7.23.2007

Why Indiana Jones is my Hero

Few movies can stand up to the wonder and excitement of the Indiana Jones series and even fewer figures can measure up to the fedora capped peaks of Indiana Jones as one of the most admirable and respected role models in cinematic history. For this reason, Indiana “Junior” Jones is now officially The Spoon’s Patron Saint of Style, General Manager of Gallantry, and Grand Pooh-Bah of Panache all rolled into one. In other words, he’s kind of a big deal.

Not everyone loves Indiana Jones, but I do

When I was a wee little tyke I knew two things. 1) Never pee while lying on your back and 2) Indiana Jones was the bomb diggity. He could fight anybody to a standstill with his whip and yet continuously showed mercy and restraint with his (frequently) over-matched opponents (to wit, he never shot an unarmed opponent). Indy also fought for the right kind of causes. He would kick ass to preserve knowledge, protect the weak, and fight tyranny and evil. Nobody ever rewarded Dr. Jones for his unceasing efforts but he never stopped fighting for what he believed in – and all on a professor’s salary no less.

Indy could even turn a bag of sand into Box Office Gold

Indiana was an action hero but he also showed the kind of emotional maturity you want in a role model. Remember in the Last Crusade when Indiana was able to leave the Holy Grail behind and traded the tantalizing pursuit of immortality in exchange for the dangers, fears, and tempered joys of real life? I dare you to put yourself in that situation and make that same decision. It’s awfully tempting to live forever, especially if you’re a sports fan who wants see the Detroit Lions ever make the playoffs (not even immortality will last long enough to see the Lions in the Super Bowl).

Indy wore many hats (figuratively speaking) and embodied the well-rounded individual every momma wants her baby to become. He was the intellectual college professor and resident heartthrob on campus. But Indiana was just as comfortable archaeolog-ing through the cloistered walls of a crypt as lecturing in the classroom. He was also the dutiful son who never stopped wanting to make his father proud. And beyond his varied interests and pursuits, Indiana never discriminated in his choice of allies (except for camels). Indy had friends of all ages and races from Short Stuff to erstwhile colleague Dr. Elsa Schneider. If Indy had any flaws, it was being too trusting and perhaps a tad too arrogant. But a little arrogance is understandable when you can think or whip yourself out of almost any situation.

I'd like to see Steven "Baby Seal Clubbin'"Seagal take down a Panzer with just a whip

And the true mark of Indiana Jones’ legacy? He was never above accepting help from his friends. How else did he survive the mind-controlling powers of the Temple of Doom? Not to mention the pugilist Nazi sergeant in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or even the Great Seal’s final precipice in the Last Crusade? As great as his capabilities were, Indiana Jones knew that he could never achieve great things without a little (and sometimes more) help from his friends.

"This is how we say, 'Catch me goddamnit!' in Austria"

In this age of corruption and failing values it’s refreshing to look back at a role model who did things the right way. Never mind that he’s technically a fictional character, Indiana Jones has a very real place in my heart. And now he has a place in The Spoon.

Welcome home Indiana.

11 comments:

Bobby Griffin said...

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Rob said...

I'm so freaking stoked for the new Indiana Jones movie...almost as much as I am for John Rambo. Nice write-up.

Matt said...

bobby - thanks! It's an honor just to be nominated.

rob - I sincerely hope the new Indy movie stands up to the previous ones. It will make me cry hot tears of sadness if it's as wooden and bloated as the Star Wars prequels.

Diesel said...

I thought the first one was by far the best. It's a classic. I'm figuring the new one will be somewhere in between 2 & 3 in terms of quality. Unless Kate Capshaw is whining through the jungle for an hour. Then all bets are off.

SQT said...

I luuuuuurve Indy. I had a post about Indy on my blog a couple of weeks ago and it just blows my mind when anyone will try to insult the movies. Actually, I just had one person who tried to say Indy wasn't all that great and she managed to pi$$ off pretty much everyone else who commented. Indy is a national treasure.

Matt said...

diesel - It's funny but the third's always been my favorite. I admit the first is good and the second is definitely the weakest, but I always felt that the energy and excitement of Raiders was refined and given a greater sophistication in the Last Crusade.

sqt - I completely agree. Indy isn't a superhero, but he's darn super. And I think it's very endearing how you spell pi$$.

johnqcasual said...

You're the man. I agree 1000%. Last Crusade is probably my favorite movie ever. Funnier than most comedies, and has some great action sequences. I hope that Indy IV can be even half as great.

Dr. Schneider was such a fool. I love her fall at the end of the movie--such good form! No reaching up for help, no grabbing at the wall to slow down her fall; instead she lays flat on her back and kicks into the air like a baby. So classic.

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