Prelude to the Holocaust

armenia 1915 mainPublic Notice, Kayseri, 15 Jun 1915: “Leave all your belongings – your furniture, your beddings, your artifacts. Close your shops and businesses with everything inside. Your doors will be sealed with special stamps. On your return, you will get everything you left behind. Do not sell property or any expensive item. Buyers and sellers alike will be liable for legal action. Put all your money in a bank in the name of a relative who is out of the country. Make a list of everything you own, and give it to the specified official so that all your things can be returned to you later. You have ten days to comply with this ultimatum.

armenian genocide 1

This was a public notice issued by the Turkish government to Armenian citizens of Turkey to begin what became the Armenian genocide. April 24 will mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest crimes against humanity ever committed. On April 24, 1915 the Turkish army, at the direction of the Turkish government began taking huge numbers of Armenians into custody. These Armenians were among the best and brightest. They began with these Armenians for good reason. These were leaders among the Armenian people living in Turkey. They removed these individuals that they could then go on to kill an estimated one and a half million Armenians between 1915 and 1923; and drive another million from Turkey. The Turkish government to this day refers to this period of history as a “mass deportation” and denies genocide occurred. Adolf Hitler had this to say about Turkey’s “deportation”.

“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians.” – Adolf Hitler 1939

Hitler went on to use the Turkish atrocities against the Armenians, as a model in removing the Jews. Hitler saw how the world was indifferent to the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks and believed he too, could commit such horrendous offenses and get away with it.

armenian genocide 3A few years, ago I had never heard of the Armenian genocide. I would venture to say most others are fairly ignorant to this historic crime against humanity. As I have learned more about it, I have felt shame as an American citizen, where we have repeatedly failed to formally recognize this event and sickened as to why. The term genocide gets used easily and readily by our own government in describing such events in Rwanda or Bosnia. Describing these historic conflicts as such doesn’t impede our military presence on foreign soil; or our oil flow. Saying Turkey committed genocide however, means we might have trouble keeping a military presence in their country; or interruptions to the flow of certain resources or commerce.

Countless American leaders from Clinton to Bush to Obama – and too many others have repeatedly promised the Armenian people that their betrayal at the hands of Turkey would be formally acknowledged by our government as literal genocide; only to then succumb to threats from Turkey if they did so. In contemplating all of this, I was struck powerfully by the factor of culpability. Simply, had we and the world acknowledged and addressed any of this with Turkey as we became aware DURING the conflict (& we were aware) – or even after … in any manner – Hitler most likely would have never attempted to implement his Final Solution against the Jews. The economy of indifference meant countless millions would die as Hitler ignited the flames of World War II. The thoughtful orderly manner in which the Turkish government carried out these atrocities reeks of Nazi efficiency. It is no wonder Nazi’s were so effective with such a clear model to follow.

armenian genocide 2It’s fascinating to hear Turkish leaders today refute the Armenian genocide. They really don’t argue that it happened. They just don’t want it called genocide – and they don’t want the formal blame, as a nation. They just want it to go away. Hearing Turkish officials address these matters is like stepping back in time to hear Nazi’s speak about their actions against the Jews … and Polish … and Hungarians … and so many others. In like fashion, the Turks carried out terrible atrocities against Greeks as well as Armenians, though not on the same scale.

The public notice I opened with was followed by directives to Turkish officials to redistribute this seized wealth among the Turkish elite. Very Nazi-esque. No country has more documented information pertaining to this historic event than the US; yet, it remains officially neutral for fear of offending the offender. That’s unacceptable and again, makes me ashamed as one of its citizens.

armenian genocide 4For a hundred years Turkey has collectively denied responsibility for this mass destruction of human life. Not lost on me is also, the fact that Armenians were Christian and the Turks were Muslim. As a Christian and simply as a human being, I don’t want to hate the Turkish people; but admittedly this is hard. My faith says that forgiveness must be extended regardless of what posture Turkey holds for its crimes. However, to not formally recognize these historic crimes against humanity is to become an accomplice of sorts. The Armenian people deserve our collective apology for officially ignoring their pain. Just as the world rightfully acknowledged Germany’s crimes against so many and subsequently held them accountable – so should the world hold Turkey accountable for their crimes against the Armenian people. For it was in reality a crime against us all.

