A Roald Dahl quote rolled through my social media feed this morning that so clearly stated thoughts I was having about Sherlockiana this weekend that I had to bring it to the blog:
"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be."
It's a little disappointing sometimes to see Sherlockians who are restraining their passion. You know they have it, because they'll occasionally let some little snark slip out like a fart they just can't hold in, but on the whole, they keep a very measured, very even demeanor, never offending, never bursting out with any of those ridiculous things we say in a moment of excitement. There's a politic sensibility to it, as if Sherlockiana were a campaign where there was some office to be won.
And, honestly, there is an office to be won in one part of Sherlockiana . . . the Baker Street Irregular shilling. An invitation to the annual dinner of the Baker Street Irregulars of New York, and an eventual membership therein. You have to get on the good side of at least one member to get nominated and on the good side of somebody higher up to get in. So one could see why a Holmes fan might hold back a little bit of their true enthusiasm, a certain politic holding-back in Sherlockian dealings by those who seek to rise in that particular rank in the old system.
And we must also deal with the other side of the coin . . . the fact that Sherlockiana isn't just all old white guys any more. Freely ranting from a white male point of view isn't really cool these days. And if you find yourself holding back for those reasons too often, it might just be time to explore a few different points of view. Try to wrap your head around how others see the world . . . a serious attempt at that will never leave you without some meaningful improvements. You might even get cooler.
But when all these things have been considered, and the topic of Sherlock Holmes comes up . . . when you feel the blood rising in your chest and your heart is about to explode with emotions about this hobby we deeply, deeply love (else why would I be writing this stuff every week, or you reading it) . . . find a way to explode it into the universe.
No one, not even Olympic athletes, runs without the occasional fall. Sure, you could walk everywhere at a careful pace. But if you never cut loose, if you never find a place to let go of the bright and shiney Sherlockian that's inside of you, well, that can be a slower ache than the sharp pain of the occasional fall.
Sherlock Holmes burned white hot. How can his fans not take his cue?
Thank you to every one of you who's there already. And a raised glass and a "Here's hoping!" to any that are left.
The game is afoot, you know.