Posted by pancho from pool0252.cvx20-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (184.108.40.206) on Sunday, December 01, 2002 at 10:47PM :
I realize that most people think I'm just miffed because my personal run ins with Jackie, Nimrod and Golani have left me pissed, broke and bloody. But that isn't it...that's a personal thing and I'd hardly bother bringing it up for general consumption.
There's something larger and far more ominous here...something that goes to the core of why it is we either push our own young people away...or cannibalize them and render them ineffective and cynnical or indifferent.
Someday we'll talk several steps back and take another look at what happened with me, my work, and these leaders of ours. Right now it's easier to just assume I am what they say I am... that they are the serious ones working for us all, and for no reward...and I'm just a petulant opportunist who was trying to get as much money as he could out of Assyrians...cheating them in the proces.
These people are desperate to remain the only show in town...the highest profile ones...and even if there are poets...they must be cut and trimmed to suit the agendas of part-time leaders and taxi driving, engineer, presidents.
The problem is that these people aren't going anywhere. There isn't a one of them who would quit their jobs to take on the outside world AS Assyrians. And...in an effort to keep us "manageable", institute only those programs that can be achieved between dinnertime and soccer practice...keeping programs and goals easily withinn reach. Our Heritage is in serious trouble...a party or a picnic just wont do it. Our young people have nothing BUT dance parties with an Assyrian overtone...that's it.
You aren't going to be able to compete where the best professionals are...you aren't going to be able to stick to your guns...insist on approaching your work and your life in a professional manner...to insist you be the one to decide the things that make the difference for you AND your work...you simply will not be adequately prepared by the treatment you receive at the hands of these people to do anything else but hide far away from the madding crowd.
There's a built-in bias against "excelence" and a push towards mediocrity...or at least what doesn't puzzle ot confuse a Jackie or an Alphonse.
You can see this most clearly in Jackie's replacing my work with three pots...and never you mind. The one who made the pots posed no "problems" for Jackie....that was the deciding factor.
The emphasis is in the wrong place. I'm sure Jackie wants the best doctor for herself...not the one who is "most popluar" with the administration of the hospital.
So...the reason I go on and on...and am trying to get these people in court where they have to explain this whole thing to anyone interested...is because I can see...I KNOW...that if we continue this way...we will discourage and turn off and lose our best and brightest.
Jackie Bejan wouldn't dream of setting the standards at any Medical School...and thank Ashur no one needs her stamp of approval to attend one. The result is that Assyrians are among the best doctors anywhere...and why wouldn't they be?
But in the Arts, which our own history should tell us are the single most important and lasting and meaningful contribution a People can make...that OUR people DID make...one cannot focus on satisfying the kinds of people who are not only the most ignorant and least qualified...but who feel perfectly justified in meddling where they don't belong...because they don't really understand what is at stake and what we stand to gain...or lose, by it.
They have to be removed....or embarrassed...or told to stand aside. As it stands now, they are the ones who decide who is an artist and who is not...what makes for "Art" and what misses the mark. This is patently absurd and can't possibly be justified by the people who also claim to love us and want the best for us, when the standards they apply can only lead to a debasement of our culture...whatever there is left to it.
The Curators of Public Art in Chicago were the correct people to determine where the Shumirum belonged. It was considerate of them to ask what I and John thought about it. But John's approach was to lust for what the Shumirum Monument could do for HIS profile...the opportunity for him to stand there and indicate that he and the AUA brought you this monument...and most important of all...have it placed in front of his new AUA offices.
Jackie's motive was just plain revenge. She too couldn't seize the Shumirum to promote herself....even though she felt I should have been eternally grateful to her for what she had "done for me". What she has "done for us" is the one phrase on everyone's lips in San Jose...as if they learned by rote...were taught to say and feel it.
And Atour, well he is mostly a spineless worm who manages people at Ford Motor Company...and brought rhe same skills that get cars made, and tried to rule me and any other Artist he could lay his hands on, in the same way.
You can't hope for anything fine or wonderful to come from this...and you know what? That's just fine by them. The more woeful our condition, the less effort it takes for them to "lead" us...since we are getting less and less likely to go anywhere and they are ageing...it's a perfect world all around...for THEM.
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