Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Robin Hood - Standing Up Against the Man

Seeing as I'm in a bit of a British TV Invasion, Netflix decided I would like another of BBC's shows, Robin Hood. It's true I do enjoy it, but only as much as I can while I'm waiting to watch the next available season of Doctor Who (my true British TV love). Still, it got me thinking.

Robin of Locksley was one of the most popular figures to speak truth to power.  He wasn't a god or even a demigod.  In some stories, he was only a commoner.  In others he was an aristocrat whose lands were wrongfully taken from him.  In either case, he stood up against unjust laws and the lawmen who created and enforced them.  He did this on behalf of the poor and the dispossessed.  In short, he stood, and continues to stand as a symbol for the average person.  The legend implies that his culture, his experience in the crusades, really made Robin into the champion he came to be. 

We all know that in desperate times, where a system or an individual uses force or other unsavory methods of maintaining the horrifying status quo, the powers that be end up creating their own demise.  This often means the powers that be will often facilitate the very circumstances that are so dire they end up providing the tools and passion for a person or an organization to revolt.

There are a few situations where this has happened that I can think of off the top of my head.  First is the American Revolution.  The second thought I had was Algeria. Then I thought of Eastern Europe in the 1980s. This was followed quickly by Afghanistan.  Of course there are many other examples that might pop into one's mind - individuals like Stephen Biko or Mahatma Gandhi.  However these people, these revolutions were built in desperate times. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The problem is, what if there are no desperate circumstances? What if the world is only somewhat bad, apparently?  Appearances can be deceiving, but if things are comfortable seeming enough, those with the ability to make changes won't take action. How do you make people feel things? We can't have someone swoop in sporting a bow and a quiver of arrows taking down Wall Street, or Fox, or Monsanto, or the Maricopa County Sheriff's office.  It just doesn't work like that.  So the question is, what do we do? When there are people who are in pain, just not right in front of our eyes, what do we do? When do we take action? And how? Are we Maid Marion working in the system like BBC would have us believe, or do we scale the walls and publicly humiliate the Sheriff in his castle?

What do you think?

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