July 21, 2009

Disgracing The King

Earlier this week we went to see the King Tut exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.

It was a disgrace.

I'm not a purist. For a time, I was special assistant to the executive director of a large museum. I understand that museums need to make money. But this was shameful.

Although we had tickets for a specific time, we had to wait in two long, annoying lines. When we finally got into the exhibit, the space allotted was not nearly sufficient for the amount of people who were being sent through.

Each display case was three people deep. It was impossible to take the time necessary to learn anything about the items on display. I was penned in and uncomfortable every minute of my time in the exhibit and, frankly, couldn't wait to get out to breathe some decent air.

There were people hawking headsets and trying to up-sell us while we were prisoners in line. We were given a tacky "Pharaoh's Gold Card" (shown above.) My daughter and her friends said they felt like they were at Disneyland.

The trick for a museum with a popular exhibit is to maximize income while maintaining some degree of integrity regarding the visitor experience. This exhibit was just a shabby exercise in greed.

When it's all over and they count the money, they will tell each other it was a marketing success. It wasn't. There are a lot people -- like me -- who will never go back.

A Stinky, Slimy, Pole Dangler Called Wanda...
The leader of yesterday's vote for the new name for fish is "Stinky, Slimy, Pole Danglers" with 24% of the vote. Very close behind is "Aqua Bunnies" with 23%. The name that PETA suggested, Sea Kittens, is running dead last with 2%. We received over 20 suggested new names including: Water Burgers, Finburgers, Sometimes Sushi, and Dinner. Thanks for voting -- and remember, it's not just a privilege, it's a responsibility.

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