"Remember when we didn't get to hear everybody's thoughts on everything?" the old geezer wrote, surely not seeing the irony as he pushed his thoughts out to anyone who would read them.
The geezer in that story is me, of course. One of my good friends and I were discussing the latest Star Wars offering last night, and since observing what happens with a non-Sherlock franchise is a great way to talk about Sherlockian things without offending either side on those, it seemed like a good topic to toss out here.
Once upon a time, if something was popular, it meant simply that more people took it in, not that we had to have a war of ideas on it. My friend expressed a view that he wished Star Trek was as popular as Star Wars, and I told him I was glad that Sherlock Holmes wasn't as popular as something Star Wars or Batman. Because once something crosses a certain level any more, the wars begin.
Not that we don't have some heated disagreements in Sherlock-land. But, while I have had one person who suggested I kill myself over my dislike of a certain Sherlockian thing, I haven't had any actual death threats. (Unless you count suicide suggestions as passive-aggressive death threats, which they kind of are.) But once something enters the mainstream full-on, the crazy truly comes out. So as much as I'd like to see a Sherlock level of rationality pervade the world, I'm also kind of glad he's not doing Batman-level business just yet.
There's a reason "polarizing" suddenly became more commonly used in the last decade -- now that we've all become inter-connected by the internet, we're still having the hardest time dealing with the fact that different people can have different likes and dislikes. Even simply enjoying something without isolating yourself as a hermit means someone will inevitably have to tell you why they didn't enjoy it. And if you're not a hermit, you are usually a little curious why somebody didn't . . . yet still might not want to have your own joy spoiled.
BBC Sherlock took us down that road in a much shorter time than some of the long term franchises like Dr. Who or Star Trek. The flare-up of its final season seems to be getting digested by the Sherlockian communities as a whole, but we're eventually going to have to deal with another Sherlock that suddenly puts us all on opposing teams . . . especially if it's very popular.
Popular means more Sherlock Holmes content, though, so we always with for that. I just hope we're ready for what comes with it.