Tonight I read an article about scientific advances with organoid cells, then followed that with a few minutes of a TV show called Just Tattoo of Us. It made me consider how the human race is running on parallel tracks these days . . . one seemingly getting smarter and smarter, and the other sinking into an unbelievable mire of idiocy. We seem poised to have the most incredibly advanced technology with its use being directed by the stupidest people imaginable.
And it made me think of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
That Holmes and Watson pairing has endured a lot of criticism for matching a brilliant-as-ever Sherlock Holmes with the biggest boob that ever had the title "Dr." affixed to his name. Why would they be friends? How could Sherlock Holmes tolerate a John Watson that's such a goof?
Well, maybe of all the Holmes/Watson pairings, this is the one that is actually our guiding light for our future. A "Nigel Bruture" of a future.
If mankind is going to continue to advance and fall backwards at the same time, the geniuses and the idiots are going to need to be friends. It's the only way this is going to work. I mean, I could pretend to do the false equivalency thing, and say, "Because we're all stupid sometimes, and we're all smart sometimes." Which is true. But on average, some have an overall average more like Basil's Holmes, and some have an average that's more like Nigel's Watson. Which one are you? Does it matter?
Bruce-Watson was clear-headed enough to recognize when Rathbone-Holmes was right about something. Rathbone-Holmes was empathic enough to see that Bruce-Watson had worth. The two incarnations of our favorite pair were friends, and worked well together as friends, enough for fourteen movies.
Even in the movies, one would occasionally get irritated with the other. (And if we consider those two characters non-movie everyday lives, it had to be much worse.) But somehow they made it work. They didn't wind up repeatedly punching the other one or otherwise abusing each other, the way some of our more recent, closer-to-equal Holmes/Watson pairs. And maybe there's something in that.
I don't know. Maybe one of these days I'll stroll back through that series of movies with such a thought in mind, so see if there is inspiration there. But for now, the thought that there was such a Holmes paired with such a Watson and they prospered . . . well, it's a little ray of hope for our future.
Just as Sherlock Holmes should always be.
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