Lifeline

I tend to write long paragraphs. It’s just in my nature. My ideas cannot be captured in short bursts. I need to connect abstract ideas with each other, and that’s hard to do concisely. But I try. I just hate it when people say, “Your paragraphs are too long”, as if that’s a criticism all by itself. A paragraph can be as long as I want it to be. It’s your mind that’s too small.

I am finally taking the recommendations of so many people whose opinions I trust and will start watching Elementary. That, for those who don’t know, is CBS’s modern-day update of Sherlock Holmes, starring Johnny Lee Miller as the iconic detective and Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson. The idea of a female Watson sounds pretty interesting all by itself, but when the show was first announced, lots of people dismissed it as nothing more than an American Sherlock. Sherlock is a highly entertaining show, one of the most purely enjoyable in recent memory, but it has come under fire for its shallow understanding of the Holmes mythos and a general lack of depth. That’s fair, although I don’t completely agree. Steven Moffat, the Sherlock and current Doctor Who showrunner, has long come under criticism for his inability to write women. I think his problem is that he’s just not a very good writer. (Some of my Whovian friends will scourge me for saying that, but it’s true.) He has a talent for one-liners, plot twists, and general cleverness, but seems almost frightened of making any genuine insights into human emotions. Since I have the space, let’s break that down in depth.

“A Scandal in Belgravia”, the first episode of Sherlock’s second series, was heavily criticized for sexism. This is fair. For those not in the know, “A Scandal in Bohemia” is one of the most beloved of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures, a tale of royal intrigue in which Sherlock is outwitted by Irene Adler, the former lover of a member of the royal family of an obscure European country, whom Sherlock refers to thereafter only as “the woman”. Sherlock has many character flaws, not the least of which is his misogyny, but in this story, he is handily defeated by a vagina-haver, and it’s great.

george womenIn “A Scandal in Belgravia”, Sherlock wins. Irene Adler is not the spurned ex of a royal scared of allowing the secret of their relationship to leak, but a prostitute who has serviced countless powerful people and gained access to state secrets that she has stored on her phone. But she allows herself to fall for Sherlock, which tips him off as to the password on her phone, and in the end, he has to rescue her. Sexist? Yeah, probably. Steven Moffat said that he never got the point of “A Scandal in Bohemia”, so it sounds like what we are dealing with is nothing more than a small mind. That’s not uncommon. Most bigots aren’t openly malicious so much as just people who care more about protecting the status quo than accepting change, and I’m not quite sure I’d call Moffat a bigot. When you compare that to the rampant misogyny and objectification of women on TV, that seems pretty mild. Basically, Mark Gatiss (Moffat’s friend and creative partner, who wrote the episode), failed to see beyond the obvious. Almost every fictional story these days ends with a woman falling for a man, so that’s what he wrote. I rolled my eyes, but couldn’t work up the energy to be really angry about it.

Elementary, from what I’ve heard, is more straight-up police procedural than drama/thriller like Sherlock. Apparently, Liu and Miller have not a whiff of sexual tension, which is a nice change of pace from Sherlock (in which Martin Freeman’s Watson is constantly reassuring people that he and Sherlock are just roommates and business partners). I feel that we don’t see enough platonic male-female relationships in the media. Most of my friends are straight men. Some are straight women. It’s possible to be friends with a member of your preferred gender and not want to fuck them. It’s even possible to have a friend that you want to fuck and exercise self-restraint. If that develops into a crush, you might have a problem, but sometimes sexual attraction is just sexual attraction. As one acquaintance put it, she believes Watson is straight, but she doubts he will ever love a woman the way he loves Sherlock. It’s a bromance for the ages.

I don’t read fanfiction, so I’m not going to spend any time reading the thousands of Sherlock/Watson stories that doubtless exist on the internet. There are times when Sherlock seems to be deliberately playing into that, what with all the gay jokes and shit. But I actually think some of those are funny. It’s not that I don’t get why some people find them tiresome, only that, to me, they’re more innocuous and silly than downright offensive. But that’s just me. Actually, no, it’s not. This is my blog, people. And here, my opinion is law.

My job is going okay. Somebody was probably wondering that, so I definitely feel that I am becoming more accustomed to work. I’m looking for a second job. I’m also thinking of taking up archery. It could be a fun way to kill time. Besides, I haven’t seriously played a sport in years, so it might be nice to add some athletic activity beyond the occasional trip to the gym to my schedule.

My father is talking about getting a job elsewhere and moving, which would necessitate my finding my own place and paying for it myself if I want to stick around. I got pretty good at finding reasonably priced housing in NYC. Maybe I can do that here. The most important thing is having sane roommates. You can’t put a price on that.

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