Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012 ******************************************** TO MY SWEET FELLOW ARMENIANS ***************************************************** To how many of my fellow countrymen I could say: “You are Armenian. I am Armenian. Therefore we have nothing in common.” * After Obama won the election a young woman in the South was so angry that when she found out her husband had not voted, she ran him over with her SUV.” My first thought on reading this story in my morning paper: “She must have had some Armenian blood in her veins.” Or, as Turgenev (who despised Dostoevky) would say, “Straight out of Dostoevsky.” * Another story told by a Canadian-Armenian woman: “I once met two elegantly dressed ladies in a supermarket speaking Armenian. I approached them and said in Armenian: ‘You are Armenian?’ They immediately took a step backward as if I were suffering from a contagious disease.” And I remember to have thought: They must have been from the Middle East, who knew instinctively there is no such thing as a friendly Armenian without ulterior motives. * Sometimes I am told I am consistently negative about my fellow Armenians. Others tell me I should write more like Saroyan who despised his wife (whom he married twice) and both his children. # Saturday, December 29, 2012 **************************************** TWO GENOCIDES ****************************** There are two genocides in our past and the first one lasted 600 years during which they re-created us in their own image. I repeat, there are two genocides – the remembered one and the unremembered or ignored one. The documented and exposed one, and the covered up and forgotten. * There is an entire library of material on the second genocide; not even a whisper on the first. No one can be as blind as the man who refuses to see. Our blindness is a self-induced condition. It is a blindness planned, organized, and implemented by the pornography of our own phony patriotism and propaganda. * If we refuse to see the obvious it’s because we are as guilty as the perpetrators. We did not shape our history. History shaped us. And what shaped us more than any event or factor is 600 years of subservience. * Nothing degrades and corrupts a man more than subservience to a morally corrupt power. Such subservience is worse than suicide. In suicide only the body is killed. In subservience, the spirit. * In the second genocide only our bodies were slaughtered. In the first, our spirit. Turks re-created us in their own image as surely as God is said to have created us in His. * The 11th Commandment should read: “Thou shalt not be subservient to any man.” The Turks have programmed us to hate our fellow Armenians. The massacre continues. #

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012 ************************************* HISTORY ************************** What do we really know about our past and more particularly about the 600 years in the Ottoman Empire that preceded the Genocide? We know that we coexisted with the Turks very much like our concubines in their harems, our janissaries in their armies and our ablest men in their bureaucracy. Our patriarch in Istanbul was the Sultan’s tax collector. We know that some Armenians prospered and others led a subhuman existence very much like the Untouchables in India, the Blacks in America, the serfs in Russia, and the very poor in England (as anyone who has read Dickens knows). What changed was the fact that the children of prosperous Armenians were sent to Europe to complete their education and discovered a new life there. They wanted more freedom and power and were encouraged in their ambition by the West. Our teenagers confused Europe’s verbal support with military intervention and that was a fatal error for which the people paid dearly. Our revolutionaries were our “best and brightest” very much like “the best and brightest” who justified the American involvement in Vietnam. With one important difference. Whereas the Yanks are smart enough and secure enough to admit their blunders (see McNamara’s memoirs on the subject) we are too self-righteous, stubborn, and dogmatic to do so. As a result the offspring of our revolutionaries (or should I say blunderers) continue to portray themselves as dedicated patriots who can do no wrong – very much like their counterparts, the Kemalists, in Turkey. # Monday, December 24, 2012 ******************************************* REALITY ****************** Reality is too big and complex a concept to be grasped by a single mind, or, for that matter, a single school of thought, ideology, religion, political party or propaganda line. * After thousands of years of philosophical speculation and scientific research we can’t even answer the simplest of all questions – such as, why things exist. * When one or both sides assert Truth or God is on their side, paralysis is sure to follow. The problem with Armenians and Turks is that both their educational systems are politically controlled; and when dupes meet they can only parrot a propaganda line, and two divergent propaganda lines can never meet. # Tuesday, December 25, 2012 ***************************************** HUMBUG ******************** He who says we need solutions to our problems is a humbugger engaged in humbuggery. You want solutions? Read our writers beginning with Khorenatsi’s LAMENTATION. You want the kind of leader who will guide us out of the mess we are in? Read philosophers from Plato to Sartre. Even better, read the Scriptures where you may even find a self-portrait. * “Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” * “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly.” * “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” * “He who despises the word will die.” * “A poor man is better than a liar.” * “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a man who is perverse in speech and is a fool.” * “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to himself.” * “He who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and [cross-] examines him.” * “No respect is shown to the elders. Woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, and our eyes have grown dim.” * Dim? Make it blind. And when the blind lead the blind…” So much for our bosses, bishops, benefactors and their dupes who believe we are in the best of hands. # Wednesday, December 26, 2012 ****************************************** ON REVOLUTION ******************************** The French Revolution succeeded because it was an essentially French affair – French citizens against a French king. The Russian Revolution succeeded for similar reasons. The American Revolution succeeded because it was a WASP uprising against a distant WASP monarch. Our revolution failed because we made demands on an alien despot who was the political as well as religious head of a disintergating empire. * To use the words of one of elder statesmen, we weren’t just “a frog trying to rape an elephant,” we were “infidel dogs” trying to f*ck “a wounded tiger.” To paraphrase Voltaire, and because it was a religious as well as apolitical confrontation, there were very few survivors. * This was clearly seen by foreign observers, diplomats, and missionaries as well as our own bureaucrats within the Ottoman administration, but our revolutionaries chose to ignore their warnings. * But perhaps the most important difference between our revolution and the others mentioned above is the fact that ours was not a popular uprising; but the uprising of a non-representative minority within an ethnic minority -- in view of the fact that most Armenians within the Empire were illiterate and lacked political awareness. * For more on this subject see Pars Tuglaci, THE ROLE OF THE DADIAN FAMILY IN OTTOMAN, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL LIFE (Istanbul, 1993), and my DEFINITIONS: A CRITICAL COMPANION TO ARMENIAN HISTORY AND CULTURE (Kitchener, 1998). # Thursday, December 27, 2012 **************************************** YESTERDAY & TODAY ****************************** In America, yesterday’s hippies have become today’s bankers and CEOs. Something similar has happened to our revolutionaries: yesterday’s idealists have become today’s businessmen. * “America’s business is business,” a famous American once said. More recently an even more famous American (President John F. Kennedy) called businessmen sons of bitches. The full quotation reads: “My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches but I never believed it till now.” (See BARTLETT’S FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS, 2012 edition, page 786.) * One of our elder statesmen from the Middle East once told me: Whenever the old revolutionaries met with their younger counterparts, they (the old) were treated liked losers and figures of fun. * Until our music and architecture acquire the purity and universality of their medieval ancestors, I will continue to think of Armenians as Levantinized and Sovietized mongrels or “Oreo” Armenians – that is, Armenians on the outside, Arabs, Turks, Russians, and Yanks on the inside. * Don’t think of honesty as a finished product but as a work in progress – as a goal towards which we either advance or retreat. And so far I see nothing but retreat. #

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012 ***************************************** ON SUBSERVIENCE… AMONG OTHER THINGS. ************************************* Subservience is subservience no matter how you slice it. It makes no difference whether you are subservient to a Turk, Russian, or any one of our bosses, bishops, or benefactors. The free Armenian who is neither alienated nor assimilated is an absurdity, he doesn’t exist, he is a fiction of someone fertile imagination. An Armenian needs his subservience the way others need their freedom. * To be a good Armenian means to recycle the propaganda line of a dogmatic ideology, orthodoxy or mafia even when the propaganda line happens to be no better than verbal vomit. * “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” translated into Armenian reads: “This is the beginning of a lifelong feud.” * To be a Turk to Turks: that’s the secret ambition of Armenians who are proud to identify themselves as patriotic Armenians. * As far as I know no Armenian poet has ever written a poem titled “To my sweet fellow Armenians.” # Friday, December 21, 2012 ************************************* THE UGLY ARMENIAN *********************************** If you are an Armenian from the Middle East don’t read what follows. It may not be flattering to your colossal ego. * An Armenian from the Middle East knows all there is to know about Armenians, Turks, Jews, Arabs, and Americans. What he doesn’t know can’t be worth knowing. He is born to explain, not to understand. As a result, on the day he dies he will be as ignorant as on the day he was born. * I have no doubt whatever in my mind there are Armenians from the Middle East who know their limitations but I have yet to meet one. * One difference between Armenians and Americans is that Americans have published a best-selling book titled THE UGLY AMERICAN. * Between a general who is caught in adultery and another who burns down and levels towns and villages in distant places, I am all for dedicating a monument in a city park to the fornicator. * Say yes or no but always leave some room for the unknown and the unknowable because that’s God’s dwelling place. * Propaganda flatters, therefore it is wrong. As yanks are fond of saying after delivering a cliché, “That’s my philosophy.” * Dogmatic assertions can’t be right because they demand not only agreement but also subservience. * At the turn of the last century in the Ottoman Empire we were paranoids in reverse – we saw friends everywhere but didn’t see the mortal enemy next door. # Saturday, December 22, 2012 ******************************************* WHY I AM AGAINST PATRIOTISM ******************************************* First and foremost because some of the worst crimes against humanity were committed in the name of patriotism. * Patriotism means to place more value on a fraction of mankind than on mankind as a whole. * To be a patriot means to trust the judgment and integrity of politicians, that is to say, individuals that history has exposed again and against as habitual and compulsive liars. * To trust habitual and compulsive liars means to abdicate not only one’s responsibility but also logic, common sense and decency. That is to say, to be not human but subhuman – a dupe, a vessel of lies and prejudices whose aim is not to enhance life but death. * To be a patriot means to admit our understanding of reality is so limited and defective that we need others to tell us what to think and understand even when these others are corrupt and incompetent, that is to say, no better than the rest of us. * Patriotism can’t be right if only because everybody says my patriotism is better than yours and no one has ever said my patriotism is second class but yours is first class. * Speaking as an Armenian I could go on and say I have 1,500,000 more reasons but I doubt very much if that will convince any one of our patriots to give up his patriotism. It may even have the opposite effect. #

