Irritants XIV

Garen Yegparian


Let’s start this set of blood-pressure-elevators with a brief ADL encounter. You’ll remember that the Anti-Defamation League has won my “coveted” SpitRain Award for its shamelessness in denying the Genocide. This outfit is truly debased. Now, they’ve managed to get, from ClearChannel, for FREE, in Massachusetts, more than 100 billboards to use for their anti-bullying program. Meanwhile they are the epitome of the bully. But there’s some delicious and depressing irony to go with this episode. One of those obnoxious billboards was replaced by a Genocide recognition sign. Unfortunately, that one is PAID for by “Peace of Art,” an organization that has committed to raising awareness. You might contact ClearChannel and give them a piece of your mind, and cc the ADL on that note.

Moving on to an internal, Armenian community, irritant, I’ll cite an issue of language. I’ve often entered Armenian stores and had my query, IN ARMENIAN, receive a reply in broken (sometimes terribly so) English. I guess I just don’t look the part of an Armenian. But recently, this phenomenon crossed an intolerable threshold. My conversation was in Armenian with an employee who had met me previously. Yet, she persistently replied in English to my Armenian, even after I asked her why (since she did know Armenian, fluently, had said so herself, and there was thus no question of ability). This was irritating, but, there is no shortage of fools on this planet. What raised the bar to the unacceptable level was her speaking Armenian to the next customer, with no pause whatsoever!

In the mundane, non-Armenian-related, automotive-irritant realm, we have the phenomenon of wasteful parking, most often curbside. This occurs when someone parks in the middle of a space large enough for two! You might argue that the cars in front of and behind the “offending” vehicle are at fault. That’s possible, but then we are left with the reality of two offenders instead of one. Plus, most often, the front/behind cars are abutted by other cars that are reasonably spaced, making the original car I mentioned the likely offender. The more obvious and aggravating offenders are those who park half-a-car-length from the nearest red-zone, wasting all that potential parking space. The extreme example of this waste is when people shamelessly park smack-dab in the middle of two marked parking stalls, straddling the dividing line(s). These inconsiderate boors should wake up and start thinking about what they’re doing.

How can I not mention the “Royal wedding”? Dozens of millions of British Pounds wasted on two people getting hitched. Then we have the hoopla, the gawking, the salacious interest… What it all boils down to is a massive waste of EVERYONE’s time. I was disgusted by the previous one of these episodes I encountered three decades ago, and am just as put off by it now. It’s horrible to be glorifying the trappings of an institution, monarchy, whose time has long gone by, and simultaneously engaging in so much waste.

Finally, the story a friend told me is just too delicious to omit. He received a call which initially treated him to a pre-recorded message from Dick Morris, a conservative commentator, that closed by asking him to take a “survey,” just 5-to-10 minutes. Well, it lasted far less, since my friend dared respond “four” when asked to “rate Obama on scale of 1-10.” A quick “thank you” and hanging up followed. Not that I have any inclination to defend Obama now, but the behavior described is entirely another thing, orders of magnitude into the absurd zone! I suppose, for these people, if you’re not fulminating and frothing at the mouth with Obama-phobia, your opinion isn’t worth anything.

I’m considering adopting a new motto and acting on it… “eliminate idiocy.” I invite you to join this effort.


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  1. Shahan said:

    The ADL is not the problem, the problem is the current leader of the ADL, Abraham Foxman, who happily prostitutes the respectable organization he heads for his own lobbying and political purposes. Everyone else involved with the ADL, including its other executives, are true to its mission and do not abuse their positions.

  2. Peter said:

    The reason Armenian clerks in Glendale speak to you in English, is more than obvious: they are thrown-off by Armenian being spoken in a thick Toms River accent.

  3. Johno said:

    Thank you, Mr. Yegparian, for pointing out the ADL’s — the entire ADL’s — continued hypocritical stance. As Ambrose Bierce defined it in his “Devil’s Dictionary,” “Hypocrisy = prejudice with a halo.” Let’s not stand for it!

  4. Koko said:

    Nearly all the leading Jewish American lobbying organizations in Washington are the same as the ADL: they are in league with Turkey to deny the Armenian genocide and work against Armenian resolutions in Congress. It is wrong and we and principled Jews know it.

    Groups like the American Jewish Committee, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Bnai Brith and others are lobbying against Armenians and Greeks, and the Jewish press itself admits this if you read this page at the web site created by ANCA activists that contains Jewish articles:

    Clear Channel is doing a disgraceful thing by sponsoring the ADL billboards. Would you trust your child to be taught with materials prepared by a genocide denying group like the ADL? Are you kidding? I would not let my kid anywhere near the ADL or its programs.

    Clear Channel needs to hear from Armenians and others that the billboards should be advertising good anti-bullying programs, not ADL programs.

  5. Mardehros said:

    There has been activity in Massachusetts regarding the ADL’s anti-bullying billboards. Perhaps a national effort to recognize and contest anti-Armenian (possibly anti-Christian) sentiment is in order.

    Armenians everywhere can and should write letters to the editor in their local newspapers to help teach/tell others their story as do Jewish people teaching many (worldwide) about their Holocaust.