Posted by farid from customer-148-233-78-77.uninet.net.mx (184.108.40.206) on Friday, June 13, 2003 at 1:56PM :
...did it help me any as a sculptor/artist to remain inside the Assyrian community? Did it help William Daniell...will it help any of our singers and poets? I can't think of any possible answer to this question but a resounding, "NO!". Not even if you consider that it should be welcomed that we made the effort...often a great personal and professional sacrifice...but it isn't appreciated...quite the opposite, and that's the killer!
People actually resent us for it...resent us for putting on a show their stage and audience is unworthy of...because it makes it so goddamn plain and evident that our so-called community is a mish mash of beggars trying to dress up in a Rolex or three.
Maybe there are some of us so insecure we think it's better to stay where we might be cherished for our lack of talent more than anything else...because we make for good "miskeenas", and we love to feel sorry for Assyrians...sort of like poor or crippled cousins are kept in the family.
Thank god there was no Assyrian Tennis Club when Aghassi was growing up.
In Portugal I met an Englishman whose wife had just inherited all sorts of goodies. He gave me a 400 year old fort overlooking the Atlantic across from Casablanca, Africa, rent free in exchange for whatever sculpture I wanted to give him. He gave me his car to use...and bought sculpture on top of that. He was terribly disappointed when we decided to return to California. He and I used to sing Broadway show tunes together at night standing, sort of, at the patio bar we had built at the Fortaleza...which is now the premier restaurant in the area. We turned the dungeons...cells and all, into a restaurant.
I remember the night I told him we'd be going back after a year there...where I made the lioness to Shumirum. He was so hurt..."But why"...he wanted to know? He had the most charming way about him...my idealized Brit...right out of Dickens. He offered us a double chateau in Geneva and when that didn't do it, another one in Paris that used to belong to one of Napoleon's mistresses. How do you say, "no" to all of that without hurting a person's feelings?
He was hurt for a while, but we resumed contact and speak on the phone every few years.
And my reason...other than the crowding in Europe at holiday season by white, fat Brits and Krauts, was because I'd started something with Narsai and wanted to finish it. I was determined that we produce our first, legitimate Art Patron. I had a better offer from my Englishman...but the whole thing wasn't about my career alone...it had to do with an overall effort to change things...and for that I needed to stay with Narsai...and brother...did I pay for it.
This community of ours has got one huge, massive, all-engulfing inferiority complex, and the worst part is that it is well and richly earned.
Can you imagine the gall and then at the same time the puniness of claiming to be the direct hairs of Ashurbanipal's arse? I mean...where do we come off?
No wonder they laugh their heads off at us...I think it's damn funny too...and I paid the price and earned my jollies the hard way.
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