The More I Think About It...

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Posted by panch from ( on Sunday, November 10, 2002 at 12:43PM :

...the more this tension between amateur and professional lies at the root of our problems. We´ve got an awful lot of idle people who have the spare time to declare themselves experts on a host of things relating to our Heritage who couldn´t get a job pushing a broom if their lives depended on their actual abilities.

It´s tempting to think you can graduate with a degree in Finanace or Engineering, read three magazines and a book, and then declare yourself the leader of a portion of the Assyrian nation in its Diapers. Tempting and flattering. You can hold meetings, you can print up letterhead staionery with which you can send congratulations and suggestions to world leaders.

There are some basic fallacies in our National Questiondoodles that need to be addressed...before we go public, if we ever do. And we´d have to if we really plan on doing anything about us. Right now we´re preaching to the choir and not a one of them can hold a tune, and doesn´t need to as we´re all singling in the shower anyway.

First of all, our biggest piece of self-flatterng illogic is that Assyrians MUST be Christians, if they are "real" Assyrians at all. Talk about circular reasoning. Let´s goes like this...All Assyrians in the MidEast are Christians, because only Assyrian Christians practise Christianity...and we all know that Christianity is the religion of TRUE Assyrians.

The only culture we recognize as Assyrian culture turns out to be just Christian culture, whatever that is. Further, that all Muslims in Iraq are Arabs from Arabia because their religion and Prophet came from Arabia...but all Christians in Iraq are not only indigenous, but are Assyrian, even though anything meaningfully Assyrian eneded long before Christianity came around.

These are not the kinds of "facts" you could maintain anywhere but in this nut house. It´s far more likely that Assyrians and Chaldeans and the rest of us picked different religions and the culture that came with those religions influenced us. Iraqis are no more Arab than Christians are Israelis.

We also can´t have these self-proclaimed experts and national leaders speaking in our name...I mean they can do it if they want to, even if their membership consists of one adenoidal leader and three flunkies...what we can do is make it so painfully embarrassing for them to maintain their little fictions that they´ll stay home and watch TV.

Same thing happened in my case. I spent a lot more time than your average Assyrian artist does at my work, that´s cause I was professional. Doesn´t mean I was any good...just means I spent a lot more time trying to be. It shows though. My work didn´t fit with the kinds they usually had at conventions, the kind hidden away in some downstairs back room at a hotel. From the beginning I insisted that my work had to be front and center...not for my ego´s sake alone, but because we have to be able to show gradations...we have to have a "best" and a "better". It´s crude to lump everyone together...makes the bad look worse and the good look bad. Nothing wrong with some forms of discrimination. Besides it wasn´t like the spot was reserved only for me...anyone else who spent as much time on their art as I did would have easily done as well or surpassed me. It isn´t a question of talent but of dedication and desire.

There is this determination to remain mediocre in everything we do, as if to be Assyrian at all means you have to be poorly constructed. You see it in the horrible lack of attention to details, as if just having a meeting was enough...never mind when it starts, what it´s about, or if it produces anything.

Now none of these leaders of ours could have the same blase atitude about their REAL jobs. Hell think they want to get FIRED! But when it comes to the business of Assyria...who gives a shit anyway...right? Who gets paid for being an Assyrian, like they do for being an engineer or a taxi driver. We´re plagued by amateurs...and that, boys and girls, is why we´re treated to the bizarre sight of Assyrians telling me my work stinks, Assyrians telling you we can replace my bronzes with clay pots, and why I am a "troublemaker". In a village filled with head hunting witch doctors, I tried to hang a shingle from Yale. Naturally I was bad for business.

There may not be much pay in it, and the headaches will be terrific, but until we have professional Assyrians we´re going to be the Great Laughingstocks we have been till now. You can count on it. Just listen to them and try to think of a single one of them making a presentation anywhere. Even they know they´re fools...know it because the last thing they want is to actually go out there and make their case.

-- panch
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