Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Sunday, August 26, 2012******************************************* CONFESSIONS OF AN EX-MORON************************************************ One of the worst things that can happen to a man is to be dependent on the charity of swine. If you have never been there, consider yourself the luckiest man on earth.*There is more hatred than love in what I write, or so I am told. To which I say, surely I can’t be the only game in town. There must be many others more favorably disposed towards our “betters.” Let them be the good cops to my bad cop.*For 600 years we were dependent on the charity of swine. We were even grateful and loyal to them. Even after they legally abducted, converted, and brainwashed our boys to kill and die in their imperialist wars; even after they raped our daughters and used them as concubines and whores, our gratitude and loyalty never wavered. On the eve of the Genocide they called us their “most loyal ethnic minority.” What did that get us, may I ask? So you still think if I am kinder to our swine they will have a better chance to see the light and change their ways?*If our “betters” go about their business with the shameless arrogance of bloodthirsty oppressors it may because they know something we don’t know, namely: if they control the educational system and the press they can convince even the dumbest people on earth to think they are the smartest. I speak from experience. Even as I went about committing some of my worst blunders, I did so with the awareness that as the offspring of the smartest nation on earth I could do no wrong.#Monday, August 27, 2012************************************** FROM MY NOTEBOOKS***************************************As soon as I am tempted to take myself seriously one of my patriotic readers takes it upon himself to remind me that no one gives a damn about what I think or say. I am grateful to these readers. One of the worst things that can happen to an Armenian writer is to think that like the rest of mankind he deserves to live.*Even the smartest Armenian will speak like an idiot if he has been brainwashed as a child.*Love is like alcohol: after intoxication, hangover; after blissful harmony, ulcer; after heaven, hell.#Tuesday, August 28, 2012********************************** CHARLATANS*********************To see the invisible and to understand the incomprehensible: we all share that ambition, but somewhere along the line some of us give up and pretend to be satisfied with answers fabricated by charlatans – popes, imams, rabbis who, unable to convince one another, brainwash defenseless children in the name of education.*We have the rare gift of saying a great many things except that which must be said. *The brainwashed cannot speak for themselves.*Fascism cannot be defeated with arguments. It took a world war to defeat fascism and even then it was only a temporary victory. There are more fascist regimes today than there are democracies, and there are fascists even in democracies. They may not call themselves fascists but they are as fascist as the fascists under Mussolini who was said to be “always right” (“Mussolini ha sempre ragione”)very much like popes, imams, and rabbis.#Wednesday, August 29, 2012************************************** RATS****************** We now know something we didn’t know until last night: When “Mrs. 1%” fell sick “Mr. 1%” took good care of her. It follows, the 1% know how to take care of their own and make it look like they do this out of Christian charity and compassion.*Fascism may also be defined as the encounter of useful idiots with moral morons.*I have every reason to suspect communists of all nations now pray for a Republican victory because then the chances of a Russian-style revolution in America may be greatly improved.*Writes David Brooks in THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Romney attended Harvard, studying business, law, classics and philosophy, though intellectually his first love was always tax avoidance.”*One of my favorite cases of mixed metaphors goes something like this: “Mr. Speaker, I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air and darkening the sky; but I’ll nip him in the bud.”#

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Thursday, August 23, 2012
Where there is abuse of power there will be victims.
Where there are victims there will be victimizers.
Where there are victimizers there will be dissent.
Where there are fascists there will be violations of human rights.
Under Stalin we had Stalinists
who were brainwashed to believe
they were not fascists but patriots.
Under Hitler we had pro-Nazi anti-Semites.
And under Putin today we have Putinists.
Even Talaat had his share of Armenian supporters,
among them Zohrab, himself a highly sophisticated
and brilliant intellectual, political leader, diplomat and writer.
Sometimes I am asked:
What would you have done in their place?
-- meaning Armenians in fascist regimes.
My answer: I don’t know.
