876) Whenever I underestimate a fellow Armenian . . .

Whenever I underestimate a fellow Armenian, I am seldom disappointed.

Mine is a lose/lose situation. I am fighting our leaders and their dupes. It's an uneven fight --not just two against one but a thousand against one. My only allies are the alienated and the assimilated most of whom no longer even care to identify themselves as Armenians because they have seen the light and consider themselves born-again human beings.

Are the alienated a minority or a majority? That's not a subject we like to discuss because the answer may reflect badly on us. When odars dislike us we can always dismiss them as pro-Turkish, which in our context might as well mean the lowest form of animal life. But how do we explain the alienated who may well be in the majority?

What's uppermost in the mind of the average Armenian? If we assume our press to be a reliable index, the answer is the Genocide and its recognition. Speaking for myself (and I don't pretend to be a typical case) may I say that I am fed up with all the incessant talk of Turks and massacres, which so far have succeeded only in reinforcing our image as perennial losers and victims. . . .

One does not have to be a mind reader to know that what's uppermost in the mind of the unemployed is finding a job. What's uppermost in the mind of an Armenian who works in an alien environment is to return home and be with his family and friends. What's uppermost in the minds of the old and the sick is proper medical care and living conditions. What's uppermost in the mind of a student is to graduate and not to be forced into emigration. What's uppermost in a young woman's mind is not to be forced into prostitution in Saudi Arabia or babysitting in Bulgaria.

These are not concerns that are addressed by our self-appointed pundits who prefer to ascribe all our problems on Turks and to pretend we have no other concerns than their failure to recognition the Genocide.

Every ideology has its declared (as well as undeclared) agenda and propaganda line clearly discernible to others but not always to its adherents, especially not those who confuse ideology with theology.

When assessing yourself it's useful to remember the meaning of the first syllable of the verb "to assess."

To rely on your instinct in your judgments means to allow your human brain to become an instrument of your animal drives.

When dealing with dinosaurs a crocodile skin is no defense.

A charlatan is a dupe with a college education.

If you wouldn't argue with Genghis Khan, why would you even consider arguing with someone to the right of him?

Jilly Cooper (b. 1937) British novelist and critic, in her review of THE HITE REPORT, on American women: "They certainly know how to rape the language. One girl said she was 'devirginized' at twenty-five, another found it hard to resist married men, 'because all my friends are adulterizing.' My favorite was the girl who described her private parts as 'plain but with charisma'."

Charles Peguy (1873-1914), French author: "Out of ignorance and a sense of duty most decent people are liable to turn into criminals." Why should I be surprised when I hear a so-called self-assessed patriotic Armenian voice the opinions of a skinhead with the brains of a sardine and the voracious energy of a hungry shark?

When hit-and-run critics hit, they invariably hit below the belt.

To write a good sentence sometimes it is necessary to reject a dozen or more versions of it. Likewise, to subscribe to a good idea sometimes it is necessary to reject a few of them, beginning with the ones that were foisted on us when we could not yet think for ourselves.

It is not only politics that makes strange bedfellows. Both Marxist and Catholic thinkers agree on their rejection of charity as a way to solve social problems. According to Jacques Maritain, one of the most respected Catholic philosophers of the 20th Century, "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld"; and according to Lenin, charity, by masking the contradictions of an unjust system, succeeds only in postponing the coming revolution.

Speaking of skinheads and dupes: consider the unspeakable crimes committed in the name of Marx and the number of dupes or "useful idiots," among them some of the most eminent thinkers of the West, who produced a vast amount of pro-Stalin verbiage worthy of skinheads.

Ara Baliozian


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