Ah, we would just like the world to be simple, wouldn't we?
A fellow in the same position of Sherlock Holmes's sometime client back in the day, the Pope, came out against the concept of gender choice this week. Meanwhile, on this month's Three Patch Podcast, we got an episode called "221B Pride," which displays a dizzying array of the kind of thoughts such folk preferring a simpler worldview would like to dismiss offhand.
But the world can definitely be a little more complex than we'd like sometimes.
Listening to this month's Three Patch Podcast might come easy to the younger, more-active-in-fanfic culture, portions of our Sherlockian world. To those of us raised in a more distant decade, in what we'd like to think of as simpler times, a lot of what's covered can occasionally be a little hard to wrap one's head around. And at such moments, the question "What does all this have to do with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson?" can definitely arise. And it should.
Because when something doesn't fit into our neat, orderly view of the world, it means it's time to start figuring things out. What are we missing? What aren't we seeing? In the Victorian world of Sherlock Holmes, you had someone to call upon when that happened.
And his name was Sherlock Holmes.
Perhaps we aren't dealing with demon hounds, mysterious children on the roof who kill people with thorns, or missing boyfriends of near-sighted girls. No, but we're still trying to figure out our place in a world that is as mysterious as it ever was to those not willing to accept the first theory presented to them, like the men of Scotland Yard. Especially in times of change. And that is where Sherlock Holmes comes in.
If you're aware of all of the aspects of Sherlock Holmes fan culture, you know full well that gender roles and exploration of sexuality entered the picture with our latest generation of Holmes fans. At first, a few elder Sherlockians actually tried to do the gatekeeper thing and deny new ways of Sherlocking could even be a part of Sherlockiana, but that failed miserably. We've definitely moved beyond the "Watson wrote 'butt' in 'Empty House' . . . tee hee hee!" phase of Sherlockiana. And why?
Sherlock Holmes was, and is, all about challenging one's self to find out all the facts, to fully understand a set of circumstances and what's really going on in a world that is always presenting us with new and mysterious situations.
Three Patch Podcast's "221B Pride" episode might come as a little bit of a challenge to a Sherlockian who came up in the 1970s or before, when some of us didn't even know "gay" existed. (Remember how "straight" Liberace was supposed to be?) Some of the terminology might, at first, even be daunting. But it all comes with time and can give you a lot to think about . . . and mental exercise is always good. (If you can wrap your head around the Sherlolly pride discussion, which I particularly loved, you're can really tickle the gray cells.)
And more than that, it's good to see our friend Sherlock helping people solve their personal mysteries, even if he's not doing it directly. Very good.