Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012
According to a pundit in my morning paper:
... “Obama is trying to gain a foothold in the Middle East via Turkey.”
My first thought:
Kiss ARG (American Recognition of the Genocide) goodbye.
According to another pundit:
“Russia today is ruled by petro-kleptocrats.”
Ditto with us, minus the “petro.”
The naked face of the 1%.
Eyeless men with a vision.
Insatiable carnivores parading as vegetarians.
They promise to solve the very same problems they created.
Imagine Turks promising to resurrect our dead.
Friday, January 27, 2012 / b



The best thing I can say about life is that

it happens only once.


In his last collection of essays titled ARGUABLY (Toronto, 2011) Christopher Hitchens writes:

“Turkey continues to lie about the massacre of the Armenians.”

Further down he adds he prefers

Ambassador Morgenthau’s “race murder”

to Raphael Limpkin’s “genocide”

because it’s “more dramatic and urgent.”


To have seen the light

is not a permanent condition but a transitory stage.


Where I saw the light

I now see shades of darkness.

Where I saw one meaning

I now see ambiguities.


Tell me what is it that you want more than anything else

and I will tell you not only will you be disappointed if you get it

but you will also miss the good old days when you didn’t have it.


Saturday, January 28, 2012
“Speak the truth and no one will believe you.”
That’s because we live in a world saturated with Big Lies
Armenians are smart.
Jews are the Chosen.
Germans are superior.
Christians are infidel dogs.
White man speaks with a forked tongue?
(That doesn’t mean Indian did not massacre Indian
in the absence of white men.)
Who believes in these lies?
Only dupes (the 99%) with a negative IQ.
You qualify?

