BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way first: I am not related to the subject of this article. I say this because of my surname and because yeghpyre (Armenian) = kardash (Turkish) = brother (English).
With that, I say “ENOUGH” to those who are fond of criticizing Kim Kardashian and her sisters. Of course the latest bout of the snide snickering on the part of these “enlightened” critics comes on the heels of the sisters’ arrival in the Republic of Armenia. You know what I’m talking about and who the critics are.
A warped sense and conception of “morality” lies at the root of most of the “commentaries” we are treated to, usually laced with derogatory terms and descriptors. There is a “concern” for what others will think of us because of the Kardashians’ presence and their being Armenians.
It’s farcical that these critics seem to have essentially no problem with those of our compatriots who are chiropractors/doctors/lawyers engaged in insurance fraud, jewelers diluting the proportion of gold in their products, criminals running drugs and extortion rackets, miscellaneous fraudsters preying on the ill-informed (like telling Armenians from Syria they can get into the U.S. for a price)… you get the idea, no doubt, and can probably add many more examples.
The Kardashians have succeeded in our media-saturated world. They have a strong enough sense of Armenianism that they want to use that success and access to help in our struggle for justice. What right has anyone to object to, denigrate, or impede such participation? What contribution do the critics make to further our cause? Of course I mean other than sitting on their behinds, doing nothing, and criticizing others’ actions! These critics are likely of the same mind-set as those who used to try to exclude Serj Tankian because he had long hair! Yet Serj has unquestionably done more for our cause than almost anyone else.
The Kurds have a saying, “He is a Kurd who says I am a Kurd” that we would do well to adopt. Any Armenian willing to lay on the line their credibility, energy, and talent for our cause is to be welcomed to our army of activists.
Besides, in the realm of public relations there is a saying, “I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right.” The implication is that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. We must get the word out about our issues in any way we can and engage the conscience of the non-Armenian public in our cause and efforts.
Which brings me to a friend’s, Peter Musurlian’s, unprecedented achievement. He has succeeded in arranging to have TWO, not just one, but TWO documentaries air on KLCS, a Los Angeles-area public TV station. And, they will be shown TWICE, not just once, back-to-back on Sunday, April 19 from 5. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, April 21 from 8 to 10 p.m., Pacific time. Don’t miss “Historic Armenia” and “The 100-Year-Old Survivor” when they are shown, along with an interview of the documentary filmmaker, Peter.
Watch and enjoy the media, whether it is Kardashian, Tankian, or Musurlian based. But more importantly, stop panning others’ efforts and get active. Work on getting the two documentaries shown by a public TV station in your area, for example. Our struggle is at least partially a battle for the hearts and minds of all people of conscience.