Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 279
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Thursday, January 24, 2013




That’s a question I ask myself again and again

and I always come up with an answer

that may make sense to me

but no one else.


I write to settle a score, beginning with myself.

I feel partly responsible for our leadership.

I supported it for a number of years.

I kissed its ass when I should have kicked it.


Our divisions go so far back in history

that they have become invulnerable to dissent and criticism.

It is also true that if a system is rotten

it will fall if not tomorrow than the day after.

Isn’t that what happened to monarchy, fascism, and Stalinism?


The reason our divisions have survived is that

we have lived on the margins of history;

and they have not so much survived as they have become,

in Toynbee’s classification, fossilized.

They are dead men walking.

Case in point: by failing to unite the Armenian vote in America,

our leadership has condemned itself to be a silent scream.

No American presidential candidate will ever take us seriously

so long as we divide our vote evenly

between Republicans and Democrats.


As for our Turcocentric ghazetajis

who pretend to be defenders of the Cause:

so far all they have succeeded in doing

is drive the Cause to a dead end.

Their unspoken or real aim is not to get justice

but to cover up the incompetence

of the empty suits they work for.


A final note on Turks:

they are not all butchers and murderers;

they have their share of both as surely as

we have our share of traitors, collaborators,

and cover-up artists,


Friday, January 25, 2013




We think with someone else’s thoughts

and we believe by adopting someone else’s belief system.

When it comes to the two most important things in life –

thinking and believing,

or that which makes us human --

we are more like apes than men.

I think therefore I am not.


Our disagreements and conflicts are not ours

but someone else’s.

Neither are our wars.

Only our victims may be said to be ours.


Absurdity is not a philosophical abstraction;

it is embedded in our daily existence.


Question all certainties.

Reject all dogmatic assertions.

And never forget that what you borrow

is not yours.


Saturday, January 26, 2013




Our most popular school of criticism

consists in slinging mud (such as pro-Turkish)

hoping some of it will stick.


Identifying blunders in others can be useful

only if it may help us identify our own.


Thirst for fame is the surest symptom of mediocrity.


Only pathological liars with political ambitions

rewrite history in order to project a positive image.


A book is called bad or dangerous if it proves

what you believe to be true is a lie.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday, January 30, 2013




A smart Armenian is first and foremost

a self-assessed Armenian and in all self-assessments

propaganda speaks louder than reality.


Whenever I speak of reality

I am accused of being pro-Turkish probably because

for 600 years our reality was not ours but theirs.

When it came to the most important decisions in life,

it was they who made them.

We had no choice but to say “Yes, sir!”

They dished it out and we took it.

And when our revolutionaries decided to change that,

we all know what happened next: reality turned against us.


How long before we create our own reality?

My only tentative answer: I may not live long enough to see it.


I have dealt with many self-assessed smart Armenians

and they were all idiots.

So was I for most of my life.

Everything I say about Armenians is based on self-analysis.


Gentle reader: If you think what I say does not apply to you

because you are different, I am more than willing to apologize.

Every rule has its exceptions.

I have even heard it said that it is exceptions

that certify the legitimacy of a rule.

My hope is that really smart Armenians

will decide to step forward and get involved

in our community affairs instead of conducting

an underground existence.


Did I say really smart Armenians?

Strike that. Make it honest Armenians.

Because it doesn’t take a high IQ to see that

we are on the wrong path and on our way to the devil.


A warning: If you are an honest Armenian

and decide to be pro-active, don’t be surprised

if accusations of pro-Turkish sympathies are hurled against you

by moronized self-assessed Armenians.


Monday, January 28, 2013




Propaganda is as addictive as nicotine, alcohol, and opium.


The hidden message in all propaganda is,

what you think is right

and anyone who dares to disagree with you

is an enemy agent.


Now Barabbas was a publisher

and Cain a fascist.


Speechifiers and sermonizers end up believing

in their own speeches and sermons.

Arguing with them is like trying to enlighten a source of light.


There are times when I get so depressed

by my fellow countrymen that

the thought of death cheers me up.


Dissent means questioning the integrity of individuals

who believe in their own infallibility.


Propaganda sticks to children like crazy glue.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013




Even in a land of the brave and the free

there will be cowards and slaves;

and if not slaves to human masters

than slaves to ignorance, prejudice, and lies.


Our men at the top know that

the best way to avoid international scrutiny

is by achieving irrelevance,

and irrelevance is thrust on some

as greatness is thrust on others.


Who after all gives a damn about Armenia?

Not even Armenians.

Who gives a damn about our 1,500,000?

Not even Obama.

Who gives a damn about our ongoing “white genocide”

(exodus from the Homeland and assimilation in the Diaspora)?

Not even our superpatriots

who prefer to speechify about the eternal snows of Mt. Ararat.


God’s existence is as great a mystery to me

as the Devil’s?


Wednesday, January 30, 2013




All of Freud may be said to be an expansion

of the Biblical dictum:

“The Kingdom of God is within you.”

Or, the resolution of all your inner conflicts and contradictions

are in your unconscious.


When Marx said “I am not a Marxist,”

he was in a way questioning the legitimacy of all ideologies

or closed systems of thought.


Einstein proved that all our fundamental assumptions

about time and space are wrong;

nothing is what it seems;

a great deal of reality may be comprehensible

but not everything.

There are things we may never understand and explain.


What has been the most important contribution

America has made to the world?


To assert “All men are created equal,”

and with the full cooperation of the Church

to legitimize slavery.


What about Armenian contributions?

Inbred morons pretending to be smart.


If the Kingdom of God is within you,

so is the Empire of the Devil.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, January 31, 2013




The aim of politics is power.

The aim of literature is understanding reality.

When the two meet, literature loses.

And when literature loses,

murder, war, and massacre become inevitable.


Writers are dreamers?

Yes, but only in so far as they think

they can survive in a fascist environment.


The attitude of the average dupe towards literature?

“He is a writer? An Armenian writer?

He must be a daydreamer.

Let’s have some fun with him.”


Armenians are different from Turks?

In their treatment of dissent

they might as well be identical twins.


Dupes rate the lies of propaganda

above the truths of literature.


One reason why our dividers are more popular

than our dissidents is that

the IQ of the average Armenian is a negative digit;

which is why he is constantly reminded he is smart.


One of my most dedicated readers is a

Second-Amendment gun nut and racist

who thinks he fully qualifies as a commissar culture

and based on that assumption

he issues daily memoranda

reminding me that unless I follow instructions

I will never amount to anything.


When reason meets prejudice,

reason is bound to lose.

So what else is new?

Mart bidi ch’ellank.


Friday, February 01, 2013




Some lies are so transparent that

they might as well be confessions.


There are no more deep truths,

only platitudes in fancy uniforms.


There are Armenians today who are pro-Assad.

I have met some of them myself.

What’s next?– being pro-Talaat?


To those who demand that I explain my explanations,

I say: I have already done so in the past

and I will again in the future.


Toynbee:“Comprehension sometimes consists

in just a correct understanding of questions

that are unanswerable."


Saturday, February 02, 2013




Why did Raffi say “we are sheep without a shepherd”?

Why did Avedik Issahakian call our leaders “brainless”?

And why did Zarian call them “useless”?

Were all three wrong or dupes of enemy propaganda?


Baruir Massikian, a successful lawyer in Egypt

in addition to being a brilliant writer:

as he lay dying in hospital he was approached

by a delegation community leaders

who suggested he leave his considerable wealth

(he was a bachelor) to an Armenian educational foundation.

His reply:“I’d much rather leave it to a Cairo bordello.”

Was he anti-Armenian or pro-Turkish?– two charges

that are leveled against anyone

who dares to refuse being a dupe.


Why do our academics prefer to write

about the Middle Ages and the Genocide?

And why is it that whenever someone tries to expose

the corruption and incompetence of our 1%

he is insulted by our superpatriots

and experts on any given subject?


Please note that I am only asking questions.

I am not making dogmatic assertions whose sole intent is

to divide the community into members of the club

and alienated degenerates.


I repeat myself and the 1% does not?


In the opinion page of my local morning paper

a pundit begins his commentary with the following words:

“We live, breathe and exist in an age of apocalyptic uncertainty.”

If you were to ask one of our pro-establishment propagandists,

my guess is he would say:

“We never had it so good

because we are in the best of hands.”


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, February 03, 2013




If I criticize the 1%

it’s because I am on the side of the 99%.

If I don’t enjoy the support of the 99%

it may be because the secret ambition of most of them

is to join the 1%.


Freedom of religion also means

the freedom to brainwash children.

If we don’t see the harm in that

it’s because we live in a world

in which subservience is valued more than freedom,

intolerance more than tolerance,

revenge more than justice,

and ultimately war and massacre

more than peace and coexistence.


On the day we learn to think for ourselves

we may have a better chance to achieve solidarity

not only with our brothers

but also with our enemies.


Always treat today’s enemy

as if he were tomorrow’s friend.


If I am different it’s only because I rely

more on my own thinking than on the thinking of

empty suits and bearded charlatans

who make a comfortable living by deceiving

the defenceless and the ignorant.


Monday, February 04, 2013




If Christianity has legitimized

intolerance, persecution, torture, war and massacre,

can we really say “There are good religions?”


I don’t believe in optimism.

Hell, I don’t even believe in pessimism.

In pessimism we construct a narrative that makes sense.

But evil is incomprehensible.

So is reality. That’s why every historian

creates his own version of the past.


Does it make sense to say what’s theirs is bad

and what’s ours is good

when that’s exactly what they say too?


If you make a list of writers who preferred exile

to life in their own homeland,

you may end up with a who’s who is contemporary literature.


Our reality is so unbearable that my objectivity

is sometimes confused with self-hatred.


“When we kill them it’s good;

when they kills us it’s bad.”

What’s the difference between this mindset

and the one expressed by an African tribal chieftain

quoted by C.G. Jung in his memoirs:

“When my enemy steals my wives, it’s bad;

when I steal his it’s good.”


To those who say “I don’t agree with you.

Human beings are better than that; so is life.”

All I can say is: “Enjoy your innocence (or is it ignorance?)

while you can. It won’t last.”


How often do I find myself saying:

“I would have agreed with you thirty years ago.”


Tuesday, February 05, 2013




Q: Who are they? Could we have a definition?

A: They are Armenians who know what must be said and done

but who want someone else to do it for them.

Q: Why?

A: The obvious answer is, they don’t know.

They only pretend to know. They are bluffing.

Just like their role models in the USSR who trusted Stalin

more than Solzhenitsyn. Our commissars today trust more

our bosses, bishops, and benefactors than our writers.