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012************************************* ANTI-PROPAGANDA******************************** Kafka in his DIARY: “What have I in common with Jews?” If you have ever asked the same question in reference to your fellow countrymen, welcome to the club. *Biologically speaking, we are as much Christian Turks as they are Muslim Armenians. *An Armenian who says he loves his fellow Armenians is either a liar or William Saroyan. *Michael (GREEN HAT) Arlen put it best when he said to his son Michael (PASSAGE TO ARARAT) Arlen: “Armenians are lovely people but stay away from them.” *An Armenian who hates his fellow Armenians can’t be all bad. *An Armenian doesn’t want to know. He wants to know better for purely one-upmanship reasons. *If ever I go back to writing fiction I will remember to use the line: “I am proud to my Armenian ancestry, said Kurdoglnanian.” *Propaganda moronizes even the smartest. Hence the phenomenon of a smart Armenianwho voices views and opinions worthy of a retard. *In both the Ottoman Empire and the USSR we were brainwashed to believe we lived in the best of all possible worlds. Are things much different in America today? *History does not repeat itself. It stays the same. *My ambition: to say what everybody knows but doesn’t want to admit it.*Beware of good Armenians. Some of my worst enemies are Armenians who think they are better Armenians.#Monday, December 17, 2012*************************************** AS I SEE IT*********************** The homeless, the hungry, the unemployed: let others look after them. We prefer bloodsuckers, thieves, deceivers, and fugitives from justice. *To meet an Armenian is to meet a foreigner. *Kachaturian in music, Zarian in literature. If the first is better known it’s because he wrote dances and lullabies. *If the Turk that resides within us and the Turk who lives in Turkey were to meet, they wouldn’t recognize each other. *No Armenian can be as ignorant as the Armenian who pretends to know all there is to know about Armenians. *We have probably invented and spoken more lies about ourselves than all other nations combined. *Power corrupts. So does weakness. We are a proof of that. *A reader writes: “You don’t know what you are saying. I visited Armenia recently and everybody I met was nice.” Behold the birth of an expert!*Sooner or later all closed systems of thought are perverted. If they preach love, they practice hatred. If they preach peace, they go on the warpath. If they preach love of country,they practice hatred of fellow countrymen.#Tuesday, December 18, 2012************************************ MEMO TO A WRITER****************************** You want to play it safe? Easy! Write about nightingales serenading the moon and the eternal snows of Mt. Ararat. Consider all other subjects as no-man’s land that you enter at your own risk.*For most of my life I could not tell the difference between subservience and respect for authority. I recycled chauvinist crap with a clear conscience. I thought of myself as a future role model and not as a brown-noser and a coward. I trusted my elders. I surrendered my mind and soul to them the way my predecessors trusted theirs to the Sultan and Stalin.*A line worth remembering: “In politics all abstract terms conceal treachery.”*In both capitalism and communism the only thing you really own is your death.#Wednesday, December 19, 2012******************************************** TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY************************************** What I have been trying to explain, without much success it seems, is that unlike tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes our misfortunes were not one-sided affairs. It wasn’t all the Sultan’s or Stalin’s fault. We had something to do with them if only because we didn’t see them coming; or rather, we didn’t want to see them, and “to the blind everything is sudden.” *Until we realize and admit the extent of our contribution to our misfortunes, defeats, and catastrophes we condemn ourselves to understand nothing about the world in which we live, our enemies, and ultimately ourselves. *Is there anything we could have done to prevent any one of our tragedies? Strike that question. Let us ask instead, is there anything we can do today to minimize the damage perpetrated by the “white massacre” (namely, exodus from the Homeland and assimilation in the Diaspora)? Because if there is and so far we have done nothing, it follows we are at the mercy of men who are not just incompetent and corrupt but also our worst enemies. *Speaking of earthquakes: I remember an American pundit saying “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do;” and a Soviet bureaucrat from Moscow (with an Armenian surname) on TV explaining the Earthquake in Armenia with the words: “We don’t control building codes in the republics.” They control every single line published in newspapers and periodicals but not building codes that may kill thousands.#

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012**************************************** IF…************* Some of the greatest Irish writers, among them Oscar Wilde, G.B. Shaw, and James Joyce, wrote not in Gaelic but in English. What would have happened if Armenian writers in the Ottoman Empire had written in Turkish? My guess is (one) they would now have many more readers; (two) at least one of them would be a Nobel Prize winner; (three) they would have been translated into many languages; (four) their life and work would have been the subject of numerous biographies and monographs in several languages; and last but not least (5) since half of Turkey is very probably half-Armenian, millions of Armenians would now be identified not as Christian Turks but as Muslim Armenians. *Treason, you say? Listen to James Joyce: “Ireland is the old sow [pig] that eats her farrow [babies].” And if you say Armenians are more civilized than that, I say: Compared to Irish literature, Armenian literature is a nightmare of neglect, degradation, betrayal, exile, and murder.#Friday, December 14, 2012************************************* SLOGANS******************** After the collapse of the USSR, Estonians, Lithuanians, and Latvians were ruthless in their treatment of their Russian citizens. Chechens and Georgians went further and declared war on Russia.We did nothing of the kind on the grounds that we need them more than they need us.*If true it is also true that what we don’t need is their kind of oligarchy, plutocracy, larceny, corruption, and contempt for democracy and human rights, which may be at the root of our exodus or “white massacre.” If you can’t see this clearly it may be because you are capable in thinking only in terms of cheap slogans and recycled enemy propaganda. *Once upon a time we had chic Bolsheviks in America who parroted the Kremlin line “The Russians are our Big Brothers.” The USSR has collapsed, our chic Bolsheviks have been silenced, but Stalin lives. *To the simple-minded who can think only in terms of slogans, how about this one?“Russia, yes. Russian shit, no!”*Have you noticed that the dumbest Armenians are Armenians who have assessed themselves as smart?#Saturday, December 15, 2012*************************************** DIARY**************** In the latest edition of BARTLETT’S FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS I find half a page dedicated to Raymond Chandler. Now that’s what I call progress. On the negative side, there are several pages of T.S. Eliot quotations most of which are neither familiar nor accessible to a layman like me. Armenians are mention only once in a single line – Hitler’s.*On our tombstone I suggest the following inscription: “They tried everything but solidarity.” Or “They refused to learn from their mistakes which they were careful never to acknowledge.”*We have played minor supporting roles on the stage of world history and we have invariably supported our butchers and executioners. *All the political policies we have adopted and implemented have been driven by death wish. What was done to us is only half the story.*Jose Ortega y Gasset must have had us in mind when he said: “A society without an aristocracy, without an elite, is not a society.”*We live in a world where genocide is easier to cover up than murder.#

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sunday, December 09, 2012 *************************************** CHAPTER & VERSE ******************************* Speaking of an elder statesman, Puzant Granian (may he rest in peace) once said to me: “He was so naïve that I once heard him say 'Churchill does not lie.'" There you have it in four words: the fallacy of our revolutionaries: “The West does not lie.” * Poor Armenian revolutionaries. After 600 years of subservience to a bloodthirsty tyrant what did they know about politics and diplomacy – that is to say, the real world? * But the more relevant question to be asked is: “What have they learned?” And if they have learned nothing, can they even lead a dog to the nearest fire hydrant? Can they even read and understand what they are reading? * Last Saturday I saw on Armenian television another one of our dime-a-dozen elder statesmen bragging about our translation of the Bible – “the Queen of translations.” Instead of bragging he should have asked: What have we learned from the Bible? Do we read it? And if we read it, can we understand what it says? * “When the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch.” “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” “Without vision the people perish.” “By their fruits ye shall know them.” “Put not your trust in princes.” “A fool’s mouth is his destruction.” “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” “The wages of sin is death.” And I could go on and on… # Monday, December 10, 2012 *************************************** LABELS *********************** After millennia of wars, deportations, abductions, rapes, and mixed marriages, mankind has been so thoroughly bastardized that whenever I am introduced to a fellow Armenian, I ask myself: what do I share in common with this fellow? And more often than not the answer is “Nothing!” His mother tongue and mine may be the same but his favorite medium is Russian and mine is English. * It has been said that if the history of mankind were 24 hours long, we may be able to trace our ancestry for a few seconds or even a minute or two, but beyond that it’s Bagratunis and Mamikonians (Jews and Chinese respectively). * If a man does business with Armenians or lives in an Armenian neighborhood and doesn’t know who and what he is, he will identify himself as an Armenian. The same applies to Turks, Americans, Australians, and in general all other tribes, nations, and empires. * We are Christians not because Christianity is the best religion or it makes more sense than all the others, but because that was the only religion we were taught as children. * The only legitimate and verifiable label I recognize is “human being,” and so few qualify. As for Homo sapiens: since what we don’t know outweighs what we know a million to one, a more accurate label would be Homo ignoramus. * Speaking for myself: I have said this before and it bears repeating: on a good day I can trace my ancestry all the way back to my father. * You have every right to find me unreadable. I rate objective judgment above flattery and propaganda. # Wednesday, December 12, 2012 ************************************** LEADERS ********************* My ambition in life: to convince my enemies that we have many more reasons to be the best of friends. (This tactic doesn’t always work with Armenians.) * Every time you say “Yes, sir!” to a liar, you dig a deeper hole for the truth. * Every time you put your trust on a bad leader, you raise another obstacle on the path of a good leader. * Let others speechify and sermonize about our heroes and martyrs. I will continue to write about blunders and their innocent victims. * It has been said that a competent leader is first and foremost a consensus seeker. You may now draw your own conclusions. * Let’s not fool ourselves: our leadership is as keen on divide-and-rule tactics as our worst enemies. * A divided nation is on its way to the devil. Only idiots refuse to see this. And when idiots are in charge the result may be another genocide. # Wednesday, December 12, 2012 ****************************************** LITERATURE & POLITICS ********************************** Reason tells us there is strength in unity. It follows; reason has at no time played a central role in our political affairs. * It can truly be said of us that our literature has shaped nothing and no one except a handful of scribblers, versifiers, daydreamers, and mental masturbators. * What has been the role of our political leaders? The answer is and must be that of gravediggers. * “Let us not deceive ourselves” is a favorite line of mine. But even as I write I go on deceiving myself into thinking my words may be read, and if read may make a difference. * I am told I am too extreme and inflexible in my views, intolerant of alternative ideas, reluctant to engage in dialogue, unable to compromise. Which raises the question: Is compromise possible with charlatans who do not even acknowledge your existence? Or with wheeler-dealers who have silenced far better men than myself? Can one negotiate from a position of non-existence? * So many readers disagree with me that whenever on those rare occasions someone agrees with me my first reaction is to think I must have said something wrong. * Our educational system is at the mercy of dupes of former dupes whose most important project is to create a new generation of dupes. * If the Genocide taught us nothing it only means that we are unteachable. #

