Posted by pancho from pool0197.cvx24-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (22.214.171.124) on Monday, January 13, 2003 at 9:37AM :
It's not such a dumb question. We all know how to be a stupid one...how to have our own dictionaries...create new meanings for words...write awful letters...make outrageous demands for countries and mountains that belong to us...we know how to be an embarrassment...we know how to be cowardly, bitchy, dastardly...we know how to be small minded and petty...we know, in short, every way there is to slide into deserved oblivion.
It isn't that we can't produce people who understand what it takes to be civilized...not just "nice". The young men and women who started the Ashurbanipal Libraray certainly knew what to do...knew how to work, to dream, to inspire people to send in rare books etc. Their mistake was in trusting John Nimrod and Homer Ashurian-Simpson...who also know a thing or two...know how to fool and trick, to steal and lie, to use whatever promotes them no matter what damage they do. When these two forces meet, the liars win every time.
I sure as hell knew what to do to make a monument...knew how to get through the city governments...knew how to introduce the subject, write about it...knew how to get the job done.
It just never occured to me that people would be so low down, so utterly selfish and out to lift themselves above the next shmuck that they would try to steal the monument...or failing that, see to it that it and the creator would be so driven down for refusing to sell out that there would be little likelihood of ever hearing from him again.
Jackie, Nimrod, Golani and so many others are here to obsruct...not facilitate. They are here for their own glory...it's just such a sad bit of glory that most of us can't believe how important it is to them, how it could be worth more than anything approaching the real thing...how ego-starved they really are. They demand applause...but can only manage to get any if there is no other show in town...no competition of a superior kind that might lure people away. That's why they split and separate so each can have his or her own audience, no matter how small or pig-ignorant the audience...at least they have some kind of a platform to shine from.
There can be no coming together until there is a sufficiently poweful magnet to draw us in, inspite of all the petty reasons we've honed down over generations and centuries to fly apart. The forces operating within us encourage flying apart...encourage diminiution, smallness, fragmentation, mediocrity...mostly because by being so disoriented and cutt off, we are that much easier to gather together into "select" groups, each with it's own petty leader who supplies a bit of coherency to shattered and isolated pockets of individuals here and there. Any leader worth his or her salt work harder to include the best and the brightest...not labor to drive them out...or so cripple and humiliate them that their own reign will be assured.
That's what makes them so dangerous and deadlly and deadening...like a mine floating just below the surface whose function is to stop someone from getting through. Jackie is the most subtle and sophisticated...the best at polishing her own image, of packaging and selling that image, she knows our peasant mentality well...knows well how a car, or a watch...a look...a lot of leisure time...knows how impressed we are by such things...knows we'll want to keep her among us because we can bask in the reflected glory of her financial attainment, whereas the writer, the painter, poet, dancer make us a bit uncomfortable because they reject as a primary goal those things the rest of us strive so hard to attain...and which only Jackie has achieved in sufficient numbers...or so she keeps telling us in a hundred not so subtle ways.
You'd have to be pretty clueless to think a culture, or a people, or a community is going to get very far with idols such as Jackie. Jackie is about show over substance, about an ounce of ability trying to pass for a ton of smarts...and those who buy into it are helping keep us backwards...though we may party better with Jackie.
It's not possible to avoid these people either. Even if you ask nothing from them, they'll manage to find a way...a way to bring you down because you threaten their source of satisfaction...what makes them tick. The definiton of Assyria, in the modern era, must be kept down to a level that doesn't challenge them...especially as they are only willing or able to spend a few spare hours working on it...which they magnify into hundreds of hours...hundreds for them because of their level of competance.
And that's the whole point...the standard of quality in Assyria HAS to be kept low, on purpose, so that Jackie can rise to the top easily...that's all this is about...three clay pots for the rest of you...my sculpture banned from Golani's convention...but the doors thrown open to all other "artists".
Intelligence...abillity, genius even...are all dangers in Assyria...a threat to our leadershit. And if it comes down to it...they had far rather drive the young people out, if they can't stupidfy them, and shut the whole thing down...just so they can get up there and deliver the eulogy.
Alphonse Odishoo got the last word in...his idiotic poem was the last thing we heard that night...not the legitimate poets...but the engineer who figures his tripe is good enough to be up there too, to have the last say, after all, "don't we work HUNDREDS of HOURS as VOLUNTEERS"? And they will always want volunteers and ONLY volunteers...it isn't the money they resent spending, or that they don't understand the value of a professional if you're serious...not a one of them wants a car put together by a volunteer, or fly in a jet flown by a volunteer pilot. Hell no...where it counts, to them...they want the best damn thing money can buy. Only when it comes to Assyria do they see "merit" in all of us just pitching in our spare time and dimes and nickels to do something "awesome" and "outstanding".
If anything, those poets were the excuse by which people could be lured out to hear Alphonse...to see Jackie...who were to be the real stars of the show...in Jackie's case not so much by actually performing...but letting you all know once again that it was JACKIE who pulled this off. If necessary Jackie would invent artists and writers because she needs to have some legitimate excuse to say, LOOK AT ME!!!
We complain that our people wont show up for poetry readings and lectures or cultural events...and never think it's because we use and trick them...bring them out on a pretext because they wouldn't come to sit at the feet of a leader who needs followers to reaffirm his or her sense of self...and the people resent it, resent being used, show up late...talk through the performance and generally behave as selfishly as those who trick them into coming...neither side showing any respect for the other, or themselves...and the Arts, the higher functions of culture and the artists, suffer for it, and we along with them.
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