Armenian National Institute website

A Better World

Jerbing - Worn Out WorldI’ve noticed my posts becoming progressively less frequent over the last couple of years. Common enough experience for most bloggers. I’m not sure the reasons are necessarily as common; perhaps. I am too often weighted by the world-wide. Specifically – I’m increasingly weighted by the growing impressions of all that makes up our shared daily presence on this globe. It seems with each successive spin the day breaks to fewer souls-of-substance and more souls-of-self. I hate to sound cliché but there are simply precious few leaders to respect, anymore; political, spiritual or otherwise. Visionaries going blind. Luminaries growing dim. Same shallow stale ideals marketed as fresh and substantial. Literal trash islands as large as Texas in any / all oceans. Species extinctions, ISIS and the next group of insane head-chopper-offr’s waiting to take their place. Russia doing the crazy cold-war crap they seem destined to keep doing. News of starving in the Sudan under headlines of Kardashian gossip. I’m glad I’m not 20 years old – and so damn sorry for those that are. They got a raw deal. We gave them a crappy world standing on it’s last crippled leg. We’re at that collective critical mark whereby a few short years of continued “progress” will all but ensure no reversal for good is really possible; and no one seems to really care. Normalcy bias on steroids

I pray we might each go into tomorrow with the simple goal of making a better world. Be kind – offer others help through extended love. I pray we would each genuinely listen for the loving voice of God to help us extend his love to each other; for the world is literally dying for it.

DG

dg-main-2For years I’ve played a little game. I ask others if they had 5 minutes to pick 3 albums to take with them for a 6 month stay on an island — what albums would they select? Only one album has always remained on my personal list. David Gilmour’s first solo album. After some 35 yrs, it still resonates with me in some oddly perfect way. David Gilmour is of course the guitarist for Pink Floyd. Certainly, he is vastly more that simply the axe man in Pink Floyd; but that is his musical moniker. His signature presence in the rock world. Everyone has their own taste but for me, he is the quintessential blues-rock guitarist. At the risk of offending ardent Hendrix fans, the Fender Stratocaster was created for David Gilmour. I don’t say that simply as a fan of his playing style. Where I too, love Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower and countless other guitarists – there is music that can sometimes speak to very personal aspects of our makeup on the deepest levels and Gilmour’s guitar has always done that for me.

dg-solo

He has been a music constant in my life, throughout my life. I hopped on YouTube to listen to some of his tunes and was reminded that today is his birthday; March 6, 1948. I only got to see him play live once and doubt I will ever have that chance, again. My own birthday is tomorrow. He and I are both getting a bit long in the tooth. It’s been a good ride.

dg

a day in a life

i read the news today – oh boy
about a lucky man who left this life
i bowed and wept and clenched my fists
and asked why him, not i
the story read plain and clear
a heart just stopped keeping pace
a last breath seeped from drying lips
a lucky man left the race
so sad, so many will surely find
this tale of life that ceased
so blind, so many says i
tree ddcthat fail to find the peace
too young, too soon, too loved they say
his life now, unfulfilled
as if this life were one thing more
than pain for those here, still

- t.e. davis

welcome home

my ultimate goal, his holy face to see
as i stand before him, nothing more than just me
to delight in the radiant love from his eyes
as he gazes on me
to fold into the protective strength of his arms
as he embraces me
to cherish the music in his splendid voice
as he speaks to me
welcome home my child, with whom i am well pleased

- a.n. davis-reynolds

Retro Revelation

BBoys-Pet Sounds cover art 2I love music; all kinds of music. I know many say this but I couldn’t be more sincere. From Stravinsky to Hank Williams Sr to Hendrix. From Ray LaMontagne to Sam Cook to Sinatra to Alice Cooper to Merle Haggard – if it’s good, I want to hear it. I keep lots of music on-hand. When the mood strikes, eh? Like many, I have massive amounts of old classic rock. Tons of ELP and T-Rex. Pink Floyd is actually my all-time favorite band for too many reasons. A fact that might make the following seem a bit odd to other music nerds.

