Wednesday, May 21, 2008
In a way, Indiana Jones gave me my first idea of what 'being a man' should look like: Intellectual, but not in an in-your-face kind of way. Individualistic and stubborn. Adventurous, vaguely atheistic, and possessing a kind of rolling gallows humor. And (of course) sporting a fedora and a whip.
The most important people in my life and I are very excited about the new Indy movie. The other day my brother said to me, "This is the only movie I've ever wanted to see that I know won't let me down. I'll like it no matter what." I knew exactly what he meant. "With Indiana Jones," I said, "It's not so much a matter of whether it's good or bad, as it is a matter of getting to see Indy in action one more time." As Roger Ebert ended his right-on review of the new movie, "I can say that if you liked the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one, and that if you did not, there is no talking to you.". It's like that.
Upon asking the people at the local Toys-R-Us why they thought they were selling out of Indiana Jones merchandise so fast,the clerk reported to my brother--without missing a beat--that they sold the toys mainly to twenty to thirty something males, often with kids who would've rather picked up some cool Speed Racer action figures, but eventually caved to their father's sales pitch that Indiana Jones was way cooler than Speed Racer.
Indiana Jones is way cooler than Speed Racer.
I don't know what Indiana Jones means to my generation, or what it is that makes his character so resonant in our culture. I'm not a sociologist. I can't even say that I really want to know, if there's anything to know at all.
Whatever the case is, I'm excited about the movie. I'm going to let my son take the day off of school tomorrow so he can go and watch the midnight showing with me tonight. He can miss a day of school for Indiana Jones.
You have to have priorities in this life.