12 September 2008

2592) If The Turks Are As Bad As We Say They Are, How Did We Manage To Live With Them For 600 Years?


WHO WE ARE
If the Turks are as bad as we say they are, how did we manage to live with them for 600 years? And if we are as good as we say we are, why is it that most of us prefer to stay away from the nearest Armenian church or community center?
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We are addicts of victimhood. When no one cares to victimize us, we victimize one another. .

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A few years ago an Armenian real estate developer named an annual literary prize but after three or four years he ran out of ghazetajis.
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If you want to understand history, begin with yourself. Because if you don't understand yourself, you are condemned to understand nothing.
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My good friend Armen Melikian is right to say that there must be a mechanism in the human brain, no doubt the result of some kind of evolutionary malfunction, that identifies God with the Devil, or is it vice versa?
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Discussion forum: a place where views are exchanged.
Armenian discussion forum: a bordello of verbal abuse.
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Even friendly readers sometimes disagree with the direction of my work. They tell me I will be better off if I were to spend my time more profitably by writing creative stuff – stories, novels, plays, or for that matter, translations of literary masterpieces: all things that will make us proud in the eyes of the world. I suspect the main concern of these misguided friends is not the welfare of the nation but the fear of seeing their role models and probably themselves exposed as charlatans and dupes.
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They want me to translate our great writers provided I say nothing about how they lived and died, or were persecuted and silenced, or were betrayed to the authorities.
Which amounts to saying, tell us anything you want, but don't tell us the Titanic has hit the iceberg. As cover-up artists, they would like to see me following in their footsteps. I don't write for such readers. I write against them. As for our so-called proud Armenians: most of them don't even qualify as Turks.

ENCOUNTERS WITH WRITERS
He was a veteran of World War II and the best-selling author of a battle, which was made into a TV documentary. I no longer remember how we met but I remember him saying there are 42 (may have been 44) ways in which a publisher can screw a writer. I remember that because around the same time I read another writer, an attractive blonde, who said, “Just when you think you have been screwed every possible way, you run into a publisher who has read the KAMA SUTRA.”
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“I write constantly, I write non-stop,” another writer told me. “I may be talking to you now but on another level I am writing. I write more than I read. I hope you do too.” No, I don't. I may write or rewrite for 30 or 45 minutes every morning but the rest of the time I read.
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For three decades he was one of our most popular writers in the Diaspora and he was popular with everyone, including bosses, bishops, and benefactors (who subsidized the publication of his books). he wrote mostly fiction and he disapproved of my increasingly critical stance. So much so that he left my last letters unanswered. When he died, he is quoted as having said, “I die alone and friendless.”
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After reading some of my commentaries and book reviews, Saroyan asked me if I do any “creative” writing, meaning fiction. I sent him my most recent novella published in an American literary periodical but never heard from him again. Another writer who knew him well, once said to me: “Saroyan cares only for Saroyan.” That's the way it is with all established writers. They view the work of other writers as deviations from their own. Faulkner didn't like Hemingway, and vice versa. Nabokov was contemptuous of Mann and Sartre. But then, Nabokov didn't care for many other writers, including Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky himself loathed Turgenev, and whenever Turgenev saw anything that was morbid, strange, and repellent, he would say, “C'est du Dostoevsky.” Another great writer who didn't care for Dostoevsky was Tolstoy, but it is said that the last book he read, or did not finish reading, was THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV.

REFLECTIONS ON FASCISM AND DEMOCRACY
It is widely known among citizens of a democracy that politics is the second oldest profession and that in many ways it resembles the first. Fascists agree but they think this does not apply to them. Which amounts to saying, “Our bordello madams, unlike yours, are virgins.”
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The trouble with some of my fascist critics is that they don’t consider me worthy of criticism. Instead, they insist that I either give up writing or change my views in such a manner as to jibe with theirs. In short, they demand that I become a disciple and an echo. Their disciple and their echo! My critics are not literary critics in the usual sense of these words, but messianic figures whose message is “Abandon your ways and follow me, for I am the only path to wisdom and salvation.” To such an Armenian to say anything but “Yes, master!” would be apostasy leading to eternal damnation and hellfir
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Memmi: “Every colonial nation carries the seeds of fascist temptation in its bosom.”

