There's a topic that I used to write about on this blog. I don't write about that topic any more.
My feelings on the matter haven't changed. Oh, no. I still feel very strongly upon that particular thing, and the reason why I feel so strongly about that issue is why I decided to quit talking about it.
It's Sherlock Holmes, you see. And what he means to us.
Without getting into what makes a "true fan," there's a threshold you cross with any person, character, or love you get completely into for the long haul. They become a part of your identity and your perspective on them becomes your view of their identity. If it's a real person, you have to allow that they are who they really are. But if it's a fictional person?
Well, who's to say who they really are?
Not me. Not you. And the creator? Well, even Dr. Frankenstein had to let go at some point.
As long as you don't harm anyone else in the process, you get to have your own Sherlock Holmes.
He's yours. Watson too. And you can be as enthusiastic as you want about them.
Until your Holmes and Watson try to knock down somebody else's Holmes and Watson in a public place. Then they're just being bullies, and none of us like bullies. You might need to take your Holmes and Watson back home and have a talk with them, getting them to behave a little bit better when you take them outside again.
I know, I know, they had their reasons. They might have felt threatened by some other Holmes and Watson. They might have felt that some other Holmes and Watson were ruining the reputation of all Holmeses and Watsons. But as long as that other Holmes and Watson was somebody's true Holmes and Watson, no different from your true Holmes and Watson, it's a little hard to justify letting yours become the bullies.
If we all had to carry our personal Holmes and Watson around in our pockets instead of our heads, like the Crobabies or Action Sherlock and Big John Watson, it would be very plain that none of us held the magical One True Sherlock and Actual John H. Watson. But trying to hold our pet characters in our heads lets our imaginations think they're maybe just a little more relevant than someone else's mind palace residents. Which they are . . . to us.
You hear people talk a lot about how mean the world is getting of late. Of how intolerant and rude, of how blind and foolish, of how angry and aggressive it is out there. We haven't had a disaster, a war, or a plague lately to hit us hard enough to remember that being kind to each other is how we get through the hard stuff together. But you'd think we'd be smart enough at this point to know how to do that without the big hit. Especially among the followers of the best and wisest man that John Watson ever met.
And sometimes, it's kinder to keep quiet on a topic when we're just talking about our personal Holmes and Watson versus someone else's. Which is why I don't write about . . . you know.
(Much. Only human.)