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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Reclaiming Beauty

Jamie Glazov, of Frontpage Magazine, and now also running the Jamie Glazov Productions, produced by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, was to interview me on my ideas on Reclaiming Beauty.

Below is our email communication.

KPA, June 11, 2013:
Dear Mr. Glazov,

I am a designer and an artist.

My work incorporates many Canadian and American themes.

I am writing a book titled: Reclaiming Beauty.

I would like to know if you will have me on your show to discuss my book, and my larger ideas.

I believe that we are now at an impasse in our Western civilization. I have been chronicling these progressions, both in America and in Canada, at my websites, Our Changing Landscape, Camera Lucida, and most recently at Reclaiming Beauty.

I decided to focus on beauty because it is usually the first to deteriorate where civilization begins to break down.

My book (and website) are not simply chroniclers of events, though. I hope that the book becomes a small guide to show the way out of this impasse. And I hope that the website evolves into a kind of a group movement, where we not only discuss these issues online, but become activists in our communities and societies.

I have lived in Canada (mostly Toronto) for the last twenty years. I have lived in France and England, and a short while in Mexico. I left my country of birth, Ethiopia as a young child.

I have also lived and studied in the United States, in Rutgers University, New Jersey, and the University of Connecticut.

I have a digital arts degree, which includes film and photography, and extensive training in painting, drawing and textile design.

My articles have been printed in Frontpage Magazine, The American Thinker, ChronWatch and in the Botanical Artists of Canada.

Here is my resume:

Here are the preliminary chapters to my book Reclaiming Beauty:

And here are my websites:

Reclaiming Beauty

Camera Lucida

Our Changing Landscape

Kidist P. Asrat Photographs

Kidist P. Asrat Articles

Well Patterned

Thank you for your attention,


Kidist Paulos Asrat
Glazov, June 11, 2013:
where do you live sir? and what is your political disposition?
KPA, June 13, 2013:
I am "Miss" and not "Sir"! Actually, it is a common mistake.

I live in Toronto, Canada.

You may remember me from articles I have written for Frontpage Magazine. Here is a link to my articles published at FPM.

Glazov, June 13, 2013:
Ok thanks Kidist...well the show tapes in L.A.....if you are gonna be in L.A. I would try to work something out to make it happen. Cheers, Jamie.
KPA, June 24, 2013:
Dear Jamie,

I'm working on coming out to LA. I have a chapter I want to write about wine (its aesthetic, religious, gastronomic, etc. aspects) and I am contacting some wine experts in the wine country for interviews.

By the way, does your media company have any funding for guests on its show? I'm trying to secure funds for the plane ride and a few nights in a hotel.

Thanks again for your interest and invitation. I look forward to meeting you.

Glazov, June 24, 2013:
Hi Kidist, sorry my friend, our budget is very tight and we do not have the means to pay anything for guests. Wish you the best, Cheers, Jamie.
KPA, July 30, 2013:
Dear Jamie,

Once again, thanks for your interest.

It looks like I will be able to make it to California in late August, early September. I will come over for the day, stay over-night, and leave the next day, after the interview.

Please let me know the exact date that you can put me on your program.

And could you also tell me the exact location of your organization, so that I can start booking a hotel. And if you know of any bed and breakfast type of places, please also let me know.

By the way, I was listening to some of your interviews, and your recent one with Ying Ma really struck a chord. Here is the link to my post Chinese Woman Still in the Ghetto on Reclaiming Beauty. I hope I wasn't too harsh.
Glazov, July 30, 2013:
Hi Kidist, I will be away all August and early September so unfortunately I can't schedule anything for this time. Sincerely, Jamie.
KPA, July 30, 2013:
That's fine. I was working on doing one big trip to the U.S. I have a group meeting with Jim Kalb [and] Orthosphere in mid-late August in NYC, and I thought I could make the trip down to California that way. In fact, after Sept. is better since I can book a low-season ticket/hotel early.

