Re: Keep your eyes on the prize...

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Posted by Cheetah from ? ( on Thursday, March 21, 2002 at 9:33AM :

In Reply to: Keep your eyes on the prize... posted by Jeff from ( on Thursday, March 21, 2002 at 9:00AM :

You have this way of delivering a good slap to the face when someone needs it. But I tell ya Jeff, there comes a time when a person gets tired.

Every time I step back a little and realize that what we managed to do in building trust within the community over so many years of hard work would be undone by Leeders from Hell and without much of a protest from the rest of discourages me mightily.

No one said this would be easy...but there is "hard" and there is "hard". Believe me it isn't easy to steel your nerves up to go ask Assyrians for sell them sculpture...WHAT?...HOW MUCH?? HOW MUCH DO YOU GET???? It isn't particularly easy to heft hundreds of pounds of figure out how to support a family on the dicey and always uncertain income of a sculptor...especially one who wont set up an easy "out" by catering to the larger audience...remaining focused on our own community instead.

It would be like finally making it through medical school and residency only to have people hanging on your arms as you try to operate...or removing equipment from the surgery as you work on something as dear and precious as a child or our Heritage.

It isn't the work I mind...the money grubbing, the uncertainty, the envy, the rumors, the back's realizing how really simple it would be were it not for the machinations of a few people who keep us enthralled by their money or "positions"...keeping us from learning how to flex our own muscles. When you realize that only a few among your own people are blocking and tripping you up...that the world would welcome you if it could just learn about you...and that the rest of us don't much sort of dampens your enthusiasm.

We have no larger vision...we can't see a goal down the road that is achievable, or how to get there. Our focus is far too to an immediate burst of puny glory...some paltry recognition from a third undersecretary somewhere or a plastic placemat award for arranging a beauty pageant.

We don't ask for, we don't demand...we don't even want any greater vision or a deeper perspective. Keep it simple...keep it banal and mundane and meaningless and you might get some response. And even when you avoid the petty stuff and manage to bring in Assyrians who would never ever get involved otherwise...these other people scare them away.

If I'm lucky I've got fifteen more years of active work life left to me. I am in danger of repeating the William Daniel Syndrome...the thing I promised myself I would never do. I've got three great kids and I find it increasingly difficult to justify the amount of time and energy it takes to explain simple basics to the uneducated louts we produce as Leeders...especially when the rest of us are prone to believe every two bit rumor we hear. It is a failure of all of us in the end...never of the Leedership. People get what they deserve...what they demand. If John Nimrod were toilet paper...not a one of us would settle for such ass wipe material...but as our Leeder...why not, who cares?

I've been going steadily backwards at the same time my ability and skill have been increasing. Ashurbanipal took three years...Shumirum took thirteen and still counting...and I wont even be able to finish the Hammurabi. We have a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In the end it was far more important to stop keep me from becomming "more famous"...if you can believe that...than it was to get the work done. And the final irony is that I get blamed for that is MY fault I frustrated my own Life's work. The people who lied and cheated, who ignored their own rules and the Laws forgive themselves because this is all business as usual for them...I was the one out of place, not them.

I will smash the plasters of the Hammurabi monument myself. It took two years of work, travel and fifty thousand bucks to get that far...and I was a third of the way there. But I have to go cold turkey...I know myself well enough to know that so long as there is a thread of a hope, I will hang on. That's what turned Daniel into a bitter old man. Got to cut the string...smash the piece.

I'll photograph it and put it here. A photo montage of regression.

My personal highlight came when three Assyrians, not living in Detroit, gave me a total of $18,000 to create a model for the Hammurabi...a model they didn't know would like what...for a monument they had no clue as to the final appearance of, AND for a city none of them lived in. That was my greatest achievement...and it was something to have cherished and built upon. From that day it was downhill all the way...with our Leeders leeding the charge backwards.

As personally disappointed as you are...think how I must feel.

-- Cheetah
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