This is the Sherlockian world I was waiting for.
That thought occurred to me today as I was watching a YouTube video for about the sixth time. It was a music video tribute to Jim Moriarty, set to the tune of the pop hit "Let It Rock," which may seem trivial and not to the taste of some, but here's the thing: it's a tribute to James Moriarty set to a pop hit. As in "popular" hit. And the video has 123,811 views.
Back when I started in this hobby, if you wanted to show your enthusiasm for a particular character in a Sherlock Holmes tale, you had basically one or two ways to do it. You could write an appreciative essay, get it published in a newsletter or journal, and maybe share your love of somebody like Moriarty with a hundred people (in a scion newsletter) or, if you were really lucky, a couple of thousand in a major journal. You could paint or draw a picture, but that would get even less of an audience. And both of those media require a lot of talent to convey the full emotional impact you sometimes would like to.
Music videos, however, are great for expressing the way you feel about a character, and, admittedly, they go back a lot further than YouTube. When MTV was broadcasting Madonna and Billy Idol videos, fans of Jeremy Brett were joining other fandoms in piecing together videos using actual videotape -- not an easy job, but do-able. But even then, you had to take them to a con and show them in the video room, or else drag people to your house, mail them the cassette, etc. Not easy no efficient, by any stretch of the imagination.
So when I look at this simple, one-minute-and-eighteen-second video appreciation of Jim Moriarty, I am just happy to live in this time we live in. Anybody who still wants to live in Christopher Morley's smoky world of 1930s can have it all to themselves, as far as I'm concerned. This is the Sherlockian world I want to be in.
And while we're at it, let's talk about Andrew Scott's Jim Moriarty, since this little video does such a nice job of capturing his essence. He's a lot like Heath Ledger's Joker to me in that he's nothing like the original character, but . . . dare I say it . . . possibly something greater? Some characters have to be captured by an actor, like Sherlock Holmes. Their creators drew them so well to start with that it's up to the actor to portray something that already exists. But those characters who are more two-dimensional -- traditionally villains -- can be fleshed out by a skilled actor in ways that are so entrancing that one really doesn't care that they aren't adhering perfectly to the old model. Like Jim Moriarty.
Disagree with me on that? Well, here's the even cooler thing about this day of Sherlockiana we live in. If you get out on YouTube and start browsing, eventually you're sure to find something that you do agree with, expressed in a way that . . . while maybe not as dance-able as Moriarty in "Let It Rock" . . . hits you just where you live. Our world has gotten that expansive.
And I've been waiting for this for a very long time.