Thursday, June 16, 2016

The difference between an unchangeable world and a changeable one.

This week, I'm getting a little nostalgic for a wonderful time in the past when all I had to rage about was a simple little CBS television show called Elementary. It didn't really matter to the world, nobody died because of it or would die because of it. And very few people cared about it enough to comment on the show's merits or lack of same. You could rage for or against the show, go do something else, and not have it come up in conversation or online.

Ah, the world was a happier, carefree place back then.

But the world changes. Unlike the Canon of Sherlock Holmes, where John Openshaw dies every damn time you read "The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips," and Sherlock Holmes sends a letter and a cable he hopes will resolve the matter, only to have Nature herself maybe take care of it. Every time. Because the world of Sherlock Holmes never changes. Unlike our world.

John Openshaw? Doomed. Paul Kratides? Doomed. Mr. Blessington? Doomed.

Tadpole Phelps's childhood shins? Doomed.

Because they're all locked in a narrative that . . . quite literally literally . . . can never change.

Unlike the real world, which can and does change all the time. Looking at the world of Sherlock Holmes, which reflects Victorian England so well, shows us how much our world has changed.

Yet, this week, I've heard a lot of people resigning themselves to thinking the world is like something from a book, with a narrative that we can't do a thing about. The story will be the same this time as the last time, as the next time, as the time before.

Only we're not in a book. And this story is going to change. It is, whether we like it or not. To think otherwise is just plain lazy and being stingy with one's imagination. Nothing will stay the same. So why don't we rewrite the story to end the way we'd like it next time?

The world has been out of copyright at lot longer than all those Sherlock Holmes stories.

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