Irritants X

Let’s take a quick look back at the KFI situation. This time, it’s we who are being stooopid (perhaps I should add a few more o’s for emphasis). As you know, KFI and Bill Handel have taken and are going to be taking steps to make up for the unacceptable comment made on the May 14 show. We raised a hue and cry. They met with us. The meeting was very favorable, as was its outcome. Yet some members of our community are apparently still writing the station/Handel. That is probably forgivable. They might have gotten word late, or be unaware that the issue has been resolved, on paper, and action is imminent. What’s not acceptable, and stooopid, is communication that includes threats and untoward language. STOP IT if you’re guilty. Tell friends who are guilty to STOP IT. All it does is lead to the letter writers being reported to law enforcement and all of us looking bad, with no positive outcome possible.

While we’re on the media and stoopidity, check out the piece by Corina Knoll in the June 23 LA Times under the header “OUT THERE” titled “Some find Glendale smoking ban a drag” (,3,676109.story). There’s no question that we’ve made a fetish out of smoking. But the baseless assertions made about Armenians and smoking make the author look ridiculous. Check out these doozies:

“Restricting cigarettes in outdoor public areas threatens a social norm within the Armenian Community.” This is the article’s sub heading, and begs the question “based on what data?”

“About 90 percent of Armenians smoke,” quoting one Jack Kakoyan.

“But for smaller cafes and eateries that cater to the city’s large Armenian population, the law is nothing less than a major cultural shift.” Really?

We’re also told that Sam Engel, the city’s neighborhood services coordinator says the proportion of smokers in Glendale is only 2 percent higher than the county average; that he says Koreans, also a significant presence in Glendale, have a higher smoking average; and that many first-generation immigrant communities have higher rates of smoking. Now consider that Glendale is anywhere from 40-50 percent Armenian and do some math, factoring in the 90 percent figure above. Habits common to all smokers have somehow become Armenianized. That’s particularly interesting since tobacco, the plant, is native to the Americas… Either the author was smoking something significantly stronger than tobacco when doing this story, or some anti-Armenian interests in Glendale are using her credulity for their nefarious ends. Contact the paper and give ‘em hell: Email or; call (800) 528-4637; or write to 202 West 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.

One more media-stoopid: I happened to be in the car on Mon., June 22 between four and five in the afternoon (Pacific time), so I was listening to a travel program on Air America, 1150 AM, the allegedly left-leaning station (it also used to air “The Young Turks,” a team which includes a genocide-denying Turk about whom I’d written three years ago). The author of “Travel as a Political Act” commented about Turkey. It was interesting, though as usual irritating to have our enemy state getting free positive PR. But then, the guy lauded the Turkish military for toppling elected governments. I’ve got to get my hands on this bit of audio. Then maybe we can give these cretins a piece of our minds.


Remember how when you were in school, you were taught to bear right when walking in a hallway, the sidewalk, and elsewhere? If not, please do remember and implement it, or learn it now. Otherwise, you might run smack into me. I’ve had it with people crossing my path when I’m abiding by this convention, but they feel compelled, after I’ve made an extra effort, to cut me off to save a few steps. In all fairness, when I visited Armenia, there was signage to this effect, but in reverse, reading “entoonetsek tsakh”—accept left. I’d interpreted this to be a Soviet carryover, i.e. communism being described as left. But this problem is not an Armenian one.

“Dieting Sucks” screams an ad for bariatric surgery. While true on its own, having a picture of someone cramming their mouth full with an oversized sandwich and advertising seriously invasive surgery is nothing shy of sick, perverted, and just plain wrong.

Barring Javakhk teachers from going to Armenia! That’s how Georgia, that bastion of democracy and the darling of the American government in the Caucasus, shores up its credentials with Washington. So is their aid going to get cut? Hah, I doubt it!

I was working on organizing my articles when I noticed that the term “Medz Yeghern” was used in the online Turkish apology that made the news a few months ago. I hate being a conspiracy-monger, but I have to wonder if there isn’t some connection between that and Obama’s use of the term in his April evasion.

Citicorp is raising salaries to offset lower bonuses. Goldman Sachs is repaying $10 billion, but indirectly benefitting from other tens of billions, some of which it got from AIG’s debt repayment to the former, when the latter got its government bailout money. All this is happening in the context of some $13,600,000,000,000 (that’s in the TRILLIONS in case you’re wondering how to read it!) in government support to the financial industry. Yet, the repayments and sleazy lobbying are going full steam ahead to avoid government/public oversight of an “industry” that seems hell-bent on destroying the world’s economy. You might want to give your D.C. electeds a call about this…

“Pathetic Protection Racketeers” you’ll remember, was a piece I’d written about a few people threatening those who dare to advertise or otherwise support Armenian media outlets that “support” Armenia’s government. As a candidate, I seem to have transgressed, and got that laughable bit of extortion. Losers.

Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian

Asbarez Columnist
Garen Yegparian is a fat, bald guy who has too much to say and do for his own good. So, you know he loves mouthing off weekly about anything he damn well pleases to write about that he can remotely tie in to things Armenian. He's got a checkered past: principal of an Armenian school, project manager on a housing development, ANC-WR Executive Director, AYF Field worker (again on the left coast), Operations Director for a telecom startup, and a City of LA employee most recently (in three different departments so far). Plus, he's got delusions of breaking into electoral politics, meanwhile participating in other aspects of it and making sure to stay in trouble. His is a weekly column that appears originally in Asbarez, but has been republished to the Armenian Weekly for many years.
Garen Yegparian

Latest posts by Garen Yegparian (see all)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.