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ara baliozian
from my notebooks

Thursday, July 28, 2005
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TWO SCANDALS
A headline in one of our weeklies reads: "2000 Armenian Prostitutes Operate in United Arab Emirates." My guess is we have a corresponding number of writers prostituting themselves by saying what others want them to say rather than what must be said.
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WHAT MUST BE SAID
Why is it that so many women engage in prostitution? What is being done about it? If something is being done, why wasn't it done before? And if nothing is being done, who should be held accountable?
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It is understood that a corresponding list of questions could be asked about our writers - be they academics, journalists, and pundits. As a reader I should like to have answers to these questions as opposed to more commentaries, editorials, press releases, and articles on Turks, kefs, hantesses, food festivals, graduations, scholarships, exhibitions, and anniversary celebrations.
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ZOHRAB SPEAKS
Speaking on prostitution and related topics, Krikor Zohrab had this to say a hundred years ago: "We all of us condemn prostitution; yet, how many of us engage in that line of work! Lawyers who perjure themselves for a few pieces of silver; journalists who sell their conscience to vested interests; doctors who prolong a useless treatment; young men who marry wealth. In what way are these individuals different from common prostitutes?"
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Even more to the point: "A newspaper is not a chameleon. It should not change its colors to please readers. It is bound to make enemies. I would measure the moral success of a newspaper by its willingness to make enemies."
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Zohrab was assassinated by orders of Talaat in 1915. Armenian writers are no longer assassinated by foreign tyrants, only silenced and forced into prostitution by our "betters."
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Friday, July 29, 2005
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Writing consists in trying to make sense of the senseless to the brain dead.
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I can give you reasons, I can't give you the ability to understand them. That would be like trying to improve on god's work.
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Propaganda is a carefully planned and organized effort to prevent you from thinking for yourself.
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Man has created ten thousand gods except a god of common sense and decency.
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You cannot decapitate a man and expect him to sing an aria from "The Barber of Seville."
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The question we should ask every day: If we are smart, why do we allow ourselves to be led by donkeys?
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Our partisans are brought up to believe we are sheep and they are our shepherds. What they don't tell us is that as shepherds it is their duty to lead us to the slaughterhouse.
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Turning the other cheek becomes a meaningless gesture if you are going to hate the man who slaps you.
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In the bibliography of THE BLACK SEA: A HISTORY by Charles King (270 pages, Oxford University Press, 2004) I read the following line: "There is a great deal of poor-quality work on the Armenian genocide"
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An infallible man can do nothing right.
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Saturday, July 30, 2005
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It is now time that we think of lamentation and hatred as experiments that failed and try another approach.
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The problem with hatred is that it is no solution. Rather it is a problem that creates other problems. An Armenian who hates Turks will also hate a fellow Armenian who does not share his hatred.
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Some values are anti-values and some values are worthless.
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Saroyan once said that he felt sorry for the Turks. Simenon went further when he said it is the victim who creates his victimizer.
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Writing for Armenians has been a learning experience. I have learned more about human nature than Freud learned by analyzing neurotics.
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The spirit of contradiction in some Armenians is so highly developed that if you were to agree with them they would disagree with you.
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By calling our military defeats moral victories we alter our status from perennial losers to perennial winners and can go to bed with the certainty that god is on our side and we never had it so good.
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One way to define freedom of speech is by saying even the ablest statesman is not qualified to tell even the worst scribbler what to write and how to write it.
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ٵݻ` ɻ Ƿ۳, س۳