Q: Why do they?

A: My guess is they believe literature to be a dead end.

No money in it. No power. No future.

Our history is clear on this point:

To write for Armenians is a waste of time.

Q: Knowing this you go on writing, why?

A: A good question, but I have a better one for you:

Why do Armenians who are brought up to believe

they are smart, progressive and civilized

choose to behave like inbred morons

when it comes to politics and collective action?

More precisely, why do they support our dividers

and grave-diggers?

Q: You must have an answer to that question.

A: I don’t! Unless of course we say they behave like morons

because they are in fact morons.

Q: I wouldn’t describe that as a diplomatic explanation.

A: Literature is not diplomacy. Neither is it a profitable enterprise

unless of course you decide to write

about the Middle Ages and the massacres.

But that’s a subject for another conversation.


Wednesday, February 06, 2013




Q: What are some of the positives and negatives

in being an Armenian writer?

A: Positives? None! Negatives? To begin with

you work for nothing;

you are treated like an unemployed and unemployable misfit,

a mental masturbator;

morons take it upon themselves to tell you

what to write and how to write it;

and worst of all, you are dependent on the charity of swine.

A: Aren’t you afraid that by using angry words

you may run the risk of undermining your own objectivity?

A: I am more than willing to take that chance.

Those who are against me will be against me

even if I were to speak like an angel.

And I have every reason to suspect

if so far Armenian writers have been ignored

it’s because they were afraid to go down into the gutter

where our self-appointed “betters” and their dupes live.

Some day if these gentlemen are unmasked,

they will be exposed as bottom-of-the-barrel

egomaniacal sociopaths and bullies

who operate on the assumption that

they know better and our only option is to say “Yes sir!”

Q: "The Sultan is dead, long live the Sultan?"

A: That’s true for Ottomanized Armenians.

For Sovietized Armenians it’s “Stalin is dead,

long live our commissars!”

Q: Do you see a light at the end of the tunnel?

A: For me, no! For those who may follow me, maybe.

You never know…anything is possible.

And they say I am a pessimist.

What the hell do they know?


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, February 07, 2013




Q: You never name names. Why?

A: In our environment naming names doesn’t work.

Q: What do you mean it doesn’t work?

A: Last time someone named names he was taken to court,

his sources evaporated, he was found guilty, he suffered a stroke,

and shortly thereafter he died.

Q: His sources evaporated, how?

A: They refused to testify in court.

Q: Why?

A: Obviously they didn’t want to lose their only source

of financial support.

Q: I see.

A: That’s the way it has always been in our environment:

those in power and the establishment in general

have been invulnerable. This was true

even in the Ottoman Empire and the Soviet Union.

Even on the eve of the Genocide there were

Armenians – and I don’t mean dupes --

who worked for the Ottoman and Soviet administrations,

which means they supported the Sultan and the Young Turks.

Krikor Zohrab, an eminent lawyer, diplomat,

and intellectual leader was one of them –

he was a close friend and supporter of Talaat

who had him murdered in cold blood.

I am myself personally acquainted with writers

who make a comfortable living as secretaries of bishops.

Do you think they will even consider testifying

against their only source of income

and start looking for another job?

Who would hire them?

Armenian writers are not exactly in great demand

in today’s marketplace. But all that is theory.

In reality it has never happened.

We don’t have a system or cultural environment

that supports individuals who place truth or principle

above self-interest. And we have always had

ruthless manipulators willing to take advantage of this situation.


Friday, February 08, 2013




Q: What are some of the books you have reread more than twice?

A: Lesley Blanch’s SABRES OF PARADISE,

Toynbee’s RECONSIDERATIONS (volume xii of his STUDY OF HISTORY),

and Sartre’s WORDS.

Q: A strange trio.

A: I forgot Nabokov’s LOLITA, and of course Zarian

whom I have translated into English,

and to translate a book is equivalent to rereading

it ten times if not more. There may be others

but these are the ones that come readily to mind at the moment.

Q: What is it about Zarian that fascinates you?

A: His daring and uncanny ability to say

what you almost think…and his unique grasp of reality.

Q: What about books that have changed your worldview?

A: Dostoevsky’s IDIOT, Turgenev’s FATHERS AND SONS,


all of which I read as a teenager --

and Plato’s DIALOGUES. Also Shaw’s plays,

or rather their prefaces which are longer than the plays themselves.

And Thomas Mann’s MAGIC MOUNTAIN.

Q: Do you have a favorite genre?

A: All of them – fiction, essays, biographies, memoirs, diaries,

conversations, crime novels, encyclopedias…

everything but poetry. I don’t remember to have ever read

a collection of verse from beginning to end.

Isolated poems now and then, here and there,

but Milton, Dante, and T.S. Eliot, no!

As for Pushkin: I might as well be deaf, dumb, and blind.

I have always suspected that in poetry

manner is more important than substance.

Q: Do you think Armenians read enough?

A: Somewhere Zarian says that what Armenians preferred to read

at the turn of the century in Istanbul were best-sellers

like Zevaco and Eugene Sue – whom no one reads these days.

I know Armenians who love books for purely cosmetic reasons,

to make an impression on visitors.

I am beginning to suspect an Armenians’ greatest enemy

is neither the Turk nor his fellow Armenian

but the written word.


Saturday, February 09, 2013




Gandhi once said you can evaluate a civilization

by the manner in which it treats its animals –

and, I would add, its writers.

If you make a list of our writers

you will be astonished to discover

an astonishing number of them

were either silenced, ignored and exiled or

betrayed to the authorities,

murdered and committed suicide.


Armenia has been called “the cradle of civilization”

by an Irish academic who enjoyed the financial support

of the Gulbenkian Foundation,

the wealthiest foundation in the world, it has been said.

But it would be even more accurate to call it its grave.


And speaking of Gulbenkian:

Why did he leave only 7% of his wealth to Armenians?

Did he know something we don’t know?

Did he guess that if he were to leave

all his wealth to Armenians,

93% of it would end up in the wrong pockets?

I am not casting aspersions,

just asking question and searching for answers.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, February 10, 2013




We all have our own.

To some it’s the Bible,

To others the Koran,

to still others the UPANISHAD.

In my twenties my holy book was


in which there are endless arguments

about all the important issues in life.

The two fictional characters who engage in these arguments

are Naphta (authoritarian, mystical, fascist)

and Settembrini (a liberal humanist).

The arguments are so convincingly done that

at the end you cannot tell who is right and who wrong.


In my thirties my other holy book was


(volume xii of his STUDY OF HISTORY)

in which ideas about the past, that is to say life,

are carefully analyzed and discussed at considerable length.


It is to be noted that Mann’s character of Naphta

is based on the famous communist critic and philosopher Lukacz

with whom he was personally acquainted

(Lukacz was later to write a book on Mann);

and in RECONSIDERATIONS Toynbee quotes

many of his critics except Hugh Trevor-Roper

whose attack on him was so ruthless and rude

that its intent was not to question Toynbee’s ideas

but to destroy him personally.


Also to be noted, both Mann and Toynbee

were great readers of the Bible.

Mann even wrote his longest book,


based on an episode in GENESIS.


When told the Bible was written by the Holy Ghost,

Shaw is said to have replied,

“All books are written by the Holy Ghost.”

What about LOLITA, one is tempted to ask.

LOLITA too, Shaw would have replied

(the book was published after his death)

because THE SONG OF SONGS in the Old Testament

fully qualifies as an erotic rhapsody in which,

Hebrew scholars tell us,

there is even talk of oral sex – obviously lost in translation.


Monday, February 11, 2013







“The small state, racked by internal dissension,

invites the foreign conqueror.”

This is a line that occurs in a short story by Mary McCarthy.

I quote it to point out the fact that far from being

the best and the brightest, we are a cliché known by all except us.

That’s how cunningly and thoroughly we have been brainwashed.




Instead of blabbering endlessly about murder,

we should speak of suicide by a thousand self-inflicted cuts.




He who is his own worst enemy

does not need an enemy.




You don’t like what he says?

Shoot him.

You can't shoot him?

Silence him.

You can’t silence him?

Call him “son of a Turkish whore.”




“A government by the people for the people.”


“A government by the mafia for the mafia.”




Instead of analyzing my words

teach yourself to analyze your actions.

Unawareness, according to Freud and Jung,

is the source of all evil




The real aim of propaganda is not to misrepresent lies as truths

but to moronize the people,

and the most effective way to moronize the people

is to call them seven times smarter than Greeks and Jews.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013




The Pope telling Galileo what to think

and imams telling women how to dress

spring from the same source:

ignorance, arrogance, and greed for power.


Unmask religion and expose the primitive in man.


If you cannot deal with reality,

invent your own fiction.


A man of faith believes his faith to be infallible

and with God on his side he can do no wrong.

This fallacy has claimed more innocent lives than any other.


There are as many paths to God or Truth

as there are human beings.

To say otherwise is to legitimize intolerance

and ultimately war and massacre.

This is not theory but reality,

that is to say, history.


The same applies to patriotism.

There are as many variants of patriotism

as there are patriots.

To say, suggest, or imply that your kind of patriotism

is better than mine or anyone else’s is to justify

all kinds of aberrations, including crimes against humanity.


To say my faith, my God, my Truth and no other

is to be on a path that leads not to God but to the Devil.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013




The phoniest Armenians are those

who never miss an opportunity

to assert their superior brand of patriotism.


As children we are taught big lies

and forbidden to speak little ones.


Because I expose contradictions

I am told I hate myself.


The biggest lies are fractions of the truth.


In a trial by jury,

the function of the jury is not to separate

the guilty from the innocent

but to decide which side

has the more competent lawyer.


Nationalist historians are not liars;

they only emphasize the positive

and cover up the negative.

I know how that’s done because I have done it myself.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, February 14, 2013




In his youth Zarian loved Armenians

because he saw himself as a messianic figure

and his fellow Armenians as a crucified nation.

In his old age he saw himself as a victim

of intolerance and envy,

and he died with the conviction that

he had been murdered.


Saroyan loved the whole world including Armenians

but he couldn’t stand his own family

including his half-Armenian son and daughter.


Michael (GREEN HAT) Arlen loved his fellow Armenians too

but he warned his half-Armenian son to stay away from them.

The son followed his father’s advice

with only one interruption

that lasted long enough for him to write

PASSAGE TO ARARAT that became a best-seller.


Because I hate myself, some of my critics tell me,

I am in no position to love or understand my fellow Armenians,

and armed with that conviction

they feel justified in calling me “son of a Turkish whore,”

among other abusive terms.


