Friday, 31 May 2013
Arman Serebrakian and his sister Ani are competing for Armenia in Olympics. Learn about them. Arman will present Armenia in Olympic game of 2014 (February 13 to 23) in Sochi Russia.
Thursday, 30 May 2013
The following essay is written by Ron Vazzano
This month marks the fifth anniversary of George Carlin’s passing. Time flies when you’re having gone.
Though he was just another garden variety standup comic early in his career— appearing often on the Ed Sullivan Show— it was his switching gears to that of satirist/social commentator, that took him to a whole other level.
His uniqueness in particular, had to do with his obvious fascination with our use (and misuse) of language and words. It is for that I suppose, he is best remembered. The most scorching example being his highly controversial "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" monolog, which first appeared on his hit album Class Clown in 1972. It became central to a 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case in which the justices, in a 5-4 decision, affirmed the government's power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.
On the serendipitous end of the spectrum, his comparison of football vs. baseball is classic:
“In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use a shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.
In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! —I hope I'll be safe at home!”
Depending on your political and religious persuasions and sensitivities to excessive use of “street vernacular,” you may have been greatly offended at one time or another by his “take no prisoners” approach to observation. But in terms of… subject matter, style (“clean”), and performance, his piece, “A Modern Man,” would probably resonate with all. This is Carlin at his absolute best, in what you might call “a riff on the zeitgeist of modernism.”
Appearing on his eighteenth album, Life is Worth Losing, which was recorded simultaneously with a live HBO special eight years ago, his riff (or maybe even “rap” is more apropos?) calls attention to how frenzied our lifestyles have become, as has the clichéd jargon we use to describe them:
I've been uplinked and downloaded,
I've been inputted and outsourced,
I know the upside of downsizing,
I know the downside of upgrading.
I'm a high-tech low-life.
A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker
and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond!
If you’ve got a spare three minutes and thirty-three seconds, check out the YouTube of Carlin performing this piece in its entirety. It is the sort of thing I’d call “time-capsule worthy.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkCR-w3AYOE)
I will resist the temptation to conclude here with something along the lines of “Rest in peace George Carlin.” He would have a field day with such a sentiment for its being unable to draw a distinction between death… and just a nap.
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Today May 28, we Armenians celebrate our first Independence Day. My grandson has no school and it makes a long long weekend. Yesterday was Memorial Day. In Asbarez Armenian paper there was an article about Armenian Independence Day. I thought to post it on my blog.
Monday, 27 May 2013
My friend Sylvia Cary posted this on her blog. She is telling her disappointment about closing down of so many brick and mortar bookstores: I share her views.
Another Barnes & Noble Becomes a Victim of the Traditional Publishing Sickness
Okay, so I know this has been going on for quite a while now, these bookstore closings, but what made this one worse was the fact that this Barnes & Noble happened to be MY Barnes & Noble, located in MY neighborhood, and I'd been running a drop-in writers' group there for years.
The sign on the front door "We're Closing" made us all feel sick inside. We'd already been through this once before. We'd met at another Barnes & Noble which had also succumbed. Now there are no Barnes & Nobles to run to!
So we're meeting in a noisy coffee shop where the waitress never fails to come sailing over with a coffee pot held dangerously high -- "Anybody for a refill?" -- just when somebody is reading the "big reveal" part of their story.
It feels so much better talking together about writing and reading one's writing aloud when you are surrounded by thousands of books. On TV I heard an indie publisher interviewed who said of the 100 bookstores that used to stock his publications, 70 were now out of business, meaning he had to go look for a job. That is sickening.
I don't really understand all the (no-doubt) sleazy economics behind the traditional publishing sickness, but I do know that I just hate it when a bookstore closes. It's not only sickening. It's a crime.
Saturday, 4 May 2013
I received the following email and I thought it's worth to share with you. It is about not speaking our mind. So let's break the silence.
A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates.
When he was asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.
'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care.
I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.
My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'
We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave.
It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.
The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people..
The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.
And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.
Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.
Now Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord's Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?) The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.
In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.
As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts - the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
So, extend yourself and don't sit silent...