Jump to content


Photo

as i see it - Pt. III


  • Please log in to reply
1090 replies to this topic

#1 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 20 October 2002 - 04:00 PM

Wednesday, October 16, 2002
******************************
I have at no time experienced Turkish ferocity
on my own skin – I have read about it
but never experienced it.
But I have come close – damn close:
I have experienced Armenian hostility.
And what has been my worst transgression?
Trying to share my understanding.
*
About convictions, certainties, and faith:
If the braying of an ass is louder
than the whisper of a wise man,
does that mean the ass knows better?
*
Fools and fanatics read not to learn
but to justify their hatred.
*
In 1915 we were massacred as a nation:
why can't we behave as one today?
*
We are so used to modifying history
with our own brand of nationalist propaganda that
any assessment that may be remotely objective
is branded as pro-Turkish.
*
To hate those who have injured us:
what could be easier?
To love them: what could be more difficult?
But what if both hate and love are,
in this context, irrelevant
and what matters is taking care of business
by doing what must be done?

#2 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 20 October 2002 - 04:01 PM

MOUSETRAP
*********************
It is a mistake to use the mind
as if it were a disposable mousetrap
good for catching only one mouse
and in the process of catching it
to kill it.
An idea is not a dead end;
it is a living organism in an endless chain reaction
of assertion, contradiction and synthesis.
In saying this I am saying nothing new,
only paraphrasing the teachings of philosophers
from Socrates and Plato
to Hegel and Marx.
What killed Bolshevism was Bolsheviks
who appear to have forgotten or ignored
Marx’s dialectic and his assertion
"I am not a Marxist."
And what prevents us from solving our problems
and moving forward is our obsession
with received platitudes such as
first nation to accept Christianity and
first nation to suffer a genocide in the 20th century.

#3 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 20 October 2002 - 04:01 PM

THE LEVANT
*****************
The Levant has not been kind to Armenians.
It has made them mercenary,
which means more materialistic, unprincipled,
cunning, and philistine.
I am not saying all Armenians from
the Middle East are crooks.
What I am talking about here is
the dominant mentality, which no doubt,
like every dominant mentality,
has produced resistance,
and sometimes even active opposition
in a non-representative minority.
*
To say that the Levant has done
more harm than good to our ethos
is to state the obvious.
Think of our medieval architecture,
liturgical music, and illuminated manuscripts:
they are quintessential manifestations of our voki
and it is this very voki that the Levant negates.
*
"Money is rust and dirt in the hands;
to taste it is like eating one’s own flesh,"
Khachatur Abovian tells us.
And more: "Man must sell his soul
in order to covet money."
*
I see no connection between
our authentic self and the Levantine mentality.
They are both Armenian only in the sense that
Bach’s music and the Nazi ideology are German –
but the one might as well be a contradiction of the other.

#4 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 20 October 2002 - 04:02 PM

UNPOPULAR OPINIONS
***************************
In 1998 I published a book titled
UNPOPULAR OPINIONS in which I raised
a few questions about our present situation,
among them the following two:
"If the threat of annihilation in 1915
could not unite us, what can?
If we remain as divided today as we were then,
what have we learned?"
In the acknowledgments of that book
I mentioned the names of 25 friends
whose encouragement and support I enjoyed
and to whom I dedicated the book.
On rereading these names
I notice that nearly half of them
are no longer on speaking terms with me.
It can truly be said of Armenian friends:
Easy come, easier go.
If keeping Armenian friends means
subscribing to anti-Semitism, racism,
fascism, Stalinism and similar aberrations,
I suppose I shall die friendless.

#5 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 20 October 2002 - 04:02 PM

Sunday, October 20, 2002
*****************************
Endless tribal conflicts,
deranged fanatics preaching fear and hatred,
and ultimately war and massacre,
and countless dupes willing to kill and die.
No, I am not talking about Armenians and Turks
but the human condition.
Why do these things happened?
We may never know the answer
but in our efforts to find it
we may expose many lies.
*
I dream of the day when odars will learn Armenian
and Armenians themselves will speak only one language:
their own. Dreams are cheap, they say;
which is why the poor have as many of them
as the rich have privileges and luxuries.
*
I once knew an old lady in her eighties
who bragged about her devotion to honesty
and was honest enough to admit that
she had no friends but many enemies.
Such is life.
*
Once in a while I am urged to read the Bible.
Millions have read it and will continue to read it
but can anyone say the world has been
or will be a better place as a result?
*
In his old age, Tolstoy – an intensely religious person –
was not averse to uttering profanities
in his private conversations with fellow writers
like Chekhov and Gorky.
I am reminded of the Mekhitarist monk
who used four-letter words in his Armenian translations
of Greek classics and this
long before D.H. Lawrence and Henry Miller.

