Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Take on Indy

A couple of weeks back my husband and I snagged a showing of the new Indiana Jones movie. We thought it was fun and campy, perfect for a summer movie. I was distressed, however, by one thing and I want to try my theory out on the RLR gang.

Without giving away the plot I can reveal that the object of Indy's adventures (the crystal skull) is not a biblical artifact as in the three previous films, but is . . . alien related? Are you kidding me? I've been pondering why this might be and my theory is that Lucas and Spielberg don't think this generation (at least 25 year olds and under) would "get" biblical references or recognize a biblical artifact.

If my theory is correct, what does this mean for the next generation of lawyers? After all, given the Judeo-Christian heritage of our nation, the law has grown up replete with biblical references. For example: "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Cain and Abel); "he/she is such a Judas" (Judas selling Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver); "a David and Goliath confrontation" (I Samuel 17); "she is a Jezebel" (I Kings 17-21 and 2 Kings 9). Each one of these references is from a westlaw "all feds" search. I can just see it now, students googling "jezebel" in the middle of class so they can understand what the defendant is saying about the plaintiff.

Back to Indy, click here for a great tale about the famous sword v. gun scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark (scroll down to sword scene #1). It just goes to show how random movie magic can be!


Wiwi W said...

nice blog:)

wiwi w

Jim Chen said...


Your cultural assessment is (sadly) correct. The handwriting is on the wall. Daniel 5:1-31. And as for Jezebel, there most certainly is a contemporary point of reference. But it isn't the evil queen whose body was left to be eaten by dogs.

Sigh. Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

Best wishes,
Jim Chen

Alison M. Kilmartin said...

I remembered another reference often heard in the law that has biblical roots: making a "solomonic" decision. As you recall, Solomon decided to split the baby in two in order to reveal who the true mother was.

I agree with you, Dean Chen, it is very sad. But, those of us who know the stories can only do our best to pass them along. In fact, I worked in a judge's chambers last summer and told such interesting stories out of Judges that one of the clerks decided to read the whole book. So many great stories in Judges, from Deborah to Samson to the Benjamites who couldn't get wives so they raided a dance, threw the ladies over their shoulders, and carried them off to their marriage beds! That last story is in Judges 21:20-23.

Judges, those were the years when the people continually "did evil in the eyes of the Lord," and He kept appointing judges to bail them out.