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as i see it - Pt. III


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#41 Accelerated

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 03:38 AM

quote:
they say a drunk person never feels drunk.
Nairi jan, I am afraid they are very wrong. A drunk person knows too well whats going on, escpessially when he/she can no longer SEE! LMAO!

#42 ara baliozian

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 08:06 PM

Sunday, November 10, 2002
*****************************
To Armenians who brag about their superior brand of Armenianism or
patriotism (and they happen to be a dime a dozen) I ask: "Has it ever
occurred to you that you may well be a source of embarrassment to all
honest men?" And if you were to say "Who cares?" I ask: "Isn't that
another symptom of your hooliganism? The honest opinion of an honest man
should be of deep concern to all of us." And if you were to say: "Define
honesty!" I would reply: "An honest man, my crooked friend, does not need
definitions of honesty."
*
The mind is the most precious gift that God has given us. To surrender it
to a man (be he a mullah or a bishop) or to a book (the Koran or the
Bible, DAS KAPITAL or MEIN KAMPF, the TALMUD or THE MAHABARATA) is to
abdicate its use and to dehumanize oneself.
*
I don't write for readers who know better. Besides, readers who know
better don't feel the need to read me. I write for readers who think they
know better and the distance between these two species of Armenian reader
is about the same as that which exists between zero and infinity.

#43 ara baliozian

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 08:06 PM

Monday, November 11, 2002
*******************************
When I came to Canada I was naive about my fellow Armenians. I thought an
Armenian was an Armenian until I found myself dealing with Armenians from
the Middle East, who, according to an older and more experienced friend
from Greece (my country of origin) "treat us as if we were ignorant
Arabs." It must be a source of disappointment to them to realize that
some Armenians, including Armenians born and raised in Canada and the
United States (generally dismissed by them as "aboush amerigahayer" =
stupid Armenian-Americans) may not be as ignorant as Arabs; they may even
be Ė if not as smart as Armenians from the Middle East (God forbid!) Ė
smart enough to recognize a phony when they see one.
*
It makes perfect sense: he who rates his fellow men by how smart they are
prefers to deal with people who are less smart than he. Or, people with
limited intelligence don't like dealing with people whose intelligence
may be less limited.
*
The trouble with tribalism (which may be said to be a more primitive form
of racism) is that it hangs a label on a group ("aboush amerigahayer")
and forever after it views that group under that label; and in
prejudging, it runs the risk of reaching the wrong verdict; and worse: it
limits (amputates) oneís perception of reality.
*
Prejudice is not just the source of many crimes against humanity but also
against oneís own understanding and perception of oneís fellow men. It is
this (tribal prejudice) that has made the Middle East -- the cradle of
civilization Ė a serpentís pit of endless tribal feuds and conflicts.

#44 ara baliozian

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 08:06 PM

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
*********************************
There is a familiar type of Armenian who is so full of love that he loves
everybody; he even loves Hitler and his concentration camps (whose
existence he questions, of course). He loves Stalin and his gulags (which
have also been much maligned by crypto-fascist and pro-capitalist
scumbags like Solzhenitsyn). He loves Saddam and Osama (humble servants
both of their people). He loves mullahs and ayatollahs; he even loves
their slogans DEATH TO JEWS and DEATH TO AMERICA. Thatís because when his
side hates, kills and massacres, he calls it a justifiable response to
nefarious pro-Zionist Western imperialist bloodsuckers.
*
Itís simply astonishing the complex gymnastics the logic of a brainwashed
dupe is capable of performing. But this type of Armenian forgets one
thing: his body language speaks louder than his lying tongue. Being a
born dupe, he may fool himself, but whether he succeeds in fooling others
remains to be seen.
*
When an Armenian refuses to understand you (because understanding you may
also mean questioning his convictions) he says: "You don't know how to
write." That may explain why our critics (from Khorenatsi to Massikian)
have been ignored: they didn't know how to write.
*
If an Armenian is depressed the chances are the source of his depression
is another Armenian. If an Armenian suffers from cancer, the chances are
his carcinogenic agent is a fellow Armenian.
*
Armenianism is grounds for Ottomanism.

