Artur

Latest from writer Ara Baliozian

305 posts in this topic

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

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

If God exists, surely He must be against those who dare to speak in His name if only because they contradict one another.

*

Some of my readers insult me because they think I am wrong and they are infallible. I may be wrong but can they be infallible? And if they are wrong in thinking they are infallible, can they be right in anything else?

*

Emerson once observed that there is nothing wrong in being misunderstood. Everyone is misunderstood, even the greatest among us - beginning with Socrates, Jesus, and Galileo. His conclusion: "To be great is to be misunderstood."

*

Why should we be surprised if those who support our bosses, bishops and benefactors speak like bullies and hooligans?

*

"Governments need both shepherds and butchers," according to Voltaire. It has been our destiny to be led by our shepherds into the hands of butchers.

*

It happens more and more frequently now: those who insult me publicly apologize privately. There is a French saying: "He who can kiss can bite." I suppose the opposite is also true. My present enemies are my future friends.

*

An honest man will invariably succeed in uniting all the crooks and charlatans against himself.

*

My answer to those who accuse me of hating Armenians: "If you love flowers you must hate weeds."

*

When we speak of loving Armenia, what do we really mean? Loving its rivers, mountains and valleys? Loving its regime and justice system? Loving its literature and culture? If the latter, can we also love those who silenced, starved and betrayed our ablest writers to the enemy?

*

If the three Musketeers had been Armenian, two of them would have ganged up and alienated the third, and shortly thereafter one of them would have betrayed the other to the enemy.

*

In my efforts to expose prejudices sometimes I succeed only in reinforcing them. The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions. What about the road to heaven? Perhaps there is no such road because "the kingdom of God is within you."

*

The first nation to accept Christianity? To accept it: nothing easier. To practice it: a different story. What kind of Christians are we if we don't forgive those who trespass against us? Or if we divide and subdivide ourselves knowing full well that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Or if we allow the blind to lead us into the ditch?

*

Once recently when I used the word hooliganism, one of our hooligans rose to his own defense by explaining there are two kinds of hooliganism: short-term and long-term, and needless to add, he accused me of long-term hooliganism. As the French are fond of saying: "This may be as clear as daylight but it requires some very serious thinking." Who is to say if this is not the kind of translucent sophistry that got us massacred?

*

Armenian saying: "Think like the minority, speak like the majority." But is this possible in an environment whose minority has been silenced and alienated by its majority?

*

Some of my readers hate me because I criticize Armenians. But everyone in life is criticized: politicians, bureaucrats, generals, doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, even writers. Are we then beyond criticism? I assume the only possible answer to that question is: "No, but your criticism is unfair." To which I can only say: Have you ever heard an Armenian say: "I was criticized fairly?" Even serial killers, after a lengthy trial and a guilty verdict by a jury of their peers, will proclaim their innocence.

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arabaliozian а тебе твой монолог нравитья?И как ты сам переносишь критику?

Edited by Gayane

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Friday, October 24, 2003

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

Repeated nonsense is the main ingredient in all primitive incantations as well as modern propaganda.

*

Where ignorance is bliss, wisdom will be a curse.

*

To those who preach Armenianism and practice Ottomanism, I say: "You can't fool all the people all the time if you speak with a forked tongue."

*

I see very little progress in the conduct of our affairs. If we have advanced it has been from building castles in the air to building sand castled on the beach at low tide.

*

Armenians are difficult to understand because they need not understanding but flattery.

*

Samuel Johnson: "I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding."

*

Great nations behave like gangsters, and small nations like prostitutes - but prostitutes who brag about their virginity.

*

To an authentic Christian all men are brothers. A Christian who divides mankind into factions - such as heretics and infidels - and reserves for himself a privileged position at the right hand of God, is a Christian who cannot tell the difference between God and the Devil.

*

"A starving population, an absentee aristocracy, and the weakest executive in the world." This is not a present-day assessment of Armenia but a quotation from a speech on Ireland delivered in the House of Commons on 16 February 1844 by Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81). Here is another assessment of Ireland by one of its greatest writers - James Joyce (1882-1941): "Ireland is the old sow [mama pig] that eats her farrow [baby pigs]." Which is reminiscent of Zarian's final verdict on his fellow countrymen: "Armenians survive by cannibalizing one another."

