You can purchase my debut self-produced album #TheWorldtoCome on May 15th. I will share the links then! It will be available for purchase via @iTunes & streamable via @AppleMusic @Spotify @TIDAL & more. Don’t forget to also watch the video for #Lavash – the single off the album, below! You can also here the second single off the album #OntheInside (Love & Pomegranates) below. Show dates, merch & more available at www.DannyKrikorian.com. Stay tuned for an official write-up/review on my album & artistry. Thank you for your patience & enjoy!
It is finally time to unveil the music video, or short film, for Lavash, the single off my upcoming album. The release date for the video is officially March 20th. It will be viewable here, as a YouTube clip via the “FILM” navigation tab atop the homepage.
The complete album, The World to Come LP, is scheduled for release this coming, mid-April. It will be available for sale via iTunes & streamable via Apple Music, Spotify & TIDAL.
This will mark my debut, self-produced record.
It includes both pop, rock & hip-hop elements and incorporates eastern instrumentation. The theme draws on questions of Armenian and Arab identity within American society, but also beyond the social issues, lie the more personal struggles with love, pride, envy, competition & familial justice. This makes for the variant juxtaposition of somber & comical, uplifting tones throughout the album.
Tune in for more updates, including show dates & new merchandise. The plan is to have Lavash shirts available for sale via the website & at live shows.
I am also working on upgrading the overall website look – this will include the domain name http://www.mynameisdannyk.com. The current one will still work. Both will direct to this website.
Bernie Sanders was not presidential [sadly to say – despite many of his ideals being great – if not the best compared to his counterparts].
That is something the American people are struggling to grasp – especially the youth.
What is – ‘presidential’?
Donald Trump – is not presidential. But for reasons different than Bernie. Bernie is, well, simply put, without any character, really. Despite all the slogans and witty catch phrases, Bernie is just another product of social trends. He isn’t Justin Trudeau. He isn’t Obama. He just doesn’t have any flair. Americans like intellect – but they equally value humor; athleticism; suaveness – or “swagger” in today’s terminology. None of these are characteristic of Sanders.
The same could be said of Donald Trump but for different reasons. He is too uneducated, vulgar, impolite, erratic & irresponsible for such leadership – if not to hold any post. He can barely manage his own funds – or his father’s, rather.
That isn’t to say that Hillary Clinton is ‘presidential’.
Back in ’08, I hadn’t heard of a guy named Barack Obama, but as the campaign progressed, I realized – I had just witnessed the rise of an extraordinary individual. This man is beyond brilliant – something that few people truly appreciate. I can say that the world appreciates Obama more than America – which is quite telling. That isn’t necessarily true – a lot of Americans love our current president. But the ‘other side’ is equally if not more bent on voicing their hatred – to put it ‘mildly’.
Ahead of tonight’s momentous occasion, the first live debate between Clinton & Trump – I share the following sentiment. People often expect too much. This is a sign of…a lack of experience maybe. But other forces play a role too. The world is suffering and yet, the average American struggles to understand the nooks and crannies of his or her own political system and culture.
As an Armenian-Syrian immigrant living in America – I must say that my perspective should be heeded. There are many causes which are directly connected to me that have yet to be addressed or have been horribly managed, by the US wholly but also precisely by US president Barack Obama, whom I continue to support. Why? Because I am not a perfectionist in the political sense – and expect some compromise – not always – but in times of necessity and urgency. There is much change, and much work to be done in the stride towards justice – but it is just that – a stride – a path. We cannot be held back by radical expectations which in themselves seek to paralyze our sense of progress. That being said it is clear to me there is only one candidate worthy of a vote in this election and that reasoning is from contrived a moral and practical logic – that candidate is Hillary Clinton.
So while she isn’t necessarily the perfect candidate – relative to America’s choices – she is definitely presidential.
The US president is a person of immense wisdom and discipline; responsibility and sacrifice; public service and family value. Which of the two candidates possesses these qualities? And if you have to think twice – think again.
What gets me is that Americans want to change parts of their system that are less relevant to domestic and global wellbeing while ignoring the more pressing issues. And then when a tragedy or crisis occurs, Americans are left wondering how or why. Instead of a Wall Street revolution there should be a minority rights and immigration reform revolution. Instead of a focus on spreading democracy abroad we should be seeking to reduce our arbitrary and partial political influence overseas. Issues like these are costing us – but instead Americans wish to focus on ideological ambiguities and polarized politics.
