Where the Explorer's Club is exclusionary, the AMNH opens its large feathery wings and gathers all sorts under its large umbrella.
Most of you may have visited and enjoyed the fruits of Theodore Roosevelt's scorched earth policy to spare no expense in bringing New Yorkers awkward stuffed specimens of grand beautiful beasts that roamed free half a world away. The Museum was the perfect moral foothold to cling to as he slaughtered his way across the world. The body count at the end was close to 12,000 beasts!
In his defense, Roosevelt said "I can be condemned only if the existence of the National Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and all similar zoological institutions are to be condemned."
So there. We ALL share the burden of those six rare white rhinos that were blunderbussed.
But one must still live even when crushed by the collective weight of our evils and the moral uncertainty of it all.
Deep in the bowels of the Natural History Museum, there is a room that may at first seem lifeless and dull, but has a hidden virtue.
It is the Hall of Gems:
|Waiting to be Zardoz-ed.|
But it is not the content of the Hall of Gems that makes it so inviting. Rather, it is the low lighting, the carpeted ampitheatre steps, and the severe unpopularity of the room that makes it the most appealing place to study.
It's all so very Senatorial or, actually, it's the distinct feeling one has that may be similar to the Acolytes of Plato when they lounged at his Academy, plumbing the depths in a way that only lounging lets you do.
Not unlike this:
|Don't mind me, I'm plumbing.|