Author Topic: Death, mostly death, but also life.  (Read 332 times)

Kai

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Death, mostly death, but also life.
« on: September 14, 2011, 05:00:04 am »
Most people don't know about the things that go on above and below the exhibits of El Museo. Out of sight of schoolchildren and families is a whole different side to the museum's life, a life that's responsible for the public areas even being there (though the directors would like to think otherwise). A life, ironically, of death.

In the partially darkened upper and lower crypts the corpses are kept in long cabinets and shelving. Millions are impaled on iron pins, skinned and mummified, or drowned and pickled in Very Near Everclear (food grade, even). The air smells strongly of moth ball pesticides, and faintly of other solvents. This is a tomb, a catacomb, a morgue. And yet, the atmosphere is nothing if not cheery. The curators sit as grim reapers, collaborating with the collection managers to the sisyphian task of bringing order out of unending chaos. There are always new bodies coming in, we would have it no other way. More bodies means more study, but also more work. This is no funeral; the biologist undertakers are lovers of life and that's /why/ they are in this line of work. A thousand questions could be answered by just one of the specimens, studied under the right light, carefully enough. Each one is like a record in a government archive, well, that is if every record was an encyclopedia onto itself.

The reaping is a somewhat sad operation, but the Guardians of Natural History live with their guilt by trying to make amends. It may be thirty, 100, hundreds of years before someone retrieves a particular drawer for study, but they're meant to last. The preserved individuals, protected from mold, insects and climate, would last unto fossilization under these conditions. All this information, once lost, would never be regained. And it sustains the life of El Museo, like a great benevolent beast who eats the dead to bring forth new growth.
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Phox

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 05:03:09 am »
My morbidity is rubbing off on you.  :lulz:

ETA: :mittens:

Luna

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 09:36:19 am »
That is a bit creepy, but awesome.
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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 01:26:04 pm »
Hi there, Speaking of death prediction, I find it really odd that one of the on-line death prediction services showed me the same death date that I was foretold in my dream about a year ago. http://yourdeathdate.info/1/index.html - I canít explain this coincidence in any other way except that there must be some kind of magic involved here.

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 01:28:05 pm »
Hi there, Speaking of death prediction, I find it really odd that one of the on-line death prediction services showed me the same death date that I was foretold in my dream about a year ago. http://yourdeathdate.info/1/index.html - I canít explain this coincidence in any other way except that there must be some kind of magic involved here.

Why no, we weren't speaking of death prediction.  Would you happen to be a clever spambot? 
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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 01:28:30 pm »
Hi there, Speaking of death prediction, I find it really odd that one of the on-line death prediction services showed me the same death date that I was foretold in my dream about a year ago. http://yourdeathdate.info/1/index.html - I canít explain this coincidence in any other way except that there must be some kind of magic involved here.

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 01:33:25 pm »
Hi there, Speaking of death prediction, I find it really odd that one of the on-line death prediction services showed me the same death date that I was foretold in my dream about a year ago. http://yourdeathdate.info/1/index.html - I canít explain this coincidence in any other way except that there must be some kind of magic involved here.

Why no, we weren't speaking of death prediction.  Would you happen to be a clever spambot? 

I'll give him one more post, and then we'll see.
Don't tell me what to fucking do.  In exchange, I will not tell you what to fucking do.  Note that mocking each other's actions is still permissable under this system.

Elder Iptuous

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 01:34:01 pm »
Beautiful imagery, Kai.
i could feel the quiet, and see the stillness.

Kai

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 01:54:07 am »
That is a bit creepy, but awesome.

I guess I underestimate how creepy my field of work happens to be. We worship life but deal in death, strange but true. Like doctors who train on cadavers or dead dogs. It seems normal to me. I've killed millions of insects in my life, but I've never enjoyed killing.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Kurt Christ

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 03:31:02 am »
Hi there, Speaking of death prediction, I find it really odd that one of the on-line death prediction services showed me the same death date that I was foretold in my dream about a year ago. http://yourdeathdate.info/1/index.html - I canít explain this coincidence in any other way except that there must be some kind of magic involved here.

Why no, we weren't speaking of death prediction.  Would you happen to be a clever spambot? 

I'll give him one more post, and then we'll see.
Don't bother, I've seen spambots post the same message on another forum.
Kai, this was quite nice.
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Kai

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 04:12:28 am »
I like that a spambot found enough content in this to be relevant to it's task.  :lol:

I was asking myself, should I really be posting these things in their own threads? They're all short vignettes, nearly stream of consciousness spewed into the textbox.

Then I said, fuck it, this is Apple Talk.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2011, 05:15:34 pm »
Hi there, Speaking of death prediction, I find it really odd that one of the on-line death prediction services showed me the same death date that I was foretold in my dream about a year ago. http://yourdeathdate.info/1/index.html - I canít explain this coincidence in any other way except that there must be some kind of magic involved here.

Why no, we weren't speaking of death prediction.  Would you happen to be a clever spambot? 

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 06:00:55 pm »
Really unsettling imagery, Kai. Death, frozen in time, yet it's part of the living pulse of El Museo.

Kai

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Re: Death, mostly death, but also life.
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2011, 03:13:28 am »
Really unsettling imagery, Kai. Death, frozen in time, yet it's part of the living pulse of El Museo.

What is really weird for me, is that it seems unsettling for everyone else. Here I am, working in a room with a half a million or more dead organisms stuck with pins into styrofoam and lined up in drawers in cabinets with neat little labels,

And it seems like the most normal thing in the world.


You have to remember, though, I grew up with this. My parents collected insects, and I've had display cases filled with dried dead moths, beetles and dragonflies in my room since before I can remember. There was never any horror in it, just like a slaughterman doesn't horror at butchering his hogs. He's done it so long, and his father and his father, that its natural. And it /is/, it's not like humans don't kill things for food. Pretty much every living thing does in some way. This isn't killing for food, but it's not for vanity either. Nor is it just some OCD urge to collect (though I hear many amateurs have this). It's more like the painter who takes a piece of art, once live on the tool of a great artist, now static and unmoving, and hangs it somewhere to look upon so he can learn from it. And if El Museo is just the collective urges of 500 people doing this all together, well, to some it looks unsettling. To us, it's normal.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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