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Saturday, May 18, 2013




The average Turk is totally unaware of the fact that

Talaat and Kemal were fascists;

and the average Armenian has nothing but contempt

for “bourgeois democracy” – in case you thought

Armenians are smarter.


In our circles, as in all autocratic circles,

refusing to kiss ass is thought of as a serious offense.


The only way to understand Armenians

(or anyone else for that matter) is to work for them

or to be dependent on their goodwill.


I have dealt with too many crooks

who pretended to be honest men

to be taken in by cheap rhetoric.

I am anti-Armenian only in the sense that

I am anti -myself, which I believe to be

a more useful stance that being pro-myself.




Once upon a time I had all the answers.

That’s when I was a dupe.


To speak of an honest politician

is like praising a vegetarian cannibal.


Some Armenians owe their life to Turks

and some Armenian writers owe their death to Armenians.

My ambition in life:

to write a cheerful book about death.




They behaved like bloodthirsty savages

and we behaved like illiterate idiots

who could not decipher the writing on the wall.


If our leaders emphasize the first (savages)

and cover up the second (idiots)

it’s because this cunning maneuver allows them

to preside over another genocide (sbidak chart)

and put the blame on economic, political,

social, and cultural forces beyond their control.


But competent leadership consists

in confronting and overcomin invisible historic forces

that when left unchallenged

can destroy not only tribes and nations

but also empires as surely as

bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians on the warpath.


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Sunday, May 19, 2013



*************************** *********

As a child I was taught there are

two kinds of “nahadags” or martyrs:

regular nahadags and “esh (jackass) nahadags.”

A regular nahadag is one who dies

in the name of a cause he believes in.

A jackass nahadag, by contrast,

dies in the name of a lie someone else pretends to believe in;

or, in Sartre’s words, someone

who “believes that he believes but he doesn’t.”


There is no such thing as an undeserved defeat

or a moral victory. Both are fabrications of propagandists.

Only the thoroughly and systematically moronized

believe what their politicians tell them.


Patriotism is not an ideology

but an intellectual disease or mass moronism.


Example of Turkish moronism:

After engaging in the wholesale massacres of civilians,

they plead self-defense.


Example of Armenian moronism:

After dividing the nation

or digging its grave

they preach self-sacrifice, heroism, and martyrdom;

and they are believed by systematically moronized dupes

who have been brainwashed to believe they are smart.


Have a nice day.




Whenever I say our history has been

a succession of blunders and catastrophes

and we have been and continue to be

at the mercy of traitors and collaborators with the enemy,

I am asked: “What would you have done in their place?”

My standard answer to that question is:

“Very probably what they are did

and having done so

I would live in shame and degradation forever after.

I wouldn’t parade as a role model to future generations

I wouldn’t adopt a holier-than-thou stance;

I wouldn’t delivery lectures and speeches

on patriotism, dedication to ideals and principles,

self-sacrifice and heroism;

and I wouldn’t attack insult those

who dare to speak the truth.


One of our academics once said to me:

“I agree with everything you say

and I promise I too will speak the truth after I retire.”

This happened about thirty years ago

when he was in his sixties.

But as far as I know he has at no time

published a single word of dissent,

and I doubt if he ever will.

That’s because when you work

for an Armenian political party, organization or bureaucracy

you sign an oath of confidentiality or secrecy.

In effect you promise not to divulge inside information.

Break your promise and you get no more retirement money.

It’s all legal and above board.

Our buggers sure know how to cover their ass.




Richard Burton on John (MALTESE FALCON) Huston:

“Huston is a simpleton. But believes himself to be a genius.

And a self-aggrandizing liar. Cunning at it.”

A “cunning” “simpleton?”


One reason I enjoy reading books by celebrities is that

every other celebrity is treated like shit.


If you like malicious gossip I recommend


I forget the writer’s name – he has also written



Speaking of Capote and Brando:

the best thing I remember to have read about Brando is Capote’s

“The Duke in His Domain.”

After reading it Brando wanted to kill him.




QUESTION: What kind of revolutionaries

rely on foreign support?

ANSWER: Armenian revolutionaries.


A question we avoid asking:

What possessed us to trust Turks, Russians,

and today our own bosses, bishops, and benefactors?


I believe in god

but not in the god of

rabbis, imams, and bishops

Where their god enters

propaganda is sure to follow;

and where propaganda enters

can a big lie be far behind?


Throughout our history,

god (or our faith in him)

has been the least reliable source

of strength and support.


When it comes to god

what matters is not how we define him

but how our enemies define him –

especially if they have bigger battalions.


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Thursday, May 23, 2013




In one of his short stories Chekhov writes

(I quote/paraphrase from memory):

“You are saying man is the architect of his own happiness

and I am saying if you had a toothache

and a shrew as a mother-in-law

you would sing a different tune.”




There is a type of writer whose every statement

needs a footnote

whose every footnote needs a commentary,

and whose every commentary

needs an explanation.

And then there is a type of writer

whose statements mean what they say

preferably in monosyllables,

like “To be or not to be.”




The function of a writer, I was brought up to believe,

is to make the reader feel good and proud of his identity.

I know now that a writer is neither a comedian

nor an entertainer.




The projected map of a future Kurdistan

looks surprisingly like Armenia

only twice as big.




Between a past we cannot change

and a present we can change,

we have allowed our Turcocentric ghazetajis

and genocide academics to turn us into pillars of salt.




If I can explain one little thing

that you didn’t understand before,

I have done my part.

If you read me with the hope to be enlightened,

you’ve got the wrong man for the job.

The world, the people in it,

God above and the Devil below

are a mystery to me too.


And speaking of people:

A hundred years ago they were in the business

of slaughtering innocent civilians

and creating refugees by the million.

They are now busy welcoming them from Syria.

Times change, people change, conditions change

and charity is thrust on some

as greatness is on others.




Good Turks and Armenians exist

but they are outnumbered by the brainwashed.


All wars and massacres begin

in the classrooms of the nation.


They teach intolerance, hatred, and murder

and call it education and patriotism.

And because I say these things

I am thought of as an enemy.


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Wednesday, May 29, 2013




The Allah of Turks and the God of Armenians

may not recognize each other when they meet;

but the God of Catholics, Protestant,

Etchmiadznagans and Anteliassagans is one and the same.

The least we can do is worship Him

from a single church thus saving millions

for the poor, the sick, and the unemployed.


I am not asking our bishops to give up

their cherished dogmas, prejudices, secretaries,

accountants, and fund-raisers.

Only the address from which they operate.


You say it can’t be done?

I say where there is a will there is a way;

and where there is no will

there are men whose number one concern

is number one and to hell with common sense and decency.


As for those who want to solve the problems of the Homeland,

I say to them: Start with your own backyard.

Deal with your own bishops, vartabeds and derders –

they may be more amenable to reason and compromise

than our crypto-Stalinist neo-commissars in the Homeland.


You say I repeat myself?

I say sometimes with unruly children you have to.




No writer has ever silenced a tyrant.


In my formative years

I could not recognize a big lie when I saw one.


“Most theoretical ideas turn out to be wrong.”


