The following is a translated article written in response to our The Armenians of Springfield blog post by a website based in Azerbaijan. It was launched by an NGO called "For Human Rights" in 2011. They refer to themselves as "an information, analytical and monitoring portal" and state that their mission is to educate society and fight for human rights.
Armenians Rule the U.S. Classic Animated Series
All Azerbaijanis who have ever been abroad and talked to foreigners have definitely come across the fact that ordinary people from Europe, America and even Asia do not know about the existence of a country named Azerbaijan. When this happens, we have to hide our disappointment and explain that we come from Azerbaijan, a small country located on the Caspian shore at the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains between Iran and Russia.
Still, it's a great shame that the country that gave the world the great Fuzuli and Nizami, declared the first democracy in the East, and now supplies oil and gas to almost every European consumer is not known abroad. It's even a bigger shame when people trying to get a clearer idea of where exactly Azerbaijan is located, ask a question: “Is it near Armenia?”
So, how come we are losing the PR battle to the Armenians and why is Armenia more widely known around the world today than Azerbaijan? This fact overlooked by the public authorities and expat communities is usually attributed to the influence of the powerful Armenian lobby that has penetrated the world. This is why there are calls to recognize the so-called Armenian Genocide or the “independence” of Nagorno-Karabakh, sometimes from places where you would least expect it, such as New South Wales in Australia.
Over the last ten years the government of Azerbaijan has made enormous efforts, including economic and cultural promotion to raise the country's international profile. In addition to a variety of international exhibitions and conferences for all industries, Azerbaijan hosted the Eurovision Song Contest and the first European Games. Thanks to the support from Azerbaijani companies, football players from big-league European clubs come on the field in T-shirts with the word “Azerbaijan” on them and the logo of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) sponsoring important international competitions is already a familiar sight.
However, despite billions of dollars spent on the promotion these efforts do not contribute much to the image and prestige issue.
Experience has shown that Armenians are doing a good job of making their country famous all over the globe without such huge expenses. First of all, the Armenian propaganda counts on the pop culture and it works perfectly. The reader has probably noticed an increasingly large number of Armenians featuring in recent popular Hollywood films. Armenians are shown as mafia bosses in almost every U.S. action film where Armenia, its history and culture also get a mention and you can hear the duduk playing at the end. Eventually, all this is shaping certain ideas in the minds of the cinema and TV audience all over the world and when the time comes, some of them will definitely remember the “Great Armenia”, probably when talking to you.
Today, one of the U.S. websites posted a review of The Simpsons, the world-famous animated series. The show has been broadcast in over 100 countries and its audience has long ago reached hundreds of millions of viewers. The authors of the review conclude that most of the characters living in the fictional American town of Springfield where The Simpsons takes place are of Armenian descent.
It turned out that Principal Seymour Skinner, one of the main characters in the show, is in fact Armen Tamzarian, an ethnic Armenian who has been hiding under the name of Skinner for years. In the episode called “The Principal And The Pauper”, Skinner is celebrating twenty years of his career as a principal. Superintendent Chalmers and the other teachers are throwing a big party for Principal Skinner. All goes well until the real Sgt. Skinner who was passing the school by chance exposes him. It emerges that Skinner (born Armen Tamzarian) is an impostor who once was a street punk in Capital City. The court gave him a choice to go to jail or the army. Having no idea that there was a war in Vietnam going on, he chose the latter.
There, he was befriended by Sgt. Seymour Skinner, whom he came to idolize. When Sgt. Seymour Skinner was reported missing presumed dead, Tamzarian decided to assume his identity. Skinner's mother deliberately mistook him for Seymour. Since then, Tamzarian made Skinner's dream of becoming a school principal come true. The real Seymour Skinner had been alive after all: he had been taken prisoner and then sent to a Chinese sweatshop where he made Sneakers. After the sweatshop was closed down, the real Skinner returned to Springfield.
If you think that the appearance of Armen Tamzarian in the show can be considered pure coincidence then think twice about other characters of Armenian descent. In Episode 16, Season 17 of The Simpsons, a Dr. Egoyan appears, also of Armenian descent. When the Springfield football team loses out the finger of blame is on Grampa Simpson aka Abe, who gets depressed and decides to seek out Dr. Egoyan. Instead of helping Abe, Dr. Egoyan tells him about the easiest ways to commit suicide.
The fans have found one more character of Armenian descent in the show. In the final episode (Episode 23) in Season 10, the main character Homer Simpson says that he has attended the Chuck Garbedian Mega-Savings Seminar. As you can guess, Chuck is also of Armenian descent.
And, finally, here is the biggest surprise. As it turns out Moe the bartender, one of the funniest characters in the show, is half Armenian. In “Lisa Goes Gaga”, Moe describes himself as “half monster, half Armenian”, which also proves that he is of Armenian descent.
This is by no means an exhaustive list because after more than 20 years of running, the series was officially renewed with more seasons coming. So we cannot help but wonder how come Armenians feature so prominently in such a popular show. Characters of Armenian descent outnumber those of Spanish, Italian or German descent. Skeptics may call it a mere coincidence but I call it one of the most successful Armenian propaganda projects in popular culture.
Original article: http://m.haqqin.az/news/58335
Author: Murad Samedov
3rd December 2015