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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Hikari

    John Watson

    I almost said 'aging rent boy' but thought better of it. Martin has sandy brown hair which is totally appropriate for Dr. Watson, but I swear they bleached his hair much blonder than its normal shade for S4. Whatever they were going for, it was way too much, of everything. He looked like a WHAM! video. I thought it aged his face considerably.
  2. Hikari

    John Watson

    Late to this thread, so apologies if this has been covered, but have we discussed what was going on with Martin Freeman's hair in S4? It was so poufy, so blond . . .it was very distracting. Martin said previously that he much preferred the short haircut. The Case of the Curiously Growing Hair in S1 (in which both actors' hair was very long and Bohemian in 'The Great Game' and short in the other two) was due to TGG being shot *first*, before the pilot. Because Steven Moffat was so wrapped up with Doctor Who, he didn't get his pilot script done in time for the shooting schedule. Study in Pink was actually shot last, just proving that our actors are very adept. Watson's hair in S4 was entirely out of character for our soldier-doctor. If anything it made him look like an aging club boi. Wonder what the thinking was there.
  3. I am on a regular Windows PC. Every now and then, I would like to post a link to a YouTube video or a book title on Amazon, for instance. Or just a block of regular text from an article. Nothing happens when I attempt to cut and paste from my browser into this text box. That's it, really. I'm not trying to embed videos or anything crazy. The few times I have been able to put a link into here, I had to type it out manually from the website. So do I need to 'enable links' or something from a command I don't know about?
  4. I am bumping this three-year-old query because I have yet to be successful at cutting and pasting anything into these text boxes. I've tried links and regular text. The only way I am able to insert a link is to type it out verbatim. I'm sure I am doing something wrong or not activating some function I need to be, but Caya's instructions here are not working for me so I need a tutorial. Thanks!
  5. Ah, Mr. Klinger. So what did Laurie King's BFF have to say? Me so bad . . but I'm off those two. They really don't need the adulation of other people when they have such a healthy mutual admiration society going on. I really don't understand how the Baker Street Irregulars conduct their membership rules. I was reading a bio of one of the contributors to David Marcum's latest MX compilation and it said he was made a BSI at the age of 19. 19!!! With all due respect to prodigies, who I know walk among us, though not very often . . . what could an individual, prodigious or not, have accomplished while still in his teens to warrant membership in this most esteemed circle, when people of 3x that age, with a list of publications as long as my arm, still aren't in? I have no aspirations to this rarified group, believe me (especially if Mr. Klinger & Mrs. King are on the roster for the night) . . .but on behalf of David Marcum and a number of other very deserving authors, I'm miffed, to say the least. Talk about a snobby in-group . . ! And, they didn't even admit women until the 1990s, so sexist as well. The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes was created in reaction to this snub . . .and they admit men now, too, and it didn't take them 70 years to get there. Apparently the American President FDR was a member. To my knowledge, Mr. Roosevelt was too busy being a career politician to contribute substantially to Sherlockian literature, though he was keen on the stories. But he was the American President at the time the society was created, so talk about a coup for the charter membership. Speaking of notorious murder cases . . .I'm sure you have heard about our own version of the Ripper, aka the Black Dahlia killer, who was never caught either, though posthumously identified (maybe?) by his own son, who makes a compelling case for his father's guilt. In January 1947, the body of starlet Elizabeth Short was found in a park in Los Angeles, naked and hacked into two pieces, with a Joker grin carved into her face. I lean against the Ripper being an American, but this killer was most definitely homegrown.
