Raiders Of The Lost Ark: new viewing interpretations

recently, i took a break from telling outrag- i mean, telling totally true stories about fighting and killing dinosaurs in my yard to watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark, a viewing choice that i admit was inspired by that episode of South Park where Spielberg is yelling at Tweak to “blow it back to god!” now, a brief disclaimer: this is the order in which the movies rank in terms of quality: gold medal – Raiders; silver medal – Temple Of Doom; bronze medal – Last Crusade. and Short Round is awesome. anyway, since i have watched Raiders before, this viewing allowed me to ruminate on some various aspects of the film that i don’t feel have been discussed enough. let us continue those notions here!

“are people aware that Sallah is not what he’s supposed to be (an Egyptian or Arab or whatever) and is in fact what he is (a Welshman)?”

the mystery of Sallah continues
careful, Indiana Jones … i think your helpful Arab sidekick has something to hide

now, i grant you, this notion might be partially based on the fact that John Rhys-Davies is, in fact, Welsh, and thus among the salt of the earth (also known as Welshmen). still, he seems weirdly out of place in this Arab land of Egypt. he doesn’t look like the Arabs around him, or even his fictional children, and since i have to assume you could have found SOME Arab guy to play Sallah, it makes me suspect something is up. further, when excited or pleased, he bursts into song, which we all know is the trademark of the Welsh. for further evidence, see Zulu: when confronted by mortal danger and overwhelming odds, the Welshmen … sing and sing some more, and apparently this leads them to victory, because they have top tenors or something. so the question is this: in the Indiana Jones universe, is Sallah actually Egyptian or an Arab or anything like that? or is he just a totally random Welsh guy that hangs out around Cairo in order to assist Indiana, much like the very random Jock at the beginning of the film. who is this “Jock?” what does he want? where is he going? it’s all very mysterious.

“in the world of Indiana Jones, if there’s terrorism in the modern world similar to ours, was it caused by Indiana in Cairo?”

and this is where the terrorism got its start
as onlookers stare with horror, Indiana Jones declares war on the cleaned laundry of Cairo

i basically assume that Indiana Jones lives in a world very similar to ours, albeit one filled with an increased number of magical artifacts and zany hijinx. there’s evidence for this: for example, much as we in the “real world” had our troubles with Nazis trying to take over the world, Indy faces the same problems; for another, i think we’ve all had out troubles in Far Eastern nightclubs with busty American blondes. but i digress. so here’s the thing: if in the 2000s of Indy’s world, if he faces troubles with ferocious Islamist terrorism, how much of it has to do with his actions in Cairo in 1936? think about it: he tears through Cairo in a rage, knocking over laundry basket after laundry basket, tossing men into fruit stands, slamming through innocent crowds of Egyptians … does he think this has no consequences? all these Egyptians know is that one day, when they were minding their business, some crazy fucking American showed up, yelled at everyone and shoved them around, knocked things over, and drove a truck through some guy’s house! in the “real world,” i know there’s a few Egyptians among the ranks of those displeased with the West, so can’t imagine what they think in Indy’s world. and for that matter…

“why would anyone in a movie open a fruit stand in a busy city?”

seriously, what a terrible business plan
in this case, i don’t know why onlookers are shocked to see people wreck a fruit stand

all right, fine, it’s an old joke, but these things get destroyed (or at least have someone crash into them) EVERY TIME. later, when fruit shows up, Indiana Jones either drives a truck into it (his standard method of dealing with troubles in Egypt) or Nazis throw it all over the place in a rage. it never ends well … sort of like these posts. or something. because i have no good ending here. that’s the joke. next week we’ll talk about celebrities i look like or something.

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One Response to Raiders Of The Lost Ark: new viewing interpretations

  1. Duane Toole says:

    I posted about the movie “destroy the fruit stand” craze about 5 years ago.

    YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

    The only even vaguely realistic street stands in movies are the magazine stands, except their vendors are always overly intelligent, spouting wisdom. At least, sometimes, they get killed.

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