goldvermilion87: (Default)
I really am going to get from Havergal to Sherlock, and it will be a logical progression.  But that means this post will be really rambly.   Just bear with me.

We sang this hymn by Frances Ridley Havergal in church this morning.  I love it so  much.  Not, perhaps, as poetic as some (I LOVE YOU, COWPER!!!!!!) but simple and straightforward:

Take my life )
My favorite line in the song is "Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose."  On the one hand it's a scary thought--giving up something I treasure as much as my intellect--but on the other hand, but on the other, it's a wonderful reminder that being a Christian is not giving up your intellect period.  It's using it for God. 

Anyway, I was thinking about that line, and I remembered this wonderful letter from William Pitt the younger to William Wilberforce, after Wilberforce was converted to Christianity, and seriously considered leaving politics, and living his life out in retirement.  I am posting the whole thing, because it is a wonderful letter (why does no one write like that anymore?  WHY?) , and because with my kindle, I was able to copy the whole thing out of a book, instead of typing it...which would have taken too long, and because there is something so charming (to me, anyway) in the notion that an 18th century soon-to-be Prime Minister of England called one of his friends "Bob."  The only really important quotation is the lj-cut text: "If a Christian may act in the several relations of life, must he seclude himself for all to become so? Surely the principles as well as the practice of Christianity are simple, and lead not to meditation only but to action."  But if you love old letters, as I do, you can read the whole thing below it. 

If a Christian may act in the several relations of life, must he seclude himself for all to become so? Surely the principles as well as the practice of Christianity are simple, and lead not to meditation only but to action.  )In the movie Amazing Grace, the directors dramatized the meeting Pitt asked for in the letter, and he says that line "Surely the principles..."

I said this would eventually ramble it's way around to Sherlock, no?  Well, if you watched Amazing Grace, you might know the connection already.  Hehe.  Benedict Cumberbatch played William Pitt the younger in Amazing Grace and he plays (to my mind the BEST EVER) Sherlock  Holmes in the new BBC TV series, Sherlock. (and Ioan Gruffudd played Wilberforce.   *sigh*   SO MANY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE IN THE SAME MOVIE!)

You know, that's not the first time my fangirlishness has managed to worm its way into church.  I was sick at home one Sunday a few weeks ago, so I watched the church service from my home church, which they started streaming live recently.  One of the pastors grew a goatee, which I hadn't seen, of course, since I'm away at school.  There was only one thing that came to mind when I saw it (so I had to print-screen it):

mirrorspock

Tell me he doesn't look like Mirror!Spock with that goatee! 

It was sooooooooooooooooooooo distracting.

Oh well...
goldvermilion87: (Default)
I really am going to get from Havergal to Sherlock, and it will be a logical progression.  But that means this post will be really rambly.   Just bear with me.

We sang this hymn by Frances Ridley Havergal in church this morning.  I love it so  much.  Not, perhaps, as poetic as some (I LOVE YOU, COWPER!!!!!!) but simple and straightforward:

Take my life )
My favorite line in the song is "Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose."  On the one hand it's a scary thought--giving up something I treasure as much as my intellect--but on the other hand, but on the other, it's a wonderful reminder that being a Christian is not giving up your intellect period.  It's using it for God. 

Anyway, I was thinking about that line, and I remembered this wonderful letter from William Pitt the younger to William Wilberforce, after Wilberforce was converted to Christianity, and seriously considered leaving politics, and living his life out in retirement.  I am posting the whole thing, because it is a wonderful letter (why does no one write like that anymore?  WHY?) , and because with my kindle, I was able to copy the whole thing out of a book, instead of typing it...which would have taken too long, and because there is something so charming (to me, anyway) in the notion that an 18th century soon-to-be Prime Minister of England called one of his friends "Bob."  The only really important quotation is the lj-cut text: "If a Christian may act in the several relations of life, must he seclude himself for all to become so? Surely the principles as well as the practice of Christianity are simple, and lead not to meditation only but to action."  But if you love old letters, as I do, you can read the whole thing below it. 

If a Christian may act in the several relations of life, must he seclude himself for all to become so? Surely the principles as well as the practice of Christianity are simple, and lead not to meditation only but to action.  )In the movie Amazing Grace, the directors dramatized the meeting Pitt asked for in the letter, and he says that line "Surely the principles..."

