Posted by panch from pool0114.cvx20-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (18.104.22.168) on Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 12:41PM :
Just mailed out a letter to those people who bought maquettes of the Hammurabi in the belief that there was going to be a monument of him built.
I explain in the letter( it's on the Ham. link) how I'd been stopped from getting any more buyers at the San Hosed convention etc. I hear they're hopping mad...feel they were lied to, taken for a ride...they were. But not by me.
It's so damn absurd to think I would be eager to stop myself...or that I was so stupid I didn't realize that..."Atour and Jackie and the community couldn't support my work, because they didn't like me any longer". That this in itself isn't the heighth of stupidity...this, "we don't like you so we're gonna ruin you".
It was in my own best interests in every way to complete the project. After feeling I'd wasted 13 years on the Shumirum, I could be forgiven for not wanting to waste more than three on the Hammurabi...not to mention $90,000 in sales...for nothing.
I told Janey I wasn't going to move that hulk and the throne 3000 miles to Mexcio just to store it for another number of years...that I couldn't leave it where it was either. On her assurance that she had more buyers, I took the forearms of the figure with me to finish carving...there were five rings, two bracelets and two arm bands to carve...a lot of detail work.
After I arrived they hit me with another contract I had to sign...after three years into it...otherwise I'd get no more money. The contract basically said I had to turn the monument over to Atour...a guy who'd already shown me he'd weld my sculpture as he saw fit anyway...even without a contract, even when he didn't own those three Hammurabi maquettes, and even after I'd asked him not to. I didn't feel comfortable at all signing a contract with them...besides I could already see that when it was in their interest they'd just do as they pleased...the contract would really have been for the purpose of sqeezing me...it wouldn't be binding on them at all.
That was when I decided I shouldn't be stoopider than I need be...or trusting any longer either. It was best to destroy the thing myself, rather than leave it to rot.
Their thought must have been that once I was in Mexico and expecting them to follow through on their word to me...on their implied desire to see the Hammurabi finished and installed...they would spring the contract on me, knowing I couldn't very well move back...and might find it hard to switch over to something else...especially as, along with Jackie, they'd made sure I hadn't been able to sell any sculpture to support my family with.
It didn't work, and we've paid a heavy price for it, with me being separated from my children longer than I ever have in their lives. I tell them to imagine that I am away at war, protecting them and our country/heritage. And I am. The hard part is explaining that the people I am fighting are Assyrians.
Maybe not. Maybe it isn't so hard to believe. It isn't the first time...not for my family...not for us. It seems that as true and pacifistic Christians...liable to be spat upon by anyone and being taught to learn to love it, to see it as a sign of Divine good will and favor...a test to see if we are worthy of the Hereafter, and a good bowl of milk by the fire in it...as the "real" thing...following in the doomed footsteps of Christ...and having somewhere in our genes a memory of being quite another sort of Assyrian alltogether...we rage inwardly at what would have been a gross humiliation to our ancestors...only to be told that in feeling anger and resentment we are exhibiting "Pride", a deadly sin...and must therefore try even harder to accept every defeat and insult heaped upon us...as a measure of our worthiness? No wonder we're confused and apathetic to the point of Psychosis, as an ethnic group with such an amazing and rich Heritage...well down the road from simple Neurosis.
There IS one person, one group, one entity we can fight back against...the one group that matters even less than we do in the world... each other and ourselves. Only another Assyrian is worthy of being treated in ways that would be "un-Christian" if done to anyone else. That's why That nutty Kraut got her room and board and airplane fare and meals paid for by the rest of us, losing her silly head when the one MORE thing she needed, a glass of whine at three AM, was denied her...and why I was thrown out by the same person who set both acts in motion showing her contempt for us all in both those acts. I am the Assyrian...she is the, "Better than an Assyrian". An Armenian half-breed WOULD be the one to do that to us.
That's also why we screw each other...why we ask for "favors" from the few people we have who are in construction, or home improvement, or tile setters...or who in any way are unprotected from our own lack of self-worth and pride until almost all of them say with one voice..."NEVER do any work for an Assyrian". It's the desire to hurt each other that stems from being so damn hurt, mixed with our belief that it would be wrong to fight back at those who've really opressed us...so we take it out on another one of us, another one of the "despised", a lowly fellow Assyrian who doesn't matter...like we declare ourselves to be when we think and act like that..
We fight nowhere in the world, except among each other. You can see it especially in the soccer tournaments they've had at times...see it in the way the players strut around as if they were soldiers in the Imperial Assyrian Army...and even then, who do they push and shove and gouge and hit? each other, of course. They turn what is supposed to be a good natured game between competitors into a "War"...they seem almost eager to mix it up, to get offended...to insult each other and incite each other. They treat the soccer team players from another country, or region, or city, or club affiiiation like they were enemies on a battlefield...with the result that it leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth...and a simple game too gets infected with our impotent rage.
Why so angry...why so impotent? I have my own answers...get yours.
I hear they are considering a class action lawsuit against me...of all things. I wish they would...oh I WISH they would!
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