Very probably I would have done
what they did – i.e. taken the easy and safe way out:
be a Nazi under Hitler, a Stalinists under Stalin, and so on.
But having done so I wouldn’t expect future generations
to look up to me as a hero or a role model
or a lover of freedom and a defender of human rights,
or a noble specimen of humanity.
The problem with fascists is that
they dig their own graves with their own hands
and expect the rest of the world to look up to them
as morally superior.
I don’t spin theories.
I speak of historic reality.
If you lie down with dogs,
you will get up with fleas.
Friday, August 24, 2012
The aim of philosophy is to introduce meaning
into a meaningless world.
The aim of religion is to introduce cannibalism.
Remember: no one has ever killed anyone
in the name of Socrates or Spinoza.
What makes the 1% smart is greed.
What makes the 99% dumb is cowardice.
The bloodthirsty disposition of the few
and the cowardice of the many:
there you have it – an abridged history of mankind.
Trying to make a good impression on others
by pretending to be better than we are
might as well be an admission of inferiority.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
If a political leader cannot see the coming catastrophe,
what is he good for? – besides making bombastic statements
about past achievements?
We are so hungry for past achievements that
we even brag about being the first nation in the 20th century
to be targeted for genocide.
Has anyone ever bragged about being run over by a truck?
Once upon a time I too was a patriot.
I looked up to our leaders
the way Turks look up today to Ataturk,
the way the Soviets looked up to Stalin
and Germans to Hitler.
But I am no longer a child.
Propaganda explains nothing.
Its sole aim is to convince and persuade
by avoiding all explanations.
Nationalism is a game in which
victory invariably goes to the strong,
never to the just.
I am against chauvinism for two reasons:
when we emphasize the positive in us
and cover up the negative,
we run the risk of deceiving ourselves.
But when we do the same to others,
we may make friends,
and we need friends more than we need
self-satisfied blind men
who pretend to have 20/20 vision.
If our leaders could not see through
the likes of Talaat, Stalin, Hitler,
and more recently, Assad,
they might as well have been blind,
and “when the blind lead the blind
both shall fall into the ditch,”
which is exactly where we are today – the ditch,
compliments of our “betters.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Sunday, August 19, 2012
If no one writes as I do it’s not because
I am an original writer, far from it.
As a matter of fact, everything I say
is a paraphrase, a quotation, or a variation on a theme
stated by far better men than myself.
Case in point: many years ago, I remember,
speaking of a national benefactor
one of our elder statesmen said to me:
“As a product of the Ottoman Empire
he is no better than a frustrated sultan.”
A few years later when I had to deal with the hirelings
of this benefactor I remembered my elder statesman’s words
and saw the truth in his theory.
Once, again many years ago, when
in the presence of an Armenian academic --
an honest man for a change --
when I said Armenians are smart,
he came very close to losing his temper.
It took me a while to realize that
far from being smart, most Armenians are damn fools.
If Armenians like to assess themselves as smart
it may be because no fool will ever identify himself as a fool,
or a dupe as a dupe, or an idiot as an idiot.
I will go further and say that when it comes to politics
we fully qualify as inbred morons
for the simple reason that
for most of our collective existence
we have allowed ourselves to be divided, oppressed,
and occasionally massacred by relative morons.
And for saying that I have been described
as an ignoramus who hates himself
and projects his hatred onto his fellow countrymen.
There is some truth in that.
All analysis begins with self-analysis,
in the same way that all propaganda is carefully tailored
to flatter the ego of dupes.
History provides us with so many examples!
Even when they behaved like bloodthirsty barbarians
Germans were brainwashed to believe
they belonged to a superior race.
The Soviets were brainwashed to believe
they were the most progressive,
and anyone who dared to question that absurd assertion
was either shot in the neck or ended in the Gulag.
The only reason I am still alive today is that,
as a Canadian citizen I am beyond the jurisdiction
of our pseudo-sultans and neo-commissars.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Not everyone who speaks in the name of God
is a messenger of God,
and he who speaks in the name of Capital
is a messenger of the Devil
even when he builds cathedrals.