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thursday, December 06, 2012************************************* ELIMINATION*********************************** Who is responsible for the present global economic crisis? If you say that’s not an easy question to answer, I say: Nonsense! Let’s proceed by the method of elimination. It wasn’t you and me. It wasn’t plumbers and taxi drivers. It wasn’t the homeless, the poor, and the unemployed. Neither was it the middle classes. That takes care of the 99%. See what I mean?*Who is responsible for the Genocide? That’s an easy one if only because our academics have published a thousand books on the subject.What about the books of their academics? What academics? You mean hirelings of the régime, brown-nosers of the state, Kemalist charlatans. *Who is responsible for the mass exodus from the Homeland or “white massacre”? Surely not the Armenian whose sole aim in life is to work and provide for his family! *Who is responsible for the high rate of assimilation in the Diaspora? That’s an easy one too if you happen to be a brainwashed dupe: “cultural, political, and economic conditions beyond our control.”*Moral I: Don’t believe everything you are told. Moral II: Bastards know how to take care of their own.#Friday, December 07, 2012************************************ INVESTIGATIONS************************ Whenever I say anything remotely critical of Armenians I am accused of hating myself, as if it were the patriotic duty of every Armenian to be a narcissist.*Our problem, our real problem is not assimilation but dehumanization, which may happen in New York City as surely as in Yerevan. *You may have noticed that fund-raisers don’t like speaking about corruption. That would be like biting the goose that lays the golden egg. *We have not beheaded a single king. I consider that to be a serious failing on our part. *National benefactors die disappointed men. Partly their fault. They like to surround themselves with brown-nosers,and after 600 years of subservience to Turks we easily qualify as the best brown-nosers money can buy. I am now paraphrasing one of our elder statesmen, in case you thought I was an investigative reporter. *Investigative reporters cost money. They have expenses. We can’t afford them. We can afford bishops and archbishops by the dozen but not a single investigative reporter. For most of my dissenting view I rely on the wisdom and experience of our elder statesmen (may they rest in peace).#Saturday, December 08, 2012*************************************** INVESTIGATIONS (II)*********************************** Has anyone ever bothered to calculate the millions we could save if we had one cathedral instead of two, or one church instead of four? -- millions with which to feed the hungry and house the homeless? *A cathedral or a church is first and foremost a house of God. We believe in the same God (or in the absence of the same God, if you are an atheist); we read the same Bible; we sing the same hymns or sharagans. We all agree that God is neither a Catholic nor a Protestant, or for that matter, neither an Etchmiadznagan nor an Anteliassagan. *Let’s adopt a gradual approach. Let’s reduce the number of churches to one in which we could have a separate service for each denomination, so that members of one denomination coming in would meet members of the opposition going out, which may give them an opportunity to realize that they are not much different from one another notwithstanding the lies of our dime-a-dozen shit-disturbing propagandists -- if you will forgive my French.*Speaking of lies: I was brought up as a Catholic and I was taught to believe Martin Luther had divided the Church in order to fornicate with a nun. *And speaking of fornication: An Irish Catholic priest to a little girl after Sunday school: “Tell me child, what do you want to be when you grow up?” “A prostitute.” “What did you say?” “A prostitute.” “Thank God for that. I thought you said a Protestant.” *Moral I: To divide a community is almost to commit “white massacre.” Moral II: If we have a single house of God as opposed to four we may cease being a joke in the eyes of the world.#

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 2, 2012****************************************** ARE WE OUTNUMBERED?***************************************When I speak to an Armenian I am never sure if I am speaking to him or to his schoolteacher. I have no use for academics who spin massals and try to convince me that that once upon a time we were a great nation. What I am more interested in is knowing why have we fallen so low? Is military defeat the only reason of our moral and intellectual bankruptcy? If yes, why are we afraid to admit it? Do the bastards outnumber us a thousand to one?*When an Armenian sees the light, it can truly be said of him that he becomes a born again cadaver.*An Armenian philosophical assertion: I am smart, therefore I can pretend to know better.*When I read a writer I want to read someone smarter than I am; and, if not smarter than more ruthless in his treatment of our failings and contradictions. *To all our future critics I say: Don’t you worry about our sensibilities. We can take it. We are tough mothers. We took it from the Turks for 600 years; we can take whatever a scribbler can dish out.#Monday, December 03, 2012**************************************** SHOP TALK******************** You want to survive as a writer in our environment? Kissing ass is not enough. You must also say it smells like roses. You want to be perceived as a patriot? Loving your country is not enough. You must also be subservient to the leadership. Teach yourself to say “Yes, sir!” even when the right answer is “Nuts!” You want to be perceived as wise, tolerant, and virtuous? It is not enough to be these things. You must also make it abundantly clear that you owe everything to the wisdom, tolerance, and virtues of our bosses, bishops, benefactors and their buffoons, namely hirelings, hangers on, flunkeys, and brown-nosers. You want to solve our problems? Pretend we have none. You want to be popular? Convince yourself and others we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands. You want me to explain why I do none of these things and yet I have survived? The answer is I have done all these things, that’s why I speak with some authority on the subject. As for my survival: to die the death of a thousand cuts may also appear as survival up to the 999th cut. You want evidence? Read a history of our literature and may God have mercy on your soul, if there is a God and you have a soul.#Tuesday, December 04, 2012************************************** CAN WE LEARN FROM HISTORY?************************************************** We all know what the Turks did to us. What we need to know now is what we did or failed to do. Relax! I am not trying to assign guilt. I just want to learn from our blunders if only because I don’t want to see them repeated. *We all make mistakes. No use covering them up. To do so in an effort to appear infallible convinces no one. *Where did we go wrong? Was our blind trust in the West justified? Was the Genocide inevitable? Was it our “jagadakir” (written on our forehead)? If yes, why didn’t we see it coming? *Far from being passive victims, we did adopt and implement a policy. Did we have leaders who advocated less passion and more reason? What made us choose passion and reject reason? Who among us would dare to suggest that passion in time of crisis is a better guide to action than reason? *Obviously, as human beings we behaved as human beings, that is to say, prone to error. If we committed errors, let’s name them. We learn nothing by asserting it was all someone else’s fault. Because even as I write these lines history is repeating itself. We are experiencing another genocide – exodus from the Homeland and assimilation in the Diaspora. Do we repeat ourselves by saying we are not to blame because we are doing what must be done?#Wednesday, December 05, 2012***************************************** THE BRAINS & THE BRAINLESS************************************** We now have a generation of brainless political activists who believe they are the brains of the people. If they are the brains of the people, does that mean the people are brainless? What else, may I ask? *Our activists may be smart enough to think they have brains of the people but not smart enough to see the implications of what they are saying. So what else is new? *Another question: How much brains does it take to lead the brainless? Obviously, hardly any. Nothing further your Honor. *You may have noticed that when an Armenian assesses himself as smart, he also gives himself the license to speak and act like a certified moron. *If the people are brainless, it follows they will be stupid enough to believe everything they are told. *Still another question: If our political activists shed their blood for freedom, as they claim to have done, why is it that they are now afraid of free speech? (This final question comes with the compliments of the late Jack Karapetian, a.k.a. Hakop Karapients, distinguished author and broadcaster. *During the last century we have suffered two calamities, the other being an educational system and a press controlled by political activists. This is as true of the Homeland as it is of the Diaspora. We now also have a generation of dupes who believe everything they are told.#

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012 **************************************** LA CRÈME DE LA SCUM *********************************** If our political leaders in both the Homeland and Diaspora saw themselves as we see them, they would wither away and die a slow lingering death. If they appear to be completely comfortable in their own skin it may be because they have a different image of themselves. Consider the oligarchs in the Homeland: I have every reason to suspect they see themselves as honorable gentlemen that history has thrust into their present position of responsibility which they are discharging to the best of their abilities. Unlike their predecessors and role models – Stalin and his henchmen, among them Mikoyan – they are not serial killers, and butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths or anywhere else for that matter. * And I can’t help thinking of myself when young and brainwashed. I saw our bosses, bishops, and benefactors in a completely different light. Saw? Strike that. Make it, I was brainwashed to see; and no man can be as blind, deaf and dumb as the brainwashed, especially when he is brainwashed to believe he is not just smart and patriotic but that rarest of all beings: an Armenian dedicated to the cause of justice, an idealist willing to die for his cause, knowing full well that the chances of that happening are so remote that it doesn’t even occur to him to contemplate the possibility that he may well be an orthodox coward whose number once concern is number one. Or, as the Turkish saying (probably of Armenian provenance) has it: “Among ten men nine are sure to be women.” * Let us catch up with reality by admitting the inadmissible: the Soviet Union and the Levant have produced a species of Homo sapiens that ought to be a source of embarrassment to all men with a minimum sense of decency. * This may explain why Armenians survive only in the Levant and the former USSR. Anywhere else they shed their identity and assimilate. And they assimilate not because of “cultural, economic, and political conditions beyond our control,” but because they see the light. * To those who say there are some things that should not be said in public, I say: our actions speak louder than words. Who we are, what we are and how we behave are like a city set on a hill: they can’t be hidden. Besides, what I am saying, has been said before by far better men than myself. I am not here to speak the unspeakable but to paraphrase, repeat, and remind readers who might as well be advanced cases of artificially induced Alzheimer’s. # Friday, November 30, 2012 ******************************************** THE MOST BEASTLY MADNESS ******************************************* When the rich fight it is the poor who die. When the old fight it is the young who die. When fanatics fight it is the moderates who die. When the mighty of this world fight it is the powerless who die. When the insane die…you may now finish that sentence. * As for American corporations: they don’t fight because they are not people. They let African-Americans and Latinos do the fighting and dying for them. (Romney, you are wrong again!) * In his Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci, who painted war scenes and invented war machines, calls wars “pazzia bestialissima” (the most beastly madness). * We are told the war of Troy was fought because a dickhead raped or fornicated with a floozy. WWI was fought because an empty suit (or should I say wardrobe) was assassinated by a crazy Balkan anarchist. World War II was fought because of World War I which was meant to end all wars. And more recently, consider the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Consider the Crusades and the colonial wars conducted by the so-called civilized West against native tribes in Africa, America, and Australia. * There is no such thing as a just war. Even so-called defensive wars inevitably lead to the commission of crimes against humanity, such as the deportation or forced exodus of innocent civilians which, if not ethnic cleansing, might as well be damn close to it. * As soon as a war is fought (won or lost, it makes no difference) an entire class of men – from poets and ghazetajis to military historians, diplomats, and wheeler-dealers, make it politicians) start brainwashing the masses into believing “our” side was absolutely right and “their” side dead wrong. * To say with Marx that all wars have an economic reason is to cover up the greed of a ruling class that has the morality of cannibals and the tactics of a pack of wolves. # Saturday, December 01, 2012 ******************************************** CONFESSION *********************** All dupes pretend to know better. I am not casting aspersions. I am speaking about myself when young. * CASTING ASPERSIONS ******************************* I have dealt with enough bosses, bishops, and archbishops, also benefactors and their flunkeys and hirelings, to know that they think they have reached such brilliant, perhaps even unattainable, heights of eminence that no one in his right mind would dare to question their integrity, of which they have none. As for our former and present commissars in the Homeland: I would place them in the same category as pirates and pickpockets. * MORE ASPERSIONS ***************************** All careerists are brown-nosers who know instinctively whose ass to kiss and whose to kick. * The 99% are easily duped by the 1%; but even the 1% has its 99%. * With old age comes wisdom. Call no Armenian a friend until he is dead and buried. #

