24 June 2006

musings on museums

my time in lima is now just about over. tomorrow morning janae and i fly to cusco for hiking and blistered feet. i've really enjoyed being here, and had some fun and interesting experiences. yesterday was museum day, so i went to several (sorry jenna, but i did not make it to the pornographic pottery palace). i went to the history of peru museum, which has a bunch of artifacts from all (or many) of the pre-colombian groups that have lived around here. i always think those things are interesting--it's crazy to think about those people, and how much they had to discover just to survive, etc. it sort of makes you see yourself as part of a huge story, the continuing and slow development of a species from hole diggers to space explorers and on to wherever we'll get next.

i also went to the museum of gold, which was a much bigger deal until about 5 years ago when lots of the artifacts there were discovered to be fakes. the museum seems to have never recovered its self-esteem, and hasn't gone to the trouble to rearrange itself since they removed the fraudulent pieces so there's just a bunch of blank spaces in the cases, and it was sort of depressing. but they still have a ton of gold things there, and it was definitely interesting.

as per dan wink's recommendation, i went there to see the museum of weapons that is also included in admission to the museum of gold, and it was pretty cool. this place is a lot like your gun-crazy uncle's garage would have looked if he'd succeeded in accruing about about a million weapons and had been friends with leaders of nations and they all gave him pistols and swords as gifts. or if your uncle was ted nugent. they had these glass cabinets just stuffed full of weapons--rare, bizarre, or...nazi--without any apparent effort either at making it understandable or presentable or anything. mannequins who had no doubt hoped to one day be models for calvin klein or maybe even versacci looked a little broken and disappointed to be showing the 1960's styles of the nicaraguan army. it made me think of zoolander.

as much time as we as the human species have spent perfecting things like making ceramic pots (especially depicting sexual activities), irrigation, the creating and controlling of fire (thank you once again, tom hanks), we have spent probably a lot more time finding better or more interesting ways to kill each other. you can pretty much tell it's our favorite thing to do. i have no idea if putting the museum of gold and the museum of weapons on different floors of the same building (located in south america, no less) was intended as one of those sad but ironically funny gestures by the curator, but i guess i thought it was. sad and funny and ironic, i mean. maybe more sad. other chances for geography to be funny would be the chocolate museum with the historical society of fat people, or greenpeace's offices across the hall from texaco. or make up your own!

anyway. hooray for lima, hooray for peru. to infinity and beyond!


aaron said...

how about the jeremy museum next to tom hanks' house. ok that was a bad one. i'm almost done. got 2 weeks left on the ol' trail. i'm ready for home and people that actually know me. paz fuera.

aaron said...

i would also like to say that the running photo association game keeps bringing me back. bummer for spain! i was upset. it was funny to see all the barça jerseys out today, to remind themselves they won SOMETHING this year.