Maybe Elsa was right…


When this picture was taken it was his first day on the job. He explained to us that his garb was representative of what was worn by both Native Peoples, as well as coureur de bois, the Europeans who lived among them as trappers and woodsmen. I offer this tidbit because as Koloski notes that these sort of interactive “performances” made “history/science more fun and interesting” (274). It definitely did for two of my four daughters who not only swooned while he was talking to us, but forced me to take that picture, and returned to his post several times through the afternoon we were there.

A large part of the assigned reading centered around the idea of having an artist in residence at a historical museum. I know several artists, and know that they can be difficult to deal with at times, because some of them believe that they are geniuses, that they could walk on water if they so chose to, and that their idea of art is the only true measure of it. And it is possible that this is the position that some museums have found themselves in. Now mix in a curatorial staff that also believes that they are geniuses, that the artifacts they are entrusted with are theirs, and their interpretation is the only true interpretation of them. Sprinkle in the questions of funding, and other capitalistic nonsense, and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless everyone is willing to talk, discuss their ideas, and what they want to get out of the exhibit.

I fail to grasp the inclusion of a never-before-seen episode of Sanford and Son. Was it included to be a counterpoint to the general acceptance of StoryCorps? StoryCorps offers a heavily edited message aimed at a specific (NPR/PBS) audience. Similarly Sanford and Son was also aimed at an audience. I think where we as a society have progressed (or maybe we haven’t) is that the Sanford and Son episode is included here, as are the excerpts of StoryCorps that are deemed too risqué for general consumption.

Published by


Resident angry old man, Marxist revolutionary

3 thoughts on “Maybe Elsa was right…”

  1. I agree Joe. I think it’s too much ego and capitalist (pig/dog is up to you lol) concerns and not enough what is really good for quality learning. If both sides could just realize that people have different forms of intelligence (some artistic others analytical ect.) we could all accomplish more. When will the human ego allow us to move on with society? I found the Sanford and Son and really the entire bit about StoryCorps to be semi non productive. I felt like it was a bad news reel. Is StoryCorps history? Answer at 11. I really don’t get why storycorps seems to be so contested. It would seem that more viewpoints would equate to overall better view even if we can’t take each persons every word as automatic fact.

  2. I am so glad that future historians will have such a wealth of information thanks to StoryCorps. As you said in your post, capital T truth is unobtainable to historians, but a multiplicity of voices can get us closer to it…

    And, for once, it’s not really Capitalism that is the problem (although it always is). It’s the inability of those with money to see the benefit that history, museums, literature, the humanities et all, provides to society. Instead they see it solely as a means to more revenue. And I think everyone knows how I feel about that…

  3. I too was confused with the inclusion of Sanford and Son. I guess I failed to grasp it’s relevancy beyond the presentation of differing perspectives…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *