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Something that puzzles me

I saw a news item that said that the plane that managed an emergency landing in the Hudson river without any casualties is being shipped to a museum in Charlotte, NC for display.

My question is: Why? I am as pleased as the next person that no lives were lost in that accident but why would anyone care to see that particular plane, which is just like any other plane? Do they think it has some special significance?

I feel the same way about the things in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum is Cleveland that I have not as yet visited. Why would I want to see (say) the clothes worn by Elvis or a guitar played by Jimi Hendrix? It would be different if there were something unique about the item itself that was distinguishable from the person it is associated with that made it interesting. If, for example, Jimi Hendrix had a special guitar made that enabled him to play in ways that other guitars would not allow, then I can see its value in a museum.

I can also understand wanting to preserve and see (say) the marked up copies of drafts of music or book manuscripts to see how the creator’s ideas evolved. But the mere fact that something was owned by someone famous or is a relic of a famous event does not (for me at least) count for much.

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t know why people do it, but they certainly do. I often use this phenomenon when discussing whether or not Jesus actually existed.

    If Jesus was really seen as God or son of god or both or whatever….you would expect those believers to go to great lengths to preserve his belongings. He must have had eating utensils, bedding, clothing, some form of house, etc.

    Even if the actual article(s) decayed, the efforts to preserve them should have been enormous. The pyramids (much older) are still around…why nothing similar for Jesus’s belongings?

  2. Scott says

    The Hall of Fame does indeed preserve and display the music, lyrics, etc., that artists have written. Jim Morrison’s lyrics I found particularly interesting, and I’m not a Doors fan. But many stars did have custom outfits made for them for the stage (Mick Jagger has several on display), and several have had custom instruments. Jerry Garcia, for example, had several guitars made for him by someone who was just a fan and had no other connection. They are works of art in their own right, independent of their connection to Garcia.

  3. Robert Allen says

    Mano,
    You should visit the Rock Hall. Everything is unique to the artists, from the instruments to the crazy outfits. Rock stars don’t buy clothes off a rack somewhere! They even have the first prototypes of the electric guitar, showing how the design was first implemented and progressively improved on, which was of interest to me as an engineer. There is also a section on the history of the social impact. It’s really quite educational, even if you’re not a huge fan of the artists or the music.
    Robert

  4. peter says

    I’ve hated the phrase “Miracle on the Hudson” since I first heard it. Everything worked exactly as it should have in that particular scenario; everyone performed their functions as they should have: in other words, the antithesis of a miracle.

    Good training and good engineering.

  5. says

    Peter,

    I am in total agreement with you. The Daily Show had a funny segment making the same point in 2005 after a similar “miracle” when an Air France jet crashed at Toronto airport with no casualties.

    Check it out.

  6. says

    Mano,
    You should visit the Rock Hall. Everything is unique to the artists, from the instruments to the crazy outfits. Rock stars don’t buy clothes off a rack somewhere! They even have the first prototypes of the electric guitar, showing how the design was first implemented and progressively improved on, which was of interest to me as an engineer. There is also a section on the history of the social impact. It’s really quite educational, even if you’re not a huge fan of the artists or the music.
    Robert

  7. says

    Very well said, why would you like to go and see a plane that just looks like any other plane. I am laughing out loud. Thanks God there is some body out there who is thinking like me. I even cant understand some times why people go and waste there time on looking at the things that some celebrity has used.
    I would also just go to see a thing which is unique and different in appearance or in some respect from any normal thing, but not a normal thing used by a celebrity.

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