Pharyngula

The Republican National Convention is being held in St Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. My fellow Minnesotans are familiar with this place — it’s right across the street from the Science Museum of Minnesota. Would you believe the science museum is being closed to the public during the convention? There’s a metaphor jumping up and down, screaming for attention in that.

You know, shutting down the museum is probably a more effective way of discouraging me from frightening the Republicans than posting more armed guards, as Thomas Foley wants to do.

Comments

  1. #1 Dan J
    July 18, 2008

    The Republicans shutting down something to do with science?? Naaahhhh… Couldn’t be.

  2. #2 bonefish
    July 18, 2008

    Waaaalllll, shoot.
    This just gets better and better.

  3. #3 BT Murtagh
    July 18, 2008

    They fear the truth, preferring truthiness.

    If there’d been a creationist museum there it’d be staying open longer hours.

  4. #4 jimmiraybob
    July 18, 2008

    Wouldn’t it be best to shut down the airport stalls? On a slightly related note:

    Sen Larry Craig: Don’t let foreigners “jerk us around by the gas nozzle”

    I’m not sure how he’d differentiate between feriners and god fearing Americans…must be some kind of tap code thing.

  5. #5 qbsmd
    July 18, 2008

    Although, to be fair, the article linked doesn’t say Republicans asked them to close; it says the museum chose to close so it would have room available to host convention events (I assume it’s charging them for it, and making enough money to justify closing the museum.)

  6. #6 Michelle
    July 18, 2008

    …why are they closing the museum? This is silly no matter what their paranoias are. Are they thinking that fosils will jump out of there and attack the creationists?

  7. #7 chrisw
    July 18, 2008

    What kind of Science Museum closes over the Labor Day Weekend???

  8. #8 Hessenroots
    July 18, 2008

    I guess they worried that some of the out-of-towners here for the convention might stumble inside and learn something.

    Seriously, what are they worried about? Vandals? Terrorists? Pharyngulites utilizing the [overpriced] cafe as a base of operations from which they’d strike onto the unsuspecting masses?

    It’s one of the finer touristy points in the area too, shame they’re locking the doors. I wonder how much cash they’ll lose by not being open.

  9. #9 Fred Mounts
    July 18, 2008

    #4

    What does Craig really want them to do with his gas nozzle?

  10. #10 SEF
    July 18, 2008

    Do they need the extra weeks of maintenance closure afterwards (ref. kstp link) because they expect the Republicans to vandalise exhibits?

  11. #11 Hessenroots
    July 18, 2008

    @ #5

    The museum does offer private event rentals but it’s not related to the theater or exhibit halls.

    http://www.smm.org/rentals/

  12. #12 True Bob
    July 18, 2008

    The museum is taking a prophylactic measure. By closing, they won’t have hordes of people standing in the street with their fingers in their ears, chanting “lalalalalalalalalalala…”.

  13. #13 John Robie
    July 18, 2008

    Think of the children! If that museum were to remain open some poor home-schooled republican child could accidentally become educated.

    And this kind of wanton knowledge-spreading represents an existential threat to the republican party, because another word for an educated republican is “democrat.”

  14. #14 llewelly
    July 18, 2008

    From the article:

    The Science Museum of Minnesota plans to close to the public during the Republican National Convention next year so it can host convention events.

    Most likely, the owners of the museum decided working for Republicans was more profitable than promoting science. Money is more important than book learnin’.

  15. #15 Lilly de Lure
    July 18, 2008

    Michelle said:

    Are they thinking that fosils will jump out of there and attack the creationists?

    Never underestimate the power of the angry ammonite – and some of them tribolites can be really vicious!

  16. #16 Max Verret
    July 18, 2008

    The closing of the Museum has nothing to do with Foley. The announcement of the closing for the Convention was made in December of last year. It isn’t even closing, but closing TO THE PUBLIC in order to host convention events. This is not unusual in a convention city. Since it is nearby, it can host special events. Anyway, the Museum closes annually in September for a week. They’re just extending the closure for two weeks for maintenance after the Convention.

    Sorry, but it has nothing to do with Foley or the fear of running into a scientist.

  17. #17 Trilobite
    July 18, 2008

    I’ll do you up a treat, mate!

