These series of posts offer brief observations where Temple of Doom and Trumpism overlap. While I am not suggesting a movie has the “pull” of a president, nor am I saying by a longshot that the Temple of Doom fully explains it caused Trump’s election—I do believe it is dangerous to not recognize how movies and people and stories symbolize, edify, and maintain spiritual, interpersonal, and social relationships.
Let’s. Get. It. Started. I’m about to get stupid crazy.
If you wouldn’t participate in a Soul Train line that hard, don’t read this.
Buddy buddy, if Dr. Strangelove level critique and satire is too much for you–DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.
That’s my only warning, brothers and sisters.
… and Occult Minority
What in the hell?!?!
First. How in the hell is this movie rated PG?!?!
Before we even get to Mola Ram… what now strikes me about this scene is the fact that the only folks at this death ritual are men. The priests who facilitate the ritual are literally painted as skeletons. And the turban-wearing crowd is whipped into a frenzy. Think of the symbols and metaphors behind this scene. This religion celebrates death and commits murder and the men agree with it. I could act like this is just a movie–but after multiple viewings, images like this matters.
My brother Mike (of X-Men #275 yore) once told me that in advertising, TV, and movies… nothing is by mistake. These images and symbols and the spiritual, political, and cultural assumptions/propaganda they possess are there on purpose.
How in Hades was I able to watch this movie as a kid? That cat’s heart is still beating in homeboy’s hands. And heartless homeboy is still chanting–a chant that my cousins and I would repeat back in the day when we wanted to signify craziness… the “other” is crazy… Then dude-who-holds-beating-and-aflame-hearts-in-his-hand (I know his name) says to Indy he’s essentially here to uproot the Christian world…
Lawd. Have. Mercy.
Then he gives Indy some pimp juice and brings out the
inner pimp that’s always been lurking within Evil Hindu-Other that possesses him like a demon. But the innocence of Short Round and fire saves the day…
Side note: Yo’ how come ya girl, Willie, ain’t conflagrate in the fiery pit?
At every turn, only the non-white women, children, and elderly can be trusted. All non-white men of age and power are threats and capable of slavery, demon-possession, eating monkey brains, ripping out hearts, and being eaten by Crocs while also being shot at by white colonizers for righteousness’ sake.
Then Indy tells Mola Ram–that’s the dude who eats flaming hearts for breakfast–that Mola betrayed Shiva… And Dr. Jones begins to chant himself. Whether he is possessed by Shiva or whether he now believes in Shiva, or whether he simply can freak the Indian subcontinent’s religion better than folk from India can–Indy calls out ya boy and said he betrayed Shiva… Ok… Indy saves the day…
Of course the main character in the story routinely saves the day. But that ain’t the point. The point is to ask, how he saved the day? And who he saved the day from?
Make the Temple of Doom Great Again.
© 2017 M. J. Sales