Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Loving things that suck.


Today’s blog is a public service for those Sherlockians out there who have suddenly found themselves enjoying poor quality Sherlock for the first time. Being regular consumers of a high quality brand name like that of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlockians sometimes get the notion that they are connoisseurs of finer things, and that their love for Sherlock Holmes equates to good taste in all things . . . especially with the Sherlock label.

But here’s the God’s honest truth: all of us . . . every single one . . . is going to love something that sucks now and then. I can’t even count the movies I’ve loved that no one else of my acquaintance ever seemed to find happiness in. (Did you even hear of the 1994 big screen release of Car 54 Where Are You?)  That’s how you know your love is true: When there’s a big smile on your face and a warm spot in your heart, whilst all around you boo and jeer . . . that’s when you’ve found your sweet spot.

But if you’ve never loved anything that was just a horrible example of its species, well, suddenly having the crowd turn on you can be a shock. An attack on that thing you love seems like an attack on you. Take this recent adaptation of interchanges I’ve seen on the Sherlockian web:

“This writer says that Elementary is a horrible Sherlock Holmes show!”

“Oh, yeah, well that writer is a doody-head!”

Yes, the ad hominum argument – the first sign you’ve hit a nerve in the person who loves something that sucks.

It’s hard to love something that sucks. You may feel alone, rejected . . . even kinda stupid. But we don’t all like the same things. And sometimes, little camper, you’re going to be in the minority, especially if something deep in your heart decides to go against reason and logic . . . which happens a lot.

Let’s try that conversation a different way:

“This writer says that Elementary is a really horrible Sherlock Holmes show! And it is! Really!”

“Yeah? Well, I like it. I think it’s GRRRREEAAATT!”

See the difference? Instead of starting a fight, this time the second speaker stood up for their position and went a little silly doing a Tony the Tiger impression. Who doesn’t like Tony the Tiger? Suddenly, instead of thinking about your beloved TV show and how much it sucks, speaker one is thinking, “I like Tony the Tiger!” and by association, they have positive feelings about you and your awful TV show.

It’s okay to like something that sucks. It really is. Everything you like in life isn’t going to be of the first quality, even in the land of Sherlock Holmes. But if it makes you happy, that’s the important thing. And if writing about how much that same thing sucks (an activity which kinda sucks) makes someone else happy, that’s their thing. It’s a big, big world.

But on February 3, 2013, in the hour past the Super Bowl, we all get to come together on Twitter and celebrate the real Sherlock Holmes under an #ELEMENTARY hashtag. Both people who like things that suck and people who like other things that suck. Even if you’re not on Twitter currently, you’ve got three or four months to figure it out. This could potentially be the greatest worldwide gathering of Sherlock Holmes fans in one venue ever. And guess what? That would not suck at all.

1 comment:

  1. One can only admire your rhetorical skills. You insult a group of people (sucky-thing lovers i.e. "Elementary" fans) by sympathizing ("Hey, I've also loved sucky things.") Of course, if asked you would no doubt say that, yes "Car 54" wasn't good, but that you liked the relationship between David Johansen and John C. McGinley, or that there were some jokes you thought worked or scenes that were well done or that you love anything Fran Drescher is in. In fact, I believe you would be able to articulate just why you liked it and why, in fact, it doesn't suck--to you.

    You deny the fans of "Elementary" that ability. Your example--the best that they can do is call someone a "doody-head". You don't believe that there are any reasons they could marshal in the show's defense because you believe the show sucks in an objective, not subjective, way. The best that "Elementary" fans can do, according to you, is to delude themselves ("Suddenly, instead of thinking about your beloved TV show and how much it sucks, speaker one is thinking, “I like Tony the Tiger!” and by association, they have positive feelings about you and your awful TV show."). You're right, it is a big, big world. Someone can enjoy "Elementary" and someone can enjoy insulting those people. Live and let live.

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