I have noticed that Armenians who speak endlessly of love

are the least lovable specimens

and though I have tried very hard to love them

I have failed.

But that’s my fault rather than theirs.


Saturday, February 16, 2013





In politics don’t judge the man,

judge the men behind the man.


The same Leonardo who said war is

“pazzia bestialissima” (the most beastly madness)

also designed war machines.


Even Jesus failed to unmask Judas

until it was too late.


If Zohrab was Talaat’s dupe,

who among us will dare to say

he is nobody’s dupe?


One reason I keep coming back to dupes is that

I have been one most of my life…

with no end in sight.


If I were to make a list of Big Lies we believed in,

I would begin with

“The Turks would not dare to massacre us,” and end with

“Russians are our Big Brothers.”


To preach love and legitimize hatred is a contradiction,

and yet most religious leaders appear to be unaware of this fact.


Love of God (religion) and love of homeland (patriotism)

have justified more crimes against humanity

than hatred of the Devil.


Saturday, February 16, 2013




There are systems of ignorance as surely

as there are systems of knowledge

and we choose both by the degree of flattery they contain.


Christians believe they are worthy of the Crucifixion,

Jews believe they are the Chosen,

and Muslim believe non-Muslims to be “infidel dogs.”


What about Armenians?

To begin with we don’t much care

about Turks, Kurds, Azeris, Georgians,

“onion-head” Russians, and the so-called “civilized West”

which fought its lousy World War I

instead of coming to our aid.

Neither are we fond of Protestants and Catholics

even when they happen to be fellow Armenians.

Native-born Armenians look down at Diasporans (“aghber”) --

I have myself been called “a piece of shit” by a fellow Armenian

born and raised in the shadow of Mt. Ararat.


Who loves Armenians?

Not even Armenians.

As the popular refrain has it:

“Mart bidi ch’ellank!”

Literally: “We will never acquire the status of human beings.”


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, February 17, 2013




As a child I was told many things

that as an adult I rejected.

As a Catholic I was brought up to believe

the only reason Martin Luther had divided the Church

was to fornicate with a nun.


More often than not the hidden aim

of all categories, differences, and labels

is to assert some kind of phony superiority.


Shaw once said that the reason why

he was successful in creating believable female characters

is that he did not think of women as different from men.

When the French say “Vive la difference!”

I have every reason to suspect

they have in mind only anatomical differences.


An old lady from Kharpert once told me

they viewed women from Izmir (Smyrna) as sluts

because they (Izmirtsis) used make-up;

and a woman from Izmir once told me

they view Kharpertsis as Kurds.

For every label there will be a counter-label.


Native-born Armenians versus Diasporans

(or aghber = white trash).

As a non-native Armenian I suspect native-born Armenians

to be former Bolsheviks, even Stalinists.


We are all brought up to look down on our fellow men

for reasons that on closer inspection reveal themselves to be

based on ignorance, prejudice, fear, and fallacies.

I feel therefore justified to formulate

the following categories of my own:

human beings who view their fellow men and women as equals

and dupes who suffer from a psychological aberration

known as infantilism which consists

in clinging to illusions, lies, and prejudices instilled in them

when they could not yet think for themselves and

whose hidden aim is to make them feel superior or privileged.


Monday, February 18, 2013




Why is it that people who view abortion as murder

don’t see war as murder?


The Enlightenment did not put an end to the Dark Ages;

neither did Christianity expose false gods.


Whenever a reader calls me pro-Turkish

I know he has run out of arguments.

If memory serves, it was Goebbels who said:

“Making noise is an effective means of opposition.”


As a pessimist I hate to be right.


Because I make Armenianism

(its cheap, loathsome variant) look hateful,

I am accused of hating myself.


Be a dupe, join a group.


The contempt of idiots and fanatics

is as valuable an asset as the affection of good men.


When Jesus said “The Kingdom of God is within you,”

the rabbis thought, there goes my bread and butter.


Among us success is harder to survive than failure.


In real life all stories have an unhappy ending

if only because at the end everyone dies.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013




The most patriotic Armenian is neither

the devout church-goer nor

the dedicated partisan

but an honest man.


If you can’t think of me as a critic

(someone who exposes contradictions)

think of me as the devil’s advocate.

As far as I know no one has ever identified

a devil’s advocate with the devil.


Where there is money there will be prostitution

in one form or another;

and where there is patriotism, there will be treason,

and more often than not it will the real traitors

who will accuse the real patriots of treason.


Armenians who criticize no one and nothing

(except perhaps Turks and Kurds)

will criticize critics and their favorite mode of criticism

will be slinging mud in the hope that some of it may stick.


Our critics – and we have had our share of them –

have made no difference in our collective existence

probably because our idiots outnumber the rest 99 to 1.

I may be wrong in this.

The correct ratio may well be 98 to 2.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013




“In their place I would have done a better job.”

That’s not what I have been saying.

What I have been saying is

having committed blunders

I would not spend the rest of my life

trying to cover them up

in an effort to project a positive image.

Neither would I declare myself to have been

a proud member of the Communist Party

(as Sylva Kaputikian is said to have done).

or any other party, for that matter.

Or having divided the community

I would not portray myself as a statesman of vision

whose number one concern is the welfare of the nation.

Neither would I judge a regime or a power structure

by the number of privileges and powers it bestows on me

and to hell with everyone else.

As for brainwashing children into believing

we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands:

I would consider that adding insult to injury

and raising another generation of brainwashed idiots.

Now then, go ahead and accuse me

of making too many demands on our “betters”

who may not be perfect but are doing their best

under difficult conditions:

and if you believe that you will believe anything!


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Sunday, February 24, 2013




We love the truth and hate lies

or so we say and like to believe.

But truth is one and elusive

and lies are real and without number.


The 99% don’t think.

They let the 1% do the thinking for them.

Until very recently the 99% didn’t even know

they were 99%.


The 1% may know better

but to know better is not the same as to know.

The 1% is the most dangerous people on earth.


We are not survivors.

We are dead men walking.

So is all of mankind.


The real aim of justice is to legitimize injustice.

Slavery and the torture of heretics

were as legitimate undertakings

as the massacre of innocent civilians was

and continues to be today.


Our real enemies are not other people.

Our real enemies are politicians beginning with our own.


Literature is powerless against propaganda.

A ballpoint pen is not mightier than a tank.

Writing is a waste of time.


Monday, February 25, 2013




History is not written but rewritten,

and rewritten history is a political tool.


Where politics enter,

deceivers and dupes are sure to follow.


We like to believe we are smart and progressive

and that it was these two attributes

that allowed us to foresee

the advent of Christianity as a universal religion.

The question is:

Why is it that we failed to foresee the Genocide?


Not only did we fail to foresee it,

we also ignored the warnings of those who did.

“Zohrab effendi is exaggerating,” some said;

and “the Turks wouldn’t dare!” said others.


One is therefore compelled to conclude that

being smart and progressive are not

permanent but ephemeral conditions

and worse: even the smart can be systematically moronized.


Now then, imagine if you can a political candidate

running for office on a platform that says

we are or have become a bunch of moronized dupes.

My progressive instinct

(whatever traces are left in me) tells me

such a candidate will have a far better chance to be elected

if he runs as a deceiver and treats his supporters as dupes

by saying they are the opposite of what they really are–

namely smart and progressive.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013




Turks are brought up to believe

they are noble specimens of humanity

and it is their patriotic duty to be proud

of who they are.


Armenians are brought up to believe

they are smart, progressive, civilized, compassionate

and so on and so forth

and an Armenian who is not proud of his identity

must be classified as the lowest scum on earth.


More often than not conflicts and disagreements arise

from the clash of two sets of lies

as opposed to lies and the truth.

The bigger the lies

the more ferocious the disagreement.

Hence Voltaire’s dictum:

“Since it was a religious war there were no survivors.”


The biggest and most universal lie is

to speak in the name of God (in theory)

and to do the Devil’s work (in practice).


Religious and political leader may disagree

on many important issues but they are unanimous

in the necessity of brainwashing children

and deceiving the masses.


More often than not our choice is not

between a lie and the truth

but between a lie and a bigger lie.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013




God is love.

Justice for all.

All men are created equal.

Generalities, abstractions, and theories are one thing,

reality another.


The unspoken aim of all ideologies, belief systems,

and political parties is to moronize the masses

and turn them into dupes.


Justice favors the mighty.

Justice is on the side of top dogs.

Justice is with the more competent lawyer or dream team.

Justice is for the 1%.

Justice is anything but justice.

Justice is full of holes.


Marxist theory contradicts Marxist reality.

Communism is state capitalism.

Or, in the words of a Polish slogan:

"In capitalism man exploits man.

In communism it’s the other way around."


To the 99% I say: Don’t be duped by the 1%;

and it makes no difference if his first name is Serge or Raffi.


Thursday, February 28, 2013




Nothing changes.

Life continues to be one damn thing after another.

Everybody tells a writer what to write

and writers tell everybody what to think.

Result: no one profits from the other’s advice.

There you have it:

a profile of our history and culture.


Our destiny as a nation has been shaped

not by statesmen or philosopher-kings

but by sultans, shahs, pashas, padishahs,

czars, commissars, our own wheeler-dealers,

and mass murderers

like Abdulhamid II, Talaat and Stalin.

The only variable in this equation has been

the number of victims per year.


Will anything change in the foreseeable future?

Can anyone see the distant glimmer of a light

at the end of our endless tunnel?

You say we have survived

and we will continue to bugger on –

or is it buggered on?

You may call it survival if you are so inclined;

I call it the death of ten thousand cuts.


Saturday, March 02, 2013




If proud Turks, Armenians, Americans, Germans,

Greeks, Russians, Jews, and the rest of mankind

were to spend five minutes reflecting

on their own failings, blunders, and unsolved problems,

they would have a thousand reasons

to be humble and not a single reason to be proud.


If you were to say Russians could be proud of their literature,

I would say, if we were to take a closer look

at the lives of their great writers

we would discover that most of them

were persecuted, excommunicated, misunderstood,

rejected, exiled to Siberia, murdered and on the whole

treated the way most other nations,

including Armenians, have treated their own great writers

and thinkers beginning with Greeks and Socrates.


Why do nations treat their best and brightest abominably?

The answer must be,

because those in power are almost always hopeless mediocrities

and moral midgets whose greatest enemy is excellence.

To cover up their status as nonentities

they preach, promote, and legitimize pride,

that is to say, prejudice and contempt for others

and ultimately hatred, war, and massacre.