*

A mongoose's idea of fast food is a live cobra.

*

Truth doesn't need propagandists. Throw it out the door and it will come in through the window. Throw it out the window and it will come down the chimney and kick your ass.

*

Last week I received an e-mail from a Turk so mean, nasty and rude that he sounded like one of my former Armenian friends.

*

Whenever an Armenian academic wants to make a name for himself he produces a book on the Genocide. Even non-historians have now found in our tragedy a sure source of income. Our Genocide has opened shop and is doing brisk business.

*

A fail-safe formula for failure: Trying to solve today's problems with yesterday's slogans.

*

Whenever one of our charlatans speaks in the name of Armenians, Armenia, or Armenian identify and culture, I am reminded of Louis XIV's dictum "I am the State," and the fact that shortly thereafter one of his successors was beheaded.

*

To those who say, "Our situation is tough and our problems complex," I say: In time of peace and prosperity anyone can be a leader.

*

We love with our heart but we hate with our intestines.

*

There are men of action and men of contemplation. To qualify as a man of action it is necessary to be a killer.

*

I was born and raised in a Greek slum. I now live in a Canadian slum. I cannot qualify as an ivory-tower idealist. If anything, I am a gutter idealist.

*

To those of my readers who see in me an enemy of the nation, I say: When a paranoiac sheep looks at another sheep or even at a reflection of himself in the mirror, she will see not another sheep but a wolf in sheep's clothing.

*

God knew that if he planted an apple tree in the Garden of Eden, Adam will want to pluck it, but He went ahead and planted it anyway, perhaps because He also knew that theologians would be unanimous in blaming man's fall not on Him but on Adam.

*

I am a pessimist who works like an optimist. I cast bread upon the waters and pearls before swine even after I have seen the writing on the wall.

*

To those among us who preach Christian values, may I remind them that they cannot love their enemy and hate their brother.

*

We are fast learners and slow forgetters. From the Turks we learned Ottomanism and from the Soviets Stalinism. Progress for us means going back and recapturing our original identity.

*

There are those who think the only way to cure their inferiority complex is by asserting a phony superiority. I know East-Armenians who look down on West-Armenians because they don't speak East-Armenian. What kind of superiority is it that needs to degrade and alienate half the nation?

*

In the Diaspora we celebrate the anniversary of Armenia's independence. But there are Armenians in the Homeland who believe that should be a day of lamentation.

*

After insulting me a reader tells me he feels sorry for me. If I were a blind beggar he would probably express his compassion by spitting on me. If, on the other hand, a hooligan were to accept his identity as a hooligan, he would cease to be a hooligan.

*

We love to praise dead translators and bury living ones.

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arabaliozian а тебе твой монолог нравитья?И как ты сам переносишь критику?

translation, please.

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Saturday, October 25, 2003

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

When I speak of Armenian identity I have in mind not a generalized abstraction or ghostly emanation open to different perspectives, conclusions and theories; but that very specific ensemble of forces that have shaped our past and are now busy shaping our destiny as a nation: an identity that is full of unresolved inner conflicts and contradictions; an identity that by dividing, subdividing and demoralizing the nation has made of us perennial victims; an identity, moreover, that in Raffi's words, is branded by treason, betrayal and collaboration with the enemy.

*

When a lie is adopted by a power structure, it becomes propaganda. It is not easy exposing such a lie because it means (a) contradicting all those who have been brainwashed by it, and (b) incurring the wrath of the power structure.

*

You cannot judge a man by his words but by his actions. Likewise, you cannot judge a nation by its propaganda or the verbiage of its speechifiers and sermonizers, but by its history - and its history as written by an objective outsider as opposed to historians who enjoy the support of a specific ideology, religion, or nationality.

*

Nothing a regime, an ideology or a religion says can be the whole truth. At best, it will be a fraction of the truth (which happens to be one definition of propaganda=a fraction of the truth).

*

To write only what your readers want to read is not writing but guessing.

*

Where there is a public library, even a pauper can read like a millionaire.

*

There is freedom in our homeland - freedom for the few to prosper and freedom for the many to either starve or emigrate.

