have no doubt about that.
    It’s one of the very few certainties that I cherish.
    Just because I die,
    it doesn’t mean everybody else does.
    Life goes on.
    *
    If they have jackasses as leaders,
    even the smartest people on earth
    will be defeated by the dumbest.
    *
    The greatest obstacle to progress
    is the sensible man who says:
    "You cannot change human nature.
    Nobody listens. Nobody gives a damn.
    You are wasting your time."
    #
    Tuesday, January 10, 2012
    *****************************************
    THE MEANING OF PROPAGANDA
    *********************************************
    “You don’t have to think,” propaganda tells us;
    “I will do the thinking for you.
    Because I can think and you can’t.
    You are an ignoramus.
    You are nothing.
    You are what I tell you you are.”
    *
    It’s astonishing how many are taken in
    by this line and willingly surrender
    their most valuable possession
    (the ability to think for themselves)
    to megalomiacal and bloodthirsty charlatans.
    *
    By flattering our collective ego
    (first nation this, first nation that,
    God’s favourite, creative, progressive…)
    propaganda dehumanizes us
    by confiscating that which makes us human
    by replacing “I think therefore I am” with
    “I don’t think therefore I am a good Armenian.”
    Instead of facts, propaganda gives us fiction;
    instead of reality, fantasy;
    instead of progress, paralysis and stagnation.
    *
    On the last page of Kafka’s TRIAL,
    the central character
    identified with the single letter K
    is butchered “like a dog” and no one knows why.
    Kafka doesn’t explain.
    He provides no answers.
    He didn’t have to.
    K represent Germans, Spaniards, Russians, Jews, Armenians…
    in short, 20th-century man
    who was brainwashed and butchered in a ditch
    for no reason at all.
    That’s the real tragedy – our tragedy.
    Not to die for a good cause
    but to be butchered by anonymous executioners
    working for faceless men
    who operate on the assumption that
    they know better because God is on their side.
    *
    Did I say God?
    Make it the Devil!
    There it is, the true meaning of propaganda:
    “Speak in the name of God
    and do the Devil’s work.”
    #
    Wednesday, January 11, 2012
    *****************************************
    VARIATIONS ON A FAMILIAR TUNE
    *********************************************
    An ideology or a religion should be judged
    not by its dogmas and commandments
    but by its propaganda:
    the more propaganda the more lies.
    The more systematic its indoctrination
    or educational system
    the more dishonest its assertions and certainties.
    The more authority sources (holy scriptures and hierarchy)
    the more fascist.
    The more rituals the more mumbo jumbo.
    The more monumental its architecture
    the shakier its foundations
    (remember the pyramids and
    the construction of St. Peter’s in Rome).
    The longer its history
    the more uncertain its future.
    *
    If millions of Turks are brought up
    to be proud of their identity,
    then pride (not just theirs but all pride)
    must be just about the phoniest means of achieving self-esteem.
    I will go further and say,
    where there is pride there must also be more reason for humility.
    Where there is peace there must be a throne of blood.
    The American Civil War is proof of the fact that
    to defend democracy it is necessary to employ fascist means.
    *
    We are defined not by our assets
    but by our liabilities – especially liabilities
    that parade as assets.
    #

  2. #92
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    Thursday, January 12, 2012
    *****************************************
    LEADERS
    *********************************************
    Who are our political leaders?
    What do I know about them?
    I know more about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann
    than about our own leaders.
    If I try hard enough I may remember a handful of names
    but afterwards I do my best to forget them.
    About leaders in the Homeland
    I have been told by an insider that
    they are former KGB agents.
    True or false?
    I don’t know and I care even less.
    About leaders of the Diaspora:
    I remember an elder statesman telling me
    some of them were Turks
    who spoke Armenian fluently
    and knew all there was to know about us.
    True or false?
    Does anyone care?
    I no longer have any illusions.
    I know for a fact that even in the so-called
    open democracies of the civilized West
    politics is a filthy business.
    I shudder to think about our Ottomanized Diaspora
    and Sovietized Homeland.
    Poor Armenia – forever an orphan
    at the mercy of manipulators
    who are themselves manipulated by alien interests,
    like dogs who know their master
    but not their master’s master.
    #
    Friday, January 13, 2012
    *****************************************
    ONCE UPON A TIME
    *********************************************
    Once upon a time almost everyone I met was older than I.
    Now, almost everyone I meet is younger.
    *
    Once upon a time I had many questions
    and I believed in the answers
    that I was given by my betters.
    *
    Once upon a time I believed everything I read in the papers.
    Now, I trust our editors as much as I trust
    our bosses, bishops, and benefactors.
    *
    Once upon a time I loved to travel,
    explore unfamiliar places and meet new people.
    I now find solitary confinement preferable.
    *
    The world has become a strange place
    but the strangest of all places is my own homeland
    and the strangest of all people are my fellow countrymen.
    *
    If we don't know why things exist,
    what can we really know?
    *
    One does not have to be an insurance broker
    to know that heroes have a shorter life span than cowards.
    *
    Murder Inc. is a capitalist phenomenon.
    Under communism murder becomes a monopoly of the state.
    #
    Saturday, January 14, 2012
    *****************************************
    MORE VARIATIONS
    *********************************************
    If you want to know more about Armenians,
    read about Turks.
    *
    Very early this morning,
    in a 30-minute radio documentary on Turks,
    I heard a pundit say:
    “Subservience to the military and amnesia
    come naturally to Turks.”
    *
    Their unspoken slogan, like ours:
    “The Sultans are dead. Long live Ottomanism.”
    *
    So what else is new?
    The more I peer into our collective unconscious,
    the less I like what I see there.
    *
    To some of my readers I am an enemy
    because they don’t like to see their reflection in the mirror
    that I hold up to them.
    *
    No one has ever said
    confronting oneself is a pleasant experience.
    *
    Where there is amnesia
    there will also be unspeakable memories.
    *
    They call us “Christian Turks,”
    in the same way that the Yanks call their natives
    “American Indians.”
    The defeated have as much choice in identifying themselves
    as dogs.
    *
    Solon, the Lawgiver (7th century BC)
    in an address to the Athenians
    (I quote and paraphrase from memory):
    “Individually you may well be very smart
    but collectively you behave like damn fools.”
    #