  6. At the time of His Last Vow, I thought the show really couldn't dip much lower/more outrageous as when they turned Mary Morstan Watson into a CIA-trained rogue assassin. But that was prior to Season 4. I had yet to find out that, indeed, it could get a lot worse. Interesting that Moftiss chose to make Mary an assassin, because in my view, that's what they've done to the character of the woman whom ACD depicted as John Watson's guiding star and the love of his life (if that spot wasn't already taken up by Sherlock Holmes. Who knows if Moftiss is guilty of gay-baiting or not in their intentions for their screen pair, but I am speaking of Holmes and Watson as platonic best friends/halves of the whole/frères du guerre.) Moftiss's Mary was essentially a smear job on Watson's beloved wife. No offence meant to Amanda Abbington, who was as much in the dark as we were until the Unmasking of Mary in that 3rd epi of S3. She was blindsided, same as we were, and admits that she would have played Mary significantly differently had she known the Secret. Which is probably why Moftiss didn't tell her. They wanted their actors and their audience on the back foot. 'Cause, you know, S. Moffat is a megalomaniac that way. Anyway, j'accuse him of being such. Uber-controlling, that one. I thought it was a shoddy way to treat his actors AND his viewership . . .but he'd just proceed to continue blithely on doing so in TAB and the whole of S4. Essentially, having blown it with Sebastian Moran in TEH, the third episode of that season reintroduces elements of Moran with the 'empty house' motif--only *Mary* is standing in for Moran. Moran is the cold-blooded paramilitary assassin with the air rifle who makes it his mission to shoot Holmes. What a can of worms they opened up with this variation, though. Because in 'The Six Thatchers', they have to explain Mary's background as a G.I. Jane/ninja assassin. Her death at the end of that episode is gutting for John, but it's fitting, really--Mary lived as a soldier and she died a soldier's death. Mary had to die, because we know from Canon that this Mrs. Watson is doomed . . . but what a convoluted way round the houses to get there. To add that extra layer of verisimilitude, (unbeknownst to us at the time), Martin and Amanda were already estranged by the time they came to enact the Watsons' final, permanent separation. Talk about Art imitating life! Makes me wonder if they were already having problems during the filming of 'The Sign of Three' when they had to enact a joyously married couple. Amanda looked so beautiful as a bride; it had to be a source of no small irony, as they spent what must have amounted to several days' worth of filming the wedding/Best Man Speech scenes, that this couple had never actually put a ring on it in 15+ years of togetherness. Tough breaks for Amanda A., who I liked as Mary. I did not like what Moftiss did with Mary, though. They made her go through her paces like a stunt pony until they disposed of her in the story. Perhaps *she* could have been the long-lost Holmes sister (non-psychotic variant) . . .and I would have felt gobs better about the final two seasons generally.
  7. If you drink it, yeah. Moral of story: Don't drink it. I take it you've never eaten hominy or grits, then? Actually, yes, I've eaten grits on any number of occasions. It's not my favorite, texture-wise, but if they are not lumpy and have lots of butter, I get by. How is lye relevant to either grits or hominy?
  8. As a rule I adore seafood, but I met my match with lutefisk. It is not part of my cultural heritage (I'm German; we lean toward sausages and pickled cabbage. The Germanic rule is: if it makes you fart copiously, we eat it.) But quite a few years ago now I was invited to sample lutefisk at a friend's house. Can't remember if it was for Thanksgiving or more like New Year's. His boyfriend's people were Norwegian. To be fair, he didn't try to disguise what it was. "C'mon over and try some fish soaked in lye!' Me (thinking I'd misheard): Excuse me? (LYE??? Isn't that poison?) Well, I tried it, because I will try just about anything once, as long as it's not still moving. The lutefisk was definitely not still moving, unless you jiggled the plate. It lived up to its name. Tasted just like fish-flavored soap, with the same consistency. I am still here to tell the tale, but I will not be eating any more lutefisk in this lifetime.
  9. Yep, I'm confident the mystery will endure until we are on the other side of the veil. Would it benefit us, really, to learn the Ripper's identity? God knows, but unless He decides to share that little tidbit, I guess we will never know. When I get to Heaven I will have more pleasant things on my mind than the identity of a Victorian serial murder. It's a pity that forensic technology back then was so primitive to nil. I feel fairly certain that Jack was not so superhuman that he didn't make any mistakes which would have tripped him up with modern policing methods. There was probably DNA all over those letters he sent to the police. And he may well have been spotted fleeing the scene of at least one of his crimes, if not in the actual commission of it if the denizens of Whitechapel weren't so determined to 'See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'. In a better-lit area of London where the citizenry made it their business to form their own Neighborhood Watch, he wouldn't have been able to slip into the shadows that easily. He must have been covered in blood more than once. But it was so dark, and if he was wearing dark clothing (like a police constable's uniform, perhaps?) he could have walked brazenly around with blood-soaked clothing and not have attracted any notice. Another small item that bolsters the police constable argument for me was that notorious message scrawled in chalk on the wall about 'the Juwes are the the men who will not be blamed for nothing'. Apart from totally mangled English . . chalk is not a common item for everyone to walk around with in their pockets. Beat bobbies carried chalk to whiten their cuffs. Jack could have possibly been a tailor; they use chalk and have familiarity with sharp tools of their trade. But (and I defer to your greater knowledge here), that Juwes message has the air of a spontaneous act--an improvisation, as it were. To improvise a message in chalk, you'd have to already have the chalk with you, as something you normally carried around with you. The message wasn't Jack's normal MO since it only appeared at one scene. The taunting messages to the police obviously pointed to a high degree of narcissism in our killer . . .Catch me if you can, plods! . . . but wouldn't such taunts be extra-Saucy if he was taunting his own? The use of the term 'Boss' is deeply interesting. Why would an average citizen address the cops as Boss? On the other hand, the use of 'boss' is a very familiar term to subordinate officers when addressing their superiors. I know you don't care for the 'Jack-as-cop' theory, but it answers a lot of questions for me. It removes a lot of the difficulties Jack would have had in fleeing out of sight, covering up blood splashes on his clothing . . .even overcoming the reticence of his victims to go with a stranger who appeared suddenly on their patch. What if he *wasn't* a stranger, but a familiar face to the victims and also to the police? He could have melted easily into a large scrum of constables if he *was* one of them . . .and in the dark and the fog, who's going to be looking closely at his trousers? Wouldn't that have been a huge *Nyyyah!* to 'Boss' if he was watching the reaction to his crimes--from the front row seat and impeccable reason of being 'on duty' and thus having every right to be present? Makes my brain fizz, it does. P.S. Congratulate me--I have just been promoted to Detective Inspector!! Unlike Robbie Lewis, I was only a DS for like a week! (He, poor sod, was a DS for at least 20 years.) But I still have to call you Boss. Or Sir. I don't care for Guv'nor, but I will use it if you insist. One must cater to the whims of higher-ups along the greasy pole.
  10. I vote for mass murder being worse than blackmail, no matter what Sherlock says. Both Moriarty & Culverton Smith murdered innocents. Moriarty wins 'worst' in terms of numbers--he was a terrorist and the death of scores of innocent people via his bombs and etc. did not trouble him in the least. They were nothing more than collateral damage, even when he personally didn't dirty his hands. Smith was a different type of sociopath: he targeted his victims for entirely personal reasons and was very hands-on his killing. Magnassen was indirectly responsible for some deaths via his extortion, true, but they were self-inflicted by the victims. (Lady Smallwood's husband). Not an admirable human being of course--but his motivation was money & power through disgrace, not death. From his point of view, it was far preferable for his victims to remain alive so they could keep paying his demands. Even more so than Moriarty, he possessed Sherlock's gifts on the dark side. Unlike the other two, his M.O. was not violence, but shame. Despite some breathtakingly gauche behavior (slurping on Lady Smallwood's face; relieving himself in Sherlock's fireplace), he was a consummately elegant individual, imbued with elegance by his actor. It's tough for me to hate Lars Mikkelsen, and I found his portrayal of Magnussen one of the few redeeming features of that episode. Then, of course, there is Euros . . .I kind of put her to the side because, although her actress did a fine job with a challenging role, Euros is completely out of left field. She has no place in the Canon and frankly, no recognizable humanity at all. She's a cartoon--a Bond megalomaniac who wondered over into the wrong universe. Inserting her into the storyline was Moftiss issuing a gigantic F U to the Sherlock fandom, both the ones devoted to this show and those who honor the creation of Arthur Conan Doyle. I totally lost respect for both of them with that episode, and they lost their credibility as bona fide Sherlockians with me. Euros makes all the former villains, including Moriarty and Ernst Blofeld look like boy scouts. It was way more than a step too far bringing her into the picture, in such a manner. The idea of a female Holmes sibling, though never introduced by ACD, still had potential, witnessed by how many other authors have given Sherlock a sister. But what Moftiss did with her was so ridiculous, I can't believe everyone who once loved this show doesn't feel as insulted as I do. A cameo by Jim Moriarty was the only good thing that came out of putting her in. I was already angry at Moftiss for such a very lame use of Sebastian Moran in TEH, and this just sealed the deal for me. Stephen Moffat should be prosecuted for crimes against Sherlock Holmes and all those who love him. Mark Gatiss does not escape my ire entirely but because he was such a winning Mycroft, it's hard for me to hate him with the same passion I direct toward his collaborator. Plus we all know that Moffat was the one in the driver's seat here. His narcissism would allow no less.
