Monday, May 11, 2009

Lezginka: The story of a Caucasian War Dance.

I've always had a fascination with Lezginka and spent many a thrilling hour going through all the Lezginka clips on You Tube. If you don't know, Lezginka is a Caucasian dance named after the Lezgis that is danced all over the Caucasus, by the Georgians, the Armenians, the Chechens (who aren't Turkic, in case you're wondering, and neither are the Lezgis, as 18 noun declensions will attest), and the many other cultures whose home is the Caucusus.

The curious thing about Lezginka is that there seems to be a war, fought in the comments sections, over whether it is an all male dance, or whether it is a dance that includes one or more women. Some maintain the former, some the latter, and others maintain that the Lezginka includes women, but that there is another all-male dance called the Mkhedruli ("military" in Georgian).

I think the answer is that it's all one dance that went through a historical change. It started out as an all-male war dance, like this:

Or, if you'd prefer a more real-life example, consider this clip of Chechens dancing in Moscow (Note the first dancer firing off his gun after he's done dancing):

There's no doubting that the above dances, whether you want to call them "Lezginka" or Mkhedruli, are all-male war dances. Aside from the fact that the participants are exclusively men, the male aesthetic of the dance is unmistakable. There are no curves in the Lezginka, only elbows and knees in a whirlwind of angles, balanced geometrically. The point isn't grace and fluid movements, but to combine the speed of a spinning-top with an as sudden and precise a break in motion as that of a whirling dagger nailing the apple on top of the beautiful assistant's head, so vulnerably and trustingly stand does she. It's a war dance, alright, the pure joy of complete control with a healthy dose of "hey, check ME out"-ism:

I think what happened was that, as time went on, women started jumping into the fray, or slam-pit, so to speak. I would venture to guess that this was a very, very late development because even today it is very conceivable for rivals over a woman to get into a fight if she dances with one of them and leaves the other alone. But, in any case, that the introduction of women into this dance is a new development is also evidenced by how thoroughly boring the woman's dance is compared to the man's: it is basically gliding in circles while making elegant gestures with the hands. The footwork, if any, is limited to imitation. Consider this, for example:

Here is an excellent collection of people dancing Lezginka in weddings as evidence for the above point and, of course, for sheer enjoyment:

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

Note that the majority of dancers in these clips, and pretty much most of the clips on You Tube, are Chechens. There's no way to tell from their faces which part of the Caucusus they come from, of course, but you can tell because, erm, the titles say "Chechen." There are many Georgians there, too, but they are mostly performers putting on elaborate shows, and damn good ones, too. They really are very good Lezginka dancers:

Here is a Dagestani performance, at least according to the title. They may be Georgians, too, wearing Dagestani hats:

And that is the "evolutionary" curve that the Lezginka has gone through: it began as a war dance, women joined in, and then it became a spectacle for people to watch, vicariously enjoy, and clap for--bourgeois entertainment: the concert ends at 8 PM so you can get to work on time the next day. And that's generally the curve of culture from pre-modern to late modern. Savage and exhilarating in the beginning; beautiful-ish and civil toward the middle. Aesthetacization.

One more thing. There are lots and lots of Caucasians dancing Lezginka on You Tube, but pretty much no Armenians. There was only one clip I found with the title of Armenian Lezginka, and that was the Armenian Dance Ensemble. I'm not going to link to it because it is just so fucking horrible that its embarrassing. It's not that we don't dance Lezginka; I've seen plenty of people dancing Lezginka at weddings and dancing it very well. It's just that it is not the focus of our attention on You Tube, apparently. Most dancing that you see Armenians do on You Tube are shurjpars, with the whole clan joining in. Which means something, but that for a later time.

In any case, Armenian culture, I think, is more oriented toward music. And the aesthetacization of Lezginka is the perfect example of this. When Aram Khachaturian came along, Leziginka went high-brow. I like this version:

But what I want to leave you is the following clip. I've been trying to describe it for the last hour, but I just can't. I write paragraph after paragraph, but nothing seems to work. So I'll leave it up to you to interpret the music a short, fat guy sitting in the middle of his living room plays on his accordion wearing a wife-beater shirt. All I'll say is that he plays it in a way that brings out the hidden sadness of the song. Brilliant people always do look a little weird:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Aesthetatize. That is what we need to do.

