Thursday, August 07, 2014

Henry Ford Museum

My geography is not that good and where Dearborn, Michigan might be, relative to Detroit, was not "recall knowledge" though my smartphone ("him or her", "the Android") would know.  Once I found out, just eighteen minutes from St. Regis Hotel, twas a no-brainer to go there, as seeing Fuller's one remaining Dymaxion House had long been a "bucket list" item.  Here were Tara and I, freed from the WILPF bus tour by reason of it was completely booked (good reason), which would have been interesting, but hey, what better time for this outing?

The museum was way more intelligent and charming than I'd anticipated, as is the whole of Motor Kingdom and what it had wrought from wrought iron.  The size of the steam engines was impressive and I'm not just talking stereotype rail car pulling engines.  I'm talking about the mother of all steam engines used to make motor-vehicles, around which Ford had the museum built.  At least that was my understanding.  Such breath-taking wonders.

Shortcomings?  Well, the AC versus DC chapter is followed the The Revenge of DC, i.e. HVDC across distances, such as from Oregon to California.  But I'm sure those exhibits will be updated one day.  You're not trying to hurry it along, as a museum, more you're wanting to linger.  "Here was my childhood bedroom" many a stroller-pushing parent might think, seeing a realistic-enough diarma, set in the 1980s (I was already post college by then).

Best of all were the heartfelt and lavishly curated exhibits on overcoming slavery, oppression of women, and the US Civil War, with Lincoln an icon, but also Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks.  Her bus is right there.  I sat in the back (by choice, for the longer view camera shot).

I should have expected such an intelligent museum knowing the one Dymaxion House had been done up like new and showcased.  The museum guides say nothing bad about organized labor, when giving reasons for this enterprise falling through.  Did it really fall through or just take a few detours?  The mobile home age, the RV age, was coming up on Peak Oil.  Here's the prototype just as Bucky might have envisioned it, sprung from a time capsule, inspiring imaginations to think big in terms of what technologies we have today.

O-volving shelves?  Brilliant.  Great to see them operational.  And the one-piece bathroom (not just the shower stall, but the whole thing), very 747.

The Imax film about penguins was truly excellent, family friendly and somewhat sad.  Nothing really bad happens, it's just that being a penguin looks like such an ordeal.  I think if a human feels maudlin she or he should be given space, as projecting one's own sense of a "daily grind" onto the big screen, and working some alchemy with it, is a big part of what the film medium is all about.  Lets hear it for IMAX.