  11. When I was in the Junior League, we were (inevitably) publishing a cookbook. During the recipe phase, I was given "mango punch." Now, as an Indiana girl, my first thought was to go get bell peppers, but that didn't make sense. I'd heard of a fruit called a mango, but I hadn't the slightest idea what it looked like or where it would come from, so I think I bought cans of mango juice to make the recipe. By the way, I now love the Thai dessert mango and sticky rice. It doesn't involve peppers. :-) I find regional differences in speech fascinating. Except for college and a brief stint in Asia, I've spent my whole life in Ohio and I've not once heard 'mango' used for 'green bell pepper'. Not even now, when I'm 30 minutes from the Indiana border. I grew up on the other side of the state, approximately 5 miles from the PA border. I attended college in Western PA, only about 40 miles from my parents' house. It was there, in a heavily Amish influenced area that I first heard the term 'buggy' used for 'shopping cart'. To me a 'buggy' is either something drawn by a horse or something we put a baby in, not foodstuffs. Where I live now they have a dish referred to as 'ham and beans'. First time I heard that was on the menu, I was like "Yum! I love baked beans with ham!" Except that what I got was green beans with chunks of ham tossed in. O-kay. I also had managed to live my entire 35 years before moving here without once partaking of a 'shredded chicken sandwich', which is shredded chicken out of a can mixed with mushroom soup and breadcrumbs and served on a white hamburger bun. No seasoning or taste of any kind added. Were it not for the extremely high sodium content, I'd say it's a crackerjack meal for invalids. It's so soft and bland, it hardly requires chewing. Pulled pork sandwiches is the only type of shredded meat I really care for, turns out.
  12. Vis. my earlier comments about Watson's Wives, here is the dubious 'scholarship' I was thinking of. This paper was the keynote at the Dayton (OH) ACD symposium in 2002, and has been having a life on the Internet, aggrieving fans of Doctor Watson ever since. "Counting Watson's Wives" by Brad Keefauver http://www.sherlockpeoria.net/Who_is_Sherlock/WatsonsWives.html
  13. I enjoyed Mr. Jeavons very much as Lestrade & wished to see much more of him in the role. Unfortunately the Granada series utilized him even less than did Conan Doyle and he only appeared a few times (2 or 3) during David Burke's tenure as Watson. I thought he was spot-on; could not have been a better Lestrade. He was the whole package. Eddie Marsan played Lestrade in the to-date 2 Guy Ritchie Sherlock movies, and I thought he too was born to the role, having an even more ferret-y aspect than did Mr. Jeavons. His Lestrade was a less-attractive personality, though, highlighting the Inspector's ongoing competition/rivalry/irritation/inferiority complex with the intrusive & condescending consulting detective who abuses him so regularly. I think this is the common perception of Lestrade . . at least until Rupert Graves came along. One finds, in the stories themselves, that while yes, Holmes does delight in routinely running down the deficiencies of Lestrade and his Scotland Yard cohorts, there are moments of real camaraderie between them. On some rare occasions, Holmes actually praises Lestrade. The Inspector is a regular caller to Baker Street and sometimes he's there because he wants to be. The BBC show leans toward highlighting this relationship of mutual needs (Lestrade needs Sherlock's insight; Sherlock needs work and an audience to dazzle), and tentative friendship which is genuine even if Sherlock can't remember (or pretends he can't) Lestrade's first name. Re. Undershaw I was a bit (a lot, actually) surprised to learn of Sir Arthur's house's new incarnation as a special-needs school. The restoration of this cultural and literary landmark has been talked about in Sherlockian circles for years now, long before I got into the Game. I'm glad this endeavor is finally finished and pleased with the results---though I am shocked that Undershaw was not then turned into the Doyle shrine/tearoom/giftshop/wedding venue/overpriced B&B accommodation for Yuppies from around the globe that I would have expected. We must admit that housing a school for disabled kids is a much more important role than catering to Sherlock enthusiasts, even though that leaves us out. Undershaw will have a lasting legacy now that is so much more than a tourist destination. I have not had a chance to read the website in depth, but it was my understanding that at certain times, maybe when school is in recess, that the grounds will be open for visitation from the public. It seems inconceivable that there wouldn't be a spot on the campus devoted to displaying Undershaw's past history.
