Posts Tagged ‘dragons
Did you happen to stumble on the viral Internet sensation that was my friend Megan Fox’s audit of the Field Museum last month?
This was an interesting experience, because one trip to the museum asking questions about some of the things posted in the displays ended up causing the Left to have a complete meltdown. Megan and I have been working on a few book projects, with one of them focusing on the propaganda put in front of children in places like the Field Museum here in Chicago.
The museum’s “Evolving Earth” exhibit is dusty and poorly-maintained. A lot of the displays have “facts” in them that are outdated by many years. Some of the displays have contradictions within just a few paragraphs. Others show artistic depictions of animals that are wildly off…but, again, the exhibits have not been updated in a decade or more. Yet, this is what they’re teaching all the school children that are paraded through this exhibit every day en route to the fossils (which is what the kids really want to see).
Going to Catholic school as a kid, I never was exposed to very much Creationism or speculation on the origins of life. The Garden of Eden and Genesis were covered in religion class, but only in passing. Usually, that would happen in a combined religion class/art class (or penmanship exercise)…where we would read stories about the Creation event and then draw pictures of all the animals in the Garden, the Tree of Life, etc. We spent probably a day on this every year in grade school (and no time at all on it in high school). The story of Noah’s Ark had about the same amount of classroom time.
Megan Fox is not Catholic. Like my boyfriend Justin, she’s some kind of protestant (but I never can remember which). Calvinist, Lutheran, something. It’s also part of the legacy of Catholic school that I don’t remember these things, because to me all protestants are just “protestants”. Culturally, we’re very different…and one of those differences is how little I care about how life started on this planet.
I find that I care about this as much as I care about whatever happened to Amelia Earhart or whatever happened to Alexander the Great’s tomb. Would it be nice to know the truth? Sure. Would it make an exciting detective story or Indiana Jones-type movie, centered on solving these great mysteries once and for all? Definitely. But I don’t lose sleep over these things.
Growing up Catholic, there was no time spent by the nuns who taught me in grade school wondering if dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark was one of the Bible stories used to inspire us to draw really pretty pictures during art class. I don’t recall any of my classmates drawing dinosaurs, but I do remember a girl named Melissa putting two unicorns on the gangplank leading into the Ark and Sister Mary Howard (probably the scariest and meanest of all nuns) didn’t bat an eye at that. This was a nun who would smack kids upside the head for coloring ousted the lines…but she didn’t care if unicorns were included in the Ark scene.
I think that’s just because for Catholics the list of what was on the Ark or wasn’t on the Ark…or what was real or what wasn’t real…didn’t matter as much as it does to protestants (or, I’ve come to discover, to self-proclaimed atheists).
What inspired this new book project with Megan was a trip she took last year to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, where a docent became apoplectic when Megan referred to one of the fossil skulls in the exhibit as a “dragon”. Because to her it looked just like a dragon from a fantasy movie. The docent — no doubt an Obama-voting leftist — just couldn’t stand that a mom with her kids called a fossil skull “a dragon” and practically pushed other museum-goers down in her rush to correct Megan. “That’s not a dragon. It’s a dinosaur. Don’t call it a dragon,” the Docent commanded. Megan reacted the same way I do whenever the word-police are dispatched by the Left: she called it a dragon repeatedly until the Docent shriveled to the floor like Margaret Hamilton meeting a pail of water.
The brittleness of the ideological Left always amuses me.
And I am thankful that these lunatics always so clearly telegraph what upsets them. I know I am onto something when they react hysterically to anything that I do, or friends of mine in the good guy ranks like Megan do. If calling dinosaurs by the word “dragons” upsets the Left, then I think that’s something we all need to start doing. When the Left is emotionally upset and raging about something ridiculous, then it can’t be firing on all cylinders in its attempts to destroy our country.
That video tour Megan and I made of the Field Museum has something like 1.2 million hits on YouTube now. It upset the Left so much that Megan’s been receiving a steady stream of death and rape threats from people who claim they are employees of the Field Museum or the museum’s supporters. All because she asked questions about some of the poorly-made displays in the museum and used the word “dragons” for the reconstructed creatures on display.
Incidentally, when I lived in China I would hear the word “dragon” all the time when someone meant to say “dinosaur”. I taught English in Beijing and corrected the “Engrish” writings of Chinese business people and the dinosaur/dragon thing happened all the time. It’s because Chinese people call all fossils “dragon bones”, as there’s no word exactly like “fossil”. Chinese is an idiomatic language and when they say “dragon bones” they mean any ancient creature whose remains are found in the ground. They capture more of the wonder of such a discovery by saying they are “dragon bones”, as opposed to our dry, clinical word such as “fossil”.
It’s an interesting question to ask if whether the word “dinosaur” — literally meaning “terrible lizard” — is the best term to use for the astounding beasts of our planet’s past. Were they really “terrible lizards”? Terrible, here, means more “awesome”…like how “Ivan the Terrible” is better translated as “Ivan the Awe-inspiring” or “Ivan the Awesome”. There’s nothing “terrible” about dinosaurs. And there’s nothing really lizard-like either. That’s a 1950s way of looking at these creatures, as if they were lumbering, slow-moving, behemoths always being trapped in tar or drowned in lava in bad murals that decorated the cinder block walls of Cleveland’s natural history museum (all seven rooms of it) back when I was a kid.
I like that Megan Fox calls these creatures “dragons”. And not just because it upsets the Left so much. I like that Chinese people call them “dragons” as well, even though they (and Megan) aren’t implying these creatures ever breathed fire. They are truly marvelous creatures to wonder about…to speculate about…and to discuss.
I’m looking forward to sharing with you more of our audits of the museums of Chicago and updating you on some of the other projects that Megan Fox and I have been working on with our Story Time Digital Media production company. I hope you check us out on YouTube, here: www.YouTube.com/IntolerantFox
Also follow along on the Facebook account we have setup for Story Time, too: https://www.facebook.com/MeganFoxWriter
It’s a learning process and quite the adventure to be directing and producing videos like this. As someone who is not the best with technology, I’m amazed that Megan and I were able to upset the Left so much with our first foray into the medium…but clearly the word “dragon” is a magical word that rings some kind of bell with these lunatics.