Saturday, March 02, 2013




The first time I heard a Canadian say

“We stole the land from the Indians fair and square,”

and no one contradicted him,

I remember to have thought:

“So it is possible to be objective about one’s homeland

without being accused of treason!”


One way to judge your degree of objectivity

is to consider the distance that exists

between your infantile illusions

and adult convictions.

The greater the distance,

the more objective the judgment.


How did Urartu become Armenia?

Was it marriage or rape?


An empire without plunder

is like an omelet without eggs.


In the 19th century nationalism made perfect sense

because it was an ideology

that opposed imperialist oppression.


An infallible dupe is a contradiction in terms,

and yet, there are so many of them!

#Sunday, March 03, 2013




When Madoff and his most important clients

were identified as Jews, my first thought was:

“They trusted Madoff; they did not trust Jesus.”


Has anyone ever written an autobiography

in which the stress is not on what was done

but on what was not done

out of ignorance, stupidity, and fear?

Sartre came close with his memoir, WORDS,

whose final message is:

literature is a useless passion

and writers are dreamers

who hate to give their infantile illusions.


What happened to Urartu?

Until the appearance of the Armens,

Urartu was an empire that successfully resisted

one of the mightiest military powers

in the history of mankind,

namely the Assyrians next door.


When the Armens appeared from the West

they were either welcomed or tolerated;

and that, in retrospect, may have been

the worst political blunder Urartu made.


For unlike Urartians, Armens were not warlike and,

to compound the felony,

their sense of solidarity was deficient.

Again unlike Urartians,

they were not a single entity with its own

clearly defined ethos and character,

but a collection of wandering tribes

that either refused or could not give up their tribal ways.

The rest, as they say, is history.


And that is the kind of unwritten history

I would like to read – a text in which

the emphasis is on blunders as opposed to victories,

be they military, moral, or imaginary.

A text moreover in which all facts

would be as clearly seen and accessible

as traffic signs.


Monday, March 04, 2013




One of our elder statesmen came to see me once.

During the course of our conversation I noticed two things:

(a) he didn’t agree with my definition of words, and

(b) he couldn’t stand being contradicted.

At one pointed he even raised his voice and lost his temper

reminding me of the Chinese dictum

“He who loses temper has wrong on his side.”


I never saw him again.

Shortly thereafter he died

(may the Good Lord have mercy on his soul).


Who among us will dare to suggest that

(a) in political action we have been consistently guided

more by reason and knowledge

and less by emotion and ignorance; and

(b) emotion is a more reliable guide to action

than objective judgment, knowledge, and understanding?


Tuesday, March 05, 2013




Dashiell Hammett on speechifiers:

“The cheaper the crook,

the gaudier the patter.”


Syria today: what happens to a country

whose leaders cease to think of themselves

as public servants.”


Armenia today: Syria without the bloodshed.


A world without Turks:

What a subject for an Armenian science fiction novel!


When God created angels,

he also created devils, which may suggest

God rates balance or equal opportunity

above love, truth, mercy, and justice.


He who trusts liars

cannot be an honest man.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013




Individually we have excelled in all fields of human endeavor;

collectively we have developed the profile of useful idiots.

For 600 years we were faithful servants to Turks

and for 60 years little brothers to Russians.


To console ourselves we count the number

of tribes, nations, and empires that have ceased to exist.


What matters in writing is to say

what everybody thinks but refuses to say it.


No one knows all there is to know or, for that matter,

knows enough to form an infallible opinion.


There is an old saying:

“If you sit by the river long enough,

you will see your enemy’s carcass float by.”

The opposite is also true:

the carcass may be yours

and the fellow by the river your enemy.


Thursday, March 07, 2013




Our enemies come in all sizes and shapes

but their favorite disguise is

as Armenian political leaders.


At the beginning the Turks were few

and we many…


I do my utmost to avoid my fellow Armenians.

I can deal with them only in my writings

which I do at a safe distance.


I became an atheist on the day I realized

God was not on my side.


Of how many Armenians I could say,

“To contradict is a temptation he cannot resist.”


Isolated voices of dissent have no effect

on a brainwashed majority.


Madmen at the top

outnumber madmen at the bottom.


We were defeated by our enemies,

destroyed by our own leadership.


Friday, March 08, 2013




With the blessing of a bishop,

a regular paycheck from a boss

or the financial support of a benefactor,

any idiot can assert moral, intellectual,

and patriotic superiority.

There you have it:

the profile of an average fund-raiser,

Turcocentric ghazetaji, academic, speechifier

and sermonizer whose main function is

to brainwash children

and to convince the masses that

they never had it so good

because they are in the best of hands.


In the 19th century we were

“sheep without a shepherd” (Raffi).

Today we are sheep at the mercy of wolves

disguised as shepherds.


Our elites are the scum of the earth.


Saturday, March 23, 2013




After we were overrun by barbarians

we became barbarians.

Some day we may be civilized.

But that is only a hope

and hope is not a policy.


To be an authentic Armenian means

to be constantly engaged in shedding

the impurities of alien cultures.


To paraphrase a Mexican saying:

“Armenians: so close to Turkey,

so far away from God.


“Because we hate to say we don’t know

and we don’t understand,

we have created gods, angels, devils,

and life after death –a veritable Tower of Babel

without foundations.


I don’t write for my friends;

I write against my enemies

beginning with myself.


People tend to be more fanatical when they are wrong.

One could go further and say,

fanatics are wrong even when they are right.


Sunday, March 10, 2013




The average patriotic Armenian sees himself

through the eyes of our historians, speechifiers, and sermonizers.

I see myself as a member of a perennially divided nation

that has suffered a long series of defeats

– some of them catastrophic –

and continues to be at the mercy

of corrupt and incompetent leaders

who appear to be more interested

in their own powers and privileges

than in the welfare of the people.


Now then, gentle reader, tell me

who is closer to reality?

Who is more objective?

Whose judgment is more to be trusted?

Finally, who is more patriotic --

the dupe who believes everything he is told

or the other, who thinks twice before saying “Yes, sir!”

to someone whose number one concern is number one?


Monday, March 11, 2013




To be objective means to ask:

What if what others (including our enemies)

think of us has more merit

than what we think of ourselves?


“Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,

for he will despise the wisdom of your words.”



How could I have said or done that?

Happy is the man who doesn’t ask that question

at least once every day.


The longer I live the greater the distance

between my countrymen and myself.


After the break-up of the Soviet Union,

we are told, over a million Russians emigrated.

Which raises the question:

Is Armenia on its way to becoming a no-man’s land?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013




A thousand years of subservience to bloodthirsty tyrants

has taught us to value pilaf and shish-kebab above ideas.

We even have a popular saying to that effect

that has been quoted to me on several occasions by my critics:

“You cannot cook pilaf with words.”


If you say, “What choice did we have?”

I will invite you to reflect on the following words

of William Pitt:

“Necessity is the plea

for every infringement of human freedom.

It is the argument of tyrants;

it is the creed of slaves.”

The creed of slaves!

Some words are worth repeating

even when they cannot produce a single spoonful of pilaf.


Mankind may be divided into masters and slaves

and the ambition of every slave is to be a master.

This has been said before

but it bears repeating.

Moral superiority is a fiction of our collective imagination.


An empty bag cannot stand upright.

Likewise, an empty brain cannot be right.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013




Good laws are useless in a country of bad judges.


The truth is never in the lines

but between the lines – unseen, unread, ignored.


Lies come in all sizes and shapes – small, white, big…

and worst of all, propaganda.


Disagreements are almost always

between dupes and opponents of propaganda.


Armenians and Turks agree on nothing

because they continue to trust their propagandists

more than their dissidents.


We are divided because we see all our hidden failings

in the opposition.


I judge my success by my degree of popularity:

the less popular I am, the better I feel.


We are not what we could have been.

After centuries of subservience we are not even the shadows

of what we could have been.


Thursday, March 14, 2013




Two things that we forget at our own peril:

(one) a belief system can be as misleading as a big lie;

and (two) where there are sheep there will be wolves.


To have all the answers is a luxury

only dupes and fanatics (but I repeat myself) can afford.


Our understanding of history is never finished,

only interrupted.


There is a good reason why

we prefer to speak more about the past

and less about the present.

We can blame the past on our enemies…


Saturday, March 23, 2013




The source of all our problems,

too much history – and bad history at that.


Brainwashed dupes are blind to contradictions.

They would be fully justified in pleading not guilty

by reason of insanity.


The road to hell is paved with propaganda.


Seeing the invisible and questioning the infallible –

that indeed is the aim of literature.


Armenia’s destiny is now in the hands

of thieves, liars, and brown-nosers.

In short, nothing has changed and

it’s business as usual.


Saturday, March 23, 2013




When Salman Rushdie published his SATANIC VERSES

many intellectuals, diplomats and politicians in the West

sided with the imams who issued a fatwa (or contract) on him

on the grounds that he was guilty of insulting “a great religion.”

But there is no such thing as “a great religion.”

It is a mistake to judge the magnitude of a religion

by the number of its adherents or dupes.

One could go further and say

the greater the religion

the greater the number of its victims,

or crimes against humanity,

or death of innocent civilians.

Think of what’s happening today in Syria.

And consider the number of victims

of illegal abortions and AIDs in South America and Africa

all because the Catholic Church refuses to sanction

the use of condoms and legal abortions.


Saturday, March 23, 2013




The two most dangerous words in the world:

“I believe.”


Like most people I too was brought up

to respect men of faith.

I now view them as potential criminals

without a conscience.


As a child I too subscribed to many fallacies

one of them being all Armenians to be my friends.


Half-truths can be as dangerous as big lies.


Any one who claims to have found the truth

is an enemy of mankind.


Once upon a time,

for every faithful member

of the Communist Party in Soviet Armenia,

there was a “chic Bolshevik” in America

who believed Russians to be our big brothers.

Speaking of such a specimen a friend once said to me:

“I don’t blame him. He was sincere in his beliefs.”

I know now that to be sincere in one’s beliefs

is the same as pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.


If you say “I know many men of faith

who have harmed no one,”

I say, when we speak of faith and belief systems

in a historic context, we mean not the sheep but the wolves;

we mean not the meek and the humble

who believe what they are told

but the policy-makers.


In a historic context the meek and the humble

might as well be anonymous, irrelevant,

and marginalized to the point of disappearance.


Monday, March 18, 2013




Q: There are a billion Catholics in the world,

and yet you expect me to believe

they are all wrong and you are right?

A: Why not? There are a billion Muslims in the world

and you expect me to believe they are all wrong.

