Trying to make tomorrow rock and miscellany

Well. Trying to make today actually. 

An aside: watched Sherlock Holmes’ “The Blind Banker”, which some consider the low point of the mini-series. I’d have to agree. Half of the episode, contrasting Holmes’ and Watson’s rather different lives, was good. The other half, which was surprisingly racist in an Orientalism way ((Turning Asians into stereotypes of exoticism rather than people; it’s lazy at best and offensive at worst. It’s like saying all Irish are drunken terrorists, or all French are snooty and xenophobic.)), was not so good. And actually rather disgusting. Good gods, Moffat, what the hell. I mean, really. 

(Not that the canon didn’t have its own… special moments, including religious intolerance in “Study in Scarlet”, racism—yes, I know, “The Yellow Face” was not racist, quite the opposite; but consider how Doyle portrayed exotic/sinister Chinese in The Story Involving the Sponge, Middle Easterners in “The Sign of Four”, blacks in “Valley of Fear” or was it “The Three Gables”—cultural stereotypes (fiery Spanish women in “Thor Bridge”, Italians in “Red Circle”), homophobia in the “(Something) Soldier”…. 

That stuff makes me fear going through the canon redux the most, to look back on it and want to go back in time and beat sense into Doyle. I know the excuse of “it was a less tolerant time” but it’s still bothersome and, I feel, not something to be glossed over, because I like to actually think about what I read. Total crime and foolishness to some folks, I know. 

I think, in fact, it was older Doyle who became *ist and *phobic, while younger Doyle had a more open mind. Good gods, what happened to him?

Warning: I am not a kind and loving moderator. Any comments that offend me risk getting malleted out of existence. It’s how I roll.)

And now: how to make tomorrow, even this week, rock. 

I think I’m best off when I write, actually. Blog and whatnot. I know some people are like, “why hang it all in public if we cannot make disparging comments about you doing so, get a room, you fail at blogging for an audience”; and yes, I suppose it’s an exhibitionist tendency, but there you have it. 

And I’m never going to forget the people who are all like, “You exaggerate that you’re going to die if you don’t write.” Well. There have been several times when I would have killed myself this year if not for this blog. They aren’t me; what the hell do they know? (Of course, that admission means I’m sick and thus do not fit into any sane discussion mold. Man, I love being marginalized out of arguments.)

I hate belittling attitudes out there. Sometimes they come from surprising places. There are forums I just can’t comfortably visit, and it makes me sad. People say I should develop a thicker skin; but that doesn’t solve the root cause, now, does it.

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6 thoughts on “Trying to make tomorrow rock and miscellany

  1. re: the religious intolerance in SiS – Reading a Study in Scarlet is kinda weird as an ex-Mormon. On one hand, it does seem like he was portraying a particular media stereotype of Mormons at the time. There’s parts of it where I just wince and go, “WTH, Doyle! How did you research this?” But then there is stuff in there that isn’t exaggerated, even if it’s wrong in some details, like the portrayal of what seems to be the Danites and the murder/castration of men who were seen in some cases as poaching Mormon women or committing sexual crimes. I think it’s fair to say that the portrayal of Mormons in Study in Scarlet is largely biased but it’s probably one that a Mormon skeptic/historian might find interesting, provided that they not use it as an Actual Historical Document.

    • “Didn’t do the research” is something of a hallmark with Doyle. Although it’s more like half-and-half. Probably the most famous case of this is “Silver Blaze” which, while being a very good story and full of accurate deductions given a fantasy world where Doyle’s racing rules were true, was otherwise so incredibly inaccurate as to be laughable.

      If he got it better here, that’s relatively impressive.

      • He might have read some of the accounts of the Danites (Joseph Smith’s, and later, Brigham Young’s personal body guards) and some of the shenanigans they got up to. The problem with researching Mormon history is that large chunks of it are biased in one form or the other. Either you get the super white-washed version that the LDS church churns out and which is what I was taught as a kid (in which nobody ever acknowledges the sketchy behaviours of the LDS higher-ups) or you have some fairly yellow-journalistic accounts of the Mormons as was circulated at the time, which is to say, often highly exaggerated versions of said sketchy behaviour. In Mormon culture, the Hans Mill massacre and the evacuation of Nauvoo are used to garner sympathy and moral high ground–and a lot of Mormons will talk about how their ancestors were persecuted for their beliefs, which is often true but which doesn’t excuse the sketchy stuff.

  2. Oh god, “The Blind Banker.” I watched it with a group of people and we all winced and gasped in unison. I especially love how the art restorer woman, whose work history involves near-slavery for a drug smuggling gang, naturally is an expert on historical tea ceremonies and gets hired for a major museum. Because she’s generically Asian, so of course she knows.

    It’s pretty awful. The next one is much better.

    • It was kind of hilarious. As I understand it (sort of), she knows Japanese tea ceremony intimately even though she was orphaned and on the streets at an early age in China. “She’s Asian” was being used as short-hand in a gangly, near-sighted, lazy, offensive kind of way.

      And what the fuck was up with the dude in a turban and a big curved sword fighting Holmes in his flat. I mean. What. Was that to soften us up for the racial dumbosity of the rest of the episode?

      Plus, were I that girl, and in a few ways I am, I would the fuck not stay in the “little community” with people who wanted to kill me, unless the UK is very much into isolating all its ethnic people into requisite small parts of cities. Please tell me the UK isn’t like that and the Brown Party hasn’t won yet. >.<

      • There are definitely pockets of immigrants – I can’t read the majority of shop signs in my town because I speak the wrong languages – but someone who speaks English like she did would pretty much be able to live anywhere I could.

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