I suppose it bears note that a special entitled How Sherlock Changed The World played on PBS this week, to mixed reviews. Coming eight years after How William Shatner Changed The World, I think that it's not only overdue, but a little bit sad that William Shatner was somehow eight-years-ahead more inspiring than Sherlock Holmes. And the lack of the detective's last name does tend to indicate a more BBC Sherlock inspired reason for its existence.
But none of that has anything to do with why I didn't feel compelled to watch it, this week or any time in the future. For one, and not to be arrogant about it, after nearly forty years in the hobby, the slim possibility of new information doesn't outweigh the irritation factor of things they might not get quite right. But more importantly, I don't really need a television special to tell me how Sherlock Holmes changed my world.
When I think of all the cities I've been to, things that I've seen, and people I've met, simply due to Mr. Sherlock Holmes, his presence in the world is much more impressive than some possible inspirations to the fields of forensic science and policework. I've only been to Santa Fe, New Mexico once, but that was still more times than "criminals in my life needing to be caught by advanced police methods." Of course, perhaps the fact that all such criminals were caught by Holmes-inspired methods before they got to victimizing me or mine has quietly changed my world more than I know . . . but I don't know that.
What I do know is that the library at the University of Minneapolis is a very impressive place. I know that New York City is an intricate mass of concrete and steel that doesn't suit my fancy, despite a thousand places of interest there and odd, surprising moments like seeing Grandpa Munster through a restaurant window. And I know a lot about Mormons. What port wine tastes like (as well as Petri). That some places don't need screen doors. How an Arby's roast beef sandwich can be special. What it's like to be solicited by a Toronto prostitute. At least three techniques for making a book. A certain comfort level for public speaking. And I know Don Hobbs, though I don't see him hardly enough.
I could spend all day making a list of the ways Sherlock Holmes has changed my world. And I can't think of many that fall under the category "for the worse." Even the less than pleasant parts of a Sherlockian life have been growth experiences. (Insert obligatory Elementary quip here.)
So this week, with all holiday festivities and other obligations filling up my time, I didn't really feel a completist urge to add How Sherlock Changed The World to my schedule. Simply going "I agree!" seemed like enough.
Sherlock Holmes has changed a lot of worlds. Mine included.