Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Musings from the Museum - Part II

As I typed the above title, I wondered - why isn't it called an "Amuse-um"? Seriously. What egghead is in charge of the marketing department?

You may recall that yesterday I started guiding us through our tour of the Royal BC Amuseum's (much catchier, non?) exhibit "Treasures".

We did a lot of walking yesterday, y'all. Egypt, Africa, Middle East. I'm sure all that exercise burned off the humungous chocolate-dipped cone I had last night.

And yesterday, shockingly, I also did a lot of talking. 'Cuz that's just what I do. Play to your strengths, Baroness.

I'm still not done - we have Greek Civilization, Oceania, The Americas and The Modern Era to stroll through.

While this is a sentence that rarely leaves my mouth, I will practice due diligence and ask "Does everyone have their comfortable shoes on?"

Excellent. Let's proceed.

Greek Civilization
This exhibit was an oldy-timey version of a strip club - lots of hot bods and lots of money.

Well, ok.

The bods weren't really that hot. They were kind of cool, actually. Like stone cold foxes. And the money, strictly the coinage variety.

Which makes for some uncomfortable pole dancing, let me tell you. And really - no one wants to see you cavort around with a lump of coins gravitating to your bikini bottom...

First up was this guy, my old buddy Euripides:

I chose to highlight him as a shining example to all of those middle-aged crazy men out there; you know who you are. Trophy wives, sportscars, skullets.

The description below this piece says it all, "He is depicted here as a respected older citizen, with a full beard and thinning hair."

Let me reiterate: Respected. Older. Citizen. Thinning Hair.

There was no stylist at this carving. No Photoshopping. No creative comb overs.

Older Men - for heaven's sake. Get in touch with your inner Euripides. We'll treat you like the gods you are.

Next up, he's more than just a head.....(barely).......he's Eros, the Greek God of Amour!

This isn't the exact statue I saw. The one in this particular exhibit was dated between 360 & 330 BC; I'll call it "Tainted Love",

In a true testament to censorship and puritanism, the statue I saw had no arms, and the nipples and had been chipped off and dude had experienced a no-frills circumcision (as in, 'damn my carpal tunnel syndrome, I slipped - you didn't really need that penis, didja?).


Thus begat a new word in the lexicon of museum curators: denippled. [Usage: "I say, Thaddeus, it would appear that the Eros statue in Section 5B has been denippled. Grab the CrazyGlue and some spackle."

The description goes on to say that "[the vandalism] may have been inflicted by ancient Christians offended by the statue's nudity".

No duh.

Notice to your left an entire case of Greek coins. What captures your attention? The artisanry? The images?

I included this Decadrachan coin in particular:
because we Canadians always get mercilessly teased about our coinage.

Namely our Loonie ($1 coin):
And our Twonie ($2):
Well, ok.

At least our currency has real animals on it (loon and polar bear), not some lame mythical beast like Pegasus. A horse? With wings? Gah.

And on the flip side, we have the Queen. Of England. Maybe you've heard of her.

Who do you have again, Carthage?

Nicomedes the Barber? Pul-lease.

Let's move on to Oceania before the rumble breaks out. Those Greeks are pretty touchy about their ancient shekels.

The piece of import here, to me, it this meeting house lintel from the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, late 1840 AD:
"It depicts the moment when the God Tane Mahuta, son of the earth mother and sky father, separated his parents and created the world".

Sadly, the subsequent lintel depicting the moments shortly after Tane Mahuta created the world when Sky Mother complained about being placed on the left despite her conservative philosophies and Earth Father complained that it was hard to find curbside parking, was destroyed in the Great Polynesian Whaleriding Incident of 1965.

On to The Americas.

The item of note here is the Pipe-Tomahawk:

Love the heart - so sweet!

" They combined an effective weapon with smoking - an important ceremonial activity"

Missing from the collection were the seldom-seen and often-overlooked PipeLoofah and PipeCondomDispenser, also associated with important ceremonial activities.

After an exhaustive trip to the past, we return from whence we started, back in The Modern Era.

I would point you over here to the 'modern' ceramics with 'interesting' gibberish painted on them, or over there to the pleghm-y looking Kleenex passing as artwork...

Oh, hold up. That is actually an phlegm-y looking Kleenex. My bad.

Come over here instead. This is kind of cool.

There is an entire display case of World Political badges/buttons. You know the ones? "No to Arms for the Shah", "Drop Acid, Not Bombs", or maybe this one?
The coolest policital badge was not really a badge at all, but a discreetly effective piece of electrical equipment. It came from Poland in 1981 and it looked like this:

As opposition to the ruling party was seen as anarchy and treated thusly, "People took to wearing electrical resistors as symbols to resistance to the government".

Talk about your power to the people.

Coming tomorrow: High Tea, or Baroness at The Empress.


Grandma J said...

By the looks of those coins, it's obvious to me that the Romans didn't have slot machines. Just an observation.

The shape of the Canadian $1 looks like a Susan B Anthony $1.

Grandma J said...

Thank you for the sweet surprise quote card, DREAM! I love it.

Daryl said...

while they 'say': " They combined an effective weapon with smoking - an important ceremonial activity" .. they dont tell you about the ceremonial ganja which if smoked before axing (NO, not asking spoken in athletic-speak, actually slamming someone with the axe blade) someone, well usually their aim was off and well .. more enemies were maimed than killed ... hence the cute little heart.

how cute is it my word verif. is woonsf?

big hair envy said...

Those resistors definitely have fashion/weapon potential. Unfortunately, they have no smoking potential. Thus, I'm assuming that they were never used in ceremonial activities. Pity.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I have that button!

Mental P Mama said...

Um...we're done with the Queen down here--although I do like your idea of different colors for the paper money. And THNAK YOU for my wonderful dream card! That was so very sweet;)

♥~♥ Nine Acres ♥~♥ said...

OMG...Christians are such prudes. ;0)

Jud said...

Canadian money is odd. I imagine at some point in the future here in the states that Dick Cheney's face will be found on wooden nickles.

baronessvonb said...

Countess Grandma: I like you're thinking! I guess slot machine addiction wasn't rampant in Ancient Greece. But Baccarat? Forgetaboutit!

Countess Daryl: Aw, the cute and fuzzy side of axe maiming! I Heart Dismemberment!!

Countess BHE: Oh, my. I think that there were resistors in certain ritual activities - you know the ones you can buy online...Or maybe you really DON'T know, and that is refreshing!

Countess NNG: You're Polish?

Countess MPM: Poor Liz. Can't catch a break anywhere. Is it her teeth? Her Husband? Her grandkids? What??

Countess T: Don't kill the messenger. It was all hearsay.

Count J: Odd, yet pretty. Kind of like us Canadians in general.

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