Since none of you lousy people told me where to go in Oxford at the weekend, I spent a pleasant afternoon in the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums. The second of these is bizarre and hilarious, hovering between self-parody and taking a cross-cultural anthropological approach far too seriously. So it has something labelled as “Stone bearing an accidental, though remarkable, resemblance to a pigeon’s head”. Yes, the curator found an amusingly-shaped stone on holiday, and put it on display for the world. Then there’s “Oxford, England, Europe, 1999. A water-pipe for smoking marijuana”. Which is a modified coca-cola bottle.
The Ashmolean infuriated me by having two rooms of interesting Indian religious sculpture, with the two-line labels that don’t tell you anything you’d want to know about them. This is one reason why I generally loathe museums – unless you already know about the items on display, you aren’t going to learn anything about them without some background information. So people dutifully look at them and get bored, although they would probably find the exhibits interesting if they were told something about them. Grrr!
On the bright side, looking at inadequately-explained tantric sculpures gave me a few moments of thinking my degree non-useless. On which more in a moment, maybe.
Also, my friends list this morning is full of people saying how good the Calling was last night. It was – but I think mostly because none of us have been dancing enough recently. Damn Kambar holidays!