TWO VERY SHORT STORIES WITH UNHAPPY ENDINGS
Once upon a time two men met on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. One of them was an Armenian and the other a Turk.
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Once upon a time two men met on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. Both of them were Armenian.
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ANOTHER ARMENIAN STORY
When he was young, he wanted to be a writer but became instead an Oriental carpet dealer and made a million. Now he looks down on writers and thinks of them as naïve daydreamers and
contemptible parasites.
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QUESTIONS
When we speak of our culture and identity, can we really say our Oriental carpet dealers are not faithful manifestations of Armenianism?
What about the Armenian who hates Turks or anyone else who dares to be objective and honest?
What if by making a long list of his failings, Naregatsi was revealing our own? What is the relative value of our cultural achievements if we bury them?
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PATRIOTISM EXPLAINED
If it's ours, it's bound to be good even when it's bad. If it's theirs it's bound to be bad even when it's good. Our fanatics are better than their moderates. Our crooks are classier crooks. Patriotism is a contest whose rules are fixed to favor only one side.

Schlesinger on John McCain in a 1998 entry: “Speaking at a Republican dinner, he told the following so-called joke: Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because she is the illegitimate child of Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno. This plus his reputedly wayward sex life will surely destroy his evident presidential aspirations.”
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If you have eyes only for your visible assets, others will see only your hidden liabilities.
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Churchill once said something to the effect that courage is the greatest virtue because it defines all other virtues. Something similar could be said of honesty.
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The brainwashed don't think. They are only brainwashed to believe they do. That's why when a brainwashed Armenian meets a brainwashed Turk, they can communicate only by means of verbal abuse.
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There are two kinds of Armenians: those who think and those who recycle propaganda. Those who recycle propaganda speak louder and they are never wrong; and armed with that conviction, they persecute and silence anyone who dares to think for himself. Examples from the past: writers from Abovian to Zarian.
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Sociological studies reveal that if a man is prejudiced against one group, he will be
prejudiced against others too. Which is why, in our case, prejudice against the Turks is very easily modulated to prejudice against fellow Armenians.
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You can always rely on an Armenian to justify his selfish interests with a verbal avalanche of noble principles and ideals. In the words of a friend: "After fattening themselves on the blood of the innocent and the helpless, our Count Draculas are good at delivering lectures on the virtues of vegetarianism."

THE DA VINCI CODE
In still another book written by an American theologian, we are informed that the assumptions and conclusions of the DA VINCI CODE are without foundation. Maybe so, but the book raises two very important questions that so far no theologian or historian of Christianity has even attempted to answer: (a) How to explain the universal oppression of women by men? and (b) After making a mess of the world, how dare men think they can do a better job than women?
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SCHLESINGER'S JOURNALS
Notwithstanding his annoying habit of name-dropping – there are at least a dozen celebrities mentioned on almost every other page – I am enjoying this gossipy book, perhaps because Schlesinger has a wonderful gift for biting politically incorrect one-liners, which happens to be my favorite genre of writing. Three random samples follow.
On Dan Quayle: “a rich jerk from Indiana.”
On homosexuals: “the crime that dare not speak its name now won't shut up.”
On Newt Gingrich: “a puppy frisking about hoping to be patted.”
He speaks often of the importance books have played in his life but he seldom mention specific titles except his own.
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FORUM
The other day someone by the name of Mustafa or Ali wrote something to the effect that he was in the mood for screwing Armenians, and for some reason or other the Armenian moderator saw nothing objectionable in it. But when I raised the issue of anonymity promoting irresponsible conduct, he deleted it immediately. Figure that one out if you can. Increasingly now our reality is being defined by a generation without an intellectual center and without a moral compass. An environment in which the brainless is leading the blind. A generation that preaches a phony brand of patriotism but promotes cowardice, verbal abuse, and cannibalism. I am reminded of the e-mail I once received that said: “I am a proud Armenian.” Signed “Anonymous.”

There should be a clear line separating the lowest common denominator (inevitable in a democracy or wherever the majority rules) from the scum of the earth. When this line is blurred, anarchy is bound to follow.