#6 nairi

nairi

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,704 posts

Posted 21 October 2002 - 11:32 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Sip:
So Sagan says all girls lie. Nairi says Sagan is telling the truth, but Nairi is a girl therefore she must be lying when she says Sagan was telling the truth ... but Sagan was also a girl (I think) so she couldn't have been telling the truth ... so not all girls lie ... which means that Nairi was lying when she said Sagan was telling the truth ... ah forget it. I am going to sleep.

So what happens if we take Diogenes into account?

#7 Sip

Sip

    Buffet Connoisseur

  • Moderator
  • 8,365 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Online

Posted 21 October 2002 - 07:32 PM

I think Diogenes would have been happy to finally find an honest man, but then would have slapped me in the face for my lack of self control in bringing up a point that ended up corrupting a whole thread ...

#8 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 22 October 2002 - 08:11 AM

Monday, October 21, 2002
******************************
When dissidents are silenced,
the bloodthirsty grow fat on the blood of the innocent.
*
Both Zohrab and Shahnour asserted that
the word prostitution should be used more often
in our environment.
*
A fanatic would rather walk a thousand miles
in the opposite direction to misunderstand you
than take a single step in your direction
to understand you.
*
For a fool, winning an argument
is more important than opening his mind.
*
I don't hate Jews, only Zionists.
DEATH TO JEWS!
I don't hate Americans only the American government.
DEATH TO AMERICA!
*
Crusade is an anti-Islam word, granted;
but what about jihad?
What kind of word is that?
*
God helps those who help themselves
even when they go against His will.
Example: men or nations bent on suicide.
*
Some Armenians, define Armenianism
as murderous hatred for anyone
who dares to disagree with them.
It follows, disagreement and treason
might as well be synonymous,
and, as everyone knows,
treason is a crime punishable by death.
Other synonyms of Armenianism:
Ottomanism, Stalinism, Oxymoronism, moronism

#9 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 22 October 2002 - 08:11 AM

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
*****************************
When a man utters nonsense,
we call him a crackpot and ignore him.
But when a hundred million crackpots speak in unison,
we call it a religion.
*
To how many of our superpatriots – whose unspoken slogan is:
"My country, right or wrong!" – I could say:
Massacres happen because
there are people like you on the other side – people
who subscribe to the very same values and credo,
people with the very same outlook and disposition,
brainwashed, self-righteous, dogmatic, narrow,
and yes, bloodthirsty.
*
Apache Indians, Eskimos, Patagonians, Arabs…:
they all claim God speaks in their own language,
and I say they are all crackpots.
It is common knowledge and an established fact
that God speaks in Armenian,
and I say this not because I am an Armenian
but because it is the truth!
To say otherwise is to utter nonsense!
*
In his POINTS FOR A COMPASS ROSE,
Evan S. Connell, Jr. writes:
"…one thing about the Incas sounds unpleasantly familiar:
they thought they were the Sun God’s favorites.
It’s been suggested that the Incas
might have been descendants of Armenians…."
This may come as a surprise to some but,
speaking for myself,
nothing surprises me any longer.

#10 nairi

nairi

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,704 posts

Posted 22 October 2002 - 10:05 AM

quote:
Originally posted by ara baliozian:
A fanatic would rather walk a thousand miles in the opposite direction to misunderstand you
than take a single step in your direction
to understand you.

Actually I do understand you (most of the time), and I respect and learn from your work each time. At the same time, it's true that I like to look at matters from as many angles as possible. Most of the time I end up disagreeing with myself, or changing my mind. Whatever I have posted on this forum so far have been different angles of how I view the world. As such, I may firmly disagree with abortion in one discussion, and firmly agree with it in the next. I do this because I agree and disagree with practically everything. I'm still looking for the one truth, if it exists. Meanwhile, I take life seriously when I have to, and josh when I can (see below).

quote:
When a man utters nonsense,
we call him a crackpot and ignore him.

It was my fault. Please don't blame Sipan.

#11 Sip

Sip

    Buffet Connoisseur

  • Moderator
  • 8,365 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Online

Posted 22 October 2002 - 05:00 PM

quote:
Originally posted by nairi:
It was my fault. Please don't blame Sipan.

