Bloodlands and Memory

Readers were wondering who the people were in this mural in an alley off Van Nuys Blvd.

Well…I have met the muralist, Arutyun Gozukuchikyan. The woman to the right is Kim Kardashian. The man to the left is Monte Melkonian, born in Fresno, martyr of the first war of Nagorno-Karabakh in 1993.  The work was commissioned by the owner of the No Limit Auto Body shop.  Their clasping of hands is intended to illustrate the unity of the Armenian people across time and space.

Melkonian traveled far from the raisin fields.  First to Berkeley, then Beirut via Oxford and Tehran, where he spent the 1980’s in Armenian liberation politics.  He was imprisoned in France for the attempted assassination of a Turkish diplomat, a biographical detail the muralist omitted. As the Soviet Union disintegrated, he made his way to the Shahumyan province of Azerbaijan to join the battle to liberate Artsakh, a tribal feud that re-erupted this summer and is unlikely to resolve in our lifetimes.

There’s a whole lot of Los Angeles in that story.  Here’s two more:

The North Koreans put you in an execution line, the bullet passes through you, missing your heart. You wake up in the snow, stagger back to your village and find your mother praying in a church. You come to L.A, open a deli. By the time you’re finished, you have three. You bequeath them to your Americanized daughters who have no interest in the family business and spend your emeritus years doing missionary work.

You get in a fender-bender in El Salvador and the other driver executes you on the spot because he’s a member of MS-13 and you’re nobody…so why not?  Your siblings flee to Van Nuys and start cleaning floors, marry, have kids, then discover their brother’s killer is here, in town, less than ten miles away, also living a new life in America, schlepping to work with a name tag. The extended family huddles. What to do? Hire a hitman?  They vote to leave it behind them, in the old country.

I know both of these families. The receding tide of the bloody conflict of the world lurks in nail salon windows, washes up in corner markets and repair shops all over the Valley.

But what happens when America stops being America? Not a refuge of the dispossessed, but a bloodland unto itself, with its own irreconcilable claims on memory?

One week ago Parler was the #1 most downloaded app in the world.  It was intended to be a safe space for dissident thinking. Apple and Google (through its PlayStore) suspended all downloads and any developer access to the site on Saturday.  On Sunday, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, terminated Parler’s access to Amazon’s Web Services.

By Monday morning, Parler was gone.  Three days.

Let’s go back to say, 1969. Suppose J. Paul Getty and Howard Hughes conspired to cut the NY Times off from all access to newsprint and ink in retaliation for its coverage of the Vietnam War.

Would you feel the fundamental premises of the nation had been called into question? What would you do about it? What sacrifice would you be willing to make to set that right?

Getty and Hughes were pipsqueaks compared to the monopolists we are dealing with now.

The cake is pretty well baked here.  A handful of billionaires control the information flow in the United States and they have revealed a shared agenda, leftist and monopolist at the same time. Effectively we now have a social credit system in place.  Instant China, if you will.

Americans are not Chinese.   They keep and bear arms.

4 thoughts on “Bloodlands and Memory”

  1. The events of the past two weeks have been shocking and sad. The response by the unholy triumvirate of Big Tech, Big Media and Big Government hardly commensurate with what was essentially a fraternity prank.

    BTW – just happened to notice the photo of Wonder Woman promo at the bottom of the last installment. Leaving aside which WW is hotter……what struck me is how disgusting, filthy and gum-stained the sidewalk is on that stretch of VN Blvd. And the blank, windowless frontage with the low overhang? The whole deal looks like a Greyhound depot. More sadness, I guess. LOL

    1. What’s remarkable is how quickly social media, which was marketed as the diffusion of authority, the rejection of orthodoxy, the elevation of the self through peer-to-peer networks, has given maximum power and influence to an ever-smaller coterie of people.

  2. “….California Gov. Gavin Newsom is mobilizing 1,000 members of the National Guard over concerns of civil unrest ahead of President Donald Trump leaving office.

    State officials also Thursday erected a temporary 6-foot chain link fence around the state Capitol, bolstering other temporary and permanent barriers, and the California Highway Patrol has refused to issue permits for rallies that had been planned there…..”
    =====================
    One Thousand????!!!! What…are they expecting Ghadaffi too? No mention of shoot-to-kill orders?
    Un-f*ckingbelievable. Dissent will be squashed under the 21st Century jack-boot (a Doc Martens).

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