This afternoon I am trying to kick-start my brain. It has been quite a week. Of deadlines and meltdowns, job applications, hugging strangers and deep, hard conversations. And dinosaurs!!
On Friday night I went to Jurassic Nights at the Museum and I wanted to compare a couple of things.
I had as my companion a fellow curious spirit, someone I’m not shy being stupidly excited in front of. This is important if you want to tap into your inner 5 yr old. While we were waiting for our allotted dinosaur time we wandered into the discovery centre*. It’s a great space, with drawers to open and things to magnify and rocks. I know 43 yr old introverts aren’t necessarily the target audience, but I love it in there.
Then we lined up for the Jurassic experience and the jostling for selfie space began. Seriously people, put your fucking phone away! I swear, about 80% of the people there weren’t actually present. They were filming their own experience, to be watched later in the comfort of their dinosaur onesie.
It’s so difficult to write about this without sounding like a middle-aged curmudgeon but I suspect I’m not the only one thinking it. It has taken me years to train my brain to find the quiet in the crowd. Amidst moments of shared joy and snippets of conversation, the memories I’m left with are where we just stopped. And stood. And stared. Moving through this exhibition, that took some effort.
Exhibitions like that are designed to capitalise on large volumes of traffic and big impact. The technology that went into the creation and staging of the dinosaurs was pretty impressive and I know the whole thing is required to turn a profit for the Museum. Maybe one day when the introverts rise up we will have special ‘no phones and inside voices only’ sessions at these things.
*It’s ok Nicola, the python wasn’t there.