Sunday, January 22, 2017

Holmes alone gets to be right. Except Norbury, etc.

Did this week mark the greatest flood of Sherlockian opinion our fan culture has ever seen?

Well, if we add "published" opinion, just to be sure. But even without, the Earth's population is over twice what it was in 1960, and the amount of media saturation involved . . . .

Consider this, for starters: The Strand Magazine's circulation ran about 500,000 copies throughout Sherlock's original run. BBC Sherlock's episodes were viewed by between eight and twelve million people in the UK alone. And now we've got this whole world-wide-web thing connecting us, rather than the mail service and print publications of only thirty years ago.

So, opinions. So many opinions. And I am not sure we've decided what that's all about yet. We all got to publish our views of the latest mass-media Sherlock Holmes story on the web, whether it was on a podcast, in a blog post, or just a few lines on our personal Facebook page. What were we intending with that?

Catharsis, for some. All that reaction emotion, positive or negative, can use a healthy outlet, and sharing is a healthy outlet, if sharing is what you're about.

A considered analysis, for others. Some of us like to work through our thoughts "on paper," even though we're not using paper so much these days. And once you've gone to all the trouble to get the words down, why not share, in case someone else finds them useful?

And then we come to the sports team side of things. Those who go binary on every topic and need to see a winner rise from the imaginary games that make up their world. (One might tend to see this as a distinctly male point of view, but let's not be sexist.) Those who opine like they're about to slam that football to the ground after scoring the game-winning goal with their irrefutable logic. Or preach like the love or hate of a thing is God-ordained and the one true way, for whatever moral cause they've taken up. (Been there, done that, still doing community service for it.)

Wherever they come from, we've all got a lot of opinions to take in . . . so many that we practically need a Sherlockian Rotten Tomatoes (Latest BBC Sherlock, by the way: 59% positive with critics, 32% positive with RT users.), though unlike Rotten Tomato movie scores, those numbers probably aren't going to affect whether we watch something or not. We're Sherlockians, we have to investigate for ourselves.

As reviewers, we post to the web for whatever reason, but as readers? What are we looking for in all these reviews?

Personally, I find I enjoy reviews as I've always enjoyed them, going back to Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert and the like: a.) Analyses that expand my view and add to what I got from a work, or b.) Writers who are just so damned fun to read that they can hate on something I loved and still be a good time, or c.) Those few fine folk whose view of things I'm actually interested in because they've proven themselves worthwhile in the past. (We'd all like to think we're one of those, wouldn't we?)

Still, I'm wondering what the best use of all this torrent of opinion will be, once someone figures out the killer app for our new natural resource.

Soooo many opinions on "The Final Problem" (Revised edition) this week. And it's only been a week, which is the most incredible part of all.

(This completely Sherlockian point of view, however, does not take into account that this was a GREAT week to have opinions on a certain non-Sherlockian matter and to act on those opinions. Kudos to everyone out there who got out and had some life outside the Holmes bubble this week!)

No comments:

Post a Comment