Monday, August 26, 2013

Wake Up

I know what you're thinking: how does he do it?

Sherlock Holmes, I mean.

Have you read Sherlock Holmes, or just seen the movies and shows? They're brilliant, by the way --all of them, that is. But how does he do it? How is it possible that one mere mortal can divine knowledge that only the killer and the victim could know? In all regards, no human can be that clever, so maybe we're allowing ourselves to be fully taken in by a character that is unrealistic.  Or maybe not; The new BBC Sherlock TV show (okay, not new like came out yesterday, but new in comparison to the rest of the adaptations) argues that Sherlock has high-functioning Aspergers or Autism, which is likely, though never explained in the books (not like Doyle in 1901 would have known what Aspergers or Autism was). But one thing is for certain: this character sees everything.

There's something to hero-worship that makes you think you can be like that, too. "Okay," I tell myself, "I need Sherlock-vision, too, so all I need to do is dress in tweed, read in genres I don't understand, and do all of the logic puzzles in the newspaper."

(Yeah, right.)

Okay, maybe I won't be someone with high-functioning Asperger's who can judge how many dogs you have based on the fur on your trousers, and maybe I'll never be able to identify your socio-economic status based on the soles of your shoes, but I can train myself to be more observant. Charles Harper Webb said that to be a funny poet, you had to train yourself to see things in a funny way. This is about waking up, my friends. This is about seeing things for how they are, not for how you assume they are. Novels need detail.

So today I saw:
-a tarantula while out on my morning jog (if that's not motivation to run...)
-an older man (possibly a retiree) who had dug a pit in his frontyard, had a burning bonfire in the pit, and was pointing a leaf-blower at it for more oxygen (I can't possibly imagine...)
-a line of law-abiding citizens honking at a teenager in a Lexus for not stopping in front of a school bus

I am not Sherlock Holmes, nor have garnered any funny life-meaning from today's observations. They are completely worthless, except as an exercise in detail, and no murder mysteries have been solved today...

...unless a teenager stole a Lexus and fled from the scene of a crime that involved killing someone with tarantula venom and burning the body in a neighborhood across town. Solved it. 

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