Today was Friday, and this was a big day. We went to the white sands national monument and the missile range and the border museum and the border and a sweat lodge. In this entry I think I’ll talk about the border things and then maybe the sweat.
The border museum was huge and cruel in appearance, the power asserting kind, a kind of blankness, personlessness. Large flat walls, entrance is raised on a platform, looks like a government office. We go in and it is like dioramas and museum and scrapbook. It is kitchy and bad, but full of this, full walls of the empty narrative. Show the gear, the exploration, the heroism. It is like a fan club, a collectors house. The border looks like a game, not an exclusion, and the patrol are explorers, not police. This is no not speak of the violence. But this museum was mum to violence.
Next to it is a garden walk, a sort of landscaped version of the surrounding ecology, featuring cacti and shrubs. Leads to an archaeology museum. Inside are typical objects in glass, one good story, and then mock dioramas of ancient people’s in their guise and action. Makes the story of people different from us. Exoticizes an other life. Reduces to spectacles and barbies.
The museums relate to each other. Born of the same otherness. Mystification. The control of non whites in the past and in the present. White heroism and white knowledge. I don’t know.
Then the real border. Large, big line river of cars, can’t see the border looks like a weird complex, people walking past in both ways, some weird city plaza, a large sculpture in the middle of the plaza, open on one side, benches and awnings on two, then the great bridge, so great, does not look like a bridge, wall of moving people. Surreal and carnival-like and absurd and empty and horrific. Then there is this bathroom. A metal box from the future. It erases the whole thing. It is absurd.