  18. #18 Umlud
    July 18, 2008

    But if they close the science museum, they can maximize the amount of factoids and truthiness, while minimizing those annoying little things called “facts” and “truth”. (Maybe they also want to minimize these effects for those RRR members of the party.)

  19. #19 chancelikely
    July 18, 2008

    llewelly #14: Hey, at least the museum figured out how to get Republicans to give money for science causes.

  20. #20 GirBoBytons
    July 18, 2008

    Maybe they think by closing the museum they are less likely to attract godless cyber heathens. They will come thinking “I am ready for some learnin” and just go home because its closed…or go there find out its closed get bored and bust out their cyber pistols and go cyber anarchy on their republican asses. (not a suggestion just a horrible attempt at humor on my part hehe) You know how destructive cyber pistols can be!!

  21. #21 Felicia
    July 18, 2008

    I read this and laughed so hard.

    I understand their reasoning, though. It’d be better just to host their private events since it is directly across the street from the convention. With 45,000 extra people crammed into that space, it would be next to impossible to enjoy the museum as you would any other time of the year.

    I’m really not going to enjoy living here when the convention comes around, though. Mostly because I live right off the stupid luxury hotel district around the Mall of America. I’m actually contemplating staying out with my Grandmother in Chanhassen to avoid the nonsense. Yuck.

  22. #22 Celtic_Evolution
    July 18, 2008

    I’m not speaking for PZ here… but I didn’t read into his post that he was making the statement that the RNC was going out of its way to shut down the Science museum, or that Foley or anyone else had anything to do with it because of science or scientists or anything else…

    All I read into it was the pointing out of the irony of it… which in and of itself, is pretty funny. And PZ’s follow up comment was just a snarky brach off of that irony directed at Foley.

    Stop reading everything so literally, people… sheesh!

  23. #23 Qwerty
    July 18, 2008

    I have also heard that the RNC is renting the bar Camp which is a GAY bar in downtown St. Paul. It also will be closed to the public.

    I wonder if they’ll have to straighten up the decor?

  24. #24 GirBoBytons
    July 18, 2008

    #16- Aww you gotta ruin all the fun. You still can’t deny they may feel relieved it will be closed. I suppose that’s just me assuming things but hell I suppose you really don’t need to make stuff up to be able to laugh at these idiots…back to the drawing board Im sure PZ will have something new and more concreit for us by monday! :P

  25. #25 Heathen Matt
    July 18, 2008

    As long as the male prostitutes are out walking the streets, most Republicans won’t even notice the Science Museum is closed.

  26. #26 Armchair Dissident
    July 18, 2008

    You never known, this could be a delightfully sneaky tactic by the museum: if they get enough Republican-ID-fence-sitters in there, they could have a convention on, “Why science works, and why Behe is a moron”.

    I doubt it, but I can dream.

  27. #27 GirBoBytons
    July 18, 2008

    #25- “Where have all the republicans gone?”… “Holey Republican Alibi Batman!”

  28. #28 firemancarl
    July 18, 2008

    Look, all truth be told we really don’t know the rate of firepower or the amount of damage your cyberpistol will do. Can you blame them? I mean, you might cyber vaporize the entire block. We don’t want anyone capable of thinking for themselves in the blast zone, so maybe it’s a good thing the museum is closed to the general public.

  29. #29 Jon H
    July 18, 2008

    Considering the heavy-handed security around these conventions, I wouldn’t be surprised if regular folks won’t be able to easily get to the museum, as it’s too close to the convention hall.

    The museum probably figured they’d get little or no business from the regular public anyway.

  30. #30 BMcP
    July 18, 2008

    Of course it is the museum’s decision to close, it isn’t as if the Republican Party is making do so, nor do I here any complaints out of the Democratic leadership of St. Paul, so they don’t seem to mind, and then there is the fact it is just closed to the public and well still hold events.

  31. #31 wÒÓ†
    July 18, 2008
  32. #32 matt
    July 18, 2008

    @ #13
    I think that’s what Karl Rove even said. I tried to track down whether this is 100% true or not, but knowing Rove, it’s super possible that he said something along the lines of:
    “an education is good, but if you get too much education, you become a democrat.”

