War Museum

Posted: August 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

So… the War Museum.

I am not a fan, generally. I have never been and never want to go, but I accept that as my personal stance and don’t expect others to concur.

Basically, to me it feels like a glorification of war. War is something that happens, but we SHOULD be ashamed of it. It is a last resort when all else fails.

It is a failure. (I am not claiming it is never necessary, but the fact that it becomes necessary is a sign that we – as a human race – have failed.)

I have been told that there are places in the museum where it IS possible to show the horrors of war and that it can be educational. I do not doubt that, but I have not seen it because I choose not to go there.

Now, to my main point, every day I ride past the museum on the bus and for the past while that has been a very large building poster advertising their current exhibit: Death & Glory. It is an exhibition about Gladiators.

Right off, when people argue that the museum is NOT a big glorification of war, maybe putting up a huge sign advertising DEATH & GLORY is not the best way to prove that point.

Mostly though, I object to an exhibit about GLADIATORS.

GLADIATORS ARE NOT WAR. HAVING AN EXHIBIT FOCUSING ON GLADIATORS JUST EXPOSES THE REALITY.

THIS IS NOT A WAR MUSEUM. THIS IS A VIOLENCE MUSEUM.

This is not about protecting people or doing what is right or the high cost of stepping up etc.

This is about killing people. Nothing else. End of story.

Again, I have not been inside, and I won’t. I am just saying that it is hard to believe the counter-arguments when THIS is how the museum presents itself.

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Comments
  1. j says:

    I am so glad you came out and said this. That particular exhibit ad has been bothering me greatly for the same reason. I have been to the museum in the past, and I did feel it dealt with the history of war in an honest, solemn, and un-sensational manner, which is important. It gives necessary context for significant conversations with young people who have the relative privilege of living in a time and place where they don’t necessarily know or really understand the realities.

    But “death & glory” is completely outside the mandate of lest we forget.

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