Last week, I was on a business trip in Bar Harbor, Maine of all places. It's a bit islolated up there, but the scenery is pretty cool. I was able to visit Acadia National Park, sit back, and just enjoy the view while driving to my locations for work. While staying there, I was able to rethink the Hover marketing strategy for the upcoming disc by them, "Six Fables: Based on the Writings of Vardan Aigektsi". This time around, I am going to stress marketing the group in the LA area a lot more than I have been marketing our other discs. I've been trying to develop the non-LA market as best I can, however, this approach has been met with mixed results. Now, our team is ready for the challenge over here and in Armenia to promote this world premier recording coming out September 1. Hover will be performing in the UK from September 13-21. We've already got a few volunteers in the UK (Thanks Harmick) ready to help out. If you are in Europe and want to help out, please contact me.
In other news, the Boston (or whoever gets the Armenian Weekly) area has witnessed a public brawl in the media between the ARF's english language weekly newspaper edition, The Armenian Weekly, and Harvard University Armenian Studies Chair, Prof. James Russell. In the past month or so, barbs have been traded focusing around the effectiveness of Mr. Russell and his impact (of lack of) at Harvard. The Weekly came out an roasted Russell in an editorial over anti ARF comments pertaining to his bewildering statements on General Dro Kanaian (Bash Abaran), the Armenian Community, and the defense of himself and his record at Harvard. As a casual observer, the criticism by the Armenian Weekly of Mr. Russell seems fair. Under his 10 year leadership at Harvard University there has been only one graduate of his Armenian Studies program there. Of late, some have said that Mr. Russell has been making irresponsible and divisive comments in Armenian and non-Armenian circles regarding certain Armenian political parties. Anyway, my point isn't to further chastigate Mr. Russell, but to merely explain that the Armenian-American community may have better and more important things to worry about, although Mr. Russell's reputation at Harvard is tanking pretty quickly.
A soon to be former colleague of Mr. Russell, Bert Vaux, Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and an expert on the Armenian Language has come out against Mr. Russell recently in an interview in the Armenian Weekly (July 12, 2003) and stated that "I am sure that there are Armenians that can meet with the President of Harvard to let him know what's been going on with the chair, and what they think are reasonable goals or activities for a chair- things that have nothing to do with academic freedom. What you need to watch out for is the defense that academics need to be free to do their own research and you can't censor them, but this isn't about that. This about basic goals like producing students, doing things for the community, allowing people to take your classes, and so on." when asked what the Community can do with the Armenian Chair.
Nasty stuff, indeed. If you get a chance, pick up the Armenian Weekly and read the exchange, it may change your view on how the Armenian Chair at prestigious Universities are being either abused or championed, according to your perspective. You make the choice.