Sunday, November 4, 2018

The final choice for Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like"

Reading sixty essays on why Sherlock Holmes Is Like sixty different other beings in the book of the same name, one can gather some distinctly different insights on the great detective. Trying to make those same sixty beings compete with each other for a Miss "Sherlock Holmes is Like" Crown is a decidedly different mechanism for inspiring insight. And a long and tortured metaphoric mechanism at that.

Now, as Sherlock Peoria comes to the end of its latest run of battling essays, the final round holds these contestants remaining:

Brigadier Gerard, presented by John Baesch.

Professor Henry Higgins, presented by Fran Martin.

Robin Hood, presented by Mark Hanson.

Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, presented by Vincent Wright.

Gandalf the Gray, presented by Tatyana Dybina

Huck Finn, presented by Rob Nunn.

Alexia Tarabotti, presented by Courtney Powers.

Hermione Granger, presented by Amy Thomas.

O.Z. Diggs, the Wizard of Oz, presented by Beth L. Gallego.

Peter Pan, presented by Bob Coghill.

Looking at these ten finalists, one can note two very distinct trends in the judging of Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like."  First, that Sherlock Holmes is very much like a magical being, as half of the above have either some magical bits to them, or can fake magic very well. And second, if one remembers the list of sixty as a whole, is that Sherlock Holmes is not like any real person, which actually kind of amplifies the "magical" part.

A third of the finalists are not adults, which says something about the fresh, youthful nature of Sherlock Holmes. As much as he is often seen as an older man, since such sage wisdom as he has is something we like to ascribe to elders of the tribe, Sherlock's curiosity, his ability to come into a situation with the objectivity of an innocent, his enthusiasm and energy -- all those are features like that of a child.

Forty percent of them actually are older chaps who set themselves above their fellow men for one reason of another, with two of those four looking down in what I believe is a much kindlier fashion. Sherlock Holmes is definitely like that.

And, we have a fool. Because anyone as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes knows more than anyone else what a fool they are. (If you don't ever suspect yourself of being a fool, I might have some bad news for you. Sorry.)

With all of the above qualities brought out in looking at commonalities and who seems to fit in the least, but still does, there is one character who stands apart from the rest. One character I haven't really included as yet, and still, one character who Sherlock Holmes is very, very much like. Sixty beings entered this larger-than-Miss-America pageant for Sherlock beauty, and only one can take the crown. And yes, I'd give this one a crown any day.

Because when you sort through all the rest, even if you've already hit the target dead-on, there is one person who can still hit that target even more skillfully than you. Yes, Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like" 2018 is . . . . .

Robin Hood.

Sherlock Holmes is literally like Robin Hood, so much so that if Conan Doyle could have written about Robin Hood instead of Sherlock Holmes, I bet he'd have enjoyed it. Fighting British crime, no matter what the station of his opponents. A legend who lives on for centuries. A hero who knows when the laws of the land need to be skirted to do what's right. A loyal band of friends following him gladly into the fray. Good with a sword, but, goddamn, don't we want to see what Sherlock could do with a bow and arrow?

Boy, I hope I didn't spoil Mark Hanson's essay for you with that paragraph, but even if I did, you've got fifty-nine others to buy the book and read. And you'll want to see what else Mark had to say. Thanks to everyone who stuck it through this series of posts, apologies to all the writers who might have gotten a short shrift due to outside circumstances impacting my week, and congratulations to all the finalists and Mark Hanson in particular -- you chose well!

We now take you back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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