by Art Chantry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A YEAR or so back, maire and I went to washington, DC (the ‘other’ washington). i was there to jury a design show (i seem to remember. some nice stuff, too!)
we had an extra day to check out a few sights there. i really wanted to see that junkstore ‘grannie’s attic’ called ‘the smithsonian’. but, the yuppie museum curators ruined it by turning it into an ‘experience’ rather than a museum. all that cool weird crap that used to be on exhibit (don garlit’s dragster. archie bunker’s chair. george washington’s wooden teeth) is buried in warehouses, now. out of sight, out of mind. “it’s so tacky.”
instead, they have people dressed up in period clothing pretending to be ‘betsy ross’ and having all the kids sit down with crayons and paper to design their own american flags (experience their own flags!) that sort of drivel makes me sick. disgusting, really. i hate yuppies. they suck.
so, maire and i ended up spending the day looking at few other stupid yuppified “museums” (man, what’s happened to our museums? they’re awful!) and finally gave up and went to the national arboretum to check it out. that was better (almost). it was still no longer a grand collection of well established and astonishingly interesting plant life, but a series of gardens built around “themes” (for the kids! think of the children!) so, it was a nice garden ‘experience’, but no better or worse than any other arboretum in any other city. in fact, there are some much nicer arboretums in far less important cities i’ve seen. so it goes.
one of the things that was “done’ to the national arboretum was the installation of “theme” fountains. they called it some sort of “fountain collection” or something. it was a strange thing to encounter when you thought you were visiting an arboretum – a ‘fountain collection.’ go figger.
most of the ‘fountains’ were newly installed and not yet gown into the foliage. the plantings were filling in nicely, but everything looked like it had been freshly planted about a month earlier. so, it was not very ‘gardeny’ feeling. mostly,it felt like a fresh construction site.
the ‘fountains’ had themes, like i said. there was the japanese fountain./garden, the italian villa fountain/garden, the french fountain/garden, the british, etc,. you get the picture. you followed a little gravel trail to tour them. there were signs explaining that they were ‘themes’ all over the place (just in case you didn’t get it.) also, each sign carried the logo of a corporate sponsor big and prominently located.
this is a photograph of one of the fountains. it was called the “blues fountain” and was built as a testimonial to all the great blues/jazz artists. what do you think? nice, huh?
i gotta say, this is probably the WORST friggin’ “fountain” i have ever seen in my life. it really SUCKS big time. i mean, look at that. itR
like a joke. it badly conceived, badly built, badly everything. green moldy water trickled out of the corroding horns and dribbled into a puddle of green slime. it even smelled bad. i stood there in astonishment and gaped at it. man, oh man! it was so awful looking that it made my eyes tear up – either from pain or from laughter. i couldn’t tell.
i really don’t know what much more i can say about this. i guess i could complain about wasted tax dollars, or perhaps used the word, “swindle.” maybe it’s an honest fountain done by ignorant amateur artists – aka “folk” artists (but i don’t believe in that that term, anymore). but, i have a feeling it was created by real ‘professionals’ – real “arteests” and architects and engineers. built out of zero taste, pedestrian concepting, incompetent execution, the works. these got a grant an ran with it and didn’t have a clue how to do something like this. this is the result. another “experience”. i hate yuppies. they always think their big lame ideas are so cool.
we tend to get what we deserve in america.
AC:the washington state u=historical museum in tacoma used to be a classic junkstore museum – ezra meeker’s covered wagon, indian artifacts, a mummy. good cool stuff like that.
but when the expanded it and built a splendid new museum next to the old train station, they turned it into one of the worst yuppiefied ‘experience ‘museums. i swear there isn’t a single artifact on display in the whole place. it’s all built-out exhibits faking old timey interiors with mannequins and recordings talking in fake ‘old timey’ voices. t
hey even have a fake ‘hooverville’ talking about how hard it was in the depression and how black people and white people were all in the same boat , so they took care of each other or some nonsense like that. what rot. geez, it’s awful.
i remember how cool the old museum used to be. but this new thing is so bad that it’s actually really incredibly DULL.
everybody loves it, of course. gag me with a spoon….
…when i blame yuppies, i’m actually blaming all that PC touchy-feelie crap they espouse. but it’s obviously a cultural shift that happened when the hippies and the other idiot boomers got old and wanted to make the world a “nicey-nice’ place. yuppies are just so disgusting that they make a great target…. i’m talking about a larger issue, a pop cultural style that permeates everything from religion to politics to personal interaction to taste. it’s the ultimate product for the boomer generation and it’s deplorable. there really isn’t a term that has been coined yet to adequately encompass the larger generalized picture. so, until there is, i’m using the term ‘yuppie’, because it comes the closest. the yuppie phenom heralds all the worst of the cultural virus i’m talking about….