OBSERVATIONS
Freedom and patriotism are weasel words: they can be defined in a number of contradictory ways. Freedom could also mean the freedom to exploit and enslave; and what could be more absurd than to say my patriotism is good but my enemy's patriotism is bad?
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How much of what we know today would be reduced to ignorance if we were to see reality through the eyes of God?
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It is not enough to voice lofty principles. One must earn the right. For myself, I shall always be grateful to Judas for not writing an ode to loyalty. But as an Armenian, I am used to reading editorials on tolerance by fanatics and listening to sermons on chastity by fornicators.
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Mountain people think their mountain is the center of the world. They view other mountains with suspicion and the valley below with contempt. They develop their own ways and consider all others as deviations. We are mountain people who refuse to give up their mountain ways even when they live on flatlands.
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Greed makes a man more cunning as well as stupid: more cunning in his employment of means to achieve his end, and more stupid in thinking he can hide his greed.

DIARY
At least in one specific endeavor I can declare myself an unqualified success – that of alienating everyone who is someone in our communities. What Zarian confided to his diary and notebooks (published only posthumously) I have posted on discussion forums and websites on the Internet accessible to the whole world.
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Since God is the Great Unknown and Unknowable, all my efforts are now concentrated in placing as great a distance as possible between myself and the Devil, whose kingdom is within us as well as without – because someone else's within is my without.
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When they didn't like what I wrote, they wanted to hire me. Once, I was even asked to write the biography of a national benefactor, to which I said I did not consider myself equal to the task. And they say I lack diplomacy....
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When an Armenian is good, he is good like everyone else. But when he is bad, he is bad like a Turk – or rather, his conception of a Turk: a fat mustachioed slob in shalvars wielding a yataghan dripping with blood.
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To die in the name of an ideal is heroic, but not if the enemy does it.
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To humanize the dehumanized is a job not for intellectuals but for prophets and messiahs.
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With fools, pretend to be a fool, if that is, you want to live longer.
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At the turn of the last century in the Ottoman Empire Armenian writers wrote mostly about Armenians. In the 21st century in America they write mostly about Turks.
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When after Independence 1,500,000 Armenians chose to emigrate, did anyone ever utter the word genosuicide or see the statistical connection?
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I once received a letter from a descendant of Raffi that said, among other things, “If Raffi were alive today, he would agree with you.” The memory of that letter means more to me than the 1001 insult hurled at me by faceless, nameless, cowardly riffraff.
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After silencing and alienating all dissenters, they say Armenians are unanimous on this point, when the only time we have achieved unanimity is in our passive acceptance of our status as perennial underdogs.
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Americans speak of spin doctors. We don't have them. Ours are all quacks.
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A Russian intellectual as quoted by Schlesinger in his JOURNALS: “I would die for democracy. But I know my people. They do not want democracy. They have never known democracy. The czars? Lenin? Stalin? Khrushchev? Brezhnev? They fear democracy. They want to be told what to do.”

If, to the above list of authoritarian rulers above, we add a succession of sultans that ruled us for 600 years, the picture becomes more depressing and our prospects more grim. I will never forget the university student from the Homeland who once demanded of me: “What's so great about democracy anyway?”

CONTRADICTIONS
When I had enough of their steady barrage of insults, I said something to the effect that the greatest insult for a writer is to be ignored. And sure enough, the insults stopped. They are as predictable as Pavlov's dogs but think they are smart because they were brainwashed to believe all Armenians are smart, including the Mongoloids among them. My guess is, after reading this they will start insulting me all over again and say they don't have to read me to insult me. And after reading this they will be torn.
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They don't write with their underdeveloped brain but with their overdeveloped intestines.
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In the same way that Armenians are brainwashed to believe they are smart, Hindus believe theirs is the most tolerant of all religions, provided of course one ignores their treatment of Untouchables. Seen from the perspective of Untouchables, Hinduism is probably the least tolerant of all religions. Hence the popularity of Islam in India and the countless intramural massacres.
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Everybody makes mistakes, except religious leaders, and Armenian political wheeler-dealers; and they don't make mistakes because they speak in the name of God, Truth, and Patriotism.
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For many centuries kings were successful in convincing the people that their power derives from God. The first and most important project of all men with power is to bankrupt common sense.
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Ignorance is a luxury only the very lucky can afford.
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The very same people who abuse free speech violate someone else's free speech.