  14. Every time I log into the site, I'm seeing the banner ad for "Sherlock's Home", the compilation of fan fiction to benefit Undershaw, the former home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the place where he wrote many of the Holmes adventures, including "The Hound of the Baskervilles". I visited the Amazon UK listing for this book (published in 2012) and find that an update is seriously in order. Since this book was published, the Undershaw Trust (patron Mark Gatiss) has been working tirelessly to raise funds in order to restore Sir Arthur's former home to its former glory, as it had fallen into sad disrepair. In 2015, American author David Marcum launched the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, the seventh volume of which will be released very soon. (Mr. Marcum favors January 6th, the birthday of Sherlock Holmes, as the day he dedicates a new collection, though in the past he has also used Dr. Watson's birthday, July 7th.) The stories now number well over one hundred. The authors have all dedicated their royalties from these works for the ongoing Undershaw restoration. I'm not sure how many readers here are aware, but the restoration efforts for Undershaw have been a resounding success, and in fact, the site is now in its second year as the home of the Stepping Stones school for children with developmental disabilities. The school opened its doors at its relocated site on 9 September 2016. In the most-recently published MX anthology of Holmes stories, Vol. VI to date, Mr. Marcum staged something of a coup in obtaining a personal foreword by Colin Jeavons, otherwise known as Jeremy Brett's Inspector Lestrade in the Granada TV series. Mr. Jeavons, now 88 years old, has close personal friends whose daughter is a current pupil at Stepping Stones. If you would like to see what Undershaw looks like today, in its brand new role, visit: www.steppingstones.org.uk/Stepping-Stones-is-growing
  15. 9 pounds shipping, eh? Well, those are heavy MFers. I haven't actually weighed mine on a scale but they feel heavier than a number of bowling balls I have ever used. If you ever have an intruder, intent on stealing your Ripper memorabilia, Mr. Klinger's opus would inflict a nice little blunt force head trauma and take them out. What is the exchange rate these days? When I was a child reading the Paddington Bear stories, I think it was $2.50 US to one pound sterling. But $2.50 could buy a whole lot more back then. $2.50 could get you ten (10) Hershey bars. Now you will get 2 at the most. Having purchased Leslie's work, I find that I have taken it out of its box exactly once, to ooh and ahh . . and then I was afraid of messing it up so I haven't touched it since. I'm glad I bought it as a bragging item, I guess, to show my seriousness at this little Game of ours--and yet for actual mileage, I have gotten way more use out of my Penguin paperback editions of the Complete Holmes stories and Novels, vols. I and II, scored years ago out of a box of donations to my library. They were inscribed and far to bulky to circulate, so I nabbed them for myself. They were Christmas gifts to some ungrateful young man named S----- back in the '80s and had obviously never been cracked, as they were in pristine condition. But--30 year old glue being what it is, the spines cracked as soon as I did open them and now, they are in half a dozen sad pieces. I've kept them all together, though. It was via this rather unsatisfactory method that I first read 'A Study in Scarlet' and most of the other stories. I guess it depends on how fetishistic you consider yourself vis. getting another Sherlockian's annotations to texts which are available everywhere, even free on the Internet. It is a very handsome product. And it made Leslie Klinger's name as the Baring-Gould of his generation--he is our preeminent American Sherlockian on the basis of these, so there's that. Hard to believe that a Sherlockian of this stature is still laboring at the bar, isn't it? (Mr. Klinger is a lawyer. David Marcum is a civil engineer. Sherlockian scholarship doesn't pay toffee, evidently.) 99 pounds would buy a LOT of other wonderful pastiches . . .but if you've gotta have it, you've gotta have it.
  16. Herlock, Oh, dear! I'm glad your friend seems to be all right, but to lose the complete Baring-Gould hurts! Fortunate that those are replaceable, but I know how it feels to lose precious books. I'm a librarian; books are almost like children to me. I have yet to buy Mr. Baring-Gould's magnum opus. I considered it, but none of the online copies I looked at seemed like they were going to be in a condition I wanted for the prices. I have a used, vintage copy of "Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street" that is fairly clean and readable but the pages are yellowed and quite brittle. And why shouldn't they be, seeing as this book is older than I am. I chose instead to invest in Leslie Klinger's New Annotated Sherlock Holmes . . .just the stories. That was a massive enough box set to be getting on with. The novels are separate, in a another massive box set. Shelf space is at a premium at mine. I may get the novels set one day but I can probably do without it. Sherlock Holmes shines brighter for me in the short stories; between you and me, I think he and Conan Doyle are on better form there. As to Kurland's Moriarty oeuvre, well, I say '5'--in the Infernal Device omnibus I have, there are two longer novels and one novella so brief it almost qualifies as a short story called 'The Paradol Paradox.' Apart from that, there are four longer works. The only one I don't have is "The Empress of India". Colonial kitsch, as I term it, is a lesser feature of