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Alt Text: A Sober Warning About Indiana Jones' Fedora

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Old 05-21-2008
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Alt Text: A Sober Warning About Indiana Jones' Fedora
I'm jazzed to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but my anticipation is dimmed somewhat by the inevitable ensuing upturn in fedora sales. When I go to San Diego Comic-Con this July, I fully expect to see fedoras popping up like mushrooms on the damp lawn of fandom.
It's not the cosplayers that I'm concerned with -- at least they're aware they're playing dress up. It's the folks who say, "Wow, that hat looks so good on Indy, I'm sure it will look just as good with my pre-faded ColecoVision T-shirt."
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I hear the Motion Picture Association of America is now rating movies higher on the adultitude scale if they feature smoking, on the grounds that onscreen cigarette puffing influences people to take up the habit themselves. While I think movie fedoras have the same effect, I'm not calling for anything that drastic. I think a disclaimer in 5-foot-tall letters at the beginning of the movie would be fine.
Something like:
"WARNING: Indiana Jones is a fictional character. His movies are all set decades ago. He is more physically attractive than 98 percent of humanity. These are all reasons you should not attempt to dress like him."
See how much that would benefit humanity (except for the hat-selling portion of humanity)?
That's not the only sartorial tragedy that could be prevented by a stern warning at the beginning of a Hollywood blockbuster. For instance:
"WARNING: This movie is set in a magical land with soaring dragons, powerful, reality-warping wizards and people who can wear hooded cloaks without looking like complete dorks. None of these things exist in real life."
"WARNING: In this movie, black, ankle-length dusters make the main characters look mysterious. If you wear one to the local 7-Eleven, the only mystery will be whether you think you know karate but don't, or whether you think you know kung fu but don't."
"WARNING: The extremely cool facial hair styles the bad guys have in this movie, if worn by someone with a body mass index over 30, will make that person look like a '40s-era hotel clerk."
Come to think of it, fashion choices aren't the only problem. Lots of movies are fine in the theater, but have an unfortunate tendency to leak all over the real world. My solution: more warnings.
"WARNING: A character in this comedy talks about sex a lot in a funny accent. This guarantees that most of the people who see it will immediately start quoting it in a poor imitation of the accent. This will become incredibly tiresome before you even get to the car."
"WARNING: This movie contains punch lines. If you repeat these punch lines to people who have already seen the movie, they may laugh. Do not take this as a sign that you, yourself, are funny. This will only lead to disappointment and, in extreme cases, dismemberment."
"WARNING: This movie takes place in space. This means that it will be unrealistic in about 500 different ways. While we encourage you to debate this in online forums, because such chatter translates into merchandise sales via some mechanism we don't fully understand, we are obliged to caution you that most people you encounter will tune you out for the rest of your life once you use the phrase inertial compensators."
"WARNING: Yes, we know many of you want to have sex with one or more actresses in this movie. That's why we put them in the film. Declaring that you would be willing to sleep with them establishes nothing but your sexual orientation, and declaring that you would not be willing to sleep with them establishes nothing but your capacity for self-delusion."
"WARNING: The key lines from this movie will soon be attached to pictures of adorable kitties. You will find this inexplicably funny, and this fact will make you hate yourself."
- - -
Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to prefer facial hair that makes one look like a '90s-era maniac.

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