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One reason I no longer write fiction is that I find reality more fantastic than anything I could imagine.
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Schlesinger, himself an establishment figure, writes in his JOURNALS: “Why can no one understand that the establishment is more likely to be wrong than to be right?” Our establishment figures are too insecure to admit as much. Why assume responsibility if they can blame all their blunders on Turks, the international community, the opposition, and the Good Lord Himself? There are no limits to their self-righteousness.
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As for the insults that are hurled in my direction: it seems to me they are motivated less by genuine disagreement and more by fear – fear of being exposed not as statesmen of vision but the blind leading the blind. And then there is the kind of idiot who think if he succeeds in silencing me or stops reading me, he will be the winner and I the loser.
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All they talk about is Turks and massacres, and their only message to the people is “mi kich pogh,” and because I point that out to them, they say I repeat myself.
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Schlesinger on academics: “Why does the academic environment seem to bring out the worst in otherwise decent individuals?”

I am surprised to note that, writing in the 1980s, he refers to some of his American contemporaries as “Stalinist” and “neo-Stalinist.”

Speaking of Nixon, Ford is quoted as having said, “Sometimes I wish I had never pardoned that son of a bitch.” An unfair remark that, when one remembers a tearful Nixon in his farewell speech to the White House staff saying, “My mother was a saint.”

SCOUNDRELS
All nations generate their share of scoundrels and we are no exception, with one important difference however: we take ours seriously. How to explain this scandal? Even after 600 years of brutal oppression in the Ottoman Empire we knew how to laugh at ourselves and our “betters.” At the turn of the last century in Istanbul our writers made merciless fun of our political agitators, religious leaders, and wealthy merchants. Zabel Yessayan, not exactly a humorist, wrote a savage satirical novel titled PHONY GENIUSES in which she excoriated our vodanavorjis.
Things are different today. As a result, we find ourselves at the mercy of inbred morons and wheeler-dealers who parade as geniuses and statesmen, fornicating bishops who advertise the sale of Oriental rugs in cathedrals, and dime-a-dozen pundits and academics whose unspoken slogan seems to be “whose bread I eat his song I sing.”

Is it conceivable that the Turks slaughtered not only our bodies but also our spirit? Why is it that the Holocaust has had the exact opposite effect on the Jews who now have a virtual monopoly on American comedy?

After violating our human right of free speech, has our leadership succeeded in brainwashing us into believing that laughter is un-Armenian, perhaps even pro-Turkish? What's next? Will they outlaw breathing? But perhaps on some level they have done that already and as a community we are no better than an assemblage of living corpses.
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In Arthur Schlesinger's JOURNALS: 1952-2000 (New York, 2007), I read the following amusing passage: “I recall Churchill explaining how it was possible for him to go to sleep every night when he was being vehemently criticized -- 'I simply say God damn them all, and then I sleep like a baby.'”

MEMO TO A YOUNG WRITER
If a reader insults you publicly and apologizes privately, he will insult you again – publicly.
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If he believes to be right and you wrong, he will also believe to be morally superior. The words of such an intramural racist have as much weight as the words of an inbred moron and a skinhead. Ignore him. And never tell such a one to shut up. His mouth may well be his worst enemy, and your enemy's enemy is your friend.
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If they never ask themselves “What if I am wrong?” it may be because they are too afraid of being wrong and because being wrong even once would be a blemish on their record as infallible thinkers and observers.
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If a reader tells you he is disappointed in what you write, tell him cheerfully that a refund check is in the mail.
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If Jihadists act in the name of Allah and our superpatriots speak in the name of the Fatherland (which in their mouths sounds more like Fartland), it's because they are brothers under the skin.
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To think that if the ideology is right, the leadership must also be right is known as “Sartre's fallacy,” because Sartre was taken in by the likes of Stalin, Castro, and Mao. Ideology defines nothing. Power does. The more non-representative the power, the more perverse the leadership.
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If he has the disposition of a crocodile, the memory of an elephant, the venom of a Turkish viper, the compassion of Genghis Khan, and if his profanities are sandwiched between a cliché and a platitude, he must be an Armenian superpatriot. Avoid him.
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Remember, the rarest of all Armenians is he who speaks about the past without contaminating it with an ideological or racist propaganda line.

