Origins of the Name, Manifesto and Inspirations…

What is High Gadfly?

Founded on April 25, 2015 in Glendale, California, High Gadfly is a platform for creative people and critical thinkers alike to generate thoughts and quality content for the community.

What does the name “High Gadfly” mean?

High Gadfly consists of two words the combination of which is expected to stimulate thought, maybe to trigger a brief research and hopefully to lead into a smile.

High, encompasses the entire meanings in the English lexicon also representing the Armenian origins of the formation Hay – Հայ (Armenian).


Gadfly, which not only denotes a type of fly, but it also aims for the figurative notion of social gadfly, originally put forth by Greek philosopher Socrates, suggesting the word to exemplify a person who interferes with the status quo of a society or community by posing novel, potently upsetting questions, usually directed at authorities.

What does High Gadfly do? (Manifesto)

Founded on April 25, 2015 in Glendale, California, High Gadfly is a platform for creative people and critical thinkers alike to generate quality content for community.

High Gadfly has the expressed goal of stimulating independent thought through means of creative writing, visual arts, film, theater, photography and new media.

High Gadfly counters superficial entertainment by creating food for thought.

High Gadfly products are made with the aim of challenging the status que of the society by means of creativity, art and culture.

High Gadfly aims to bring focus on information that require society’s action rather than irrelevant, trivial or superficial information that has turned into a commodity in the mainstream media.

Where did the idea came from?

Living in Los Angeles with all its craziness makes one question the challenging social structures, that we’re all dealing with day to day. In this aspect we don’t seem to be too different from two thousand years ago when the then capital of the intellectual world, Athens in Greece was consumed with many of our todays problems. As a result critic of our social system in ways similar to those of the ancient Greek thinkers seems necessary. And in order to do this we can’t find a person better than Socrates as an inspiration. The following excerpt might best explain why:

“All societies need a gadfly to sting the steed of state into acknowledging its proper duties and obligations.” – Plato in his Apology for the life of Socrates –

According to the words put into his mouth by Plato, Socrates believed that he had been sent by the gods to act as a “gadfly” to the Athenian state. He saw the state as “a great and noble steed” which had to be reminded of its proper duties. Socrates believed he did this by stinging the steed of state “all day long and in all places”. No wonder it wanted to get rid of him by forcing him to commit suicide!

“I am the gadfly of the Athenian people, given to them by God, and they will never have another, if they kill me. And now, Athenians, I am not going to argue for my own sake, as you may think, but for yours, that you may not sin against the God by condemning me, who am his gift to you. For if you kill me you will not easily find a successor to me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by God; and the state is a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long 1and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. You will not easily find another like me, and therefore I would advise you to spare me.”

Why the “Social Gadfly” should be relevant in this day and age?

Many modern day values that has been established firmly in our mind could be subject to change and might not be correct at all. Watch the following video by The School of Life to understand the significance of Socrates and the concept of Social Gadfly.

Where does the Armenian connotation of the name comes from?

The creators of High Gadfly are originally Armenian hence the implication of High as a dual meaning bilingual double entendre. Many among our creative team moved to Los Angeles at some point in our lives and therefore learned to create content in English but Armenian remains an integral part of our culture and so we think this name can as well signify the duality of our nature  in not so very obvious ways.