Museum of Confoundment
Situated on a sun-blasted section of Venice Boulevard, the Museum of Jurassic Technology looks out of place among the Qwik-Marts and tire stores. A tiny doorknob set high opens a door into a darkened room…which leads to another darkened room, and another, connected by narrow hallways lined with odd objects.
The displays are accompanied by giant explanations with blocks of text in brown print on black backgrounds in very dark rooms (I busted out the flashlight at one point, just so I didn’t trip and hurt myself), much of the “factual” information made up or falsified somehow.
The whole “museum” is some kind of weird post-modernist joke lacking a punchline. My overwhelming feeling was:
It reminded me of a game of Apples to Apples I played with some college kids a few years ago. The usual notion of the game is that the dealer has a word or phrase and everyone else has cards with other random words, phrases or names on them, and the players submit one of the ideas on their cards as the one that goes best with the dealer’s.
This works best when the crowd is witty and loves wordplay. The problem with playing with these students was that they would submit their ideas seemingly at random, and the dealer would pick without reason, just saying something like “That’s the one I liked.”
Everyone else seemed content with this system, which led me to believe I might have been experiencing my first unsurmountable generation gap. I was left on my emotional porch, silently screaming at these annoying kids to get off my lawn.
Ok, I’ll say it. I want things to make sense. I may be an old fuddy-duddy who uses terms like “old fuddy-duddy,” but that’s all right by me. I’ll be over here studying my encyclopedia and looking at the Monet waterlily ponds. The kids can go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology (no the name doesn’t mean anything) without me.