SOLUTIONS
Winston Churchill: “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”
None of these things will be available in an environment controlled by individuals with the warmth and charm of a hangman's rope.
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The problem with solutions is not that they are difficult to find but that those who are in a position to implement them refuse to do so.
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In America they say “throw the bums out,” meaning, vote for anyone who runs against the incumbent. We don't have a corresponding expression in Armenian probably because we don't have bums, only statesmen.
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To be polite sometimes means to say the exact opposite of what you feel or think. But in writing, if you fail to be honest, direct, and to the point, you will be either ignored or dismissed as a hack. And that's what my critics want from me – to write like a hack so that they can dismiss me as one.
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To those who get a kick out of insulting their betters, I say, “Be aware of what you say because an insult is also a confession – it may reveal more about yourself than about your target, especially if your insults are motivated by revenge.”
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If only those who pretend to know better also knew when to shut up.
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“I am a Marxist -- of the Groucho tendency.”
If Karl were alive today he would have a good laugh. If Stalin were alive, the Gulag would be his answer. And that's what separates first-raters from second-raters.

IDEAS & NON-IDEAS
Those who have the power to control ideas will, sooner or later and inevitably, gravitate towards the notion that they will function with greater freedom (that is, they can brainwash more effectively) in an environment emptied of all ideas. Remember Napoleon's dictum, “A man with ideas is my enemy.”
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There is a saying in politics: “You can't beat somebody with nobody.” In the world of ideas, however, the only way to beat ideas is with non-ideas, and the more fossilized the non-idea, the better.

Example of a non-idea: “The Turks owe us on account of the Genocide.” Hence the plethora of massacre paraphernalia – museums, monuments, memoirs, editorials, movies, TV documentaries, monographs, demonstrations, seminars, and so on).

Another central non-idea: “We can solve all our problems with money.” Hence the frequency of fund-raising campaigns and the apotheosis of multi-millionaires. How much of the collected loot ends in the wrong pockets? No one knows.
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Who, after all, gives a damn what Armenians do to Armenians? Not even Armenians, it seems.
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Common sense tells us our assessment of ourselves (that is, our narcissism) will be devoid of all value unless it is moderated, modified, and balanced by other assessments, such as French (“filthy Armenians”), Greek (“Turkish gypsies”), Russian (“cowardly Armenians”), American (“Romanian?”), and last but not least, Turkish. We may think of ourselves as “the first Christians,” but we are also “Christian Turks.”

NOTES & COMMENTS
Anonymity makes a woman sound like a man, and a man like a woman. Which reminds me of the Turkish saying, “Among ten men nine are sure to be women.”
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Subservience to a corrupt and incompetent leadership has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with cowardice, and cowardice comes naturally to people who for 600 years were subservient to the Sultan.
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My detractors are my most faithful readers because they know I write about them and, as narcissists, nothing fascinates them more than themselves, no matter how bad and ugly. As for what they say about me: I don't have to read it to know. What could be more predictable than criticism or analysis motivated by revenge? When the gut speaks, the brain is silenced.
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The aim of nationalist historians is to legitimize amnesia in so far as everything that is negative is covered up and forgotten, and everything that is positive is exaggerated or, like the Battle of Avarair, invented.
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Somewhere Primo Levi remarks that if Italians are ashamed of being Italian it may be because they have failed to produce a political class that represents the people. Does that ring a bell?

OUR MANDARINS
According to prof. George Bournoutian in a recent televised interview, the world doesn't know enough about us. That is why his central concern has been to introduce our rich history and culture to the world, beginning with American academics who appear to be more interested in blacks and Jews.

If American academics are more interested in blacks and Jews it may be because most of them are blacks and Jews.
How many academics do we have?

