I Pit Spineless "Corporate America"

Last Friday I was in the midst of a neat little NASA workshop hosted by the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Though it had nothing to do with the topic of our workshop, we got the chance to go see AMNH’s brand-new exhibit on Charles Darwin - a day before it opened to the public. It’s a great exhibit, very well presented, and they even have a couple live Galapagos tortoises there on display! (Instead of taking up time describing the whole thing, I’ll just forward you to their web site and recommend you go visit next time you’re in New York.

So why am I here to pit “corporate America” today? Because, thanks to an article on Slashdot, I now know that American corporations were collectively, too fucking PUSSY to contribute one red cent to the $3 million exhibit.

Where are the pharmaceutical companies? Biotech? Anyone? Is anyone going to take a stand for the branch of science which is your very multi-billion dollar bread and butter?

Pissed off? You bet I’m pissed off. And yes, I know someone’s going to come in here and remind me that no company is obligated to support anything they don’t want to. And they’d be totally right. But corporations sponsor museum exhibits all the time. For them to cower and hide just because it’s about the E-word is just stupid and reprehensible. They should be proud of science, not ashamed of it.

I tend to believe that “corporate America” is a really vague and nebulous term, and I don’t really want to use it. But there’s nobody else I can point a finger to and blame. Not a single corporate sponsor stepped up to the plate. WT-bleedin’-F?

(And, incidentally, where is the American media on this one? Slashdot only links to reporting from foreign countries, and I sure can’t find it anywhere in the major US media…)

I blame right wing religious ideologues. They have the rest of America running scared.

Threaten boycotts and all.

Wake up America.

Well, I mean, the exhibit was boooooring.

Now, if they’d had dinosaurs fighting with giant tortoises who were armed with lasers… and Charles Darwin as a swashbuckling adventurer saving a beautiful maiden from the clutches of mutated finches with deathray eyes, then I’m sure there’d have been corporate sponsorship.

You say that they didn’t donate because they are “pussies” like it is a fact. It is not a fact. It is just your theory and there are others that are just as good.

Such as?

As in, “God told 'em not to donate”.

[sub]I think Shagnasty was kidding. I hope.[/sub]

I think it’s safe to say that eras come and go in culture. It’s a bit cyclical, and it’s also a bit random. The 1950’s seemingly represented a Doris Day kind of era - and corporate sponsorhip of both museums AND ballet and opera was quite common, throughout the entire Western World.

But now, it’s the reality TV era. Product placement in movies and all that. Nike and Reebok struggle to sign famous rapper’s up on their books. It seems we’re in a very cynical era, and the concept of altruism has very little cachet at the moment. It might change, and how knows when?

Personally, my theory regarding the lack of sponsorship of the Darwin exhibit steers more to the cynical bang-for-buck mindset rather than being scared of the “Evolution” backlash. But hey, I’m happy to stand corrected.

All I can tell you is that the AMNH has far more bang, and attracts way more people than the museum I work for could ever hope to achieve, and we couldn’t accomplish half of what we do without corporate sponsorship.

Only if the maiden is a belly dancer!

Go to pages 39 through 44 of the this Annual Report for 2005 from Direct Relief International (pdf file). This is just one of many charity organizations that have received assistance from corporate America, not just for the tsunami, but also the hurricanes and the earthquake in Pakistan. Those causes warrant priority over any museum, as well as they should. That’s where the press is.

So you’re saying that natural disasters trump all other possible reasons for corporate giving? Interesting. I’d better schedule a meeting with our development director pronto.

I have no idea how that follows. Whatever the case is, this story IS being covered in the UK and Australia, at least. Are you saying only the American press cares about the victims?

Besides, fund-raising for this exhibit had to have started well before the crop of natural disasters that have occurred over the past year. This sort of thing just isn’t thrown together in under 11 months.

It’d be stupid for some corporations to alienate their customer base by donating to something that they don’t like.

