Saturday, March 1, 2008

This Oil Is Not Good To Eat

I'm not sure how I feel about this project today.
There are moments when the new thing I learn feels far bigger than anything I expected, and at those moments I think it would be nice to move backward -- to tell the snake, thank you very much but I am not hungry just now. That apple is unappealing, not because anyone ordered or because you hiss in that way that you do -- simply because I am happy enough, looking around at things the way I see them today...

There was a protest today -- in a today ahead of us now -- in Armenia. There was an election. Some people feel it was rigged. Some people protest. Some people are wounded. The short Reuters story says:

"We were asleep," said one of the protesters who had been keeping an overnight vigil in the square.

"They came and they started to beat us up. They had truncheons," said the man, who showed Reuters a broken finger. He declined to give his name.

The protests had risked destabilising Armenia, a former Soviet republic that lies in a Caucasus mountains region now emerging as an important transit route for oil and gas supplies from the Caspian Sea to world markets.

I didn't know there was oil in Armenia.
I did know there was a genocide there. A million and a half people died.

I've been reading around a little this morning -- often on Wikipedia, which I don't trust in the least -- also on some university sites, which I do tend do believe. One of the things I read said that the difference between the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide that took place during WWI was that the Holocaust was religious and the Armenian Genocide was political. Hitler is said to have looked to the world's forgetting of the Armenians as supportive evidence that no one would care what he did to the Jews.

There is an unattributed quote on Wikipedia that places oil discovery in the region as early as the 3d and 4th centuries.

"The following paragraph from the accounts of the famous traveler Marco Polo is believed to be a reference to Baku oil: "Near the Georgian border there is a spring from which gushes a stream of oil, in such abundance that a hundred ships may load there at once. This oil is not good to eat; but it is good for burning and as a salve for men and camels affected with itch or scab. Men come from a long distance to fetch this oil, and in all the neighbourhood no other oil is burnt but this.""

In October a headline in the Times read, "Turks Angry Over House Armenian Genocide Vote."

ISTANBUL, Oct. 11 — Turkey reacted angrily Thursday to a House committee vote in Washington to condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey that began during World War I, recalling its ambassador from Washington and threatening to withdraw its support for the Iraq war.

The article went on to say,
The House vote comes at a particularly inopportune time. Washington has called on Turkey to show restraint as its military mobilizes on the border with Iraq, threatening an incursion against Kurdish insurgents. On Thursday, Turkish warplanes were reported to be flying close to the border, but not crossing it.

Since that time the Turks have crossed over it.
It's a lot of oil -- the pipeline in the Caspian Sea...

There was a poster hanging in my favorite bakery in high school -- it read:

"I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia."
-- William Saroyan

A friend has been involved for a decade or more in a documentary project in Armenia.
Take a look at his beautiful website. Go to the Armenia Portfolio.

I have this theory that Adam and Eve weren't expelled at all -- they were just focused further out. Nothing at all was different, they just hadn't noticed the way things were.

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