#45 ara baliozian

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 12:14 AM

Wednesday, November 13, 2002
*********************************
A charlatan is harder to pin down than a murderer because a charlatan
does not feel the need to confess as murderers do. An interrogator cannot
say to a charlatan: "After you come clean you will feel much better!"
Charlatanism is not a single isolated act committed on the spur of the
moment out of rage; it is rather a habit gradually acquired, a way of
life. The plea of insanity or self defense is not an option.
*
When some of my critics attack me…make it: when some of our hooligans
insult me, they do so not because they disagree with me but because they
are afraid I am trying to muscle in their territory or field of
expertise, which may be anything from Armenianism and the Middle East to
the Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud…or again all of the above among
other fields. Faced with the possibility of exposure, a charlatan will
strike back with everything he’s got in his arsenal, and when sophistry
fails he will resort to name-calling, verbal abuse and even threats.
*
I am not here to chastise our charlatans and hooligans but to expose the
charlatanism of our bosses, bishops and benefactors whose crap they
recycle.
*
When an Armenian journalist in Paris recently criticized one of our
academics in Yerevan, she received a rebuttal which stated: "How dare you
attack a distinguished intellectual who has dedicated his whole life to
maintaining our identity and culture so that Turkish gypsies like you may
have a homeland!"
*
If a man is a fool or insists on playing the part of a fool, there is not
need to enlighten him. Reality will do that. After a blind man falls into
the ditch again and again, he will eventually conclude that he can no
longer rely on the guidance of another blind man.

#46 ara baliozian

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 12:14 AM

IF
********************
If you believe in flattery and
confuse your assessment of yourself with reality;
if you cannot tell the difference
between education and indoctrination;
if you place your nation above all others
because that’s what you were told
by your schoolteacher, daddy or grandma;
if you take your suffering seriously
and ignore someone else’s;
if you think adopting a religion or ideology
allows you to abdicate your common sense and decency;
if you assert that the political leadership of your nation
is always right or morally superior;
if you think your version of the past
is the only true one and any deviation from it
is fiction and propaganda;
if after reading a couple of pundits
(also known as members of the chattering classes)
you think you understand what’s going in the world;
if you say all of human knowledge
from alpha to omega is contained within a single book
(the Bible, the Koran, or the Talmud);
if you think you are thinking
when you are engaged in recycling someone else’s crapola,
you may declare yourself
a bona fide dupe,
an authentic jingoist,
a genuine bastard,
and a certified moron.

#47 ara baliozian

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 12:14 AM

Friday, November 15, 2002
*******************************
Anti-Semitism is a religion like any other.
You may agree on a thousand things with a man of faith,
but if you refuse to worship his god
(in this case, to share his hatred of Jews)
you might as well be a hetanos, an infidel, a giaour
who does not deserve to live.
*
"You Armenians are lucky," a Jewish friend once observed:
"only Turks are after your ass. The whole world is after ours!"
Yes, I now think, including some Armenians, alas!
*
Once in a while, after I have had my fill
of Armenian venom and hooliganism,
I curse the day I was born an Armenian.
But I suspect a day does not pass that a Jew
does not curse the day he was born a Jew –
if not consciously than sub-…
*
One of my most faithful readers
has made it part of his weekly routine to inform me
that I am just about the most boring writer
he has ever had the misfortune to read.
*
When, during a long-distance anonymous call,
I asked my interlocutor to identify herself,
she said: "I am only a Jew!"
She delivered that line as if it were a confession,
an admission of guilt so deep that
it might as well have been a capital offense.
When, near the end of our long conversation,
she asked: "Where did you learn to be so self-critical?"
I replied: "Mostly from Jewish writers."
*
I once knew a poet who had developed a detailed strategy
on building an image that was remote, mysterious, inaccessible.
There was only one problem:
no one appeared to be interested in her verse or image.
But she soldiered on with her act
like a faded move star playing on a stage to an empty audience.
*
Armenians make bad friends but good coconspirators.

