Professor Izzard’s Roman Funeral Lecture, or I Wish to Beef Up the Grief

NSFW due to some vocabulary choices.

In Honor of the 241st Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party We Proudly Present: A Mercifully Brief History of Tea

Actually By Doug DuCap

teahistorylogo1 - CopyAccording to legend, tea was invented one day when the Buddha’s eyelids suddenly fell off and landed in Lao Tzu’s roiling pot of Hot Water, which was at the time the Chinese National Beverage.

“Hey, cut that out!” Lao Tzu, the Father of Taoism (and several dozen illegitimate children) was heard to exclaim to the Buddha. After sampling the drink, however, he was pleasantly surprised at the delightful taste and aroma.

“Holy Cats!” Lao Tzu cried, “And I thought Hot Water was tasty!”

Read the rest (it’s worth it…)


Night at the Creation Museum, or Bible Cow is Good, But It Don’t Come Close to Bible Dinosaur

We Never Forgot, We Just Didn’t Remember

A little inspiration in honor of tomorrow’s

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

A New Traditional Museum Christmas

T.H. Gray:

It’s December, which means it’s time for historic house museums (and the rest of us too) to drag out Christmas programming so old, even Jesus saw it. Here’s ours, which is a call for an entirely new kind of museum Christmas.

Originally posted on Peabody's Lament:

The Christmas season is upon us again and we in early American house museums rejoice in its arrival. Though we spend the other eleven months of the year doggedly trying to “correct” people’s understanding of the past, Christmas relieves us of the tedium of authenticity.

Who wants to talk about the religious strife once engendered by Christmas? Or that most Protestants did not even recognize it, and some of those who did were belittled by “true” Protestants as secret Catholics. And that there were no decorations, no carols, or that, if recognized at all, it was spent in church. It wouldn’t make for a very merry museum Christmas.

So instead we cobble together a Christmas celebration which is part non-specific period decoration and part modern Christmas. We do it because the Christmas season is a month-long Black Friday for museums. Our…

View original 139 more words

Weekend Work 12-1-14: The Deaccession Debates Continue (With Our Help), Kids Movies are Research, The Real Discoverers of America, and Indiana Jones is a Bad Man


This is perhaps a more nuanced discussion than ours.

This is perhaps a more nuanced discussion than ours.

Culturegrrl is at it again, renewing her call for legislation to prevent museums from monetizing collections through deaccessioning. While Culturegrrl is for more legislation, our umbrella organizations are against it, and the rest of us are somewhere between them. Though we here at the Hysterical Society are immune to such discussions (we have no physical collection to accession and thus potentially deaccession), we have thought about both sides of this issue, including reflections upon the current and possible legal standards and actions and the field’s ability to self-govern. We don’t expect our work will settle any of these issues, but we do think it will help fully and disinterestedly explain these deacession debacles.

Curators finally have a reason to watch kids movies, which they’re been doing all along, but now they can call it research.

While it might be a fake news show, it’s real news: Check out the Colbert Report’s coverage of recent research into the real discoverers of America (go to 4:22).

And finally, if you’ve been glamorizing Indian Jones’s approach to archeology, you should stop.




Historical Inertia, or This is India, Right?


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