*

An authentic Christian is recognized by his way of life and not by his verbal vitriol against those who have not yet seen the light.

*

What's the use of knowing the law if the judge is corrupt?

*

Life is hell? But if life were heaven, people would be so scared of death that they would commit suicide.

*

When today's hooligans grow old, younger hooligans will insult them. I speak from experience - having engaged in hooliganism when young.

*

If God is love, why is it that those who speak in His name spout hatred?

*

Why is it that reasonable men see nothing inconsistent in speaking in the name of God and doing the Devil's work?

*

A truth may lead you to another truth but a lie will lead you only to a bigger lie.

*

To be Christian does not mean to love only the loveable; even heathens can do that.

*

The only way to survive as an Armenian among Armenians is to be more like a Turk.

*

Two brains, it is said, are better than one; but if the two are Armenian, the result will be paralysis.

*

Behind every insult spat in my direction I sense the presence of another unspoken insult against our collective identity: "If he is an Armenian writing for Armenians, he can't be worth a sh**!"

*

You can take a man out of the jungle but you can't take the jungle out of a man. A familiar saying that. The same applies to the jungles of the Ottoman Empire and the USSR. Hence the paradox of the Armenian who even as he preached a religion of love and compassion discharges Ottoman intolerance and Stalinist terror; or Armenians whose words and sentiments are professedly inspired by God but whose actions are driven by the Devil.

*

Lies are more popular than truth because for every truth there are ten thousand lies and among the ten thousand we can always pick one or more that will be more flattering to our vanity.

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Monday, October 27, 2003

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

Our partisan ideologues think (if you will forgive the overstatement) they are the brains of the people. But in reality, they are only the brains of the brainwashed, that is to say, the brainless.

*

If a Turk hates like a Turk, he is only a Turk. But if an Armenian hates like a Turk, is he not worse than a Turk? In like manner, if a Christian hates like a heathen, is he not worse than a heathen?

*

To our critics of the U.S. I say: Before we criticize empires we should try to understand them in order to minimize the damage they may inflict on us. Had we adopted this stance at the turn of the century, we would have avoided being massacred.

*

The aim of criticism is to usher in reforms. It is not and should not be an exercise in one-upmanship. It follows, before we try to reform the White House or the State Department, we should make an effort to reform our parish or community center.

*

An enhanced understanding may save lives; blind action, by contrast, may lead to massacre.

*

A believer uses his belief system to judge his fellow men. A skeptic uses his common sense, sometimes even his common decency. You may now guess who will be more merciful towards transgressors.

*

Before a visit to the doctor, ask yourself: What if he finds something wrong with you and he is mistaken?

*

Have I been barking up the wrong tree? Is that possible in a desert devoid of all vegetation?

*

There is a light in every authentic man of faith that even he cannot extinguish; neither can a holier-than-thou phony illuminate the darkness in anyone's soul, including his own.

*

To those who say there are no universally accepted definitions of good and evil, I say: You don't have to be a lawyer to know what's criminal or, after committing a criminal act, to plead not guilty on grounds of ignorance of the law.

*

It never pays to lament, because if you do, everyone around you will prove to his own satisfaction that he has more reasons to lament than you. As a result, instead of sympathy you will get scorn for being a self-centered, spineless crybaby. Which may explain why the result of all our collective lamentations so far has been one or at most two crocodile tears that have not resurrected a single victim, nor have they annexed a single inch of soil to our homeland.

*

It is a symptom of megalomania run riot to think that by insulting a writer you may succeed in silencing him.

*

On the radio early this morning I heard about a video game for children called "How to Build a Civilization," and I couldn't help reflecting that our best and brightest flunked twice on "How to Survive Barbarism," - first time in the Ottoman Empire, second time in the USSR; and some would add, they haven't been doing a brilliant job in the U.S. either -- judging by the number of those who have opted for assimilation.

*

Before you say or do anything, ask yourself: Will it make me a better human being? Can asserting my moral or intellectual superiority make me morally and intellectually superior?

*

We are not equipped to understand imperial powers. We need to be re-educated. The question is: Can you educate someone who is convinced he is smart, he knows all he needs to know, he knows better, he sits at the right hand of God, and he has now taken upon himself to re-educate the world in the ways of the world?