On the bright side, Ara thinks IF there were a million Sips, we would have a new religion

[ October 22, 2002, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: Sip ]

#12 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 22 October 2002 - 09:10 PM

A TOUCH OF EVIL
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nice guys don't always finish last.
Sometimes they just don't last.
What is human history if not a cemetery
of tribes, nations, and empires?
If we have come close to extinction
it’s because we were massacred mercilessly
by our enemies; and if we have barely managed to survive
it’s because we did to them
before they had a chance to do it to us.
During World War I, Tolstoy’s daughter
was a nurse in the City of Van.
In her memoirs she writes that
Armenians massacred Turks
with the same savagery
that Turks massacred Armenians.
According to Azeri historians,
our celebrated General Antranik
was a master practitioner of ethnic cleansing
(a euphemism for massacring innocent civilians,
including women and children).
Here is another historic incident
that may also be dismissed as anecdotal evidence.
About a thousand years ago
there was a Byzantine emperor by the name of Basil II
and a Bulgarian czar by the name of Samuel.
They were both warlike rulers with territorial ambitions.
Inevitably, there was a war from which
Basil II emerged victorious.
To render his enemies inoperative
and to pacify his western borders,
Basil had the entire Bulgarian army blinded.
When Czar Samuel saw his blinded army
he had an epileptic fit and died.
And now the punch line:
both Emperor Basil II Bulgaroktonus
(Greek for Bulgar-slayer) and
Czar Samuel of Bulgaria were Armenians.
.
Moral I: Real history is much more interesting
than the bowdlerized version we are taught at school.
.
Moral II: To have had an Armenian education
means to have been systematically moronized.
.
Moral III: To say we are "the good guys"
and our enemies "the bad guys"
is to confuse military inferiority
with moral superiority.

#13 nairi

nairi

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,704 posts

Posted 23 October 2002 - 01:53 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Sip:
quote:
Originally posted by nairi:
It was my fault. Please don't blame Sipan.

On the bright side, Ara thinks IF there were a million Sips, we would have a new religion
You mean if we had a million Aras, Sipans, Nairis, Vahans and 564312s, we could call it a religion. Why IF though? Don't we already have seven million crackpots (incl. 878 on this forum)?

#14 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 25 October 2002 - 11:35 PM

Thursday, October 24, 2002
*****************************
To understand another does not mean
to adopt his values and worldview.
To understand an Armenian does not mean
to think and feel as an Armenian
in the same way that to understand a Turk
does not mean to think and feel as a Turk.
Understanding should not be confused
with surrendering one’s identity as well as humanity.
And yet, this is exactly what we are expected to do
by those who feel misunderstood.
*
If truth shall set you free,
lies shall enslave you;
and very much like truth,
lies do not recognize racial, religious,
ideological, and tribal barriers.
Soviet lies are as bad as Ottoman lies,
and Armenian lies are worse than both
because their aim is neither oppression nor exploitation
but cannibalism.
*
You may say what you wish about the Turks
and I will not contradict you.
But let us agree on this:
Turks have coined many lovely and
sayings and expressions. For instance:
when someone makes an unwarranted assumption
hostile to their image or interests, they say:
"Yedii boka bak!"
Words are easy to translate but not
their music and rhythm.

#15 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 25 October 2002 - 11:37 PM

Friday, October 25, 2002
****************************
Is it possible to systematically moronize
a person of average intelligence
by brainwashing him to believe that
he is just about the smartest operator around,
so that he no longer cares what he says
and he ends up uttering nonsense worthy of a crackpot?
Is it possible to moronize an entire nation that way?
Isn't that what the Nazis did?
Didn't they mongolize Germany by chanting the slogan
DEUTSCHLAND, DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES?
Gentle reader, suppose I were to tell you,
I don't hate Arabs but I support people
who advocate their extermination;
or, I love Arabs, they are nice folk,
but the world would be a better place
if they were all driven into the desert to die of thirst;
or, Arabs are wonderful folk,
DEATH TO ARABS!…
Suppose I were to say these things:
what would you think of me?
No need for an answer.
May I guess?…

#16 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 25 October 2002 - 11:37 PM

LATER
*****************
About my critics:
I read them only when I am in need of stimulation,
and nothing stimulates me as much as
human arrogance and stupidity.
*
Never judge an Armenian
by the opinion of another Armenian.
Some of our ablest men were shot, silenced, and
betrayed by their fellow Armenians.
As a result, what survives today
is not the best but the worst.
The survival not of the fittest
but of the scum,
and sometimes even
the scum of the scum;
or the lunatic fringe
of the lunatic fringe.
Der voghormia.
Kyrie eleison.
Lord have mercy.
*
It is not easy to share your understanding with readers
who understand everything,
know better,
are wiser.
*
"Hyena with a fountain pen!"
"Running dog of the bourgeoisie!"
In case you are too young to remember,
these were Bolshevik insults
levelled at critics of the Kremlin.
If you cannot criticize the views,
attack the person!
Stalin lives.