About thirty years ago I remember to have read a study in which it was stated that there were at least a thousand Armenian academics in the United States alone. How many of our academics, who must number over two thousand by now, are interested in our history and culture?

If the overwhelming majority of our academics prefer to churn out works on odar subjects, why should odar academics be any different?

Even more to the point, why should the world be interested to know more about us?
What have we done to deserve their interest?
What have we contributed to the world except victims?

Do we really want the world to know that we are a nation whose leadership has collaborated with some of the most criminal regimes in the history of mankind, or a nation whose tribal rulers have succeeded only in dividing the people thus making them more vulnerable to foreign aggression?

I have no doubt whatever in my mind that there are Untouchable academics in India today, perhaps even in the United States, who believe they too have a rich history and deserve to be better known to the world. To prof. Bournoutian I ask: How much do you know or are interested in knowing about the Untouchables? More questions:

If the world knew more about us, would that be to our advantage or disadvantage? Do we really want the world to know that even after independence our so-called democracy in the Homeland is no better than a farce?

Do we really want anyone to know that after nearly a century in America, our leaders on this continent are no better than benevolent sultans?

How many of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors have been freely elected by the ppeople?
How many of them have the right to say they represent the people?
How many of us can even name these leaders?

Last but not least:
How much have we ourselves learned from our history?
I say to prof. Bournoutian, before we introduce our history to the world, let's introduce it to ourselves, and when I speak of history I mean an account of the past that is both honest and objective, which means, it does not shrink from exposing our failings. Because it is only by acknowledging our blunders and learning from them that we may be worthy of universal interest.

UNDERGROUND NOTES
Tashnaks, Ramgavars, and Chezoks are unanimous in their agreement to silence me. That at least proves that, (one) I am not in their pay, (two) I refuse to recycle their propaganda, and (three) I am un-Armenian in so far I choose to be honest, objective, and to think for myself.
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What if I am wrong and they are right? I for one value my own humanity too much to assert divine infallibility. Let others make an ass of themselves by doing so.
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The arrogance of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors is such that in their eyes refusing to be a brown-noser is seen as a capital offense.
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The trouble with psychoanalysis, or criticism for that matter, is that the very people who could profit from it most – from tyrants to serial killers – refuse to be analyzed. They prefer their own brand of insanity to any other alternative. Which amounts to saying, they very same people who suffer from the most dangerous infectious diseases reject medical care. As for blunders in history: those who could profit the most from learning from them are too busy repeating them to have any time left to learn.
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I challenge anyone to read my critics and not to agree with everything I say about Armenian filth. Zarian said, “Armenians survive by cannibalizing one another.” He should have added, “and themselves.”
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If those I criticize had a single shred of decency left in them, they would commit suicide. If they don't, it may be because on some higher level, they have already done so. Silencing the voice of one's conscience: is that not the surest way of dehumanizing oneself?
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He who criticizes and he who rejects all criticism on the grounds that he is beyond criticism, that is to say, he is infallible in judgment: who is the loser?
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If I am wrong I hurt no one but myself. But if they are wrong, millions suffer.

SUNDAY SERMON
When it comes to learning from history, we appear to know what others should have learned. As for ourselves: we don't feel the need to learn anything because, it is common knowledge that, as the smartest people on earth we already know all we need to know and then some.
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We know that to commit genocide is a crime against humanity. What we don't know and what we have consistently refused to learn is that to divide a nation, thus making it more vulnerable to genocide, and ultimately to genosuicide, is not one of the functions of leadership.
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All religions are false because they divide mankind into believers and infidels. Holy books are not holy. A book that legitimizes war and massacre is an abomination and not the Word of God.
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The quintessential oxymoron favored by all morons: Holy War.
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Where disagreements cannot be reconciled, the leadership has failed and might as well be in alliance with the Devil.
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Everything is connected to everything else. To divide a nation and to commit genocide or to allow others to do so, are not two separate actions but as interdependent as cause and effect.
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Our heritage, our culture, our character and identity: it is a mistake to think of them as valuable possessions. Human beings are a bundle of contradictions and complexes, and so is the culture they produce. If we can't separate the positive from the negative, or the useful from the useless, or that which is good from that which is evil, we condemn ourself to learn nothing.
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It is written, “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” It is also written, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” It follows, those who divide us are men without vision; and those who are subservient to them are blind.
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Martin Amis: “If God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion.”