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

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

Ever since I stopped drinking the world has become a less friendly place. Now I know why substance abuse is so widespread. If it's not alcohol or drugs, it's religion, ideology, or self-serving illusions and prejudices …. People, it seems, need something to lean on because like cripples they have trouble standing up without the help of crutches. And they hate anyone who reminds them intoxicants come at a price which may range from bad health to war and massacre.

*

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."

Comforted by God? Maybe.

By men? I am not so sure.

By fellow Armenians? Don't make me laugh!

*

You cannot pray to God if you worship Mammon.

*

Money not only talks but also sings like Pavarotti and plays the violin like Heifetz.

*

Execution differs from murder in that in murder, the murderer is judge, jury and executioner. In execution every step is handled by more or less disinterested and reluctant outsiders.

*

They tell me I criticize because I am a bitter and disappointed failure. But if all I wanted from life were success, I would get busy kissing asses and not kicking them.

*

The best arguments for Christianity are not to be found in the words of theologians but in the music of Bach.

*

My pen is my Stradivarius. I chose literature because I couldn't afford a Strad.

*

To be memorable, your words must have meaning as well as music, and with music even the commonplace becomes quotable.

*

On the radio today, several Canadian pundits were discussing the situation in Iraq. They all agreed that Bush was on the wrong path in thinking democracy can be transplanted on alien soil. Democracy, they agreed, must take root and grow on its own soil and evolve from its own culture; not foisted on people whose views on freedom, human rights, and moral values are different from ours. They went on in this vein for a while until a solitary voice who had been silent until then reminded them of Japan and Germany after World War II -- two countries successfully democratized by Americans.

It is cruel to the point of sadism to puncture with facts cherished theories by pundits with egos the size of the Twin Towers.

*

To discuss religion and to ignore the history of religions is like speculating in a dark room about a black hat that doesn't exist.

*

It is foolish to expect a simple but effective "Let's agree to disagree" from an Armenian. Nothing comes more naturally to victims of massacres than to engage in verbal overkill.

*

The worst kind of cowardice is to refuse knowing the other side of the story.

*

Sometimes originality also consists in bringing together two cliches that have not met before.

*

"I paint with my prick," Renoir once said. Perhaps the aim of all art is connection and penetration.

*

My goal: to outline a map of the Armenian consciousness so that every Armenian may be allowed to know where he stands.

*

Here are some useful rules for writers:

Speak to your reader. But if you want to write a letter, make it a telegram.

+

The best way to be original is being yourself. Originality cannot be willed. Originality that is willed is worse than plagiarism.

~

There is merit in consciously breaking rules. There is no merit in not knowing them.

^

Avoid descriptions. If you say "he fell in love with her," no need to say she was beautiful; because even if she is ugly, in his eyes, she is the most desirable being in the world.

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Just a question.

I suppose you are in Toronto.

So what do you think about the armenians from armenia and the rest of armenians over there?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

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

I don't trust people who ask simple questions whose answers they pretend not to know - questions like:

What do you mean by common sense? Or human rights? Or anti-Semitisim? More often than not such people are driven by perverse agendas that justify criminal conduct.

(See below.)

*

To be Christian does not mean to be a doormat, a reader reminds me. Yes, of course. But neither does it mean to be a muddy boot.

*

The first and most important requirement of a great Armenian writer is that he be dead in his thirties - preferably murdered by a tyrannical regime.

*

You can invest 30 pieces of silver, but you can only wear a crown of thorns.

*

The membership of our political parties has dwindled to such a degree that any day now they will be representing only the lunatic fringe.

*

A man of faith, when he speaks in the name of his belief system, cannot be wrong even when he is mean, nasty, narrow, dogmatic, authoritarian, cruel, sadistic and bloodthirsty.

*

Where Jews are there will also be anti-Semites.

Anti-Semitisim exist because Jews exist.

Anti-Semitism is a creation of the Jews.

And now let us consider the following parallel propositions.

Where there are victims, there will be rapists and murderers.

Rape and murder exist because victims exist.

Rapists and murderers are creations of victims.

