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The Literary Groong - 07/03/2004

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	READERS

	by Ara Baliozian


	As long as I have only one reader 
	and even if that reader insults and curses me, 
	I will continue to write. 
	It has happened more than once that 
	after insulting me for years 
	some readers have apologized. 
	If one brainwashed dupe can be deprogrammed 
	two may follow. 
	To those who accuse me of entertaining messianic ambitions, 
	I say: A messiah promises a kingdom in heaven. 
	I promise nothing but the recovery 
	of one's powers of independent thought. 
	A messiah speaks of Truth with a capital t. 
	I speak only of common sense in lower case. 
	As for those eager to dismiss my sentiments as unpatriotic, 
	I say: Patriotism also consists in being loyal 
	to a set of principles that recognize 
	no tribal or national or cultural barriers. 
	A patriotism that is based on propaganda and lies 
	is bound to collapse in a confrontation with, 
	if not the enemy than, with reality.


--
Ara Baliozian was born in Athens, Greece and received his education
in Venice, Italy. He lives in Ontario, Canada and writes in
Armenian and English and has published over 20 books of his
works. He has translated works from Armenian writers, such as
Grigor Zohrab, Zabel Yessayan, and Kostan Zarian into English.

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