BY SKEPTIK SINIKIAN
My articles are worthless. Heck–I’m the first person in the world to admit that my writing isn’t worthy of a public bathroom stall door–let alone the only Armenian-English language daily paper in the US. Most people who read my column have a love-hate relationship with me–and like any dysfunctional relationship–I always keep coming back for more abuse just as you–the unassuming reader does. This week I wanted to dig into the mailbag and answer/respond to readers’ commen’s. Think of this as your favorite 80s sitcom where they exhausted all the fresh ideas and ran an episode where everyone had flashbacks from previous episodes from different seasons. But don’t worry about being bored by reading these letters and answers–because my readers are more belligerent/paranoid than Mr. Furley and more raucous than the Happy Hour crowd at the Regal Beagle. If anyone born after 1980 understood those two references–then rest assured–you have a bright future ahead of you!
Speaking of abuse and love-hate relationships–my editor forwarded me excerpts of a reader’s letter who was obviously upset with my last column. My editor tried to calm me down–but I was sure that she was in agreement with parts of the letter. The reader believed that my columns started off being "entertaining" [sic] but have gotten "worst by the day" [sic]. My editor seemed to agree with the assertion that I was "always negative–degrading–and outright abusive."
Normally–I wouldn’t respond. I’d just agree to whatever deman’s I’m faced with; promise to have a more rosy outlook on life–and move on. But in this case–I have to object. My criticism of the conditions and attitudes that pervade in our community are done out of genuine love and hope for a better tomorrow and are in no way meant to blindly knock down any one particular person or group. In other words: I dislike everyone equally and–quite frankly–this is what I do best.
And as for the reader who doesn’t like my columns…tough luck. It’s called a page…turn it and move on to the obituary or the Homenetemen page or something for Pete’s sake.
Now–on to the letters (in the form they were received)?
Q: Hello–how are you? My names Hovik and I take a lot of interest in the Armenian Cause and History. I just read your article from Ask.com. I wanted to ask you Why don’t [sic] England recognize the Armenian Genocide and why don’t [sic] they care for our cause but favor the Turks over us? Or is because they know they had involvement in the Genocide and did nothing to stop it and so they’re keeping out of this? Thanks again. I would really like to read what you say. Thanks again.
–Hovik–via e-mail and location unknown.
SS: Uh?you forgot to say thank you! What’s the matter? Were you raised by wolves? Ok–seriously though–I think that the Brits don’t admit that a Genocide took place because they share a common history of being aggressors and persecutors with the Turkish Government. In fact–some Irish nationalists look to the Armenian Revolutionary movement during the same period as a model for their own struggle for self-determination. Also–I believe that the Brits also committed their own Genocide during the Irish potato famine. I personally believe that it was carried out as a way of controlling the rapid growth of the Irish population during the period of Industrialization. And don’t get me started on what they did to the poor Indians on the Asian continent.
So–I guess I’m trying to say that the Brits are just jerks much like the Turks who carried out the Genocide of the Armenia’s. Not all–but some are?especially those silly Spice Girls. Also–while I’m on a rant–I never liked English muffins–which never really looked like muffins–and I was never a huge Beatles fan to begin with. I’ll take Benny Hill and Monty Python and you can keep the remaining lot–along with tabloid stories of British royal family–soccer fans/hooligans–Elton John–and the atrocious English cuisine!
Q: Are you a System Of A Down fan? Have you heard their newest album–?Mezmerize’? I heard that they are going to have a concert in Artsakh. What do you know about this?
SS: Fine–Suren is the last thing we’ll take from England. Everyone else is out! Well Suro (you don’t mind if I call you Suro–do you)? I am indeed a fan of System Of A Down. I think that their music and lyrics improve with each progressive album that they produce and publish–and I am very excited about the next one which is due out Fall of 2005. As far as the concert in Artsakh–what do I look like? A Ticket master outlet? If the SOAD guys do indeed put on a show in Artsakh–I think it would be awesome! But I think it’s highly unlikely because their management probably tells them what to eat for breakfast and when to go to the bathroom. That’s what happens when you become really famous.