When I steal I am plagiarized.


In Dante’s INFERNO our Turcocentric monomaniacs

will be condemned to write about Armenians

without mentioning Turks.





Let others count their positives;

I prefer to count my negatives

beginning with the fact that

I am an Armenian who compounded the felony

by choosing to be a writer.


My father was born in Sivrihisar,

birthplace of Nasreddin Hodja.

that’s my only positive I can think of.


When I was a brown-nosing

and cowardly yes-man,

I thought of myself as a loyal, obedient patriotic Armenian.

inferiority complex or objective assessment?


Whenever a reader says something remotely positive about me,

I think: What if he is deceived?

What if I have achieved excellence only in deceiving others?


After each positive assessment

I think of its contradiction and see more sense in it.


We were subservient to Turks for 600 years.

Did anyone ever identify that fact as a negative?




All wars and revolutions are driven by lies and illusions.


Our revolutionaries thinking

with God and the great powers on their side

they couldn’t lose.


Palestinians thinking as the offspring of empire builders,

Allah and Arab oil on their side they couldn’t lose.


Thinking is more like an orchestral performance

and less like a solo recital.

Many factors must be carefully and objectively assessed.


What a book one could write

on the role of wishful thinking in human affairs!


To how many of my patriotic readers I could say,

to prove you are a good Armenian

it is not necessary to behave like a bad Turk.


Censorship and propaganda are Siamese.


As a nation we are not guilty of genocide;

only in creating conditions in such a way

as to make genocide possible.


You cannot reason with a man who is blinded

by his own greed for power.


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Saturday, June 01, 2013




“You are a disgrace to the nation!”

Am I really?

What about our oligarchs and kleptocrats

whose greed is surpassed only by Wall Street CEOs

who have been successful in convincing themselves

and others that they are too big to fail?

What about our brown-nosers

who have not yet kissed an ass that didn’t smell like roses?

What about our superpatriotic paranoiacs

who see inauthentic or second-class

or bastardized Armenians everywhere?

What about our bosses, bishops, and benefactors

whose sole contribution to our collective existence

has been the introduction of meaningless dogmatic divisions

that make us more vulnerable to so-called

historic, economic, social, and cultural forces

beyond our control?

What about our crypto-Stalinist neo-commissars

who miss the good old days?

What about our dupes who believe everything they are told?

Am I really a disgrace to the nation

or those who dare to speak in its name?




When I was young I relied on the judgment of my elders.

Now that I am old I can rely on no one but myself;

and when I consider the long list of blunders

that I have committed

I have no choice but to conclude

that I must just about the least reliable person on earth;

and if you think those who are now in charge

of our collective destiny are wiser than I am,

all I can say is that we all entertain illusions

that we hate to give up

notwithstanding the evidence against them.


To put it differently:

you are right not to trust my judgment

but you have fewer reasons to trust

the judgment of your “betters”

because historic reality tells us

in no uncertain terms

they may well be the worst scum on earth.




Judge a man by his actions not his words.

Judge an ideology or religion by its history

not its sermons and speeches.

It follows, if we were to judge a nation by its history

we may have to conclude that

Syrians don’t think they deserve to live,

Armenians don’t think they deserve to be a nation,

and Turks use the nationalist or Kemalist card

the way a serial killer uses the insanity plea.

Perhaps death wish plays a larger role

in human affairs than we like to admit.

Perhaps in politics what matters more

than lust for power

is the instinct to kill and die.

If, that is, we base our conclusions on facts

as opposed to speculation and propaganda.


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Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Adultery should be condemned in all men

except politicians on the grounds that

the more they f*** women

the less they will f*** the nation.


Anti-Semites always proceed from the

erroneous historical assumption

that Jews are the only people on the planet

who occupied a territory by force of arms

and abused the rights of the natives.


My bad memories outnumber the good ones.

Which is why I look forward to Alzheimer’s.


Descriptions of experiences are like shadow of shadows.

When a friend’s mother died, I shared his grief.

But when my mother died I wanted to die.


Democracy has also been defined as

the tyranny of the masses.




There are casualties of war as surely

as there are casualties of peace

and we are casualties of both.


After eating Turkish and Russian shit

we are now asked to eat our own.


In case you don’t like blunt talk,

allow me to inform you that

no one is paying me

to engage in diplomatic palaver.


To be a dupe of political propaganda means

to be a moron who is brainwashed to believe

he is smart.


Ever since I gave up on my fellow Armenians

they have stopped disappointing me.


To be a born-again human being

is more important than being a good Armenian.




It must be obvious by now that

when it comes to solving problems,

politicians may not the best men for the job.

One could even go further and say

they may well be the worst.


An idiot will be more receptive to the words

of a crook and a liar than to those of an honest witness.


Turks quote me: in the eyes of my critics,

it follows I must be in cahoots

with the Sultan, Talaat, and Kemal.


The mother tongue of both

political and religious leaders

is propaganda.


Theology is a systematic effort

to understand and explain

the unknown, the unknowable,

and the incomprehensible.


If I knew how to solve problems,

I would begin with my own.


Most so-called solutions are based

on the general theory that

one man’s hocus pocus

may well be better

than another's abracadabra.





Once when I dared to criticize

one of our cultural organizations

I was told by one of its hirelings:

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

He was not questioning my opinion.

What he was questioning was my right to have one.

In his view the function of someone in my position

is to recycle propaganda.

Only qualified people have a right to an opinion.


One does not bite the hand,

or any other part of the anatomy,

that lays the golden egg.


To rely too much on god

is almost to surrender to the devil.


Nothing works as planned

even when it works as planned.


Some of the worst things in life

happen when you least expect them.


Your best friend may be your worst nightmare.

It happens in the Bible.

It happens in life.

It happens among Armenians.

It has happened to me.

I am not questioning the validity of Armenian friendship.

I am questioning my naiveté and status as a dupe.


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Saturday, June 08, 2013




Some divide and conquer,

others are divided, conquered,

butchered and never learn.


One does not speak of ropes

in the house of a hangman,

neither does one speak of vegetarianism

in the house of a butcher –

which is what we do when we speak

of genocide recognition to Turks and Yanks.


You want peace?

Criminalize brainwashing.


We overestimate the value of what we know

even when what we know is a big lie.


The aim of literature?

To call an idiot an idiot.


We need solutions?

A big lie!

What we need is implementation.




When I say I don’t believe in god

I mean the god of rabbis, imams, and bishops

(including the one in Rome).


Anyone who has had the patience and perseverance

to read the final pages of EXODU

and the first pages of LEVITICUS

will be justified in suspecting that god

is a control freak badly in need of a shrink.


The faith of rabbis, imams, and bishops

has deep ties with power, prestige, and income.

Take away one of these ties

and you may end up holding an empty bag.


The difference between fascists

and the ideology of our own political parties is that

fascists criminalize free speech

and our political parties silence dissent.

The result is the same.


And now consider what they share in common:

nationalism, anti-intellectualism, and anti-Semitism,

namely “the three pillars of fascism.”


The secret ambition of all sermonizers and speechifiers

is to brainwash you to believe

you belong with the 1%

even when you are the scum of the earth.