#17 nairi

nairi

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,704 posts

Posted 25 October 2002 - 03:45 PM

quote:
To understand another does not mean
to adopt his values and worldview.

Because we are all unique, right?

quote:
To understand an Armenian does not mean
to think and feel as an Armenian
in the same way that to understand a Turk
does not mean to think and feel as a Turk.

Thank god.

quote:
Understanding should not be confused
with surrendering one’s identity as well as humanity.
And yet, this is exactly what we are expected to do
by those who feel misunderstood.

Agreed.

quote:
Gentle reader, suppose I were to tell you,
I don't hate Arabs but I support people
who advocate their extermination;
or, I love Arabs, they are nice folk,
but the world would be a better place
if they were all driven into the desert to die of thirst;
or, Arabs are wonderful folk,
DEATH TO ARABS!…

I don't remember saying I didn't have a fixed opinion about ANYTHING. For instance, do I think the Dutch government should FORCE immigrants to integrate (a hot debate at the moment in my country of birth)? I DON'T KNOW. Do I understand why Dutch people want immigrants to integrate? Yes. Do I understand why immigrants do not want to integrate? Yes. It's these kind of issues that leave me confused and without a concrete answer, not whether a nation should be exterminated or not, or whether it's okay to molest children or not.

quote:
About my critics:
I read them only when I am in need of stimulation,
and nothing stimulates me as much as
human arrogance and stupidity.

My two pence (please feel free to ignore it or use it as a stimulant in your next essay): what you recognize in others is what you are yourself. And, the stupidest people are those who call others stupid.

quote:
It is not easy to share your understanding with readers
who understand everything,
know better,
are wiser.

The emphasis of my course is on literary criticism. Does this mean I understand everything, know better and am wiser? NO! But you can't blame me if I treat your work in the same way as I treat Shakespeare and Chaucer's (sorry!).

quote:
If you cannot criticize the views,
attack the person!
Stalin lives.

If literary criticism equals attacking an author, then you might as well stop writing, because insulting an author is not in the course program. Joshing is one thing, insulting another. So far I've merely asked you questions. That's all.

If there's anything unclear about my reply, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll be glad to provide you with a decent answer.

Nairi

#18 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 26 October 2002 - 07:59 AM

Saturday, October 26, 2002
****************************
A hundred years ago an Ottoman sultan
could fornicate with as many as
a thousand concubines,
some young enough to be his granddaughters,
and no one saw anything remotely questionable in that.
That’s because he was not just a political
but also a religious leader.
He represented Allah on earth.
He was accountable only to Allah.
Which means he could fornicate
as well as massacre infidels in His name.
And I can imagine Clinton thinking
of Abdulhamid II and saying to himself again and again,
"Lucky bastard!"
Islam may be repressive and hidebound
to the point of being medieval
but it also has deep pockets of liberalism
for the privileged few.
Allahu akbar!

#19 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 26 October 2002 - 08:00 AM

LATER
*************
What do I share with some of my fellow Armenians?
Nothing but an Ottoman background.
A source of degradation rather than pride.
*
In the kingdom of the blind
the one-eyed is king.
But if the kingdom is Armenian,
the one-eyed is blinded too.
Misery likes company, they say,
and envy is tough on the privileged.
*
I don't believe in the moral superiority of the underdog.
I have been an underdog all my life
and I have no illusions about them.

#20 ara baliozian

ara baliozian

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,361 posts
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:literature

Posted 28 October 2002 - 10:01 AM

Sunday, October 27, 2002
****************************
A fundamentalist has been defined as one
who believes the Scriptures
(such as the Bible or the Koran)
contain all the answers to all our past,
present and future problems,
and everything said or written after them
is either repetition or deviation.
If deviation it can't be worth reading or preserving.
So that if all the libraries of the world
were to burn down and only one copy
of the Scriptures remained,
mankind would lose none of its spiritual
and intellectual patrimony.
*
What is the difference between
a Christian and a Muslim fundamentalist?
To answer this question is not easy
because it raises many social, political,
historical, philosophical, theological and semantic issues.
But if I were to somewhat simplify these complexities
and take a rough guess, I would say that
the difference is about the same as that
which exists between a bishop’s b.s.
and a mullah’s merda.
In saying this I realize I may lose
some of my fundamentalist readers
(assuming of course I had one or two to begin with)
and in the process a fraction of my income from royalties.
To which I can only say, So be it.
Allahu akbar!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users