When I was a kid, back in history, I remember newspapers being rather unexciting things. Their headlines just presented the basic facts of the story that followed and didn't seem to work all that hard to draw you into the account that followed. They didn't have to, as you didn't have much else to do back then but read the story. Flash forward to today, the internet, and the short attention span. Suddenly we get headlines that aren't just designed to grab you, they're built to make you charge headlong into the words that follow, either with gleeful anticipation or fierce outrage.
Take, for example, this op-ed headline from Flavorwire: "Why Sherlock Holmes Superfans Are Wrong About 'Elementary.'" The piece is basically a non-Holmes fan explaining why Jonny Lee Miller seems like Sherlock Holmes to her, even though he doesn't to her friend, the actual Sherlock Holmes fan. The headline, however, pulls one in by declaring the "superfans" wrong as a class. Which leads us to a fun new game in our own little debates on the series (all voices to be read in a French accent, just for fun):
"No, my friend, your Sherlock Holmes collection has far more books than mine! You are the true Sherlockian superfan, and therefore wrong about Elementary!"
"Ah, but you blog non-stop, the real hallmark of a superfan! It is you who are wrong about Elementary!"
"No, no, you are speaking at the U of M conference in August! My meager status of 'fan' does not come close to your superior Sherlock Holmes knowledge! How sorry I am that your superfan status invalidates your opinions on televised entertainments."
"But just yesterday, you quickly corrected my hideous error in stating that Killer Evans appeared in 'The Three Gables!' Your mighty Sherlockian brain can only be that of a superfan, and thus sadly mistaken on all things transmitted via video!"
And on and on it goes, with only the most innocent of "crimes" Sherlockian left to opine.
Ah, but that's not my favorite headline.
The Guardian favors us with "Why Elementary is far more than a Sherlock Holmes pastiche."
More. . . than . . . a . . . Sherlock . . . Holmes . . . pastiche.
After a century of pastiches, stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and yet among the original sixty, this announcement of a saga rises above pastiche . . . well, that's . . . that's . . . well, that's worthy of several . . . ellipses of sheer amazement. The article itself seems to consider Elementary a major step for the advancement of women in our culture. But the concept the headline raises is something even more important: a work featuring a character called "Sherlock Holmes" which finally rises above mere pastiche.
Rising above pastiche, to the level of Canon? Would that mean we've come full circle, and the cycle of Sherlock can now be complete? Our is it something even more transcendent? Something which will attract the finest minds and, like a Zen koan, raise them to ultimate enlightenment as they fixate their meditations upon it over the course of a season.
That would explain a lot.
But the world of internet headlines must just be a bit more grand and glorious than the world upon which it reports. Of course, just in case I turn out to be a superfan, let me say this: I might be wrong.