Posted by pancho from ? (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, March 23, 2002 at 11:05AM :
It's going to be open season on him again as the rats of Assyria gather round to do as much damage to the man as possible. You'd think we hated any Assyrian to get up off his kness the way we cut each other down.
Since I've known the man he has not only staked his reputation on a guy like me, I wouldn't have done it...and I kid you not...but he's been out of pocket to the tune of around $300,000 in direct payments to me over the years. Look...if I made abstract crap I could turn the stuff out at a great clip...there's a reason they needed slaves back then...our kind of art takes a lot of time.
It's true that I made a deal to give him a copy of any piece I made so long as he did his part and paid for the casting. It's also true that he has the rights to what has to be a pretty unique collection...from madcap skeletons to full size monuments. But he had no way of knowing I would do much of anything when he first backed me. I could have crapped out at any time and all he would have had was a piece or two.
To his credit he never backed down and we have had some tremendous fights over the years. I can't blame him. The money he invested was pretty considerable, even for him, but it was the trust thing. I held a very important part of his heart in my hands and I could have crushed it at any time by breaking faith.
How many times he begged me to make money...not to releive him but to put me on a more sound basis. he wanted to be my agent, represent me to people but I wouldn't let him. He tried everything but I refused to get my head out of the noose I placed it in...the one our Grat Leeders were holding the other end of.
Maybe the rest of you have a much better hold on your souls and know you would never be swayed or pushed off of the track you chose. Me...I knew the going was going to be rough...never dreamed it would be THIS rough, but good and rough. To tell the truth I thought our main difficulty would be raising the money first...then geting a city to accept our monuments. I never dreamed the toughest obstacle would be our own Nayshun.
If I'd had a single solitary "out"...if I could have fallen back on anything...if I could now...I would have taken whatever exit there was long ago. I did the same thing with the Jubilant Delinquents. I put myself directly in harms way...experienced their lives and despair as near as anyone could...lived with them, slept in the same house, was there all day every day weekends and holidays with no escape because it was the only way to understand, to get a handle on what might work, what might be needed. They had the right ideas, just couldn't formulate them. I saw what they needed cause I was going crazy right along with them, but I had some distance and perspective...just enough.
Same with our community. I fixed it so there was only one way for me to eat at all...and that was by figuring out how to get the money out of our community. I don't mean by how to trick them like that guy in Australia...that's a piece of cake. I mean how to get the money for the work that I would pay myself minimum wage to do...what I made sure was the ONLY work I had that might pay.
Janey says her marriage would be a weak one if it couldn't survive...really? Try taking the heat and the pressure and the uncertainty that I put my family through. If Ford didn't pay Atour half the time...resented the size of his paycheck...made it doubtful from week to week and for 18 years whether or not Janey would have the money to feed her children...then have "friends" like I had be the ones to finally kill his work and humiliate and threaten to arrest him...let's see how the Greatest Wimp this Assrin Nayshun ever produced would have held up...and you too.
I had no fallback position cause I would have taken the easier way out a hundred times. It's like I started down a road that there was no turning back from...you have to come out the other end or flick it in.
Few of us have seen what I saw...not with juveniles or with our own people. In the eyes of the two young girls at the Chicago convention who saw the full plaster Shumirum years ago, I was priveleged to see, in all its innocence and yearning, the wonder and love and sheer joy and pride those two Assyrian girls felt when they stared up at "their" queen.
Let Jackie buy another ten Assyrians, or look into their frightened and blank faces...she will never see what I saw. I made that happen...not by myself certainly...but I was there to catch that look, and it was everything.
I know what the rest of you don't...that it CAN be done. That it can be done by one of US. That the community WILL support the right idea presented in the proper way. That our children have it in them to fall madly in love with this Heritage if it isn't humiliated before their eyes constantly.
My children had to endure the sight of their father being threatened with physical violence in a public place like a hotel lobby in front of other people, by the security chief of the Federation itself...the sam Federation that issued him a written invitaion to attend...the same Federation that took $10,000 from YOU to give to a monument it refused to see installed in Chicago. You know how children feel when they see a dear parent treated like that?...the same way we should feel when our Heritage is humiliated in public. We don't care for that "parent" at all...and we wonder about our children.
I also know what it is to be stopped and shot down by one of US. That awful feeling that no one will come to the rescue for those two little girls and many more like them...that all these brave heroes and experts and Implements of Assyria are terrified down to their booties and hope to cover the stains on their shorts with bravado and Hysteria and Protests and Demands. Not ONE parent in Chicago made a squeak, lifted a little finger to bring that monument to Chicago for those two girls and their own children one day...not one!
No one stood up and said what Jackie and Atour and Janey did at the convention was wrong...not a slight to me personally fer chrissakes, but a disservice to all of us. That after all those years of work and training and travel and effort...the whole thing would be allowed to die with a whimper and I would be blamed for not fucking my own pieces over!...to snuff the light of pride and hope in the eyes of those girls and who knows how many other children of ours...so that Nimrod would be safe and protected to go on spouting to no one about his "plans"...or so Atour could practise his excruciating penmanship on the heads of baffled and perplexed wurld leeders.
I've seen both extremes and I choose to come away with the bright image of the children's eyes...fuck these leeders and their lawsuits and their conventions and cops and budgets and minutes that stretch into years.
Keep your eyes on the children's eyes...that's where the prize really is.
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