There is a new trend hitting the proverbial bull’s-eye of today’s pop culture. People are turning their interest away from bombs, guns, knives and even super humans, focusing instead on the simple ancient weapon of the bow and arrow.
What is the cause of this new-found interest? The media, of course. Archery is everywhere, from books to video games, thus making it the new “it” sport.
Whether it is Disney’s foxy “Robin Hood,” “Legend of Zelda’s Link,” or “Lord of the Rings’” long-haired Legolas, archery has been around in the media for quite a while, so why this sudden new fame among the masses?
Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy may be the answer to that particular riddle. Collins made archery cool by putting the weapon of choice into the hands of a teenage girl and placing her novel in a futuristic world, both of which allowed younger audiences to recognize that archery is not just for medieval guys in leggings.
And, Collins’ success is further supported by the fact that replicas of her heroine Katniss’ bow and arrow have been selling at a rapid rate online.
Personally, I expect to see a lot of Katniss Everdeens this Halloween.
Shooting into film
Hollywood has especially been promoting the archery trend with its release of at least four bow-slinging films in the last few months. However, what is even more interesting than this sudden release of arrow films is the fact that they cover a wide range of genres.
There’s the family friendly “Brave,” the futuristic “Hunger Games,” the action-packed “Avengers” and the fantasy romance “Snow White and the Huntsman,” not to mention the premiere of “The Hobbit” coming up in November of this year.
Sporting goods stores are catching on to teens’ eagerness for archery and are even catering to our whims by mixing marksmanship with the other pop culture phenomenon — zombies. Not only are there traditional human zombie targets available, but they also have zombie deer targets. Although, if anyone is thinking of getting one of these targets remember that only a head shot will kill the undead.
Even the area school districts are catching on to their teens’ bow-happy attitudes. At the Weber District Environmental Center, managers have established an archery range, which allows the students to attempt to be just like their idols.
Although, sadly, schools will not be creating an archery gym class, we can always cross our fingers and hope that one day school districts will live down their extreme weapons paranoia.
Utah is especially feeling inclined to this particular bow and arrow competition due to the fact that Ogden also hosted the Archery World Cup in June, with male and female archers from 30 countries around the world participating.
There are even reports that archery will have received more than double the usual attention during this year’s London Olympics. The current Olympic archers are even hopeful that those teens who are currently inspired by the bow’s prominent position in pop culture will continue on to become the next generation’s best shots.
Just remember archery, like any other sport, is difficult to master and takes practice, so at the beginning don’t feel disappointed at missing the target but do feel free to yell when the bowstring bruises your arm.
And remember, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
Madison Ostberg will be a senior at Bonneville High School. Email her at email@example.com.