  3. #93
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    Sunday, January 15, 2012
    *****************************************
    MEDITATION
    *********************************************
    Everything makes sense.
    Nothing makes sense.
    Which is right?
    Both!
    Neither!
    Or perhaps it is not up to us to decide.
    *
    After every school of philosophy
    there will be another that contradicts it.
    After Plato, Aristotle.
    After Hegel, Schopenhauer.
    But also Marx.
    And after Marx, Stalin.
    *
    For every believer in the existence of God
    there will be another who denies it;
    or, like the Pope of Rome
    (according to an old Italian proverb)
    who doubts his faith in His existence
    seven times a day.
    *
    Sartre was obsessed with the idea of freedom.
    He probably wrote more about freedom
    than any other philosopher dead or alive.
    And yet, he also supported Stalin and Mao
    to whom freedom meant
    the freedom to enslave and kill millions.
    Explain that if you can.
    *
    We are like sheep.
    Are our leaders shepherds
    or a pack of wolves?
    We may be wise enough to raise questions
    but not to answer them.
    Answers may come after we die –
    assuming of course we survive our death.
    *
    The purpose of life is not to make sense
    but to do our best.
    But what if our best is the worst for others?
    How else to explain the execution of Socrates,
    the crucifixion of Christ,
    and the assassination of Gandhi?
    #
    Monday, January 16, 2012
    *****************************************
    FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
    *********************************************
    “Democracy may suit civilized and progressive people
    of the West but not Asiatic barbarians
    whose character, mindset, and values
    were shaped by bloodthirsty Ottoman Turks
    and Stalinist ruffians.”
    This indeed is the unspoken rationale
    of our ruling classes.
    *
    Double-talk comes naturally to all
    who are involved in politics.
    Preach one thing, practise the opposite.
    Preach family values, practise fornication.
    Murder innocent civilians and say “Allawa akhbar!”
    Or do the Devil’s work in the name of God.
    Lower taxes on the 1% and say
    you are on the side of the 99%.
    *
    One of the Kennedy women (a divorcee) once wrote a book
    on the double-talk of the Catholic Church
    which is against divorce for the poor
    but more than willing to grant it to the rich
    even if it means by doing so
    the children of the previous marriage
    acquire the status of bastards.
    *
    If the Pope of Rome engages in double-talk
    why should we be outraged
    when our own sultans,imams, and commissars do likewise?
    Next question:
    If the Arabs of Africa can have a Spring,
    why should we behave as though
    we were condemned to freeze in the Gulag
    from here to eternity?
    #
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012
    *****************************************
    TWO CANDIDATES
    *********************************************
    Gingrich likes to identify himself
    not as a lobbyist but as a historian.
    My question is,
    Who has ever heard of a historian
    Who could make more money in a single week
    than the combined lifetime incomes
    of Herodotus, Gibbon, Spengler, and Toynbee?
    *
    As for the other one,
    the Mormon moron:
    he keeps saying he created 100,000 jobs
    when the evidence shows he destroyed many more.
    *
    Why do these two candidates speak as they do?
    Do they think those who are going to vote for them
    are retards?
    What else?
    *
    As for the political thinking
    of the average Armenian:
    it is a symptom of our pathological narcissism
    to suggest that it is more developed
    than that of the average Yank.
    #
    Wednesday, January 18, 2012
    *****************************************
    CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    *********************************************
    Because I refuse to say “Yes, sir!”
    to those who tell me
    “Not only you must believe what I believe
    but also what I don’t believe,”
    I am accused ot being guilty of a capital offense.
    The only reason I am alive today is that
    my accusers are toothless.
    #

  4. #94
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    Friday, January 27, 2012
    ****************************************
    DIARY
    *****************************
    According to a pundit in my morning paper:
    ... “Obama is trying to gain a foothold in the Middle East via Turkey.”
    My first thought:
    Kiss ARG (American Recognition of the Genocide) goodbye.
    *
    According to another pundit:
    “Russia today is ruled by petro-kleptocrats.”
    Ditto with us, minus the “petro.”
    *
    ON GINGRICH AND ROMNEY
    ***************************************
    The naked face of the 1%.
    Eyeless men with a vision.
    Insatiable carnivores parading as vegetarians.
    They promise to solve the very same problems they created.
    Imagine Turks promising to resurrect our dead.
    #
    Friday, January 27, 2012 / b
    **********************************

    NOTES & COMMENTS

    *************************************

    The best thing I can say about life is that

    it happens only once.

    *

    In his last collection of essays titled ARGUABLY (Toronto, 2011) Christopher Hitchens writes:

    “Turkey continues to lie about the massacre of the Armenians.”

    Further down he adds he prefers

    Ambassador Morgenthau’s “race murder”

    to Raphael Limpkin’s “genocide”

    because it’s “more dramatic and urgent.”



    *

    To have seen the light

    is not a permanent condition but a transitory stage.

    *

    Where I saw the light

    I now see shades of darkness.

    Where I saw one meaning

    I now see ambiguities.

    *

    Tell me what is it that you want more than anything else

    and I will tell you not only will you be disappointed if you get it

    but you will also miss the good old days when you didn’t have it.

