Serj Tankian (born August 21, 1967) is a Armenian-American musician born in Beirut. He is a member of the rock band System of a Down, a name inspired by a Daron Malakian poem titled "Victims of a Down". In addition to his current singing duties with System of a Down, Serj has started his own record label, Serjical Strike, in an effort to release music otherwise ignored by the mainstream. The first act on this new label is a side-project dubbed "Serart" featuring Serj himself and famed world-musician Arto Tuncboyaciyan. His first poetry book Cool Gardens was published by MTV Books and features artwork by fellow Angeleno Sako Shahinian.
An outspoken musician, Serj has spoken out against violence and injustice abroad. On September 13, 2001, shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Serj penned an essay, which he posted on the official System of a Down website, titled "Understanding Oil". Promptly removed by Sony, the essay was seen by many, still shook by the attack, as justification for the terrorists' actions. However, the essay advocated peace and the research and development of alternate fuels. Shortly after his essay was removed, Serj appeared on the Howard Stern show via telephone to explain his position; unwilling to budge in their pro-war stance, however, the crew, and listeners who phoned, repeatedly interrupted him with their opinions on what should be done and their reasoning for retaliation.
More recently, Serj has partnered with Tom Morello of Audioslave to create Axis of Justice, an activist organization aimed at motivating youth interest in politics. On January 3, 2003, Serj and Tom led a protest march in Santa Monica, California handing out bagged lunches to the homeless in violation of a city ordinance that requires charitable organizations, while handing out food in public, to follow restaurant code.
- System of a Down website (http://www.systemofadown.com)
- Serjical Strike Records website (http://www.serjicalstrike.com)
- Axis of Justice website (http://www.axisofjustice.org)
Above Copyleft (CL) 2005, Wikipedia.org
ANALYSIS: Subject Serj Tankian requests meeting at a local playground so that he might "shoot hoops." Examiner notes subject has a nice outside shot. Subject's warm, non-judgmental demeanor vis a vis the brutality with which he sings in System of a Down indicates, if not an interior struggle, a complex duality. Subject may or may not have been influenced by producer Rick Rubin's beard.
As with many perpetual searchers, subject Tankian strolls a path towards tranquility not in and of itself flower-lined or emotionally perfumed. A confessed devotee of the meditational arts, subject is nonetheless felled by bouts of existential angst, here centered, most old-worldly enough, on doubts of the human animal's capacity to salvage intrinsic beliefs in an increasingly self-conscious global village, "We pay so much attention to our mind that we're losing touch with our true vision, our instinct," he says. "Ever since the day we were separated from the Earth, as a culture, as a religion, we've become very left-brained, very logical. We've lost something."
Subject freely drops political jargon ("cooperate Darwinism," "Chomsky-esque") and expresses clear skepticism regarding modes and means of information dissemination, "We see the same thing on every channel," he says. "It's all very devised. It's very filtered.? Well-versed on pressing issues, he's neither apathist nor activist but instead one fascinated by the nature and conclusions of international transactions, policies and ideologies. Awareness and keen knowledge of national or global cause and effect traditionally signifies: a.) sub-conscious desire to avoid examination of the self b.) phobias regarding species extinction c.) revolutionary aspirations (imagined or real) and/or d.) imminent career as college professor.
As with Daron Malakian, this subject proves hard to classify under the four principal character orders. His curiosity regarding the validity and meaning of the methodology itself is paramount to immersion in the questioning. Subject is at times evasive, but not necessarily in standoffish manner. Inference is that, to Tankian, nothing proactive stems from absolute answers or even their quest. That established, subject identifies with members of all four orders. As former CEO of a marketing management software company, Tankian logically identifies with Bill Gates, a Rational, but seems more keenly attuned to or in reverence of Mother Teresa, a Guardian, and Gandhi, an Idealist.
It's possible subject Tankian may be a "quadjunctionary," psychoanalytically defined as "pertaining to all four orders but possessing a majority of none." Entered as evidence to the above, subject's elusory response when questioned on the nature and bias of System of a Down's curious euphony, specifically: Is their music opti or pessimistic? "I think it's neither," he says. "At some points it might be one or the other but the sum total is neither."
Subject is questioned from the six stratas as defined by Schwartz & Bristol("Altruist," "Magician," "Innocent," "Orphan," "Wanderer" and "Warrior"). Tankian's most telling responses come amid the Altruist portion, a division tackling interpersonal needs and offerings. Brief, almost Zen-esque replies to the following: What do you ask most of those around you ("a smile") and What do you offer in return ("a smile"), soundly suggest an association with simplicity as wisdom and the defeat of restrictive logic or malice via universally understood, non-lingual communication.
CONCLUSION: System of a Down singer Serj Tankian is happily trapped in an evolution towards the capacity for blind trust that intrinsically mandates eternal questioning of self and surroundings. Poetic in his musings, subject has faith in the arts for cross-cultural discourse and reserves the balance of his vitriol for stage and studio. In layman's terms: Not that many people think, sing or front a band like Serj Tankian. The guy whoops ass.
SERJ TANKIAN VISITS CONGRESS
artist: system of a down
category: general music news
Sept 29 2005
System Of A Down singer visits Congressman's office to push Genocide Bill, as he tries to push for more of a global object and takes a brake from the tour. He goes on the political path to try and loby for changes in the Genocide Bill.
Tankian promised his 97-year-old grandfather he would do his best to convince Congressman Dennis Hastert to bring the Armenian Genocide Resolution to a vote, an issue long close to System Of A Down. And he did just that Tuesday outside the Speaker of the House's Batavia, Illinois, office.
Tankian joined members of the Armenian National Committee of America, the Armenian Youth Federation and his own Axis Of Justice organization in a rally and then read a heartfelt letter he delivered to Hastert's office in support of the pending legislation, which would officially recognize Turkey's slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923.
With the resolution, which overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan International Relations Committee, Hastert can either bring it to the House of Representatives for a vote or let it expire.
"It's all in his hands, he's the man," Tankian said of Hastert, who spoke in support of recognizing the genocide on the House floor in 1994. "The thing is that a similar resolution was going around in 2000 as well and he was the speaker of the House then, but at the time President Clinton had written a letter asking him not to bring it up to vote, citing concerns that had to do with Turkey. In 2004 he also had the opportunity to bring another resolution to vote on ...
and that didn't happen either.
"I'm sure that there's a lot of lobbying going on from the Bush administration, from the military-industrial complex that sells a lot of weapons to Turkey, and a whole host of corporate lobbyist firms that don't want this thing to pass, but the truth has to come out, and more so in a democracy than anywhere else," he continued. "So we're fighting the good fight.".
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