I said this would eventually ramble it's way around to Sherlock, no?  Well, if you watched Amazing Grace, you might know the connection already.  Hehe.  Benedict Cumberbatch played William Pitt the younger in Amazing Grace and he plays (to my mind the BEST EVER) Sherlock  Holmes in the new BBC TV series, Sherlock. (and Ioan Gruffudd played Wilberforce.   *sigh*   SO MANY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE IN THE SAME MOVIE!)

You know, that's not the first time my fangirlishness has managed to worm its way into church.  I was sick at home one Sunday a few weeks ago, so I watched the church service from my home church, which they started streaming live recently.  One of the pastors grew a goatee, which I hadn't seen, of course, since I'm away at school.  There was only one thing that came to mind when I saw it (so I had to print-screen it):

mirrorspock

Tell me he doesn't look like Mirror!Spock with that goatee! 

It was sooooooooooooooooooooo distracting.

Oh well...
goldvermilion87: (littlejohn)
John: So why do you put up with him?
Lestrade: Because I'm desperate, that's why. And because Sherlock Holmes is a great man, and I think one day, if we're very lucky, he might even be a good one.

--Sherlock, Episode One, "A Study in Pink."

If you know me and have had any sort of conversation with me in the past few weeks, you have probably heard me mention the BBC television show, Sherlock, a modern day adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. It was in the works, as far as I am aware, for quite a while. I certainly knew that it was being made and that Martin Freeman would play Watson before I left for grad school in August 2009--possibly even a year before that.

Let me just get this out of the way, before I actually review. Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes is GORGEOUS. (Can't believe I didn't notice him so much in Amazing Grace...but then, 18th C. wigs aren't particularly flattering, and Ioan Gruffud (sp? I can say it, but can't spell it) outshone him.) Yes, Martin Freeman as John Watson is ADORABLE, and very Sam Gamgee-ish. (So many Sam Gamgee moments!) I admit it. But let us move on.

What I'm interested in is what I see as one of the most important of the themes that run through the show, and which I think is encapsulated in the quotation at the head of this post. But to discuss what is interesting about it, we need to go back to Arthur Conan Doyle's work.

The Sherlock Holmes stories are (almost) all narrated by Dr. John Watson, an army doctor who was invalided out during the Anglo-Afgan war. Watson admires Holmes to no end. He is occasionally put off by/makes reference to Holmes's exasperating vanity and incredible pride, but in general he sees Holmes, as Holmes seems to see himself--a super-humanly intelligent and all-around awesome dude. His interest in Holmes and Holmes's work originally seems to stem from boredom, but quickly turns into single-minded hero worship. (Now, I am overstating the case a bit. I am making Watson seem more like the Nigel Bruce bumbler than he actually is. But at times he almost portrays himself as such, and we have to read between the lines to see that he isn't.)

I think that Holmes and Watson have a great friendship, and that's what draws me to the books (rather than the mysteries themselves) but it is Watson's devotion to Holmes, rather than Holmes's to Watson that makes it memorable. There is one very special moment in "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs" in which we do get a glimpse of Holmes's affection for Watson. It makes every fangirl's heart go pitter patter. Here it is in full.

The scene: Holmes and Watson are waiting for an American gunslinger [must write about America as "the other" in Victorian fic some time. A very amusing topic, in my opinion] named "Killer Evans." Evans walks into the room where they are hiding:

Clearly our moment had come. Holmes touched my wrist as a signal, and together we stole across to the open trap-door. Gently as we moved, however, the old floor must have creaked under our feet, for the head of our American, peering anxiously round, emerged suddenly from the open space. His face turned upon us with a glare of baffled rage, which gradually softened into a rather shamefaced grin as he realized that two pistols were pointed at his head.

"Well, well!" said he coolly as he scrambled to the surface. "I guess you have been one too many for me, Mr. Holmes. Saw through my game, I suppose, and played me for a sucker from the first. Well, sir, I hand it to you; you have me beat and..."

In an instant he had whisked out a revolver from his breast and had fired two shots.