What I was trying to say, is that we need to aesthetatize our music. That's a spelling error, but a cultural correction. Typical of Glendale I might add.

Jewish Aryans: That's how fucked up we are.

Conflicted yet?

So I'm watching this clip on You Tube:

(After Levon's speech, it's all downhill, like big time.)

And I'm thinking, "Jesus Christ, more village music!" Enough with the village music for Christ's sake! Zurnas and dohols. What, do I wake up to my ass braying every morning? No, I wake up to the goddamn 210 freeway, and it's loud. Let me tell you something: Village rituals does not for a culture make. You understand? Dancing in a circle at a wedding doesn't mean anything. How else can I put it? You look like a fucking idiot when you swing the handkerchief at the head of the line. All of that business is gone, gone, gone. You understand?

Yeah, the duduk is beautiful, but it's too late, way too late to enjoy it. We're 22nd century Armenians. Which means that we are way to late to the table: All the people that count have eaten and gone already; all we can do is look at the left-overs and drool. And NOT eat.

That's who we are. I'm sorry, but that is who we are. You do a Google image search for "Armenian" and all you get is dead people and patriarchs. What kind of a culture is that? Getting killed is something that you are proud of? That's something to celebrate? Fuck that. Kill them back! Ten times motherfucking over!

Anyway, I'm sitting and thinking about this, and I'm thinking who are we, Armenians. And the only conclusion that I reach is that we're Jewish Aryans.

I officially invite anybody else to come up with a better explanation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Which reminds me... Why don't we get the NUCLEAR BOMB?

There are Armenians all over Russia; there are Armenians all over America. Can't we find an A.Q. Khan-ian? That's all we need to do. The Azeris would shut the fuck up so fast, Ill-ham, that is to say, Swine Flu, (ill ham, get it?), would shut his trap faster than you can [edited for content].

And that is why I make this Declaration: MY FELLOW ARMENIANS: LET'S GET THE BOMB!

A.Q. all the way (why do these fuckers look so sad all the time?)

Kill them back. The Turks. (Wow. Nationalist Kool-Aid tastes Gooooood...)

And let's take our lands back. I'm so sick and tired of them, these Turks. Let's just kill them. It's easy. You just pick up a machete and you chop your neighbor's head off.

No problem: It is machete + head = dead motherfucker.


Let's do it.

I am personally going to skull-fuck every rapist of an Armenian girl. Nobody rapes an Armenian girl and gets away with it. I am, to be candid, pretty fucking sick of hearing about it.

You see this:

That was in the 1960's.

Nice sentiment. This is now: Kill them all. They've raped our women and taken our land. Really? I'll rape you back you motherfucker! Ten years, twenty years, a hundred years after. You'll pay!

Don't UN-hate a Turk, RE-hate a Turk. And HATE them over and over and over again.

And then the MI6 and the GRU and the NSA can have a field day... And then we'll fuck them, too, those retarded intelligence agencies that can't tell the difference between a bureaucratic mistake and a typo. Or maybe that's the same thing... Maybe the CIA can tell the difference, or maybe nobody can... (dot, dot, dot)

Or maybe you can just BITE people:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

3:1 kill ratio. Why don't we just take over the whole place?

In the Azeri war, Armenians killed three Azeris for every Armenian. People dying isn't something that I enjoy, but it is the way of the world, and, since it it is, why not go bat-shit crazy with war? That's what they want, isn't it?

Why don't we go all out and take Baku? Why don't we take Tiflis? Those Georgians posture so often, it makes me want to kick their asses. I mean, really.

What are we waiting for? Our soldiers are disciplined, our war strategy matches the best chess player's strategy, and we have the will.

We've seen death and lived with death for soooooooooooooooo long. The Russians fear Chechens. We EAT Chechens. WTF? Let's go from Baku to Tiflis. Let's go WARRIOR. We have it in us. Let's take over the whole place. Let's take Tiflis, let's take Baku.