Open Letter To Janey Golani

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Posted by panch from ? ( on Sunday, March 31, 2002 at 8:37PM :

Just as soon as I get settled again we will modify the Hammurabi link to include the progess and demise of the Hammurabi Monument. These things aren't over when they end. There is a good lesson here for anyone who wants to understand why we remain where we are... why our young people increasingly run screaming into the night.

I would ask you to provide your own version, or commentary, or anything you wish. It will be placed there in its entirety, no editing, no deletions, no banning...this is an Assyrian Chaldean forum after all...we don't behave that way.

You said that no one will venture to do these kinds of things again because of the way I acted. Perhaps, but it is just as likely that people in your position, and that of your husband and Jackie and John Nimrod, and others who think it would be great sport to "lead the Assrins" will be the ones to think again the next time before they venture where they don't belong.

Narsai David is a powerful presence...a man who was founding president of the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Reperatory Theater...a major and professional theatre, funded by the National Endowment For The Arts and well supported by the Bay Area community. This company has also staged performances in New York and Europe. Narsai retired from that position a few years back, although his annual Roast and fundraiser for the Berkeley Theater is an ongoing annual event eagerly anticipated here and which consistently raises hundreds of thousands of dollars in one night for the Arts and the Theatre in particular. At its new building there is a courtyard named for him.

I say all of this by way of letting you know that there are Assyrians who know how to deal with the Arts and artists. Narsai has very strong opinions and we have clashed mightily on numerous occasions. But the man understands that you don't try to coerce don't try to bend them to your don't seek to make them don't tell them how to speak, think or write...and you sure as hell don't ignore their wishes and go weld their sculpture for them the way you think it should be done.

Narsai always knows how far to offer suggestions and leave it at that when those are rejected. He respects the artistic process because he comes from a place where he has dealt with real professionals, out there where they don't make allowances for Simele...or how "poor" and abused anyone is.

I told him once, and he knew it already, that if he didn't like my work, he should fire me and get someone else...but never ever try to force me to accept anything, because what "I" the source from which any artistry at all might come...take that away and you've cut the heart out of me...and why would someone want to do that? That's a good you and Atour should have asked each other and Jackie.

Can you imagine Atour going to Ford every day, and nights and weekends and doing his job for the LOVE of it...without pay or the likelihood that he ever will receive any? Would he do it...would you LET him do it if half the time there was no money...and the rest of the time barely enough to care for your family with? Would he do the work if he had to run a gauntlet of sarcasms and interference and risk arrest every once in a while? Would you support him in such an effort...or does the pay, the "prestige", the medical benefits, vacation pay, retirement, stock options, bonus pay, the security and the rest of it make the both of you satisfied?

I am not someone who works at a paying job and devotes his spare time to his you devote your spare time to your Heritage. No one, no artist, who didn't have to out of sheer necessity, would risk the fragile ego we all have...would labor like an inspired mule to create something only to risk having it, and himself, laughed at and a door slammed in his face. Being a Pro means you HAVE to do it because it is all that stands between you and hunger. That makes you a bit nervous and high strung...liable to resent the meddling and "advice" of people not so much on the edge...people who not only don't know what they are doing...but who might resent the fact they didn't pursue some secret love of theirs and feel this is their chance to vicariously experience an artist's life...yet who are essentially engineers or bank tellers without that spark and foolish gumption you need to defy the entire world if you have to.

You are the ones who were out of line. I came up with the idea of a Hammurabi Monument...I inspired three people to trust me enough to advance the money to make the model...I worked at making the monument...I travelled to your city to answer inane questions, even modifying the model to satisfy some concerns...I paid to make new moulds and continued working whenever and however I could, even when you were unable or unwilling to get more buyers. I crated and shipped the torso of Hammurabi to Chicago to see it returned broken to bits...I sent sculptures out there for your CARE Art show and came out myself to be available to help raise funds for the Hammurabi. You had nothing to fear from me...form my ability, skill, or dedication to the project and making you the best damn monument you would ever have gotten.

I even came to the convention in San Jose, inspite of Jackie and her threats and the armed police in hopes of getting more support for a project your husband as president of the Federation and sponsor of the project was supposed to HELP me with...not hand me a stupid contract meant only to be enforced against break me to his and Jackie's and John's will so you guys could go on doing the dismal job you have been.

If there will be no monument in Detroit you have yourselves to blame. I'm the one who spent three years and logged 10,000 miles at my own expense and plowed $50,000 into the monument out of sales totaling $90,000...for which you all put your heads together and decided to break me...for the greater glory of Oompapatah.

I said you could have all three maquettes for just the price of casting and I meant it. Since you did not help me finish the project I wont be paying the casting costs as well. You don't have to worry...I wont cheat you. I will let the foundry know about it, and you can send your check directly to them, made out to them and for work orders in your name...that way you are the customers and nothing can stop your receiving the models I promised you. The other sculptures I gave you, are yours...and the gold horse head pin I made and gave you in appreciation for what I thought you would do, is also yours to keep.

There wasn't a single good reason for any of you to have done this...not one.

-- panch
-- signature .

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