Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The good point? I wasn't charged an entrance fee

Don't go to the Correctional Services Museum in Hong Kong. Take my word for it, just don't go.

I'm submitting it to a list of pointless museums around the world, which is saying something, because normally I'm there, pathetically pleading their defence. Really, there's always something of value! Even your local-local museum, open one half-hour a week when Doreen is resurrected from the dead and propped up against the souvenir counter.

Such is my devotion, I have sought out your crap museum, the one that has fought off lack of interest from all the world, and given it a damn good recommendation.

On my soap box now, for go, you must, to one of my treasured finds, the Iceni Museum in Norfolk. Here (unless they've finally got rid of them), you can stare speechless and puzzled at the Top Shop dummies dressed in tartan. Maybe they are leftover Bay City Roller fans cooking something up over a cauldron, who knows?

But go, because here is Demonstration of England. It captures the spirit of let's do our best... oh well never mind in the face of hopeless, crushing failure and brutal reality; it is a world where a nice cup of tea is a sensible response to the horror, and the point at which you are grateful for an experience of crushing futility because at least it is something and better than a rope in the woods.

But here at the Correctional Services Museum you won't find anything culturally Chinese charming. Not at all, unless it is the gallows or the pictures of the beheaded. It is simply a two-storey public information exercise for the local schools to tour and the careers teacher to ask whether anyone would now like to consider a job locking up crims.

For us hapless tourists, the main point of this prison museum is merely to remind us just what thugs are the Vietnamese. Look! They make machetes from tables just because they are locked up in detention centres after escaping certain death in their homeland! How unfair is that?

Verdict? Crap crap crap and I wish we'd never bothered.

However, this is Grit. While I am an advocate for non-conventional education, I know there may be passers-by from conventional worlds interested in how education out of school is doing. Then for you my eduspeak is thus:

The museum provides a valuable contribution to discussions about citizenship, procedures of the legal system, and the history of punishment and rehabilitation in a specific local context such as Hong Kong. Further ideas can be raised here about security of national borders, migrant people and what is the point of a museum curator.*

Bits of prison wall. Shark says she could climb them.
The information panel tells us they have cut the wall into small chunks.
This defeats the object but it all now fits under the shed roof.

An average Vietnamese person.
(This is what they look like only if you lock them up.)

All made by the Vietnamese out of household furniture!

A George at Asda reject, regretting his evil ways.

Alternative pursuit: sit outside and binge drink E-numbers until the bus comes.

*Go on, say the obvious. If I had thought for one moment before we set out, what would I seriously expect from a museum curator employed by the prison service in Hong Kong, colony of China?


Kestrel said...

Advice taken. Now post some more "places to go". I remain, ever fascinated, yours.

Grit said...

will do, kestrel!