By the way–do you think the average Turkish citizen gets upset when they read about SOAD in the general media outlets? I would imagine that they feel the same feeling I had when Turkey was moving ahead in the World Cup semifinals.
I wonder if there’s a laboratory in Ankara working on a Turkish Boy Band prototype that will be Turkey’s answer to SOAD. After all–they responded to Egoyan’s film "Ararat" by making a four or eight hour mini-series. I shudder to think of the results. There are few things in this world worse than Turkish cinema–and I would imagine a Turkish Boy Band is one of them.
Q: Did you attend any of Catholicos Karekin II’s events while he was in town? I’m curious to know what you thought of the new Catholicos.
SS: What does it say about a person’s Pontiff when Microsoft’s Word program doesn’t even recognize the word "Catholicos" in the spell check? I had an opportunity to hear the Catholicos speak at a recent event–and with all due respect to the position and standing of the Vehapar–will keep my opinions to myself. I’ll say this much? he’s no Vazgen I. I remember when I saw the first Star Wars back in 1979 and kept thinking how much Vazgen I reminded me of Sir Alec Guinness–Obi-Wan Kenobe. After that day–I–like many Armenian youth at the time–wanted to grow up to join the Jedi Council–aka the Armenian clergy. Later on the painful reality of a life of celibacy shook me to my senses and I gave in to the Dark Side. Anyway–CK Deux seemed like an ok guy–but I didn’t know what to expect–so I can’t formulate an opinion.
Q: Dear Mr. Sinikian:
I have been reading your latest about Mr. Saddam’s underpants and laughing out loud. I believe that if you collected all the Sinikian columns in a book–it will be a bestseller. Your political humor and sharp pen now almost equal those of our legendary Hagop Baronian. You might want to check your local library to read some of his writings during the period of Abdul Hamid’s reign–when his newspapers were given permit to publish–and closed down after two or three issues–because of his sharp political (International–Ottoman Empire–and azkayin Bolsahye level) writings. He would get another permit for a different named newspaper. And his writing aliases were legend. He also used to write in Turkish for Turkish newspapers.
SS: Well–thank you "effendi!" It’s readers like you that make it worth my while to research such important topics as the type of underpants Saddam Hussein wears and the reasons why the Bush administration seems so eager to jump inside of them.
As far as my collected writings–I’ve been considering writing a book for some time now but the problem is that I can’t decide on a title. So far I have "The Madzoon Diaries and Other Skeptik Essays," or "Skeptik’s Book of Superfluous Side Notes." By the way–if I were Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s official biographer–I’d title the book "Tsav’d Dahnem–Let Me Take Your Pain!" I’ll shut up now and go look up the Baronian books at the local library. Thanks for the complimen’s!
Q: Now that the Michael Jackson case is over–who do you think should be cast to play the role of Mark Geragos for the made for TV movie? —
SS: Good question! I hate the idea of a made for TV movie about the trial because I refused to follow the trial and generally hate celebrity trials. But I’m willing to put my personal feelings aside only for the opportunity to cast Mr. Geragos for the role. Don’t’ forget that you might have to find someone to play him in the Scott Peterson movie as well. Hmmm? ?let’s see–I’m leaning towards a Gene Hackman–but I don’t know if he can pull it off. Robert Duvall is too old to play the part but he wouldn’t be so bad either. Both are too old and too accomplished to portray the younger Geragos in a made for TV flick. If backed into a corner and had to pick someone who’s done enough crappy TV where they wouldn’t mind doing one more lame role–I’d pick Jimmy Smits from NYPD Blue fame to play the Saroyanesque mustached Geragos. And not that you asked–but I wouldn’t cast anyone for Michael Jackson’s role. I’d hire George Lucas to create a computer generated character like the aliens in Star Wars since that’s what Michael has turned into anyway.
So that’s it for this week. Keep the letters coming and next week we’ll see if we can address some serious issues. Thanks to all my readers who keep me entertained and suggest new ideas for columns.
Skeptik Sinikian is working on the script of the Wynona Ryder celebrity trial made-for-TV movie and is writing himself in the role of Mark Geragos. If you have questions or commen’s about the script or anything else that you would like to ask Skeptik–he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.sinikian.blogspot.com.