I speak from experience.

During World War II in Greece

I was both stateless and homeless

but I was “educated” to believe

my god was the only true god.


I am not an atheist.

I believe in the Unknown, the Unknowable,

and the Incomprehensible

because I believe Nothing cannot create Something.




If you are a reasonable man

use your brain.

If you are a patriotic Armenian

stop saying ‘Yes, sir!” to our dividers

and grave-diggers.

If you are a good Christian

stop hating your brother.

If you are smart

stop being a dupe.

Remember, Jesus did not say

the Kingdom of God is in the words

of speechifiers and sermonizers

but "within you."

Remember also in a democratic environment

leaders are not your masters but your servants.

They don’t tell you what to think;

you tell them what to do.




In her brilliant and erudite study of Nabokov – THE SECRET HISTORY OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV (New York, 2013) – Andrea Pitzer mentions and discusses Armenian refugees, massacres and genocide on a number of occasions. Among individual Armenians she quotes and discusses are Nina Berberova, an early admirer of Nabokov, herself a brilliant novelist and the author of a remarkable autobiography titled THE ITALICS ARE MINE; and Azat Oganesian, about whom she has this to say in her Acknowledgments: “Translators played a key role on my research. King among them is Azat Oganesian, my research assistant, who poured through and translated interminable numbers of articles I sent him from RUL, the Russian-language newspaper in Berlin, as well as making trips to various libraries on his own to help with this project.”


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Sunday, June 09, 2013




One does not have to be a prophet to engage in prophecy.

All one has to do is adopt the past as one’s guide –

that is to say, reality, facts, history as opposed to

wishful thinking, illusions, and daydreams.


Raffi Hovannisian lost not because he did not enjoy majority support

but because the oligarchs controlled the bureaucracy.

We will rise against the oligarchs only

after the Russians themselves do so.

In the meantime all attempts at reform and revolution

are doomed to failure. They are doomed to failure

because we are essentially a nation of slaves.

Raffi (not Hovannisian but Hagop Meliq-Hagopian)

was absolutely right when he said

“Treason and betrayal are in our blood.”

So is subservience.

In the Homeland we are subservient to the Kremlin;

in the Diaspora to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors.


Our revolutionaries are not revolutionaries.

They never were.

They rose against the Sultan only when the Turks themselves did so

and only when they relied on the verbal support of the West.

There is an academic word for this kind of conduct,

it’s called mimesis – in common parlance, monkey business.


We may have a better chance to understand ourselves

if we study apes. The alternative approach is

to place our trust and our destiny into the hands

of bloodsuckers, speechifiers, and sermonizers,

that is to say compulsive and habitual liars.


Speaking for myself, I would have more trust in an ape;

at least an ape is less prone to engage

in double-talk, deception, and betrayal.




“You are not always right,” a reader informs me.

To be always right has never been one of my ambitions.

As a matter of fact, if I had a choice between being always right

and being always wrong I would choose being wrong

if only because being always right

would place me in the same category

as some of the worst charlatans, bullies, and mass killers

in the history of mankind.


Even when dead wrong, however, I like to believe

I never deliberately mislead my readers

or exploit their limitations by recycling a propaganda line

or speaking in defense of a power structure or regime.

How many of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors

can say as much?


A good friend of mine once said to me:

“I agree with you but I don’t say so in public

because they may think you have brainwashed me.”

But I am not in a position to brainwash anyone

if only because I don’t write for children

who cannot yet think for themselves.

I write for adults who are free to reject what I say

whenever they disagree with me.

Neither do I subscribe to a specific ideology or belief system

that happens to be my main source of income, prestige, or power.

I operate more like a solitary voice in the wilderness and,

in the words of Socrates,

“My poverty is proof of my honesty.”




The higher a man rises

the bigger the size of his blunders.

How many dared to say to Stalin

“You are wrong” and lived to tell the tale?

Closer to home:

How many have dared to say

to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors,

“By dividing the community

you dig its grave”?


Infallible men are not born but made

and what makes them are dupes, cowards, and “yes men”

afraid to say the emperor has no clothes, no brain, and no balls.


In the USSR they said Stalin was wrong

only after he dropped dead and was buried.

“Bishops are men of God,” I was informed by a reader once.

“You should speak of them with greater respect.”

If bishops are men of God,

bosses source of power and prestige,

and benefactors sources of income,

that only means our own mini-sultans and neo-commissars

continue to live, rule, and scare the shit out of anyone

who dares to question their wisdom, integrity, honesty,

dedication, patriotism, infallibility, and statesmanship.

“Mart bidi ch’ellank!”




Honest men: do they exist?

I am not sure.

I would define an honest man as one

who has not yet been exposed as a crook.


From Roman emperors to Ottoman sultans –

mankind has been at the mercy of ruthless crooks

and pathological liars.

Has anything changed?


If Zohrab was taken in by Talaat

and Stalin by Hitler,

can anyone claim to be immune

to propaganda?


If we are smart,

why do we consent to be subservient

to a political leader

with the moral compass of an ape

and the charisma of a robot?

Are North Koreans, Syrians, Turks, Russians,

and Latinos better off?

What about Greeks and Italians?


What about the Swiss?

Where would they be without the money

of blood-sucking tax cheats?

What about Canadians?

Listen, I live in Canada and I read the papers.

Don’t talk to me about honest men.

I could go on…


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Thursday, June 13, 2013




Dialogue: I am all for it;

but not with a closed mind,

or a self-righteous fanatic,

or a member of the party

(it makes no difference which party),

or a bully who believes the word compromise

is for the weak and the unprincipled:

in short, an Armenian.


There is a type of reader –

and I have had several of them myself –

who begins by saying

“I read everything you write,”

and ends by saying

“You are a disgrace to the nation.”


There are two schools of thought:

the first says “We need critics,”

and the second: “The only good critic is a dead critic.”

Did I say two schools?

Make it one.


I am a slow-learner.

It took me many years to realize that

you cannot argue against a propaganda line.





“We have played a key role

in the preservation of our identity and culture

in the Diaspora,” I heard one of our speechifiers saying.

They brag a lot -- our partisans and panchoonies;

they lie a lot too.

I should like to hear at least one of them saying

they have also alienated a few.


I once received a letter from one of our political parties

that said in effect they will support me

provided I first write a series of profiles of their leaders.

In my reply I said that I was not qualified to do that job

because I didn’t even know who their leaders were.

I should have added,

neither did I care to make their acquaintance.




If you say “God is on my side,”

God is sure to withdraw His support.


What is our unspoken policy towards writers?

Treat them like shit

until they come to terms with reality.


Nothing in life happens

the way things happen in books and movies.


Being an Armenian is a rare privilege,

or so I was brought up to believe,

until I realized it is closer to being a nightmare.


All wars need Big Lies,

so do all divisions.


We are a failed nation

at the mercy of a failed regime

run by former KGB agents.



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Wednesday, June 19, 2013




Baronian and Odian:

were they patriotic Armenians?

What about Baruir Massikian

when he saw more merit in a Cairo bordello

than in our own institutions?

