Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Plain of Despair

Sometimes, life feels way too much like Spenser's in charge.

Yesterday, I went to a real museum to see a real display of real artifacts, put together to tell a meaningful and complex narrative, focusing on the interpretation of provenance and such. It was lovely.

We then wandered around other parts of the museum. There were stuffed pronghorn antelop so faded that you could barely see a difference between the dark area on the back and the light underside. There were stuffed birds galore, but with few identification labels where I most needed them. There was a rainforest display that felt packed to the gills with stuff and more stuff, but less explanation or interpretation. Seriously, they had a big old jeep-like vehicle in the middle. It felt like they'd put everything into the room because there was nowhere else to put it.

And yet, it was still a museum.

The local archaeology part, which I made everyone detour to see, involved a small window display and a side tray thing of arrowpoints.

The city was a city; we drove by buildings that had more than seven stories, by restaurants that promised something more interesting than lefse. It was empty in that Saturday before Easter way, but still, it felt like a real city.

Today I drove home across farmland where the what forests there are grow in rows, where there are no mountains, and where there is a dismaying abundance of garbage.

Seriously, it seems like in the past 8-10 years or so, there's more and more garbage floating around, tossed on the side of highways and byways.

And now I'm back home, looking over garbage tossed somehow into the undeveloped area beyond my yard, in a community where the museum features a mythical blue beast of burden prominantly, though not as a myth.

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