    My guess is he was making a joke about people going to college as a pander – because everyone knows that college makes you a liberal and academics are just waiting to shove marx down your throats and make you have gay sex – but I still think it belies the republican propaganda strategy.
    I think the Atheist Ethicist had something about that recently, at least about how we make “snap judgements” and the Republicans have abused that human tendency.

  33. #33 sdg
    July 18, 2008

    to people who say that this is not a conspiracy against scienticians, i say, stop trying to confuse everyone with the facts. our minds are made up. :)
    http://www.smm.org/media/2008rnc/

  34. #34 Michelle
    July 18, 2008

    So they’re just renting the museum… Well, that’S a no-news to me then. :P

  35. #35 Christophe Thill
    July 18, 2008

    A new shot fired in the Republican War on Science? Small caliber, perhaps, but still…

  36. #36 Longstreet63
    July 18, 2008

    @28 “I mean, you might cyber vaporize the entire block.”

    True, and what’s worse, PZ’s cyberpistol, while not affecting the unimportant accidents of the block, actually vaporizes the substance of it, spiritually destroying the block, while at the same time having no noticeable effect whatsoever!

  37. #37 Vic Chimp
    July 18, 2008

    As a non-American, I get the confusing impression that your Republican party is both gung-ho and desperately scared. Surely that can’t be right?
    Ten years of a rabid right-wing socialist government in the UK has clearly addled my political wits.

  38. #38 decrepitoldfool
    July 18, 2008

    The Democratic convention is taking similar security measures.

    A far cry from the security attention Obama got in (of all places) Dallas.

  39. #39 Qwerty
    July 18, 2008

    For you posters who have never visited St. Paul, there are also two Catholic Churches within walking distance of the Xcel Center where convention will be held.

    The Cathedral of St. Paul is situated on a hill about a mile from the Xcel Center and the Church of the Assumption is located about a block from the Xcel Center.

    The churches will probably post armed guards to protect the crackers and I am sure the Catholic faithful will be given pictures of PZ in order to protect innocent crackers as well as Republican officials from Virginia.

    Also, the Catholic Charities is located just across the street from the Xcel Center. It provides meals and shelter to the homeless. One wonders if they’ll bus the homeless to other shelters. I am sure we can’t have Republicans think George Bush’s economic policies are not beneficial to all Americans.

  40. #40 Longtime Lurker
    July 18, 2008

    I’m really not going to enjoy living here when the convention comes around, though. Mostly because I live right off the stupid luxury hotel district around the Mall of America. I’m actually contemplating staying out with my Grandmother in Chanhassen to avoid the nonsense.

    Felicia, if you don’t want to deal with being in town while the Republicans are in, consider subletting your house to convention attendees while you’re out of town, just make sure you lock up the silverware, and be prepared to clean up any slime or santorum that you may find when you come home.

    Funny, when the RNC was in NYC in ’04, the ubiquitous helicopters overhead gave the city a real “Fallujah” vibe. I had to cross a police cordon to meet my girlfriend at her workplace, and saw some real proto-police-state nonsense (the police wouldn’t even let a middle-aged man on a bicycle ride south of 57th St to get home out of fear of cycle-anarchists).

  41. #41 Longtime Lurker
    July 18, 2008

    Dear QWERTY:

    I am sure we can’t have Republicans think George Bush’s economic policies are not beneficial to all Americans.

    That big collapsed bridge is enough evidence of the benefits of conservative governance. Funny how they’re so skeered and afeared of the concept of evolution by natural selection.

  42. #42 MS
    July 18, 2008

    Republicans react to science in much the same vampires react to sunlight.

  43. #43 Tom P.
    July 18, 2008

    Whatever the reason for closing the museum, you have to admit that there is something almost poetic about closing a science museum during the RNC convention. Perhaps we could get every science museum in the country to close during the convention. Or at least have a moment of silence.

  44. #44 Qwerty
    July 18, 2008

    As I live in St. Paul I will provide some more Republican convention factoids:

    1.) They need 8,000 convention volunteers and the last I heard was that there wasn’t enough people volunteering. PZ, are you busy?

    2.) The Xcel Energy Center seats 16,500 for hockey and other sporting or entertainment events.

    3.) Barack Obama held a rally there when he clinched the nomination. People had to watch on a screen outside as the building was packed.