    #

    Saturday, January 28, 2012
    ****************************************
    SPEAK THE TRUTH
    *********************************
    “Speak the truth and no one will believe you.”
    That’s because we live in a world saturated with Big Lies
    Armenians are smart.
    Jews are the Chosen.
    Germans are superior.
    Christians are infidel dogs.
    White man speaks with a forked tongue?
    (That doesn’t mean Indian did not massacre Indian
    in the absence of white men.)
    Who believes in these lies?
    Only dupes (the 99%) with a negative IQ.
    You qualify?
    Congratulations.
    #

  5. #95
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    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    *************************************

    TWO THEORIES

    *************************

    My pet theory about self-assessed smart Armenians:

    they may be smart in one or two fields

    but they are idiots in a thousand others.

    *

    My second theory:

    our genocide was a direct result of this imbalance.

    *

    THE BIGGEST LIE OF ALL

    *****************************************

    The first and biggest lie that every child is taught to believe

    is that all the wars his country fought

    were just or defensive wars

    against a ruthless and cunning enemy.

    It’s astonishing how many adults

    continue to believe in that crap.

    *

    B.S.

    ********************

    The astonishing amount of b.s. in all belief systems

    professed even by self-assessed smart men

    never ceases to amaze me.

    #\\

    A GUESSING GAME

    *******************************

    You can easily guess

    what a man doesn’t believe

    by what he says he believes.

    You can also guess

    what a man will not do

    by what he promises to do.

    Teach yourself to ask:

    What’s his angle?

    What’s his racket?

    What’s in it for him?

    If only our leaders

    at the turn of the last century

    in the Ottoman Empire had asked these question

    when the Great Powers of the West

    promised to support our political aspirations.

    #


    Monday, January 30, 2012
    *************************************
    HONORABLE MEN
    *****************************
    As an obedient child
    I was more vulnerable to indoctrination
    than a juvenile delinquent.
    It was my ambition to be an honorable man,
    a role model, a pillar of society.
    It never even occurred to me to ask:
    What if the society within which
    I was brought up and raised
    was rotten?
    Brainwashing does two things:
    (one) it convinces you that wrong is right, and
    (two) it moronizes you.
    *
    “Not all bishops and imams are rotten,” a reader writes.
    Maybe not but they all support a power structure
    that is rotten in so far as they legitimize
    intolerance, divisions, and murder
    in the name of God and Country.
    In that sense they (imams and bishops)
    are more dangerous than serial killers
    because they have been successful in placing themselves
    beyond the reach of the law.
    *
    To how many of my fellow men I could say:
    “You may well be an honorable man,
    but it is not at all unusual for an honorable man
    to support the scum of the earth.”
    #

  6. #96
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    Thursday, February 02, 2012

    **********************************************

    WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?

    ***************************************

    If to be smart means to exploit a situation to one’s advantage, we must be just about the dumbest people on earth.

    *

    We like to think Turks are not as smart as we are. And yet, when it comes to manipulating world opinion, they might as well belong to a superior race – compared to us that is.

    *

    There are a thousand ways to be smart as there are a thousand ways to be stupid. If their success so far is a result of our failure, in what way, may I ask, are we smart?

    *

    We must learn to ask, where did we go wrong, beginning with, why did we allow ourselves to be butchered by a bunch of bloodthirsty morons? And why so far have we failed to convince the Yanks that what we say is the truth and what they say is a lie? The obvious answer is: in diplomacy, a stupid diplomat will be smarter than a cunning rug merchant.

    *

    As long as we have Oriental rug merchants or similar riffraff as leaders, “mart bidi ch’ellank!” and we will continue to behave like fools forever at the mercy of alien interests, manipulators, and retards.

    #

    Friday, February 03, 2012

    *******************************************

    IS GOD AN ARMENIAN?

    *********************************************

    As a nation are we a success or a failure? It depends. If we were meant to be 70 million or more, we are a failure. If we were meant to be annihilated, we are a success.

    *

    Many famous Frenchmen (among them Zola, Ionesco, Adamov, Cioran, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Sarkozy) are not French. Neither are most Turks Turks, or Greeks Greeks.

    What makes a man a Turk? Only his willingness to identify himself as such. Armenians who refuse to identify themselves as Armenians probably outnumber the others. How do I know that? I don’t! I am just guessing. Or, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. I have several friends – smart, successful, educated, and in some ways even brilliant – to whom the Armenian identity is a joke. They make fun of me for my obsession with Armenians – in their view, a lost cause and a complete waste of time. Do I disagree with them? I don’t know. I am not sure.

    *

    Is my Armenian identity a blessing or a curse? On the day I decide I will be in touch. Is there hope for us? I wish I had an answer. Are things getting better or worse? Only God knows. Is God an Armenian? I like to believe He is. But I suspect Turks have many more reasons to believe He is one of them.

    #

    Saturday, February 04, 2012

    A LETHAL COMBINATION

    *******************************************

    When told there are good and bad Germans, Thomas Mann explained: “All Germans are a combination of both.”

    So are we. So is everybody.

    *

    American presidential candidates are not liars when they promise to recognize the Genocide but fail to deliver when elected. When told Armenian voters are evenly divided on partisan lines, they have every right to think, If they don’t care enough to present a united front, why should I give a damn?

    *

    Stalin was not a born killer. No one is. He purged only those who were about to purge him. Which also means, he was fully aware of the fact that he deserved to be purged.

    *

    So many things in life make perfect sense that one is tempted to believe God

    (if He exists) must be a reasonable being.

    *

    On the radio this morning I heard a pundit say, the most corrupt African nations don’t have a word for corruption. Neither do we. And if we do we don’t use it. We prefer “corruptsia.”

    *

    There are people so thoroughly brainwashed that they equate all talk of corruption with treason.

    *

    It took me many years to realize that asking questions is not a capital offense.

    *

    People may be divided into those who believe everything they are told (I was one of them as a child) and the others.

    *

    What is democracy if not the fascism of the 1%?

