Cabazon Dinosaurs: Intro

Depressed Dinny

Why so sad, Dinny? Has your home
been overrun by creationists?
(From slworking2)

[I’m still working way too many hours these days and have no time to blog. It’s frustrating, because so many great topics have flown by that I wanted to cover. I’ve just come across a topic that demands an in-depth look, so I’m going to see if I can write several small blog posts about it over the next few days. In the meantime, here’s a picture of a shaved pussy.]

One of the things that makes America the Greatest Nation on Earth™ is roadside attractions. I love that stuff!

They began a slow decline with the creation of the Interstate Highway System (Here is a documentary about that.). However, some plucky tourist traps managed to hang on, some even thrived, in the new world of the superhighway.

Alas, now that most people fly everywhere, they’re flying right over some of the best cultural exhibits of the United States. As a result, many of these great sites are shutting their doors forever!

Maybe now that the TSA is sexually molesting everybody, folks will get back in their cars and rediscover America. Come on, people! Do you want a cheap grope, or would you rather hop in your ’53 DeSoto and go to the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota?

One of these great American destinations is the Cabazon Dinosaurs, just outside Palm Springs. Wikipedia tells us:

The creation of the Cabazon dinosaurs began in the 1960s by Knott’s Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist Claude K. Bell (1897–1988) to attract customers to his Wheel Inn Cafe, which opened in 1958. Dinny, the first of the Cabazon dinosaurs, was started in 1964 and created over a span of eleven years.

Everything was hunky dory until Bell died. Seeing the perfect opportunity to indoctrinate the unwary, the site was bought by creationists in the 1990s!

I suppose it’s fitting and maybe inevitable. Something as uniquely American as the roadside attraction ultimately had to pair up with something as uniquely American as a complete and total disregard for facts and reality.

About the current sorry state of affairs, Wikipedia tells us:

Currently located inside Dinny is a gift store and museum promoting creationism with some of the toy dinosaurs in the shop sold under the label “Don’t swallow it! The fossil record does not support evolution.”

The current ownership has expressed a Young Earth creationist belief that most dinosaurs were created on Earth about 6,000 years ago—the same day as Adam and Eve. In stark contrast to that belief are Bell’s painted frescoes and sculptures inside Dinny, depicting a naturalist and evolutionist viewpoint. Bell’s paintings include representations of Cro-Magnon man (labeled “Cro-Magnon Man 30,000 [years ago]”) and Java Man (labeled “Java Man 400,000”). Bell’s historic displays now exist alongside information detailing the creationist viewpoint of the earth and man’s origins.

The real pisser is that I went to Palm Springs just over a year ago. If I had known they had a creationist museum, I would have visited! Oh, fundies! Why do you place your monuments to stupidity just outside my grasp? Just like reality is just outside your grasp!

I’ll leave things for today with this last quote from Wikipedia:

Pastor Robert Chiles, assisting Kanter in turning the exhibit into a non-denominational church, has been quoted as to his belief of why children are drawn to the dinosaur attraction, “There’s something in their DNA that knows man walked with these creatures on Earth.”

15 Responses to “Cabazon Dinosaurs: Intro”

  1. Cyc Says:

    “There’s something in their DNA that knows man walked with these creatures on Earth.”

    …Eh? Did this guy really use the single greatest piece of evidence for evolution as an argument for why children are attracted to dinosaurs?

    It couldn’t be because there is nothing alive today even close to dinosaurs, could it? Does he really need some idiotic reason for why kids love something that is the epitome of natural awesomeness?

  2. Jeff Says:

    What about animals to which many people have a revulsion – like snakes? What’s his explanation for that?

    Oh, wait, I have it – we know instinctively this is the animal that got us kicked out of the garden.

    F*ck, now I’m beginning to think like one of them. Time to stick the revolver in my mouth.

  3. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Genetic memory? One of the most eye-rolling sci-fi tropes of all time is his explanation for human fascination with dinosaurs. Good save, sir!

  4. Lindsay Says:

    I just thought dinos were fucking cool. I mean, what’s not cool about dinos…T Rex had a big head with big teeth, and tiny, tiny arms. Stegosaurus had big plats on its back and a brain the size of a walnut. Ankylosaurus looked medieval, Iguanadon had an awesome comb thing on it’s head…seriously, this mofo is looking into it wayyy too much. I don’t think I ever heard my DNA talking to me about remembering them. I thank my stars my old man used to be a science teacher and encouraged learning about these creatures in constructive ways (dinosaur modeling kits, dinosaur poetry books, etc). I remember one time watching a terrible movie about cavemen and dinos living together and my dad explaining to me how that would have been impossible. I feel bad for kids whose parents have zero understanding or interest in teaching their kids facts instead of giving them one book to read and telling them it’s all true.

