Museums are undoubtedly an integral part of our culture. They serve to preserve and to memorialize. Where else in the world can you view a game-used bat by Babe Ruth, or sit in the same chair that Benjamin Franklin once sat in?
How else would we see our nation’s Declaration of Independence? And how else can our descendants learn about the horrific — yet significant — periods of our world history, such as the Holocaust?
Knowledge is power. I know that is a cliché uttered in every classroom in America, but it’s true. The only way to learn things is to learn from history. To learn from those who have done it before us. And how else will we know history if somebody doesn’t maintain it?
Without museums, history would be lost. Our forefathers would be a mere shadow in the night. Their footprints would be erased like a high tide on the beach shore. But museums maintain those footprints. Metaphorically.
But that doesn’t mean it’s exciting.
Everyone has been to museums in their lives. We’ve all taken the class trip to the Liberty Science Center, and many of us have been to the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Perhaps we’ve visited foreign cities, or countries, and were told by others that “You totally need to visit this museum! It’s so historic!”
But then you get there. You walk through the doors. Maybe you even check in on Facebook.
From then on, you are told to surrender money, to not touch anything, to refrain from taking photos, to act in a civilized manner and to keep your voice down.
Just doing one of those things is horrendous, let alone all five at the same time. While you’re in a museum, the only thing you can do is walk and look. You read about a chair from 1652, and then you get an entire description on a cue card. You read it, and then you just realized that you spent forty-five seconds of your life staring at a chair.
But then what do you do next? You don’t leave. You can’t do that because you just paid $30 bucks to be here, so you have to get your money’s worth. So instead you’re going to spend the next half of an hour looking at other antiques, and reading other small cards. Oh, and don’t forget, you can’t touch anything.
Talk about living it up!
I’m sorry, but as much as I am interested in some topics, I don’t need to know EVERYTHING about it. I just need one or two facts, one or two sites, and I’m good. I’m happy. I don’t need to know where Thomas Edison ate his dinner every night.
And don’t even get me started on tour guides. Tour guides are essentially glorified babysitters. They are the ones who verbally inform you that you can’t touch anything or take photos.
Is one photograph seriously going to tarnish a physical object? I understand that it is old, but I’m pretty sure that one simple click of a button, and one second-long bright light is not going to make it disintegrate.
But as bad as tour guides are, the only thing worse is a pre-recorded tour where you have to listen and push buttons on a device that hasn’t been updated since 1993. During these tours, I can’t even socialize with my friends. Instead I have to take orders from a disembodied elderly voice. I can’t even wander around on my own terms — I have to wait for them to tell me when I can enter the next room.
Again, I appreciate the effort that goes into the preservation and maintenance of museums. I think it’s a romantic aspect of our nation and our world.
But holy Moses, being in a museum is as exciting as being stuck in a traffic jam. At least during the latter, you can yell and scream at people.
Okay, now, moving on. I’ve decided that while the Olympics are ongoing, I am going to discuss an aspect of them at the end of each of my blogs. Yesterday I discovered two Olympics-related things. The first was this:
It’s a choreographed lip-dub video of “Call Me Maybe” performed by the U.S. Olympic swimming team. I love things like this because it adds a more human element to these Olympic athletes, and shows us that they are just normal free-wheeling, people like you and me. It makes me like them more, and plus, the chicks are easy on the eyes.
And speaking of easy on the eyes, earlier today I discovered that there are two twin Brazilian sisters who are synchronized swimmers (obviously) names Bia and Bianca Feres. They almost qualified for the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, and god knows where the hell they are now. However, this is what they look like:
No joke — when I first saw this picture, it almost made me cry. Just knowing that something so perfect can exist, it’s almost like watching the sunset while lying on a grassy plain in an exotic European country.
It’s truly a shame that they didn’t qualify for the Olympics. Or maybe it’s a good thing. Sometimes something so beautiful is just impossible to stare directly at, like an eclipse. I feel like watching these two girls, donning bikinis, and aerobically maneuvering their way through water in synchronized fashion might have burned a hole through my eye sockets, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style.
Oh well. I may never get to see their synchronized abilities up close and personal, but just knowing that they are out there, somewhere, is enough for me.
Also, a museum of the world’s prettiest identical twin sisters? Now THAT I would pay to see.