Sherlock Holmes had me taking a broken record cabinet out to the curb with the trash tonight.
It's a small fact, probably not worth a whole blog, but when you're a fan, there's this argument people like to use whenever they want to kill a debate without losing. Kind of like that awful "let's just agree to disagree" tripe. (And just for the record, I will never agree to disagree. I will only agree that you don't currently agree with me, but the clock is ticking.) The argument that attempts to quell heated fan debates is simply a downgrading of fandom itself to a less important status. It's the "fandom is just goddamned hobby" philosophy.
Enjoying Sherlock Holmes is not a matter of life and death, one might say. Enjoying Sherlock Holmes has nothing to do with our making a living, putting food on the table, caring about our loved ones, etc., etc., etc. It's just a silly little hobby we use to escape our workaday stresses. All banquets and amusing pastiches and pseudo-scholarship and laughing and toasting and having fun with our friends.
Ah, but there's the rub: having fun with our friends. The key element to any fandom is the relationships it brings between people who might not otherwise have met. And when people become involved with other people . . . well, it isn't all a silly fun place where we can just make light of things when the going gets rough.
Sherlock Holmes is a part of our lives as fans, and I don't know about you, but I consider my life a serious thing (for the most part). I suppose fandom could be just a hobby if you kept all your Sherlockian activities to yourself, and didn't interact with people, true. And while I've used the "it's just a silly hobby" argument myself on occasion, I also know I've treated people shabbily other times as well, roused anger, hurt feelings, and done several other things I seriously feel less than proud of. If I were to just write it all off, simply because it all has some connection to Sherlock Holmes . . . well, I'd hate to be that person. Sherlock Holmes fandom brings us connections with other people that, like it or not, change our lives.
Sherlock Holmes is the reason I live in the house I'm writing this blog from.
Sherlock Holmes was a great part of how I got the job I work at these days.
Sherlock Holmes has gotten me drunk, gotten me kissed, and, thankfully, kept me out of a lot of the troubles that such things can lead to.
And it's not just me, any longtime fan will have stories to tell of the impact being a fan of Sherlock Holmes has had on their lives. Because it brings us together with other people, for better or worse. And if we just think of it as a silly hobby, it becomes too easy not to take responsibility for those relationships.
Tonight, Sherlock Holmes had me carrying a broken record cabinet to the curb for the morning's trash. It was one of the last things I carried out of a certain late Sherlockian's house before I signed the papers to sell it today.
Sometimes being a Sherlockian doesn't feel like being a part of a silly hobby. Sometimes it feels like being a part of the human race, with all the serious baggage, good and bad, that comes with that role.
And I'm really okay with that. I hope to be a bit more responsible about it in the future, but as a very wise man once said, "We can but try."