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Sunday, January 15, 2012
Everything makes sense.
Nothing makes sense.
Which is right?
Or perhaps it is not up to us to decide.
After every school of philosophy
there will be another that contradicts it.
After Plato, Aristotle.
After Hegel, Schopenhauer.
But also Marx.
And after Marx, Stalin.
For every believer in the existence of God
there will be another who denies it;
or, like the Pope of Rome
(according to an old Italian proverb)
who doubts his faith in His existence
seven times a day.
Sartre was obsessed with the idea of freedom.
He probably wrote more about freedom
than any other philosopher dead or alive.
And yet, he also supported Stalin and Mao
to whom freedom meant
the freedom to enslave and kill millions.
Explain that if you can.
We are like sheep.
Are our leaders shepherds
or a pack of wolves?
We may be wise enough to raise questions
but not to answer them.
Answers may come after we die –
assuming of course we survive our death.
The purpose of life is not to make sense
but to do our best.
But what if our best is the worst for others?
How else to explain the execution of Socrates,
the crucifixion of Christ,
and the assassination of Gandhi?
Monday, January 16, 2012
“Democracy may suit civilized and progressive people
of the West but not Asiatic barbarians
whose character, mindset, and values
were shaped by bloodthirsty Ottoman Turks
and Stalinist ruffians.”
This indeed is the unspoken rationale
of our ruling classes.
Double-talk comes naturally to all
who are involved in politics.
Preach one thing, practise the opposite.
Preach family values, practise fornication.
Murder innocent civilians and say “Allawa akhbar!”
Or do the Devil’s work in the name of God.
Lower taxes on the 1% and say
you are on the side of the 99%.
One of the Kennedy women (a divorcee) once wrote a book
on the double-talk of the Catholic Church
which is against divorce for the poor
but more than willing to grant it to the rich
even if it means by doing so
the children of the previous marriage
acquire the status of bastards.
If the Pope of Rome engages in double-talk
why should we be outraged
when our own sultans,imams, and commissars do likewise?
Next question:
If the Arabs of Africa can have a Spring,
why should we behave as though
we were condemned to freeze in the Gulag
from here to eternity?
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Gingrich likes to identify himself
not as a lobbyist but as a historian.
My question is,
Who has ever heard of a historian
Who could make more money in a single week
than the combined lifetime incomes
of Herodotus, Gibbon, Spengler, and Toynbee?
As for the other one,
the Mormon moron:
he keeps saying he created 100,000 jobs
when the evidence shows he destroyed many more.
Why do these two candidates speak as they do?
Do they think those who are going to vote for them
are retards?
What else?
As for the political thinking
of the average Armenian:
it is a symptom of our pathological narcissism
to suggest that it is more developed
than that of the average Yank.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Because I refuse to say “Yes, sir!”
to those who tell me
“Not only you must believe what I believe
but also what I don’t believe,”
I am accused ot being guilty of a capital offense.
The only reason I am alive today is that
my accusers are toothless.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Thursday, January 12, 2012
Who are our political leaders?
What do I know about them?
I know more about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann
than about our own leaders.
If I try hard enough I may remember a handful of names
but afterwards I do my best to forget them.
About leaders in the Homeland
I have been told by an insider that
they are former KGB agents.
True or false?
I don’t know and I care even less.
About leaders of the Diaspora:
I remember an elder statesman telling me
some of them were Turks
who spoke Armenian fluently
and knew all there was to know about us.
True or false?
Does anyone care?
I no longer have any illusions.
I know for a fact that even in the so-called
open democracies of the civilized West
politics is a filthy business.
I shudder to think about our Ottomanized Diaspora
and Sovietized Homeland.
Poor Armenia – forever an orphan
at the mercy of manipulators
who are themselves manipulated by alien interests,
like dogs who know their master
but not their master’s master.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Once upon a time almost everyone I met was older than I.
Now, almost everyone I meet is younger.
Once upon a time I had many questions
and I believed in the answers
that I was given by my betters.
Once upon a time I believed everything I read in the papers.
Now, I trust our editors as much as I trust
our bosses, bishops, and benefactors.
Once upon a time I loved to travel,
explore unfamiliar places and meet new people.
I now find solitary confinement preferable.
The world has become a strange place
but the strangest of all places is my own homeland
and the strangest of all people are my fellow countrymen.
If we don't know why things exist,
what can we really know?
One does not have to be an insurance broker
to know that heroes have a shorter life span than cowards.
Murder Inc. is a capitalist phenomenon.
Under communism murder becomes a monopoly of the state.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
If you want to know more about Armenians,
read about Turks.
Very early this morning,
in a 30-minute radio documentary on Turks,
I heard a pundit say:
