But when I grew up, I put my childish ways behind me–except… don’t take my favorite stories away… I love them–way more than I love love.
The following are 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 and/or 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.
Buddy buddy, if Dr. Strangelove satire is too much for you–DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.
That’s my only warning, brothers and sisters.
Break. It. Down.
You couldn’t make this movie today… and that’s the problem… The problem is not that the Indiana Jones universe could not tell any other stories. After all, Raiders of the Lost Ark had a very strong female lead (for instance). The problem–for those beholden to this narratively –is that this story can no longer be told in the mainstream. In other words, The Temple of Doom could not be made today, and for so many, that’s a problem. This problem is a bit more acute than folks would have you believe. For instance, I saw and heard a few African American males sound slightly sympathetic to Trump–because, narratively speaking, there is so much in the Temple of Doom that they like. That was their childhood too, and that was a movie they watched.
Who would folks vote for? I figure and fear too many saw Hillary as a mixture of Marion and Elsa–a strong and capable, yet calculating “Nazi-Jezebel” who would betray our hero even though she’s supposed to be down. Let me say it another way: folks–on both sides of the election–were very certain that Hillary was not “Willie.” She evoked not a shred of “Willie.” And because she didn’t–that was a problem for folks and a blessing for others. The Temple of Doom is at stake here. Americana is at stake here. And some can tolerate, live with and sometimes celebrate Leia/Marion, but Willie better be there too.
No Willie. No vote. No Temple of Doom. No Indiana Jones. I’ll burn down this entire franchise if you won’t let me revel in Indiana Jones freaking Hindu religion better than Hindus. Plus, Short Round was cute and I wanted to be Indy’s sidekick too. So I could grow up to be Indy.
Stories matter. I’m not saying this as a value judgment. There is a perception that as one tells LGBTQ stories, you’re no longer telling heteronormative, patriarchal stories. I’m not here to debate if the perception is factually true because most human beings do not place their ultimate sense of self in objective, empirical truth. Most human beings place their sense of self in stories/narratives that speak about their relationship to those things around them and beyond them. Facts rarely debunk stories. Stories debunk stories.
But Trump was straight Indy from the Temple of Doom.
Though he is a political novice, he’s a cultural familiar.
This is absurd. And this place has a strange love for the absurd.
And in times like these, Hero gone be on repeat…
Make the Temple of Doom Great Again…
Paul said that when he was a child, he thought like one and reasoned like one. But he had to put his childish ways aside once he grew up. He said this in the midst of one of the most eloquent passages of scripture. His larger point was not about childhood and adulthood, it was about the emptiness of holding on to things and doing things without love.
It’s not enough to love Indiana Jones, America, the Republican or Democratic parties. These things will pass away. The question, rather, is do I and do you love love? People will kill, steal, and destroy for the things they love. But God’s community is founded upon love itself.
This movie–and it is just a movie and not an act of Congress, an Executive order, or a Supreme Court ruling–this movie carries a great deal of symbolic power and should not be easily dismissed. It’s entertainment. Surely it is. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be watched or exist–though maybe I feel that way about Crystal Skull–I just needed to ask myself one day, what kind of love does this communicate?
Make humanity love again.
© 2017 M. J. Sales