Irritants XI

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN

garen_mainTime to vent about the idiocy that assails us, it’s been six months since last I did!

Please, everyone, be careful. Referring to the Genocide as a phenomenon belonging to the year 1915 is very damaging. Be clear that it extended to 1923 and the founding of the Republic of Turkey, after Ataturk “mopped up” many of the Armenians the Young Turks had missed. He is responsible for continuing the Genocide after the change in government. This makes even clearer “modern” turkey’s culpability.

Over a year ago, I’d read that some Turkish ministry planned to open a museum in honor of William Saroyan. How offensive! I wonder what’s become of that reprehensibly-motivated scheme.

So now, the airlines, noted for their ability to lose luggage, are going to charge you more to do so. Of course that’s only if you try to check it in after a certain time deadline. I wonder what happens after that magical position of the clock. Does the pay rate of the guy moving the suitcase go up? Does the price of fuel skyrocket? Does the dollar lose its value? How can this be justified?

Then we have, in a somewhat similar vein, the ever-so-equitable credit card companies/banks. It’s not enough, as we all know, their customers are about to get screwed with the obscene and usurious interest rates they’re introducing to beat the clock on recent federal legislation (which becomes effective in January as I recall) preventing such policies. But, these paragons of shamelessness also practice their bloodsucking ways on the vendors who submit customer charges. We’ve all had to go through disputing a charge at some point. It’s a long drawn out process, and of course the vendor has some say-so in it. But to do so, that vendor ought to be informed that their charge is being disputed, wouldn’t you say? Not according to our beloved plastic loan sharks. They expect vendors to check their accounts and fund transfers to their bank daily to discover that a charge is being disputed. Evidently, in the highly crooked world of high finance, the agent, i.e. the credit card company, has no responsibility to notify the vendor, not even so much as an e-mail. Imagine!

On May Day of 2007, LA police officers stepped way out of line and attacked participants in a pro-immigration rally. The city had to pay $13 million in legal settlements. But, according to news from July of this year, the worst penalty any officer got was a 20 day suspension. This despite then-police-chief Bratton’s request that four officers be fired. And Bratton is not known for his tender mercy. He’s the one who, along with Giuliani, made life miserable for many new Yorkers when he was chief there. And we’re supposed to believe the LAPD has made “progress” in discarding its wild-west ways.

One of the most pervasive and annoying urban myths is that if you register to vote, you’ll get called for jury duty. Sorry, no such connection. If you use that line, be aware, those of us out there registering people are on to your flimsy excuse, and we will think very nasty thoughts about you…

Back in April, as I stood in a bank line, a guy with a cross tattoo on his upper right arm ends up right behind me. I notice that the vertical, the post, of the cross has Armenian lettering. Curious, and trying not to be too obvious or seeming to stare, I read what it said “N-A-R-E-G-A-DZ-EE”. So, you’re probably wondering where the “DZ” comes in. I kid you not, that’s what it read, the 14th letter of our alphabet instead of the 33rd! And, this is not a case of Eastern vs. Western Armenian pronunciation. In both cases, that letter is pronounced as “TZ”. It’s just plain comical… until you realize what a tragedy it is.

Also on the linguistic front is the bilingual, and therefore exponentially more annoying misuse of the term “embassy” (tesbanadoon) when referring to a “consulate” (hiubadossaran). It’s amazing that be it in English or Armenian, vast numbers of people can’t get this distinction to register in their mind. Embassies reside in capital cities, probably with a few specific exceptions based on function. Consulates are representations of a country in other countries’ NON-capital cities.

How about the ludicrous prices movie theatres now charge (and have for some time) for snacks and drinks? How many people refuse to buy their goods for that reason? And, they have the temerity to try to prevent movie-goers from bringing in their own munchies. What jerks!

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