I felt a sudden hot sear as if a red-hot iron had been pressed to my thigh. There was a crash as Holmes's pistol came down on the man's head. I had a vision of him sprawling upon the floor with blood running down his face while Holmes rummaged him for weapons. Then my friend's wiry arms were round me, and he was leading me to a chair.

"You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!"

It was worth a wound--it was worth many wounds--to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.

"It's nothing, Holmes. It's a mere scratch."

He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket-knife.

"You are right," he cried with an immense sigh of relief. "It is quite superficial." His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. "By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive. Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself?"


I have found this moment to be fascinating ever since I entered the world of Holmes and Watson. It is of course an "awwwwwww! Holmes cares!" moment. But it is more than that. One of my pet topics is the cost of friendship, which goes back to the *cough* Rankin/Bass Return of the King. *cough*...

In that masterpiece of 80s cinema, which I may or may not have written a whole post on a year or so ago, there is a song that says "If you never say hello, you won't have to say goodbye." And that line, in connection with the sadness of Frodo leaving has meant a lot to me. I suppose by now I could be more sophisticated and quote "Shadowlands" (not C.S. Lewis--a misattribution as far as I can tell): "The pain then, is part of the happiness now. That's the deal."
But however you want to put it, love makes you vulnerable because you will experience loss eventually. In fact, one real Lewis quotation, from The Four Loves, because it is such a great one (and then I don't have to feel too bad about the Rankin/Bass quotation):

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

This may be fangirl heresy, but I will dare to say that Conan Doyle's Holmes really did wrap his heart around with hobbies and little luxuries. He did his best to lock it up safe in the casket of his selfishness. He did not completely succeed, but if Holmes's life is not characterized by selfishness, I don't know what is. I'm glad he had hidden some love for Watson deep down inside--Watson earned it. But I am afraid that as readers we have to at least ask ourselves if Holmes's facade of indifference does not go more than skin deep. (See also his behavior in "The Empty House" and "The Dying Detective.")

I find it very sad and pathetic that all of Watson's relationship with Holmes leads up to that one moment where for an instant he sees that Holmes actually cares. But Watson doesn't seem to feel that way. He just accepts Holmes as a great man, and while he is made incredibly happy by this tiny moment of humanity, he doesn't really quesition Holmes's goodness. Greatness is enough.

Now, I said this was a review of the BBC show, Sherlock, and it is. And I've finally gotten back around to it. :-)

John, as portrayed by Martin Freeman, is very much the Watson we know and love. He is awestruck by Sherlock. Every time Sherlock makes some kind of deduction he says "That's incredible" or "that's amazing"--something to that effect. In fact, here is a really cute exchange where Sherlock is rattling off facts about a dead woman. John has peppered the conversation with little exclamations (Freeman is so good at making what could sound very silly or forced sound perfectly genuine):

John: That's fantastic!
Sherlock: Do you know you do that out loud?
John: Sorry, I'll shut up.
Sherlock: No, its...fine...

And as in the original books, Sherlock partly wants John around because he is so appreciative. At one point he says (speaking of a serial murderer) "That's the frailty of genius, John, it needs an audience." I don't think he's self-aware enough to know he's describing himself, but he is.

Unlike the books, however, the TV show brings the issue of Sherlock as a human being, not just a calculating machine, into the open. From the beginning, Sherlock's insensitivity due to his brilliance is highlighted. It's often funny--when the girl who has a crush on him asks him "would you like to have coffee?" He says "Yes please. Black. Two Sugars. I'll be in the lab."--but it keeps coming back, and even as the first episode progresses becomes more serious. The victim had scratched the name "Rachel" onto the floor while she was dying. The detectives found out that "Rachel" was her daugher, who had been still born fourteen years earlier. Sherlock has been thinking out loud, and John suggests that the murderer (who somehow forced the victim to self-administer poison) used her daughter against her somehow. Sherlock says, "But that was ages ago! Why would she still be upset?" and the whole room goes quiet. Sherlock realizes he messed up from their reactions. And as an audience member, I don't think you despise him for it. John sets him straight, but you (along with John at that moment) feel more pity for the Sherlock who cannnot feel, than you feel disgust at the Sherlock who does not feel.

At the end of that episode, Sherlock risks not stopping the serial killer in his desire to prove himself right, and it is John who saves him.