    #

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    Sunday, February 05, 2012
    *******************************************
    I COULD BE WRONG
    *********************************
    There came a time when I became so disgusted with self-righteous Armenians that I was tempted to end everything I write with the words “I could be wrong.”
    *
    You want to know what’s the worse thing that can happen to a man? Being poor and dependent on the charity of swine.
    *
    My greatest disappointment? My career as an Armenian writer. Make it, my life as an Armenian.
    *
    May I confess I don’t understand everything? Sometimes I don’t even understand the things that I think I understand.
    *
    Thousands attended Thomas Mann’s lectures. Many more attended Hitler’s speeches. Which may suggest, at the beginning may have been the word, but at the end was garbage.
    *
    Why are you consistently negative? My aim is positive. Things never stay the same. They either get better or worse. By covering up our failings or by pretending they don’t exist, we advance further towards decline and degeneration. I could be wrong.
    #
    Monday, February 06, 2012
    **********************************************
    COUSINS
    ************************
    Every day something happens to remind me that God (if He exists) keeps telling me: “I don’t want to get involved. You are on your own.”
    *
    Both believers and non-believers have doubts. In that sense they are not black and white but shades of gray. They thus share more things in common than they think. They may not be brothers but they are cousins, very much like Sartre and Schweitzer, real-life cousins, great thinkers both, one an atheist, the other a theologian, and both great lovers of J.S. Bach.
    #
    DENIS DONIKIAN
    *************************************
    A full page of the 12-18 January, 2012 issue of PARIS MATCH is devoted to Denis Donikian’s latest book, VIDURES (368 pages. 22 euros. Published by Actes Sud). It begins with the words: “Corruption, murders, censorship: this indeed is the present-day tragedy in Yerevan. But in France we prefer to speak of the past and to accuse Turkey of everything that is evil.” Gilles Martin-Chauffier (the author of this article) goes on to identify Denis Donikian as a writer in whose hand “the pen becomes a flame-thrower.” He goes on to equate all talk of genocide recognition as “getting angry at the offspring for the blood their grand-grandparents shed.” He concludes by saying “we wouldn’t even mention these things if Turkey had been an oil-producer. On the contrary, Turkey would now be a member of the European Union.”
    *
    HALF-FULL OR…
    *****************************
    Is our glass half-full or half-empty? I am willing to concede that it is half-full or even three-quarters full provided you agree with me that the contents are not fit for human consumption because they are polluted with carcinogenic agents whose first symptom is blindness.
    *
    THE MORAL OF THE STORY
    ******************************************
    What is the moral of Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS? According to Jonathan H. Grossman: “You will never fully comprehend the most important events in your life while they are happening. Any plans you make will not work out – and you may grow up to be a jerk.”
    #
    Wednesday, February 08, 2012
    ********************************************
    BLAMELESS
    ***********************
    Turks are brought up to believe they are blameless. So are we. Blameless means morally superior and I for one do not believe in anyone’s moral superiority especially when it is self-assessed. Remember Orwell’s swine in ANIMAL FARM: they too believed to be morally superior -- “four legs good, two legs bad”; “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
    Remember the Nazis and their claim of superiority. I for one find it extremely difficult to believe that a civilized and progressive nation that has produced some of the greatest and most influential thinker in the history of mankind would allow itself to be taken in by the charlatanism and bare-faced lies of a mediocre and repulsive speechifier – that is to say, a full-time compulsive liar – and allow this nonentity to bankrupt, degrade, humiliate, and ruin the nation. If I had read this scenario in a sci-fi novel I would have accused the writer of going too damn far. Nothing human is alien to me. For many years I too was brought up to believe we were morally superior. I know better today. Do I have a low opinion of my fellow Armenians? Yes, I do, beginning with myself.
    #

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    Thursday, February 09, 2012
    ******************************************
    LABELS
    **********************
    Please don’t call me an Armenian writer. Call me anything you want but that. I can’t imagine a worst insult. Being identified as an Armenian writer is as bad as being called a lawyer (“Please don’t tell my mother I am a lawyer; she thinks I am a pimp.”) When asked to identify my racket, I say I am a retired church organist. More prestige in that, if you know what I am saying. Armenian writers are a dime a dozen and Armenian poets a nickel a gross. I have at no time thought of myself as a member of the club. As for being Armenian: I assure you I had nothing to do with it. It was an accident of birth. First and foremost I consider myself a human being. As for the writer part: I plead not guilty. I just say what I think. Everybody does that without running the risk of being insulted. If you think I am being eccentric in my demands, consider the case of Arab dictators. Does any one of them identify himself as a dictator, let alone a corrupt, megalomaniacal, bloodthirsty s.o.b.? I assert the same right of rejecting all offensive labels, and I thank you in advance for your cooperation. May the Good Lord (if He exists) have mercy on your soul (if you have one).
    #
    Friday, February 10, 2012
    *********************************************
    SUMMING UP
    ******************************
    Where there are divisions, the blind shall lead the blind. This is as true of us and the U.S. (Civil War, the 1% versus the 99%) as it is of the rest of mankind (judging by the number of wars, revolutions, and related atrocities). Therefore, never say we are like everyone else. If we want to survive we must do better, much better!
    *
    PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
    ***************************************
    In a world where everyone, including the shits -- especially the shits – are proud to be who they are, I loathe pride and find humility to the point of reducing myself to nothingness preferable.
    To say I am a proud Armenian is to imply we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands. When I think of our present situation (make it, shituation) pride is the last word that comes to mind. Loathing? Much better!
    *
    ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM
    IN ARMENIAN LIFE
    ********************************************
    Armenian anti-intellectualism has such deep roots in our collective psyche that even our academics are anti-intellectual. What makes me say that? Elementary, my dear Watson. Our academics are subservient to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors (the commissars of the Diaspora). That’s why none of them dares to say anything against God and capital (make it, Capital and god).
    #
    Saturday, February 11, 2012
    ********************************************
    DECEPTION
    ****************************
    “Every shut eye ain’t asleep.”
    Not everyone who pleads insanity is insane.
    Even cold-blooded murderers may plead self-defense.
    Nothing is what it seems.
    For every truth there are ten thousand lies.
    Imagine a history of mankind without deceivers and dupes.
    To enslave in the name of freedom
    and to go to war in the name of peace:
    these are not rare but routine occurrences.
    When no one deceives us we deceive ourselves.
    Even as I write I deceive myself into thinking
    what I write may make a difference.
    #

