Sunday, April 16, 2017
Though he died way back in 1883, I was thinking today how happy Dr. Grimesby Roylott would be on the internet. And I mean troll happy.
Here's an older white guy who feels righteously robbed of his dominant place in society by his gambling forebears. He lives in relative isolation, treats women as resources just there to feed his needs (talking financial here, but you go where you need to), loves dangerous pets that make him look more manly, and when he feels threatened?
First, the ad hominem attack to discredit any input Sherlock Holmes might have:
"I know you, scoundrel! I have heard of your before. You are Holmes the meddler."
And he goes on.
"Holmes the busybody!"
And then . . .
"Holmes, the Scotland Yard jack-in-office."
If you look of the definition of that last one, it would appear that Roylott things Sherlock is somehow a part of the official police force, which is the line that . . . unbeknownst to ol' Grimesby . . . is the bit that really tweaks Holmes, if he wasn't already laughing at this cartoon character of testosterone.
Grimesby Roylott's second act, of course, is physical threat via showing his arm strength, bending the fireplace poker in lieu of punching someone. We tend to focus on Sherlock Holmes's unstraightening of the poker in the aftermath of the scene and not the fact that Watson surely would have put a bullet in the man had he moved on Sherlock Holmes in any manner that actually seemed to endanger the detective. People tend to forget about John Watson when louder personalities are engaging around him.
Watson is the man more interesting to compare to Roylott than his oft-showboating room-mate. Quiet, effective, and always ready to do the right thing, even at risk of his own health.
But the good Watson distracts me from the actual subject at hand here, Dr. Grimesby Roylott, the perfect Canonical candidate for modern internet troll. The name-calling, the stalking of a poor woman just looking out for her own safety, the threats toward any who might suggest he's doing something foul . . . which he most certainly is.
Grimesby, of course, was a long ways pre-internet. Had he had access to such a thing, he might not have only been doing some heavy duty trolling -- if his eventual end was any indicator, he would probably have also been the start of a YouTube video that qualified him for a Darwin Award: "No, I'm putting the swamp adder in the air vent . . . watch this now . . . there he goes . . . what? No, not this wa . . . OUCH! SON OF A . . . wha . . . whoa . . . sitting down now . . . gblhh . . ."
Humankind hasn't evolved past producing Grimesby Roylotts, sadly. How are we doing on our Sherlock Holmes quotient? Hard to say, as you know how he was about letting Scotland Yard take the credit before Watson started working his magic. We can hope, though.
But I'm really glad Grimesby himself didn't have the internet. THAT guy. Sheesh.