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012*********************************** TO THINK MEANS TO THINK AGAINST ONESELF***********************************************As an Armenian I have no interest whatever in knowing that once upon a time we were, or we had the potential to be, a great nation. I don’t feel the need to assert superiority over any man and such need I consider racist megalomania. Once upon a time we may have had the chance to achieve greatness. If we lost that chance it may be because we are losers. Now the ambition of every loser is to be a winner in order to lord it over other losers. I want no part of that farce. All I want as a human being is to do the best I can without deceiving anyone beginning with myself.*The world is a rotten place inhabited by rotten people. Unless you have something to say against yourself, say nothing.*Honest men can be wrong too. But the dishonest, even when right, they are wrong because they exploit that single instance of honesty to enhance their credibility.*My ambition, my real ambition is to be neither popular nor great but not to give a damn about popularity and greatness.*A criminal lawyer pleading not guilty for his client who happens to be a sadistic serial killer is less dangerous to me than an academic who recycles state propaganda.*If you say the wrong thing some people will disagree with you; but if you say the right thing, many more. That’s because at all times and everywhere the brainwashed outnumber those who can think for themselves.*All power structures (be they democratic or totalitarian) support the freedom to brainwash,#Monday, November 26, 2012******************************************** ZEN AND THE ART OF KICKING ASS******************************************* Heidegger, one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century -- some say the greatest – was a member of the Nazi Party. *If the Gulbenkian Foundation (the wealthiest foundation in the world, it has been said) had not awarded a hefty grant to Prof. David Marshall Lang, would he have written a book titled ARMENIA: CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION? *Why do you think the favorite subjects of our own academics today are the Middle Ages and the Massacres? And speaking of massacres: we all know what happens to a Turkish academic who dares to speak of the recent past with any degree of honesty and objectivity. *Imagine if you can a Soviet professor of economics under Stalin teaching the superiority of the free enterprise system or an American professor in the McCarthy era teaching DAS KAPITAL.*Every academic has a sign hanging down his neck that says, “For Sale.” If on occasion I am rude, crude, or offensive it’s because Zen masters tell us kicking ass is a far more effective tool of enlightenment than kissing ass. Brown-nosers are better at teaching subservience. But I have selfish reasons for favoring the Zen method. An insulted Armenian has the memory of an elephant, and I don’t mind asserting with some degree of certainty, even pride, that I have by now insulted enough Armenians to guarantee my immortality.#Tuesday, November 27, 2012********************************* NOTES & COMMENTS**************************************** Because I was a dupe I thought I had all the right answers.*I have dealt with too many self-satisfied idiots who thought they were my betters to be even remotely tempted to assert superiority over anyone.*Whenever I entertain a positive thought about my fellow men and myself events conspire to prove me wrong.*I am much more interested in finding reasons for co-existence with our enemies than in asserting our moral superiority over them.*To say, I am an Armenian therefore I am smart is as bad as saying: I am a loser therefore I am a winner.*All belief systems rely on a propaganda line that is both convincing and flattering to one’s ego.*No matter how hard I try I cannot convince myself that to be positive means to cover up the negative.#Wednesday, November 28, 2012********************************************** ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES**************************************When those in power kill, exile, jail or silence anyone who dares to challenge their authority, they do so not only to punish the transgressor but also to intimidate all others to mind their own business. *On the day the first heretic was tortured, my guess is more than one boy or girl decided to leave theology to theologians. On the day Gandhi was assassinated I suspect more than one Indian mother was overheard advising her son to leave politics to politicians. No doubt something similar happened on the day Socrates was condemned to death, Jesus was crucified, and Joan of Arc burned at the stake. *That’s one way to explain why some animals evolved into sheep and others into wolves; also why at all times and everywhere there are more soldiers than philosophers; and why yes-men and academics outnumber dissidents and intellectuals a thousand to one.*No emperor, king, or czar, ever said to think is a criminal offense or against the laws of the land, but their actions, the policies they adopted and implemented, and the laws they enacted and enforced made that abundantly clear. Leave thinking not only to the 1% but also to the 1% of the 1%. *In his STUDY OF HISTORY, Toynbee explains that during the Ottoman era sultans thought of themselves as shepherds and their subjects as sheep; which may explain why Jesus is represented as a lamb. Unmask a pope and expose the sultan. Unmask a speechifier and sermonizer and expose the Judas.#

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012 ************************************** IMMORTALITY **************************** Yesterday I achieved immortality in the eyes of a reader: I called him an idiot. * A SORE LOSER ************************ Romney is now complaining that Obama won because he promised all kinds of freebies to Latinos, and other minorities. As for him, he promised nothing except not to raise taxes on the 1% and to look the other way as they transfer their money to Swiss and offshore banks. * THE BLAME-GAME REVISITED **************************************** We have been taught by charlatans to believe we are a progressive nation because we were first to convert to Christianity. We now have another set of charlatans who tell us Christianity is at the root of our decline as a nation. You want to know what I think? I think truth and charlatanism are mutually exclusive concepts. * TRIANGULATION ********************************** When I want to know more about Tashnaks I speak with a Ramgavar and vice versa. I prefer a contradiction to a big lie. * IDEAS *********************** “A man with an idea is my enemy,” said Napoleon. Armenians are different. They welcome a new idea as long as it’s theirs. # LET MY PEOPLE GO ******************************* We are told, following independence 1,500,000 Armenians emigrated from their homeland to America and a number of other countries including Turkey; and they did this on their own initiative without the political guidance of a Moses-like leader who went up to the Pharaoh in Egypt land and said, “Let my people go.” And I cannot help thinking that if a similar number of Armenians had emigrated from the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the last century we would now have fewer victims to lament. * Moral: Left to their own devices, people will make wiser decisions than so-called patriotic and charismatic speechifiers and sermonizers. I would go further and say, our leaders may well have been at the root of all our misfortunes. * Wars, revolutions, counter-revolutions, massacres, mass deportations, purges, systematic violations of human rights: they can all be traced to a megalomaniac, that is to say, a psychologically damaged ego that pretends to know better or to speak, if not in the name of Allah than in the name of truth or what’s best for the people. * Next time such a specimen visits your community, my advice is to stay away from him because he is either a vampire or a grave-diggers or probably both at once. # ON LITERATURE **************************** The chances are what you were taught to believe as a child you will continue to believe as an adult. That’s the only way to explain why the West is predominantly Christian and the Middle East Muslim. * A hundred or a thousand great writers cannot undo the damage done to the human brain by a single mediocre schoolteacher, parish priest, mullah, or rabbi. The brainwashed cannot be unwashed by reason alone. * Under all authoritarian systems literature is systematically purged and distorted. If so far Armenian literature has failed to detribalize the nation it’s for this reason and this reason alone. * Those who have been in charge of our literature (from academics to commissars of culture) have systematically perverted its central message. Naregatsi is not just a religious mystic but also an astute political commentator. When he make a long list of his sins, failings, and aberrations (“a wicked servant, an abusive contradicter” and so on) he speaks not only for himself but also the nation and its leadership. * There is a tragic dimension in Baronian, Odian, and Massikian’s satire. It exposes the moral bankruptcy and degeneration of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors. * Perhaps what I am trying to say here is that it will take more than a messiah or a dozen of them to put us on the right path. If our genocide failed to teach us anything, what can? Surely not the verbiage of a vodanaVORji or a medaVORagan. #