  9. #99
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    Sunday, February 12, 2012
    *************************************************
    SOMETIMES THINGS
    ***********************************
    The ambition of every regime is to last a thousand years. They never make it. Their premature death is as certain as taxes. That’s because not matter how hard they try they can’t be successful in brainwashing everybody. This is as true of Turks as it is of Armenians.
    *
    Dissidents are silenced because they expose the incompetence of the power structure and its so-called educational system, which is in reality a brainwashing apparatus.
    *
    When the USSR collapsed, its lies were exposed. The Civil Rights movement in the U.S. exposed the lies of racism. In our own days the lies of capitalism and the free enterprise (“greed is good”) are being exposed by the 99%. As for the lies of organized religions: they are in a sense one another’s most important dissenting voices and as such one another’s judge, jury, and hangman.
    *
    Diamonds may be forever, but regimes are only a sometime thing.
    #
    Monday, February 13, 2012
    ******************************************
    UNWARRANTED ASSUMPTIONS &
    OUTRAGEOUS IMPLICAATIONS
    ************************************************
    To say God is on our side is to imply our enemies are in cahoots with the Devil.
    *
    To say the actions of our revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire were justified reactions to unbearable conditions is to imply for 600 years we behaved like “faithful servants” because we didn’t know any better or, under certain conditions, cowardice and ignorance can be morally justified.
    *
    To say that the exodus of 1,5000,000 Armenians from the Homeland is an inevitable consequence of unfortunate circumstances is to imply, under certain conditions, genocide is not a crime against humanity but an inevitable fact of life.
    *
    To say we are unique or better is to imply we have a license to invent a thousand little lies that will prove our Big Lie to be the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth.
    #
    PORTRAIT OF AN ARMENIAN PATRIOT
    AS A YOUNG MAN
    ************************************************** ******
    First and foremost he is an apologist of the status quo. He has a seemingly reasonable explanation for every blunder and failing, which means he is an expert player of the blame-game. It follows, we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands and anyone who dares to say otherwise is a pro-Turkish s.o.b. who should be silenced and whenever possible squashed like a bug. He is so convinced that he is smart that even when he utters asinine inanities he does so with the conviction that he is delivering gems of wisdom worthy of a Socrates. He may never say he is infallible in his judgments but every fiber in his Armenian body tells a different story. He believes the so-called civilized and democratic West speaks with a forked tongue. We don’t! That’s because we are as pure as the driven snow, as innocent as an egg, and butter wouldn’t melt in our mouth…or anywhere else for that matter. Contradict him and make yourself vulnerable to a torrent of abuse worthy of a pirate. If you think I am exaggerating, think again. Because so far I have been describing myself as a young man. I do hope you were not as thoroughly brainwashed as I was.
    #
    Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012

    ************************************************** *

    BULLIES
    *******************************
    There is a lot of talk about bullies in schoolyards these days.
    What about bullies in politics, diplomacy, organized religions, bureaucracy, justice system, workplace...
    If a man kills in the name of God,
    who is the guilty party?
    In the Old Testament God order a father to butcher his son.
    And when His own son was being crucified,
    did He lift a finger?
    If bullying is cancer, power is its sole carcinogenic agent.
    *
    A headline in my morning paper today:
    “Baseball bat a hit in China – as defensive weapon.”
    *
    Overheard: “How do you say pizza in Italian?”
    #

  10. #100
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    Sunday, February 12, 2012
    *************************************************
    SOMETIME THINGS
    ***********************************
    The ambition of every regime is to last a thousand years. They never make it. Their premature death is as certain as taxes. That’s because not matter how hard they try they can’t be successful in brainwashing everybody. This is as true of Turks as it is of Armenians.
    *
    Dissidents are silenced because they expose the incompetence of the power structure and its so-called educational system, which is in reality a brainwashing apparatus.
    *
    When the USSR collapsed, its lies were exposed. The Civil Rights movement in the U.S. exposed the lies of racism. In our own days the lies of capitalism and the free enterprise (“greed is good”) are being exposed by the 99%. As for the lies of organized religions: they are in a sense one another’s most important dissenting voices and as such one another’s judge, jury, and hangman.
    *
    Diamonds may be forever, but regimes are only a sometime thing.
    #
    Monday, February 13, 2012
    ******************************************
    UNWARRANTED ASSUMPTIONS &
    OUTRAGEOUS IMPLICAATIONS
    ************************************************
    To say God is on our side is to imply our enemies are in cahoots with the Devil.
    *
    To say the actions of our revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire were justified reactions to unbearable conditions is to imply for 600 years we behaved like “faithful servants” because we didn’t know any better or, under certain conditions, cowardice and ignorance can be morally justified.
    *
    To say that the exodus of 1,5000,000 Armenians from the Homeland is an inevitable consequence of unfortunate circumstances is to imply, under certain conditions, genocide is not a crime against humanity but an inevitable fact of life.
    *
    To say we are unique or better is to imply we have a license to invent a thousand little lies that will prove our Big Lie to be the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth.
    #
    PORTRAIT OF AN ARMENIAN PATRIOT
    AS A YOUNG MAN
    ************************************************** ******
    First and foremost he is an apologist of the status quo. He has a seemingly reasonable explanation for every blunder and failing, which means he is an expert player of the blame-game. It follows, we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands and anyone who dares to say otherwise is a pro-Turkish s.o.b. who should be silenced and whenever possible squashed like a bug. He is so convinced that he is smart that even when he utters asinine inanities he does so with the conviction that he is delivering gems of wisdom worthy of a Socrates. He may never say he is infallible in his judgments but every fiber in his Armenian body tells a different story. He believes the so-called civilized and democratic West speaks with a forked tongue. We don’t! That’s because we are as pure as the driven snow, as innocent as an egg, and butter wouldn’t melt in our mouth…or anywhere else for that matter. Contradict him and make yourself vulnerable to a torrent of abuse worthy of a pirate. If you think I am exaggerating, think again. Because so far I have been describing myself as a young man. I do hope you were not as thoroughly brainwashed as I was.
    #
    Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012

