About Sherlock Holmes and Worthy Sacrifice
There’s about twenty or fifty people that made me want to be a writer. I’d definitely count Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among that number, the creator of Sherlock Frigging Holmes. We can talk about history or how he changed the genre or whatever, but I’m coming at it maybe a little different, asking what makes this character so enduring and awesome, able to cross into movies and TV and whatever the hell else you want to put him in. The BBC’s Sherlock was clever enough to be a fitting homage. I’ll admit to even watching Elementary on American NETWORK TELEVISION! despite the fact that I’m a pretentious snobby windbag. It’s procedural, but hey, the crimes are clever.
Anyway, why do we like this guy? The obvious answer is, “Because he solves frigging crimes. He’s the best at it, and he’s a master of deduction. Like 33 degree-Freemason-level of that shiz.”
That’s a good answer, but I don’t think it’s complete. Sherlock is a weirdo. Myopic. Inconsiderate. Not particularly pleasant, although he seems to get less and less affable with every new rendering. Doesn’t matter. It makes sense. When everyone else is out there trying to earn social points, he’s studying the latest in Bangladesh tobacco or whatever. The dude is straight obsessed with being able to figure out what no one else can, and he doesn’t just rely on his wildly superior intellect.
This is why his utter lack of manners actually helps the character. It informs us how much time he spends inside Baker Street in his underwear, reading the latest botany studies in Scientific American. In other words, he earns his wins. They cost him pretty much everything, save the companionship of noble Watson, and really, I believe the good doctor is only there to cleverly guide us regular humans into this obsessed genius’ world. Also, to provide a lovely juxtaposition.
I think it’s noteworthy to note a correlation on how much Holmes works for his ends and the amount he’s lasted through the ages. People want to feel like their efforts are worth something. Sherlock is a fantasy, sure, but he’s an offering of hope. Yeah, most likely we’ll never be masters of deduction, but our sacrifices can matter and, at times, set us apart.
Cheers and see you after.