Archive for June 10th, 2009

Some years ago I was invited to speak at a conference in Armenia. Afterwards we were driven to meet the Catholicus, or Pope, of the Armenian church. He was annoyed about Northern Irish evangelicals poaching souls from him while bringing aid to victims of the Armenian earthquake.

Anyway, on the way back to Yerevan, the capital, I got separated from my translator. Our minibus took a detour up a hill to a cemetery and suddenly we were being escorted by soldiers to a grave and handed big gladiolis to lay there in tribute to whoever was inside. All of this was filmed.

So somewhere there is a little film of me paying my respects to an Armenian military figure whose name and achievements, benign or otherwise, I know nothing about.

Which means that I am ill placed to criticise Irish poets who performed a reading in Queens University today in honour of AJP Abdul Kalam, the founder of the Indian nuclear weapons programme.

Still, it would have been nice if someone had told him that the incineration of Pakistan should not be an option in any circumstances.

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