InASense, Lost… Indiana Jones and the Mosh Pit

Let me preface with this:

After seeing this film at !2:01 am on May 22 – I was livid.  I was beyond livid – I was destroyed.  Not only had my nostalgia for “Star Wars” been tainted, but could I wash the taste that was “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” out of my Mt. Dew and Reese’s Pieces dirtied mouth?  (Overall, that’s a pretty disgusting sentence.)

Turns out the answer was, yes: by spending two weeks spewing vitriol wherever my typing fingers would guide me.  I read and forwarded every damning review.  I reveled in the posts that tore any positive commenter a new one.  And it’s true what they say – time heals all wounds.

Well most of them.  With the arrival of said dread film on DVD, I opted to take a second viewing, and too be honest – it wasn’t as bad as I remembered.  Sure the big ones still, well, pulled a candiru for me: the groundhogs, the monkeys, and Mack… but I surely didn’t feel as slighted.  I actually enjoyed Indy and Marion’s reunion this time.

I was going to write this as the first blog in a series I want to call “In Defense Of” (this one would have been “IndyFence Of”), but instead I went with my “InASense, Lost” because it is more like innocence lost.  Check it:

Spielberg and Lucas were younger and more adventurous when the earlier romps for Indy were made.  Also, “The Last Crusade” came out at the end of the living cartoon 80’s films after “Die Hard,” and along with “Batman” and “Lethal Weapon 2.”  The original trilogy was right for the times, capturing the mood and the spirit of its creators. 

To put this in terms from my own life to make a point, I will be referencing my experience with mosh pits.  (If I was geekier, or could even remember how to make geometry proofs, I would do that now.  I’m not sure which precedent is stronger, or if they’re even separate…)

EXAMPLE (A) I’m 22 years old.  It’s my first punk concert – Rancid – at the State Theater in downtown Detroit.  Three of my high school buddies are there.  The show starts, as does the mosh pit.  Having only been to a Debbie Gibson concert prior to this (at Sea World in Florida, no less), I have no hesitation and jump in.  Wailing and spinning and flying bodies.  Fights without fighting; punching without punches.  I get up and body surf a couple of times.  The bouncers throw me around like a rag doll.  I leaned down to tie my shoe in the pit at one point, and a cadre of fellow punkers split the pit open like the Red Sea so I wouldn’t get trampled.  In other words – “Raiders of the Lost Ark” totally.

Flash forward to 1990 and on (for Steve and George, duh): rumors and lies and hopes and dreams exist that make Indy 4 seem like a simultaneous inevitability and impossibility.  Yada yada yada they pull the trigger (or should I say, cracked the whip!  Nah…)  The stars and the Stars align (minus Connery) and success!  It’s done!

But the end result isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  How can this be?

EXAMPLE (B) I’m 32 years old.  It’s my latest punk concert – Say Anything – at St. Andrew’s Hall in downtown Detroit.  I’m with my brother, Scott, and cousin, Steve, and we’ve just left the casino.  (They were 13 and 12 in the first example.)  I won ten bucks and charged all our drinks thus far.  They’ll get mine at the show.  I wonder which arena will end up having the better deal on beer.  While partaking in more drinking before Say Anything’s set, a couple of girls approach Scott.  I assume Steve’s glow-in-the-light monster truck shirt isn’t helping him.  The show and mosh pit begins, and we swarm to it.  I keep thinking I want to go up, but I find that I’m the guy launching people.  I’m the guy controlling the crowd when people drop.  As the show goes on, I finally surf once – over three rows of teens.  Amazingly, the bouncers still throw me around like a rag doll.  I get kicked in the head as much as I did ten years ago.  In other words – “Crystal F-ing Skull.”


  1. Darrell · October 16, 2008

    When I saw the monkey army I was done. This picture was made by the powers that be for one reason… money (look at Spielberg’s fallout at Dreamworks, I think this film gave him the extra do to make it work). They thought all the fans would be happy with a chessy B script, horrible c.g. and a duffis executive’s son as the star. Well… if you purchased this than, they won. They will do again and again until we stop falling for it. I’m to blame as well, I saw it on opening night. Let me say that the hype/return factor on the Valcano Taco was more impressive. Boycott you childhood heroes! If you don’t you’ll end up buying the Explorers remake staring Hanna Montana. You’ll own it, with a fake smile and all. They use us. They use our dreams.

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