Thursday, August 28, 2008

Indian Jones and the Useless Artifacts

Things that make me go hmmmmm . . .

No folks, I promise this will not be a post about either Arsenio Hall or the C + C Music Factory. This is about stuff in the Indiana Jones movies that makes me go hmmmm. Hopefully these won't be the obvious ones

The knight who guards the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Why? If taking the grail outside of the little temple place it was in would cause the place to earthquake and kill you, why have some knight sit there for hundreds of years guarding it? Sure, the grail will let you live forever but it's not like it'll do you any good. You'd have to stay in the temple forever just like the knight. Which leads me to a bigger observation . . .

The magical artifacts from the Indiana Jones movies are useless. Well, that's not fair to say. The Shankara stone from Temple of Doom did help that village grow crops and prosper but that's the only one!

The Ark was supposed to help any army that carried it be invincible. But, when the German army actually gets their hands on it they all get melted by some ghosts flying around. But, really, the Nazis should have known better than to expect cooperation from Yahweh. Did they never read the Bible? He spends the majority of his time pissed off and smiting people who weren't nearly as mean as the Nazis. The U.S. Government at least had enough sense to know it wouldn't help. They locked the thing away in Area 51 just like the Crystal Skull so no Americans would get melted. So yeah, Ark, bad idea. Didn't work as advertised.

Shankara Stones. OK, now we're getting somewhere. Not only did the one help the village but all three let Mola Ram do cool shit like pull a guy's heart out. The only downside is that the village fell into decay after the Thugees stole the stone. I guess whatever Hindu god controls those things is pretty adamant about the stone and/or stones being present. No, "well, you villagers are nice folks, you don't need the stone" attitude. You either have it or you are fucked. But, regardless of that rigid rule of blessings, at least the damn things do something useful.

The Holy Grail. So, drinking from this thing is supposed to make you live forever. But, I suppose the powers-that-be decided that we couldn't just have any old Tom, Dick, or Harry living forever. What if the guys that made Meet the Spartans drank from it? We'd have to deal with them making shitty parody movies until the sun went nova. So, to prevent such catastrophes the Grail was put in some temple and has been guarded by a knight ever since the crusades. But, like I mentioned before, you can't actually take it out of the building. I guess you could go back in every month and take a swig but the location would make it impractical. Not to mention, can you imagine the line? So, once again, useless.

Back to the knight. So he stayed in there guarding something that was booby-trapped in such a way as to destroy the building it was in, killing you in the process, if you tried to take it. Soooooooo . . . why guard it at all? I think he must be the medieval version of a rent-a-cop. You know, those fat, lazy fuckers that sit in lobbies "guarding" buildings at night. The knight just had a cooler outfit and got to carry a sword. So, with nothing to really guard, what did he do? Wouldn't he need a fresh water supply to keep drinking from the grail at the very least? Surely he didn't just sit there looking noble for hundreds of years. Anyway.

The Crystal Skull. What good did that thing do anyone? Harold Oxley took the thing to Accator but it caused him to go mental so he took it back where he found it. It was supposed to provide some awesome amount of alien knowledge and all it did was turn him into a schizophrenic. Then, Irinia Spalko, who really did want the knowledge, returns the skull and what does she gets for her troubles? Yeah, that's right. She gets killed. And not just killed, she gets the space-age version of what happened to the Nazis with the Ark. Thanks a lot interdimensional aliens. You're no better than the gods who control the previous artifacts.

Oh, so what does Indy get for all his troubles with these lousy artifacts? Not a damn thing. He isn't able to take a single one to a museum nor is he able to write a paper that an academic institution would actually believe. Imagine going before an IRB and telling them, "well you see I found the Holy Grail but it was guarded by a 600 year old knight who wouldn't let me have it. Then when we tried to take it, the building fell apart." You'd be exploring a padded cell for the rest of your life or at least until a Terminator broke you out.

So, the moral of the Indiana Jones movies is thusly . . . If you hear about some cool powers you might get from some ancient artifact, don't bother. If they are being sought by bad guys for nefarious purposes, don't worry, the creatures that made up the bullshit story to begin with will kill them once they find it. It was all probably just a trap for bad guys anyway. It's not worth your time.

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