Posted by panch from ? (188.8.131.52) on Friday, November 29, 2002 at 7:42PM :
...as the clay comes off the Lamasu and I begin to make other sculptures, I have to say it was a wild ride. I tried something we seldom see, and I learned forcefully the lesson I set out to. I found out why we produce nothing...not in 100 years in this country where no one stops us but us. Why, with no enemies anywhere in America, and with all the abundance and possibilities laying as open before us as they do before anyone...why we turn on each other and spit and snarl and hurl accusations...making certain that we continue to build nothing and die out.
I tried it from the inside, because that's the way it has to be, the only way we have of getting anywhere. I did it pretty damn well too. In the last 24 years I sold over $600,000 worth of sculpture...of ASSYRIAN sculpture, to...of all things, Assyrians. I couldn't have learned it in any school, they don't teach it. Instead I learned from the Masters...in the Museums that I could get to...imagine learning from them. What a privilege. That money went to supporting an Assyrian family with four Assyrian children in it and a lovely Assyrian wife, and it paid the expenses for making two complete bronze monuments any one of which should have sold for a million dollars. But you'll never believe it...you can't.
We'll look long and hard before someone tries that again...especially by the time Jackie and Atour, and their lawyers, using your money, get done with Jeff and I.
It has to be done from the inside so that one day when a talented and dedicated Assyrian kid says he wants our help in order to become the champion tennis player he believes he can be...we wont tell him to go to the Armenians, the Germans or the English or any white folk but us...and come back when and if he makes it. We wont force the kid into the arms of the Armenian community and then either beg for his attention when he makes it, or despise him for treating us just as we deserve.
Because it isn't a matter of testing to see if the kid really has it...or being cautious lest we get burned...it's a matter of believing in ourselves enough to know that there are Assyrian kids who can be champions...who can produce Art worthy to be compared with the best...that we can BE among the best.
Our behavior to date...Jackie's especially...and no more so than when she manages to convince her club that she is doing "so much for us"...is our lowest point. Becuase if we can't see through that...we have not the ability or the means to do anything else but get run over in life...and we are.
I'm going out...now, after 24 years of busting my heart...and I leave behind something that will far outlast me and my enormous ego. That's the measure of the effort. It wasn't my victory at all...it was ours...of the very best in us. That's what I was seeking...it's what I found. And it's there inspite of all the Jackies and Atours and Nimrods we are plagued with. It's in you too...if you'll look.
Now I'll go get the approval of others...now when I don't need their approval to know I am Assyrian...and my People have it in them to be as fine and as noble as anyone and what I make can compare with anything anyone else can do. All I need is their cash...I was looking for much more from us...and I'm the richer for having found it.
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