    ************************************************** *

    BULLIES
    *******************************
    There is a lot of talk about bullies in schoolyards these days.
    What about bullies in politics, diplomacy, organized religions, bureaucracy, justice system, workplace...
    If a man kills in the name of God,
    who is the guilty party?
    In the Old Testament God order a father to butcher his son.
    And when His own son was being crucified,
    did He lift a finger?
    If bullying is cancer, power is its sole carcinogenic agent.
    *
    A headline in my morning paper today:
    “Baseball bat a hit in China – as defensive weapon.”
    *
    Overheard: “How do you say pizza in Italian?”
    #

  11. #101
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    Thursday, February 16, 2012
    *********************************************
    FOOLS
    ***********************
    It has been said that if you deal with fools
    you run the risk of becoming one.
    Is this a scientifically established fact
    or a theory of uncertain provenance?
    I don’t know. I am not sure.
    Speaking for myself,
    I am personally acquainted with a Turcocentric ghazetaji
    who, when contradicted, behaves like a Turk
    with total unawareness of the metamorphosis.
    *
    Politicians operate like lawyers: it is their job
    to defend their side at any cost even if their
    side or client happens to be a serial killer.
    To this day Talaat, Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler
    have their friends in the same way that Lincoln,
    FDR, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King have their
    enemies.
    #
    Friday, February 17, 2012
    *******************************************
    The 1% are job creators? Bullshit. If the 99% stopped buying the products and services provided by the 1%, the whole system would collapse.
    #
    Saturday, February 18, 2012
    ***************************************
    HISTORY AS GOSSIP
    ****************************************
    When we speak of the past
    we tend to forget that what we speak about
    is a carefully edited version of it –
    as carefully and drastically edited as the official Turkish version
    in which the atrocities committed against defenseless innocent civilians
    are treated as justified military action
    whose sole intent was to maintain the territorial integrity of the nation.
    What could be more blameless?
    What could be more exemplary and worthy of universal admiration?
    *
    We speak of the past in order to avoid speaking of the present –
    which in many ways is as grim as the past.
    Something similar happens in gossip:
    to avoid speaking of our own failings
    we speak about the failings of others.
    To those so-called historians
    in whose hands history has become the gossip of nations, I say:
    So far you have been successful in fooling many people most of the time,
    but no banquet under heaven is endless.
    #

  12. #102
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    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    ******************************************

    THE 11TH COMMANDMENT

    ***********************************************

    America will not recognize the Genocide as long as (one) we divide our votes evenly between Democrats and Republican, and (two) we call America’s enemies our friends (Russia, Iran, Syria) and America’s friends (Turks) our enemies. We may succeed in obtaining the support of individual senators and congressmen if we invest millions on them; but we will never budge the Administration. Everybody knows this, including our Panchoonies – especially our Panchoonies – who expect us to believe with enough money success will be inevitable. Money may buy the cooperation of pimps and whores but self-interest is what moves nations and empires. We are neither an empire nor a nation; at best we may identify ourselves as puppets and dupes who are easily taken in by the empty rhetoric (both foreign and domestic) of cynical manipulators who will say and do anything in defense of their own narrow and selfish interests.

    For 600 years the Turks wanted us to believe they were our masters and protectors and we believed them – or, let’s say, we lived as though we did; in the same way that under the Soviets we believed the Russians to be our Big Brothers; and today we have placed our trust in former agents of the KGB. Before we demand friendship and brotherhood from others, let us teach ourselves to be real friends of our real brothers. There is no commandment that says “Thou shalt not be a dupe,” but that doesn’t being dupes is an inevitable fact of life imposed on us by the Good Lord.

    #

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    ********************************************

    FRIENDS

    *****************************

    When I say Turks may well be our best friends,

    I don’t mean the present regime and its dupes.

    What I have in mind are Turks who can think for themselves

    and Turks who identify themselves as Turks

    the way Americans identify themselves as Americans.

    Turkey has its share of dissidents, critics, and hostile ethnic minorities

    in the same way that America has its blacks, natives, Latinos,

    and other minorities who don’t vote

    or if they do, they vote to unseat the present administration.

    Turkey is not a monolithic structure but a mosaic.

    Remember that next time you are tempted to identify Turks

    as direct descendants of Talaat who was himself anything but a Turk.

    *

    My guess is, as in all democracies, 50% of Turks don’t bother to vote

    because they don’t trust politicians and their empty rhetoric.

    And then there are the women who have no reason to support

    a patriarchal status quo.

    *

    I suggest when it comes to concessions and compromises,

    we may have a better chance to get them from friends

    as opposed to enemies.

    I say therefore let us not allow our hatred of the 1%

    to contaminate our potential friendship with the 99%.

    And to our Turcocentric ghazetajis and speechifiers I say:

    Treat a man like an enemy and he will act as one.

    Treat a man like a friend and you may have better results.

    #

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    ************************************************** *

    FROM MY NOTEBOOKS

    **************************************

    Only the silent are beyond criticism,

    and sometimes not even they.

    *

    Opinions are a dime a dozen.

    All the gold in the world can’t buy the truth.

    *

    Faith is 99% wishful thinking.

    *

    What if what’s happening in North Africa and the Middle East today happens in Russia? That’s the nightmare of the regime in Yerevan. They had their kicks. Time to pay the price.

    *

    All men of power believe truth to be on their side.

    If they are not Stalinists they are crypto-Stalinists. Stalin lives. Nothing bad ever dies.

