02 July 2007
1790) Adopting An Anti-Turkish Stance Does Not In Any Way Strengthen Our Case. On The Contrary . . .
NOTES AND COMMENTS
We preach freedom of speech to others but among ourselves we practice censorship, and we are too self-righteous and arrogant to see a contradiction or even an inconsistency.
Hatred becomes pathological when you hate even those who don’t share your hatred.
Born to Armenian parents in Greece, educated in Italy, now a citizen of Canada and living in the shadow of the United States, I know to what extent nationalism and patriotism limit, distort, and even pervert a man’s perception of the world and his fellow men.
Anyone who is against us is not necessarily wrong and anyone who is with us is not necessarily right.
Adopting an anti-Turkish stance does not in any way strengthen our case. On the contrary.
To proceed on the assumption that Turks are bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarian and compulsive liars is to guarantee that we will never reach a consensus with them.
We are unaware of our failings because they have become habits.
From 1001 YIDDISH PROVERBS
by Fred Kogos (New York, 1970).
A friend you have to buy; enemies you get for nothing.
A half truth is a whole lie.
A liar tells his story so often that he gets to believe it himself.
One God and so many enemies.
One lie is a lie, two are lies, but three is politics!
When a wise man talks to a fool, two fools are talking.
When God wants to break a man’s heart, he gives him a lot of sense.
Truth is the safest lie.
The masses are asses.
The rich have no sense of justice.
The heaviest burden is an empty pocket.
WHAT’S TO BE DONE?
If so far we have failed to develop a consensus among ourselves, how can we ever hope to reach a consensus with the Turks? – Unless of course we eliminate from the process all defenders of the faith who confuse ideology with theology and tend to view moral issues in terms of black and white as opposed to shades of gray or brown.
MEMO TO OUR TURCOCENTRIC PUNDITS
If your aim is to reach an agreement with the Turks, admit failure and abdicate your self-appointed position as representatives of the nation.
What are the chances that these charlatans will see the light and shut up? My guess is, none! These gentlemen are not in the habit of admitting failure or defeat. To them all defeats are moral victories and the Genocide is still another proof of our superior morality and their bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarism. Those who see the best in themselves will invariably see the worst in others.
NOTES AND COMMENTS
Gide says somewhere there are two kinds of writers, those who fight injustice and those who ennoble the soul. What he doesn’t say is that it takes a noble soul to fight injustice when fighting it may well be against his own interests.
There are readers so programmed to contradict me that even if I were to say something with which they are in complete agreement they will contradict me not because they disagree with it but because it is I who say it.
Whenever I insult a reader I acquire an enemy for life as well as a faithful reader.
What is said about a writer when he is alive is irrelevant. What matters is what will be said about him fifty years after he dies.
According to one theory, there are no good men and bad men; there are only situations that bring forth the best and the worst in us. If true then both saints and sinner, victims and victimizers, might as well be morally interchangeable by-products of blind forces beyond their control.
According to another theory, we are responsible for all our decisions and actions. Circumstances do not determine our actions, and by extension our character, but our choices do. Does that mean victims and victimizers, top dogs and underdogs, choose to be what they are?
The problem with theories of human conduct, or for that matter, belief systems, views, perspectives, and opinions is that at best they can be only partly true. Perhaps our choice is not between true or false, or black and white, but between shades of gray. Perhaps when we think we are with the angels, we should take a closer look to make sure they are not devils in disguise.
Overheard: “Armenians and Turks, Turks and Armenians: man, I am telling you, I am getting tired of this sh**!” This offhand remark may suggest that our choice may not always be between shades of gray, but between shades of brown.
Please note that it is not my intention here to minimize the seriousness of the Crime and the innocence of the victims, but rather to expose the hypocrisy of leaders and self-appointed phony pundits on both sides that have degraded a tragedy to an endless game of political football.
Since it is impossible to know everything there is to know about the past, we must assume there are some things we will never know. Historians disagree because they operate on the assumption that what they don’t know cannot be as important as what they know. And who decides what’s important, what’s less important, and what’s irrelevant?
CASE IN POINT
It is common knowledge that letters to the editor that express agreement with an editorial have a far better chance to be published that all other letters. Once, when I disagreed with an editorial, I was told: “We don’t as a rule publish letters critical of our editorials.” Translated into dollars and cents, this simply means: “Brown-nosers are welcome! All others might as well be irrelevant.”
An Armenian with partisan loyalties is an Armenian who has allowed his animus to blind his judgment. One is therefore justified in suspecting that those who take it upon themselves to formulate editorial policy or criteria in general are individuals who suffer from an advanced case of narcissism and an inferiority complex of monumental dimensions. This may suggest that what we need more than Turcocentric pundits are psychiatrists.
GOD, DANTE, AND GALILEO
As a rule, people feel more comfortable with people who are aware of their own failings and limitations; and their first thoughts on meeting a megalomaniac is, “the conceited ass!” This minor detail seems to have escaped our fascist charlatans who pretend to be leaders of men on grounds that they know better.
Like all fascists, ours too need not only foreign enemies but also traitors among themselves.
Galileo was silenced because his scientific theories contradicted the Bible which being the word of God could not be wrong. Dissidents and critics are silenced because they dare to contradict charlatans who think they know better and they might as well be if not gods than as infallible as God. Megalomania was their undoing but they seem to have learned nothing from history.
A contemporary Armenian Dante would populate his entire Inferno with our self-righteous megalomaniacs.
If you believe in something to be true, it is true, provided you don’t expect others to believe it too.
Whenever I assess myself as smart, some anonymous imbecile is sure to take advantage of me.
ILLUSION AND REALITY
Max Jacob: “An authentic work is one with enough power to change illusion to reality.”
Whenever I am called a loser by one of my gentle readers, I think, it takes one to know one; and by that I mean, as a loser, I may be in a far better position to understand my fellow Armenians. As for those who think of themselves as winners: I suppose, illusions are commodities within the income bracket of even beggars.
If you want to understand your fellow Armenians, don’t read our partisan weeklies that recycle an ideological line (99% illusion), read Raffi, Odian, Baronian, Zohrab, and Zarian.
I have lost several friends because I could not take their religion or ideology seriously.
Smart readers, who think I am a fool, are my most faithful readers. Figure that one out, if you can.
Ideologies have a way of bringing together top dogs with underdogs – the first as deceivers, the second as dupes.
Dear Ara bey
I like your wisdom and ethics; I don’t feel insulted by reading you!
Yes, I’m tired too of this shxx, but “some make good cash on it” (don’t they?). They fight for God and Gold, we fight for “Good and what’s sold ! ”
Sukru S. Aya