#48 ara baliozian

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 12:15 AM

Saturday, November 16, 2002
******************************
There is a type of hooligan
who after making a nuisance of himself
accuses you of being full of hate.
To paraphrase Confucius:
But if you don't hate the hateful,
whom are you going to hate?
The lovable?
The ideal is to hate no one, of course.
One should understand and educate,
which is what many philosophers and religious leaders
(from Socrates to Jesus and Gandhi) have attempted to do.
And yet, fascists and fanatics continue to rule
the destiny of nations today.
As for our hooligans:
what is incomprehensible is that
they refuse to consider the possibility that
if someone hates them it may be because they are hateful;
or, just because their grandma or daddy loved them
it does not necessarily follow that they are lovable.
*
When I went into this business,
my ambition was to share
my feelings, experiences and convictions
with my fellow Armenians:
to be, in a sense, a tiny piece in a vast mosaic
of other feelings, experiences and convictions.
I have since come to realize that
some of my readers (make it, hooligans)
are quintessentially anti-mosaic:
one color (brown for recycled crap?)
is good enough for them.
If it were up to these bigots,
Armenia would be better off with a single political party and leader
whose title would be neither nakharar nor king but sultan:
His Serene Majesty Sultan Jack S. Avanakian.
You may take an Armenian out of the Ottoman Empire
but you cannot take the Ottoman Empire out
of a Turkish gypsy.

#49 aurguplu

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Posted 19 November 2002 - 07:32 AM

Sayings attributed to the Prophet:
~
"If allegiance is sworn to two caliphs,
kill the other."

ara,

there were no caliphs at the time of the prophet (if you are talking about muhammad). caliphate means "succession" and was invented after the death of the prophet.

#50 sen_Vahan

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Posted 19 November 2002 - 07:53 AM

Ara,

So much about Armenians, so many things about the charecter.... Why don't you go to Armenia some time? Alishan, as I know, did not go either but I see and feel something unhealthy in that.
vahan

#51 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:48 PM

Sunday, November 17, 2002
*********************************
Mankind may be divided into three classes:
the intellectuals (thinkers, philosophers, scientists),
the workers (the overwhelming majority
that has no time for abstractions
because it is too busy making a living),
and the lunatic fringe (whose aim is power
which it can acquire only by silencing the intellectuals
and misleading the workers).
*
History as we know it is essentially
a history of the lunatic fringe and the biography
of kings, emperors, warlords, sultans, shahs,
*****s, padishas, ayatollahs, mullahs, dictators,
juntas, ideologues, assassins, religious fanatics, commissarsÖ.
It is a history of deception, oppression,
exploitation, war and massacre.
*
When the lunatic fringe speaks of justice
it will practice injustice.
When the lunatic fringe speaks in the name of God,
it will do the devilís work.
*
To join a crowd and to mouth slogans
is to legitimize oneís status as
the confirmed dupe of a lunatic fringe.
*
To write for Armenians is like swimming
in a Brazilian river swarming with hungry piranhas:
most give up after the first bite,
but there are others
(and you can count them on the fingers of a one-handed leper)
who persevere even after they have been reduced to skeletons.
*
My view of women sank on the day I learned
they wanted to achieve equality with men.
*
Armenians worship live benefactors and dead poets.
*
Balzac: "Nature makes only dull animals.
We owe the fool to society."
*
Kant on the difference between ignorance and stupidity:
"There is no cure for stupidity."
*
Albert Camus: "Hell is a special favor
reserved for those who have asked for it insistently."