What about Zarian when he said

our political parties have been

of no political use to us?

Why is it that politicians,

even when they are pathological liars

and mass murderers

like Hitler and Stalin identify themselves

as great patriots?

Why is it that we equate patriotism with blindness?

A final question: What is the most frequently misunderstood

and abused word in the world?


Moral: Next time you hear one of our speechifiers

use that word, start counting your spoons.




“To emphasize the positive is better,”

I am reminded once in a while by concerned readers.

To identify those who poison the well:

if there is a positive way of doing that

I am all ears.




Where there are academics

there will be two schools of thought.

Case in point:

“Under capitalism man exploits man.

Under communism it’s the other way around.”


Trust an academic’s judgment

as much as you would trust

the judgment of a religion or political leader

who speaks in defense of his belief system or ideology –

that is to say, his power, prestige, and source of income,

not necessarily in that order.




To paraphrase Socrates again:

No one will ever accuse me of speaking

in defense of my source of income

for the simple reason that

it has never exceeded minimum wage.

None of our national benefactors has ever said to me

what one of them is quoted as having said

to one of our distinguished educators and poets:

“I hire and fire people like you every day.”




As a child I thought words meant what they said.

I now suspect they mean the opposite.


What is justice?

It depends on who is in charge of dispensing it.


I write as I do not because I know better

but because I got tired of saying “Yes, sir!” to idiots.


To make a comfortable living

by exploiting someone else’s crucifixion or massacre:

What a racket!


There are two kinds of people:

Armenians and odars and I feel alien

in the company of both.




Unlike Turks we are not guilty

of committing and covering up genocide.

We are, however, guilty

of placing our trust in a leadership so incompetent

that, in the words of a friend,

“cannot even lead a dog to the nearest fire hydrant

or catch a flu bug in an epidemic.”


If incompetence were a crime against humanity

how many of our leaders would escape hanging?


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Thursday, June 20, 2013




In my formative years I don’t remember anyone

remotely interested in explaining to me

the difference between democracy and fascism;

and I am no longer surprised when a reader demands to know

what’s so great about democracy.


When those in power forget they are servants of the people,

abuse of power and fascism become inevitable.


Knowledge is power, we are told.

What we are not told is that individual knowledge

is powerless against collective ignorance.


I don’t hate my enemies as much as I hate myself

for allowing them to intimidate me.


Not to be able to read between the lines

is also a symptom of illiteracy.




We are a nation of dreamers – make it daydreamers.

We brag about being survivors

even as we are experiencing two “white” genocides

(exodus and assimilation).


“The Jews survived,” an elder statesman once informed me,

“because of their Book. We need such a book and I am writing it.”

He sent me a few fragments

which I could not finish reading.


To explain their financial bankruptcy

a Mekhitarist monk once said to me:

“We were deceived.”

They were deceiver because they were promised great wealth.

All they had to do, they were told,

was liquidate their assets and invest the cash in the stock market.

Blinded by greed it never even occurred to them to suspect

their financial advisers were a criminal gang.


I once wrote a short story that began with the words:

“When I first read a Sherlock Holmes story,

I wanted to be a detective.

When I first heard a Rossini overture

I decided to be a composer.

When I saw Marlon Brando in ON THE WATERFRONT

I wanted to be an actor.

When I read Casanova’s MEMOIRS….”


What happened to my daydreams?

Who and what am I today?

The answer: Not just a scribbler but an Armenian scribbler,

that is to say, the lowest form of animal life.




Mankind: a collection of nobodies

at the mercy of misguided fools.


Learn to read between the lines –

that’s where the money is.


Success is a trap.

Failure a challenge.

Treat a success story as you would treat a warning.


Decisions are based on what is known and predictable;

but it is the unknown, the unknowable and the unpredictable

that conspire to bite your ass.


To be lucky means to knock on the wrong door

and to have the right man answer it.

To be unlucky means to rely on luck.


A Turkish scholar once informed me

that as an Armenian I was in no position to be objective

about a great man like Talaat.


The central function of politics is

to brainwash fools to believe they are smart.


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013




Those who control our educational system

do so not because they support learning

but because they want to cover up

the nefarious role they have played

in our decline as a nation.

They are as hungry for knowledge and understanding

as sultans and commissars.


I share my understanding;

they share their propaganda.

They identify themselves as patriots

and me as a traitor.


Q: Can someone with the moral compass of an ape

and the charisma of a robot win a democratic election?

A: Yes, of course!

Q: Where?

A: Armenia.


If you don’t know where to begin,

the end is as good a place as any.




What does the Homeland share with the Diaspora?

In both dissidents are rejected and brown-nosers prosper.


Consider what happened to Greeks and Jews

after they rejected Socrates and Jesus respectively.

A nation that rejects its critics digs its own grave.

Nothing new in that.

Americans have a word for it:

Snafu, meaning “Situation Normal All F***ed up.”


Far from being the best and the brightest,

ruling classes are more representative

of the lowest common denominator.


Individuals may learn

but mankind as a whole – judging

by the number of present conflicts, wars, and related atrocities –

seems to be immune to instruction.

We are all citizens of Snafuland.




Success, real success, means total and uncompromising contempt

for success as defined by failures.


Overheard on the radio early this morning:

“From a market economy we have become a market society.

In California today if you don’t like your prison cell

you can get hotel-style accommodations for $90 a day.”


Which one of our political bosses today

is not a millionaire or the hireling of one?

What happened to the generation of

Nikol Aghbalian, Rouben Der Minassian,

Ohandjanian, Vratsian, Aharonian?

How could they vanish without leaving a trace?




Or rather: Am I moving in the right or wrong direction?

I suspect I am moving in the right direction

when I think the opposite of what I was taught as a child.

Allow me to explain.

When the educational system of a nation

(also known as its brainwashing apparatus)

agrees with its political system

(that claims to have a single aim in life,

namely, the welfare of the people)

I have no choice but to agree with Hamlet’s verdict –

there must be “something rotten in the State of Denmark.”




The Fall of Man and to fall in love:

in both instances the main characters are

a man and a woman; or, in the words of Anonymous,

an old wise man who is never or very seldom wrong:

“Men and women, women and men: it will never work.”


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Thursday, June 27, 2013




My ambition, my real ambition in life

is to introduce humor in hell.


Armenians have a legal mind:

they never ask a question whose answer they don’t already know.

An Armenian in search of wisdom is like a Greek bearing gifts.


Confronted by total annihilation men may learn to co-exist.

As for Armenians: I am not sure about them.

After all, every rule must have its exceptions.


I was asked once to translate the diary

of an unknown and unpublished writer on the grounds that

“he could be another Shakespeare.”


On another occasion I was asked to translate a poem

on the grounds that after reading it

a friend of the family had said:

“This should be translated!”




If you say Turks are the scum of the earth,

I ask: What’s the difference between them

and the rest of the world?


If you say there is nothing wrong

in hating a bad writer who spreads lies,

I ask: What about incompetent leaders

who lead the nation to genocide?


Why does the average smart Armenian

allow himself to be brainwashed by charlatans?

