Night at the Museum

“She hovers over the city at night, going from roof-top to roof-top, spreading her seeds as if she were a dandelion…” is what the sign read as I gazed upon this ‘creature’ that looks more like a modern chandelier than a ‘living’ species. It’s amazing what things are considered exhibits at museums.

For extra credit, my World Civilization professor encouraged us to visit the exhibit Heroes at our local museum and write a paragraph about the exhibit. Considering I needed the extra credit, (even if I don’t, I always take advantage of it – did I just hear someone mutter the word ‘nerd’?), I decided this would be a great time to get my children involved, in addition it would be a great way to introduce the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief that we were going to see the following week. I invited a mom that has boys my sons’ age and she met me there. I stopped at the campus and picked up a classmate, as she too wanted the extra credit.

We arrive, anxious to see the Greek heroes of yester-years when our excitement is heightened with the news that two other exhibits would also be available for our viewing pleasure. Three exhibits in one trip and all free. Let me explain my level of excitement – I have found it extremely fascinating that some world civilizations I’m learning about occurred before the time and during the time of Jesus. Who knew that China existed while Jesus was walking the deserts of Syria – seriously – I’ve been so narrow-minded in my belief that no one actually existed around the globe outside of the Jews and the Gentiles surrounding the stories in the Bible. However, I digress…

The Heroes exhibit featured three thematic sections – heroes in myth, heroes in cult, and emulation heroes in myth. While I’d like to tell you who and what fell into each category, I cannot. What I can tell you is that while I was trying to commit such things to memory I was often being yelled at by the guard to keep my sons fingers off the glass – he had a slight fascination with all the ‘naked’ statues and displayed body parts. When I wasn’t explaining that we don’t holler obscene words to express such nudity in public, I was trying to locate my daughter who kept making her way back over to the computers – they were offering free test to determine which god you were – and she was quite pleased to discover that she was Athena, goddess of wisdom. There was also something about Helen, Archilles, and Odysseus though I cannot remember the information. However, I do remember my friend and me wondering if the Achilles tendon in our feet got its name from Archilles, since he was known as the clever traveler. A mystery I’m sure if I researched, I would uncover.

On my grandfather’s side of the family we discovered, when we traced it back some years ago, we are related to Alexander the Great (not really something to brag of, but nonetheless it is what it is, and thus we are ‘famous’ – or not). We found it quite discouraging to discover that Alexander the Great is a descendent of Hercules. Why? After all Hercules was a Greek god (hero). So glad you asked – let me explain in my daughters’ words, the words of which I heard for the remainder of the night – “Great! We are related to a murder! A murder!! He killed his wife and children! You got to be kidding me! This is where I come from?” I don’t understand why she found no comfort in the words, “he is a myth”, perhaps simply because she is a drama queen; it’s hard to say really.

Alas, this brings me back to my first paragraph. We decide to venture to the next exhibit, The New Urban Species, to see mechanical creations that both move and light up, being passed off as living breathing species. As if that was somehow not disturbing enough, when reading the descriptions of these species you would read that they were either male or female, most were female, and there was an underline sexual content to the information. If my first paragraph didn’t give enough insight let me offer another. The following picture had the following words in ‘her’ description: “… when she opens fully she shines a light from her flower…”.

Now we have gone from naked statues and obscenities being announced to covering the eyes of our children. There was another chandelier referred to as ‘male larva’. Here’s what I find disturbing… they not only refer to these creations as a living species but also state the following: “… humans this time – not God – will indeed be the creators of the next phase of evolution… even theologians have to wonder whether an omnipotent God could have imagined…” In Genesis 11, it states that the Lord looked upon the tower and the people and knew nothing would be impossible for them so He confused them. When we begin to believe that we are as great as or greater than the God that created us, look out!

We thought we’d get out of there and visit the last exhibit, Masterpieces of European Painting. I personally could get lost for hours, soaking in all the amazing talent and colors, however it left a little to be desired by my classmate and my son. We did however learn that there was a widow by the name of Judith in the Bible and she beheaded the King that was threatening her kingdom. Women too have ‘fire power’! Of course, we did keep with our theme for the night and witnessed several nudity paintings. Perhaps 7/8/9-year-old boys don’t belong in a museum after all.

Copyrighted by reflectionsbypj 20100315

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2 thoughts on “Night at the Museum

  1. Interesting commentary. The “New Urban Species” exhibit wouldn’t have interested me much either…man greater than God, I think not…Now getting away from the main reason for your journey, I too digress. I recently took a group of 3rd and 4th graders to the symphony and they took a “loud” and “amazed” view of some of the naked statues outside the symphony hall, so I feel your pain. In reference to the question about Achilles… In an effort to make her son immortal, according to Statius, Achilles’ mother, the nymph Thetis, held her son by the ankle while dipping him into the River Styx. This made Achilles invulnerable, except where Thetis’ fingers gripped him. Since his vulnerable spot was his heel, the term Achilles’ heel is used for someone’s weak spot. Achilles was injured, so his invulnerability wasn’t total, but then, the immortal goddess Aphrodite was injured (by Diomedes), too.

  2. On our NYC trip we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at one point a couple of hours into it, Madison stated that she had seen enough of the male anatomy to last her a lifetime. She said everytime she turned around there were more testicles and most of the “body parts” were uncircumsised which bothered her even more.
    Of course we had the conversation about God creating the human body to be beautiful and that only in the right context (marriage) we should enjoy each others’.
    Interesting stuff about your ancestory. I’ve been watching “Who do You Think You Are” on TV the last couple of weeks and I think it would be pretty cool to find out who my ancesters are.
    Thanks for sharing. I love reading your stuff.

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