    Btw…I still think dinos are pretty fucking sweet. I have a picture of Jesus holding a dinosaur up in my home, as a symbol of my “faith.”

  5. RunawayLawyer Says:

    Dinosaurs are awesome – my 5 year old agrees. He’s going to be a paleontologist when he grows up. And a race car driver and a veterinarian and a pro athlete, too!

    BTW, shout out to your adopt-a-rat link on my blog – it cheered me up, so I passed it on.

  6. Jeff Says:

    I have to think that at some point, one of these organizations must have approached Hanna Barbera about licensing the Flintstones for propaganda purposes. Who better to teach kids about humans and dinosaurs coexisting peacefully?

  7. Doog Says:

    gggrrrrrrrrrr!

    When i was a kid, I used to rent these dinosaur tapes from the library. They were from the eighties but they were pretty good considering they were made for kids. They were such a part of my childhood that in high school I found them on Amazon and bought them. The second one of the series featured these two dinosaurs. I remember the music made them seem especially whimsical. I remember Bell talking about dinosaurs and they even had a kid taking about how much he loved dinosaurs and how he loved going into the belly of the “Brontosaurus”. I learned a few years ago that the dinosaurs had been turned into creationist propaganda pieces, my blood just about boiled over.

  8. Lindsay Says:

    I agree Doog…let’s take back our dinos. To be honest, dinosaurs are what planted the first seed of doubt in my head…I remember learning the creation story in catechism, and I thought to myself that was bullshit because dinosaurs were millions of years old and we had fossils to prove it. Perhaps this is why there seems to be an enthusiastic embrace of dinos from YEC’s…they know the appeal to kids, and if they can suck them in from the YEC perspective they can further build their army of ignorance.

    I’d love to see a Velociraptor chase after Ken Ham and have it rip his guts out.

  9. OtherRob Says:

    @PL77, you just had to link to TV Tropes, didn’t you. There went another evening…

  10. RunawayLawyer Says:

    @Lindsay – me too! I was about 7. I asked my mom how the Adam and Eve stories could be true with dinosaurs roaming the earth – it just didn’t make sense and I’d been dwelling on it for ages. She said that the Biblical stories were a way to explain things people then could not otherwise explain. The young cynic I was then wondered if Adam & Eve were invented by mere mortals, why couldn’t the rest of the Bible be made up too? I never really bought into it after that. I tried *really* hard, but I just never could.

  11. Ron Britton Says:

    Lindsay:

    Perhaps this is why there seems to be an enthusiastic embrace of dinos from YEC’s…they know the appeal to kids, and if they can suck them in from the YEC perspective they can further build their army of ignorance.

    I think they view that as a secondary benefit. I think their primary goal is damage control. Kids love dinosaurs and want to know more about them. They then learn that the Earth is billions of years old. Bam! Creationists lose the battle right there. Game over. They had to come up with an alternative story that they could peddle

    I have a picture of Jesus holding a dinosaur up in my home, as a symbol of my “faith.”

    I assume you’re referring to this picture:

    Jesus went extinct for your sins

    Jeff:

    I have to think that at some point, one of these organizations must have approached Hanna Barbera about licensing the Flintstones for propaganda purposes.

    I ran this picture a long time ago:

    The Flintstones

    And don’t forget that Sarah Palin thinks this is all true.

  12. Lindsay Says:

    That would be the one, Ron. I’ve received many compliments on it as well! In particular I appreciate the volcano with a pteradactyl flying over it in the backgroud.

  13. Draken Says:

    That picture was taken only minutes before Jesus got a couple of fingers bitten off. They never mention that in the crucifixion saga, of course. After the resurrection he only had “holes in his hands”. Yeah right.

  14. Lindsay Says:

    May I take a moment to say Raptor Jesus is one of my favorite memes of all time?

    http://encyclopediadramatica.com/File:Raptorairport.jpg

  15. Coty Says:

    Meme? You’ll be sorry when the VelociRapture happens, and all non-believers are cast into the Jurassic period as Raptor Jesus and the Flying Spaghetti Monster duke it out in their final battle. You’ll be cast into a lake of primordial water for all of eternity (+/- 65 million years)!