That is why the candidates have dwindled down to the current options available – one representing the so-called establishment while the other represents the ugliest part of the establishment disguised as anti-establishment.
It is undoubtable that America and the world must implement comprehensive political reform – but this is likely an impossible feat under the auspices of a hypothetical President Trump. On the contrary, Hillary, like Obama (but perhaps to a lesser degree since she is more hawkish) – will pave the road for future generations to at least further the cause of progressivism in its purest form.
Perhaps future generations will reflect a more balanced perspective on US politics – representing minorities; women; LGBTQ; etc. But this cannot be associated with any particular ideological strand or populist trend as it has been in this election. American individualism and personal responsibility, contrary to the ‘8th grader youtube conspiracy video viewer mentality’ – is not preserved or protected by the far left or right – but rather, by a careful, tolerant moderate centrist. So when I say that Hillary Clinton is in fact presidential – that is precisely why. She isn’t just the echo of our grievances – but also of our reason.
If there is anything I am paranoid about it is about my fate.
But I have faith.
My faith tells me that there are forces – the agents, after me.
This world is similar to the movie, the Matrix, in some ways. In other ways it is not – naturally.
But time is ticking. There are agents. There are phones. I’m in the white room now. But outside – we have to wait till we get to His throne.
I know where I am headed – but why the need to open up?
Like I said. My story begins with Riyadh. But my family. The KRIKORIAN story started much earlier.
Time are changing. I was supposed to have more resources. My family too.
But we were stripped. It began in Turkey. Like in Germany. The collectivists came after us – demanding they get provisions.
What happened to a world where men sought provisions from God and kept their mouths quiet? Today people complain of systems – the problem is people.
You see what I am realizing is you are what you believe; which impacts what you do; and what you know.
But there are inevitabilities of character – these are what distinguish us from one another. I see devils denying that very reality.
The reality is that, envy is a social phenomenon ailing the world.
That is why capitalism and freedom are necessary.
But there is a vast difference between these ideas and outright racism.
The republican party in America is a group of angry, white men without any respect for personal responsibility, which the so-called right-wing supposedly represents.
Today, hope rests with non-populistic centrists, and that cannot exist on the right side of American political spectrum because it has given way to populism, racism and fear, where as internal disagreements in the democratic branch are merely ideological.
Hopefully, as Turkey begins to behave wildly, America might maneuver to recognize the Armenian Genocide/Holocaust, or Medz Yeghern.
We were even considered to be loyal to the Ottomans, referred to as millet-i sadıka by the Sultan. That is why the modern Turkish creation is an imperial endeavor – a British experiment, as usual, because nationalism results in ethnic, religious and ideological division.
Racism against Armenians is historically engrained.
From the Hamidian Massacres to the Armenian Genocide.
Comparable to Nazi hatred of the Jewish people.
But this isn’t about comparing it is about understanding.
The absence of a modern, liberalized, practical and refined Islamic authority has long been absent. This has encouraged radicalism and primitiveness, and hate.
Turkish nationalism is largely an imperial task of the West – seeking to impose its influence in the region. Orientalism says that Islam could be more developed if it weren’t for colonialism. I wonder, perhaps if the Middle East would even be as “Islamic” so to speak if it weren’t for a history of Western involvement. Ultimately, what determines a nation’s ability to endure, which the Armenians have been able to do, with the blessing of God, is its unity.
The Armenian nation suffered as a result of this forsaken tragedy.
From the top tiers of Armenian society to the bottom. But even the Ottoman Empire itself, the expansion of Islam since the 7th century, greatly undermined Armenian sovereignty.
Islamism – is not new. It is old. Modern nationalism in Islamic societies, is more developed Islam; whereas Islamism is a primitive understanding – innately regressive. The absence of a viable moderate, tolerant and modern Islamic authority, male or female, has cast a dark, fundamentalistic shadow upon Islam which vindicates the narrative that Islam cannot modernize. My mother is a muslim. Philosophically I would consider myself muslim, an adherer of the true Qur’an, but equally I am Christian. More importantly, I am neither, but instead a believer in God, the Creator, and eternal philosophy, or wisdom. The rest is politics – and to be frank; imperialism – political hubris. The sort of force which violates balances of power. The modern nation, Iran, Armenia, Turkey, is disrupted by religious, ideological and ethnocentric viciousness which violates sovereignty and practicality. The cause of this is a blatant American and European disregard for human rights outside their borders. It has propped up radicalism, ultranationalism and prevents individual and national prosperity, thus limiting global competition, and guaranteeing hegemony, even when undeserved, to the West. That isn’t capitalism – that is totalitarianism.
