Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Every branch of learning and activity
has its voodoo counterpart.
There is voodoo economics,
voodoo medicine,
and voodoo history.
Conspiracy theories belong to the voodoo branch of history.
So does anti-Semitism – sorry! I meant to say, anti-Zionism.
There is a conspiracy theory that says
Dick Cheney directed the Mossad
to bring down the World Trade Center.
There is another conspiracy theory that says
the Young Turks were Jews
or puppets of Jews,
or student of Jews.
There is another one,
which happens to be a favorite of mine, that says
the serpent in the Garden of Eden
was a CIA agent in disguise.
Conspiracy theories attract lunatics
as surely as sh*t attracts flies.
Our Turcocentric ghazetajis pretend to know
all there is to know about Turks
and our anti-Semites expect us to believe
they know more about Jews than most Jews.
Our dime-a-dozen pundits, speechifiers,
and sermonizers, and activists are
past masters of voodoo.
Where solidarity is essential, they divide.
Where honesty is a must,
they engage in charlatanism.
Where free speech and dialogue are required,
they are dead set against both.
And when things go wrong,
our voodoo pundits explain it
by pointing their finger on alien agencies.
That may explain why
we have been going backward instead of forward;
and even as we advance towards the abyss,
we are brainwashed to brag
about our genius for survival.
Figure that one out,
if you can – and please, no voodoo!
You cannot win a war against an enemy who loves death more than life. The Japanese lost because the Yanks dropped the Bomb on them. If terrorists succeed in staging more 9/11-style attacks, the Yanks will have no choice but to elect a more warlike president who will not only carry a big stick but he will also use it.
I say what I think;
you say what you were told;
after which we go our separate ways.
That's dialogue, Armenian style.
In our Ottoman phase, no Armenian would ever dare to contradict a Turk.
In our diaspora today, no Armenian would ever dare to contradict a boss, bishop, or benefactor.
As the French are fond of saying, “Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme merde.”
My guess is, one reason our revolutionaries lost is that they were brought up to believe they were so smart they could do no wrong. Positive feedback may work in Oriental carpet dealership but is bound to be counterproductive in politics and international diplomacy where the competition is much stiffer.
We have enough gold in our communities (think of Gulbenkian, Krikorian, Manoogian, & Co.) for two Golden Ages. Instead, we wallow in the recycled crap of our Panchoonies and Jack S. Avanakians.
We are a failed state.
Our “brainless” leaders have been successful only in one endeavor, that of brainwashing us to channel our discontent in the direction of the enemy.
As for our press, whose main function is to expose corruption and incompetence: its favorite motto is, “No polemics, please!”
Who the hell is talking about polemics?
I am talking about facts.
But facts are not facts to those who refuse to acknowledge them.
Case in point: our genocide is a fact to us.
It is a controversy to them.
See what I mean?
I once wrote a letter to an editor questioning a fact discussed in an editorial and I received the following answer: “We don't, as a rule, publish letters that are critical of our editorial.”
Anti-Turkish venom, no matter how predictable, repetitive, and tedious is in.
Armenian reality is out.
What Jews were to the Nazis, capitalists to communists, and Armenians to the Sultan and Talaat, Turks are to us. Turks are the alpha and omega of all our problems. That's the way it is with all rotten systems. They need scapegoats and when they can't find them, they invent them.
The Turks are guilty of a crime that was committed a century ago. They have nothing to do with our divisiveness, incompetence, and intolerance of dissent and dialogue. Only the blind leading the blind and their dupes refuse to see this.
THE DARK VALLEY: SHORT STORIES by Axel Bakounts, translated from the Armenian by Nairi Hakhverdi. Preface by Victoria Rowe. (London, 2008).
SOUTHERN FEVER: SHORT STORIES by Abig Avagyan. (Yerevan, 2002). (In Armenian)
CAVE STORIES or 1993: NOVELLAS by Karen A. Simonian (Yerevan, 2006). (In Armenian)
COLORS OF THE PRISM: COLLECTED REVIEWS, ARTICLES, AND DRAWINGS by Krikor Keusseyan (Watertown, 2009). (In Armenian)
DRO (DRASTAMAT KANAYAN): ARMENIA'S FIRST DEFENCE MINISTER OF THE MODERN ERA by Antranig Chalabian, Translated by Jack Chelebian. (Los Angeles, 2009).
“The ascetic is a man rich enough to choose his poverty freely.”
Good point.
Gandhi enjoyed the financial support of a wealthy Indian industrialist by the name of Birla, who once complained that Gandhi's poverty cost him a lot of money.
As for Tolstoy: he was a multimillionaire.
“I turned rebel later only through having pushed submissiveness to the extreme.”
In my case, I became a dissident through having said “yes, sir!” to too many idiots.
If I knew my words mattered, I would be more careful in my choice of them.
One reason Armenian writers are willing to work for nothing is that the job has other compensations, one of them being deflating noxious gasbags.
I don't believe in Armenians who send me threatening e-mails anonymously. I believe if an Armenian can do me harm, he would have done it already.
As a result of the Genocide, we have become self-righteous fanatics not only in our dealings with the enemy, but also in our dealings with our fellow Armenians.
Survival is important. But what is even important is survival with honor. To stress the importance of survival at the expense of honor is to legitimize cowardice, opportunism, moral degradation, even treason and betrayal.

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