It is not at all unusual for a very smart Armenian
to say some very dumb things.
Our spirit of contradiction is so highly developed that
when a Turk disagrees with me
I ascribe it to a distant Armenian in his family tree.
If you paraphrase Socrates
be prepared to be judged by individuals
who will behave like members of the jury
that condemned him to death.
Christ is recrucified every day by Christians.
(In case you haven’t guessed already,
I am now paraphrasing Dostoevsky and Kazantzakis.)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Pope may doubt his faith seven times a day
(according to an old Italian proverb)
but he will never admit it.
He will go further and assert,
in matter of faith he is never wrong.
No one will ever say he is the proud offspring
of former commissars or KGB agents
for the same reason that no king
will ever admit to being the offspring
of ruthless killers and rapists,
no priest will ever admit to being a child molester,
and no democratically elected head of state
will ever admit to being better at making promises
than delivering them.
The 1% has ruled by deception
and continues to do so to this day
because it can always count
on the ignorance, stupidity, and cowardice of the 99% --
in case you thought I had a dog in that fight.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
When I was young
I too had an opinion on every conceivable subject
including subjects I knew nothing about.
As a child I thought,
or rather was brought up to think,
if the Pope of Rome,
all his cardinals and bishops,
and billions of Catholics
believe in the existence of God,
who am I to deny it?
As a teenager I thought
if great leaders like Stalin and Mikoyan,
and millions of Russians
and great intellectuals like George Bernard Shaw
are communists, who am I to side with blood-sucking capitalists?
Besides, what have capitalists done for me,
a slum-dweller, that I should side with them?
I know now that we live in a world where
everybody is wrong and
there is no such thing as an infallible belief system.
It is the quintessence of evil to say
I am right and everyone who thinks otherwise is wrong
therefore my enemy,
and it is my duty to be against him
and when necessary to kill him
because to kill in the name of God and Country
is not a crime but a sacred duty.
I know now that if God exists
He does not take sides.
If He stood by and did nothing
when His only son was crucified,
why should He side with a nonentity like me?
If God did not lift a finger to stop the massacre
of millions of innocent civilians by bloodthirsty barbarians,
can we really say He is always right?

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Q/A**************************** Q: “Every Armenian writer I have read has something positive to say about us, except you. Why do you want to be so different?”A: “Why do you insist on a unanimous decision?”*For 600 years they were our role models. That indeed is our real tragedy!*In the ghetto where I was born and raised nobody ever quoted Naregatsi or Raffi, but everyone quoted Turkish sayings, like “Damla damla gueul olur,” (Drop by drop a lake is made), and “Chok ghareshterma, bokhou chekar” (Don’t stir things up too much, you may expose the crap). To which charge I am more than willing to plead guilty.*If you want a dealer in rose-jam, listen to our sermonizers and speechifiers. They are better at moronizing the nation in the name of patriotism.#Friday, August 17, 2012*********************************** TOO MANY CHIEFS NO INDIANS********************************** Wolves, lions, zebras, and ants: they know instinctively they have a better chance to survive as a group than as individuals. That’s because they have studied biology and they know all there is to know about the law of the jungle. Compared to them we might as well be functional illiterates and inbred morons; or jackasses destined to carry someone else’s load.*Civilized people execute their traitors and collaborators. How many of them have we executed so far?*In their own narratives our bosses, bishops, and benefactors are our saviors. We have been blessed with more saviors than traitors – or is it the other way around?*We swim in a sea of uncertainties. We have many narratives but not a single definition.*I don’t spin theories. I speak of historic reality.#Saturday, August 18, 2012************************************** OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN********************************************* Sartre is right: to believe that you believe doesn’t make you a believer. Likewise, to believe that you don’t believe doesn’t make you an atheist. The true atheist is he who, after saying God is merciful, engages in cannibalism; and I challenge you to name a single organized religion that has not persecuted heretics.*I don’t believe in believers or, for that matter, in non-believers. Even the most fanatic atheist is fully aware of the fact that he is and he has always been at the mercy of an invisible and incomprehensible power against which or Whom he is himself powerless.*I have given up arguing with believers. Protestants are better equipped to deal with Catholics, and Muslims are better equipped to deal with both. I don’t have a dog in their fight. And when it comes to God I have more questions than answers. *If God is great why did he create men whose most noteworthy contribution to civilization has been the slaughter of defenseless civilians?#

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Sunday, August 12, 2012
After visiting the Homeland during the Soviet era
a friend reported the following exchange:
“Why all the fuss about Watergate?”