    *

    To the oversensitive, life is a succession of traumatic experiences.

    *

    To autocrats everywhere, freedom is a carcinogenic agent. So is justice to kleptocrats.

    *

    Living by the sword and ruling by fear are synonymous.

    #

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012
    *******************************************
    I COULD BE WRONG…
    *********************************
    In everything I am about to say, I could be wrong.
    *
    Our destiny as a nation may change
    on the day our bosses, bishops, and benefactors teach themselves to say,
    “I could be wrong because as human beings
    none of us is in a position to assert infallibility.”
    *
    A Tashnak leader once said to me:
    “The source of all our misfortunes is the ‘chezok’ (non-partisan)
    who contributes nothing to our collective existence.
    He is neither black nor white.
    Neither hot nor cold.
    Neither for or against anything.”
    When I informed him that I am a chezok,
    so was my father because he was too busy trying to provide for his family i
    n an alien environment in time of war, he said:
    “I am sorry, I thought you were one of us.”
    Please note that he didn’t say he was wrong in blaming our misfortunes on others
    but only in thinking I was a member of the tribe, club, family, or mafia.
    *
    An Armenian may admit error in insignificant things
    only to assert infallibility in big things.
    Mart bidi ch’ellank.
    *
    In singling out a Tashnak leader I did not mean to exculpate the others.
    We all swim in the same soup.
    Throughout our millennial history
    we have been at the mercy of infallible men –
    kings, sultans, commissars, and today Panchoonies.
    So much so that in the minds of our “betters”
    infallibility is perceived as an integral part of leadership.
    But I could be wrong.
    *
    Please note that I lied when I said I was non-partisan.
    If truth be told, I am anti-partisan.
    *
    Do you really think I am being too tough on our bosses, bishops, and benefactors? Allow me to explain that I live in a tough neighborhood
    and I happen to be in a very tough business – namely,
    that of resurrecting cadavers.
    But again, I could be wrong…
    #

  13. #103
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    Thursday, February 23, 2012
    *******************************************
    MEMO
    TO OUR EXILED DISSIDENT “AGHBER”S.
    ************************************************** ***
    You have every right to oppose the regime in Yerevan that took away all your privileges and kicked you out of your beloved homeland, as I have every right to ask: “What exactly did you do in the Soviet era to earn your privileges?”
    *
    SPEECHIFIERS
    *****************************
    If he speaks in the name of God,
    the chances are he is a practicing atheist.
    If he speaks in the name of Country,
    the chances are he is a traitor.
    If he speaks in the name of law and order,
    the chances are he is with the 1%.
    Don’t get me wrong. I see nothing questionable
    in God, Country, and law and order.
    But I see something horribly wrong in big lies and small minds;
    also in high ideals and low IQs.
    #
    Q/A
    ***********************
    Speaking of our aghbers: If you want to know what I would have done in their place, I will say: Very probably what they did, but having done so I wouldn’t parade as a superpatriot, a role model, or a man of integrity. Instead I would spend the rest of my life coming to terms with the fact that I was no better than a piece of shit.
    *
    Friday, February 24, 2012
    ****************************************
    FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
    ************************
    When a reader disagrees with me, I rejoice in the knowledge that he took the trouble to read me and to understand what he read. For reading and understanding are rare virtues, especially for an Armenian who is convinced he already knows and understands everything.
    *
    In a corrupt environment, crooks are outnumbered only by their lawyers, victims, and dupes.
    *
    A regime that supports Syria will not hesitate to kill its own citizens after calling them terrorists.
    *
    The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Devil are not two separate topographical entities with different boundaries, but one and the same.
    *
    Bias is universal. Resistance to bias is a slowly and painfully acquired habit.
    #
    Saturday, February 25, 2012
    ******************************************
    ARE WE SMART?
    ******************************
    We have been moronized into thinking we are. But we aren’t.
    What chance did we have to develop our brain power under sultans and commissars whose “faithful servants” and “useful idiots” we were?
    How smart are we if we support institutions that are in the business of dividing the community?
    “Our political leaders have been of no political use to us,” Zarian said. I will go further and say, they have been at the root of all our problems.
    We don’t need leaders. What we need are public servants.
    Notwithstanding the propaganda line of our Turcocentric ghazetajis, Turks are not our main problem. We are.
    Or rather, our subservience is. Once upon a time we were slaves. We are now slaves of former slaves.
    I say and repeat: We are not smart; we have been moronized!
    #