“Subservience to the military and amnesia
come naturally to Turks.”
Their unspoken slogan, like ours:
“The Sultans are dead. Long live Ottomanism.”
So what else is new?
The more I peer into our collective unconscious,
the less I like what I see there.
To some of my readers I am an enemy
because they don’t like to see their reflection in the mirror
that I hold up to them.
No one has ever said
confronting oneself is a pleasant experience.
Where there is amnesia
there will also be unspeakable memories.
They call us “Christian Turks,”
in the same way that the Yanks call their natives
“American Indians.”
The defeated have as much choice in identifying themselves
as dogs.
Solon, the Lawgiver (7th century BC)
in an address to the Athenians
(I quote and paraphrase from memory):
“Individually you may well be very smart
but collectively you behave like damn fools.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Sunday, January 08, 2012
“I write all the time and
I never run out of things to say,”
one of our writers
(let’s call him Jack S. Avanakian)
once bragged to me.
“I can write about anything,” he went on.
“I can even write about not being able to write.”
Maybe so, I remember to have thought.
The question is, is what you write readable?
I for one have never heard anyone say.
“Last night I had some fun reading Jack S. Avanakian
and came across the following interesting line...”
Only the intellectually bankrupt brag.
One of the worst things that can happen to a man
is saying or even doing the wrong thing
with the conviction that it is the right thing.
And if you think that’s exactly my case,
allow me to remind you that
everything I say has been said before
by far better men than myself.
Originality is not one of my priorities.
My aim is to remind readers of things
they no longer remember or they prefer to forget.
Our educational system is designed to promote amnesia.
As a result we are a nation that suffers
from collective and self-induced
and departmentalized Alzheimer’s.
We have the memory of elephants
when it comes to what others have done to us,
but we pretend not to remember
what we have done to ourselves.
Which is where I come in.
Monday, January 09, 2012
If the thing you need most is money,
prepare yourself to be exploited.
If what you need is understanding
prepare yourself to be misunderstood.
If you need respect,
prepare yourself to be insulted.
What we need and what we get
might as well be black and white.
I believe there is life after that.
I have no doubt about that.
It’s one of the very few certainties that I cherish.
Just because I die,
it doesn’t mean everybody else does.
Life goes on.
If they have jackasses as leaders,
even the smartest people on earth
will be defeated by the dumbest.
The greatest obstacle to progress
is the sensible man who says:
"You cannot change human nature.
Nobody listens. Nobody gives a damn.
You are wasting your time."
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
“You don’t have to think,” propaganda tells us;
“I will do the thinking for you.
Because I can think and you can’t.
You are an ignoramus.
You are nothing.
You are what I tell you you are.”
It’s astonishing how many are taken in
by this line and willingly surrender
their most valuable possession
(the ability to think for themselves)
to megalomiacal and bloodthirsty charlatans.
By flattering our collective ego
(first nation this, first nation that,
God’s favourite, creative, progressive…)
propaganda dehumanizes us
by confiscating that which makes us human
by replacing “I think therefore I am” with
“I don’t think therefore I am a good Armenian.”
Instead of facts, propaganda gives us fiction;
instead of reality, fantasy;
instead of progress, paralysis and stagnation.
On the last page of Kafka’s TRIAL,
the central character
identified with the single letter K
is butchered “like a dog” and no one knows why.
Kafka doesn’t explain.
He provides no answers.
He didn’t have to.
K represent Germans, Spaniards, Russians, Jews, Armenians…
in short, 20th-century man
who was brainwashed and butchered in a ditch
for no reason at all.
That’s the real tragedy – our tragedy.
Not to die for a good cause
but to be butchered by anonymous executioners
working for faceless men
who operate on the assumption that
they know better because God is on their side.
Did I say God?
Make it the Devil!
There it is, the true meaning of propaganda:
“Speak in the name of God
and do the Devil’s work.”
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
An ideology or a religion should be judged
not by its dogmas and commandments
but by its propaganda:
the more propaganda the more lies.
The more systematic its indoctrination
or educational system
the more dishonest its assertions and certainties.
The more authority sources (holy scriptures and hierarchy)
the more fascist.
The more rituals the more mumbo jumbo.
The more monumental its architecture
the shakier its foundations
(remember the pyramids and
the construction of St. Peter’s in Rome).
The longer its history
the more uncertain its future.
If millions of Turks are brought up
to be proud of their identity,
then pride (not just theirs but all pride)
must be just about the phoniest means of achieving self-esteem.
I will go further and say,
where there is pride there must also be more reason for humility.
Where there is peace there must be a throne of blood.
The American Civil War is proof of the fact that
to defend democracy it is necessary to employ fascist means.
We are defined not by our assets
but by our liabilities – especially liabilities