As the second episode progresses and the third begins, it is becoming evident that Sherlock may be more capable of emotion than he lets on. Or rather, that John expects him to show emotion and to feel, regardless of his professed inability to do so. John becomes more vocal about pointing out to Sherlock when he is being mean or insensitive, and he continually asks him to think about the victims in the case as if they were people.

Moriarty is holding people hostage for set periods of time, while Sherlock has to figure out the mysteries Moriarty sends to him before the time runs out or the hostages (who are strapped to bomb) are exploded, usually in a densely populated area. While John is still amazed by Sherlock's powers of deduction, he is clearly personally offended, as well as offended on principle, by Sherlock's careless attitude towards human life in favor of his obsession with facts and proving himself more intelligent than Moriarty. John reaches a breaking point after an old woman (along with many people in her apartment complex) is killed, and Sherlock is only fascinated by Moriarty's evil genius:

John: So why is he doing this, then? Playing this game with you? Do you think he wants to be caught?
Sherlock: I think he wants to be distracted
John: I hope you'll be very happy together
Sherlock: Sorry. What?
John: There are LIVES at stake, Sherlock, actual human lives! Just so I know, do you care about that at all?
Sherlock: Will caring about them help save them?
John: Nope.
Sherlock: Then I'll continue not to make that mistake.
John: And you find that easy, do you?
Sherlock: Yes. Very...Is that news to you?
John: No...no
Sherlock: I've disappointed you.
John: Good! That's a good deduction. Yeah.
Sherlock: Don't make people into heroes, John. Heroes don't exist, and if they did, I wouldn't be one of them.

But Sherlock's nonchalance about human life is challenged, when suddenly the man strapped to the bomb is John. (Another brilliant acting job. Cumberbatch somehow manages to portray Sherlock's sudden fear and vulnerability, while preserving the mask of self-confidence towards Moriarty. That's not a good description...you have to see it...but then you should probably watch it before reading this anyway...) His only friend is in mortal peril, and he is confronted with his brilliantly evil enemy, and he starts to see things John's way:

Jim Moriarty: I have loved this--this little game of ours...Playing Jim from IT...Playing gay...Did you like the little touch with the underwear?
Sherlock: People have died.
Jim Moriarty: That's what people DO!
Sherlock: I will stop you.

This was Sherlock at the beginning of the episode:

John: Try and remember there's a woman who might die.
Sherlock: What for? This hospital's full of people dying, doctor. Why don't you go cry by their bedsides. See what good it does them.

Can you spot the difference?

I end this rambly review-ish thing with another observation.

At the end of "A Study in Pink," Sherlock is about to take the pill. He is compelled to eat it, because he needs the rush to stave off the boredom of living as a genius among lesser mortals. He has been goaded into it by the serial killer cabbie who taunts him with the possibility that he has been outwitted. He is facing possible death. And his hand shakes.

At the end of "The Great Game," Sherlock has his gun trained on the explosives near Moriarty. He is ready to blow up himself and John because it seems they are doomed, and he needs to take Moriarty out as well. He has looked to John, and received a short nod of approval for the action he is about to take. He is facing almost certain death. And his hand is perfectly still.

Now I can only wait for the next season (Fall 2011!?!?!? WHAT?!?!!?!) to see what happens. Will they be saved in a Mycroft ex Machina? Or will we have a Reichenberg Falls-esque opening, with John in the hospital and Sherlock assumed dead? However the screenwriters write everyone out that sticky situation, my main interest is Sherlock's character. Was this just a crack in the facade, as in "The Three Garridebs"? or has Sherlock changed from just a great man, to a good one?

Sherlock

Oct. 14th, 2010 04:02 am
goldvermilion87: (Default)
Sherlock ramble/review-type thing.

Mainly a discussion of Sherlock Holmes as a Great man? or a Good man?

Note that it assumes you've seen the show.  I could just say "spoiler alert" but it's not so much that I give away important plot points (which I do) but also that it probably won't make sense without any background.

_______________________________


John: So why do you put up with him?
Lestrade: Because I'm desperate, that's why. And because Sherlock Holmes is a great man, and I think one day, if we're very lucky, he might even be a good one.

--Sherlock, Episode One, "A Study in Pink."