  14. #104
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    Sunday, February 26, 2012
    *********************************************
    PRAYER
    **************
    “Almighty God, help me to love my fellow men regardless of whether or not they believe what I believe. Let me never call a man an infidel or heretic, even if he happens to be one, for he too is your handwork.”
    *
    ON FAITH
    **********************
    We like to believe religious faith is a good thing notwithstanding the fact that historic evidence proves otherwise, which may suggest man values his illusions above reality.
    *
    OUR 1%
    ***********************
    We have our 1% and its “useful idiots” -- with one difference: the idiots believe to be not just smart but smarter than anyone else.
    *
    MORONISM
    *************************
    To me the quintessence of moronism is to be found in a self-assessed Armenian genius.
    *
    An Armenian may think of himself as cunning as a fox even he is dumber than a jackass.
    #
    Monday, February 27, 2012
    *********************************************
    INVESTIGATIONS
    ******************************
    When something goes wrong, don’t blame people, blame human nature; and don’t blame human nature, blame reality -- and not just that part of reality which you perceive and understand (or think you do) but also the fraction that is beyond your perception and understanding.
    *
    As a rule men are held responsible for minor transgressions but not for major ones –murders, yes; wars, no; serial killing, yes; massacres and genocides, not always.
    *
    If you think I am being too critical of my fellow Armenians, my question to you is: Have you ever had a heart-to-heart talk with a Ramgavar (on Tashnaks)? Or with a Catholic (on Protestants)? Or with an Armenian who supports the status quo with one who is of the opposite disposition? Or are all your friends of the same political ideology and faith?
    *
    If you say all men must be held responsible for their actions, then I ask: Who is responsible for our divisions and all the misfortunes that resulted from them?
    *
    We may indeed be free agents; but we are also blind men who pretend to have 20/20 vision.
    *
    When it comes to democratic rule, Turks may indeed be ahead of us. This is not my opinion but that of the international press. Explain that if you can. So you think the world is blind and we know better? I say and repeat: Only an ass assesses himself and believes in his own assessment.
    *
    I don’t criticize Armenians because they have committed blunders. I criticize them because they keep committing the same blunders without realizing what they are doing. And why? Because they have been systematically moronized.
    #
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012
    ******************************************
    NOT YET…
    *************************
    Ask an Armenian whether he is for or against the status quo and the chances are he will say he is against it because to be for it means to be for divisiveness, alienation in the Diaspora, and exodus from the Homeland, and ultimately “sbidak chart” (white massacre). Ask the same Armenian if he thinks we are in good hands and the chances are he will say we are. How to explain this contradiction? Most so-called patriotic Armenians are brought up to believe patriotism means subservience or loyalty to the leadership, totally unaware of the fact that in an undemocratic environment the word loyalty acquires a fascist dimension and dissent is equated with treason. Empires and nations have collapsed because of the people’s misguided sense of loyalty to corrupt and incompetent rulers. This is what happened in the USSR and this is what’s happening today in Syria. And to those who say we are not killing our own citizens and demolishing our own cities, all I can say is, no, not yet!
    #
    Wednesday, February 29, 2012
    ****************************************
    FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
    *********************************
    I have been wrong so many times that I no longer aim at being right; only at not being catastrophically wrong. As for being infallible, I leave that to our former KGB agents in the Homeland and chic Bolsheviks in the Diaspora.
    *
    The evidence may be against me but I refuse to believe that coming to terms with reality means being a dupe to deceivers.
    *
    If your sources on Armenian history have been Armenian, you might as well admit to yourself that you know nothing on the subject and you understand even less.
    *
    These days if a man can do two things at the same time – say, like chewing gum and farting – he is called as a Renaissance man.
    #

  15. #105
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    Sunday, February 26, 2012
    *********************************************
    PRAYER
    **************
    “Almighty God, help me to love my fellow men regardless of whether or not they believe what I believe. Let me never call a man an infidel or heretic, even if he happens to be one, for he too is your handwork.”
    *
    ON FAITH
    **********************
    We like to believe religious faith is a good thing notwithstanding the fact that historic evidence proves otherwise, which may suggest man values his illusions above reality.
    *
    OUR 1%
    ***********************
    We have our 1% and its “useful idiots” -- with one difference: the idiots believe to be not just smart but smarter than anyone else.
    *
    MORONISM
    *************************
    To me the quintessence of moronism is to be found in a self-assessed Armenian genius.
    *
    An Armenian may think of himself as cunning as a fox even he is dumber than a jackass.
    #
    Monday, February 27, 2012
    *********************************************
    INVESTIGATIONS
    ******************************
    When something goes wrong, don’t blame people, blame human nature; and don’t blame human nature, blame reality -- and not just that part of reality which you perceive and understand (or think you do) but also the fraction that is beyond your perception and understanding.
    *
    As a rule men are held responsible for minor transgressions but not for major ones –murders, yes; wars, no; serial killing, yes; massacres and genocides, not always.
    *
    If you think I am being too critical of my fellow Armenians, my question to you is: Have you ever had a heart-to-heart talk with a Ramgavar (on Tashnaks)? Or with a Catholic (on Protestants)? Or with an Armenian who supports the status quo with one who is of the opposite disposition? Or are all your friends of the same political ideology and faith?
    *
    If you say all men must be held responsible for their actions, then I ask: Who is responsible for our divisions and all the misfortunes that resulted from them?
    *
    We may indeed be free agents; but we are also blind men who pretend to have 20/20 vision.
    *
    When it comes to democratic rule, Turks may indeed be ahead of us. This is not my opinion but that of the international press. Explain that if you can. So you think the world is blind and we know better? I say and repeat: Only an ass assesses himself and believes in his own assessment.
    *
    I don’t criticize Armenians because they have committed blunders. I criticize them because they keep committing the same blunders without realizing what they are doing. And why? Because they have been systematically moronized.
    #
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012
    ******************************************
    NOT YET…
    *************************
    Ask an Armenian whether he is for or against the status quo and the chances are he will say he is against it because to be for it means to be for divisiveness, alienation in the Diaspora, and exodus from the Homeland, and ultimately “sbidak chart” (white massacre). Ask the same Armenian if he thinks we are in good hands and the chances are he will say we are. How to explain this contradiction? Most so-called patriotic Armenians are brought up to believe patriotism means subservience or loyalty to the leadership, totally unaware of the fact that in an undemocratic environment the word loyalty acquires a fascist dimension and dissent is equated with treason. Empires and nations have collapsed because of the people’s misguided sense of loyalty to corrupt and incompetent rulers. This is what happened in the USSR and this is what’s happening today in Syria. And to those who say we are not killing our own citizens and demolishing our own cities, all I can say is, no, not yet!
    #
    Wednesday, February 29, 2012
    ****************************************
    FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
    *********************************
    I have been wrong so many times that I no longer aim at being right; only at not being catastrophically wrong. As for being infallible, I leave that to our former KGB agents in the Homeland and chic Bolsheviks in the Diaspora.
    *
    The evidence may be against me but I refuse to believe that coming to terms with reality means being a dupe to deceivers.
    *
    If your sources on Armenian history have been Armenian, you might as well admit to yourself that you know nothing on the subject and you understand even less.
    *
    These days if a man can do two things at the same time – say, like chewing gum and farting – he is called as a Renaissance man.
    #

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