Q: You may have a point there…

A: Listen, when it comes to belief systems,

numbers are meaningless.

All religions are minority religions.

The overwhelming majority of mankind

is neither Catholic nor Muslim

but Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, Mormon, and so on.

Q: But you are against all of them, right?

A: When it comes to belief systems I say

to each his own. What I am really against

is brainwashing children.

I will go further and say I consider brainwashing children

if not a crime against humanity

than the source of intolerance and

countless wars and massacres.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013




Great ideas are conceived by great men,

implemented by nameless mediocrities,

and perverted by faceless nonentities.

That may explain why

if a belief system preaches love

it ends up practicing hatred;

and if it preaches communism

it ends up practicing state capitalism.


Sooner or later all belief systems and ideologies

degenerate to the point of becoming their own contradictions

because where power enters,

greed is sure to follow;

and when greed becomes the driving force

nothing good survives.


Martin Luther was right when he said

you don’t need the Pope to go to heaven;

all you need is a copy of the Bible.

But he was wrong when he failed to predict

the advent of televangelists.


And speaking of bloodsuckers:

Republicans tell us the 1% are job creators

even when recent history tells us they are job killers;

and if they create jobs they are not motivated by altruism

but by self-interest, that is to say, greed,

and where greed enters

catastrophe is sure to follow.


I therefore feel justified in saying,

if you ever come up with a great idea,

mankind maybe better off if you keep it to yourself.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013




Q: Let me begin by quoting some of your critics.

Are you a denialist?

A: No!

Q: A self-hating Armenian?

A: I can’t say I am particularly fond of myself, no.

Q: Why not?

A: Because like most Armenians

I allowed myself to be moronized by morons.

Q: Do you hate Armenians?

A: Only the shish-kebab and pilaf variants,

Turcocentric ghazetajis and their dupes.

Q: Turcocentrism: could you define the word for us, please?

A: The misconception that all our problems

begin and end with Turks.

Q: Isn’t the recognition of the Genocide a central issue?

A: So is the responsibility of our leadership

that promised freedom and our historic lands

and delivered the hell of massacres

followed by dispersion, division, alienation,

and assimilation or bloodless slow-motion genocide.

It seems to me, it is dishonest to emphasize their responsibility

and cover up our own.

Q: How do you explain our survival?

A: You call it survival;

I call it the death of a thousand self-inflicted cuts.

Q: So far you have said nothing positive.

A: The only positive I can think of is our literature.

Notwithstanding the fact that our ablest writers

were either systematically slaughtered or silenced

for refusing to moronize the people

by recycling the propaganda of foreign and domestic apes,

they carried on. They are our greatest heroes

and our only hope.


Thursday, March 21, 2013




The trouble with golden ages is that

they don’t last and they are not even golden.

This is as true of the Greek Golden Age (5th century BC)

as it is of our own (5th century AD).

As for the American Golden Age: they don’t have one.

Their brief history may be divided into two distinct periods:

barbarism and neo-barbarism --

(I am now paraphrasing better men than myself).


Both Socrates and Dostoevsky were condemned to death

for exercising their fundamental human right of free speech.

The execution of Socrates was carried out;

Dostoevsky’s wasn’t because seconds before the execution

the Czar sent a messenger with a pardon.

The experience so traumatized Dostoevsky that

he became more Czarist than the Czar.

In today’s parlance, he was born again

as a member of the Tea Party.


As for our treatment of our own writers:

it has been more Ottoman and Stalinist than Armenian.

Like the rest of mankind we too appear to be infatuated

with our own limitations, prejudices, and ignorance.


American writers are seldom silenced

by repressive administrations;

they prefer to silence themselves

by committing suicide or becoming alcoholics

or drug addicts.


Friday, March 22, 2013




Turcocentrism is a recent misconception or fallacy.

It is absent in the works of Baronian and Odian,

and more recently in Arlen and Saroyan.

There is even a key passage in Saroyan

where he states we should feel sorry for Turks.


Turcocentrism is less an ideology

and more a tool of propaganda

whose ultimate aim is to convince dupes

there is nothing wrong with us

because we are role models

of what a nation should be –

united against all enemies foreign and domestic

and immune to corruption,

therefore morally superior.

It further states, whatever problems we have

we must ascribe to Turks.

If it weren’t for Turks we would now be living

in our own Eden happily ever after.


To combat this propaganda line

Turks have come up with their own

whose aim is to convince their dupes that

like all truly civilized and progressive people

Turks are against violations of fundamental human rights,

except when they do the violating;

and they have always been against murdering

defenceless civilians except when they do the murdering.


Saturday, March 23, 2013




The King is dead. Long live the King.

Stalin is dead but Stalinists continue to rule.

Jesus was crucified but supporters of crucifixion

are very much alive.

They may no longer use trees, hammers and nails

but they exist as surely as racists

in post-Civil War America.


Nothing bad ever dies.

Moral progress is an illusion.

There is no such thing as collective enlightenment.

Instead of a single sultan

we now have many mini-sultans,

and we cannot say “Forgive them, Lord,

for they don’t know what they are doing,”

because they are too damn smart

to plead not guilty by reason of ignorance.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday, March 25, 2013




If both sides believe Truth to be on their side

it must be a Big Lie.

If both sides believe God to be on their side,

it must be the Devil.

In a historic context Homo sapiens may be defined as

a being who cannot tell the difference

between God and the Devil.


Q: Is it true that you are more critical of Armenians

than of Turks?

A: As an Armenian I criticize Armenians.

I leave to Turkish critics the task of criticizing their own.


When tyrants silence writers,

they invariably target the best.


The reason I am a pessimist or see the dark side of things

is that I refuse to be moronized by the 1%.


In murder it may be “cherchez la femme.”

But in war and crimes against humanity

it’s cherchez moral and intellectual hoodlums

parading as statesmen.


The 99% don’t make history;

they only suffer it.






Learning also means unlearning

what you were taught as a child.

Loving your people also means hating their enemies.

The average dupe loves to brag about the lies

he has been taught as a child

and to ignore the evidence to the contrary.


We in Canada are brought up to brag about

our multiculturalism and to forget that

there was multiculturalism in the Ottoman Empire too;

so much so that after 600 years of “brutal oppression”

we produced literary giants like

Baronian, Odian, Zabel Yessayan, and Zohrab.


Now then, name a single Canadian-born Armenian

who is capable of writing a single decent line

in his mother tongue.


I have heard smart Canadians define multiculturalism

as “let them dance.” Obviously because

they can read between the lines of their state propaganda

better than outsiders like us.


In the obituary of the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe,

I read the following this morning:

“He spent much of his adult life in the United States

but resisted literary honors from a government

he refused to accept.”

In other words, he refused to be taken in

by a policy of genocide by other means.


If you want to read more about the many ways

the 1% has of misleading, deceiving, confusing, bamboozling, flimflamming, exploiting, and hoodwinking the 99%

read MYTHOLOGIES by Roland Barthes.




Armenians who say there are divisions everywhere

are simply parroting the words of an idiot

whose sole aim is to explain and justify

his own powers and privileges.


There are divisions even in the most advanced democracies?

It is equally true that, unlike us,

advanced democracies have a centralized power structure

because they have been successful

in overcoming their tribalism,

namely the misconception that

my political party, my church, my backyard

and my chickens matter more than all others.


There are divisions everywhere?

There are also rapists and murderers everywhere.

Should we therefore accept them

as inevitable facts of life

and adopt a live and let live stance

in the name of compassion, tolerance and patriotism?


There are divisions everywhere?

There are also crooks and idiots everywhere.

Does that mean we should allow them

to be in charge of our collective destiny?


Wednesday, March 27, 2013




Political leaders prefer dupes to dissidents.


The plea of not guilty may be available to dupes

but not to their deceivers.


Power corrupts, weakness castrates.


On the art of writing: the less art the better.


To write too much is not a sin;

to discard too little is.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, March 28, 2013




When I thought I knew,

I didn’t!


State a problem clearly

and its solution will fall on your lap.


When it comes to solving our problems

we may well be just about

the dumbest people on earth.


In an anti-intellectual environment

to call someone an intellectual is the same

as identifying him as a mental masturbator,

a parasite, and a daydreamer

who knows nothing about real life.

An Armenian may identify himself as a professor

or an academic, but only a retard

will call himself an intellectual.

To those of my readers

who dismiss me as an intellectual

I therefore say, one does not have to be an intellectual,

a vodanavorji, or anything else for that matter

to recognize a jackass when he sees one.


To those who say “I know what I need to know,”

I say: Knowledge is not and cannot be a final product

but a work in progress.


Friday, March 29, 2013





The problem with a drug addict

is not his addiction

but his refusal to kick the habit.

Likewise, our problem is not

the absence of solutions

but the rejection of all solutions,

one of them being solidarity.


Next time you hear someone parrot the line

“what we need is solutions,”

you may classify him

as a habitual and compulsive liar.


More often than not we are not deceived;

we consent to be deceived.

We are brought up to believe we are smart

to cover up our status as dupes of idiots.


We believe our “betters” to be la crème de la crème

when in fact they are la crème de la scum.


Saturday, March 30, 2013




An honest man cannot solve the problems of a crook.

Neither can he solve the problems of a nation

run by crooks.

Which may explain why our literature

has failed to solve a single problem,

prevent a single death,

expose a single liar.


Between an unprofitable truth and profitable lies,

most men will choose lies.

This may explain why nationalist historians

outnumber the others a thousand to one.


To write about crooks and liars means

never to run out of things to say.


My ambition: to say things nobody says

and everybody thinks.


Like the last Ottoman sultans

who had a thousand concubines in their harems,

the average propagandist has a thousand lies.

You want proof?

Think the opposite of what a speechifier says

and you may see more sense there.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday, April 01, 2013




Even after successive waves of Hamidian massacres

in the Ottoman Empire and Stalinist purges in the USSR,

Armenian writers like Siamanto and Totovents

couldn’t stand life in America

and returned to Istanbul and Yerevan respectively.

Now then, my question is:

How many of our writers now living in exile

have returned to their homeland after Independence?

Is it conceivable that there was more tolerance

and freedom under the bloody Sultan

and the iron rule of Stalin

than under our own oligarchs?


I am personally acquainted with an Armenian writer in exile

who is not allowed to visit his dying father in Yerevan.

My second question is:

Is it conceivable that our oligarchs

are more commissars and less Armenian?

Or more robots and less human beings?


Wednesday, April 03, 2013





On life after death:

the chances are we will return to wherever it was

that we came from before we were born.