If you know me and have had any sort of conversation with me in the past few weeks, you have probably heard me mention the BBC television show, Sherlock, a modern day adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. It was in the works, as far as I am aware, for quite a while. I certainly knew that it was being made and that Martin Freeman would play Watson before I left for grad school in August 2009--possibly even a year before that.

Let me just get this out of the way, before I actually review. Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes is GORGEOUS. (Can't believe I didn't notice him so much in Amazing Grace...but then, 18th C. wigs aren't particularly flattering, and Ioan Gruffud (sp? I can say it, but can't spell it) outshone him.) Yes, Martin Freeman as John Watson is ADORABLE, and very Sam Gamgee-ish. (So many Sam Gamgee moments!) I admit it. But let us move on.

What I'm interested in is what I see as one of the most important of the themes that run through the show, and which I think is encapsulated in the quotation at the head of this post. But to discuss what is interesting about it, we need to go back to Arthur Conan Doyle's work.

The Sherlock Holmes stories are (almost) all narrated by Dr. John Watson, an army doctor who was invalided out during the Anglo-Afgan war. Watson admires Holmes to no end. He is occasionally put off by/makes reference to Holmes's exasperating vanity and incredible pride, but in general he sees Holmes, as Holmes seems to see himself--a super-humanly intelligent and all-around awesome dude. His interest in Holmes and Holmes's work originally seems to stem from boredom, but quickly turns into single-minded hero worship. (Now, I am overstating the case a bit. I am making Watson seem more like the Nigel Bruce bumbler than he actually is. But at times he almost portrays himself as such, and we have to read between the lines to see that he isn't.)

I think that Holmes and Watson have a great friendship, and that's what draws me to the books (rather than the mysteries themselves) but it is Watson's devotion to Holmes, rather than Holmes's to Watson that makes it memorable. There is one very special moment in "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs" in which we do get a glimpse of Holmes's affection for Watson. It makes every fangirl's heart go pitter patter. Here it is in full.

The scene: Holmes and Watson are waiting for an American gunslinger [must write about America as "the other" in Victorian fic some time. A very amusing topic, in my opinion] named "Killer Evans." Evans walks into the room where they are hiding:

Clearly our moment had come. Holmes touched my wrist as a signal, and together we stole across to the open trap-door. Gently as we moved, however, the old floor must have creaked under our feet, for the head of our American, peering anxiously round, emerged suddenly from the open space. His face turned upon us with a glare of baffled rage, which gradually softened into a rather shamefaced grin as he realized that two pistols were pointed at his head.

"Well, well!" said he coolly as he scrambled to the surface. "I guess you have been one too many for me, Mr. Holmes. Saw through my game, I suppose, and played me for a sucker from the first. Well, sir, I hand it to you; you have me beat and..."

In an instant he had whisked out a revolver from his breast and had fired two shots.

I felt a sudden hot sear as if a red-hot iron had been pressed to my thigh. There was a crash as Holmes's pistol came down on the man's head. I had a vision of him sprawling upon the floor with blood running down his face while Holmes rummaged him for weapons. Then my friend's wiry arms were round me, and he was leading me to a chair.

"You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!"

It was worth a wound--it was worth many wounds--to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.

"It's nothing, Holmes. It's a mere scratch."

He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket-knife.

"You are right," he cried with an immense sigh of relief. "It is quite superficial." His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. "By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive. Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself?"


I have found this moment to be fascinating ever since I entered the world of Holmes and Watson. It is of course an "awwwwwww! Holmes cares!" moment. But it is more than that. One of my pet topics is the cost of friendship, which goes back to the *cough* Rankin/Bass Return of the King. *cough*...

In that masterpiece of 80s cinema, which I may or may not have written a whole post on a year or so ago, there is a song that says "If you never say hello, you won't have to say goodbye." And that line, in connection with the sadness of Frodo leaving has meant a lot to me. I suppose by now I could be more sophisticated and quote "Shadowlands" (not C.S. Lewis--a misattribution as far as I can tell): "The pain then, is part of the happiness now. That's the deal."
But however you want to put it, love makes you vulnerable because you will experience loss eventually. In fact, one real Lewis quotation, from The Four Loves, because it is such a great one (and then I don't have to feel too bad about the Rankin/Bass quotation):

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

This may be fangirl heresy, but I will dare to say that Conan Doyle's Holmes really did wrap his heart around with hobbies and little luxuries. He did his best to lock it up safe in the casket of his selfishness. He did not completely succeed, but if Holmes's life is not characterized by selfishness, I don't know what is. I'm glad he had hidden some love for Watson deep down inside--Watson earned it. But I am afraid that as readers we have to at least ask ourselves if Holmes's facade of indifference does not go more than skin deep. (See also his behavior in "The Empty House" and "The Dying Detective.")

