I've fallen out of love with Indiana Jones

I loved him to death when I was a girl. Raiders of the Lost Ark was a wonder. The poison darts, the idol, the booby traps, the exotic locales, the "archaeology," the hating-the-Nazis, that trick he worked out with the post-with-the-gem-on-top in the map of the city that time...

But, he was somewhat of glorious purpose. Even in his swashbuckling. He was get the baddies. Those people he is above. It belongs in my museum.

I've sort of felt a bit like this for a while now. Tired of movies I'd now classify as "patriarchy movies." Godfather, Conan, all the Vietnam ones, all the cop ones, all the robot ones (yes even Ex Machina), and all that. The gun-y ones I just switch off now.

Yesterday I was at a conference at the V&A, from the Culture in Crisis program, called Heritage and War: Plan and Prepare. Professionals and military personnel talking about their hard work attempting proactive protection but really getting totally left out if IT WAS SERIOUS enough or cleaning up whatever is left after military action. One of the people delivering a short lecture was Dr. Ammar Azzouz, and his eight minutes has stuck in me like a splinter.

He's a Syrian architect from Homs, and an analyst at Arup. In his presentation, he introduced the concept of domicide, the murder of home, as the most painful fallout of war. The other speakers were talking in terms of culturecide and genocide as things that must be defended against (by the attackers or no is it the allies). He showed photographs he'd taken of his home town, Homs, before the war started. It was colourful, with lots of green space and yellow taxis and overflowing markets and people. So different to the war-torn ruins you might have seen more recently. I'm trying to figure out how to read his paper Our Pain, Their Heritage Project which is such a good title you already know what it's about.

Homs / Syria

Dr. Azzouz also highlighted a 2015 article in The Telegraph by Boris Johnson titled We must save Palmyra or the maniacs will raze civilisation and drew our attention to his evocation of glory and how the British could achieve it by saving or helping. I am no expert. It's more of a sentiment. Like, Boris, who exactly are the maniacs? You are one of those internalized imperialists, like, you really, really believe in the British GLORY that will come from saving something in a place where it might get destroyed if the British don't save it. It's no wonder white men think they're the best. It's because they have taught themselves and everyone else they are, either through reinforcement or violence. For ages.

It's just dawned on me that Indy also gets to have the Last Crusade. In it, he searches for the Holy Grail and the soul of his father, stopped at every chance by Kazim (surname unknown/unmentioned), Leader of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword who asks:

Ask yourself, why do you seek the Cup of Christ? Is it for his glory, or for yours? 

 Less glory, please. GRR. Imagine if the Syrians began a campaign to save England from Brexit itself. 

And this is one of those posts where if I looked into the body of research about it all I'd hopefully feel better because there are surely lots of thinkers already sorting out why searches for glory or to be glorious are destructive.