It is a sort of tragedy when the quasi-messiah of the teenage population makes an unforgivable decision. It wasn’t Ferris Bueller’s choice to lie, nor to fake a call, skip school, or steal a car and an identity that shamed high schoolers nationwide. Rather, it was his decision–with a time-cramped schedule–to go to a museum.
This infallible mastermind had a unique opportunity for (non-chemical) euphoria, heck–delinquency! and he chose culture. As painful as it is to admit this, the decision speaks for itself: Bueller is lacking some good ol’ schooling.
Fortunately, the brilliant commodity of the Oracle does exist, and so to convenience him I have outlined below a few lessons of utmost magnitude.
Lesson number one: Museums are for elitists, socialists, red hatters, old people, hippies, and (duck!) Europeans. And for you elitist-socialist-red hatter-old-hippie-Europeans who need numbers, consider the two largest modern art museums: the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Musée National d’Art Moderne of the Pompidou Center in Paris. The MoMA, with over 150,000 art pieces, has a peak attendance rate of 2.5 million visitors per year, while the Pompidou museum, with about 60,000 pieces, has a constant 6 million attendees annually. That means those Parisians manage to haul themselves to this one museum three times a year–each! As nothing in a museum could possibly merit three visits yearly, I suspect they are secretly scheming a socialist summit. Therefore, to any American with a drop of patriotism: for Uncle Sam’s case, skip the propaganda factory.
Lesson number two: Museums. Are. Boring. To give Bueller some credit, his day off did in fact occur before the invention of the iPod, the PS3, and high-definition 3D IMAX cinema. Yet museums have achieved such an elevated level of makes-you-want-to-kick-a-bunny-just-for-entertainment boring that even school seems interesting in comparison. According to the film industry (no self-respecting teenager would actually go to a museum himself), museums are merely rooms with pretty pretty pictures on the walls and random paraphernalia judiciously placed in the center. In other words, Granny’s house, only with strangers intently looking around and feigning genuine interest at “Untitled #5” or “Blue” or “Peacock, Hen, and Cock Pheasant in a Landscape.” But teenagers can’t be fooled–the only remotely exciting part of a museum is the bench factor: will a good nap await you in the next room or not?
Lesson number three: Museums are pointless. Sure, they’ve been acclaimed by many as “insightful!,” “inspirational!,” or “very, very powerful!” Sure, some may say that they are critical in a freethinking, pioneering, inclusive democracy. But then again, who needs higher meaning and higher thinking when you have Facebook? Who needs to, as history teacher Frank Navarro put it, be “taken out of here, of who I am, and put in another place and another time” when you have Disneyland? Who needs to see “works of art” up close when you can actually touch them in your textbook or on the internet? Going to a museum wastes gas, time, and effort; in the modern era, expediency is key.
Lesson number four: Museums don’t get you into college. Period. Exclamation point. After social networking sites and open campuses, the entire meaning of existence comes in eight letters: G.P.A., A.P., and S.A.T.. “Museum” only has six letters, which is two less than importance. To a high schooler with negative free time, this is colossal; to an Administrator, this is ample justification for the lack of museum field trips.
The list could go on, but to spare Bueller and his disciples, I shall circumvent the boredom and cut straight to the solution. To all non-elitist-socialist-red hatter-old-hippie-Europeans, I recommend utilizing your unique skills of compliance and complacency to evade the museum scene at all costs.
As for the museums themselves, I modestly propose a three-step plan of action to maximize audience interaction and therefore interest: first, as a marketing campaign targeting the little ones, I propose cutting holes in the faces of the most famous paintings. I can already see kids flocking like they do to those mass-produced movie cutouts.
Second, I propose keeping an emergency supply of Sharpies® and Crest Whitestrips® to shield the victimized audiences of those conspicuously big noses and not-so-white smiles plaguing the older portraits.
Finally, I propose changing the restrictions, including a cap not on camera usage but on audience height and an alarm system not against thievery, but against loitering. After all, no one likes an obtrusive thinker.
Commentary is not to be taken seriously; the French aren’t actually plotting a socialist takeover.