I find it very sad and pathetic that all of Watson's relationship with Holmes leads up to that one moment where for an instant he sees that Holmes actually cares. But Watson doesn't seem to feel that way. He just accepts Holmes as a great man, and while he is made incredibly happy by this tiny moment of humanity, he doesn't really quesition Holmes's goodness. Greatness is enough.

Now, I said this was a review of the BBC show, Sherlock, and it is. And I've finally gotten back around to it. :-)

John, as portrayed by Martin Freeman, is very much the Watson we know and love. He is awestruck by Sherlock. Every time Sherlock makes some kind of deduction he says "That's incredible" or "that's amazing"--something to that effect. In fact, here is a really cute exchange where Sherlock is rattling off facts about a dead woman. John has peppered the conversation with little exclamations (Freeman is so good at making what could sound very silly or forced sound perfectly genuine):

John: That's fantastic!
Sherlock: Do you know you do that out loud?
John: Sorry, I'll shut up.
Sherlock: No, its...fine...

And as in the original books, Sherlock partly wants John around because he is so appreciative. At one point he says (speaking of a serial murderer) "That's the frailty of genius, John, it needs an audience." I don't think he's self-aware enough to know he's describing himself, but he is.

Unlike the books, however, the TV show brings the issue of Sherlock as a human being, not just a calculating machine, into the open. From the beginning, Sherlock's insensitivity due to his brilliance is highlighted. It's often funny--when the girl who has a crush on him asks him "would you like to have coffee?" He says "Yes please. Black. Two Sugars. I'll be in the lab."--but it keeps coming back, and even as the first episode progresses becomes more serious. The victim had scratched the name "Rachel" onto the floor while she was dying. The detectives found out that "Rachel" was her daugher, who had been still born fourteen years earlier. Sherlock has been thinking out loud, and John suggests that the murderer (who somehow forced the victim to self-administer poison) used her daughter against her somehow. Sherlock says, "But that was ages ago! Why would she still be upset?" and the whole room goes quiet. Sherlock realizes he messed up from their reactions. And as an audience member, I don't think you despise him for it. John sets him straight, but you (along with John at that moment) feel more pity for the Sherlock who cannnot feel, than you feel disgust at the Sherlock who does not feel.

At the end of that episode, Sherlock risks not stopping the serial killer in his desire to prove himself right, and it is John who saves him.

As the second episode progresses and the third begins, it is becoming evident that Sherlock may be more capable of emotion than he lets on. Or rather, that John expects him to show emotion and to feel, regardless of his professed inability to do so. John becomes more vocal about pointing out to Sherlock when he is being mean or insensitive, and he continually asks him to think about the victims in the case as if they were people.

Moriarty is holding people hostage for set periods of time, while Sherlock has to figure out the mysteries Moriarty sends to him before the time runs out or the hostages (who are strapped to bomb) are exploded, usually in a densely populated area. While John is still amazed by Sherlock's powers of deduction, he is clearly personally offended, as well as offended on principle, by Sherlock's careless attitude towards human life in favor of his obsession with facts and proving himself more intelligent than Moriarty. John reaches a breaking point after an old woman (along with many people in her apartment complex) is killed, and Sherlock is only fascinated by Moriarty's evil genius:

John: So why is he doing this, then? Playing this game with you? Do you think he wants to be caught?
Sherlock: I think he wants to be distracted
John: I hope you'll be very happy together
Sherlock: Sorry. What?
John: There are LIVES at stake, Sherlock, actual human lives! Just so I know, do you care about that at all?
Sherlock: Will caring about them help save them?
John: Nope.
Sherlock: Then I'll continue not to make that mistake.
John: And you find that easy, do you?
Sherlock: Yes. Very...Is that news to you?
John: No...no
Sherlock: I've disappointed you.
John: Good! That's a good deduction. Yeah.
Sherlock: Don't make people into heroes, John. Heroes don't exist, and if they did, I wouldn't be one of them.

