Tag Archives: young

Museums Get Tough on the Selfie Stick

Walking through museums behind young children scares me. Weird huh? Well, young children have young minds. Those minds have not quite matured enough to figure out that running into the 3000 year old vase swinging your toy is not a good idea.

Children usually lack that bit of common sense and need an adult to guide them through this experimental period of their lives. My years as an educator have taught me that sometimes this common sense passes on to the next generation and sometimes it doesn’t.

In the prehistoric world very few people lived to see 30 years old. Why? Because back then, without medicine and technology, one grand act of stupidity took them out of the human breeding population for good.

But, we’ve moved on. We invented. We, as a species, overcame the chance that doing a stupid thing results in your untimely death. There are no more Wooly Rhinoceroses to play cow tipping with.

Likewise, we now have rules of no running in the museum. Museums hired guards to patrol the art galleries to enforce this rule. Calmness and serenity should descend in the art museum. Unfortunately, human ingenuity is known for creating both chaos and order.

Enter the latest act of social silliness, the selfie stick. According to Molly Shilo of the Observer the MoMA is the latest in a long string of museums including the Frick and the Guggenheim that have seen the potential danger in our latest social craze. In response, they have all outlawed the use of selfie sticks in the museum.

No more can the young carefree mind swing a selfie stick around and carelessly carve up a Caravaggio. No one will accidentally poke a Pollock. That 3,000-year-old vase of the sheer genius and artistic style of a civilization long dead is still viewable to everyone.

In the end, this is a good thing. It’s a sign that the museums are responding to popular outside trends and are trying to save both the world of art history and the youth of today.  It saves the art world from unmitigated disaster and any youths from making a stupid life-changing mistake in the name of a selfie.

The young student of the arts may not understand what the big deal is. They may even rebel at the idea of not being allowed to have this fun. I wish to encourage a sense of patience to these future protectors of human ingenuity. Your selfie is not worth it.

In order to explain this concept, one must understand  that while we have a better chance of surviving the consequences of our actions. If you mutilate a $41.1 million Matisse with your selfie stick you may wish you didn’t survive.   Your allowance sure won’t.

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Branches at the Crossroads

Branches.  Looking at this photograph of Crossroads, you see a plant’s branches.  More specifically, there is a main stem and two branches arching away from the body.  Look closer.


Notice, the young stem grew thicker than the rest of the body.  At some point in it’s young life it had a traumatic experience. Part of it started to grow in another direction.  You can see the dark bands where the stem and the branches connect.  Are those scars?


Was the plant at a crossroads?  Did it have to decide on which branch to send most of it’s energy to?  It decided to continue  anyway, becoming a little less thick as the plant redirected it’s energy to those branches.


Imagine that the plant became more stuck in it’s ways.  It’s own main stem growing a little less due to the needs of those branches.  In response it grows thorns, a protective device for sure.  But protection from what?  Change?  Redirection of it’s vital energy?  Does the plant even know?  Does it realize the branches allow the plant the ability to feel alive?  It’s the part of the plant that the sun is striking the brightest.


As we grow older, our branches also spread.  They are traumatic and leave scars on our life stem.  We, like the plant, can develop thorns to protect us from this harm.  The branches are children, jobs, financial responsibilities, or even relatives we must care for.  Anything that sucks our energy away from us.  But are our thorns there for protection, or because of our own stubbornness?   It is a desire on our part to dislike change and wish things would just stay the same.  Yet, we may come to learn that it was at that time that we were at our brightest.

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