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012************************************** DARK AGES************************* After its Dark Ages the West had its Renaissance.We never had one. Our Dark Ages never came to an end. To those who say we are a wounded nation surrounded by powerful enemies,we need to be more positive in our assessment of the present situation, I say: Let’s have the truth even if it opens more wounds. We are a tough bunch. We can take it. We took it from the Turks for 600 years and from the Bolsheviks for more than 60. If being positive means covering up the criminal conduct of our dividers in the Diaspora and KGB agents in the Homeland, let us at least have the common decency not to fool ourselves into thinking we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands. We are neither “azad” nor “angakh"; and we are worse than “tshvar” and “ander.” We are at the mercy of bloodsuckers who will be satisfied only if they drink our blood and reduce us to the status of a carrion.# SMART ARMENIANS******************************* Smart Armenians are a dime-a-dozen. Honest Armenians? No comment. Smart Armenians who are honest? I know they exist because I have met one or two myself.*Where does obedience end and subservience begin?*In one of his celebrated wartime speeches Churchill spoke of the beginning of the end. If an end has a beginning, it must also have a middle and an end. Where are we? Can you guess?*We need the Russians. What we don’t need is their kleptocrats. We need our own even less. That’s the solution to our problems. Solutions are a dime a dozen. Implementation is everything! Next time you hear someone say “We need solutions,” classify him under idiots.*Abraham Lincoln: “America will never be destroyed from the outside.” You may now guess the sentence that follows. America and Armenia share much more than a few letters of the alphabet.*The unspoken principle of our ruling classes: “Preach vegetarianism, practice cannibalism.”*An objective history of Armenia: Will it ever be written?And if written, published?And if published read? And if read not discarded into the nearest waste paper basket after the first page?#BROTHERS************************ You and I are brothers if only because we were both brainwashed to believe we are what we are not. Let me begin at the beginning. Like everyone else I too was brainwashed by the scum of the earth to believe I am la crème de la crème. And more precisely I was educated as a Catholic. Millions of others were educated as Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Bolshevik atheists and so on. Not only were we all brainwashed but also taught to look up to our abusers as teachers and role models who allowed us entry into an exclusive and privileged club and to look down on the rest of mankind as poor buggers on their way to the devil. As Armenians we were taught to believe Turks are bloodthirsty barbarians and as Turks they were taught to believe whatever the hell they were taught to believeand to be proud of it. However, both history and science tell us after thousands of years of wars, rapes, abductions, slavery, and intermarriage, there is no such thing as a Turk or an Armenian, or a Palestinian and a Jew, but only dupes who were brainwashed to believe what they obviously were not.#REFLECTIONS OF A LOSER************************************** Once upon a time I used to get a great many letters by snail-mail most of which began with the words: “Sorry if I am late…” followed by a transparent lie. No one ever dared to say “I had better things to do than waste my valuable time on a loser.” *If success as a nation in our case means achieving solidarity, progress, peace, and prosperity, call me an orthodox pessimist. *If the Genocide failed to teach us solidarity, nothing can! If I am a pessimist it’s because I have been disappointed too many times. *I can’t imagine a day when I will come to terms with our Bolshevik brothers in the Homeland who operate on the assumption that they know better because they are more authentic Armenians. Neither can I imagine a day when I will see our Levantine dividers in the Diaspora as dedicated patriots, which is what they think – or are brainwashed to think -- they are. *And, by the way, when I speak of solidarity I don’t simply means coexistence with our brothers (fellow Armenians) but also with our half-brothers (Turks and Azeris). *Now then, gentle reader, is there any conceivable way in which you can come close to convincing me that we have the chance of a snowball in hell to succeed as a nation?#

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012************************************ INTERVIEW (XV)******************************************* CONTRADICTIONS******************************** Q: What are some of your favorite contradictions or absurdities?A: Where to begin? Imams controlling women’s fashion. Popes getting involved in the bedrooms of the nation. Armenians who love their country but hate their fellow countrymen. Americans who are against abortion but for war. Academics with the mindset of Oriental carpet dealers. Men who pretend to belong to a superior race but who don’t even qualify as the scum of the earth.Q: How do you explain these contradictions?A: Only one possible explanation:Homo sapiens is full of sh*t .#Friday, November 16, 2012********************************* INTERVIEW (XVI)********************************* MYTHS******************************Q: Shall we discuss more of our fallacies, misconceptions, and contradictions?A: How many?Q: One or two.A: How about three or four?Q: Deal!A: We are few. We are survivors. We owe our survival to the generosity of our benefactors and the dedication of our clergy…Q: Not true?A: Lies!Q: Aren’t we few – compared to Turks?A: God did not create many Turks and few Armenians. We are not few. It is our assimilation rate that is high. And if Turks are many it’s because they are a mosaic of nations, like Americans. I once met a lady who spoke Armenian but identified herself as a Turk. She must have had an Armenian grandmother. There are thousands, perhaps even millions, like her in Turkey today. Turks are if not half-Armenian than half Greek, Albanian, Jewish, Assyrian, Arab, and so on. But then all nations are mosaics,Q: Including Armenians?A: Yes.Q: What do you say to Armenians who trace their ancestry all the way back to the Bagradunis and Mamikonians?A: I say there never was such a thing as a pure-blooded king, emperor, czar, or dictator. Once upon time they were all ambitious upstarts and bastards, very much like our own Byzantine emperors. Our Mamikonians were of Chinese descent, according to Khorenatsi; and our Bagratunis identified themselves as Jews. Pure blood is a myth created by charlatans and perpetuated by racists like Hitler who was not German but Austrian.Q: What about the generosity of our benefactors? Shouldn’t we be grateful to them? A: No, in so far as by supporting one side against another they legitimize and perpetuate divisions. The same applies to our political bosses and bishops. They might as well be foreign agents whose secret mission is to bankrupt the nation – morally as well as financially.A: Who profits by our divisions? Q: Those in power. We are dying the death of a thousand self-inflicted cuts. Hence the myth, we are survivors.#FROM MY NOTEBOOKS************************************** When an Armenian is goodhe is very good;but when he is badhe is horrid.*Between a proud Armenianand a humble human being,which would you choose?*Why is it that some very smart Armenians use their brains to speak and behave like inbred morons?*Our history is clear on one point: we love our writers provided they are dead and buried. As they used to say in the Old West: “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”*I understand subservience to Turks – they were ruthless and bloodthirsty buggers. I understand subservience to Russians – ditto. But subservience to Armenians? Does anyone have an answer?*If I were a schoolteacher I would begin every lesson with the words: “Remember to say I don’t know and I don’t understand at least once every day.”*I once heard a Kurd on the radio speaking about Kurdish identity and culture the same way that an Armenian does about Armenian identity and culture. As a matter of fact I thought he was an Armenian until the end when the announcer identified him as a Kurd.#

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Sunday, November 11, 2012*************************************** INTERVIEW (XI)****************************** ON HISTORY AND HISTORIANS******************************************** Q: How do you define a good historian?A: A historian who is critical of his own tribe, nation, or civilization.Q: Do such historians exist?A: Of course. In the 20th century there are Spengler of THE DECLINE OF THE WEST and Toynbee of A STUDY OF HISTORY.Q: Don’t they have their own critics?A: They probably have more critics than all the others combined.Q: How do you explain that?A: The obvious answer is, it may be because they have more readers than the others.Q: What about us? Do we have historians we can trust?A: We do have some historians who have been critical of our rulers and institutions. Khorenatsi comes to mind, not so much his HISTORY but his LAMENTATION.Q: And more recently?A: Most of our historians today rely more on official documents and eyewitness accounts and less on their own narrative hoping thus to avoid charges of nationalism. Such historians ignore the fact that both documents and testimonies – legally called utterances – are also vulnerable to bias.Q: Whom do we believe?A: Let’s leave belief to imams and bishops. Trust would be a more accurate word.Q: Whom do we trust then?A: If as Armenians we were to trust more our own historians, we may have to confront Turks who very much like us trust their own and reject all others as deceivers.Q: Are we to infer from what you say that we should question the reality of our genocide?A: To question it, probably not. To modify it, maybe.Q: Modify it in what sense? How?A: Only in the sense that it may not have been murder one (cold-blooded and premeditated) but somewhere between murder two and manslaughter.Q: What do you believe?A: Let’s say I tend to support the version that will allow both sides to compromise and develop a consensus. I am afraid truth and justice are utopian concepts beyond the reach of the human race to which some of us may or may not belong.Q: So many “may”s and so many doubts.A: If there is one thing about which I can speak with a minimum degree of certainty is that certainties are the source of all evil. Show me a man who believes in his own certainties and I will show a charlatan in cahoots with the devil.# INTERVIEW (XII)****************************************ON THE IRRESISTIBLE CHARM OF ARMENIANS*********************************************** Q: “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable.” Can you guess the source of this quotation?A: Oscar Wilde on the English aristocracy.Q: Wrong! Ara Baliozian on Armenians. What did you mean by that?A: I had in mind ghazetajis and their avid readers whose favorite subject is Turks.Q: “An ignoramus who is an expert on any given subject.”A: That sounds like me and I will not retract it. Every other day I have to deal with a reader whose sole ambition in life seems to be to assert his superior knowledge and understanding; but whose worldview has not changed since he was exposed to the platitudes of elementary schoolteachers and parish priests.Q: You don’t like Armenians very much, do you?A: I love the overwhelming majority of Armenians who are alienated, assimilated, and stay away from our community centers, churches, and interminable internecine conflicts;and I loathe people (regardless of nationality) who are convinced a good man is one who kisses ass – and kissing ass has been our destiny ever since we became subservient to foreign tyrants.Q: This ought to arouse our compassion rather than contempt.A: Have you seen Armenians at banquets? – the way they eat, sing and dance and the way they listen to the verbal garbage dished out by speechifiers who are out to sell them still another book on the massacres? But let a write make an objective observation and they cannibalize him. I am not complaining. I consider myself a lucky man. I have survived. Far better men than myself were butchered because they were betrayed to the authorities, and when they were not betrayed they were insulted, ignored, and starved. Any more questions?Q: …A: And now let us pray.# INTERVIEW (XIII)******************************************* CRITICS************************ Q: What’s your answer to those who say you repeat yourself?A: Stop reading me.Q: What about, you are consistently negative?A: It is our reality that is negative. I would be engaging in propaganda if I were to misrepresent it.Q: You write about Armenians but you are not an Armenian writer because you write in English.A: Armenian, English: these are only labels. Literature is not a national enterprise. Dostoevsky is unthinkable without Dickens. Gandhi was influenced by Ruskin and Thoreau (an English and an American writer respectively). Chekhov was influenced by Maupassant, and our own Zohrab by Chekhov. Naregatsi is unthinkable without the Bible. Plato and Marx shaped the literature of many nations.Q: You had an Armenian education. Why do you write in English?A: When I came to Canada I soon realized that no one was remotely interested in an Armenian writer, not even Armenians.Q: Zarian wrote in Armenian in America.A: That was during the Golden Age of Armenian-American literature. In my time we had already entered the Garbage Age. But even Zarian had trouble surviving in America. Not only did they refuse to publish him they also spread the rumor that he was a madman. He returned to Soviet Armenia where he was ignored and murdered – or so he believed until the day he died.Q: Speaking of Soviets: Why do you call some of your critics commissars?A: Because they issue guidelines. Individuals who would never dare to tell a bus driver or a plumber or a garbage collector how to go about their business take it upon themselves to tell me what and how to write. For every writer we are blessed with two or even twenty-two commissars. Mart bidi ch’ellank.Q: Why don’t you write more like Saroyan?A: Saroyan wrote what he thought and felt. So do I. Beyond that we share nothing in common. He was a great writer; I am a total and hopeless mediocrity. But tell me: what has Saroyan changed in our communities? Near the end of his life, when invited to visit an Armenian community center in Detroit, he said no thanks. Last time I was invited to an Armenian community center I promised to return in twenty-five years. You might say that’s another thing I share with Saroyan.Q: What’s that?A: An intolerance of shish-kebab and pilaf joints.Q: What’s your favorite food?A: Bread and olives.#INTERVIEW (XIV)***************************************** TURCOCENTRISM*********************************** Q: What is Turcocentrism?A: Turcocentrism consists in placing Turks at the center of our consciousness. For 600 years we had no choice in the matter. We have a choice today but we continue to think our central concern is to teach Turks the rules of civilized conduct even as we wallow in our own Ottomanism and Bolshevism.Q: Is there anything we can do about that?A: All problems have solutions and all solutions begin with an awareness of the problem. This is where our politicians and intellectuals have failed us. Intellectuals? Strike that. I should have said academics.Q: What is the difference?A: Academics are first and foremost careerists. They never say anything that may be against their own interests. As for politicians – or rather partisans and panchoonies – their most important project is to brainwash us into thinking we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands.Q: What is the difference between an academic and an intellectual?A: An intellectual is one who dedicates his life to ideas, that is to say, literature.Q: What is literature?A: The art of saying what must be said; the art of understanding and explaining reality. Literature is first and foremost criticism and criticism consists in exposing contradiction.Q: Such as?A: The rich and the poor. The capitalist and the proletarian. The 1% versus the 99%. Job creators versus bloodsuckers.Q: How do we reconcile these contradictions?A: Speaking for myself, I do not consider wealth or money as the source of all evil. The source of all evil is power. Which is why Marxism has also been defined as the capitalism of the state. This is also why the oppressed in communist countries are justified in saying once upon a time they were slaves, they are now slaves of former slaves.#

