Monday, April 17, 2006


Dinosaurs at Fernbank

Nothing impels you to take advantage of the cultural offerings in your own city more than a visit from someone who lives somewhere else. And, therefore, because Bro d’Elisson - the other Elisson, if you will - was in town this weekend, we all decided to visit the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

In the main atrium at Fernbank, there’s an impressive tableau of a skeletal Argentinosaurus being chased by an equally skeletal Giganotosaurus. The Giganotosaurus looks plenty ferocious, despite having no innards and being completely composed of inert matter. If he had balls, they’d be big brass ones, considering he is chasing - with intent to devour - a behemoth more than double his size.

As at the Georgia Aquarium, which we also visited this weekend, music wafts from concealed speakers. She Who Must Be Obeyed made the observation that in the Ancient Days of our youth, museums were quiet places, places suited to contemplation. Is the music there to drown out the shouting of Contemporary Kiddies? Or is it intended as a Mood-Enhancer?

The fact that the music playing near the dinosaurs was a Muzakified version of the John Willimas score from Jurassic Park did not escape our notice. Now, that’s Subtle Indoctrination for you...

I’m not sure I care to hear a soundtrack in this kind of setting. When I’m looking at Artifacts ’n’ Specimens, I do not like to be made to feel as though I am in a Theme Park, or at the Picture Show. Welcome to 21st-Century Culture.

So: one could say that we were musing over the idea of music at the museum, and were not amused.

One could say that, but it would be...perverse.

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