Eliminate victims and you will no longer have rape and murder.

It follows, eliminate Jews and we will have no more anti-Semitism.

Or, in the words of our Red Sultan:

"The only way to solve the Armenian Question

is to get rid of the Armenians."

*

The criminal mind is predictable because it is primitive.

Or, you don't have to study the law to know the law of the jungle.

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Just a question.

I suppose you are in Toronto.

So what do you think about the armenians from armenia and the rest of armenians over there?

i am 60 miles from Toronto.

i am not familiar with the armenian community there...though i have a few friends who visit me. so far they have had no comment on armenians from armenia....

as for armenians from elsewhere: i do not consider them worth commenting on....

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Then how come you think you know enough about armenians (from armenia, including their goverment) and the rest of them (who you think are not worth to comment) to write about?

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Thursday, October 30, 2003

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

If at the age of ten someone had spoken to me and said the things that I have been saying here, I would have hated his guts.

At the age of fifteen I would have felt liberated.

At twenty I would have said: "So what else is new?"

Which may suggest that the outrage of some of my readers may well be a direct result of arrested development.

*

The most important factor in our choice of religion is geography, and more precisely the accident of our birthplace.

*

Ideologies, even when established by angels, are inevitably usurped by devils.

*

Fascism is organized hooliganism.

*

We are all believers. Some believe in the existence of God, others in his absence.

*

Writes C.S. Lewis, a celebrated English author and devout Christian: "Often when I pray I wonder if I am not posting letters to a non-existent address."

*

Power doesn't corrupt; it simply allows the already corrupt a medium of expression.

*

Whenever I hear a long-winded sermonizer, I cannot help thinking: Like policemen, cannibals are never around when you need them.

*

"Our leaders are our betters": a popular misconception that history has exposed again and again but failed to shatter.

*

In a civilized world, religions and ideologies will be outlawed if only because sometimes they are used as license to kill.

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Then how come you think you know enough about armenians (from armenia, including their goverment) and the rest of them (who you think are not worth to comment) to write about?

i read a dozen armenians weeklies....

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i read a dozen armenians weeklies....

How can you trust their publications?

Even canadian press cannot be trusted, you know very well

the goverment and condition of people over there. Surely the media

is way out of touch with real world, same is in Armenia especially the

media coverage during Soviet period.

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Друг..может помошешь мне обяснить в чем тут..спор ??..А то я английский плохо знаю...никак не усеку...а то что пишет Ара джан из Торонто я непонимаю....большой частью :(

V asnavnyom on izlojaet svoi misli pro vsyo vkluchaya i Armeniyu sechas i vo vremena CCCP.

Sdes ne to chto idyot spor a prosto xachu uznats kak on poluchayet informatiyu pro Armyan i pochemu u nevo takoye mnenie pro nas i vaabshe pro vsyo.

Prosto I jil v Toronto dolgoye vremya i mne interesno ;)

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Это я понял..и не только про тебя..я вообще про эту тему..только я несовсем знаю..какое у него мнине...поэтому вот тебя справшиваю Т джан

Ya sprasil o evo mneniya pro armyan s Armenii i ostalnix armyan jivushix v Toronto.

Otvet poka chto on ne znayet armyan s Armenii a pro ostalnix ne xochet gavarits potomu chto oni etovo ne stoyat.

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Saturday, November 01, 2003

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

If only serial killers were more considerate

and men of faith more tolerant!

*

There are those who demand that I solve problems

whose very existence they refuse to acknowledge.

*

Others may speak of la crème de la crème;

we can only speak of la crème de la scum.

*

I gave up reading our pundits on the day I realized that their true aim is not to enlighten but to flatter the vanity of our wheeler-dealers by ascribing all our problems to outside agencies.

*

When I think that today's children will be tomorrow's adults, my fondness for them is immediately modified by a touch of hostility. After all, who is an adult if not someone who has done in the child within himself.

*

It is not negative to say a small no for the sake of a big yes.

*

If God is an open book to our men of faith,

why is it that they cannot read the writing on the wall?

*

Experience suggests that if you confront liars with the truth

you succeed only in making them bigger liars.

*

To the reader who accused me of being ashamed of my identity, I say: "I am not ashamed of being Armenian, no! But neither am I proud that you are."