The obvious answer must be:

Because it allows him to live in a fantasy world wherein

(a) Armenians are the good guys,

(b) They are God’s chosen, and

© their military defeats are moral victories.


Am I saying anything you don’t already know?


Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the USSR:

they remind me of myself as a child

when I respected no one

and feared everyone.




They call me negative

because my favorite subject is not massacres.


Everything I say to my fellow Armenians,

American, French, English, German, and Russian writers

have said about their fellow countrymen.


Mankind has been and continues to be

at the mercy of hoodlums –

Goebbels not Goethe,

Hitler not Hesse,

Richard III not Shakespeare,

Stalin not Solzhenitsyn.


In the eyes of their contemporaries

neither Socrates nor Jesus were successes.

I wonder how many Greek mothers

were overheard saying to their sons,

“Behave! Do you want to end up like Socrates?”

And Jewish mothers…


Never speak kindly of yourself:

no one will believe you.


Why do I write as I do?

The answer must be:

Because I am no longer dependent

on the charity of swine.


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Sunday, June 30, 2013




All dupes are brainwashed to trust the judgment

of their superiors even when their superiors

happen to be the worst scum on earth.


The world is at the mercy of bloodthirsty cannibals

who like to parade as peace-loving vegetarians.


Genocides come in all sizes, shapes and colors,

including red, blue and orange.


The fist thing tyrants do is confiscate the idea of patriotism

and call everyone who opposes them unpatriotic.


Once oppressed always an oppressor.

Once a dupe always a brainwasher.

You take it when you have no choice.

You dish it out the first chance you get.




When asked which side you support,

always say (to quote a good friend of mine)

“I am with the good guys.”


Nobody ever warned me that

the right path may also lead to a dead end.


I write therefore I learn.


Every belief or ideological system produces

its share of academics.

Grub is better than no grub.


I write to share my anger.


Bishops, imams, and rabbis:

you either believe in all of them or none.

To choose one and reject the others amounts to say

“I refuse to think for myself;

I prefer to be a dupe of propaganda.”




It has been said that it takes five generations

to produce an English gentleman.

It took more than two thousand years

to produce the average Armenian wheeler-dealer

and his dupes…

You may now draw your own conclusions.


Armenian identity is like a layer cake

whose bottom layer is shrouded in mystery

and whose top layer is more Ottoman and Soviet

than Armenian.


For 1500 years our writers –

from Khorenatsi and Yeghishe (5th century AD)

to our own days (Zarian and Massikian)

have exposed the corruption and incompetence

of our political and religious wheeler-dealers

with the result that they are more corrupt,

incompetent and divided than

at any other time in our history.

What does that tell you

about Armenian contempt

for selfless intellectual labor?


As they say in Washington:

“You want a friend? Get a dog!”




A dupe is a dupe regardless of nationality, ideology and religion.

Kemal’s dupe and Stalin’s dupe might as well be twins.

Now then, go ahead and say Armenians are smarter than Turks.


Our history in a nutshell:

We owe our misfortunes to enemy action –

beginning with the enemy within.


Worth remembering:

All orthodoxies, heresies and divisions in general

are conceived by the 1%.


I have lost many friends

but I have never lost a single enemy.


All belief systems have a ready answer for every possible question,

a plausible explanation for every objection,

and a counter-argument for every argument –

just like Jehovah’s Witnesses.


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Thursday, July 04, 2013




Can there be such a thing as an honest capitalist

in the eyes of a Marxist?

Or a good infidel in the eyes of a Muslim?

Or a good Armenian in the eyes of another Armenian?


Kemal was smart: he knew he could count

on the ignorance and stupidity of the average Turk.

Our bosses, bishops, and benefactors are smart too…


Atheists are not born but made

and what makes them is

the arrogance, intolerance, and cruelty of men

who speak in the name of God.


The enemy within is invincible.


“Homo homini lupus” (man is wolf to men).

What is an Armenian to another Armenian?

A lamb?


The Turks were smart:

they knew they could get away with murder.

We were dumb: we thought they wouldn’t dare!




In a recent issue of the NEW YORKER,

that until recently consistently refused to print profanities,

I read the following exchange:

“You asshole,” she snarled.

“You’re the asshole,” I said.

“I hate you.”

“Ditto,” I said. “Ditto and square it.”

Because I favor short lines

some readers think I am a poet.

I am not!

I don’t remember to have ever written a single line

about nightingales serenading the moon

or the eternal snows of Mount Ararat.

Not my style.


As a failure I write about failures.

It tales one to know one.

And I don’t write.

I snarl!


And speaking of poets:

In Armenian-American parlance

poets are referred to as vodanavorjis.




The 1% may know better

but when they are wrong

they are catastrophically wrong –

universal bankruptcy, wars, massacres, genocides…


I have more critics than a dog has fleas.

I like to reply to all of them

including the contemptible ones.

But I draw a line to those who are beneath contempt.


In the first one-third of my life

I was mostly busy committing blunders.

In the second, I tried very hard not to repeat them.

And in the final third my main concern is

coming to terms with my mortality.

As for saving the nation:

I leave that to our dime-a-dozen pundits

with Napoleonic ambitions.


If I can make a nuisance of myself

to a handful of readers,

I ask for nothing more.

Now then, go ahead and call me

a megalomaniacal daydreamer.


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Wednesday, July 10, 2013




Whenever I am told I am a disgrace to the nation, I think:

what if it’s the other way around?


Only a patriot with the IQ of a jackass

identifies the Homeland with the regime.


Writing has nothing to do with patriotism

and everything to do with objectivity;

in the same way that what a politician says

has nothing to do with the truth

and everything to do with propaganda.


Before making an assertion consider its contradiction,

yoou may see more truth there.


Do not repeat what you were taught as a child:

remember your schoolteacher had a family to support.


“A dog knows his master but not his master’s master.”


If you think I write as I do

because I am some kind of daydreaming eccentric

with illusions of grandeur, I say:

ever since I came to terms with my own mediocrity,

I write with greater freedom.

That’s the only difference between me

and other writers and me.




Sooner or later all belief systems and ideologies

fall into the hands of cynical manipulators, opportunists,

power-hungry mediocrities and their assorted dupes

who at all times and everywhere outnumber decent human beings

who can think for themselves.


The history of Christianity was written

not by Christ and his Apostles but by Popes and Martin Luther

(“a wild boar” in the words of a contemporary pope).


The history of nationalism was written not by Mazzini

but by the likes of Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler.


The history of the British Empire was written

not by “gentlemen” but by “shopkeepers” (Napoleon).


Had Marx foreseen the Gulag,

my guess is he would have burned DAS KAPITAL.


To speak of religion and ideologies

and to emphasize the role of their founders

at the expense of their successors

is to engage in high-altitude thinking,

that is to say, to inhabit a world

of abstractions, fantasy, and propaganda.




In a jungle documentary on TV I saw

nine lions attacking a buffalo and devouring it

even as it was defending itself.

It made me think of the medieval Armenian heresy

– the Paulicians I think – who believed

the world was created not by God but the Devil.

If I am not mistaken, the foremost authority on this heresy

is an Armenian who is quoted frequently



If you speak the truth,

liars will conspire against you.

