Similar issues arose with the plan for the Zayed National Museum, the institution that most directly speaks to the [United Arab Emirates] identity. The museum was intended to explore the United Arab Emirates’ relatively sparse historical record through the life of Sheik Zayed, a man known for his humility, who died in 2004. Yet after Norman Foster presented his initial design proposal, in 2007, he was told that the country’s leadership wanted something grander, even though there was still no clear idea of what, exactly, would go inside.
[…] That the collections of both the [Abu Dhabi] Guggenheim and the National Museum are being planned in the West raises a larger issue: while the money for all these developments comes from Emirati oil, the projects themselves are being shaped almost exclusively by foreigners. Abu Dhabi has become a revolving door of museum directors, architects, curators and other high-level consultants, and the hectic pace at which their plans are being pushed through has contributed to a sense among some here that what is being touted as a society wide embrace of global culture will end up being just another example of cultural colonialism.
Old NYT article about new public history projects in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, and the plan to “provide citizens with tools for living in a global society,” or to create “latter-day Silk Road, one on which their countries are powerful cultural and economic hinges between the West and rising powers like India and China.”
No mention, however, of how art featuring women or nudes will be displayed, or whether visitors holding Israeli passports will be able to enter.
Background: My father has a never-used taser. I have a large extended family.
GAMES PROPOSED TO TEST OUT THE TASER THIS CHRISTMAS.
1. All interested parties put in $5 and their name in a hat. The person whose name is drawn has the option of taking the entire pot ONLY AFTER they have been tased. Addition: all parties interested in being the taser must put in $10. The taser’s name will be drawn after after the tasee has been selected.
2. All interested parties put in $5, and auction-style, we see which member of the family is willing to be tased for the least amount of money.
3. During the family white elephant game, being tased can be a) the worst gift in the deck, or b) a trump card, wherein the tased party can take any gift he likes.
4. Russian roulette with the taser, loaded with old batteries.
5. Tasing as a punishment for losing the second annual Christmas beer pong tournament:
6. No money. No prizes. Shirley Jackson-style, one member of my family is going to get tased.