But Sherlock's nonchalance about human life is challenged, when suddenly the man strapped to the bomb is John. (Another brilliant acting job. Cumberbatch somehow manages to portray Sherlock's sudden fear and vulnerability, while preserving the mask of self-confidence towards Moriarty. That's not a good description...you have to see it...but then you should probably watch it before reading this anyway...) His only friend is in mortal peril, and he is confronted with his brilliantly evil enemy, and he starts to see things John's way:

Jim Moriarty: I have loved this--this little game of ours...Playing Jim from IT...Playing gay...Did you like the little touch with the underwear?
Sherlock: People have died.
Jim Moriarty: That's what people DO!
Sherlock: I will stop you.

This was Sherlock at the beginning of the episode:

John: Try and remember there's a woman who might die.
Sherlock: What for? This hospital's full of people dying, doctor. Why don't you go cry by their bedsides. See what good it does them.

Can you spot the difference?

I end this rambly review-ish thing with another observation.

At the end of "A Study in Pink," Sherlock is about to take the pill. He is compelled to eat it, because he needs the rush to stave off the boredom of living as a genius among lesser mortals. He has been goaded into it by the serial killer cabbie who taunts him with the possibility that he has been outwitted. He is facing possible death. And his hand shakes.

At the end of "The Great Game," Sherlock has his gun trained on the explosives near Moriarty. He is ready to blow up himself and John because it seems they are doomed, and he needs to take Moriarty out as well. He has looked to John, and received a short nod of approval for the action he is about to take. He is facing almost certain death. And his hand is perfectly still.

Now I can only wait for the next season (Fall 2011!?!?!? WHAT?!?!!?!) to see what happens. Will they be saved in a Mycroft ex Machina? Or will we have a Reichenberg Falls-esque opening, with John in the hospital and Sherlock assumed dead? However the screenwriters write everyone out that sticky situation, my main interest is Sherlock's character. Was this just a crack in the facade, as in "The Three Garridebs"? or has Sherlock changed from just a great man, to a good one?
goldvermilion87: (Default)
Have you ever written anything so blatantly personal--as in not autobiographical, but might as well be--because you were thinking about it, and you really wanted your mom to read it, so she knew what you were thinking about, but you simultaneously didn't because you didn't want her to know what you were thinking?

I have!  And this is that story.  It was written for school, and I was pretty sure Mrs. K, my teacher (at that time she was Miss W.) would show it to my mom, thereby saving me the embarassment of bringing it to my mom, or forcing myself to bring it to my mom.

Also, going blind is my worst fear.  Well, my second worst fear, after being surrounded by spiders.  Eek!

All Things Work Together For Good )
goldvermilion87: (Default)
Have you ever written anything so blatantly personal--as in not autobiographical, but might as well be--because you were thinking about it, and you really wanted your mom to read it, so she knew what you were thinking about, but you simultaneously didn't because you didn't want her to know what you were thinking?

I have!  And this is that story.  It was written for school, and I was pretty sure Mrs. K, my teacher (at that time she was Miss W.) would show it to my mom, thereby saving me the embarassment of bringing it to my mom, or forcing myself to bring it to my mom.

Also, going blind is my worst fear.  Well, my second worst fear, after being surrounded by spiders.  Eek!

All Things Work Together For Good )
goldvermilion87: (Default)
So, if you read my very exciting and very long inaugural post, you may remember the sad couplet I composed at the death of my fuzzy lop, Galadriel Elanor Gamgee:

She died and was laid in the grave
She, who we in mem'ry do save.

Well, one of my favorite poets of all time, William Cowper, also had a rabbit.  And he, too, composed a poem in honor of said rabbit after it died.  I think this poem is so funny and adorable at the same time.  Remember when you read it that this was composed by an eighteenth century gentlemanly-type:

Epitaph on a Hare )

Seriously, tell me that's not the cutest poem EVER!