To remain silent when liars conspire against you

amounts to joining their conspiracy.


Pirandello: “If you confront a man with his own image,

there will arise a crisis.”

It follows; understanding oneself

cannot be a pleasant experience.

Which is why most people are dupes

who prefer to live in a world of lies;

and if the lie is delivered by a king or pope,

or for that matter, boss, bishop or benefactor,

and contradicted by a scribbler who can’t make ends meet,

guess who will be the winner or loser.




Our main problem is not “brainless leaders” (Avedik Issahakian)

but brainless leaders who have been brainwashed to believe

they are the brains of the people.


Happy is the man who believes

he cannot be contradicted – also a damn fool.


Charles Peguy: “Fame potentially is the dictatorship of reputation

and therefore always potentially impure.”

Which is why I prefer to be just an honest witness

with a name that has the double demerit of being

difficult to remember and pronounce,

and identified me as someone who

(to quote a good friend) bears a Turkish “damgha” (seal).

Or even better – as a reader from the Homeland once put it:

“Baliozoghlu, you are no better than a piece of shit.”


You may gather by now that our Sovietized brothers and sisters

don’t like to stand on ceremony.

In their eyes we of the Diaspora might as well be

white trash (“aghber”).


But then, nobody ever said to be an honest Armenian

comes without a price.

To console myself I remember an often repeated

Hollywood phrase: “It may be shit but it has integrity.”


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Saturday, July 13, 2013




The good news is:

silencing dissent is no longer as easy as it used to be.




When something goes wrong, I no longer ask

“Who is to blame?” but what was my contribution.




Freedom is overrated by slaves.

Consider what we have been doing with ours.




There is a line that divides knowledge from ignorance,

and the line is invisible.

Whenever a line is invisible

men will imagine they can see it

because they have 20/20 vision.




Some men are more like women

and some women are more like men.

Or, as the Turkish saying has it:

“Among ten men nine are sure to be women.”

Beware of men who stress their masculinity

and women who rely too much on their femininity:

they are up to no good.




“Morsi was democratically elected.”

He was, yes, to be a servant of the people,

all the people and not a fraction of it

that tends to view all others as heretics and infidels,

that is to say, the lowest scum on earth.


And speaking of scum:

to be democratically elected does not mean

to have a license to amass a fortune by means of thievery.


During World War II the French called Petain,

their head of state, “putin,” or is it “putain” (forgive my French)

because he collaborated with Hitler.


As long as our bishops enjoy the support of a benefucktor

why should they give a damn about the collection plate?

And as long as our “Putains”enjoy Putin’s support,

why should they give a damn about serving the people?




If you decide that the men at the top can be trusted

because they know better, you have no choice but to believe that

even when they lie, cheat, and steal they do so for your own good.


Speaking of misplaced trust and the men at the top:

Not only did they slaughter indiscriminately

they also wanted to collect the insurance money.

They thought they could fool odars as easily

as they had fooled Armenians for centuries.


To a politician, ideas can be useful only in so far as

they can be exploited as effective tools of deception.


It is myself that I criticize in others.

What I really say is:

I was there once and I was dead wrong.

If I have lived long enough to tell the tale

It may be because I am just about the luckiest man on earth.

I have no other explanation.


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013




Q: What do Christians, Muslims,

Nazis and Stalinists have in common?

A: Their most cherished ideas

– ideas for which they have killed and died –

are propaganda.

What they think to be more real than reality itself

is pure fiction.

Their greatest truths are big lies.

This is not an opinion on my part.

This is what they themselves believe about one another.


The greatest offenses against God and men

are inflicted with total lack of awareness.


Warning: Be aware of what you believe in:

it may kill you.



Two new books of conversations – my favorite genre –

with Orson Welles and Ava Gardner.

The only book by Goethe that I enjoyed reading



In life when the predictable happens

it does so in an unpredictable manner.


Turcocentrism is our present opium.


Silenced by rabbis, Jesus brought forth

the papacy and the Dark Ages.

All actions have unintended consequences.


I have never killed anyone.

That doesn’t mean I don’t harbor a cold-blooded killer

within me.


Am I right or wrong?

Or rather:

What if I am right?


If I lied it’s because I was a dupe of lies.


If I can write a single readable line a day,

I am satisfied.


We don’t have critics.

What we have are hirelings

writing in defense of their source of income.




Like Pollyanna I like to see the best in the worst.


When the men at the top start killing one another

it can’t be all bad.


When a million people believe in the same lie

they build a cathedral to prove its truth.


The best argument against nationalism

is not even an argument but a simple statement of fact:

“I only know the skin of the earth,

And that it has no name” (Pablo Neruda).


There is nothing new under the sun.

Neither is there anything new

in what I have been saying.

And yet, some of my readers like to pretend otherwise.


Our leaders have been wrong so consistently

and for such a long time that it must be ascribed

to some kind of special gift

rather than a failing or a vice.




God and religion are here to stay?

So are understanding, tolerance, and men

who place doubt above the certainty of dogmas.


Role models?

I didn’t have any.

All my role models were negative –

I didn’t want to be like them.


“Some day I will write a book on the subject

and prove you wrong.”

An Armenian will say anything to win an argument.


A faithful member of the Party:

” What you say is wrong.

We believe in free speech.

None of my articles has ever been rejected or altered.”


A self-assessed smart Armenian is an idiot.


About the 1%:

creating or killing jobs is not their central concern.

Money is.


When I was a fascist I didn’t know I was one.


Persian saying:

“It is better to be in chains with friends

than in a garden with strangers.”


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Thursday, July 18, 2013




It has been observed that

one of the most frequently used words

in the Armenian language is “kidem” (I know).

There is very little that an Armenian doesn’t know

and that little cannot be worth knowing.


The average Armenian

(assuming such a creature exists)

has nothing but contempt for writers

except when he decided to be one himself.


The ambition of every Armenian writer is

to become famous in the odar world;

as for being famous among Armenians:

Who in his right mind would want to be a target

of verbal abuse, betrayal, starvation, and an early death?


Style is being yourself provided of course

you know who you are and where you are going.


If you read me because you want to feel proud

as an Armenian, you’ve got the wrong man.

You want pride?

Read Charents and ignore his killers.


To write means to introduce meaning

into countless fragments of reality.

No one can do justice to all the fragments

if only because only God knows all of them.


I know where I am going;

I also know most of my readers don’t want to go there

because it is against their religion,

and their religion is a watered down cocktail

of phony patriotism and verbal piety

with very little alcoholic content.




Our environment,

the very environment we have created,

can church out only unprincipled mediocrities.

If you want to achieve excellence

you have no choice but to work

in an alien environment.


When I was young and happy,

I wanted to be happier because I thought

I deserved better or so I liked to believe.

But gradually I learned that happiness,

true happiness, means coming to terms

with one’s misery.


Our genocide in the Ottoman Empire

had a beginning and an end.

The moral collapse of our leadership has neither.

What it has instead is a millennial history

of gradual decline and degeneration

with no end in sight.