But that may not be the end of the story…


Nationalism teaches us to have 20/20 vision

when it comes to our assets

and pretend to be deaf, blind and stupid

when it comes to our liabilities.


There is a natural tendency in all of us

to subscribe to dogmas whose sole intent

is to divide the community and to reject

what common sense, decency, logic, and self-interest dictate.


To contradict is a temptation an Armenian cannot resist.


When we rely too much on our understanding

we tend to forget or ignore the fact that,

that which is incomprehensible

may well be closer to the truth.


Tuesday, April 02, 2013




We owe our dogmas and divisions

to individuals whose ultimate aim

is the destruction of the nation;

and if they are not aware of this

it’s because they have allowed themselves

to be moronized by their own propaganda.


We have bosses, bishops, and benefactors

by the dozen and dupes by the thousand

but not a single consensus seeker.


Nationalism also means

to believe nothing you are told

except flattery.


It took Turks 600 years to realize

sultans were up to no good.

It may take them a little longer to realize

Kemalism is a morally and politically bankrupt ideology.


If there is a god,

garbage collectors will go to heaven

and politicians to hell.


Where there is subservience there will also be

intimidation -- or bullies and cowards.


Wednesday, April 03, 2013




We may understand why we hate our enemies

but we don’t always understand why they hate us.


If we have trouble understanding our enemies

it may be because we have been brainwashed

to believe we are lovable;

and we are lovable even when

we behave like repulsive apes;

and we are smart

even when we speak like inbred morons.


We like to believe

if our enemies hate us

it’s because there must be something

fundamentally wrong with them.

Turks are bloodthirsty savages.

In the eyes of Americans,

Muslim terrorists are ignorant fanatics.


Instead of examining our conscience

we blame others.

We use the lies of our propaganda

to reach a truth which is a bigger lie.


We forget that

we are not as cute as we think we are.

No one is.

To take propaganda seriously

means to moronize oneself.


Instead of wondering why

Americans hate Muslims,

Muslims should ask themselves

why do Sunnis butcher Shias and vice versa?

Instead of wondering why Turks hate Armenians,

we should ask ourselves

why does Armenian hate Armenian?


Why Muslim terrorists hate Americans unto death?

Why did Americans hate one another unto death

in their Civil War (in cosmic time, yesterday)?


Saturday, April 06, 2013




“Charm is shit!”

I hate the man who said that.

I should have said it first.


Death may be the end of the road for us

but the road itself is without end.


Robert Frost:

“And nothing to look backward to with pride

And nothing to look forward to with hope.”

Our history in two lines.


I am what my critics made me.


The 1% may be replaced but not toppled.


Beware of the man who is humble only before God.


Divide the enemy and the battle is half won.

Let the enemy divide us and the war is lost.


Saturday, April 06, 2013




Unmask an Armenian and expose

a celebrity without recognition,

a king without a crown,

and a tyrant without power.


I remember once when I tried to arrange

an interview with a minor Armenian celebrity,

I was treated with such contempt that

I cancelled the interview without notice

and decided never to interview another Armenian again.


Success has this in common with power – it corrupts.


The offspring of survivors

I am myself a survivor:

my parents survived Turks;

I survived Armenians.


In the official version of our recent story,

the operation was a success but the patient died.


Recycled propaganda is verbal vomit.


Saturday, April 06, 2013




Who is crazier – the Second Amendment gun nut

or the unbalanced teenager or adult

who kills defenceless children?

Speaking for myself:

I don’t know.

Hard to say.


I suggest there is a mass murderer in all of us

waiting for the right combination of circumstances

to make an appearance.


Consider the frequency with which

law-abiding patriotic citizens that have committed

or cooperated in the commission

of atrocities, massacres, and genocide in the past.

How many of them surrendered

and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity?

What about political, military, and religious leaders

who legitimize and promote

intolerance, hatred, and war or mass murder?

Last but far from least:

How many popes, imams, and rabbis

have been identified as war criminals?

I am not casting aspersions,

just asking questions.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday, April 13, 2013




In what way am I morally superior

to a cold-blooded killer if I harbor a killer within me?

In what way are Americans morally superior to Muslims

if they (Americans) have killed more Muslims

than Muslims have killed Americans?

In what way Muslims are morally superior to Americans

if the only reason they have killed fewer Americans

is military inferiority?


Closer to home:

we have been so busy exposing Turkish criminal conduct

that our own moral status has become an alien dimension.

As Zarian would say: “Danger, danger, danger!”


There is only one way to feel morally superior

and that is (to echo Saroyan) by feeling sorry

for the morally inferior.


The Scriptures tell us there is no difference

between an adulterer and a man

who lusts after another’s wife.

Likewise there is no difference between a killer

and a man who preaches hatred and revenge

which he identifies as justice.


Perhaps what I have been trying to say here is

we all swim in the same sh**!


Saturday, April 13, 2013




The aim of human speech

is to say one thing

and do the opposite:

to say God is love and truth

and to worship lies and the Devil;

to say “Thou shalt not kill”

and to go to war;

to call Diasporan Armenians “aghber” (trash)

and to behave like trash.

Theologians and sermonizers are familiar with this phenomenon

but prefer not to speak about it.




As soon as the Kremlin realizes

the present regime in Yerevan to be a liability,

it will replace it with another.

Will anything change?

It remains to be seen.

“No one gives up power without a bloody fight,”

Hegel tells us.

Is he right?

We may have an answer soon.




Power does not corrupt.

It only exposes the corruption

that was already there.




Unhappy is the nation

whose two most important sources of education are

TV ads and state propaganda.




In life nothing works as planned.

An honest autobiography would be

a long list of disappointments.


My first book was a best-seller.

My second book was banned.

That’s when I knew I was on the right track.


We adopt a belief system because we are told

all the others don’t make sense.


If you write in defense of dupes,

deceivers will conspire against you.




Patriotism is the favored word of tyrants.


Political parties need honest men

as surely as religions need saints.


“A man of principle is a majority of one.”


Saturday, April 13, 2013




In the eyes of the world

our regime in Yerevan has lost its virginity.

The people are against it.

But even if replaced

nothing will change.


Believe nothing you are told.

There are no good guys in politics.

Power prostitutes.


Some of our greatest brains

praised Lenin and Stalin.

Even our best and brightest are no better

than a bunch of dupes.


Where there is too much talk

of freedom and independence,

oppression is sure to follow.


Throughout our millennial history

foreign tyrants have always relied

on their Armenian collaborators

to moronize the people.




In Turcocentric circles I am know only as someone

whom Turks like to quote.

All I can say in my defense is that

the Devil too can quote the Scriptures.

Does that mean the Good Lord is pro-Devil?


I gladly admit to being not a Turcocentric

but an Armenocentric writer.

So were Baronian and Odian;

or for that matter Zarian and Massikian;

and before them Naregatsi

who in his LAMENTATION blames no one

but himself for his many failings and transgressions.


A human being is not a lump of clay

at the mercy of forces beyond his control.

The Turks did not recreate us in their own image.

We consented to be recreated.

That is worth repeating and emphasizing.

We are what we have become

because we chose freely to be who we are.

The rest is propaganda

and our favorite sport: the blame game.




“I enjoy reading you.”

I am less interested in your enjoyment

and more in your torment.

I don’t write to entertain.

Flattery is as irrelevant to me

as the words of a brainless critics or dupe

who believes what he is told

especially what he is told

flatters his ego.



I am informed that if you are depressed

you can go to the nearest emergency

and ask to see a shrink.

This may be common knowledge but it’s news to me.


I remember once when asked by a French friend

if I have ever been analyzed

I said something to the effect that

analysis is for the bourgeoisie

and that as a perennial slum-dweller

it has never even occurred to me

to visit a shrink.

I was astonished when he informed me that

in France analysis is available to everyone

free of charge.


Perhaps deep inside somewhere

I continue to be a subject of the Ottoman Empire

where the insane were treated like criminals.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, April 14, 2013




There are no just wars.

A war in which innocent civilians die cannot be said to be just.


Countless wars have been fought since the beginning of time

and in all of them there were winners and losers.


No nation on earth can assert military invincibility or,

for that matter, moral superiority.

Only Americans believe in their own moral superiority

only Muslims believe in theirs, and so on...


If Americans and Jews were to behave like Turks did

at the turn of the last century

the world would witness a series of genocides

on several continents.


Muslims may think they are invincible

because they have Allah and oil on their side,

in the same way that we (Armenians) thought

we had the might of the Great Powers of Europe,

plus God and the justice of our cause

(freedom from oppression) on our side.

It didn’t do us any good.

It was all an empty illusion.


All political leaders (including Kemal, Arafat, and our own)

are first and foremost baloney artists.

They may successfully brainwash their dupes

but they cannot fool reality.


If so far Americans and Jews have not behaved like Turks

it may be because there is a difference between the autocratic East

and the democratic West.


If Muslims want to coexist with their enemies

they have no choice but to reject their undemocratic ways

and realize that the concept of fundamental human rights

is not an invention of the corrupt and decadent West.

But even if it were, that does not make Muslims

more progressive, civilized, and just in the eyes of the world.


Our choice is seldom between good and evil

but between bad and worse;

and sometimes even between worse and worst.


Hegel’s famous last words:

“No one understood me except one,

and even he didn’t understand me.”


The Nazis believed God to be on their side.

So do jihadists today.

The God of fanatics is the Devil.




“Moderation in all things,” Greeks said

even as they condemned Socrates to death.


For every believer there is a non-believer.

Who is right?


Who is wrong? Both.


Trust your friend but respect your enemy.


Modify your assertions with their contradictions.

That may not be the best way to live

but it is the only way to survive.




My real education began on the day I realized

I was a brainwashed dupe and a self-satisfied idiot.


Words and reality (like ideas and God)

move in two different dimensions that like parallel lines

never meet (except in eternity).


Scientists tell us space has an end.

What does this end look like?

Is there some kind of invisible wall?

What’s on the other side of the wall?


God is not a being, Thomas Aquinas tells us,

but “being itself.”

Whatever the hell does that mean?


Plato put it best when he said

reality is like fire and words only shadows.


It is to be noted that after having a mystical experience

Aquinas gave up writing and said something to the effect that

all writing was no better than verbal trash.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday, April 20, 2013




If you go against the dominant mindset of your time,

you can’t go wrong.

You may be a perennial reject

but the chances are you will be closer to the truth

than the crowd.


At the turn of the last century

Turks thought the fewer Armenians the better.

During World War II Germans had a similar disposition

towards Jews.

