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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Today's Poor Almanack

The new, improved and relocated Newseum had its official opening this week, hence the above cartoon, which I thought of early in the week then put off drawing till two hours before it was due. On Friday the Newseum offered free admissioin, but as an adult ticket usually costs $20 I'm not sure how soon I'll visitor how often. When it was in Rosslyn VA, right across the river from Georgetown, I got there three or four times, but it was free then. The new Newseum sure looks nice from the outside, but it seems a little overbearing and grandiose and I mostly agree with Jack Shafer of Slate.com who wrote a very funny piece on it a few months back. And the Newseum bills itself as the world's most interactive museum and I don't know about you but, being standoffish and lazy I don't really like things too interactive. If it's just pushing buttons to make the little lights in the map light up or the millwheel in the little model gristmill spin that's one thing, I love stuff like that and the old American History Museum always had lots of it. But the Newseum seems to demand a much more intense level of commitment, plus it's all in hi-def 4-D which for me gets creepy real fast. And the way things are going, someday real soon the Newseum'll have on exhibit the Last Edtion of The American Daily Newspaper, taxidermied and displayed in a helium-filled case, with low lighting to preserve it from fading and a sign saying No Flash Photography. And a button to push so the pages will turn.

Maybe I'll revise my opinion of it if I actually go see the Newseum, and if they ever install a Hall of My Cartoons I'll deny ever having doubts about the place.


Mark Anderson said...

I dunno, all that interactivity is fine for the kiddies, but, good lord, sometimes I just wanna stand and quietly look at something.

Is that so wrong?!

here today, gone tomorrow said...

I'm standoffish and lazy, too, so I think I'll pass. Unless, they do install the Hall of RT Cartoons.

*snickering quietly in sympathy with mark anderson's chagrin*

richardcthompson said...

Really, who wants to get so involved with a museum? Suddenly things get too serious and then it starts following you around and you feel bad if you visit another, cheaper museum, and the next step is a restraining order.

I haven't visited the Spy Museum yet either, though we went to a Bat Mitzvah in their party room upstairs. My favorite museum these days is the American Art/Portrait Gallery.