When two dissimilar intellects

separated by time and space

agree on an idea, it is safe to assume

that there must be some truth in it.


Case in point:

Tolstoy: “The higher I rise in the opinion of others,

the lower I sink in my own.”


Saint-Simon: “My self-esteem has always increased

in direct proportion to the damage I was doing

to my reputation.”


In today’s parlance:

“F*ck fame!”


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Thursday, July 25, 2013




“You are not an Armenian writer!”

I consider that a compliment.

I don’t write as an Armenian.

I write as a human being.

There is no merit in being a member of an exclusive club

at the expense of your humanity.


As a child I was exposed

to many lectures on obedience and respect,

but I don’t remember a single occasion

in which subservience was mentioned.


If only I could count the number of times

I should have said nothing

instead of saying the wrong thing.


I am suspicious of men say “I know”

more often than “I don’t know.”


The only time I feel sure about my moral stance

is when I act against my own interests.


Nobody can be as free as a nobody.

The higher you rise,

the heavier the chains.


We have no choice but to admit that

we have played a central role in our history –

in our defeats (countless)

as well as victories (very few),

in our tragedies (without number)

as well we comedies (one or at most two).




“You repeat yourself.”

“And you are an idiot.”

“Why am I an idiot?”

“Because you waste your time reading someone

who says the same thing over and over again.”

“I thought I was being helpful.”

“You want to be helpful? Say that

to our speechifiers and sermonizers.”

“Say what?”

“You repeat yourself.”




A headline in a French magazine:

“The Zen Master was a serial killer.”

Further down: “What’s the number of his victims?

Hard to say. There are new revelations every day.”




Solidarity is not our forte.

Either that or we have a highly developed sense of

mutual disapproval.




Blame neither the man nor the woman.

Blame instead the games nature

(or the irresistible urge to procreate)

plays on both.




“Like Shakespeare, Bach, and Vermeer,

he was not much prized by his contemporaries.”





My worst enemies are former best friends.

You will surprise me if you say

you are surprised.




Have you ever heard a morally superior man

brag about his moral superiority?

No, of course not! It never happens.

Only pimps and shits brag about their moral superiority.

Something similar could be said of patriotism.

Whenever an Armenian brags about

the superior brand of his patriotism

I know his next move will be

to crap on me – in the name of patriotism, of course!




If you can’t brainwash them, silence them.

If you can silence them, why reason with them?

If they are silenced, who will listen to them?


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Sunday, July 28, 2013




Because our youth in the Homeland

was galvanized by petty cash,

some thought that cause for celebration.

As a skeptic with a touch of pessimism

in all things Armenian, all I am prepared to say is,



I have no reason to trust Turkish or Azeri patriotism.

Neither do I trust American, German, or Russian patriotism.

Now then, tell me please,

why should I trust Armenian patriotism?


One good thing about old age:

the end can’t be too far

and the end of a bad thing

is bound to be good.


Muslims don’t respect one another

but they are unanimous in demanding the respect

of the world, including and above all the respect of infidels.

Are we different?



On Armenian TV today

an interview with a community leader from Greece

named Kurdoghlian – probably Kurdoghlanian

(literally son of a Kurd).


Question: Will we ever know how many

of our community leaders are odars or even Turks

(according to one of our elder statesmen)

who speak Armenian fluently?

Please note that I have nothing against odars.

As an Armenian I am even flattered that

some of them choose to work for us.

Unless of course the only reason they do so

is that the pay is good; or as a community

we are too ignorant, backward, and naïve

to tell the difference between a good leader

and one that is both corrupt and incompetent

in addition to being a habitual and compulsive liar.




“Thou shalt not look up to dividers

for moral and political guidance.”




We say an explanation makes sense

only when it runs parallel

to our limitations and prejudices.




Blunders are not planned.

They are more like unintended consequences of our ignorance,

inaudible echoes of our limitations,

and invisible reflections of our stupidity and arrogance.


The biggest mistake we make

is to assume that man is a reasonable being.

In reality Homo sapiens is less sapiens

and more ignoramus.


The rotten apple false.

Time is the true revolutionary.

But unlike Chopin’s Etude,

its tempo is Adagio molto.


I criticize myself in others.


The function of literature is to say

what everyone suspects to be true.




To stand on your own feet

does not mean to step on someone else’s throat.


Old age: not a confrontation but a siege.


If luck is on your side

even your liabilities become assets.


My first job at the age of seven or eight

was that of an apprentice to a blacksmith

in the neighborhood.

I didn’t think of it as work.

I even looked forward to it.


To be a Romanian, according to Saul Steinberg,

means to “carry a curse, the place from which you come,

we carry it inside us. It doesn’t heal easily. Maybe never.”


The astonishing ease with which we make false assumptions

about ideas, people, oneself.

Every devout believer is convinced

anyone who does not share his belief is wrong,

maybe even in cahoots with the devil.


An academic once tried to explain to me

why a poem by Hardy was a masterpiece.

I felt as though I was being taught a new language.


In the last pages of Richard Burrton’s diary

many entries consist of a single word: “Booze…”

At one point he writes:

“Both Elizabeth’s and my manners are appalling…”


When asked what he reads, Glenn Gould is said to have replied:

“Everything by Thomas Mann, Kafka, and the Russians…”


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Saturday, August 03, 2013




Smart Armenians give up on their fellow Armenians

at an early age, but, in Saroyan’s words,

“mothers hang in forever.”


I don’t take myself seriously except when

I quote or paraphrase better men than myself,

if you know what I am saying…


Since I never made more than minimum wage

I cannot be accused of exploiting anyone;

and yet, I have been called a capitalist

by some of my detractors probably because

I don’t allow my income bracket

to determine my writing style.


The overwhelming majority of regimes today,

including the most advanced, civilized democracies

are either corrupt or incompetent or both;

and the overwhelming majority of people

are either dupes or greedy for either money or power

and probably both.

I am reminded of Southern rednecks

who used to deliver speeches in praise

of “Anglo-Saxon democracy”

and against “Jews, Catholics and niggers.”

Old wounds or new cancer?





In the Decalogue of our leadership

there is only one commandment repeated ten times:

“Thou shalt not assume responsibility.”


If you can blame it on bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians

or the degenerate West or even our mountains and rivers

and Almighty God Himself, why plead guilty as charged?


Who in his right mind would be against

one nation under God?

The answer must be obvious: the opposition!


Because I write against dividers

I am myself accused of dividing the nation.

How? Why?

Elementary my dear Watson.

I am a divider because I divide the nation

between deceivers and dupes.


To be a good writer, I am told,

means to see the good in everyone,

including irresponsible idiots

who recycle propaganda

and see moral victory in military defeat.


A member of the Party,

very much like a theologian,

is brainwashed to believe

his God is the only true God

and all others are in cahoots with the Devil.

If you believe that,

consider yourself a certified moron,

and if saying so is a crime against humanity,

I plead guilty as charged.




The only way to survive as a writer in our environment

is by writing what someone else wants you to write.

The only way to become a best-seller in America

is by writing what everyone wants to read.

I want to achieve popularity by writing

what no one wants to read.

Figure that one out if you can.


