Telecommuniculturey

High- and low-brow cultural goings-on in the Second City, brought to you by a roving microtechnoanthropologist

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

This is fiber optic cable, which is the future. This is culture, which is delicious.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

China to Camarillo with a Head Full of Snot

You'd think from the fact that it's been weeks since I've updated this that I've been busy or something. I have, rather, but mostly I've been saying "WHAT?" a lot as I can't hear a damned thing over my own hacking cough and ears full of phlegm.

I'd like to say, for the record, that I love football, I really do. I love the brutal, grinding pace of it, beautifully broken up by a pass dropping just so into the hands of a wide-open receiver. I have to limit myself to watching only the Bears games, because otherwise I'd be parked in front of the television for far too many hours every weekend. That said, I am appalled at the "Yay Sports! Fuck culture!" vibe that we ran up aginst on opening day at the Classical Greek/Mothership/Soldier Field.

M has recently taken to pointing out to me all the places we've never gone in Chicago, the Field Museum being chief amongst them. He noted that the Forbidden City exhibit was closing on the 12th and preordered tickets. I don't know where my head was, but I dorked and was utterly shocked to find that a game was starting at noon just a hop, skip, and a jump from the mystical south entrance of the Field. The Museum's opinion on how to deal with transportation-related difficulties was pretty much "Turn back," but we were not to be dissuaded. We wound up dropping $20 on parking up by Navy Pier, and another $10 on a cab back down to the Museum, where the game security grudgingly allowed us within a few blocks of the entrance.

This was certainly worth it, mind you. It was a really interesting and (overall) well done exhibit that I'm glad not to have missed. It featured everything from ornately embroidered clothing and household items to some pretty fantastic weapons. Signage placement was unfortunately calculated to maximize the inconvenience of Americans parking their gigantic asses squarely in front of it, lips moving all the while as they read. On a related note, virtually none of the inscriptions, poems, or other writings were translated, which undermined somewhat the visitor's ability to appreciate the emperor's rep as a big-time scholar and author of more than 44,000 poems.

Having finished the special exhibit (to which there is no reentry! 'Ware!), we went looking for the Egypt exhibit, which I cleverly evaded, getting us lost in some of the mammalian exhibits. This proved not to be too great a loss as M dug the stuffed animals. We did eventually make it to Egypt, but had only made our way through some of the pyramid when the clock struck 15 minutes to closing time and the staff began quite rudely ordering everyone to vacate the galleries, one guard going so far as to snipe at M because he veered 1 degree off course from the stairs to look at Bushman, the gorilla whose cage we've frequently seen at Lincoln Park zoo. Even the freaking gift shop was already shut up tight. Never before have I witnessed such an egregious reluctance to pimp unnecessary plastic objects.

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