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#1 ara baliozian

ara baliozian


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Posted 25 June 2008 - 10:37 AM

Sunday, June 22, 2008
Of you expose a liar, a rapist, or a murderer, you don't need to deliver a sermon against lies, rape, and murder -- unless of course you are infatuated with the sound of your own voice.
You may have noticed that the very same people who demand instant solutions to our problems are themselves part of the problem. It follows, these gentlemen will never be satisfied with any solution that will expose them as dupes or charlatans. And if a reform-minded person were to appear among them, they will dismiss him as an ignoramus or a daydreaming fool, sometimes even an enemy of the people. They will laugh at him. They will insult him. And if he keeps talking they will silence him. What they want, what they really need, is not a reformer but a messiah. And if a messiah were to appear among them, they will crucify him. I am reminded of Antranik Zaroukian's words: “Even as they speak of crucifixion, they nail us to the cross.”
Speaking of the murder of Archbishop Levon Tourian in December 1933 in New York, Charles King writes: “The murder cemented divisions within the Armenian diaspora that have remained in place until today, for unlike the many other perpetrators of violence against Armenians – from Ottoman *****s to Soviet commissars – the authors of the twentieth century's most spectacular public murder of an Armenian cultural leader, inside an Armenian church, were Armenians.” See THE GHOST OF FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE CAUCASUS (New York, 2008, page 178).

Monday, June 23m 2008
After the collapse of the USSR, writes Charles King in THE GHOST OF FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE CAUCASUS (New York, 2008), traffic cops in Armenia used to buy their job. There was even a pricing system for the purchase based on which sites were likely to be the most profitable. “For example, a roadblock on the way to a fashionable restaurant outside Lake Sevan commanded the highest price because citizens were reckoned to be carrying a significant amount of cash on their way to those destinations. The officer would then recoup his initial financial outlay, plus profit, through the collection of fines.”
Now I am in a better position to understand why, after a visit to the Homeland, a friend told me, “Everyone wants to emigrate, except cops.” I also remember an American friend saying, “Armenian traffic cops must be just about the ugliest men I have ever seen.”
Again, according to Charles King, drivers of expensive cars were not stopped because they were assumed to be men of influence.
Elsewhere he remarks: “Dysfunctional politics can sometimes serve the interests of politicians themselves even as they lead the people they claim to represent towards certain ruin.”
The more talk of patriotism, the more corrupt the state. Hitler was a patriot. So was Mussolini. As for Stalin: he was the only head of state who called World War II “the Patriotic War.”
Nothing offends me more than the spectacle of an idiot preaching patriotism.
The most effective way of destroying a nation is by lowering its standards, so that every imbecile can parade as a genius, and every dupe as a statesman of vision capable of solving all our problems.
All nations have their share of imbeciles, but in our case the imbeciles are either at the top or most likely to get there.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
In a commentary headlined “No hope for democracy,” I read: “There is not going to be a revolution in [Mugabe's] Zimbabwe. Half the working-age population lives abroad.”
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
There is only one solution to an intolerant community, and that is tolerance. I am therefore suspicious when those who parade as problem-solvers become intolerant in defense of their solutions.
When a problem and a messiah meet, the problem is sure to prevail.
An average, garden-variety fool is smarter than the smartest dupe. No fool will ever be taken in by a bearded charlatan who promises him an afterlife in which he will spend his time deflowering virgins, unless of course he is also a dupe.
When I was a boy I wanted to be a famous writer. Not a good writer or a great writer, but a famous writer. In my old age all I want to be is an honest witness, and I am beginning to suspect being an honest witness among Armenians is a far more demanding undertaking than being a great writer.
You can recognize a brainwashed dupe by the fact that he is dead from the neck up.
An Armenian's capacity to dish out and/or consume verbal crap seems to be limitless.
We survived the Turk. Will we survive the Armenian?
The shortest list in the world: that of living Armenian intellectuals.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Self-interest and ideas are mutually exclusive concepts. Where self-interest enters, ideas exit.
I don't judge a man by his nationality or loyalty to a tribe, race, or ideology. I judge him by the degree of humanity he has been successful in defending against the dehumanizing forces of the world and his fellow men.
No one can save a man, let alone a nation, that does not want to be saved or is programmed for self-destruction. Only a total ignoramus with messianic ambitions will tell you, if we do this, that, or the other, we will save the nation. And if you were to ask why I go on writing and what is my real aim, the answer to the first question will have to be, “Force of habit,” and the answer to the second question, “If I can convince an intolerant Armenan to be less intolerant, I consider it a major victory.” And if you were to ask next my number of major or minor victories, I would have to say either none or plead an amendment – the one dealing with self-incrimination.
According to Charles King in THE GHOST OF FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE CAUCASUS, (page 226), constnat talk of genocide “has encouraged a patriotism built on victimhoom,” which has stunted our ability “of confidently looking to the future.” To our Turcocentric ghazetajis I say: “And you thought you were doing us a favor by defending our interests?”
Whoever said “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” sure knew what he was talking about.

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