In his youth Thomas Mann was a nationalist;

so was Dostoevsky in his old age.

Nabokov was different:

he didn’t give a damn about czars, commissars, Mother Russia

and the Orthodox Church.

But then he went to the other extreme:

he supported McCarthy in America

and the war in Vietnam.


Sartre loathed the French bourgeoisie to such a degree

that he supported Stalin, Mao and Castro.

It takes all kinds.


As children we are shaped by propaganda – that is to say, lies.

As adults some of us become aware of this fact.

Many others never do.


Political parties win elections not because they know better

but because they are superior liars and organizers.

That’s the only way to explain the victory

of Stalinists in Russia and fascists in Germany, Italy, Spain

and many other countries.


I don’t write as a writer.

I write as a layman who is on the side of victims

even when they happen to be writers with bad ideas.


When not systematically slaughtered by our enemies,

our writers were ignored, insults, starved, and betrayed

by our own ruling classes and the indifference of the people.


As you can see, I don’t happen to be one

who is easily infatuated by my fellow men

even when they happen to be my “brothers.”


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Wednesday, August 07, 2013




To live in the Homeland or in Turkey?

Thousands of Armenians today choose Turkey.

“Yes im anoush Hayastani!”


The God of Christians is an idol.

I didn’t say that.

Martin Luther did.


Two of the shortest sayings in the world:

“Adam had’em” (microbes) and

“Kirk krik” = forty broken (in Turkish).

Freely translated “at the age of forty

consider yourself half-dead.”


The secret of rewriting consists in deleting.

If you can say the same thing in two words,

why use three?


I see contradictions everywhere:

moral failure in financial success

and scratching the bottom

in reaching the top.


Was the beginning of our cosmos

the end of another?

Does God recycle?


Two kinds of readers:

the few who insult me anonymously

and the many who ignore me.


Very often in life our choices are not

between the good and the bad

but between the bad and the worse,

or between the worse and the worst.




My favorite political joke consists of a brief exchange

between a speechifying Republican presidential candidate

and a heckler.

HECKLER: My grandfather was a Democrat;

my father was a Democrat;

I am a Democrat.

CANDIDATE: If your grandfather were a jackass

and your father were a jackass,

what would you be?

HECKLER: A Republican!


In the eyes of some we, all of us,

are no better than jackasses.

I speak from experience.

Recently I was myself called “a piece of sh*t”

by a committed patriot who spoke

in the name of the eternal snows of Mt. Ararat.


Like all ideologies and belief systems,

patriotism too is an instrument of deception

whose aim is to divide, exploit, and deceive dupes.


The key to life is cooperation.

If we are alive now it’s because of countless atoms in our body

cooperating with one another.

Let one of them deviate from its path

and the result would be catastrophic illness and death.


As a nation we continue to be led by individuals

who have consistently deviated from the right path

by dividing us in the name of this or that ideology

or belief system.

In their eyes we may well be no better than jackasses

who will believe everything they are told.


Some day in the near or distant future

a historian may be justified in describing us

as a nation of jackasses led by sh*ts –

if you will forgive my French.




Kipling: “When you know what you can do, do something else.”


What if what you do or say does not even register

on anyone’s consciousness?

What if nothing changes and when on those rare occasions

something does change, the change is more likely to be for the worse.


I see contradictions everywhere.


The most important decisions in our lives are made

behind closed doors.


The aristocracy does not work.

Work is for the working classes.

What the aristocracy does is create an educational system

that promotes the importance of work.


If exploitation and thievery are both legal and profitable

and if the 99% are more than willing to work for minimum wage,

why deprive them of the privilege?


What if we have created an environment in which

only liars and bloodsuckers prosper?


I see contradictions everywhere.

Readers who demand a positive approach to our affairs

blabber endless about massacres and genocide recognition.

And consider our Turcocentric ghazetajis:

the offspring of revolutionaries

who promised heaven and delivered hall;

and now they promise justice

provided of course the 99% support their efforts financially.

Mi kich pogh oughargetsek.


Samuel Johnson: “I can give you reasons; I can’t give you understanding.”

I should like to see an Armenian writer producing such a line.




Louis B. Mayer on Ava Gardner:

“She has cunt power.”

(Mayer of Metro Goldwyn Mayer fame:

no doubt an expert on the subject –

he probably had more women in his stable

than the last sultan had concubines in his harem).


Edmund Wilson on Saroyan:

“…an agreeable mixture of San Francisco bonhomie

and Armenian Christianity.”

In what way is Armenian Christianity different

from Gringo or Negro Christianity?

I don’t know.

I suspect neither does Wilson.


Armenians are smart but easily moronized.

But then so is the rest of mankind.

It is not that I have a low opinion of my fellow men;

rather, I am beginning to see them

through women’s eyes and think

“Men are so stupid!” –

especially when it comes to women’s “C” power.


Leonard Bernstein: “Love brings on tears.”

Now I know why Bach’s Cello Suites make me cry.


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No one can be as stupid

as a self-ASSessed smart man in love.


To excel in one thing also means

to fail in a thousand others.


Gandhi is right: there are not atheists;

only people with different belief systems

one of which is based on the non-existence of God.


In the kind of world we live in,

corruption and incompetence are not seen

as crimes against humanity.

If they were, who would escape hanging?


Our leaders have committed so many blunders

that their capacity for them must be ascribed to a gift

rather than bad judgment.


No need to be afraid of what I say.

I could be wrong; and if I am

I will be the first to rejoice.


I have behaved like a pig

and I have behaved like a human being:

I can tell the difference.




If Karl Marx had lived in the USSR under Stalin

and said he disagreed with Kremlin’s version of Communism

he would have been arrested by the KGB

and spent the rest of his life in the Gulag.


When fanatics fight it is the moderates who die.


When it comes to self-interest

there are no sheep, only wolves.


We gain nothing when we replace the Turkish master

with an Armenian master.


I write as I do because I am no longer dependent

on the charity of swine.




“Are we among Turks

who lock up their women?”


To be too careful

may also be a mistake.


Marriage is the best cure for love

as suicide is the best antidote

for fear of death.


If reason is on our side

reality may be against us.

That may well be the most important lesson

history can teach us.


What doesn’t kill us may make us so sick

that we wish we were dead.


We live in a world where good men

are persecuted by bad men

and where the ignorant behave as if

they had a license to kill those

who may know better.


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To the reader who has compiled a list of bishops

who served the nation faithfully and selflessly, I say:

There are good men everywhere

but they are invariably outnumbered by the bad;

and good bishops owe their goodness not to their religion

but to their humanity, which is present in all men,

including imams, rabbis, gurus, Zen masters,

and witch doctors.




If you decide to be honest in an Armenian environment

be prepared to be called pro-Turkish or even

the “son of a Turkish wh*re.”

I speak from experience.




If I emphasize the negative it may be because

the negative should be emphasized

especially when it’s covered up.




Women may be real to other women

but to men they are works of fiction.




To those who disagree with me today I say,

in such matters what counts is tomorrow

and to live without learning is to be brain dead.




The word of God is the word of megalomaniacs

and their archetype is Moses.


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