A Brief History of Stuff

Art Mashups
Renegade Tours
Art Mashups December 11, 2015 Featured Image


In the beginning there was nothing, almost.

But then there were rocks, and rain storms and microbes. A critically boring beginning that sparked a slow and steady march from nothingness to a world filled with stuff. Eventually we had people-like-mammals, and eventually after that came people. And people caused all sorts of problems, among the worst being that level 10 stabbing pain you get when you stub your toe.

And then a billion years later, a few hairy men and women got together, chomped out on Omega 3s and said ENOUGH! We are tired of that sharp stabby level 10 pain, WE ARE GOING TO INVENT SHOES. Sure, the early attempts at shoes weren’t very good — but they’ve mostly gotten better. And the evolution continued.

Now we have spoons, and armchairs and rap music. There are name brands, and store brands, and phony huckster brands like Somy and Adibas. And despite a general decline of manufacturing quality for decades, we’ve all become hoarders, buying endless amounts of “stuff” that clutters our desks, drawers, trunks, basements and our minds.

But let’s take a step back. For our grandparents and great grandparents, stuff was not an option. The generations that survived two world wars AND the great depression didn’t have money for Razor Scooters, and they didn’t have $800 for iPhones that become obsolete after a few software updates. Not hating on Apple, I use my phone every day, but it’s still stuff.

Instead, grandma bought ridiculously well built essentials and expected it to last forever. My mom’s mom still has her 62 year old can opener, and it works, while my fancy brand junk breaks all the time. Screw you planned obsolescence!

But over the last 5 years or so we’ve been in a renaissance, a pendulum swinging, minimalist spawning era where more people are giving up STUFF and instead want THINGS that enrich their lives. The problem with this shift is that while stuff always made great holiday presents, nobody knows what “things” to give instead. How do you buy the perfect gift when the whole point is the items are personal to their owner?

I’d like to introduce a third option, EXPERIENCES.

Yesterday the Washington Post published an article called, Skip the wrapping paper. A memorable experience is a much better gift. They joke about not needing to wrap the present, but really the article is an ode to experiences: the gift that your loved ones will remember forever. Museum Hack is #4.

recent guests having fun with Museum Hack

Now let me make the case why Museum Hack is actually THE BEST F***ING EXPERIENCE you can give this holiday.

  • Fact: Our guides have trained for thousands of hours, developing tours that are guaranteed to delight, engage, and become memories you will have for a lifetime. Seriously, our tours are 110% guaranteed — if you don’t love it you will get your money back plus a little extra.
  • Fact: Your friends and relatives are probably going to the museum anyway. If they do it on their own, it’s the same boring trudge through the galleries, occasionally reading signs but mostly just thinking about Netflix. Museum Fatigue is a real thing, and we’ve developed techniques to beat it — including juicy gossip about the museum, untold stories of the art, and fun activities in the galleries like “Buy, Burn, Steal”. It’s the museum experience with a triple dose of awesome.
  • Fact: You won’t buy “the thing” your loved one wants. Nothing against you, it’s just really hard! Think about when you open presents that aren’t awesome. You slowly unwrap, force a big smile and say thank-you as genuinely as you can. If you really love the person then you follow this with a hug. HUGS ARE AWESOME, but fake happiness isn’t. Instead, send your friends and family on a tour guaranteed to make them intoxicated with true-happiness. But first, check out these recent reviews:

The most fun you’ll ever have at a museum. Evan and Emily did a great job with tons of facts as well as obscure things you never hear on those headphone’s worn in museums. You may not see the most popular exhibit but that’s for you to go back and spend time exploring.
— Robin C., NYC, visited us at the Met in Dec 2015

Fantastic way to see the MET! Michelle or guide was adorable, fun and interesting! Can’t recommend this enough! Gives you a chance to see this beautiful museum in a unique fashion, hearing interesting stories about a handful of the art pieces. Our daughters are 10 and 12, fairly mature and [into] museums. This was the top thing we did while visiting NYC! When we come back, we would for sure try Natural History, through Museum Hack. Thank you, thank you!!!
— Chrissy M., California, visited us at the Met in Nov 2015

My husband and I went on this tour with Bex and Sarang. We had so much fun and really learned a lot. As they said the Met is so big, you need to pick and choose what you will see each day. They picked and chose perfectly. We will return!
— Melissa J., NYC, visited us at the Met in Dec 2015

Want to give the gift that EVERYONE will love? Want to give the gift that makes you “the cool relative that gives the best gifts” instead of “yeah, I think he bought me a mini-disc player?” Want to be a Holiday Hero?

Give the gift of Museum Hack.

In museums we trust,
Michael & the Museum Hack Team

P.S: For a limited time you can buy a Museum Hack gift certificate, fully loaded with one of our VIP private tours — and we will throw in an action-packed scavenger hunt at no extra cost. You and your loved ones will be flying through the museum, following clues until you uncover the last ancient secret. Click here to buy now.

written with 💖 by Museum Hack

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