Those who are unable to modernize and adapt to tolerance are gripped by a stubborn ego that latches on to contradictory but nonetheless vociferous and violent ideologies.
But in Syria too, they came for us. Because Syria, unlike most Islamic countries, has been political aligned with anti-colonial states, thus barring it from access to the so-called international community. Now, they’ve come for Syria in the same manner as they came for Iraq and Libya, under the premise of liberalization, despite rampant hypocrisy.
We watch global destruction from America, comfortably, which saddens me deeply. My only hope is that I can alleviate the suffering by fulfilling my individual potential in America, so that I may bring attention to their plight abroad, whether in the Caucasus, or in the Middle East.
Let it be known that we the Armenians, the Muslims and the Jews have suffered similar fates, to varying degrees of course, but still, equally atrocious and appalling. There are many more groups to be included, but these pertain directly to me. I would like to add also the struggle of African-Americans particularly [and all American minorities] who have endured similar if not worse suffering – and who have gifted me with the privilege of getting to know their culture and its immense richness and quality.
But the problem in Turkey was not Islam versus Christianity. This is modern propaganda. Islam and Christianity’s relationship in the Middle East, or the Orient, has largely enjoyed harmony.
Turkish nationalism is the main menace. Nationalism generally, is dangerous. Patriotism is different, we can’t mix the two. Nationalism is justification of some type of othering, as Edward Said might call it. It justifies the alienation of a group that is deemed not part of a nation, and worthy of exploitation. This happens historically to many groups, the Armenians being one among them.
The disintegration of the Ottoman Empires produced disasters for the Arab world in fact, contrary to the original aim of so-called liberation. The idea of freeing itself from Ottoman imperial control was not universally accepted or unanimously felt. The Ottoman Empire was relatively tolerant and secular compared to modern Saudi Arabia, for example. Ironically as previously mentioned, the Armenian population enjoyed a rather privileged status in the Ottoman Empire, due to levels of education and tenacity.
Perhaps the Ottoman Empire was not the best ruler for the Middle East, but it was unifying, and instead of being centralized on ethnic principles, it was based on a respect for the leadership of the greater Middle East. This would likely have persisted or shifted to another empire, as it has historically. But the idea that the world has modernized into nation-states, the premise of realist theory in international relations, largely ignores the reality that Western civilization functions as a unit – the Modern Holy Roman Empire if you will – with Washington D.C. serving as Rome. How else would it survive?
Perhaps this might explain why then the Middle East has become so vulnerable to the West following WWII – which might have been more about completely ending regional sovereignty in all parts of the world outside of the West.
It has really been a quest to find myself. Dear God.
Isn’t it ironic that religious minorities enjoyed more freedom under ottoman rule in ME than under ‘secular’ rule.
And that Islamic civilization was more tolerant and less vulnerable to fanaticism then too. Maybe cause they weren’t under foreign dominion?
Sure Ottoman Turkey was foreign to Arabs but nothing comparable to being ruled by British. In fact Europeans split up the Ottoman Empire, in what is known as the Sykes-Picot, a primarily British and French arrangement.
The beginning of colonialism of the ME.
The death of unity, sovereignty and tolerance ensued. Even Saudi nationalism, was a British Experiment. Maybe Germany nationalism, or Nazism was too, a form of containing in the rise of the “East”. This carries weight since Western sympathies for Nazism were not scarce; particularly as a form of anti-communism.
Modern western political theory, where realism or neorealism prevails, argues that since 1700s, or Westphalia, modern political unit is the State, and not for example, the individual, or the Empire [a collection of states]. This is rooted in temporal reality which may or may not persist. But what if the world operates as a collection of imperial organisms – not states, but states within Empires – based on cultures and/or ideologies? The West, is not a series of states united almost overtly behind American neoliberal hegemony? Does this not function as an empire, despite portrayals of it being otherwise?
We are in America now though. Safe. Thank God.
I only pray that I can be recognized as a US citizen but that means I have to marry an American or get it from my family and hopefully it will happen soon. I would also like to get some financial support or amnesty and recognition for my crafts. Perhaps I will write on Armenia one day, to explain my origin and its legacy. Return dignity to my people.