*

It is not always easy to convince ourselves that those who are against us may have a remotely plausible reason.

*

When an American politician mentions Armenians to a Turkish diplomat, the Turk mentions Indians and Negroes, after which they change the subject.

*

Perhaps once in a while I should remind my hostile readers that I don't make policy. I may challenge our policy-makers, I may question their competence and integrity, but I am in no position to change things. You may therefore relax and enjoy life in the knowledge that the future will be a repetition of the past.

*

As an Armenian writer who has more critics than readers, sometimes I feel like that celebrated medieval Arab poet who had a thousand friends and one enemy, but his friends were nowhere and his enemy everywhere.

*

Our multimillionaires donate millions to charities and other worthy causes, make headlines in our weeklies, and project the image of generous and compassionate benefactors of the nation.

How did they make their millions?

This question is never asked.

An honest man working at an honest job cannot be a multimillionaire. The only way to amass a fortune is to overprice your product or your services.

Or as Plato put it:

An honest man can never be as wealthy as a dishonest man because an honest man will employ only honest means, whereas a dishonest man will employ honest as well as dishonest means.

*

Two plus two makes four to everyone except accountants.

*

There is one thing about me that even my worst enemies love - the fact that I am a failure.

*

Every authentic writer has his favorite word and forever after that word bears his stamp and an added meaning.

*

To silence those who try to silence you is not censorship but justice - an eye for an eye.

*

The Holy Ghost is the Gray Eminence of the Trinity.

*

When I find a penny I take it as a good omen, but when a black cat crosses my path, I say it's meaningless superstition.

*

The older I grow, the less I understand my younger self.

*

There are those who brag about the fact that they are fluent in East-Armenian or West-Armenian or both. But I say, what if your words are Armenian but your sentiments Ottoman or Soviet?

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How can you trust their publications?

Even canadian press cannot be trusted, you know very well

the goverment and condition of people over there. Surely the media

is way out of touch with real world, same is in Armenia especially the

media coverage during Soviet period.

i may not trust and i don't trust their editorials and pundits,

but i have no reason to question their facts.

if our editors are liars, then who isn't?

as for travelling all over the world and seeing things for myself: sorry, on my salary as an armenian writer, that is beyond my means.

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Monday, November 03, 2003

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

When you live in a world of lies and illusions and you hear someone whispering the truth, forever after you condemn yourself to hear it again and again as loud as thunder.

*

Insults can teach us only one thing: to avoid hooligans.

*

One reason why my anti-boss, anti-bishop, and anti-benefactor views are thought of as unpatriotic is that the contents of our textbooks and school anthologies have been carefully selected and edited by political partisans and monks who have been and continue to be financially dependent on our capitalists.

*

Nothing would give me more pleasure than to learn from my critics. But what can one possibly learn from recycled propaganda?

*

The aim of propaganda is not to enlighten but to brainwash in order to promote the narrow self-interests of a power structure whose aim is to perpetuate itself and whenever possible to increase its hold over the people.

*

God or nature or the incomprehensible forces of the universe have combined to endow us with a unique gift - our brain. By saying there are people out there somewhere who know better - be they bosses, bishops or benefactors, or, for that matter, prophets and messiahs - we abdicate our most important responsibility as human beings, namely, to think for ourselves.

*

A nation that surrenders its mind to its leaders might as well be brain dead. If such a nation continues to live it is on the same level as cattle.

*

When I express views critical of our turn-of-the-century revolutionaries, I am not relying on hindsight. Our revolutionaries had their critics even when they were alive. These critics were not phony, dime-a-dozen pundits (a familiar species among us), or editors of Istanbul newspapers, or kibitzers in coffee houses, but important Armenian administrators within the Ottoman bureaucracy knowledgeable in the ways of the Empire, unlike our hot-headed revolutionaries, most of whom were outsiders drunk with the wine of future glory and power.

*

Were our revolutionaries men of faith who believed God was on their side? They believed truth to be on their side, and truth, according to Mahatma Gandhi, is the best definition of God.

