In response to OneStdv’s question about Museums:
Many of the museums in New York City are ridiculously crowded. Of course, New York is a big tourist destination, and the tourists want to see all of the famous museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), or the American Museum of Natural History. If you are looking for a quieter museum, check out the New York Historical Society or the Brooklyn Museum.
Regarding the price of museums, in most cases, the cost of admission to a museum is less than the cost of a movie ticket. The exception to this rule is MoMA which costs $25 (ouch!!!), so I would only go on Friday evening from 4 to 8 when it’s free.
One secret is that the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art both charge suggested donations. I only give a dollar; theoretically you could give a penny, but that just feels wrong. When I was younger, I used to think that this behavior was really cheap, but now that I’m older and wiser, my feelings about this are (1) serves them right for charging a suggested donation; (2) the person who takes the money doesn’t give a crap about how cheap I am, and if anything I bet that he or she thinks that those paying full price are stupid; and (3) my tax dollars are used to support these institutions, so I’ve already paid my fair share.
Strangely, if you take the time to observe who pays full price and who pays a dollar (or even less), you’ll see a trend in which prolish looking people and NAMs pay full price, while SWPL-looking people who can presumably better afford the full price will donate a tiny amount. I attribute this to the SWPLs being more in the know. It’s not like there’s a big sign explaining the policy. It’s there in fine print, but for someone who has never done it before, it just seems too good to be true. (Indians, of course, will never pay the full price—they make a big hobby out of getting stuff on the cheap, and no Indian has ever been embarrassed about being cheap.)
What kind of people do you find in Museums? There are basically three categories: (1) SWPLs; (2) tourists (who are as often proles from the Midwest as they are sophisticated Europeans); (3) Indians (for whom the penny-per-person admission is cheap entertainment). Derb recently wrote an essay about keeping yourself safe by avoiding places where black people go. Well, you never have to worry about being a victim of violent crime while in a museum. You never see any ghetto-looking people in a museum. This is even true of African-American themed museums located in black neighborhoods. You may get mugged in the parking lot, but once inside most of the people are SWPLs, with a few of what Derb calls IWSBs.
Why should you go to museums? Besides being safe from violence, you get to see objects that can’t be appreciated by looking at pictures of them online. And the architecture of the buildings themselves is often pretty impressive.
The downside of museums is that they have been subject to two modern trends. One is the increasing emphasis on audio-visual presentations. As I wrote above, the upside of museums is that you can see objects that can’t be appreciated on a computer monitor. But what’s the point of an audio-visual presentation with a bunch of photos, TV screens, etc.? It’s just reproducing something that could just as easily be presented on a website, or as a documentary on the History Channel. No thanks.
The second bad trend in museums is the increasing political correctness of them. The old exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History were real dead animals that were shot in Africa, and then preserved and stuffed. But the new exhibits are all models, and they mix in messages about preserving the environment and global warming. It makes me want to puke. My recommendation for visiting AMNH is to skip the newer galleries and just look at the old-school galleries.
At art museums, all of the art worth looking at was created before World War I. Curators look at any post-WWI art that actually looks skillfully executed as being “kitsch” and not worthy of display. If there’s a photo exhibit, then the secret meaning of the photos will generally be to mock proles. Either that, or they will be photos that gay men find interesting (which is not to say that gay men don’t have good taste—in fact they have much better taste than feminists and leftist SWPLs). This is the reason why MoMA isn’t worth $25.