that parade as assets.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Thursday, January 05, 2012
Don’t believe everything you hear.
Don’t believe everything you read.
But above all,
don’t believe everything you believe.
Remember, the Greeks believed in Zeus
and they were just about the smarted people
that ever lived.
Actions have consequences;
so do inactions.
Case in point:
600 years of inaction under the Sultans.
God created believers as well as non-believers.
Now consider the case of a believer who kills
and a non-believer who is a pacifist.
On whose side will God be?
I am in no position to penalize anyone.
I just speak the truth and let
them suffer the consequences.
Did I say “the truth”?
Strike that.
Make it “my side of the story.”
Or even better,
“I just state the facts as I see them.”
I have no desire to be accused of megalomania
or of harbouring prophetic ambitions.
Friday, January 06, 2012
“A journalistic terrorist
of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.”
That’s how I am identified in a recent blog
by a gentle reader who probably thinks I am dead –
no doubt a clear-cut case of wishful thinking.
Never antagonize someone who can afford a better lawyer.
Even if you are 100% right
and he is 100% wrong, you will lose.
That’s justice, American style.
When the subject of the poor and unemployed
comes up in Yerevan, my guess is
members of the regime say:
“Let our ‘aghbers' of the Diaspora deal with them –
they can afford it,” or words to that effect.
To our ‘aghbers’ I therefore say:
what if all your charity does is
to postpone the final showdown
between the 99% and the 1%?
Your charity will make sense only if
an equal amount of effort is chanelled
into excposing the crooks and thieves.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
In a commentary titled “Eight nations are on the endangered list”
by Zbigniew Brzezinsky, we read the following about Georgia:
“American decline would leave this tiny Caucasian state
vulnerable to Russian political intimidation and military aggression.”
Elsewhere the Baltic states are also mentioned and discussed
but Armenia is ignored.
My first thought:
We have finally achieved a state of total irrelevance
in the eyes of the world.
Who gives a damn what happens to us?
Not even Armenians.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Sunday, January 01, 2012
To readers who are brought up to believe
it is a writer’s function to instruct, to entertain,
and to be original, I say,
he who has been brainwashed as a child
cannot be open to instruction.
My aim is not to entertain but the exact opposite:
to make you aware of your own degradation.
As for being original:
in so far as I speak
of the origins of your degradation,
I am being original
even when I bore or irritate
the hell out of you by repeating myself.
Don’t think of me as a writer.
Think of me as a counter-propagandist.
As for readers who like to inform me
that I know nothing and I understand even less,
I say: I ascribe that to Armenians like you
who refuse to share their knowledge and understanding
with the rest of us.
Knowledge and understanding are not things to keep,
like money, but things to share, like love.
And if after reading this
you decide to continue reading me,
have the decency not to bitch
and make unreasonable demands on me.
But if you do, don’t be surprised if I ignore you.
Monday, January 02, 2012
Einstein: “I am a deeply religious nonbeliever.”
You can be a born-again believer
as well as non-believer.
You can be a born-again anything.
The only thing you cannot be
is a born-again cadaver.
All men of faith are convinced
of the 10,000 gods that men have created
9,999 are phonies.
Men of faith believe non-believers will go to hell
because they denied the existence of the Almighty.
Now then, if an ant or a worm were to deny my own existence
would I step on it?
Would such denial even register on my consciousness?
May I also add that I am not the forgiving type.
My greatest hope is that
anyone who has ever done me any dirt
will burn in hell for all eternity
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
The two things that make a line unforgettable are
(one) once read it is never forgotten, and
(two) it’s like a key that unlocks a door
to reveal not another room but a new horizon.
“Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims,
but by the way it kills them.”
“…the anonymous desirability of all flesh.”
[To write about genius is] “to retrace in detail
the history of a liberation.”
“I plunged into humility to evade humiliation.”
“To love is to hate the same enemy.”
“I turned rebel later only through having pushed submissiveness
to the extreme.”
“The ascetic is a man rich enough
to choose his poverty freely.”
“Psychoanalysis has no principles.”
“…for no man is ever anything but a swindle.”
“Human life begins on the other side of despair.”
“Mysticism suits displaced persons
and superfluous children.”
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
The secret aim of our political leaders
is to be better charlatans.
I once heard one of them say:
“I have said this before, many times,
and I am going to say it again!”
And I thought, has anyone ever accused him
of repeating himself?
“If you are with me you are a friend.
If you are against me you are an enemy.”
Provided of course your judgement is infallible.
The support of a writer
by a political party is as good as a kiss of death.
Blood may well be thicker than water
but common sense goes farther than chauvinist crapola
and common decency is superior to mumbo jumbo.
A charming man does not waste his charm
on someone he considers useless to him.