Iowa museum displays empty fish tank to illustrate Gulf oil catastrophe

Saturday night!

Every hater out there who gives me a hard time about being from Iowa can shut the hell up, beginning right now.  Actually, you should have begun shutting your mouth when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.  Or you could all have shut up when you were learning about Iowan abolitionists, and their central role in the Underground Railroad.  But this is the final straw: none of you may ever mock Iowa again, period, shut up.

Yes, haters, look on in wonder at what my home town of Dubuque, IA is doing to raise consciousness following the Gulf oil spill (h/t ES):

DUBUQUE, Iowa — An empty 40,000-gallon fish tank.

That’ll soon be a main feature of an Iowa museum’s altered exhibit on the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil spill in the Gulf inspired officials at Dubuque’s National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to change part of the new $40 million museum expansion, set to open June 26.

“The Gulf exhibit will not open as a celebration of a vibrant, life-filled Gulf; instead it will be empty and completely devoid of life,” museum officials said in a statement Friday. “This should cause everyone to pause and consider the delicate balance of life in our oceans.”

This strikes me as some sort of museum/art installation hybrid gone wonderfully right.  It’s important for those of us not in the Gulf region to be reminded that ecosystems are connected and fragile, and there is little more social relevance a museum can seek than to inspire activism in those who attend the exhibits.

Apologies are welcome in comments.

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6 Responses to Iowa museum displays empty fish tank to illustrate Gulf oil catastrophe

  1. darthfurious says:

    I’m sorry you’re from Iowa.

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  3. Roy Brander says:

    I am now prepared to manfully concede that Iowa exceeds even Hawaii in the important metric of “percentage of vowels in the name”.

    It’s also a primary stopping point for Canadian tourists, who pronounce “Des Moines” correctly, thus reducing the locals to hilarity, while the Canadian is (inside voice) laughing at them laughing at a *correct* pronunciation, so everybody has a good time.

  4. Great article about Iowa.

    You forgot to mention the importance of Walcott, Iowa to American unbelievers and the unchurched. In his 1926 book “The Bible Unmasked,” Joseph Lewis quoted a New York Evening Mail article dated November 16, 1921 about Walcott–a town with no church and no jail.

    The Evening Mail article quoted Walcott Mayor Strohbeen as saying, “We are freethinkers and believe in free American citizenship seven days a week. We do not need preachers to dictate to us.”

    It has been a while since I read the Encyclopedia of American Religion entry on freethinkers, but if memory serves, the Midwest from Wisconsin to Iowa was a destination for freethinkers, especially after the collapsed revolutions of 1848 in Central Europe. For Czech and German freethinker communities, freethought institutions and halls served the same purpose as churches.

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