In the tradition of Randall Munroe’s “Died in a blogging accident” I’ve embarked on a brief Googling experiment to document the snowclone “The Indiana Jones of ______.” You’ve seen it before, no doubt. Journalists adore labeling people the Indiana Joneses of their disciplines, I suppose because it makes things sound more exciting than they actually are. The experiment turned up more than I expected, though: 1,300,000 search results (0.12 seconds). Admittedly there is some repetition (and even a few references to Indy himself) but still, there are a lot of Joneses to keep up with. First result: Chris McKay, the “Indiana Jones of NASA.” Second: Mark Moffett, the “Indiana Jones of Ants.” (Moffett also comes well-recommended by Margaret Atwood, which certainly perks up my interest. Maybe I will check out his book. ) Third: Ron Wyatt, the Indiana Jones of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. (And one of the few people on the list who’s actually an archaeologist of sorts.) Exactly how Google ordered this particular hierarchy would be interesting to know in and of itself.
What else is there? You name it. There are, apparently, Indiana Joneses of knitting, photography, alternative energy, finance, rabbis, botany, the internet, fishing, and paper. Exactly what makes one the Indiana Jones of knitting I’m not sure, but there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. (Unfortunately I found no Indiana Joneses of quilting or cartooning. It’s time someone picked up the slack there.)
And if you ever wondered, the Indiana Jones of Shakespeare is Pericles.