“The President lied.”
“So what? – they lie to us all the time.”
We are a nation of a thousand and one Watergates
but so far not a single book on the subject,
not a single public hearing, impeachments, trial,
guilty verdict and incarceration.
I am now talking about both the Homeland and the Diaspora.
Our “Nixons” and their gangs of co-conspirators
continue to be in charge of our destiny as a nation.
Faith and superstition,
knowledge and ignorance,
lies and truth:
they might as well be Siamese twins.
I don’t spin theories.
I speak of historic reality.
If you elevate your intellectual superiority to a dogma
you condemn yourself to learn nothing.
Every transgression comes with its own inbuilt punishment.
God is too big, mighty, and important
to sit in judgment over all your petty little disgusting sins.
He neither judges nor punishes.
He relegates all that to you.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Whenever we say “I believe”
we should teach ourselves to add
“I could be wrong.”
Certainties are the source of all evil.
Honesty is an unwelcome intruder
because it exposes cowardly charlatans
who love to project the image
of fearless men of integrity.
I could be wrong…
To be popular means to be harmless –
to pretend to love everybody
even when you can’t stand the buggers.
Am I right or wrong?
I am not sure.
At best I may suspect I am moving in the right direction
if only because I am in the company of far better men than myself –
from Socrates to Solzhenitsyn.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
You cannot civilize the civilized
(also called the syphilized).
You have a better chance with barbarians.
Financial bankruptcy is invariably preceded by moral bankruptcy.
History provides us with so many examples –
from the Roman Empire to the USSR and the USA;
and closer to home, the Mekhitarist order.
Tyrants from Hitler to Assad
would rather see their country reduced to rubble
than give up power.
(How to explain the quiet exit of Sultan Abdulhamid II? –
a bloodthirsty tyrant if there ever was one.)
An alcoholic odar academic in need of cash
once wrote a book titled ARMENIA: CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION
with the financial support of an Armenian foundation --
the wealthiest foundation on earth, it has been said;
and to this day there are Armenians who take the title literally.
There are two kinds of phonies:
those who try to expose the phony in themselves and in others,
and those who identify it with patriotism.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
To write for Armenians means
to write for readers who know better.
As an Armenian I try to understand my fellow Armenians
beginning with myself.
As an Armenian writer I do my utmost to be objective
and to say what I think.
To say what you think may not be a crime against humanity
but it is treated as one.
To be an Armenian writer means
to be exploited by the 1%
and oppressed by the 99%.
As a nation that has lived in oppression
for most of its collective existence
we assume oppression to be
an integral part of the human condition.
Nothing comes easier to a nation
that has experienced a series of massacres
than to engage in verbal massacre --
all in the name of patriotism of course.
I don’t write in the name of patriotism.
I write in the name if common sense and decency
which recognize no cultural and political boundaries.
Smoking is bad for you.
Everyone knows that including smokers.
Divisions are bad for a nation.
Everyone knows that,
including our dividers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Thursday, August 09, 2012
We think that we think but we don’t think;
and when we speak
we speak more like parrots than reasonable beings.
Our ideas are not ours but someone else’s.
Marx said he was not a Marxist,
and yet the world is full of them.
Christ never said he was a Christian,
and yet there are billions of them all over the world.
