Thursday, November 18, 2004

The most expensive double-wide in history!

I'm told it's supposed to represent that mythical "bridge to the 21st century," but the Economist says it looks like a glorified house trailer.

Passers-by seem to feel the same way about the William J. Clinton Presidential Centre. They say the building, a mammoth modern glass rectangle, resembles an expensive mobile home. Not exactly what Bill Clinton wants to hear about his $165m shrine to himself.

Okay, sure. I can see that.

It also looks like an airport concourse, and I half expect to see a 747 pulled up to the end, unloading passengers.

The highlights include Elvis Presley memorabilia and the appeal of southern music. The library features a posh restaurant—Café 42 (Mr Clinton was the 42nd president)—overlooking the Arkansas river. Policy wonks can enjoy interactive alcoves, one entitled “Fight for Power”, which address the Clinton administration's eight years in office. A hipper-than-normal gift-store will lure political fans to a kitsch fantasia with Socks the Cat cocktail purses, Bill and Hillary cookie cutters and Clinton calendars.

Bill Clinton finally has his legacy, and it's a "kitsch fantasia." Fitting somehow. "Socks the Cat" cocktail purses? Eww. Please tell me they're not made out of black and white fur.

Here's the page for the library itself. The picture here makes the building look like the back end of an eighteen-wheeler.

And the museum store is said to be "the first store of its kind in the presidential library system"

The Clinton Museum Store's director is Little Rock fashion designer and retailer Connie Fails, a longtime friend of the former President and Senator Clinton.

"The store is styled like a gallery," explained Fails, "and it truly opens its arms to everyone."

Just as the Clinton Presidential Center reinvents the way presidential libraries are designed, the Clinton Museum Store is unlike any other presidential library retail space.

"No one will mistake the shop for a souvenir stand," said Fails, pointing out the well-chosen selection of merchandise ranging from children's board games with historical themes to china and crystal with presidential themes.

The store's most expensive item, at almost $5,000, is a custom table by New Orleans artist Thomas Mann, while the least expensive items are 25-cent postcards and a $1 souvenir commissioned by Fails--a quartz crystal "diamond" from President Clinton's childhood hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas, with the attached legend "This 'diamond' represents the power of every man, woman and child to reach their greatest potential no matter how humble their beginnings."

Seems fitting that the man who turned the Lincoln Bedroom into a high-rent apartment would turn his Presidential Library into a revenue-generating machine.

Okay, I joke around, but let them have their fun, their Hollywood Grand Opening, their overpriced geegaws and their Socks the Cat cocktail purses. There's just no need for this.

2 Comments:

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I watched that Clinton Library nonsense. What a regretable man. It's a shame to the republic that he was our president.

 
At 6:58 AM, Blogger Drew said...

Yeah, history will not remember him well. His greatest achievements were downright Republican in nature. (NAFTA, welfare reform, etc.) But even so, it just seems a little petty to build the "Counter Clinton Library" right across the street.

 

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