November 27th, 2008

The unfortunate Uzzah’s encounter with the Ark of the Covenant reminds me of a purple passage in Barack Obama’s victory speech on election night:

We are, and always will be, the United States of America. It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

What I first heard was:

… put their hands on the Ark of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

Can you have a bendy Ark? You can find model Arks for sale on the Web, many but not all spinoffs from the Indiana Jones movie. Here’s an example:


I couldn’t however find a bendy one, even as a toy. And quite right too. The Indiana Jones plot is of course tongue-in-cheek tosh but in one detail it’s sound. The bad guys, Dr Belloq and Major Toht, try to exploit the Ark, to bend it to their human desires. They find like Uzzah that this is lethally dangerous. The Ark of conscience bends us instead. And the better day it promises is not necessarily ours.

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