Remember the American slogan:

“The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”


One reason Americans did not exterminate Negroes is that

Negroes played a key role in their economy.

Closer to home: our own attitude

towards our critics and dissidents:

the fewer the better but none is best.

(I speak from experience.)


All genocides begin in the hearts of men

and we are no exception.

Now then, go right ahead and assert moral superiority.




Using profanities in an argument

is like raising your voice to strengthen your position.

It works only if your adversary is intimidated by noise.


I no longer search for the company of good men.

If I can recognize and avoid the proximity of cold-blooded killers

I am satisfied.


To those who accuse me of seeing only the dark side of our reality,

I say: We have a long-standing literary tradition

that prefers fiction to fact.

Mine is a balancing act.


To lose a false friend is like defeating a dangerous enemy.


In the world of scholarship as in life

the most valuable asset is a readiness

to renounce a cherished idea.




Individuals may admit their failings

but nations never!

All nations are habitual and compulsive liars.

This is as true of Americans as it is of Russians;

as true of Turks as it is of Armenians.


We like to say we had a Golden Age

when the West was wallowing in its Dark Ages.

The question we avoid asking is:

Who is responsible for frittering away our heritage?


A new revolution or regime opens the path

to a new class of mediocrities, opportunists,

and bureaucrats – sharks for short.

More often than not the difference

between the old and the new is in name only.

Scratch the label and expose the scum of the earth.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday, April 20, 2013




If you go against the dominant mindset of your time,

you can’t go wrong.

You may be a perennial reject

but the chances are you will be closer to the truth

than the crowd.


At the turn of the last century

Turks thought the fewer Armenians the better.

During World War II Germans had a similar disposition

towards Jews.

Remember the American slogan:

“The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”


One reason Americans did not exterminate Negroes is that

Negroes played a key role in their economy.

Closer to home: our own attitude

towards our critics and dissidents:

the fewer the better but none is best.

(I speak from experience.)


All genocides begin in the hearts of men

and we are no exception.

Now then, go right ahead and assert moral superiority.




Using profanities in an argument

is like raising your voice to strengthen your position.

It works only if your adversary is intimidated by noise.


I no longer search for the company of good men.

If I can recognize and avoid the proximity of cold-blooded killers

I am satisfied.


To those who accuse me of seeing only the dark side of our reality,

I say: We have a long-standing literary tradition

that prefers fiction to fact.

Mine is a balancing act.


To lose a false friend is like defeating a dangerous enemy.


In the world of scholarship as in life

the most valuable asset is a readiness

to renounce a cherished idea.




Individuals may admit their failings

but nations never!

All nations are habitual and compulsive liars.

This is as true of Americans as it is of Russians;

as true of Turks as it is of Armenians.


We like to say we had a Golden Age

when the West was wallowing in its Dark Ages.

The question we avoid asking is:

Who is responsible for frittering away our heritage?


A new revolution or regime opens the path

to a new class of mediocrities, opportunists,

and bureaucrats – sharks for short.

More often than not the difference

between the old and the new is in name only.

Scratch the label and expose the scum of the earth.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday, April 20, 2013




If you go against the dominant mindset of your time,

you can’t go wrong.

You may be a perennial reject

but the chances are you will be closer to the truth

than the crowd.


At the turn of the last century

Turks thought the fewer Armenians the better.

During World War II Germans had a similar disposition

towards Jews.

Remember the American slogan:

“The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”


One reason Americans did not exterminate Negroes is that

Negroes played a key role in their economy.

Closer to home: our own attitude

towards our critics and dissidents:

the fewer the better but none is best.

(I speak from experience.)


All genocides begin in the hearts of men

and we are no exception.

Now then, go right ahead and assert moral superiority.




Using profanities in an argument

is like raising your voice to strengthen your position.

It works only if your adversary is intimidated by noise.


I no longer search for the company of good men.

If I can recognize and avoid the proximity of cold-blooded killers

I am satisfied.


To those who accuse me of seeing only the dark side of our reality,

I say: We have a long-standing literary tradition

that prefers fiction to fact.

Mine is a balancing act.


To lose a false friend is like defeating a dangerous enemy.


In the world of scholarship as in life

the most valuable asset is a readiness

to renounce a cherished idea.




Individuals may admit their failings

but nations never!

All nations are habitual and compulsive liars.

This is as true of Americans as it is of Russians;

as true of Turks as it is of Armenians.


We like to say we had a Golden Age

when the West was wallowing in its Dark Ages.

The question we avoid asking is:

Who is responsible for frittering away our heritage?


A new revolution or regime opens the path

to a new class of mediocrities, opportunists,

and bureaucrats – sharks for short.

More often than not the difference

between the old and the new is in name only.

Scratch the label and expose the scum of the earth.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday, April 24, 2013




William H. Gass: “I write because I hate.”


I should have said that.

My style.

I hate lies and atrocities

regardless of race, color, and creed;

and I hate those who don’t share my hatred if them.


My aim in life?

Not to add a single regret to my long list of them.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013




Turks are brought up to believe

they belong to a civilized, progressive and westernized nation.

If you mention the Armenian genocide,

they will say it’s a lie, it never happened,

and Turks did what every other nation would have done

when its existence is in peril.




Armenians are brought up to believe

they are too smart, experienced, and progressive

to need the empty verbiage of a minor scribbler.




“Armenian literature is a cemetery,” said Baruir Massikian.

The best career move an Armenian writer can make

is to allow himself to be slaughtered

by a bloodthirsty foreign tyrant.




Naregatsi, our Shakespeare and Dante combined,

is like Mark Twain’s weather:

everybody speaks of him but nobody reads him.

I don’t mind admitting that the only time I read him

was when I was asked to review Kudian’s translation.

Did anyone else review it?

I don’t know.

I don’t remember.

I doubt it.




Overheard on the radio this morning:

“As an African writer do you think of yourself

as a bridge between Africa and the West?”

Answer: “When I write I don’t think of myself as a bridge.

All I am interested in is producing a good sentence.”


Q: As an Armenian writer –

A: Please, don’t call me that.

I can’t imagine a worst insult

than being called an Armenian writer.

Q: What should I call you?

A: Anything but that?

Call me someone who likes to raise questions

in an environment where there is

an abundance of wrong answers.

Q: Could you give an example

of a good sentence in our context?

A: How about, “Our political parties have been

of no political use to us. Their greatest enemy is free speech.”

Q: Who said that?

A: Zarian.

Q: Another example?

A: “An Armenian’s tongue can be sharper than a Turk’s yataghan.”

Q: Zarian?

A: Right.

Q: How about something of your own?

A: Our collective failings far outnumber our individual successes.




Committing blunders is easy;

admitting them difficult.


Dividing the community is easy;

admitting to being a divider impossible.


One reason Obama will not recognize the Genocide is that

his advisers have informed him that

as a tribal people we divide our votes 50/50 –

half Democrat, half Republican.

As a result our influence on the outcome of elections

is zero, nada, zilch, vochinch.

We might as well be an absent factor.


Our dividers – be they pundits, partisans,

Turcocentric ghazetajis, editors, publishers,

bosses, bishops, and benefactors,

are fully aware of this fact

but pretend not to notice the mammoth in the room.


We were slaughtered as a nation

but we vote as a tribe.

That indeed is our second greatest tragedy.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, April 25, 2013




After behaving like swine

they assert moral superiority.

This is as true of nations and tribes

as it is of empires;

as true of the Ottoman Empire

as it is of our own political parties and mafias.


When a fanatic says “God is on my side,”

you can be sure of one thing:

he can’t tell the difference

between God and the Devil.


All belief systems are perversions.


Not to expose lies means

being subservient to liars.




In America if you fail as a writer

you can make a comfortable living

as a teacher of creative writing.


I don’t know what they do in Armenia

but in the Diaspora you make yourself

as invisible as possible – not to be the bud of jokes

as a vodanavorji or a medavoragan

(freely translated as versifier and assh*le).




Where idiots are in charge,

the smart will be persecuted.


Ours is a nation whose lunatic fringe

is the dominant minority.


Literature is to the mind as water is to the thirsty

and bread to the hungry.

But some people experience neither thirst nor hunger

because they are walking cadavers.


Politicians create enemies to cover up the fact that

they are the real enemies.





The only way to understand evil

is to recognize it within us.

Which is why the judgment of the self-righteous

cannot be trusted – and who could be

more self-righteous

than bishops, imams, and rabbis

who speak in the name of god?


One man’s god

may be another’s devil.


To be diplomatic, tolerant, and civilized means

to say the opposite of what you think and feel.


After I make an assertion

I am haunted by its contradiction.


To be a writer means

to be a re-writer.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, April 28, 2013




Have you ever wondered how many men

who killed and died in the name of King and Country

ever stopped to ask: Whose King and whose Country?

Or for that matter, whose Sultan and whose Commissar?


The Brits who fought against German in World War II

had a German king.

Napoleon was Italian, Hitler Austrian, Stalin Georgian,

the Greek king too was a German;

most Byzantine emperors – the most warlike and bloodthirsty –

were either Armenian of half-Armenian;

the Ottoman sultans were bastards –

the last one’s mother was an Armenian.


Royalty, like so much else, is a big joke

played by the ruling classes

on the ignorant masses.

As for Country: at one time or another,

every piece of real estate, except the Garden of Eden,

has been contested.


What a book one could write

on the role of lies, illusions, and wishful thinking

in human affairs!


By the way, most Armenian kings,

including the last one, were odars.

As for our present leadership:

one of our elder statesmen once confided in me

that some of them are Turks who speak Armenian fluently.

I didn’t believe him then but I do now.




When I first read the words “consensus seeker”

I thought if I were a millionaire

the first thing I would do is

establish a university course on the subject.

If we don’t have such a course today

it may be because we are natural-born sh*t-disturbers

who thrive on conflict.


Think of society and its laws as a conspiracy

whose aim is to produce criminals.


You may have noticed that Armenians

who demand solutions

don’t like to think of themselves as the problem.


Honest Christians exist

as surely as honest Muslims,

Hindus, Buddhists and atheists

but they are not allowed to formulate

and implement policy.




It could be said of our leadership:

the higher they rise,

the lower they sink –

which is what happens in all criminal organization.


If I were to produce an autobiography

I would begin by warning the reader that

my life is so unreadable that

I would have to either invent it

or write the opposite of what really happened.

The same applies to an objective account of our past.


Power and lies are Siamese.

The greater the power,

the bigger the lies.


To legitimize their power,

popes assert infallibility

notwithstanding their countless blunders –

from the Crusades to

the persecution, torture and death of heretics.


