Saturday, September 3, 2011


Cincinnati Museum Center 31Mar2008
I was originally going to see this show with two friends but they backed out at the last minute and I was left to see it by myself. Standing in line an hour for the $23 ticket (I forewent the $3 movie) I observed the crowd and it was preternaturally normal: families with strollers, retired people, a few European tourists. The only anomalies were a couple of "Goth" kids who seemed excited about a corpse-empire and a bald chemo-woman with her grown daughter.

A long list of necessary rules were explained at the entrance followed by a giddy old woman ticket-taker who lamented that the high school biology classes that took the tour didn't take full advantage of "this wonderful opportunity," breezing through the exhibit in fifteen minutes. Why do teenagers only respect ghouls in Hollywood Horror Movies? Don't they know that this is a World-Class Haunted House?

So, young Chinese corpses (90% male) abounded, posed playing baseball, basketball, dancing, throwing discus. Body parts in cases, the bodies themselves out in the open, all eviscerated a hundred different ways. I experienced a range of emotion throughout the long tour (1-2 hours), a little overwhelmed by the end. I was cheered by the sight of the last corpse, a prosthetic man with a plastic heart and metal bones, a welcome sight after that endless procession of meat.

In the gift shop I purchased the $20 souvenir photograph book, commenting to the random clerk that the sense of our common mortality was staggering to me at that moment. Incidentally, Little Kids were everywhere you looked, and they were all having a blast.

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