Cowper was a Christian who suffered from "melancholy"---severe depression.   It ran in his family, apparently.  Anyway, at times he was convinced that he was reprobate, which led to some very sad poetry.  This poem is one of the most tragic works of literature that I have read, but an excellent poem nonetheless.  (BTW:  If the last stanza rings a bell, you may have watched the Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility):

The Castaway )
That final couplet makes me want to cry. 

But I will not end on such a chillingly sad note.  Cowper was not always so depressed.  He did believe that God is on his throne, and he expressed as much in many wonderful hymns, including my favorite hymn of all time:  

Light Shining out of Darkness )
goldvermilion87: (Default)
So, if you read my very exciting and very long inaugural post, you may remember the sad couplet I composed at the death of my fuzzy lop, Galadriel Elanor Gamgee:

She died and was laid in the grave
She, who we in mem'ry do save.

Well, one of my favorite poets of all time, William Cowper, also had a rabbit.  And he, too, composed a poem in honor of said rabbit after it died.  I think this poem is so funny and adorable at the same time.  Remember when you read it that this was composed by an eighteenth century gentlemanly-type:

Epitaph on a Hare )

Seriously, tell me that's not the cutest poem EVER!

Cowper was a Christian who suffered from "melancholy"---severe depression.   It ran in his family, apparently.  Anyway, at times he was convinced that he was reprobate, which led to some very sad poetry.  This poem is one of the most tragic works of literature that I have read, but an excellent poem nonetheless.  (BTW:  If the last stanza rings a bell, you may have watched the Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility):

The Castaway )
That final couplet makes me want to cry. 

But I will not end on such a chillingly sad note.  Cowper was not always so depressed.  He did believe that God is on his throne, and he expressed as much in many wonderful hymns, including my favorite hymn of all time:  

Light Shining out of Darkness )
goldvermilion87: (Default)
I wrote two poems in May of 2000.  They are both filed under schoolwork, but the first, if it really was assigned, and not just misfiled, is still very personal.

I cannot be snarky about this poem, even though it is lacking in literary merit.  I wrote it when an elderly member of our church, who had Alzheimers, died.  Once, a year or so earlier I had written an essay about him for an "Ordinary Heroes" essay competition, and it captures the way I felt about him better than anything I could write now, ten to fifteen years later:

Ordinary Heroes )

Another long time member of our church died just this Thursday, and she, too, is where she has always wanted to be:  with her Savior where there is no pain, and no loss of memory, and no suffering.   This is the poem I wrote when Mr. Bischoff died, and despite it's artistic downfallings, I dedicate its sentiment to Miss Elaine Hiller as well:


Immortality )
 
But, as this post is entitled "From the Sublime to the Ridiculous," here is another poem from May 2000 that is extremely ridiculous.  It was an exercise for English class again.  The teacher had wonderful pictures (I don't actually know what they were from...some game, maybe) of really bizarre situations.  In one way they reminded me of Norman Rockwell paintings, but they were photographs, I think.  We had to choose one, and write a poem or a story about it. 

I chose a picture of a very exasperated man at a desk with a cow standing on it:
goldvermilion87: (Default)
I wrote two poems in May of 2000.  They are both filed under schoolwork, but the first, if it really was assigned, and not just misfiled, is still very personal.

I cannot be snarky about this poem, even though it is lacking in literary merit.  I wrote it when an elderly member of our church, who had Alzheimers, died.  Once, a year or so earlier I had written an essay about him for an "Ordinary Heroes" essay competition, and it captures the way I felt about him better than anything I could write now, ten to fifteen years later:

Ordinary Heroes )

Another long time member of our church died just this Thursday, and she, too, is where she has always wanted to be:  with her Savior where there is no pain, and no loss of memory, and no suffering.   This is the poem I wrote when Mr. Bischoff died, and despite it's artistic downfallings, I dedicate its sentiment to Miss Elaine Hiller as well:


Immortality )
 
But, as this post is entitled "From the Sublime to the Ridiculous," here is another poem from May 2000 that is extremely ridiculous.  It was an exercise for English class again.  The teacher had wonderful pictures (I don't actually know what they were from...some game, maybe) of really bizarre situations.  In one way they reminded me of Norman Rockwell paintings, but they were photographs, I think.  We had to choose one, and write a poem or a story about it. 

I chose a picture of a very exasperated man at a desk with a cow standing on it:

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