When writing this blog from week to week or day to day, I suffer from being completely delusional. Even though it's published in that very public area we call the internet, my delusion is that I'm writing to a friend. One individual who shares my love of Sherlock Holmes and pretty much gets where I'm coming from on the guy (or girl, if we come to that). Occasionally in the past, reading things that pop up in the comment section has shattered that delusion. A comment turns up from someone who plainly didn't catch my drift, or worse yet, takes words that I was sure meant one thing and turns them into something completely different. At which point I have to wonder about my imaginary one reader.
So, a little while back, I decided to try to connect with that person I'm writing this for, and see what he/she really thinks. I put out a little survey of ten questions.
And here is what my one reader told me, through many voices.
My one reader overwhelmingly is mad about the original sixty stories of Sherlock Holmes, and when not mad, likes them a whole lot. Not too big of a surprise there.
I was curious about that same reader's view of the Robert Downey, Jr. movie version of Sherlock, and found said reader to be all over the map, opinion-wise, trending slightly toward the positive, but still, loving them one moment and hating them the next. If there's a third movie in the series, I think Guy Ritchie and company have their work cut out for them winning my friend over completely.
Now, when it came to Benedict Cumberbatch, that one reader of mine seriously thought B.C. stood out among Sherlocks we've known, and was very strongly thinking he was the best one ever. The word "repulsive" never came up in a single response.
As for that other TV chap, "Mr. Elementary" as I like to call him, well . . . this blog may have skewed my friend's response a little, but that was to be expected. A quarter of the time, my one reader did use the word "repulsive," and at the other end of the spectrum, never used the phrase "my favorite Sherlock Holmes ever!" a single time. "Fun to watch" was heard as much as "repulsive," though, so my reader is of two minds on Mr. Miller . . . though neither of those minds gets too excited about him, only considering him a standout Holmes once or twice.
That "two minds" attitude was strongly reflected when I asked how my one reader felt about "anything and everything that has to do with Sherlock Holmes." "There's good and there's bad," was the overwhelming response, but there was a lot more happy scattered across the spectrum of those two minds that unhappy. My one reader is a Sherlock Holmes fan, after all, so that's to be expected.
Thankfully, my audience of one wanted a blog that was honest about Sherlockian matters, but more considerate than brutal in its wording. (Though apparently there is a time and place for brutal more than just me being nice.) My friend favored a daily blog, but would accept weekly or whenever, which I thought was nice of them. Comment moderation was encouraged.
That one blog reader that I write for feels like they've been involved with other Sherlockians for less than ten years, but half the time feels like it's been anywhere from eleven to forty-nine years. I can relate to that, as I do feel quite young in the field myself . . . until those moments when I feel ancient.
When asked who the greatest Sherlock Holmes fan in the history of Sherlock Holmes fans was, my friend kept throwing out name after name and seemed like they just couldn't decide. In the end, my favorite thing they said was "I don't really think that there is a greatest fan." (Other thoughts on the matter to come up in a future blog.)
Personally, though, I think that one hypothetical reader I write this for is the greatest fan of Sherlock Holmes in the history of Sherlock Holmes fans, but I might be a bit biassed.
And actually, quite appreciative that I have any readers at all.
Thanks for being my one reader.