#52 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:48 PM

Monday, November 18, 2002
******************************
My contempt for our political parties
is shared by our political parties.
My contempt for the Armenian Communist Party
is shared by Tashnaks,
my contempt for Tashnaks is shared by Ramgavars,
and my contempt for Ramgavars is shared by Tashnaks.
So much for our bosses.
About our bishops I will say only this:
Once I read a letter to the editor
(an English-language weekly published in New York City)
in which one of them accused another
of embezzlement and attempted assassination.
*
I have a communist contempt for capitalists
and a capitalist contempt for communists;
and if I were to choose between
the incompetence and corruption of a democracy
and the brutality of a totalitarian state,
I would choose the first and I would spend the rest of my life
exposing the corrupt and the incompetent.
*
In our environment the slogan
"Grub first then ethics" (Brecht)
is adopted even by fat men.
*
On reading the posts in an Armenian discussion forum,
two thoughts occur again and again:
"Armenians survive by cannibalizing one another" (Zarian)
and the dumbest are also the loudest.
*
Truths are resented because they make lies less seductive.
*
As a perennial underdog I resent top dogs
but I have no illusions about underdogs
whose sole ambition in life is to be top dogs.
*
If Diogenes were to come back to life as an Armenian
I would hasten to send him the following message:
"Don't even bother buying a lantern Ė
it would be a waste of time and money."
*
There is this about the truth:
when exposed to it, it enters your bloodstream,
circulates in your body,
penetrates your brain,
and establishes a permanent residence there.

#53 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:49 PM

Tuesday, November 19, 2002
********************************
To those who say, not all Armenians are charlatans,
I say, all rules have exceptions.
*
I just read a mystery story by an American writer
whose private eye is an Armenian
and his assignment is to find a stolen Oriental rug.
If itís not the massacres, itís rugsÖ.
*
Itís impossible to make a point or to be funny
without some degree of exaggeration.
Humorless people might as well be functional illiterates.
*
The genocide has succeeded only
in turning us into grim pillars of salt.
*
If religion is opium,
does that mean religious leaders are junkies?
Not quite.
Junkies harm only themselves.
By legitimizing intolerance, hatred, wars, massacres,
torture, terror, and countless other crimes against humanity,
religious leaders have victimized millions of innocent civilians.
*
If a mad dog bites,
he does so for a reason.
If we portray the Turks as mad dogs,
then we must ask the question:
What exactly did we do to avoid their teeth?
*
Authority thrives on ignorance.
Where there are leaders (as opposed to public servants)
there will be spin doctors, cover-up artists,
charlatans, and an uninformed community.

#54 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:49 PM

Wednesday, November 20, 2002
*********************************
Many years ago an old Canadian writer warned me:
"There are 43 ways a publisher can cheat a writer."
I have since come to realize that
this is a peculiarity not just of publishers
but of human nature in general and by extension,
their institutions.
Shaw expressed this very same view when he said:
"All professions are conspiracies against the laity."
*
A Canadian poetess:
"As soon as you realize you have been screwed
every possible way, you run across a publisher
who has read THE KAMA SUTRA."
*
All Armenians are critical,
but some are critical of wolves,
others of lambs.
*
Next time you voice a dogma, ask yourself:
"Why is it that there are millions out there
who dismiss it as a fallacy?"
*
To the question: "Why do you go on writing?"
I can only reply:
Resistance. I find resistance stimulating.
Itís my bread and butter.
I suspect on the day
our bigots and jackasses shut up, I will too.

#55 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:50 PM

Thursday, November 21, 2002
*********************************
A political party that portrays itself as the brains of the people
assumes the people are brainless.
*
One of the greatest mistakes a writer can make
is to assume that all his adult readers are adults.
*
Whenever a reader expresses a view
that I held thirty years ago when I was arrogant in my ignorance
I know he can't be right.
*
My critics want me to think like them;
they forget that where everyone thinks alike no one thinks.
*
We study the past in order to enhance our understanding of reality
and to answer the question:
Where did we go wrong?
To portray ourselves as the good guys
and everyone else as villains is not history
but its contradiction and it promotes not knowledge
but ignorance and amnesia.
*
Nothing in life is black and white,
not even Turks and Armenians.

