BEST. POST. EVER!!!

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I get really excited about stuff.

I’ve always been this way.  Whatever I like at any particular time, I will go all in with my enthusiasm, declare that this song, this book, this movie, this cappuccino, this chocolate chip cookie, is OMG THE BEST EVER!!!!!!!!!! I will go full fangirl at the drop of a hat if you mention something I’m really really into right now.  Elementary? OMG BEST EVER!!! Mirrors by Justin Timberlake?  OMG BEST EVER!!! The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher? OMG BEST EVER!!!

It doesn’t mean I can’t recognize and discuss the flaws in the things I’m fangirling over.  I will, for instance, happily discuss at length the problems in season two of Elementary.  They are legion.  And yet when I have the opportunity to watch an episode, I squee and do the Kermit YAY!!! flail.  Because it is OMG THE BEST EVER!!!

Living in superlatives has its downsides, of course.  Obviously, if Tyrion Lannister dies, or Elementary is cancelled (or, worse, jumps the shark), I will be crushed in a way I would avoid if I didn’t throw myself into it so completely.  More problematic, though, is that getting this excited over everything echoes mania.  I’m bipolar, and before finding the right combination of mood stabilizers and antidepressants, I would have periods where everything was BRIGHT and WONDERFUL and WOW and OMG THE BEST EVER!!!  Where I was bouncy and excited and talked fast and had ALL THE ANSWERS!!!  Periods that were inevitably followed by a hard crash.

I haven’t had one of those episodes in years, but getting superlatively excited can sometimes give me pause.  Sometimes I’m hyper aware of my moods, and worry that fangirling over something is me ascending the first hill of the emotional rollercoaster that is bipolar disorder.

In spite of the downsides, though, I like the way I am.  I like being unreservedly excited about things.  I like loving things with abandon.  I like squeeing and flailing and fangirling.  I like getting other people excited about the things I’m excited about.  And I wouldn’t trade all that for anything.

A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on

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The picture above has been floating around the internet for some time now.  I first encountered it on Tumblr, where someone added a comment that the heart shape, our symbol for love, actually came from two hearts sewn together.  People reblogged that explanation like mad, and now it’s all over the internet.

Totally romantic, right?  Also totally B.S.  The origin of the heart symbol is unclear, but historians speculate, among other things, that it comes from the shape of the seed of the silphium plant, once used as contraception, or even a representation of a woman’s buttocks and vagina. Two hearts sewn together is a complete fiction, but like so many things, a lie becomes stronger than the truth when it is attractive (“sexy,” as we say in philosophy) and repeated over and over.

It’s fascinating (and disturbing!) how prevalent this sort of thing is.  Our knowledge of the past is marred by misconceptions, fiction taken as fact, and outright lies.  Viking helmets didn’t actually have horns.  Napoleon wasn’t short.  Catherine the Great didn’t have a sexual predilection for horses.  Paul is not dead, the walrus is not a symbol of death in Eskimo culture, “glass onion” is not a slang term for a coffin.  And you do not swallow eight spiders in your sleep every year (that “fact” was actually created as an example of how ridiculous things travel around the internet as truth.  Point made.)

There’s an Elementary episode from season one where Sherlock reveals that one of his hobbies is conspiracy theorists.  “I love them,” he explains to Joan. “Like one loves a barmy uncle.  Or a pet that walks into walls.”  He joins conspiracy theory websites and periodically stirs the pot with a theory that he has constructed out of whole cloth.  The CIA invented crack.  The Supreme Court is owned by Scientologists.

I have at times toyed with the idea of doing something similar: creating a Tumblr account purely for the purpose of disseminating “facts,” and watching which ones take off and which ones don’t.  It would be an interesting experiment, but I do have moral qualms about deliberately misleading people, even if it’s something as innocuous as the heart symbol being based on two hearts sewn together.

Elementary and Sherlock fans: can’t we all get along?

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Full disclosure:  I love the BBC Sherlock.  And I’m obsessed with Elementary.  And this isn’t a contradiction.

I was on Pinterest earlier today, and realized I was pinning a lot of Sherlock stuff but no Elementary.  Considering the fact that I am, as previously stated, obsessed with the show, this was clearly something that needed to be remedied.  So I went searching for Elementary pins.

And I found the hate.

A bit of history: when Elementary was first announced, a lot of Sherlock fans were immediately up in arms.  They sneered at the idea that Americans were trying to take advantage of the popularity of the BBC Sherlock, and laughed at the obvious gimmick of making Watson a woman.

I know all this because I was one of them.

I wound up watching the pilot because I was curious.  I expected to hate it.  Instead I fell in love.  Elementary is nothing like Sherlock.  The approach it takes to adapting the source material is totally different, and compelling in its own way.  And a woman Watson?  Brilliant.  Joan Watson is one of the best parts of the show, for no small part because the relationship between Sherlock and Joan IS the best part of the show.  And before you ask, no.  No, it is not romantic.  And while I will admit to being a Joanlock shipper (that’s fannish for wanting Joan and Sherlock to get into a romantic relationship) it is awesome that it did not happen in the first season.  Sherlock and Joan’s partnership is not based on sexual attraction, not even remotely.  It is based on mutual respect and a shared passion for the Work.

Elementary has been on for a year and a half at this point.  It is wonderful, and by any measure a success.  And yet there’s still so much hate.  People saying that they’d never watch it because it’s obviously a cheap knock-off of Sherlock.  Worse, people attacking the show because Joan is female.  I even saw someone post that “I just hate that Watson is a Chinese woman.”

Seriously, people???

Look, nothing is ever going to please everyone.  It’s okay to like Sherlock and not like Elementary.   But people who reject Elementary out of hand just because it’s Not Sherlock are missing out.  They are different shows, with different strengths, and it’s okay to like both!  I promise!