Glazov, July 30, 2013:
the genre and plans for the show are changing in the future so i cannot promise anything. sincerely, jamie.
Glazov diplomatically changed his mind about my interview. I think it was because of my post on Reclaiming Beauty Chinese Woman Still in the Ghetto. Here is the link. My post is about Ying Ma, the author of Chinese Girl in the Ghetto, whom Glazov had interviewed on his television show. In the eyes of modern conservatives (and modern people in general) any direct reference to someone's race, and attributing their behaviors to that cultural and racial make-up, is tantamount to racism. I am sure this is how Glazov took my post.

He was so busy admiring the many achievement and activities of Ma, that he overlooked one very important fact: all of Ma's activities center around her "Chineseness." I questioned the wisdom of allowing people like Ma to enter important areas of American politics such as Ma's trip to China with the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. At what point will her loyalties be to America only, and not to some ambiguous connection to China? How can we trust her not to relay vital information to the Chinese, directly or inadvertently?

Ma left China around the same age I left Ethiopia. She came to America as an immigrant (legal immigrant, she is happy to inform us). She left China because her parents were looking for better economic prospects. I left Ethiopia because it was a matter of saving my father's life. We were political dissidents. My father was part of the Haile Selassie regime, and he secured a post in the Paris-based UNESCO months before the regime fell apart, and the brutal and vicious dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam took over. Many of my father's colleagues, and friends, were imprisoned. Some were excecuted. This would have probably been the fate of my father.

But, by the grace of God, we ended up in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world! My young years until my late teens were spent between school holidays in Paris, and boarding school in England. My brothers and I got the best of the Western world. We were hardly wealthy. Most of my father's assets had to remain in Ethiopia (and were later confiscated). We lived in cramped apartments. And UNESCO payed the bills for our primary and secondary education. My parents then sent us to college in the U.S. Only one child could secure UNESCOS's college education assistance (which I received, being the eldest), and later, I managed to get a collection of scholarships and grants which took me through graduate degrees.

Soon after we arrived in Europe, we had very little relations with Ethiopia. There were a handful (three of four) Ethiopian families in France since almost all who left Ethiopia had gone to America. I speak Amharic, but my youngest brother barely speaks it. All my post-Ethiopa life has been immersed in the West. But, it wasn't for lack of opportunities that, for me, Ethiopia was in the background. New York and Los Angeles have a huge hub of Ethiopians. When I went to college in the U.S. at seventeen, I could have resumed "where we left off," and started a whole new chapter of "Ethiopianness" with the huge community in New York, but for I opted to stay away from that. I couldn't understand the nostalgic relation to a country which is so far away, culturally, geographically and for me, emotionally.

My blogs and writing will show that I am a unique (odd, some will say) defender of the West, and Western civilization. I have tried to include some Ethiopian elements, primarily its Christian heritage, but that seems to be the only, significant, point of intersection with my Western-oriented work. I have been asked, both in my writings and in my design work, why I don't focus on Ethiopia. Each time, I have ignored those remarks, or made a quick, dismissive reply in order to be left alone. The questions have never been genuine, and were by people who were in some way trying to belittle Western civilization.

And I have been rewarded for my reticence. I have been discovering the extraordinary gifts of Western art and culture since I was a ten-year-old in Paris.

I have maintained this blog (or series of blogs), without any interruption, and without changing my original message and direction, for abut ten years now. And the fruit of that labor is that my writings have enough articles and thought-out arguments that can be published in a book. I hope that will interest, and attract, a much wider scope of people than blog readers.

The book will not be (is not) a "personal" memoir, a la Hirsi Ali, and now Ma, but a theoretical and cultural analysis of art and culture in our West-phobic world, with the aim to reclaim what has been cast aside, and to revive Western culture to the best of my ability, and the best abilities of those whom I hope will join forces with me.
Posted By: Kidist P. Asrat