Irritants VII

How are dairymen in Switzerland and Karabakh’s defense forces alike? They both produce perforated products: cheese and the Baku-Jeehan (Ceyhan) pipeline, respectively. That’s all the threat, made explicit, it’d take to cause the bottom-feeding oil companies invested in Azerbaijan to turn up the heat on that bothersome, bloviating, and bovine of an un-elected “president,” Ilham Aliyev. At the risk of sounding arrogant, these gnats got squashed two decades ago. They must want us to solve their overpopulation problem. Then there’s the arms-purchasing spree, thanks to its oil revenue, that Azerbaijan is engaged in. But what good are all those weapons if you’re too chicken (in Artzakh in 1993, I was told me the Turks (Azeris) were afraid to fight at night!) and incompetent to use them? Unless, of course, the Turks, of Turkey that is, have been passing on all their American-received training. And the whiners in Ankara have the temerity to allege that the Kurds in Iraq have passed on American training to their PKK compatriots!
While we’re on the topic of Turkish irritants, here’s a new one. It’s a fresh addition to a long-standing problem. Obviously, we shouldn’t be buying Turkish goods, from tomato paste to towels. But what about movies made in Turkey? A friend brought this up, saying he really wanted to see The Kite Runner, a story set in Afghanistan, but would not since it was filmed partially in Turkey. One website I found (http://travel.meetup.com/531/calendar/6850159/) confirms this, while another (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0419887/locations) belies it. But it’s an interesting, and irritating twist, isn’t it? Now we have to beware of movies we see, too!
From films, there’s a logical leap to Los Angeles, home of “The Biz”, where, unfortunately, logic doesn’t apply. The LA Metropolitan Transit Authority (that now wants to be known by the catchier, flashier moniker, “Metro”) has introduced TAP- transit access pass. This is a credit card-like piece of plastic, magnetic strip and all, that will hold your prepaid monthly or weekly “pass”, ONLY. You cant just put a dollar amount on it, and the MTA did away with the semi-monthly pass last July or so, probably in anticipation of the TAP introduction. Brilliantly irritating! The way to induce a mass-transit-phobic public to use MTA services is to reduce the options people have;
While in LA, Los Armenios, it’s only apprpriate to talk about Armenia’s. Why, oh why, would our compatriots of a century ago market madzoon as yogurt? We introduce this stuff to North America, and proceed to give the Turks linguistic credit for it. The irritation makes my skin crawl with uncomprehending revulsion.
Now, let’s move on to several thousands of our compatriots in Armenia, including its leaders, who are making a “martyr” out of a crook. Levon Ter Petrosian will soon be charged with some offense(s) I just read. Genius, pure, unadulterated genius; that’s how to make your foe even more of a hero to the imbeciles, misguided, or alternativeless support his myth of electoral victory. Irritation is perhaps too meek a term to describe the effects of this phenomenon.
Remember, myths are tremendously enduring, like dandelions. Even when you think you’ve rooted them out, some bit of the root escapes your tools and poisons, and the plant sprouts back. One of my favorites is what I like to call the “myth of inevitability” that permeates the economic realm. Here we are treated to the fantasy that American de-industrialization and the attendant outsourcing to developing countries of jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector, was “inevitable” because of their “competitive advantage”. Riiiiight, the process had nothing to do with business leaders WANTING this outcome, and buying up governmen’s to implement legislation conducive to their making a greater profit. That is, we’re supposed to believe that corporate leaders’ greed had no bearing on how we got from trade arrangemen’s extant half a century ago to those in effect now. Had these included proper protections for labor, the environment, and health, that “comparative advantage” would’ve evaporated even faster than the current poisoning of the planet’s, and especially major port cities’, air by the massive cargo ships transporting all those products from the third world to the first.
Keep up your ire and act accordingly.

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