#56 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:50 PM

Friday, November 22, 2002
*****************************
We underestimated the Turks a hundred years ago.
We now underestimate the Americans.
By "we" I have in mind Armenians from the Middle East.
Armenians born and bred in America
respect their fellow Americans.
By contrast Armenians from the Middle
underestimate not only Americans
but also their fellow Armenians
(aboush amerigahayer=stupid Armenian-Americans).
*
The problem with Armenians from the Middle East is that
they believe in their own propaganda.
Hence the generally held view that
they are not just smart but smarter than anyone else.
*
He who underestimates others
will inevitably overestimate himself.
*
Losers are easy to propagandize and brainwash
because they are more prone to hate than to reason.
*
Winners divide and rule only losers
that are already torn asunder by mutual hatred.

#57 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:50 PM

Saturday, November 23, 2002
*********************************
If one is to believe Armenians from the land
of mullahs and ayatollahs,
they have established themselves in the West
not because it is a better place
but because it is the worst place on earth.
And if you ask,
Where is the logic in that?
I will say: Logic? What logic?
Since when mullahs and ayatollahs have needed logic
to do what must be done for the greater glory of Allah!
*
Another reason I am grateful to my country of adoption is that
there are no commissars, mullahs and ayatollahs here,
only their toothless disciples.
*
In my case, to keep silent would amount to
conspiring with my executioners.
*
In our environment to turn the other cheek
means to have both cheeks slapped as well as
ass kicked (both cheeks too)!
*
An angry Armenian editor once demanded of me:
"What makes you think you are the only writer
to be badly treated?" And I said:
"Thatís why I speak with the strength of many!"
*
There is nothing wrong in repeating
that which needs to be emphasized
or that which is ignored, forgotten or swept under the rug.
*
Even if you are as good as Homer and Shakespeare combined,
if you can't take crap, you will never make it in this business.
I said crap, I should have qualified it as Armenian crap
because there is no crap like Armenian crap.
I speak from experience Ė
having been buried beneath Ararats of it.

#58 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:51 PM

Sunday, November 24, 2002
******************************
To kill women and children is wrong
but to kill enemies of Allah is all right.
To kill critics of the regime is against the law
but to kill enemies of the people is a duty.
To hate Jews is wrong
but to hate them in the name of Palestinians is okay.
To behave like a hooligan is wrong
but to do so in the name of Mount Ararat is a must.
Now you may be able to see why
religions and ideologies are popular:
they allow you to behave like swine
and to consider yourself as a noble specimen of humanity.
*
Self-reliance means
to rely on the forces of the universe within you.
*
Know your limitations in order to overcome them.
*
Can the cunning be innocent?
Or, should they be allowed to plead ignorance?

#59 vava

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 03:41 PM

Barev Ara,

I just read a couple of your passages after realising that I have already read some of your books. I found some of your comments interesting, and I thought I would comment:

quote:
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.

Ara jan, I think you need to find a different sort of Armenian friend. I have managed to retain a few Armenian friends, and I subscribe to neither of the 'isms' above.

quote:
In our environment to turn the other cheek
means to have both cheeks slapped as well as
ass kicked (both cheeks too)!

Hmmmm. I think I have heard this before. It's a very Canadian attitude, non? (Not that that's a bad thing.)

quote:
Now you may be able to see why
religions and ideologies are popular:
they allow you to behave like swine
and to consider yourself as a noble specimen of humanity.

Sometimes Ara, I think you're the only man on this earth that makes any sense. Sometimes, I think you're on another planet. Keep it up and good luck.

#60 ara baliozian

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Posted 27 November 2002 - 09:11 AM

Monday, November 25, 2002
******************************
Once upon a time I lived in an ivory tower
of dreams and illusions.
And then the inevitable happened:
reality moved in and kicked me into the gutter.
And yet, once in a while
I am accused of living in an ivory tower,
which may suggest that,
either my gutter looks like an ivory tower to them
or even my gutter has a gutter.
*
Self-reliance should not be confused with ego-reliance.
To rely on the ego is like relying on gasoline
to extinguish a fire.
*
A struggle against evil
should begin with the evil that is within us,
otherwise it will degenerate to a feud.
*
After dividing us by means
of systematic indoctrination and propaganda,
our leaders call us ungovernable.
*
There is hope for the dupe,
but there is no hope for the dupe
who is taken in by another dupe.




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