I am all for free speech and against censorship.
That doesn’t mean I support pornographers or, for that matter,
imams who promise 73 virgins to sex-starved teenagers;
or habitual, compulsive, and dogmatic liars
who control our educational system.
I am for gun control;
that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to have a gun
when confronted by a violent intruder or drug-crazed addict.
There are Armenians today who support Basher Assad.
There were Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
who on the eve of the Genocide were pro-Turkish.
There were pro-Nazi Armenians
who fought against Bolshevik Armenians during World War II.
Life is full of contradictions that cannot be reconciled.
What’s the answer?
I wish I knew.
All I can say is, let’s begin by refusing to identify thinking
with recycling someone else’s propaganda
especially when that someone else is an enemy.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Armenians from the Middle East come in all sizes and shapes
but they all share on thing in common: anti-Americanism.
In their view American presidents like FDR and Truman
have killed more innocent civilians
than Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, and Attila the Hun combined.
Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the War of Troy: they were all plotted, provoked,
and executed by Americans.
The Serpent in the Garden?
A CIA agent in disguise.
Many years ago one of our elder statesmen warned me:
“An Armenian from the Middle East
will walk past an elementary school
and forever after brag about his university degree.”
As recently as last week,
because I dared to adopt a critical stance towards Basher al-Assad
I was dismissed as a dupe who has been brainwashed by Western media.
I have no illusions about America.
I have fewer illusions about the rest of the world,
including Greece, where I was born and raised,
Italy where I was educated,
Canada where I now live,
and Armenia, my so-called homeland
which i don't plan to visit.
If they hate America why do they live in America?
Their pat answer:
They don’t hate America.
They love Americans.
What they hate is American politics.
What if American politics enjoys the support of the majority?
The sad truth is they hate America,
they hate Americans,
and what they hate even more are fellow Armenians
who dare to disagree with them.
I speak from experience.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Whenever my critics run out of arguments
they accuse me of hating my fellow Armenians,
to which charge I don’t mind pleading guilty.
I will go further and say that
when it comes to hatred
I don’t single out Armenians.
I hate the hateful regardless of nationality.
I hate all fanatics who pretend to be moderates.
I hate double-talk.
I hate child-molesting priests and fornicating bishops
who preach chastity.
I hate moral morons who think dissent is a crime against humanity.
I hate bullies.
I hate intolerance.
I hate dogmatists who operate on the assumption that
anyone who refuses to share their prejudices,
misconceptions and fallacies deserves to die.
Unlike my critics, most of whom are no doubt good Christians,
I don’t love my enemies. I can’t!
And I don’t mind admitting that
I consider that a failing on my part,
and I look forward to the day when
I will love everybody,
but I also know that the chances of that happening
might as well be nil.
I am no angel and I remember to have read somewhere that
when a man tries to be an angel
he runs the risk of losing something much more valuable,
namely his humanity.
I plead guilty to the charge that
as a human being I am vulnerable to all the weaknesses
that flesh is heir to.
But I will say this in my defense.
I have at no time asserted moral superiority.
I leave that to my critics.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Sunday, August 05, 2012
One way to sum our past is to say that
we are victims of hit-and-run accidents
all of which could have been avoided
had we behaved more defensively –
or rather, had our leadership etc.
The overwhelming majority of Armenians today
are predisposed to doubt an honest witness
and to believe everything they are told by our 1%.
The main function of all educational systems
is to create dupes by convincing them that
as dupes they will go farther and accomplish more in life
than as individuals who operate on the false assumption that
they are fully equipped to think for themselves.
You may have noticed that
when an Armenian makes it in the odar world,
he stays away from the unholy tangle of Armenian affairs.
This may suggest that our affairs are conducted
not by our best but our worst.
Some people will do anything for money
especially if they find themselves on the verge of starvation,
say, like Armenians scribblers.
I once met a hireling of a benefactor
who wanted me to translate a volume of his verse.