“Give equal time to our views!” they cry.

“Evolution is just a theory; we have to present creationism as an alternative.”

Bullshit. When was the last time you learned alchemy as an alternative theory in Chemistry? An outdated belief that has not one shred of credible scientific evidence; and which the “ID” folks know (and they’re not kidding anyone) is based in religious values rather than science; cannot be dealt with seriously by a field which cannot exist without holding the Scientific Method as the only sacred truth–especially in classes operated by a government which Mr. Jefferson & Friends intended to be an entity seperate from the Baptist Church. But that’s a whole 'nother thread.

Fucking corporate assholes.

Now this is funny!

Nice!!

Hey, in case no one noticed, things are not as bad in Kansas as some might think:

I don’t speak for any of them, just my own little pitiful company of 60 employees…but my answer is…YES. But the cite I gave you shows you who spoke up on their own, with their donations…both medical supplies and/or cash.

Did you forget the meme…“If it bleeds, it leads”?..and YES, the American press only cares about the victims…and the list is extensive AND growing. Oh, and there is this guy named Bush who gets some airplay too. Yup, that’s about it…

Now you’ve got a point there. But since there has been no American press reporting on this museum, I didn’t know jack about it until your OP…maybe there’s quite a few people (Owners, CEOs, boardmembers, individuals) who didn’t know as well. Did the solicitation mailers get sent out to them, or did the press dropped the ball and didn’t show up to the invite to report it? Or both? Maybe nobody was enthusiastic about it?

[mini-rant]
Maybe tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other acts of nature reported on TV is the closest thing to a museum that most of us “fucked-up-in-the-head-Americans” can or care to understand…and they act accordingly with donations to make the “suffering people pictures” go away. :rolleyes:

Yeah, we Americans have really fucked up priorities. And as a Catholic who has accepted evolution as fact, but for some reason, feels that medical aid to the suffering and dying half a world away is a better investment than a museum that is thousands of miles from me…I’m just as fucked up as them thar other Christians. :smack:

BTW, The Darwin Fish bumperstickers could have funded this damn thing! Where the hell are those folks? A buck donated for every sticker sold would have gotten the $3M in no time! Who the hell missed that gravy train?

Bah, let’s just blame those sleazeballs standing under the neon sign…“Corporate America”. They should have funded my IPU research as well, those M’Fn bastards! Maybe we can all sponsor a museum called “I pumped money in this museum while other people suffered without my help Museum”. That would just totally kill!
[/mr]

But it’s not stupid to alienate another segment of their customer base by not donating to something they like? I have to agree that if they didn’t sponsor for the reason you’re giving (and the OP implied), they’re pussies.

Well, we’ll just have to disagree there. It reminds me of the argument that we shouldn’t have a space program because someone, somewhere, is starving. IMHO there’s money enough to go to many different causes. And it may be glib of me to put it this way, but some kid who gets excited about biology today could take part in preventing an epidemic tomorrow.

I never said there wasn’t press about the exhibit itself - there’s been an appropriate amount of that. Just the issue of the funding seems to be ignored. Fact remains that plenty of other museums get corporate support all the time, with far less press. In fact, millions can be raised before a major project is even publicly announced. Sure, I’ll grant you that there could be alternate explanations, but I can’t see how an institution like AMNH would drop the ball that badly. (And, of course, their development office DID raise the money - through private donations. They don’t hire idiots.)

Look, I have no general problem with “Corporate America” - as you’ll note, I was a bit uncomfortable using the term, it’s not something I usually go throwing around in rants. No problem at all with big business here. But it bugs me when support suddenly dries up for something a handful of nutcases think is “controversial”. Hence my rant.

Well, if they sponsor them all the time, your point is invalidated. No? :smiley:

Errr :confused: …no. Given that his point is that they normally sponsor museum exibits but they didn’t sponsor this one simply because of the E word. What part of that didn’t you understand?