Saturday, November 10, 2012

more interviews

INTERVIEW (IX)*********************************** ON GENOCIDE RECOGNITION OR TURCOCENTRISM************************************** Q: If you were to condense your message in a single sentence, what would it be?A: We are not who we think we are, neither is the world what we think it is.Q: Isn’t ignorance of the self and the world a more or less universal condition?A: It is, yes, but as always there are degrees of ignorance. In our case it is more rather than less.Q: In what way our understanding of the world is different from anyone else’s? A: To begin with we rely too much on the propaganda of our speechifiers and sermonizers and less on our intellectuals. Case in point: Had we followed Raffi’s advice when he said the Ottoman Empire is no place for us because they have no respect for human life there, we would have avoided the Genocide.Q: How do we explain our exaggerated reliance on propaganda?A: Ignorance or innocence compounded by anti-intellectualism.Q: In what way are we different from Jews, among many others, who suffered similar fates?A: Jews are far ahead of us in their alliances. While Americans are ready to defend them against their enemies in the Middle East, they (Americans) have consistently refused even to acknowledge the reality of our genocide.Q: How do we overcome American anti-Armenianism?A: Not an easy question with an easy answer. All I know is that we are wasting valuable resources on genocide recognition. A genocide is like a city set on a hill; it cannot be hidden or covered up forever. We have many other serious and pressing problems in both the Homeland and the Diaspora. I grew up in a ghetto among survivors. They were less Turcocentric than Armenians in the United States and Canada today.I have every reason to suspect Turcocentrism – the fallacy that all our problems begin and end with Turks – is an illusion promoted by our ruling classes whose central concern is not to demand justice but to cover up their own corruption and incompetence.# INTERVIEW (X)************************************ TWO PROBLEMS**************************** Q: We all agree that we have problems –A: And that’s the only thing we agree on.Q: What we don’t agree on is their solutions even when the solutions make perfect sense. Divisions versus solidarity, for instance, or a free press versus a controlled press. Can you explain that?A: We are a tribal people. Our first loyalty is to the tribe or chief and not the nation which is an abstraction.Q: All nations, or even empires for that matter, begin as tribes and gradually evolve to nations. Why are we an exception to this rule?A: Some say it’s our geography – mountains and valleys, isolation during long winters, over forty more or less mutually incomprehensible dialects.Q: Do you buy that?A: No, I don’t. In the 19th century the Caucasian tribes to the north of us united under Shamyl the Avar and successfully resisted Russian expansion for several decades. But eventually they too were torn asunder by tribal loyalties, treason, and betrayal – a chapter of which is beautifully dramatized by Tolstoy in his novella and final work of fiction titled HADJI MURAD. Our Raffi may indeed be right. What makes Armenian solidarity an unattainable goal is less our geography and more our propensity for treason and betrayal.Q: Second problem, which may well be an extension of the first: a free press versus a controlled press. We all agree that a free press is more democratic and progressive than a controlled press, and yet –A: Ah! “And yet!” the two saddest words in the English language it has been said. The irony here is that our press enjoyed greater freedom in the Ottoman Empire. Baronian and Odian are unthinkable in today’s Armenian-American environment. Baruir Massikian, their only legitimate successor in the 20th-century Armenian diasporadied a thoroughly disappointed, bitter, and angry man. When a delegation of Armenian elders visited his deathbed and appealed to him to leave his considerable wealth – he was a successful lawyer in Egypt, and a bachelor– to the Armenian Educational Foundation, he said he’d much rather leave it to a Cairo bordello.#TO UNDERSTAND ANOTHER IS TO UNDERSTAND MYSELF********************************************** CHINA THROUGH CHINESE EYES************************************************ “How do you see the future of China?”“Fear, worry, deception, distress, collapse.”*“We will die slowly and miserably.”*“No hope for political reform. There will be bloodshed.”*“Idiots will cause more and more people to emigrate.”*“There are too many books to read, too many people to meet, too many fun things to do. China, stay away from me.”*“When the Chinese begin to reflect on their mistakes, then China’s ‘good future’ begins.”*“China’s future will be the opposite of the present.”**Sixty years of systematic brainwashing means that at least two generations of people will continue to suffer from spiritual pollution.”#From NEW STATESMAN (London, 19-25 October, 2012): an issue dedicated to China today.)#

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Sunday, November 04, 2012******************************************** INTERVIEW (V): ************************* ON NATIONALISM************************************************ Q: In our first conversation you said you are against ideologies beginning with nationalism. What’s wrong with nationalism?A: To begin with, nationalism divides mankind into them and us, and to do so it invents lies.Q: Is it a lie to say Turks and Azeris are our enemies?A: It is, yes, and an obvious one at that if only because half of them may well be half Armenian; and I doubt very much if there exists a single pure-blooded Armenian today. I have met Armenians who assert they are direct descendants of the Mamikonians, Bagratunis, and Dikran the Great. Q: So have I? What’s wrong with that?A: But none of these gentlemen was Armenian. I suggest nationalists are products of a politically controlled educational system. I further suggest politics and education are mutually exclusive concepts. A politically controlled education may even be said to be the opposite of education because it perverts the meaning of the most important words – such as right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice.Q: You lost me there.A: Cases in point. We all know that killing is wrong and yet we are taught to believe killing the enemy in the name of God and Country is not only right but the sacred duty of all law-abiding citizens.Q: But when attacked, what are our options?A: We defend ourselves, of course. We don’t have to be brainwashed to do that. It comes naturally.Q: So you are saying in some cases killing is right?A: I am also saying to kill in self-defense is one thing, to be predisposed to kill another. Eliminate predisposition and you may eliminate half of all wars. Listen, we are not here to solve all of mankind’s problems. If we succeed in taking a single step in the right direction we may earn the right to say, mission accomplished.# INTERVIEW (VI)*************************************** METAPHYSICS************************************ Q: Is death an end or a new beginning?A: Neither.Q: It has to be one or the other.A: Man is a recycling contraption, very much like Planet Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way, and the Cosmos. The Sun will incinerate our planet and we will end up in a Black Hole and emerge as another galaxy or planet which will evolve a new flora and fauna. Nothing will be added or subtracted. Everything will be recycled.Q: Are you saying metaphysics is physics?A: Exactly! And there are no theories and assumptions in what I am saying. I speak of observable and verifiable facts. If the cosmos were a book, our planetary system would be no better than a comma in it.Q: What is God’s place in your system?A: God is Unknown and Unknowable, and everyone who speaks in His name is either a charlatan or a compulsive liar.Q: What if he believes in what he says?A: In Sartre’s formula: “We may believe that we believe but we don’t believe.”Q: Are you an atheist?A: No! An agnostic. I know my limitations. I don’t claim to know that which I don’t know and have no way of knowing.Q: What about prophets and saints? Were they all charlatans?A: No. I prefer to think of them as men and women who have been misunderstood and misinterpreted in their own time, and overestimated by posterity.Q: What about Moses and his Ten Commandments? Charlatan? Liar?A: A politically ambitious leader and liberator or revolutionary. Also the most frequently ignored preacher. “Thou shalt not kill!” Do we really need a prophet to tell us that? And why is it that we have more killers today than at any other time in the history of mankind?Q: What about Jesus?A: I agree with Tolstoy, Gandhi, and the overwhelming majority of mankind including Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists: he was a great teacher but not the Son of God.# INTERVIEW (VII)**************************************** THE WRITING LIFE****************************** Q: You have been writing for Armenians now…for how many years?A: Thirty give and take a decade or two.Q: Tell us some of your challenges, experiences, problems, disappointments…A: Where to begin?Q: I remember once you called one of your critics an “inbred moron.”A: That was meant as a compliment. He deserved much worse descriptive terms; and he was not a critic but a kibitzer and a self-assessed expert on any give subject – a familiar type among us. I remember once when I mentioned Zarian, one of our so-called “experts” on Armenian literature thought I was speaking of Nairi Zarian: a notorious Bolshevik mediocrity. He had never heard of the other one.Q: Am I right in assuming critics are not your favorite readers?A: Critics I don’t mind. It is commissars that I can’t stand.Q: Define commissar.A: Anyone who assume to be in a better position to know what’s good for the community and the nation and based on that absurd assumption he proceeds to issue guidelines; or anyone who assume only an idiot would adopt Armenian literature as a career – since there is no money in it. As the offspring of Levantine “starving Armenians,” we have a natural tendency to overestimate the value of the profit motive. In the United States, for instance, Zarian himself was thought to be a CIA agent; and when he returned to Soviet Armenia, where he spent his final years, it was rumored that he had become a KGB agent. I have myself been accused of being not only in the pay of the CIA and the KGB but also of the Mossad and the Grey Wolves. Some of my readers may be loud-mouth idiots but they are idiots with a rich imagination.Q: If there is no money in literature, how do you survive?A: On my savings. For ten years I worked at a variety of jobs -- from factory hand to church organist. But my greatest asset is my lifestyle – bread and books, and the books I get free of charge from the public library.#INTERVIEW (VIII)************************************* WHO IS A GOOD ARMENIAN?****************************************** Q: You have been writing now for how many years?A: About thirty.Q: And you have published how many books?A: About thirty too.Q: How many commentaries?A: Let’s say about a thousand – glor hashiv.Q: And yet you have not yet achieved the status of a popular writer.A: Why stop there? In the eyes of some I don’t even qualify as a piece of sh*t.Q: How do you explain that?A: Explanations work only with reasonable men.Q: I like to think of myself as a reasonable person.A: Sorry, I didn’t have you in mind. What I meant to say is, I doubt if my explanation will make sense to the majority of our readers.Q: Let’s have it anyway – you never know…A: The trouble with us is that we were at no time de-Ottomanized or de-Stalinized in the way in which Germans were de-Nazified after World War II. As a result we continue to be at the mercy of individuals – be they leaders, speechifiers, sermonizers, schoolteachers and academics – who continue to think and operate with the old brain. One of our elder statesmen once confided to me that some of our most influential people in our communities are in fact Turks who speak Armenian fluently.Q: Was he serious?A: Dead serious. He even lowered his voice even though there was no one around.Q: Do you believe what he said?A: It makes no difference to me if a leader is a Turk or Armenian so long as he is a decent human being. When I deal with an Armenian I don’t ask myself if he is a good Armenian. What I ask myself is, is he an honest man? Can I trust him? Does he mean what he says? I have said this before and it bears repeating: I’d much rather deal with an honest Turk than a dishonest Armenian.#

