"All Sherlock is good Sherlock."
Don't know if you hear that line as much as I have. It tends to come up as a mild defense of a less-than-spectacular pastiche or a general expression of enthusiasm for the hobby. And back in the olden times, the Sherlockian community was so small, the Holmes output so manageable, that one could attempt to take it all in, and it was always good to see Holmes stuff, so it was a very easy thing to say. These days, however, I really think we need to expand that line:
"All Sherlock is good Sherlock, to someone."
Because some of it, well, some of it may be nigh impossible for some of us to completely get.
I'm writing this as I listen to the latest Three Patch Podcast discussion on masturbating to Sherlock stuff. And somehow, I don't think this is a subject that Christopher Morley or Vincent Starrett ever . . . ever . . . discussed. I know in my own forty years as a Sherlockian, I don't think I've ever discussed that topic with any of my Sherlockian friends. Sexual exploration has found a place in Sherlockiana as the fandom is evolving, and to the older fan, it can be an interesting development to try to fit into your brain's pre-existing Sherlockian structures.
It is tempting, of course, to just head for the bunkers. Surround one's self with old-school, old friends and pretend things are like they were in 1975. Life can be good there, and one could certainly live out one's days there as surely as on Baker Street in 1895. Heck, I even know a Sherlockian or two who still avoids the internet. It can be done.
And even when one goes, "Hey, I'm open minded, I can deal with change. No problem!" and charges in, there are still apt to come moments when the immediate reactions are . . . well, not something positive. We're human. We come with baggage. And sometimes something in that baggage is going to get triggered by a sudden veer into some more adventurous Sherlocking. Things can get . . . interesting. (Which is a very mild way of describing the true train-wreck potential from the wrong sort of pontificating. Trust me on this. Lessons learned.)
We're in an era that challenges every single one of us to both accept and be accepted, to actually think about big picture things from all angles and also make solid choices about what it best and wisest for each of us, individually. We currently have adults who had radio entertainment in their youth and adults who had the full-on internet in their youth . . . and very different mindsets as well. We have to be both very honest and inquiring with ourselves and our fellow Sherlockians, which actually suits us perfectly.
Because even though one might be tempted to scream, "SHERLOCK HOLMES IS NOT ABOUT SEX!" Sherlock Holmes can completely be about sex for some of us. Or gender identity. Or social norms. All those things that have mysteries that every one of us has to solve for ourselves at some point. Because, as we all know, Sherlock Holmes was about solving mysteries.
For some of us these days, it's investigating just what the heck is going on with these whipper-snappers and their very different varieties of fan-wank. (But from a discrete distance, of course . . . one hates to interrupt.)
Maybe my favorite part of the latest Three Patch podcast was when the caster crew re-enact turning down a potential sponsor who might suggest they tone down the "fuck" level. (With a voice that sounded a little . . . . familiar? . . .) Because once you become a part of the "official" Force, it definitely becomes just that much harder to follow some leads, a fact Sherlock Holmes knew well.
So here's to a world where we're free enough for the latest Three Patch sexpisode to exist and explore what they do, where it always ends with that lovely Moriarty quote and a bit of "Stayin' Alive." What is is Moriarty says?
"I've given you a glimpse, Sherlock -- just a teensy glimpse -- of what I've got going on out there in the big bad world."
The quote that Three Patch doesn't use, that I find myself hearing after a podcast like their latest, is spoken to me from a completely different Canon:
"I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know you're afraid . . . afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."
To paraphrase Holmes, "There is as much sense in Keanu as Cumberbatch . . ." and I will leave it there.