Pilgrim's Progress, or :how to get sued...

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Posted by pancho from ? ( on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 10:58AM :

...not screwed.

Well, there I was needing a lawyer, so I take what I can scarep together and get one. He wants to know my stort so I tell him. He then wants to know what Assyrian Organizations and their leaders mean by ruining my Assyrian Monuments, stopping me from selling sculpture to Assyrians...hiding my sculptures in basements...threatening to sue cities that wish to install Assyrian Monuments, beat me up, throw me in jail and toss me out of conventions? Especiall when they are chartered and created and given tax-exempt statusby the Federal Government to promote the Assyrian Heritage? As he said to me, somewhat in exasperation..."Fred, who has done MORE of what they all claim to be doing, than YOU?"

Had to admit...he had me there.

It took three tries to get to him to understand that I sell my own sculpture and use the mioney to fund the monuments we then give away free to cities. "What do you get out of it"...he wanted to know. I was squirming by now..."well,I,ah...I get the satisfaction of doing what I set out to do...make us known in the world."

"And what do you GET...you know what I mean."

This was costing a lot now and I hadn't bought much time. "Well, I get to do....what I wanted....to..."

"Oh come now", he said, voice rising a little inirritation. "you can admit to me that this was done toincreasse your sales in the marketplace...get you recognition etc."

"Well...ah...not really ( I was sweating good now...) I could have made a name for myself elsewhere...you know,more directly...but no,I never expected any of it would make me rich or famous...I really only wanted to work for this Heritage and with my own community."

"WHAT community"??? He shot back.

Damn! He had me there too. "Look, I sdaid, no one said it would be easy...these things never are...if it had been easy it would have meant there wasn't much opposition and you can see from my case that there was PLENTY of opposition."

I could tell I was losing him. He asked, as a last gambit, if I had done..."you know" with anyone. "No". Really frustrated he asked if there was anything sensible I could think of to tell him that would explain why the entire leadership of our People in Diapers would set their sights on ruiningmy work. I couldn't think of an intelligent thing to say...that wouldconvince him...not without getting them all up on the stand to explain it for themselves. It was just too fantastic.

When my three thousand bucks was up...and it was obvious I couldn't easily come with more...and that any complaint or lawsuit he filed would put himon the line...he tried to "settle" the case with the opposition...which about ruined any chance I'd ever have of getting the truth told. We parted company with me having paid a bundle...for me then...to get bad advice yelled at me. I'm sure he was convinced I was a nut of some devious sort. Well...that is what we say any Assyrian with the sense to come in out of the rain must be if he works with our community.

The only thing left for me was to GET sued. At least then I would be able to respond and make a counter claim or complaint or whatever it is. The first two suits brough against me were for peanuts...not worth the trouble. It had to get bigger...much bigger.

I didn't write anything on purpose just to piss someone off...only told the unvarnished truth...which REALLY got people angry, and there faster than you could saw "lawsuit"...came a lawsuit,for twomillion bucks. Now that was something like!!!

As a bonus, certain other person or persons were added to the suit...making my claimto being harrassed for certain reasons far more credible. So...finally I find myself in the happy position of playing the hand about as well as I could have dealt the hand...considering I was up against some pretty shifty card sharps.

I've tried my best to shape the rules a little...to increase my position to bet and bluff and do all the things you do when merely playing parlour games. I don't expect to get off lightly...no one who has ever fought for justrice for themselves or their People or family, has ever escaped unscathed.

It's aprice you have to be willing to pay, or nothing will change. Someday Assyrian artists wont be forced to compromise their idealsor artistic vision because of an engineer, or bank teller. We may actually learn to appreciate how important these types ofpeople are...that engineers and bank tellers are cheap by comparison. They had bankers, and engineers and merchants 3000 years ago...but any remnants of their trade is not what people stand in line in Museums around the world to see.

The monuments will stand...the bronzes will be cherished by families and the children who inherit them long after I've crawled off to lick my wounds...across the rubble that was "Assyria"...as these others envisoned it. There has to be a new day...or it might just as wellend in a whimper. Long after any victory someone with enough money to buy it, and intimidate anyone who stands in the way, wins...long after all the "good" they did is forgotten...long after even all the harm they did to bring you their "good"...is gone andforgotten and blows away...the monument of Ashurbanipal...at least, will smile down on some of us who might remember...there wasa time when we almost...

-- pancho
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