Pascal Derrien

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Robbing Hood and the Grand Illusion

Robbing Hood and the Grand Illusion

Years ago when I was still working for Microsoft I went to the famous forest of Sherwood in the UK with my team to a corporate retreat/ strategy/BS EMEA all Hands. I am not going to bore you with the content of the meetings which I have completely forgotten and erased from my memory but I fondly remember quite a few early morning runs and enjoying some evening discussions with the colleagues. 

One discussion in particular retained my attention, a lengthy debate about Robin Hood, this probably because we were staying in the area where his exploits and legend are held in high (commercial) esteem. 

Call me naive but Robin Hood for people from my generation was a big icon, I loved the film, no not the one with Russell Crowe I know I look younger than my age thank you very much but I am referring to the one with Errol Flynn. I was fascinated by the story describing his encounter with the Nottingham Sheriff, I was impressed by his prowess and archery skills but I think for the 10 year old in me it was more than that it became my 101 on Social Justice. 

When one of my colleagues who happened to live locally brought some doubt about the historicity of the dude I did not understand how come his legend could come under such scrutiny. Later in the discussion I could not object nor argument that whether it referred to medieval times varying from early 1200 up to anything in the 1450's there was a huge amount of legends, songs and other testimonies about the hero wearing tights but there were absolutely no facts. I went to bed depicted and horrified, my world had collapsed, the bad had beaten the good and my hero had probably never existed. All I was left with was Robin Of Falsehood. 

As I turned to my birth country for re-assurance I found out that ''Le Mensonge'' a brilliant play who had a fair bit of success in Paris was a fictional play based on not one single true fact either. So much for raising my sprits hey !!. With that my universe and my faith in humanity disintegrated at a fast pace, it took me a while to recover, I was shocked and in disarray none the less that got me thinking. 

But too many thoughts and too many words sprang to a mind who was congested with doubt. Forming a large brain wave a few considerations began to surf on top of each other:  propaganda, religion, disillusion, politics, novels, newspaper , fiction, reality TV, social media outlets, art, etc etc etc .... A vast battlefield of data where accuracy is edited, where every single bit of news is subject to interpretation, where facts are fighting their corner before they get swallowed by the 24/7 manipulation locomotives.

The conspiracy theorists always very prompt to spit the venom of the truth clash with the sincere who get shaken and confused with the on ongoing hostilities and sometimes skirmishes come to blow on a global scale. Not rare either that fantasized shams get verified by make believe auditors. But who cares? It seems to me that it does not matter anymore, story telling is the new king. It's secondary that what you say is rubbish however it's really important that you connect with a perjured audience because it is paramount for your view count. 

Seekers of the truth sometimes look for tribunals to establish the absolute verity, a holy sanctuary where we expect supreme principles to hold their value. There you can often witness a ''he says she says'' shenanigans where protagonists swear on a book which for some is only a huge pile of unverified facts. 

Listen, long before the term fake news became fashionable we already had a long list of collective and institutional lies. They were enormous and most of them proved to be life changing events for many of us. They influenced so many lives and shattered so many beliefs. Do you remember the fatal day when you made the unbelievable discovery that Santa Claus and before him the Easter Bunny were all but pure invention. 

We should have seen it coming, there were warning signs. You and I should have known better when at a younger age the tooth fairy too ceased to be real. But people forget and most of us choose to keep on believing even though it was clear  the adult world was based on a big fat illusion.

Pinocchio says that reading this article is like using a Kleenex, it does serve a momentary purpose (at a push) and then people will (rightly) forget it 

Now let's all pretend there is a bit of truth in that ;-)


People & Stuff

Photo Credit

Nottingham Council


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Written Material Copyright 2017 -Pascal Derrien- 

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Oh, I see and I can understand the financial drain, especially when adults lose their teeth even a third time. I wonder what she thinks about implants. 😀

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #47

My 10-year-old is naive but not so much. :-)

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #46

He is naive, but not so much. :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #45

thanks Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador yes I know it is hard to take but you got to understand it is a difficult business for her , I had a chat with her the other day and she told me that she was OK to do the job when the humans were small children but then she realized the humans were loosing their teeth a second time when they were getting older so she decided to give up, not economically viable for her.... :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #44

Devesh \ud83d\udc1d Bhatt Yes I think you are probably right there :-)

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #43

i thought good societal myths eventually got institutionalised.

