Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Dead Foxes

57. Dead Foxes (28 February 2023)

Commemorating 35 years since Azerbaijan
began targeting Armenians for
extermination. (26 Feb. 2023 - Beirut)

Earlier this month, while driving along the coastal highway, I slowed down behind a line of cars and trucks exiting and noticed an animal lying alongside the roadway, obviously dead. From a distance I could tell it was too large to be a cat, too small to be a dog, and my guess was confirmed as I slowly crept alongside… a red fox. I was happy and sad at the same time; happy that there is still wildlife in this overbuilt metro area, and sad that it met this fate. I realize that those in rural places might not share my dismay, considering the losses they may incur because of foxes. Here this death is sadly poignant. While actual foxes become road kill, human foxes are left alive. And the “fox hunters” trying to pursue this latter kind are systematically eliminated, and the foxes pretending to be humans continue their sadistic rule over the henhouse.

Empty since the port blast, Lebanon's electric
company building - gutted, just like the service
it provides (20 Feb. 2023 - Mar Mikhael-Beirut)

            One of the more insidious of that species is now facing a “natural disaster” of his own making. Over the years he granted waivers for poorly constructed housing in exchange for ballot-box loyalty, so that he could establish full political control. That narcissism transformed the tragedy of this region’s February 6 earthquake into an unmitigated disaster. Will he be held accountable for the crimes he is now heaping upon the corrupt lower-level operatives? Not if the spin doctors around him can do their psyops job well, and transform this fox’s image into, let’s say, that of a pussy-cat. A devout, embattled fighter for the rights of the ordinary citizen. A strong leader his country needs to rebuild it and make it proud. Any of a raft of addictive lies that people in so many lands believe, sad to say.
The value of $300 in local currency, in
2019 (right) and 2023 (27 Feb. 2023 - Beirut)

Meanwhile, others try to dodge the traffic that would run them over and put an end to their positive impact. Though contributing to the betterment of society, and though they are not the ones able to cause a fundamental, systemic change in the status quo, yet their activity is nonetheless significant in the long term. Unlike the wealthy foxes who continue to find ways to launder their money or sink it into building more empty buildings in the capital, they are a different sort of investor. They sink their time and effort into human capital; into teaching students to think, into inculcating character and faith into young people, into creating cultural riches to feed the souls of generations yet unborn. The anniversaries of the region’s Armenian institutions (churches, schools and so forth) are reminders of the deep investment our forebears made to rebuild and sustain a broken nation after the Genocide, making the Middle East’s Armenian communities the powerhouse of the Diaspora. And it continues to serve in that capacity, feeding and nurturing Armenian identity but with a frighteningly small number of visionary laborers engaged in this crucial work.

As spring approaches, tree branches and
neighborhood generators begin to
sprout offshoots
(27 Feb. 2023 - Bourj Hammoud)

            Who are they? First of all, they are teachers of all subjects and in all manners. Especially focusing on language, history and culture, they might be using state-of-the-art methods and materials, or they might be solidly stuck in the 19th century in their approach, but at least they are making an effort. Others who develop new, relevant materials for various grade and knowledge levels are also part of that army, along with those who digitize existing materials (a special shout-out to the Armenian National Library in this regard). Then there is anyone making a difference in just one child’s or adult’s awareness or self-awareness of his (or her) identity as an Armenian. I would also include “influencers”, who know how to make effective use of information media and place it or disseminate it in easy-to-find locations. Really, in our world so full of foxes, all Armenians should be engaged in this effort on the micro or macro scale, and spend less time self-absorbed in things that do not satisfy (see Isaiah 55.1-2) or edify, such as self-promotion on social media platforms.

A reminder to continue being visionary,
despite it all
(28 Feb. 2023 - Gemmayzeh-Beirut)

            I’ve noticed that Armenians (myself included) tend to put things in life-or-death terms; maybe it is because Armenians, like nearly all minorities, face life-or-death realities much more frequently than majority populations. Majority populations and those intent on a homogenized, globalized mono-culture, tend to object to this existential angst, seeing it as unnecessary (which it isn’t) or disruptive (which it must be). The angst felt among Armenians here in the Middle East is because they are battered and dishonored, treated as collateral damage by the major foxes and their sub-foxes who play at political and financial war. As it was a century ago, so it is today. Enabled by a disengaged international community, foxes circle around Armenia and Artsakh, drooling over the thought of ruling over an emptied henhouse, expertly using propaganda, lies, threats and a sham “protest” to lay hold of the remainder of the Armenian homeland devoid of Armenians.

LebCat 57: Hard at work receiving phone bill
payments. This may explain a few things about
the system. (28 Feb. 2023 -
            When the Lord Jesus faced off against the oppression his people were bearing, he dared call the ruler of that day a “fox” (Lk. 13.32). It was a calculated, public insult, and a challenge to his duplicitous authority. Despite the deadly actions of all manners of foxes, God will accomplish his purposes, he will bring hope and healing to the downtrodden, and will revitalize life within all who trust in his Son.   [LNB]

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