Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Time to step back and remember why one is here.

Sometimes, I have to stop and remember why I like Sherlock Holmes.


Because he always seemed like the guy I wanted to be.

Not aspiring to be a genius, of course. Either you're born with that one or you're not.

Not wanting to catch criminals, either. Criminals can hurt you, you know?

Not just wanting to live in an apartment with my best pal. I like my space.

So what was it about Sherlock Holmes that I wanted so much to be like?

To be a person who didn't just accept the easy answers, the superficial story that one sees at first glance. To find the improbable truth that took eliminating all those impossibles to get to.

Sherlock Holmes had to discipline himself in a number of different ways to accomplish that simple task, and one of those things was maintaining his objectivity. Objectivity seems like such an old-fashioned concept these days, when so much of our news consists of opinion or reaction, usually born of emotion. The only reason Sherlock Holmes didn't react emotionally was because he was a sociopath or on the autism spectrum, though, right? We've even lost our objectivity about objectivity, it often seems, trying to give ourselves an out for not being like Holmes.

Solving life's mysteries is hard work. You actually have to stop and think about what you're seeing.

Sherlock Holmes didn't say, "Trust your feelings." No, that was the ghost of a guy who let his over-emotional ex-pal swat him into the ether. Sherlock said, "No ghosts need apply." And "You know my methods. Apply them . . ."

Some days, it's easy to lose sight of what made Sherlock Holmes what he was, especially in the community of his fans. And it becomes easy to dwell more on one's own reactions than those true-to-life methods we know can bring resolution, even when we're dealing with those whose view of a case might be different from our own, as Holmes so often was.

That's why I'm here, doing this Sherlock Holmes fan thing, because he's a guy worth paying attention to, for a lot of good reasons.

Some days more than others.


  1. Consider reading Mastermind by Maria Konnikova. Sherlock Holmes is the master and we try to keep his memory green. Granted we all have a somewhat different idea of how to do it. In our own fanatic way we should be more thinking machine and less harsh critic.

    1. Ah, but don't forget Holmes's words, "Lecoq was a miserable bungler." Harsh criticism of poor detectives is also a part of his legacy.