The tooth fairy is not real! C'mon, Pascal, tell me it isn't so. Great post, my friend.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #41

it would be nice indeed to able to rectify and edit this article hopefully it will happen @Julio Angel \ud83d\udc1dLopez Lopez 😀

Julio Angel 🐝Lopez Lopez

4 years ago #40

There are stories and stories. Before 1870 Troy was a great tale. Toponymic archeology studies the relationship of names and facts. I hope news comes about the Sherwood Forest or Nottingham Forest. Surely you would like to correct this article. Greetings is always a pleasure to read to you Pascal Derrien

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #39

And tell Paul \ to bring his cross-staff -- for he appears a perfect Little John. Cheers!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #38

glad you said so indeed I forgot the 1976 version a good one let me get my arrows and I will get back to you 😀

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #37

First of all, Pascal Derrien, I object to overlooking the best of all movies about Robin Hood, namely, "Robin and Marian", 1976, starring Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw and a blockbuster supporting cast. Second, I'd like to suggest that societal myths are different from institutional lies. Myths inspire and actually improve life by bringing guidance and hope to the individuals in a society. Institutional lies are used basically to manipulate and subjugate the population. In the case of the Robin Hood myth, it inspires, IMO, rebellious resistance to the overbearing corruption of unrepresentative government. And it was, BTW, one of the favorites of those in the U.S. who eventually toppled a POTUS and brought an end to the pointless U.S. military adventurism is Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Just sayin', my friend. Cheers!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #36

ah ah :-) thanks Martin Wright for this :-)

Martin Wright

4 years ago #35

Alan Hale, who played Little John in the Errol Flynn version of Robin Hood also starred i. The 1922 version with Douglas Fairbanks.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #34

thanks Deidr\u00e9 Wallace a great quote indeed :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #33

Charisma oral traditions and ancestral legends are all very important components of the learning process but so has been manipulation for some who have mastered the art of misguidance there is no perfect answer to your thoughts I think we just need to be vigilant 😀 #43

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #32

Don't worry Santa will get you an Easter egg Lada #42

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #31

The naive 10-year-old in me still believes. :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #30

thanks Aaron \ud83d\udc1d Skogen for the kind words you are making the right distinction between the good and the other stories to all the mountaineers then 😀

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #29

#36 Antoinette Capasso-Backdahl deadly family accounts I am glad you rectified the geographic and historical mistake has Robin Hood ever had a game of darts with Musso ?

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #28

thanks Ken Boddie for shedding some lite on the way forward 👶

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #27

Robin Hood was a flawed concept anyway, Pascal ..... a mere vagabond middle man. We need to teach our kids to pay it forward and to give back to the community from which we've benefitted. Then, only when we've bred a culture of philanthropists, can we talk to future generations of Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #26

#31 win Chas \u270c\ufe0f Wyatt :) Glad my dad hadn't though of those!!!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #25

#28 Well, top this one then guys; my dad made me read The Hobbit then the entire trilogy of Lord of the Rings at an age-inappropriate time...I was 6. The ensuing Q&A meant I had to re-read them at age 10.....much better! Any bats in your belfry, Chas \u270c\ufe0f Wyatt? :)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #24

thanks Chas \u270c\ufe0f Wyatt for sharing that piece of your story which I completely believe in I swear honest to god (which I don't believe in) :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #23

thanks Lisa Vanderburg yes I saw the sword too in Disney Land Paris so ti must be true !!! I know my two have not moved yet into teenage territory but gosh the eldest was not impressed to find out about the tooth fairy but now he is part of the plot when it comes to his little sister ..... :-)

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #22 cannot be Pascal Derrien! I stayed in Tintagel Castle and saw Arthur's round table, but it was soon crushed by a very flamboyant artist who had stuck fake butterflies on all his 15 x 30 foot paintings and then tried to sell us one. I must say I had my suspicions about Robin. I mean, ain't it harder to make tights than pants?? I wrote a poem for my new grand daughter about making the most of magical imaginings while you can, because we all live in another world as children and enchantment has a natural place there. But I also remember the time when two small boys stood by my bedside with a box of teeth in their hands...taken from the back of my drawer :( Even adults need to imagine: both in the good and the bad - look at the Catholic system of buying 'indulgences' to get to heaven (the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567, but you can bet you bee-hind they continued longer than that). We need story-tellers like you; our world is far too drab without them. Keep 'em coming my friend!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #21