*

Instead of asking "What makes you think you know better than the Pope and his college of cardinals and legion of bishops?" you should ask: "What makes the Pope and his army of underlings think they know better than the majority of mankind that rejects his claim of infallibility, doctrinal paraphernalia, bureaucratic hierarchy and ritual mumbo jumbo?

*

The Western intellectual tradition has been essentially skeptical and anti-clerical. This is true not only of philosophers like Voltaire and Sartre but also of devout Christians like Tolstoy who was excommunicated by the Orthodox Church.

*

To identify Christ with a church, any church, is as misleading as identifying Marx with Stalinism. There are even those (like Dostoevsky and Kazantzakis) who have advanced the theory that if Christ were to appear again among us, he would be re-crucified by members of the Church hierarchy.

*

Christ was not dogmatic, authoritarian, despotic and intolerant, all of which are integral features of all organized religions and established churches.

*

People are not stupid, but they become stupid when they allow others to do their thinking for them.

*

My views are unorthodox only to the brainwashed, the brainless and the brain-dead. What I have been saying has been said before by our most prominent writers most of whom were shaped by French, German and Russian intellectual traditions.

*

Whenever a religious or political faction chooses to ignore its critics or its opposition and to act without developing a consensus, it acquires the vestments of tyranny.

*

Khorenatsi and Yeghishe predicted our decline as a nation in the 5th century as surely as anti-fascist, anti-Nazi and anti-Stalinist dissidents predicted the downfall of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin in our own days.

*

He who subscribes to the law of the jungle should not complain if he is bitten in half by a crocodile or set upon and torn to shreds by a pack of hyenas.

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Prosto daje sredi armyan ne iz Armenii toje bivayut stolchki i nepriyazn.

Vot i evo schitaniya chto oni etovo ne stoyat chtob pro nix comentirovats

toje vizkazaivaniya evo nepriyazni k armyan v Canade.

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Vaabsheto on inogda interesniye veshi toje pishet.

Prosto ya nenaviju kogda te kotoriye nikogda ne jili

v Armenii vo vremya CCCP (da i sechas toje) i nachinayut

kritikovats i nas i polojenie v kotorom mi jili.

Ya uznal chto mne nujno bilo ot nevo, luchshe ostavits evo

v pakoye (da i on ne oxotno otvechayet na vaprosi).

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Таламбай джан он прекрассно понимает по русски :) просто ему нраится роль в которую он вошел ,вот он и играет.А мы оставим его в покое :bye:

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Понятно..ну тогда присоединяюсь к теюе.... :flower: :flower: :flower:

:bye:

Таламбай :) быстро иди в оффтоп и расскажи оебе как у тебя дела :)

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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

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

Sooner or later all wars come to an end

except the war against ignorance and stupidity.

*

Criticism makes invisible contradictions visible,

except of course to the blind leading the blind.

*

Christianity produced many saints and many more heretics

and some of the saints were burned at the stake as heretics.

*

Did Christianity play a positive role in our history?

No, according to Raffi. Christianity, he writes, has taught us subservience to tyranny.

But the same applies to Christians everywhere.

Hence Napoleon's celebrated dictum: "If it weren't for religion, the poor would butcher the rich."

*

Religion and hatred should be strangers to each other

and not Siamese twins.

*

On his own, a decent man will not kill another. Give him a religion or an ideology and he will consider killing his duty.

*

Any power structure or belief system that legitimizes the murder

of innocent civilians is evil.

*

All organized religions are minorities that divide mankind into factions, and anything that divides mankind is evil and the source of all conflict, war and massacre.

*

As a Catholic I was brought up to believe all non-Catholics were misguided fools at best and heretics destined to burn in eternal hellfire at worst.

*

Has religion improved mankind in any way? There is no evidence to suggest that people in AD are morally superior to people in BC.

*

Islam transformed an obscure desert tribe into warlike imperialists that conquered with fire and sword North Africa, part of Europe, the Middle East, and an important fraction of Asia -- from Armenia to India and Indonesia.

*

Organized religions are against individual freedom, hence their support of even the most tyrannical and bloodthirsty regimes in the history of mankind.

*

Christianity ushered in the Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages - a thousand years of intellectual and scientific paralysis. (For more on this subject, see Edward Gibbon's THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, and Arthur Koestler's THE SLEEPWALKERS).