Racism against Armenians in America goes back. I did not know it ran this deep. In the 1920s, Armenians were officially banned from owning businesses of certain kinds as part of an anti-Ottoman policy tradition maintained by the US. The Armenians possess a unique position in history, as a historically Christian nation, swallowed up by the Muslim Ottoman World. Still, their positive reputation for loyalty and competence earned them respect in the Ottoman Empire. It was not until the birth of fascist Turkish ultranationalism that anti-Armenianism became institutionalized. The Armenians have always been harmonious with Muslims and the Turks. This tradition in America, is grounded then in the anti anything that isn’t Anglo-Saxon – aka American racism or White Supremacy.
In relation to Armenian-Islamic or Armenian-Turkish relations however Armenians are not anti-Islamic or anti-Turkish. In fact many like me are from mixed religious families (obviously with the exception of certain fringe groups or peoples). The qualm is against Turkish ultranationalism and the mainly British imperial hand which leveraged it to initiate the Armenian Genocide. Today the Brits are largely replaced by the Americans. Perhaps that is why in both nations, the Genocide remains unrecognized. Neither does Israel, by the way. Peace and love to all.
A young immigrant child in Orlando,
I came to the Far West from the Persian Gulf,,
To the Gulf from the Levant,
and to the Levant from the highlands of Armenia.
Now, here I am,
In the strong hold of modern imperium, America,
Seeking my own freedom,
from the dual extremes of ignorance,
and the societal pressure against solitude.
Music, art and philosophy are my realms of expression,
I offer excellence to you,
and pray for justice.
Capitalism is portrayed as a mechanism for increased accessibility, opportunity and dignity.
It is offered essentially as the corner-stone of English culture – the Protestant work ethic, the idea of private property, and so forth.
But is capitalism really a mechanism for competition or is it like communism, another tool of the elite to secure their exclusive control of the economy?
Such exercise of power is tremendous.
Anglo-Saxon capitalism can be thus pinned as the equivalent of Russian bolshevism, or stalinism. The promise is always equality; the reality is often not.
Is there an alternative?
I believe the world is struggling today against the imperial nature of capitalism in the same fashion that it has historically struggled against other ideological waves of global imbalance.
It is only when sovereignty and culture are respected, that balance ensues.
So what interrupts this order? When did this happen?
Whenever a social group takes it upon itself to be the harbinger of justice, and expresses that actively by violating the self-determination of another social-group – this is when order is interrupted.
Capitalism is used inter-changeably with freedom and free markets, but in reality, religion, culture and government have all played a huge hand in institutionalized disenfranchisement of certain social groups via discrimination.
The problem isn’t that America needs to be more capitalistic but rather that it needs to acknowledge the cultural dilemma it is facing – America is no longer an Anglo-Saxon nation and will be, by definition, a majority-minority country by 2050.
America should be more focused on fully embodying democracy at home, where it is advertised but not fully practiced despite demands from the people, and less focused on exporting it to places in the world where it is not welcome, at least not by force.
Much of what has happened historically, and in today’s world even, has been a reaction towards American imperial overreach. We will face the same consequence as the USSR or the Holy Roman Empire or will America learn to contain its own ambition, for the sake of national and global security?
This is an excerpt of a recent interview with Syrian-exiled poet Adonis taken from the New York Review of Books.
The renaissance needs time. Our society, during the fifteen centuries since the foundation of the first Islamic state, has not been able to establish a society of citizens. With a citizen’s duties come rights. Until now, Arab societies are formed of individuals who carry out the same duties but have different rights: the Christian does not have the same rights as the Muslim, for instance. Fifteen centuries. How can we solve fifteen centuries in a week or two, a month or two? But I trust that the time will come, but outside this context.
The problems that Europe experienced were overcome by the establishment of new societies, completely separate from religion and the church. In the Middle Ages, the ecclesiastical courts were just like the jihadists today. They killed people and burned them. But the West succeeded in separating church from state, and created modern societies. We are still in this stage. And if the West was successful in this separation then there is no reason to prevent the Arabs from separating [the two] as well. We are struggling for this separation. We will do it despite everything and despite Western politicians as well, because Western politicians unfortunately despise Arabs, and despise Arab regimes. Despise. [The West] uses these regimes as tools to execute its plans.
(Interviewer) What then is the future of Arab culture in—
I told you, as long as death and love are there, art will remain. Don’t worry. The readers are fewer, but that’s okay. Nietzsche, the agitator of modern thought, was not published [in his time]. No one knew him. This is the destiny of art, always. Many get published and sell millions, but their books belong in the trash.