by Kim Pederson…….
If you are/were 77 years old, you might be feeling a little wear and tear, too. But unluckily you are not an object of affection that spurs thousands of people to send in hundreds of thousands of dollars so that your “materials” can be studied and repaired and then preserved “in a special temperature-controlled display case.” That honor goes to Wizard of Oz Dorothy’s ruby slippers at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. Created in 1939, the slippers have become, sadly, a little slipshod now.
So, no problem, right? Take the the RSs to the local shoe guy and have them fixed up. Probably $50 or so for the makeover, I would guess. And I would guess wrong. The Smithsonian is out to raise, via Kickstarter, $300,000 to renew the sparkly red pied-a-toes. Originally, the slippers were of the off-the-shelf variety. MGM took them, dyed them red, and added netting covered with red sequins. Now the shoes, according to the Smithsonian via The New York Times, “are fragile, the paint on their arches is cracked and flaking, and they are deteriorating.” The slippers are “complex artifacts that contain at least 12 materials, from steel to cotton.” The conservationists working on the shoes might take nine months to a year to study the materials to see how they react to the environment and then decide how to display them to keep them from deteriorating further.
Slippers shmippers. The Smithsonian is missing the boat here.Why preserve dusty old footwear for posterity when they could be preserving…well…us? They could study our materials, admittedly a tad bit more complex than the RSs, and figure out the best environment to extend our lives. This seems a better alternative than the plastic surgeon from the movie Brazil‘s approach. Remember “Just me and my little knife. Snip snip – slice slice. Can you believe it?” Dr. Jaffe? Of course, if the Smithsonian goes ahead with this there are two problems. One, the Kickstarter campaign might take several hundred years to raise the money needed since I, oops, we would likely be the sole contributors to our individual funds. And two, like the slippers, I…er…we might end up in a vacuum inside a cube, sort of like Big Brother with less air. But hey, if there’s Internet, we can adapt to anything I imagine.
* Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Smithsonian Museum. Public Domain.
Visit Kim Pederson’s blog RatBlurt: Mostly Random Short-Attention-Span Musings.