The inaugural is being carried live by Hulu (link here). I’ll be at work, so I’ll try to sneak a peak!
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I love Natural History Museums -the image above is from the Smithsonian from a trip last year. Their dioramas bring out clinical details that are missing in zoos. Because of the artifice of stuffing animals and posing them in au naturale, these collections hark back to menageries and freak shows. The animals we choose to display and how they are displayed reflect a lot about ourselves, and I find it no different to walk through a Natural History museum (or the Evolution Museum as Tina Fey’s Palin quipped) than it is to peruse a Damien Hirst exhibit.
Harvard’s collection is a must see, especially if they are exhibiting the glass flowers. New York’s will always hold a place in my heart because it captures that 19th century optimism and obsessive compulsion for collecting (killing) ever rarer and more difficult to obtain specimen. It also does not shy away from displaying people, although they are mannequins and not stuffed (I think).
I would volunteer in a heartbeat (when it comes my time) to be stuffed and displayed in my white oxford button down shirt, khaki’s, and loafers with a plaque Homo sapiens sapiens korean-americanus nerdificissimus maximus et bellygazingus. Put me next to the chimps.
My very handy wife, J, decided that rather than let me get rabies from playing the rusty antique Jew’s harp, she would clean it up. After some key Brillo pad scouring of the rust, this interesting detail came up. The harp was made in Austria! The question now is when. The kind of wear demonstrated is seen in coins from around fifty years ago. But a musical instrument shouldn’t get the kind of wear and tear that a coin gets, meaning this particular harp may be closer to a hundred years old. But, the older it is, the less likely the manufacturer would put Austria and more likely Republik Österreich or some other variation, I would think, although Austria is the Latinized version of Österreich. It is a bent piece of diamond shaped iron wire with the center blade soldered on, rather roughly. Its presence in central Europe may come from Magyar (Huns) or Ottoman Turk influences. Very cool.
G has never like clowns, Barney the dinosaur, and Santa. Likes the Tooth Fairy and Santa as concepts and business transactions, but creeped out by the reality of confronting the figures. Probably the last year he believes in these fellows. I’m on that To Be Formerly Magical List, along with a whole bunch of other people. I’d better enjoy it while I can!
The first domesticated animal was not the dog. It was the husband. Early man was likely a wild creature, larger and stronger than the woman. It was with much difficulty and many generations of clubbed heads to domesticate the husband. Fact was, it was the more docile of the men that hung around and the exclusively paired off man-woman unit had a survival advantage in the savannah over the usual style of primate relations.
The aggression and anti-social tendencies were bred out of men, and husband whispering skills, the innate ones, increased. This allowed for monogamy to prevail and is the established pattern for our species. Our biology demands it -we don’t know when our women are fertile -their vulvae (vulvitae?) don’t turn huge with bright red and blue colors like the baboons’ do, so we are left to guess and protect the woman against couplings with other males while exclusively tending to her to insure that the offspring are ours. Thus the nuclear familial unit.
Cultures evolved over these biologic imperatives to determine how families, clans, and tribes, and nations interacted. But at the very core is the untamed man -the echoes of which we see in our 1-5 year old boys who we “socialize” to not hit people to get their way, to not pull hair, and to obey their mothers.
Of course, with our lifespans increased many multiples beyond the 15-20 years of early primates, we are paired for life which means that the relationship extends beyond the weaning and sending off of the offspring, beyond the reproductive age of the women, and well into our senescence. The result is that men have about 65-75 years to shunt testosterone driven urges into “civilized activities.” The challenge is how to survive in face of the five denials of the long march marriage.
Denial of Solitude -This comes early, with requests for conversation and chores after a long day of hunting and gathering. The cave man only wants to lumber down to the deepest reaches of the cave and draw on the walls, and carve sculpture out of deer bone (see below, image of his wife of 20 years).
Denial of Comfort -The inevitable onset of refractoriness of desire on the part of women and men results in a waning of connubial relations. The cave man only wants to lumber down to the deepest reaches of the cave and …well, you can only imagine.
Denial of Grooming -The hotness of the young she-primate that the caveman paired with ends soon after a few young ones come around. The hair is no longer bunched up with dung like she used to when they were courting. The clay face paint -not even there -just bits of yesterday’s mammoth clinging to her neck. It’s called letting yourself go, but you can see that the cave man had something to say about it (see carving below).
Denial of Male Fellowship -Despite this lack of desire on the part of the cave-woman, she is very suspicious of all the time that the cave man spends away with his hunting and gathering buddies, and assigns many chores -carrying out of animal carcasses, beating of the mammoth hides, and grooming her mother of ticks and fleas.
Denial of Porsche -self explanatory. Very sad. Poor cave man.