Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another roadside attraction

He got a chauffeur that's a genuwine dinosawr
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
And he can knuckle your head before you count to four
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)

-The Hollywood Argyles-

Rudolph Wurlitzer wrote a novel titled Nog back in the day; about a young man who purchased a trailer containing a tank with an eponymous rubber octopus and took it on a picaresque and somewhat lysergic tour. It's become a minor cult classic. Nog was the first thing I thought about when I first heard of the Museum of Creationism.

Now that Kentucky's museum of an invented past is open, I can see from the pictures that it seems really rather more pathetic and tawdry than I expected and more in line with the cheap carnies and roadside zoos and shops selling dried alligators and jackalopes that used to line the highways in earlier days of automobile travel. It's a freak show where the customers are the freaks as well as marks.

Prepare to Believe, says the home page which displays images of featherless raptors already outmoded by recent data. Perhaps Abandon All Honesty would have been more suitable, but of course the entire concept of giving legitimacy to a legend by making fiberglass and rubber images in anachronistic settings is pathetic in itself and as pure entertainment, it's hopeless to compete with the real Creators of the genre, Ripley's, Madame Toussaud and Walt Disney. In fact I'm wondering how they can reconcile the attempt to make seeing into believing when believing in the unseen is the bedrock of religion. Perhaps they're just as confused as I am by the whole thing.

Unless it becomes an attraction for the cynical, willing to pay $19.95 a head for something to laugh at, I have the sense that it cannot succeed in meeting its expenses, even with the "Museum Shop" that contains books "exposing" competing religions. Reruns of The Flintstones are free after all and don't require or engender a belief addiction.


expatbrian said...

My first trip to your blog and I like it already. Did a couple of posts on the Museum of Ignorance myself and several on the church in general. Hope you don't mind if I add you to my blogroll.

Capt. Fogg said...

Thanks, the feeling is mutual.