idolatry at Mathis BrothersDoes anyone besides me remember the book Motel of the Mysteries? It was written by David Macaulay back in the late 70s or early 80s, making fun of the discovery of the King Tut tomb and of contemporary American culture. In the book America is drowned by junk mail. Centuries later, archaeologists stumble onto a residence--in reality a standard side of the road motel.
The thing that kept coming back to my mind as the DH and I wrestled with needing to organize our audio/video equipment and wandering with this project in mind through OKC's bizarrely huge furniture store, Mathis Brothers (it's as huge as an IKEA, only with high-pressure car salesmen following you around) was a moment in Macaulay's book where the archaeologists find a skeleton in a bed in a room. The skeleton is facing a television, clutching a remote control. The archaeologist's interpretation is surely this is a moment of profound worship. The person at prayer is facing a representation of a god of the culture. The centrality of the television, the location in the room, all lead him to this conclusion.
I can only imagine what archaeologists of the future are going to conclude from the entertainment centers on display in 2005. Every single one we saw would take up the entire room of our townhouse. Grand carving,, which I can only describe as faux Tuscan, often completed the design.
Of course Mathis Brothers is not alone in carrying the oversized, overstuffed furniture that seems to be our only option at standard furniture stores these days.
(DH and I ended up at the Danish furniture store up the street where we brought an appropriate size set of shelves that meets our needs without creating a temple like quality to our living room. It's so sad that one has to pay more for less, as it were).