*

By promoting a BIG LIE (my God is the only true God) organized religions legitimize intolerance and a false sense of moral superiority.

*

If others repeat their nonsense, why shouldn't I repeat my sense?

*

Why is it that to some Armenians Armenianism consists in knowing how to hate like a Turk?

*

To re-Ottomanize or to re-Stalinize is easier than to re-Armenianize perhaps because Armenianism is a distant memory, unlike Ottomanism and Stalinisn which are recent experiences.

*

When some of my readers want to insult me they call me a genius. If I have any genius it is in attracting false friends and faithful enemies.

*

The need to make friends sometimes blinds our judgment as surely as the need to fornicate.

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Thursday, November 06, 2003

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

In a recent column in the ARMENIAN REPORTER, one of our pundits asserted that Krikor Zohrab and Roupen Sevag, among others, were models of competent intellectual leadership in Istanbul prior to the Genocide. It is to be noted that Zohrab and Talaat were good friends and at one point Zohrab even saved Talaat's life by risking his own. And Sevag expressed affection for the Turks even after the Hamidian massacres. When his German fiancée, following a visit to Istanbul, begged him to move to Europe on grounds that she found Turks to be unpleasant people, Sevag replied (I will now paraphrase): "You don't know the Turks as well as I do. They are nice folk. After you get to know them you will like them too."

Needless to add, both Zohrab and Sevag were murdered by orders of Talaat.

If leadership consists in seeing "the other side of the hill," these two writers failed to see even the abyss that yawned before them. And when the blind lead the blind....

*

It is only the exceptional English-language dictionary of quotations that will include an Anglophone Armenian writer like Saroyan and Bagdikian. As far as these dictionaries go, Armenian writers writing in Armenian either don't exist or they have said nothing worth quoting. And when some years ago I edited and published a dictionary of Armenian quotations I made the painful discovery that Armenian themselves don't much care about the wisdom of their own writers. After we have been told a thousand times that we are smart, we are the first nation to accept Christianity and the first people to suffer a genocide in the 20th century, who needs wisdom?

*

If Christianity is no longer a menace to scientists, dissidents or anyone else who dares to think for himself without reference to the scriptures, it is because of legal strictures imposed on it by outside agencies. Sooner or later all power structures enter into pacts with the devil.

They are like tigers in a zoo: if they escape or are allowed to roam free, they will terrorize millions until they are caught and caged once more.

*

In a thousand years from now when overpopulation will be a central issue, today's Catholics (who are against both contraceptives and abortion) will be perceived as ignorant and hidebound as their counterparts in the Middle Ages who burned heretics at the stake.

*

History repeats itself; it does not xerox itself.

*

If I knew how to pray I would say: "Give me an Armenian critic who has not conditioned himself to believe in his own infallibility, or one who can tell the difference between recycled propaganda and independent thought -- or ideas as extensions of vested interests and ideas as results of objective judgment.

*

To be read by Armenians is like being followed by a pack of hungry wolves on a moonless night in a deep forest, or swimming with a nosebleed in a shark-infested lagoon.

*

If an Armenian cannot disagree with your logic he will disagree with your punctuation. To an Armenian with a highly developed spirit of contradiction, agreement might as well be an experience akin to public castration.

*

One reason I am not popular with our bosses, bishops and benefactors and their flunkies and followers is that I refuse to be their nigger.

*

There are so few of us left that an Armenian should be a blessing to another Armenian and not a curse or a carcinogenic agent.

*

Once when I pointed out to a translator that his translation was not faithful to the original, he said that sometimes to be attractive a translation may have to be unfaithful. I didn't have the heart to tell him that his translation had all the charms of Medusa.

*

If an Armenian writer does not die of tuberculosis in his twenties, is not butchered by the Turks in his thirties, or shot by the Soviets in his forties, or buried alive in his fifties by his fellow Armenians, he will be slaughtered by his translators.

*

Some of my best friends refuse to go near a computer and some of my worst enemies appear to spend most of their existence glued to the monitor.

*

I cannot hope to be understood by readers who have made no effort to understand themselves -- perhaps because it is not easy or rewarding to understand the void.

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