I once even met a benefactor
who wanted me to write his memoirs.
On still another occasion I met a novelist
who was the secretary of a bishop.
Not only did this character take himself seriously
but he also expected me to do so.
Wonders never cease!
Monday, August 06, 2012
“Treason and betrayal are in our blood,” said Raffi.
He was a man of courage, daring, and integrity.
In modern parlance, he had cojones.
Compared to him I am no better than an orthodox coward.
The worst thing that I have said about us is
“subservience is in our blood.”
Which, if you think about it, boils down to the same thing.
If you say “Yes, sir!” to anyone with authority,
will you ever dare to say “No, sir!”
when he orders you to betray your brother?
Did we ever behead any one of our kings?
Did we ever condemn to death any one of our collaborators?
When Stalin reinstated Etchmiadzin
he did so for a pragmatic reason:
he ordered the Catholicos to bless the war against Hitler
and to encourage the youth to volunteer
instead of deserting the army;
and the Catholicos did what he was told.
He went further.
Under Gorbachev he (the Catholicos)
opposed independence.
Perhaps the Genocide was only a warning
which so far we have failed to heed.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
They say Americans are money-obsessed.
What about Russians?
Both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky died shortly after
family arguments over money.
After a stormy scene over money in Chekhov’s UNCLE VANYA,
a character says:
“The row they made this morning – and shooting, too – a regular disgrace!”
To which another comments:
“Yes…a subject worthy of the brush of Aivazovsky.”
We have all heard of man’s original sin.
What about God’s original sin?
Instead of creating good men,
He created bloodthirsty barbarians.
Nobody knows.
Nobody will ever know.
Sometimes it is easier to die for one’s country
than to live in it.
Perhaps I write too much.
Nobody will ever say I have read everything he has written –
not even I.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
My mother believed everything she read in the papers
except what I wrote in them. As for me, I believe nothing,
including what I write.
To believe is a verb in whose proximity
I feel inadequate, alien, and thoroughly ill-at-ease.
To me a holy book is only a perennial best-seller
written, re-written, edited, and re-edited by mediocrities
whose number one concern is not truth but power.
Saw for the third time AMARCORD, my favorite Fellini.
Most of it is based not on reminiscence but
(according to his friends) is pure fantasy.
It was filmed not in Rimini, where Fellini was born and raised
but in a studio in Rome.
In Mavis Gallant’s DIARY, written in Madrid
and recently published in the NEW YORKER, I read:
“The children masturbate
the way children in other countries skip rope or roller-skate.
Spanish parents must consider it like teething –
they take no notice whatever.”

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Thursday, August 02, 2012
Dissent also means
refusing to recycle a tyrant’s propaganda.
The hardest challenge a writer confronts
is to speak with his voice.
Until then all he can do is speak with someone else’s voice
or recycle someone else’s propaganda.
Writers come in all sizes and shapes.
But no writer in the history of mankind
has ever silenced a tyrant.
When tyrants go about their murderous task of silencing writers,
they invariably target the best.
After persecuting, terrorizing, torturing, and killing countless heretics,
popes assert infallibility.
The ruthless cunning of the 1%
is rivaled only by the ignorance, stupidity, and cowardice
of the 99%.
Friday, August 03, 2012
No one gives up power without a bloody fight,
Hegel tells us.
And so it is.
Consider what’s happening today in Syria.
And if the Popes of Rome
no longer persecute, torture, and burn heretics
it’s not because they saw the light and became non-violent;
but because it took countless massacres and wars
(one of which lasted a hundred years) to stop them.
But that’s not all it took.
It took powerful reformers
like Luther, kings, emperors, and dictators
like Henry VIII, Napoleon, and Mussolini
to check their abuses of power.
It took dissidents like Voltaire, Gibbon, Renan, Marx, and Nietzsche.
As a matter of fact, the Popes had many more dissidents
than Stalin, Hitler, and Mao combined.
