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memoirs / chapter i

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#1 ara baliozian

ara baliozian


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Posted 24 March 2001 - 07:29 AM

World War II was the best thing that happened to me.
I was four years old when a German bomb
reduced to rubble everything we owned.
From that day on,
my parents became so involved
in the harsh business of survival in an alien environment
that they had neither time nor inclination
to teach me the rules of the game
and the important role double-talk plays in human affairs,
perhaps because the rules they themselves had been taught
were no longer valid and they, as adults,
were as confused as I, a child, was.
This may explain why,
when at the beginning of my career as a writer
I tried to recycle chauvinist propaganda
and engage in double-talk
I was so dissatisfied with the results that,
had I kept it up,
I would have died of cancer within two or at most three years.
Which is why I maintain
a touch of honesty may be as important to your health
as all the vitamins put together from ABC to XYZ.

#2 MJ



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Posted 01 September 2001 - 06:19 AM

ara baliozian
Member # 271
posted June 22, 2001 11:09 AM
My father lost everything he owned – and I mean everything except the shirt on his back – on two separate occasions: first time during World War I in Turkey, second time during World War II in Greece. The poor fellow spent the rest of his life trying to survive in a hostile world. He never had a chance to tell me what the score was. He probably didn’t know it himself; or, if he did, he didn’t see any purpose in inflicting painful truths on me.
As for my schoolteachers: they were half-educated slum-dwellers like the rest of us and their most important priority was survival too. They had no choice but to recycle the party line imposed on them by their superiors.
And when, at the age of fourteen, I met an elder distant cousin (widely read, well-informed and with a university degree) willing to share his thoughts on life, history, and literature, my first thought was to dismiss everything he said as the words of a dangerous eccentric, a madman, a lunatic. It took me several years to realize that, when you are brainwashed by ignorant or dishonest men, honesty at first appears as the height of dishonesty.
What follows may well be a non sequitur, but please bear with me.
I am reminded of the old familiar joke that goes something like this: If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. But if you teach him how to fish, he will waste the rest of his life in a boat drinking beer.
I suppose something similar applies to recycled chauvinist crap: dish it out to vulnerable children and they will get addicted to it for the rest of their lives; and when they are served real food, they will get sick to the stomach and they will hurl.

ara baliozian

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