Monday, November 7, 2016

A day at the Newseum

I wasn't gonna write tonight, but being the night before an election for me is like Christmas to a child. Only instead of clenching my eyelids worrying about if I am going to get the Aladdin VHS or Barbie dream house, I'm worried that I might get an orange in my stocking instead...like literally an orange. [Tangent: That is the least nonpartisan (but still kinda partisan) analogy that I can muster ...but ya'll know what side my bread is buttered on...so I need not go any further with that.]  Thinking about politics and how insane and frustrating they can be, it reminded me that The time was nigh to pull an "Aunt Linda" and tell you more about my trip to DC, the land that has spawned that frustrating insane child! 
During our time in DC, we saw a bunch of things that made a quality merlot out of every last one of my mind grapes, but the suggestion that I am happiest I took was to go to the Newseum. [Tangent: Growing up in a house that's white noise was CNN (there was no reason a second grader should know all about the Gulf War or the intricacies of the Anita Hill confirmation hearings...), I vowed I would only watch it once a day as an adult, when I could choose my programming for myself. Even then, I hypothesized that it would be like a daily vitamin and I wouldn't enjoy it. Then I went on to study Journalism...and twas my gateway drug because now I watch the news all the damn time. It's still the white noise in my home- 2-3 episodes of local news...Nightline...20/20...even Inside Edition (diversify!). Let's not go into reading articles online. ] It was amazing, and each exhibit made me say "I can't believe I am seeing this!" The only bummer was that this was the first museum that we visited, so it gave all the others humongous loafers to fill. 

The newseum is located not far from DC's China town and seriously has every relic from modern televised history that you could imagine. [Tangent: Smithsonian better step up its game! I mean I know the American History museum has Dortothy's ruby slippers...but the Newseum has the Unibomber's cabin, where of course Jamie had to Kacsynski alongside the famous sketch...trying not to get dirty looks from fellow tourists.]
 In fact while we were there, they had an exhaustive exhibit on terrorism, which included wreckage from Ground Zero and things taken from the site of the Boston Marathon. [Tangent: Since I was thousands of miles away in college on 9/11, I guess the enormity of it never fully penetrated. You can imagine that it is something distant until you are just feet away twisted metal from the twin towers. Seeing that backed by a wall of 9/12 front page headlines from all over the country was disturbing and heartbreaking and beautiful in one brush stroke.]
There was also a section of the Berlin wall on display with one of the watchtowers. [Tangent: I was young when the wall in Germany was torn down, so a lot of the images that I associate with it were added to memory bank in my adulthood. Ex: that video footage of David Hasselhoff dancing atop it with a piano scarf and that snippet from the documentary I reviewed last month, Animism, where a woman was in a romantic relationship with the wall and oddly fondled it. Once I stifled the release of those images, I really took in how awesome it was to see in person.]

There really wasn't any part of the self-guided tour that didn't make me wish I could take my brother, Chris, and my dad to this place. They would have lost their minds. This soulless robot actually teared up a little when Jamie and I were looking through the print archives of famous publications (including famous headlines like "Dewey Beats Truman" and the first issue of Rolling Stone) because I couldn't call and tell them about it.
There were little nook displays devoted to stories which I remembered ruling the airwaves during my lifetime like the 2000 election drama and the OJ trial. I mean, not to brag, but I got to see Juice's suit. That was worth the $22 price of admission alone.
 
If I ever go back to DC, and if it doesn't spontaneously crumble to the earth after tomorrow's election results, I will 100% go back because I am positive that we didn't see everything. THERE WERE 6 FLOORS! It almost made me wish I had followed my senior year in high school dreams and gone into broadcast journalism...but oh well, I'll always have this approximation brought to you by the Newseum. 


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