    4.) There are protests planned and a route has been approved by a local judge that I am sure keeps the protesters as far from the center as humanly possible.

  45. #45 S
    July 18, 2008

    I work at the museum and it is being closed because it is within the security perimeter and will be unaccessable by anyone other than convention attendees.

  46. #46 llewelly
    July 18, 2008

    Vic Chimp, #37:

    As a non-American, I get the confusing impression that your Republican party is both gung-ho and desperately scared. Surely that can’t be right?

    In my experience, when these two behaviors occur together in an individual, methamphetamine use is a likely explanation.

  47. #47 Jared
    July 18, 2008

    Christian conservatives united against education? Wouldn’t that be a good name for any of their groups?

  48. #48 Cujo359
    July 18, 2008

    I’ve reached my irony quota already today. The Bush Administration is infamous for its relationship with science. Looks like they’ll be able to do a little more damage before they exit the stage.

  49. #49 Longtime Lurker
    July 18, 2008

    1.) They need 8,000 convention volunteers and the last I heard was that there wasn’t enough people volunteering. PZ, are you busy?

    Perfect Trojan Horse situation… How funny would it be if half of the volunteers were culture-jamming pranksters?

  50. #50 Brian X
    July 18, 2008

    I doubt the museum will be the only closure. The security measures were so extreme that even in politics-loving Massachusetts, the ’04 DNC in Boston brought the city to a grinding halt. The downtown businesses were seriously pissed off because almost everyone stayed away.

  51. #51 Rhuvaughn Pynnonen
    July 18, 2008

    Man, these conservatives and Republicans sure are pussies.

    Whining about imagined armies of armed atheists breaking into churches to steal crackers, and prevent them from their ineffecive and unheard prayers.

    Forcing protesters into “free speech zones”, so they won’t actually hear anything that challenges their precious, and obviously precarious, belief systems.

    Any big ol’ flamin’ drag queen has more balls than your average Republican.

  52. #52 decrepitoldfool
    July 18, 2008

    I work at the museum and it is being closed because it is within the security perimeter and will be unaccessable by anyone other than convention attendees.

    Seems like an excellent reason to stay open – I can’t think of a group more in need of a visit to a science museum.

  53. #53 Qwerty
    July 18, 2008

    Any big ol’ flamin’ drag queen has more balls than your average Republican.

    Posted by: Rhuvaughn Pynnonen

    You go girl. (Or is that glow!.)

    A Republican drag queen, wouldn’t that take balls! Oh, wait, that’s Ann Coulter!

  54. #54 Qwerty
    July 18, 2008

    They don’t have to visit a science museum because they are nominating a fossil!

  55. #55 Felicia
    July 18, 2008

    Felicia, if you don’t want to deal with being in town while the Republicans are in, consider subletting your house to convention attendees while you’re out of town, just make sure you lock up the silverware, and be prepared to clean up any slime or santorum that you may find when you come home.

    Haha, I wish! I live in an apartment complex that any RNC attendee would want to avoid (heck, I like to avoid it when possible)! Now if only I could get the near-constant line of mormons to do the same!

  56. #56 Leon
    July 18, 2008

    I can see the headline: Republicans hold convention, science museum closes.

    It’s appropriate, I suppose.

  57. #57 SC
    July 18, 2008

    See #45. Those I know at SMM have indicated that the closure is due to the security perimeter. They would do the same if it were the DNC. Yes, it is ironic, but really has nothing to do with the museum or any attitudes about science.

  58. #58 sdg
    July 18, 2008

    Yes, it is ironic, …

    actually, i don’t think it’s ironic since it is not incongruous with what one might expect. ;)

    what might be ironic is if some right wing religious nutjobs end up having a pow-wow in front of an evolution exhibit during one of the events at the museum.

  59. #59 JJR
    July 18, 2008

    Protesters could try passing out copies of this book to convention goers:

    The Republican War on Science (Paperback)
    by Chris Mooney (Author)
    # Paperback: 376 pages
    # Publisher: Basic Books (August 28, 2006)
    # Language: English
    # ISBN-10: 0465046762
    # ISBN-13: 978-0465046768

    Sort of an informal welcome gift…or a culture jammer could try slip copies of the book into official convention welcome kits if possible (though security would probably be to tight to make that work).

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