Lisa Vanderburg mentioned arrows to me a few days ago and I ending up writing this one, credit to you Lisa for triggering the process :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #20

actually Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher your point about self responsibility resonates with me, it is too easy to abdicate in front of the fake news brigade :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #19

Thanks Bill Stankiewicz, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador articles :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #18

cheers Debasish Majumder always good to have your seal of approval :-)

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #17

Let me try this again since I had a typo: Sheez, I still believe in Santa Claus ;-) As for the news, well it's up to the consumer to do their homework. I guess there is a difference in news being stretched vs. news being 100% factually wrong. Facebook found this out the hard way after "certain" paid for advertisements which were 100% factually false. My theory, fact check sources... if you can't find facts to back up 'news' that appears real, don't spread it. We may end up having kids go to bed waiting for the big turkey at Thanksgiving to deliver goods to them.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #16

Sheez, I still believe in Santa Claus ;-) As for the news, well it's up to the consumer to do their homework. I guess there is a difference in news being stretched vs. news being 100% factually wrong. Facebook found this out the hard way after paid "certain" for advertisements which were 100% factually false. My theory, fact check sources... if you can't find facts to back up 'news' that appears real, don't spread it. We may end up having kids go to bed waiting for the big turkey at Thanksgiving to deliver goods to them.

Pascal does awarding winning articles. Keep them coming my friend, thx Milos for sharing

Debasish Majumder

4 years ago #14

lovely insight Pascal Derrien! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the share.

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #13

Thank you, Pascal, for sharing your unique perspective on truth and lies. You're right about so-called fake news, which has been around since the invention of the printing press in America and well before that in other cultures. However, at the risk of playing "devil's advocate" what's wrong with some "white lies" about Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy, for example, if they serve a positive purpose by enhancing imagination and wonder for kids? I suppose this lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #12

yes I get your point from an aspiration standpoint they can be useful :-) thanks for reading and providing supplemental info too Yolanda

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #11

thanks Kevin Baker this is indeed pretty cruel in its own way, the worse part being having to accept that this was normal & not twisted by any means or form ? :-)

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #10

The way I understand it if you read it online it has to be true. There is a truth algorithm that traps untruth😀 Besides my bartender confirmed it

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #9

and I don't even drink Harvey Lloyd :-) thanks for your input a lot of food for thought and that's true :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #8

thanks Kevin Pashuk I am so sorry for being a bearer of bad news about Santa :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #7

thanks Joanne Gardocki for reading the truth and the value of the truth is a complex kaleidoscope :-)

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #6

I began to read in agreement with 90% of your thoughts and 100% of the context (Didn't want to give perfect score less I join the illusion But in review most of points that reflect the illusion are points made by another that were passed down from another. Creating the mirror that looks at another This would imply that truth is a personal choice that involves a specific truth. A truth that "you" can stand on and find purpose. Robin Hood maybe mythical but the values presented survived for centuries. This must imply a synchronous truth just through its survival. There is but one truth. The one that causes love of wife children and friends The rest is mere philosophy and suitable for a Good drinking conversation

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #5

Are you saying that Santa isn't real!!???? Seriously, life is full of fables that have been elevated to the status of facts. While fables are useful to teach concepts (such as social justice), they should be enjoyed as such and not treated as truth. Until they are, then sites like have plenty of fodder. Ultimately, we need to teach our kids to think, to reason, and to question. While there are indeed some absolute truths in the world, there aren't quite as many as people think.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #4

the imperial one :-)

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #3

we as in you and i or we as in generally we.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #2

Yes we are very ambivalent around the whole thing maybe that's why we are so fond of Pinochio :-) Devesh \ud83d\udc1d Bhatt

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #1

Facts are the enemy of truth.(ccp quote :) Lies are a great source of learning. As lies, as a revelation of being a lie, as a trigger to seek the truth. Eventually, for society, truth is a convenient destroyer of a redundant lie. Useful lies continue and flourish, some do for centuries. Sustainable lies always have an element of truth in them.

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