Saturday, October 31, 2009

Armenians: badass killerz or total geeks?

So I'm watching the Shield and the Armenians are back. In the criminal underworld of LA as depicted by the Shield, the Armenians are the 'other', not under control of anyone, not scared of anyone and not really understood by the locals, cops or criminals. If you upset them, they cut your balls off. If you really annoy them they cut your feet off and watch you bleed to death. They play the same role as the Russian Mafia do in many other crime series - an impenetrable and out of control force of berserkers who will do anything to anyone. Most ethnic minorities get their chance to be the bad guys in some US cop drama series eventually, so maybe it was just poor Armenia's turn to be cast as the baddie, but then I also happen to be reading White Jazz by James Ellroy at the same time. Despite being set in a L.A. half a century before the Shield, an Armenian crime family is at the heart of the murder, chaos and perversion once again. It appears there is a meme here and at least in SoCal, the lesson from popular fiction seems to be don't fuck with Armenians.

But then about the same time I was digging on the L.A. Armenian crime scene, the BBC had to come along and spoil all the hardass gangsterism with a documentary about the real Armenia - Armenian: the cleverest nation on earth. It appears that actually Armenians are all totally hardcore... errr... chess geeks.

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