I possess exactly 4 Beach Boys songs. 3 for no particular reason except they were on someone’s player at some point in time and we did a swap. The only Beach Boys song I wanted was My Room because … well, it’s My Room. Love the harmonies. I guess I’ve always just thought of the Beach Boys as that band; the pop harmony guys. A group of utterly average voices that sounded otherworldly in chorus. Sadly, I just held the view that if you’ve heard any Beach Boys song – right – heard’em all. I’ve heard a million people say how great a particular Beach Boys album was. Literally – from Paul McCartney saying it was the inspiration for Sgt Pepper’s to artist-after-artist saying it was a solitary influence in their musical development and direction. Why these declarations never stirred me to give this album a listen is a bit beyond me. I suppose it speaks to how deeply entrenched my perspective was about the Beach Boys. Surfin’ / car tunes in harmony and I never cared much for surfin’ / car tunes.

So I finally sat down to listen to this album. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds. What can I say that doesn’t sound completely trite, at this point. The album is only a half-century old and I’ve never bothered to see if there was more to it than my preconceived notions. It’s everything I love most in a good album. It is NOT a collection of good songs. It’s a story. Take it however you wish – it is a journey. One of the reasons Pink Floyd is my favorite band. I’ve rarely wanted to hear a Pink Floyd song, as much as I wanted to hear the entire album. Hearing Money on the radio is fine but it only makes me want to hear the whole Dark Side album and take that journey. That wonderful adventure of thought that one cannot help but embark on with such music. Pet Sounds is that adventure – that ‘trip’.

dsotm cover

ray-lamontagne-supernovaSpeaking of Ray LaMontagne – if you’ve not heard his latest album Super Nova – it’s a monumental throw-back to the very same full-music production style, sound and concept as albums like Pet Sounds. If you could wrap up that early period of pre-progressive sound you would have Super Nova. Like Pet Sounds … it’s awesome!

Here’s a link to listen to Pet Sounds

selfie

there in hand, on the end of my arm
capturing my spark and charm
my trusty camera snaps a blink
just as i smile and wink
clickity, click – aim and shoot
gosh i always look so cute
fingers tremble, aim and squeeze
adoring masses sure to please
i rush to update every page
notices go out in haste
a new selfie there to see
yours truly – come see me

i see me, you see me
we can all delight in me
oh how happy all must be
i see, you see, we see me

oh the bliss with each new post
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstrange that i should be the host
why don’t others market me
market me for all to see
bold and bright, i cast my smile
for others get to see my smile
oh how blessed the eyes that see
me, myself and me

- t.e. davis

normal

common, average, all-the-same
fearful, timid, tepid and tame
colorless, odorless, mild and dull
languid, lifeless, void and null
aspire to the wretched brackish abyss
milquetoast moribund nothingness
middleton middlesome middle-of-road
a life amid middles, poured from a mold
wade in shallow suburban enclaves
sleep in fields of temperate safe
sure to find peace, secure in your rest
nestled there in your moderate nest
secure from different, your sameness assured
be prudent and watchful for change is sure
uniqueness, an evil sly and covert
be vigilant mindful and ever alert
for difference lurks not far from your door
knocking – beseeching you, open for more
hold fast to your passive wavering heart
lest cracks in your apathy weaken your guard
impassioned indifference lukewarm and bland
cow-head-brun-of-mill fare for also-rans
plastic, vapid, obtuse and opaque
ambivalent, stoic, flaccid and fake
normalcy knows majority’s right
found amidst the black and white
be normal – be nothing and heed my words
normalcy always travels in herds

- t.e. davis

Nick Cave – “God Is In The House” (click to listen)