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  • #91
    Re: politics

    Thomas Bernhard was an Austrian writer who hated
    his fellow Austrians with a passion. No other
    writer has been as relentless as he in his
    excoriations of his fellow countrymen. Our Raffi
    too was very critical of Armenians but in his
    fiction he also created a good number of heroes
    and noble specimens of humanity. Baronian, Odian,
    and Massikian couched their attacks in humor and
    satire. Zarian’s trajectory from great
    expectations to despair and disgust was gradual
    and he was careful to confide his denunciations
    in his correspondence with friends, diaries and
    notebooks that were published only posthumously.
    Thomas Bernhard’s hatred seems to have been born
    in his cradle and continued all the way to his
    grave at the age of 58. But since he was widely
    translated and admired throughout the world, the
    Austrians had little choice but to award him a
    prestigious literary prize in the hope of that
    flattery may mollify him. It had the opposite
    effect. In his acceptance speech Bernhard
    delivered such a scathing attack on Austrian
    double-talk, mediocrity, intolerance, and fascism
    that the Austrian Minister of Culture and half of
    the audience walked out on him. I dare you not to
    love and admire such a man!
    When a prominent Soviet official died, a good
    number of Soviet personalities in the arts, among
    them Shostakovich, were invited to deliver
    eulogies. As it was to be expected, all the
    brown-nosers emphasized the positive and ignored
    the negative in the deceased, all except
    Shostakovich who chose to emphasize only the
    negative by exposing the man’s dishonesty and
    opportunism. Which is why, ever since I read
    this, I have had a soft spot for Shostakovich,
    whose music I also love not because it is
    elegant, refined, deep, intricate, or noble but
    because it has a propulsive and sometimes
    gut-wrenching forward drive.


    • #92
      Re: politics

      ************************************************** *****
      Once upon a time, about 2000 years ago (give and take a decade or two) there lived a Roman emperor by the name of Vespasian (no, he was not of Armenian descent). He was a good emperor -- much better than average, according to most historians. But since the Senators didn’t like some of his policies, they demoted him to Supervisor of Public Urinals. Vespasian was not in any way offended or discouraged. He said to his staff, “I intend to discharge my duties as Supervisor of Public Urinals as competently and diligently as I discharged my duties as emperor.”
      To this day Italians use his name instead of (john). To say “I am going to pay a visit to Vespasian,” means I am going to the john.
      I think of Vespasian often perhaps because what keeps me going is the thought that, if my detractors are right and I am in fact nothing but an extremely minor scribbler, I will at least be an honest one.


      • #93
        Re: politics

        Where there is a free press, fascism doesn't stand a chance.
        One of the worst things that happened to America in the last century was Senator McCarthy. But McCarthy, unlike Franco, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, didn't kill anyone. Neither did he last as long for the simple reason that he was exposed as a bully by a free press.


        • #94
          Re: politics

          Hell is a creation of men who deserve to go there.


          • #95
            Re: politics

            Tuesday, January 03, 2017
            We are better at creating problems
            than in solving them.
            In an environment where everyone,
            even the dumbest son-of-a-xxxxx
            is brainwashed to believe he is
            just about the smart bastard in the world,
            there is nothing – nothing! –
            a minor scribbler can say
            that he doesn’t already know.
            Patriotism is a noble sentiment
            but genocide is its other face.
            Have you ever met a boss, bishops or benefactor
            willing to concede he may have done
            more harm than good by dividing the community
            within which he operated?

            I don’t criticize.
            I investigate criminal conduct.


            • #96
              Re: politics

              There are no mongrels in nationalist environments.
              And yet the world is full of them.
              Speaking for myself, I will say and repeat:
              on a good day I can trace my family tree
              all the way back to my father.


              • #97
                Re: politics

                ************************************************** ****
                If a big mouth were a sign of intelligence, courage, and initiative, every other Armenians would be another Napoleon, and probably is in his own mind.
                Sometimes I am described as controversial. If I am, it is only with the naïve, the uninformed, the ignorant, and the unaware.
                According to some psychologists, the compulsion to speak the truth is neurotic. By contrast, the compulsion to lie is a survival tactic and as such in no need of psychiatric treatment.
                I realized I was growing old when old men treated me as if I were one of them.
                After I die I will be remembered by those I insulted. This may not be an ideal form of immortality but, as the saying goes, beggars can't be choosers.
                If you think I repeat myself, you can reduce the repetitions by 50% if you read me every other day, and 100% if you quit reading me.
                Yanks have talking heads. We have snarling snouts, and if some readers are right, I am one of them.
                We tend to forget that our propaganda has as much effect on them as theirs on us.
                Woody Allen: “I can't listen to too much Wagner, ya know? I start to get the urge to conquer Poland.”