We live in an age when income inequality seems to be an ever-growing issue. Yes, yes, there have always been the rich and the poor. And that subject is far too real-world for a Sherlock Holmes fan blog despite the rich-fan, poor-fan parts of our culture that we overlook in favor of the common playing field that fandom gives us.
And then there's the wealth of Sherlock Holmes we all share these days.
In this month of networks rolling out all their latest and greatest television shows, anyone who doesn't shun the video medium entirely is finding their time filling up with exciting new entertainment possibilities. I used to be pretty good at TV trivia . . . an expertise that ends exactly at the time three networks began to explode into first hundreds via cable, then thousands via the internet.
Publishing has had a similar explosion, going from major publishing houses to print-on-demand to e-books, making it practically impossible to keep up with all the Sherlock out there. In the time it takes you to read one book of Holmes pastiches, three more seem to be published, not counting all of the tales of Holmes that newly appear for internet readers every single day.
None of this is new data, none of this is blogworthy data. But here's what I wonder about it all, given current trends . . . . as the middle classes lose more buying ability will we see fewer collectors and a relatively smaller number of folks able to travel to the pricier events? There have always been some remarkable and notable Sherlockians who've been short on funds but making a big impact, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of those.
Because, thanks to the internet, it's very easy to be rich in Sherlock Holmes these days, no matter how small one's budget for actual hardcover books.