Given that we're now midway through 2010, it may be a little late to go back and ponder the 2000s. But the release of Robin Hood set me to thinking about one weird trend of our deceased decade. I had all these epic ideas of completely explaining said trend (shades of college -- I will be the undergrad who discovers Shakespeare's Dark Lady!), only to find I'm at a bit of a loss for it. But it's worth talking about, anyway.
And if you're sitting here going "Is she going to talk about Robin Hood? What does that have to do with geekdom?" Well, good readers, folklore and history is full of geeks. It's our spawning pool. Without J.R.R. Tolkien and his love of dead language and desire for an English mythology, you wouldn't have hobbits. Without hobbits, you'd only have Robert E. Howard and his imitators, so it would be a much drier section of the bookstore. Besides, you don't need me to tell you geekdom is a giant hodgepodge of genres and ideas. (I'm sure I've frustrated many by focusing so much on comic books, but I've tried to be a topical columnist, and that's provided the most material. There's only so many vain hopes and misty retrospectives one can do, and this column hasn't lent itself well to either. My failing!)
Now, let me clear one thing up. I'm in the minority of actually really liking Robin Hood. But there's no doubt that it's the latest installment of a very tired and unappealing trend of explaining The Real Story Behind the Story. Again, let me stress I actually liked the movie, and dug Ridley Scott's little tweaks to the story. I've dug through enough dusty books to know Robin has never been one definitive story or figure. The earliest portrayals of him would shock everyone who has complained that Russell Crowe isn't their Robin Hood. But that's a better topic for a Motion History. (Shameless plug. But the online memory is short. I have to be a bit of a hussy!)