VICTIMISTAN
The publication of every book by an Armenian is cause for celebration because it has little or nothing to do with reality. On the day an Armenian writer publishes a book that speaks of our reality, it will be cause for lamentation rather than celebration.
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Ordinary people have differences of opinion. Armenians have Ottomanized differences, which means, the only way to settle them is by slaughtering the opposition – if not in deed than in thought.
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The easiest thing in the world is to lose an Armenian friend; the hardest thing is to make an Armenian enemy a friend.
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It is difficult to be on the side of underdogs who are also dupes – who, that is, allow themselves to be brainwashed and manipulated by fund-raising panchoonies for whom the welfare of the people rates far below that of their own powers and privileges.
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If I am an authority on dupes it's because I have been one most of my life.
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If there is one thing that is harder than making an Armenian enemy a friend is deprogramming a brainwashed Armenian.
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Victims of foreign despots, victims of domestic wheeler-dealers, victims of our own narcissism, we are citizens of Victimistan.

WRITERS AND COMMISSARS
An e-mail informs me today that I am a repellent nonentity because I refuse to adopt Nelson Mandela as my role model. That's the trouble with our commissars: they don't read to understand what's being said; they read to recreate you in their own or someone else's image.
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A writer has no choice but to negotiate from a position of weakness. Reason, common sense and decency are his only weapons – weapons that throughout history have proved to be unequal to the challenges of unreason, greed, ignorance, prejudice, and power.
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There is a type of Armenian who pretends to speak in the name of all Armenians when in fact he speaks only in the name of a loud-mouth idiot, a self-satisfied jackass, or a gutless brown-noser.
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To put it as elegantly as I can: A nation whose commissars outnumber its writers is in very deep sh**.
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We should speak less of genocide and more of genosuicide if only because the first is history and the second an ongoing policy implemented by corrupt and incompetent leaders whose number one concern is not the welfare of the people but their own powers and privileges.

Ara Baliozian

2 comments:

Sukru S. Aya said...

Message to Ara Baliozian
Since I am on vacation with my family in USA and impaired with my computer (prints and reading at home) it will take another 2 weeks until I have time to read the wise words of Ara and too late to counter comments, other than trusting in his all time "common sense" instead of bragging on patrotisms etc. Even when I am on a leve, I do not skip him or TA

S Aya said...

Dear Ara Bey,

Your above essay did not escape my “delayed reading” since I was on a vacation and now I am trying to catch up with the newsletters in my absence.

Since your essay is primarily addressed to the diaspora Armenian community, I cannot have much right of say, other than informing that I very highly respect your sincere efforts and the irony of your realistic observations. I enjoyed very much your remarks in “Contradictions”, “Scoundrels” and the analogy of “fatherland and fartland”.

Particularly your paragraph “Ideas and Non-Ideas” speaks up the very truth and the main obstacle for any durable reconciliation between folks or flocks. Most people don’t know, but you and me perfectly know that as long as the “fund raising campaigns for hate museums and monuments” (ending in wrong pockets) will not end, this kettle of dispute must be kept boiling, so every one can have a cup of the money-soup.

“Mandarins”! How politely you explain! “Underground Notes”… You know Ara Bey, the greatest contribution in the discovery of truth and trying to wipe (one of the) dirty past dramas of WAR chaos, is being done again by “honest Armenians” like the youngsters who started and continue “TurkishArmenians,” yourself, and just a very few which we can count by fingers.

“Sunday Sermon” and “Victimistan” hits the bull’s eyes, but I am afraid, very few brains can think by logic, and read other views to arrive to personal conclusions.

Unless we use “values common to all” such as decency, sincerity, compassion, peace and harmony despite differences (religion, language, culture, ethnicity, nationality) we are doomed to be the very small minority but the “few who stay away from lynching frenzies”.

I have not seen yet any “ANCA” announcement, which does not end with “on-line donation”.

K. rgds
Aya

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