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I don’t write to entertain. I write to understand and explain reality, especially when reality is against us. Thursday, November 01, 2012******************************************** INTERVIEW (II)*********************************** Q: Is nationalism an ideology?A: One of the worst.Q: As bad as fascism?A: Nationalism and fascism might as well be as synonymous as job-provider and blood-sucker.Q: What have you got against Romney?A: He is a hollow man. He’ll say and do anything to be president. He is as greedy about money as he is about power. Such men are the least qualified to be leaders – I am now paraphrasing Plato. He says in one of his dialogues: The more power a man wants the least qualified he is to handle it.Q: Do you believe in good and bad nations or in just and unjust wars?A: I believe in neither nations nor wars. They are fictions created by propagandists. Like Homer’s ILIAD.Q: Was Homer a propagandist?A: One of the greatest. He wrote about a war fought in defense of a floozy’s honor.Q: What about World War II?A: World War II was a direct result of World War I and to portray the Allies as the good guys is to cover up what went on in the 19th century -- imperialism, racism, slavery, the ruthless exploitation of natives and workers in general. Gandhi was right when he described the British in India as “a satanic force" -- a reminder of the fact that it was the Devil who created the 1% in his own image.# INTERVIEW (III)*************************************** Q: Let’s speak of books, beginning with your favorite writers.A: Too many to list here and I doubt if I can readily remember all of them.Q: Let’s begin with your first favorite writer.A: Dostoevky.Q: Which one of his books you read first?A: THE GAMBLER.Q: After THE GMABLER?A: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD, THE IDIOT, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV…I read everything I could lay my hands on.I read them all with the impetuous greed of a teenager.Q: Have you reread them recently?A: I have tried…without much success.Q: How come?A: I first read them in Italian and Greek. In English they sound…less authentic, alien, depersonalized…Q: What impressed you most about Dostoevsky?A: His penetration of the human psyche. He humanized even ax-murderers of defenceless old ladies and child-molesters not by diminishing their responsibility but by emphasizing the forces that drove them to commit these horrible crimes.Q: Speaking of child-molesters: Do yoou think Nabokov’s LOLITA is an autobiographical work?A: Yes, of course, but only in the sense that Nabokov experienced the same feelings and thoughts as his central character. And it is to be noted that it is not Humbert Humbert who seduces Lolita but the other war around. Most readers miss that detail as I did when I first read it. Humbert is not a child-molester; it is Lolita who is a seducer of adults. Another point that is often missed: It is Humbert Humbert who pays dearly for his crimes, not Lolita.Q: Have you reread the book recently?A: Yes, several times and each time with an enhanced awareness of its many secret and subtle complexities and allusions.#INTERVIEW (IV)*************************************** Q: I know what you think about Romney – A: Wrong word!Q: Which one?A: "Think." He is not worth thinking about.Q: Could you expand on that?A: The man is so desperate that he is now promising “change” or rather the “hope” for change. Sounds familiar? He figures if it worked for the opposition four years ago it may work for him. A clear-cut case of transparent plagiarism. And he is promising not only seventeen million jobs, but “good” jobs, beginning with his own of course.Q: What about his policy on taxes.A: It’s not “if” but “when” he raises them he will call them “fees” or he will explain by saying the figures of the previous administration were doctored or cooked (figures always are) and that to balance the budget more drastic measures are required.Q: What do you think – sorry, wrong word again – about Ryan?A: A devout Catholic who owes his intellectual development (make it paralysis) to Ayn Rand -- a notorious atheist charlatan. Q: Is there anything we Armenians can learn from Americans?A: Learn from them? We could teach them.Q: Teach them? What exactly?A: Until very recently (in my own lifetime, as a matter of fact) American politics was dominated by WASPs: Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt – they were all White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Not any more! We were in the same place from the beginning -- with our Mamikonians and Bagratunis (Chinese and Jews respectively). One way to describe our politics is to say that it is a farce titled not ABEL AND CAIN, but CAIN AND CAIN.#

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sunday, October 28, 2012 ******************************************** ON POLITICIANS ***************************** If you trust them, you deserve them. * ON HISTORIANS **************************** There are two kinds: those who deal in facts and those who deal in fiction; and of the two, those who deal in fiction are the most widely read and taught in schools. * WHAT WE SHARE ****************************** As children we have all been brainwashed, but as adults to remain brainwashed is a decision we make freely and on our own. * IF ************ If you speak the truth to fools and liars, they will all you a criminal guilty of a capital offense. Two familiar cases from the past: Socrates and Jesus. And if you say things like that don’t happen any more, I will have no choice but to remind you that persecution and injustice have been and continue to be routine occurrences in history. To be an Armenian among Turks during World War I; a Jew in Europe during World War II; a dissident in the USSR; a Sunni among Shias and vice versa; a Hindu among Muslims and vice versa after Partition in India; a Black man in America; and last but far from least, to be Armenian among Armenians. I rest my case. Nothing further Your Honor! # Monday, October 29, 2012 *************************************** IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER *************************************** Fools and dupes (but I repeat myself) outnumber those who can think for themselves a thousand to one. It is they (fools and dupes) who make wars possible, revolutions a necessity, and collateral damage (meaning the death of countless innocent civilians) an inevitable fact of life like tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquakes. * If I speak about dupes and fools with some degree of authority it’s because I have been one most of my life and to some degree I continue to be one because I think I can reason with them and convince them being subservient to authority and believing in their lies is an aberration, a crime against humanity, and an insult to God; and when I speak of God I don’t mean the God of priests, imams, and rabbis, but as a point of reference, an abstraction like infinity and eternity, and an unknown and unknowable entity or power that has endowed us with a brain with which to think for ourselves as opposed to parroting the propaganda line of a sultan, king, emperor, and commissar – compulsive and habitual liars all and as such the source of all evil. * You want solutions to our problems? Begin by believing nothing you are told, including what you just read. # DEFINITIONS ***************************** Prejudice: infatuation with one’s own ignorance. * Wisdom: awareness of one’s own limitations. * Patriotism: collective narcissism. * Barbarism: a room without a single book in it. # INTERVIEW ************************** Q: How would you define a man? A: A man is he who views reality on its own terms as opposed through the filter of an organized religion or ideology. Q: What’s wrong with religions and ideologies? A: They are the source of all lies and violence – that is to say, evil. Q: Are you saying Christianity is evil? A: In so far it has justified, legitimized, and promoted intolerance, prejudice, persecution, war and massacre, yes. Q: I am a Christian and I have persecuted or killed no one. A: That’s because you have lived on the margins of history – a privileged position that allows you to assert moral superiority; and to assert moral superiority is almost to justify war and massacre, which amounts to saying, if the morally superior kills the morally inferior he does so in the name of God or justice. There is no greater liar than he who speaks in the name of God. Q: Do you believe in God? A: I believe in the Unknown and the Unknowable, the source of all good and evil. Historically speaking that’s what all men believed before the invention of gods, which happens to be an extremely recent development. Q: Am I right in assuming you don’t believe in progress? A: Technological progress, yes; moral progress, no! The last century has been the most morally degenerate century of mankind – more wars, massacres, and genocides than in all other centuries combined. * (To be continued.) #
Sunday, October 28, 2012 ******************************************** ON POLITICIANS ***************************** If you trust them, you deserve them. * ON HISTORIANS **************************** There are two kinds: those who deal in facts and those who deal in fiction; and of the two, those who deal in fiction are the most widely read and taught in schools. * WHAT WE SHARE ****************************** As children we have all been brainwashed, but as adults to remain brainwashed is a decision we make freely and on our own. * IF ************ If you speak the truth to fools and liars, they will all you a criminal guilty of a capital offense. Two familiar cases from the past: Socrates and Jesus. And if you say things like that don’t happen any more, I will have no choice but to remind you that persecution and injustice have been and continue to be routine occurrences in history. To be an Armenian among Turks during World War I; a Jew in Europe during World War II; a dissident in the USSR; a Sunni among Shias and vice versa; a Hindu among Muslims and vice versa after Partition in India; a Black man in America; and last but far from least, to be Armenian among Armenians. I rest my case. Nothing further Your Honor! # Monday, October 29, 2012 *************************************** IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER *************************************** Fools and dupes (but I repeat myself) outnumber those who can think for themselves a thousand to one. It is they (fools and dupes) who make wars possible, revolutions a necessity, and collateral damage (meaning the death of countless innocent civilians) an inevitable fact of life like tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquakes. * If I speak about dupes and fools with some degree of authority it’s because I have been one most of my life and to some degree I continue to be one because I think I can reason with them and convince them being subservient to authority and believing in their lies is an aberration, a crime against humanity, and an insult to God; and when I speak of God I don’t mean the God of priests, imams, and rabbis, but as a point of reference, an abstraction like infinity and eternity, and an unknown and unknowable entity or power that has endowed us with a brain with which to think for ourselves as opposed to parroting the propaganda line of a sultan, king, emperor, and commissar – compulsive and habitual liars all and as such the source of all evil. * You want solutions to our problems? Begin by believing nothing you are told, including what you just read. # DEFINITIONS ***************************** Prejudice: infatuation with one’s own ignorance. * Wisdom: awareness of one’s own limitations. * Patriotism: collective narcissism. * Barbarism: a room without a single book in it. # INTERVIEW ************************** Q: How would you define a man? A: A man is he who views reality on its own terms as opposed through the filter of an organized religion or ideology. Q: What’s wrong with religions and ideologies? A: They are the source of all lies and violence – that is to say, evil. Q: Are you saying Christianity is evil? A: In so far it has justified, legitimized, and promoted intolerance, prejudice, persecution, war and massacre, yes. Q: I am a Christian and I have persecuted or killed no one. A: That’s because you have lived on the margins of history – a privileged position that allows you to assert moral superiority; and to assert moral superiority is almost to justify war and massacre, which amounts to saying, if the morally superior kills the morally inferior he does so in the name of God or justice. There is no greater liar than he who speaks in the name of God. Q: Do you believe in God? A: I believe in the Unknown and the Unknowable, the source of all good and evil. Historically speaking that’s what all men believed before the invention of gods, which happens to be an extremely recent development. Q: Am I right in assuming you don’t believe in progress? A: Technological progress, yes; moral progress, no! The last century has been the most morally degenerate century of mankind – more wars, massacres, and genocides than in all other centuries combined. * (To be continued.) #