If they continue to have followers today
it’s because men need belief systems
as alcoholics and drug addicts need their poison.
Man, it has been said, cannot create a single worm
but he has created ten thousand gods.
The very same people who rejected Jesus
believed in Madoff.
Figure that one out if you can.
Allawa akhbar!
Saturday, August 04, 2012
To our bosses I say:
Don’t tell me how much you have accomplished.
Tell me instead how many you have alienated.
To our fund-raisers I say:
Don’t tell me how many millions you have raised.
Tell me instead how much of it ended in the wrong pockets.
To our benefactors I say:
Don’t brag about the number of schools you have built.
Tell me instead what’s being taught there.
To our academics I say:
Don’t tell me how many books you have published.
Tell me instead who reads them?
In Chekhov’s UNCLE VANYA I read:
“The ganders will cackle a bit – and then they’ll leave off…
They’ll cackle and leave off…”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Wednesday, August 01, 2012
The aim of thinkers
– be they scientists, philosophers, or intellectuals –
is not to entertain the public
but to solve problems.
To say therefore
we need solutions, is to imply that
all our thinkers were no better than mental masturbators.
In the eyes of fascists
the only way to qualify as a thinker
is to recycle their propaganda.
One of the greatest misfortunes that can befall a nation
is political and religious control of its educational system.
Which amounts to allowing compulsive and habitual liars
to tell our children what’s right and what’s wrong.
I have no illusions about democracies.
The Americanized American is as brainwashed
as the Sovietized Russian and
the Anglicized Englishman.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Patriotism teaches us to love our fellow Armenians
and to hate Turks, to which I can only say
I cannot be a patriot because
I love good Turks
and I hate bad Armenians.
Like all –isms, patriotism creates more enemies than friends.
Capitalism created communists,
and communism created
crooks, cannibals, and “crocodiles” (Chekhov).
There is a type of patriotic reader
who operates on the assumption that
he knows better,
he understand more,
and his belief system is morally superior.
Whenever informed by such a reader
that I am no better than a purveyor of bullshit,
I am reminded of a saying popular in Hollywood:
“It may be shit but it has integrity.”
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
When asked by journalists
what had made him to devote several decades of his life
to the writing of his 12-volume STUDY OF HISTORY,
Toynbee is said to have replied: “Curiosity.”
In his fascinating little book, PHNATOMS ON THE BOOKSHELVES,
Jacques Bonnet writes:
“In Victor Hugo’s play MARION DELORME, the king asks:
‘What is your reason for living?’
L’Angely replies: ‘Curiosity.’”
To our sermonizers and speechifiers
who preach love of God and Country I ask:
“How many Armenians have you alienated with your double-talk?”
And if you were to say my kind of writing may also alienate some Armenians,
all I can say is, “Good riddance!”
I am suspicious of Armenians
who after centuries of subservience to alien and bloodthirsty tyrants
assume subservience to be an integral part of the human condition.
I am suspicious of Armenians
who preach love but practice hatred.
Saroyan comes to mind.
He too preached love but hated his own children.
Above all I am suspicious of Armenians
who praise Armenian culture
but practice davul zurna, shish-kebab, and pilaf.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
A sad day for American literature:
Gore Vidal is dead.
Saw a lovely Chinese film, THE ROAD HOME.
Most of the time I had tears in my eyes.
We cannot agree with one another
but we expect our enemies to agree with us.
Figure that one out if you can!
Armenians who are pro-Assad
on the grounds that he is pro-Armenian
should not be surprised at Turks
who raise monuments to Talaat and Kemal.
After assessing themselves as morally superior,
they assert moral superiority
but they succeed only in speaking with a forked tongue.
The malady of all sermonizers.
In one of his essays Aldous Huxley says
too much singing damages one’s critical faculties –
something to do with lack of oxygen in the brain.
He may have a point.
Beniamino Gigli was a fascist,
Pavarotti was blinded by his American success,
and Maria Callas by Onassis’s wealth.