Kings, we were told, got their power from God

via the Church. It is safe to assume that

men who speak in the name of god

are compulsive and habitual liars.


I repeat myself?

So do you whenever you say “Yes, sir!”





Americans have trouble understanding why

someone who has enjoyed all the benefits and privileges

of being a citizen of the greatest democracy

in the history of mankind would freely choose

to be a terrorist.

They cannot imagine themselves to be so repulsive

that in the environment they have created

to kill and die become more desirable

than to live and prosper.


As for Armenians:

our arrogance and stupidity are such that

we cannot imagine ourselves to be targets of criticism

by fellow Armenians.


After Kazantzakis died and was buried in Crete,

the natives would shit on his grave.

My advice to our dissidents:

stipulate in your will to be buried in a grave

without a headstone.


When sheep get organized

they choose a wolf as their leader.


Dissidents are neither harlots nor pimps

but brothers and sisters who hear a different drummer.

Now then, go ahead and explain that

to our bosses, bishops, benefactors, and commissars.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, May 02, 2013




Things are looking up.

At this rate our dissidents will outnumber our dupes.


Has any one of our vodanavorjis ever written a sonnet titled

“Yes im anoush commissarneri”?


Some of our Diasporan leaders

are Turks who speak Armenian fluently,

I was informed once by one of our elder statesmen.

What about our oligarchs in the Homeland?

Are they human beings?


The secret ambition of all ass-kissers

is to be ass-kickers.


To cover up blunders is

to promote and legitimize future disasters.

The blame-game is a dead end and

our role models are the scum of the earth.




Some people agree with one another

because they place the strength of unity and consensus

above the weakness of discord.

We are different.

First and foremost we are men of principle

and the principle we believe in and practice

more than any other is self-destruction.


If you are judged by your inferiors

you will be found guilty on grounds of superiority.


The greater the incompetence of a regime,

the greater the number of its victims.




The greater the distance between

what you think of yourself

and what others think of you,

the greater the number of conflicts

between you and the world.


Paraphrasing Gandhi,

if you reduce yourself to zero

your conflicts will be zero.


If you think of yourself as the center of the universe,

you will be wrong even when you are right.


If you think God is on your side,

both God and the Devil will conspire against you.


And if you think you belong to a nation

that is God’s chosen,

you will be torn to shreds by the scum of the earth.

This is neither theory nor speculation,

neither prediction nor metaphysics,

but historic reality.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday, May 08, 2013




There is a new book out on bankers and politicians titled

ASSHOLES: A THEORY. If it is as good as its title

will be a best-seller.


After having sex with his wife, Tolstoy wrote in his diary:

“It was so disgusting; I felt I had committed a crime.”


Gorky on Tolstoy and God:

“They sometimes remind me of two bears in a den.”

Thomas Mann is right: Gorky’s REMINISCENCES OF TOLSTOY

is the best thing he ever wrote.


Chekhov and Zarian agreed on one thing about writing:

Leave something to the imagination.

No need to explain and describe everything.

Delete the first and last paragraphs.


In Saul Steinberg’s biography. I note so many parallels:

childhood in the Balkans (Romania for him, Greece for me)

education in Italy (Milan/Venice),

life in the New World (U.S./Canada),

favorite contemporary writers (Nabokov, Bellow).


Elia Kazan believed his “method” created Brando.

In his DIARY Richard Burton asserts

Brando was ruined by Kazan.

At one point he identifies him as the British Brando.

Burton hated acting.

His ambition was to be a writer.

To the end he remained a voracious reader.




To say or imply or suggest that Armenian patriotism

is better than Turkish, American or

any other kind of patriotism is like saying

cancer in one nation is better cancer in another.


I would like to meet an Armenian

whose speech is not contaminated by patriotism,

whose understanding of our past

has not been shaped by our own historians,

and whose values are not tribal or parochial but universal.


Patriotism may be defined as collective narcissism.

But whereas individual narcissism is treated

as a psychological aberration,

collective narcissism is thought of

as a sacred civic duty.

And why?

Because the ruling classes everywhere need individuals

willing to kill and die in defense of their powers and privileges.


To say we live in a world where wars are inevitable

amounts to saying all human disagreements and conflicts

must end with murder or suicide.


If most individual conflicts are resolved

without the death of either or both parties,

why not collective conflicts?





On Reagan:

“--dangerously stupid.”


On Nixon:

“I dislike drunkards and he was drunk as the devil

the last time I saw him.”


On film directors:

“I don’t remember anything they said except idiocies

which I ignored.”


On Laurence Olivier:

“…he really is a shallow little man

with a very mediocre intelligence.”


On Mussolini:

“Fundamentally he was a weak but decent man.”


He rates Spengler above Toynbee because he hates the English –

totally unaware of the fact that Toynbee hated the English

more than he did.





It is not history or

social, economic, cultural and geographic conditions

beyond our control that have divided us

and keep us divided today;

rather, it is the gradual and cold-blooded development

of a system – a system of cunningly formulated

prejudices, dogmas, and lies – that favors

the dividers among us and penalizes the proponents

of solidarity and unity.

In short: our problems are ours;

they are not enemy action,

and if they are, the enemy is within.


Speaking the truth is easy;

what’s hard is to make it

palatable, comprehensible, and bearable.


Perennial victims are not and cannot be

morally superior.


I agree with those who assert

we are the real Chosen People – chosen to be

the targets of bloodthirsty barbarians,

both foreign and domestic.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, May 09, 2013




If what you say is right,

obviously I can’t be worth reading

and you would be more justified in criticizing yourself

for wasting your valuable time on me.


You want to know the difference

between an honest and a dishonest writer?


A dishonest writer flatters.

An honest one is a thorn in the flesh.


Of how many potential dissidents we could say

because they were bullied by idiots,

they fell silent.


I understand my critics.

Thirty ears ago I was one of them.


National historians:

the intellectual equivalents of empty suits.


What makes our ruling classes so arrogantly

and ruthlessly stupid?

The answer must be:

experience, reality, history, or the fact that

they have been fooling us for centuries

and no one ever said

off with their heads.





I leave that to our creative writers, scholars, and academics.


Love stories: I stopped writing them on the day I realized

their true aim is to entertain the bourgeoisie.

I now write to expose deceivers.


When in a letter to the editor many years ago

a reader said he felt terrorized by my words,

I was flattered rather than offended.


We are tired of being sheep in a world of wolves.

That’s why an Armenian is another Armenian’s wolf.

He has to start somewhere.


In the words of an American comedian:

“I take my lion to church every Sunday.

He has to eat.”


If you are not thirsty it makes no difference

if the glass is half-empty or half-full.


Silence has no need for translators.




Do you want to understand Armenians?

Think of them as a people that for 600 years

had Turks as their role models.


There are no Armenians

and there are no Turks:

only people who speak Armenian and Turkish.





To confuse patriotism with loyalty or subservience

to liars and crooks: I can’t imagine

anything more cowardly and idiotic.


Divisions are popular with us

because we are not popular with one another.


We are not a work in progress;

we are a dead end.


A common Armenian allergy:

other Armenians.


Hatred of Turks is our opium.


A nation that hates together

stays together.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, May 12, 2013




At the beginning was the Word

and the Word was a Big Lie.


God created heaven and earth.

It was Man who created Hell.


I am an atheist only in the sense that

I don’t believe in the God of

rabbis, imams, and bishops.


The dead are replaced by the living

and worlds are replaced by other worlds.

What if, even as I write these lines,

in another world Cain is murdering Abel

and Nietzsche is announcing the death of God?


I am not an atheist.

For thirty-five years I was a church organist,

my favorite composer is J.S. Bach,

and my favorite quotation is

by Santa Teresa of Avila:

“Never submit your intelligence to someone

who doesn’t have enough of it himself.”


The Catholic priest who hired me as his organist

(may the Good Lord have mercy on his soul)

once said to him: “Organ music makes people feel holier.”

When informed I was an atheist, he said:

“God is in everything that is beautiful

and you love music…”




What if I am not consistently wrong

and you are not consistently right?

What if once or twice a year

I may be right and you may be wrong?

What makes you think you are better

than the fellow in the Vatican

who thought he was doing God’s work

even when he authorized the torture of heretics?


In the eyes of our Turcocentric ghazetajis, academics,

and dealers in chauvinist crapola

I am only an Armenian Turks love to quote.


Fanatics may be defined as individuals

who place prejudice and hatred above understanding.


A tolerant and balanced view is one

in which assertions are modified by their contradictions.


It is safe to assume that our enemies

may not always be wrong

because our friends may not always be right.


The God of fanatics is the Devil.


To say we have the leadership we deserve

is like saying countless innocent civilians

deserved to be slaughtered

when it was only their leaders

who should have been hanged

(I am now paraphrasing General Antranik

as quoted by Mahari in his autobiography).


If the Sultan was replaced by Talaat,

the Czar by Lenin and Stalin,

The German Monarch by Hitler,

the Spanish King by Franco,

(I could go on)

what makes you think our own revolutionaries

were men of integrity and statesmen of vision?

I am not making assertions

or casting aspersions,

just asking a question.




After saying “We all make mistakes,”

we should ask:

“How many of them were avoidable?”


After saying “There are divisions everywhere,”

we should ask:

“How many of them are necessary or justifiable?”


After saying “Armenians are smart,”

we should ask:

“Why is it that we have been

consistently victimized by

Mongoloid barbarians,

inbred morons,

and bloodthirsty savages?”


After bragging about our celebrities,

we should ask: “How many of them

ever bragged about their Armenian identity?

Mamoulian? Gulbenkian? Mikoyan? Jack S. Avanakian?”


You can’t pretend to seek solutions

if you don’t acknowledge the existence of the problem.

Neither can you have the right answer

if you don’t even bother to ask the right question.




From IT HAPPENED IN NAPLES, an old Italian film:

SOPHIA LOREN (angry): You are not a lawyer. You are a pig!

VITTORIO DE SICA (with disbelief): But a man can be a lawyer and a pig at the same time.


You can tell right from wrong?

That means you have discovered the recipe for an unhappy life.


I am all for forgiving my enemies,

but only after they die.


Everything I write has autobiographical roots.


I have behaved like a pig

and I have behaved like a human being:

I can tell the difference.


All power structures, belief systems, and regimes

depend on a class of highly paid individuals

who specialize in deception or the invention of big lies.

In other words, people not only need to be deceived

but also want to be deceived,

so much so that they are more than willing

to pay good money to their deceivers.


I have behaved like a deceiver

and I have behaved like a dupe.

I can tell the difference.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...