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Thursday, October 25, 2012 ****************************************** DEGREES OF AWARENESS ************************************* We may see many things but we cannot see everything and more often than not what we don’t see is what we should have seen. * If you want to know more about someone, ask his enemies. The same applies to nations. * Truth is nobody’s friends and everyone’s enemy. * When dissidents ascribe criminal conduct to the leadership alone, they lie. They lie in so far as they reduce the people to the status of automata programmed to behave with the same degree of awareness as ants, sheep, or a pack of wolves. * Even the most backward and primitive man cannot be said to be on the same level as a beast whose conduct is dictated by instinct alone. * Our dividers are as guilty as hell. No doubt about that. But so are their dupes, whose IQ operates on two levels: when it comes to judging their enemies, they behave as if they had 20/20 vision. But when it comes to examining their conscience, they become deaf, dumb and stupid. * A headline in my morning paper reads: “Women hold just 20% of world’s power.” I have every reason to suspect in our case it’s less than 0, 0001%. # ON THE ART OF WRITING ************************************ The less art the better. * Editing consists in deleting. If you provide the key, no need to describe the contents of a room. * Unless you are another Tolstoyevsky, be more like Chekhov. Stick to writing short stories. The shorter the better. * When asked about the tempo of a song, a French composer (may have been Gabriel Fauré) is quoted as having said: “If the singer is bad, the faster the better.” * So many mediocrities achieve celebrity these days that the challenge is to remain anonymous. * Don’t make the mistake of adopting a single pseudonym like Oshagan and Siamanto because your readers (assuming you have any) will forget you even when you are alive and kicking ass. * Leave preaching to preachers – they get paid for it. To be an Armenian writer in this day and age means to be an unemployed and unemployable misfit in a land devoid of all benefits and entitlements. * Never underestimate your readers’ ignorance and contempt for knowledge. I have met elder statesmen who in a sane environment would be classified as inbred morons. * Be prepared to be insulted and dismissed as a bullshitter by bullshitters like Romney and Ryan. * A nation needs dupes more than it needs dissidents. This is as true of Turks, Russians, and Yanks as it is of Armenians – especially Armenians. * And now let us pray! # Saturday, October 27, 2012 **************************************** BROTHERS ************************ The other day a gentle reader pointed out to me that Armenians who have were born, raised, and lived in alien environments for more than a century and a half could hardly qualify as Armenian. Some truth in that. * In America we have been Americanized in less than a century, in France Frenchified, in the Balkans Balkanized, in many other countries assimilated to the point of extinction, and last but not least, in the Ottoman Empire we were Ottomanized. (on occasion I am myself been called “Baliozoghlu” and identified as “a piece of shit” by my brothers in the Homeland). * Who is an authentic Armenian? Does he exist? Not an easy question to answer. If you say, surely Armenians born and raised in the shadow of Mt. Ararat may indeed qualify as authentic Armenians, may I be allowed to point out they too have been to some extent Russified, Sovietized, alienated, and dehumanized as thoroughly as the rest of us. * And now, let us rise from abstractions to facts (as our Marxist brothers used to say). Let us consider their authenticity in the light of historic reality. Whereas in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 our intellectuals were betrayed by a single Armenian, in the USSR two generations of our ablest men in all fields of human endeavor were betrayed and shot by our own Stalinist leadership – the very same characters, may I add, who are now in charge of our destiny as a nation. * When post-World War II Armenians immigrated to Armenia, they were called “aghber” (trash) by these very same authentic Armenians, and lived (very much like themselves) in constant fear of betrayal. * Which is why I feel justified in saying nothing can be as misleading as judging a man by his birthplace? A man should be judged not by his country of origin but, in the words of a wise American, by “the content of his character.” The rest is propaganda. #

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


LITERATURE AND POLITICS ************************************** There are several giants in our literature; only midgets in politics. As for Byzantine emperors of Armenian descent one of whom achieved “Napoleonic” stature (according to Edward Gibbon in his DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE) they served exclusively Greek interests even when it meant adopting and implementing an anti-Armenian foreign policy. * And if you were to drop names like Gulbenkian, Saroyan, Mamoulian, Khachatourian and Mikoyan: I will say that all these gentlemen were born, raised, and operated in non-Armenian environments. * If so far this aspect of our collective existence has been carefully covered up it may be because we continue to be at the mercy of unprincipled and ruthless mediocrities whose greatest enemy is excellence. # A QUESTION IN THE SEARCH OF AN ANSWER ******************************************** What have we learned from our millennial history? To say or imply that our history, including our genocide (both “red” and “white”), is a result of conditions and forces beyond our control is nothing but a transparent effort to place ourselves outside history; to say in effect: we had nothing to do with our blunders and misfortunes. It was all someone else’s fault. * Who profits by this line of reasoning? Who else but our own leadership whose sole aim in life is to cover up the fact that far from being our "betters," they are our worst. * To say or imply that we have no control over our destiny as a nation is to advocate a passive stance, and worse, much worse: it is to say that the only way to survive in the kind of world we live in is to say “Yes, sir!” to those in power even when they happen to be the lowest scum on earth. Isn’t that what we did for 600 years in the Ottoman Empire and for more than 60 years in the Soviet Union – two of the worst criminal power structures in the history of mankind? * The real horror is not in men like Talaat and Stalin; the real horror is in the millions who trusted them. Zohrab, one of the smartest Armenians that ever lived, trusting his life into the hands of his future murderers. Mikoyan carrying out all orders faithfully always in fear of his own life, sleeping with a revolver under his pillow. * I ask again: What have we learned from history except to assume a passive stance not only to alien tyrants but also our own scumbags. # IF I WERE A DICTATOR ***************************************** If I were a dictator (which will never happen because I don’t have a single politically ambitious bone in my body) I would begin by saying the days of “1001 churches” in the same city are over as surely as horses and sabers in modern warfare. * I am all for a single community center (make it, shish-kebab and pilaf joint) instead of two, if only because our different religious, political and cultural factions would have a better chance to discover that they are not much different from one another and Armenian solidarity may not be as utopian a concept as it is generally thought to be by our dividers (make it, diggers of our collective grave). * Why two archbishops and two cathedrals in New York City if one will save us millions in salaries alone (one of these cathedrals, I am told by an insider, employs as many as 83 individuals). * A church is called "a house of God” and as far as I know God has at no time demanded that we provide Him with four of them (Anteliassagan, Etchmiadznagan, Catholic, and Protestant) in the same city . * Something similar could be said of our press. Instead of a dozen trashy weeklies, we could have a single professionally managed and edited publication. * Instead of a hundred charitable institutions we could have one supervised by a non-partisan and preferably odar auditing firm… * But why go on with this exercise in futility if none of these reforms will ever be implemented by our partisans and panchoonies? # THE RICH & THE SUPER-RICH ******************************************* OBAMA & ROMNEY ******************************** HONEST MEN & CROOKS **************************************** Honest men will employ only honest means to get rich. By contrast, crooks will employ both honest as well as dishonest means. That is why, Plato tells us, crooks will always be richer than honest men. # ON BEING POSITIVE ********************************** When not urged to be positive I am accused of being consistently negative. How do we define positive and negative? Is speaking the truth positive or negative? Is being objective negative? Is flattering the ego of contemptible men with money or power positive? Is saying “Yes, sir!” out of fear positive? These are not easy questions to answer for individuals whose collective existence has been at the mercy of bloodthirsty and ruthless tyrants for more than a thousand years. * When Zarian said “Our political parties have been of no political use to us,” was he being negative? When speaking of one of our national benefactors an archbishop once said to me: “The only reason he likes building schools and community centers is to see his name on walls,” was he being negative? * Our history, the history I was taught as a child and the history we teach our children today is more fiction than fact. As recently as yesterday when I said “Our greatest writers from Abovian to Zarian were shabbily treated and silenced by our own wheeler-dealers,” a reader pointed out to me that times have changed and we now have more freedom than at any other time in history. If true, the question we must ask is, what the hell happened to our literature? Why is it that we no longer have writers of Abovian’s and Zarian’s stature and character? Why is it that today even the Turks are ahead of us in literature? Have we finally come to realize that no one in his right mind would adopt Armenian literature as a career? A final question: Is exposing stupidity, ignorance, and filth positive or negative? #