Why does a penis museum need a human specimen? A psychological query
For the last fifteen years, the Phallogical Museum in the tiny fishing town of Husavik, Iceland, has existed for one purpose and for one purpose only: to collect and display a shitload of penises. Is that two purposes? So be it. In any case, the museum's collection features an impressive array of mammalian penises, from the anxiety-inducing girth of sperm whale (about five and a half feet) to the diminutive hamster (really small) and exactly 274 other beef-whistles of variant size in between. This week, the museum added a new specimen to that prodigious lineup: a human penis.
"I have been just waiting for this guy for fifteen years," museum founder Sigurdur Hjartarson told the Associated Press.
The newly wiener comes courtesy of one recently deceased Pall Arason, aged 95 years, who was apparently motivated by his outgoing personality to have his dick on indefinite display for anyone who cares to look -- in a sense, it's sort of the ultimate exhibitionist's dream (interestingly, there are a few others who have volunteered to donate their flesh flutes to the venerable institution as well -- as in the case of Arason, the museum is still waiting on those acquisitions, because, for obvious reasons, the potential donors do not wish do part with their respective gifts before they are dead). So it's not hard to imagine why there might be a select class of volunteers to the cause out there. The more compelling question, really, is why a museum dedicated mammalian penises really needs human representation.
Aside from that the new acquisition is old as hell, and that, unlike fine wines, dicks are not widely regarded for their propensity toward aging well, there's no real reason for it -- it's basically like having an exhibit dedicated to homo sapiens sapiens in the wildlife museum. We've all seen human dicks before -- I've personally seen more dicks than I can erase from a certain persistent series of disturbing dreams -- and most of us don't have any real desire to see a gnarled-ass 95-year-old peener in the flesh, so to speak, anyway. So why would we want to see one pickled in formaldehyde?
The answer is, in a sense, precisely because it is suspended in formaldehyde. As evidenced by my frequent and aforementioned night terrors, and as eloquently put by Nigel Tufnel in Spinal Tap, the armadillos in our trousers are really quite frightening. As long as they are attached to a human body, anyway.
Suspended from, just for example, David Hasselhoff's imposing groin, the pleasure-rod is an instrument of formidable power; to stand before it is as thrilling as standing before the open end of a gun. Suspended in a clear liquid solution in a jar, on the other hand, it is deprived of its potency, a curiosity we can examine without threat. That's the case with all the penises in the museum, really -- it's basically a monument to castration -- but the human guy really brings the point home in a way no whale penis, no matter how large, ever really could. Arason's wiener, then, is the main event: All the other, non-human penises are just props to make us feel less conspicuous about staring at the impotent remains of the thing we truly fear.
In the land of emasculation, the one-eyed bishop is king.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Denver art and theater scene.