interest to me in the Conan Doyle stories, and I was thinking I might not be so keen on that one. I liked the others a lot, especially the first and the last, entitled "Who Thinks Evil". I think you will enjoy them. It's definitely Professor Moriarty on the lighter side of crime, but he's very winning. Another more humanistic portrayal of the Professor I found engaging, though David Marcum didn't have any use for it was Michael Hardwick's "Sherlock Holmes: My Life and Crimes". As the title suggests, this is Holmes, now an old man in his cottage in Sussex reminiscing on his career. The bulk of the narrative concerns the period we call 'the Hiatus', and what Holmes was *actually* up to then vs. what he told Watson he'd been up to in 'The Empty House'. And what he was doing was going deep undercover in Germany to gather intelligence about Germany's plans for world war, at the behest of Brother Mycroft, naturally. His cohort in this enterprise was none other than Moriarty. The two rival geniuses and former antagonists achieve a rapproachment, putting aside personal history in the service of their Queen. They never entirely achieve trust and amity, but they do come to a place of mutual respect and better understanding. I suppose it's this more human, vulnerable and empathetic side to the Professor which Mr. Marcum disdains--he is a purist to his core and doesn't like any of the Accepted Truths as given to us by Watson in his narratives tampered with. But Sherlock never told Watson everything he had under his hat--do we doubt it? Watson may have been Holmes's best friend, but Holmes exploited Watson's credibility whenever it suited a higher purpose. Not to be purposely cruel, or even necessarily to protect his friend from harsher truths, but because it had to be done. As here. Watson could never know the truth while he was alive about Holmes's activities from 1891 - 94. Even so, Sherlock expresses amazement that the good Doctor and his Strand readers swallowed such a perfunctory whale tale as Holmes spun upon his return to London. Lassa, et al was Sherlock spinning so many plates in the air as he often did for Watson's benefit. He realized, too late, that he and Mycroft had not concocted a more plausible cover for his absence, and Sherlock had to make that stuff up on the fly. Ever the loyal lieutenant, Watson swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker and duly passed it on to his readers. Both the Michaels also flesh out the character of Sebastian Moran. As they would have it, the Colonel is actually the far more dangerous of the two men, lacking his boss's civilizing code of gentlemanly ethics. I see that Kurland never tackles Reichenbach, content to keep Moriarty and Holmes in a more collegial relationship. Hardwick doesn't do Reichenbach in a traditional sense, but he plays more fair with the 'known facts' in that his Moriarty does die in Europe, in 1894, and Sherlock Holmes is side-by-side with him when he does. For that we can blame Moran.
  17. Herlock, I'd be very surprised if someone hadn't thought of that already. Or the BTK Lounge. Have a BLT at the BTK! Author David Marcum and his deerstalker took the Ripper tour in Whitechapel and he posted some photos on his blog. Whitechapel by day in the 21st century looked quite wholesome. He got a nighttime shot of a deserted street though and it gave me the jeebies. Just add fog and voila! 1888 all over again (with better pavements). People have ghoulish minds. The BBC series "Ripper Street" opens with a Ripper tour guide shepherding his charges around the bloody crime scenes--and this was a scant 6 months after they had occurred. The group comes upon an unfortunate gutted woman that looks like the Ripper's calling card announcing himself back in business . . and the curtain rises on our little drama. There is a certain element of glorification of Jack's awful crimes, given that those scenes of horrifying deaths are a 'Must See!' stop on a visitor's tour of London, after paying the appropriate admission fee, of course. Jack wasn't the most prolific serial killer we've had, nor the most imaginative, nor certainly not the first. But he's the first serial killer that captured the public imagination via media attention, and the first killer to essentially invent the moniker 'serial' as common usage. And of course, the largest part of his mystique is that he was never caught or identified. Ted Bundy killed many more women than did Jack--36 that he admitted to. Experts who interviewed him think the count was 100 or more actually. Next to that Jack's tally is puny--and Ted targeted attractive young women, college students from the middle class. Author Michael Dibdin writes of the Ripper's choice of victim as disposable murders--practically the closest thing to euthanasia one could conceive. Regardless of their personal demons or station in life, the Whitechapel victims were human beings and as such deserved the dignity of life. However, the Ripper no doubt surmised (rightly) that nobody would give a toss about another dead prostitute in Whitechapel, where knife violence was a daily, if not an hourly occurrence. Had his murders not been marked by such a degree of ritualistic overkill, and his identity remained shrouded in mystery, it's pretty likely that the names of his poor and socially insignificant victims would have been long forgotten. Bundy was America's most prolific serial killer, but only the most dedicated Bundy-buffs can likely recite the names of any of his multitude of victims. His capture and unmasking were actually banal. Jack eluded such a humiliating end by staying anonymous--a creature of our collective nightmares. As a result, even the most casual peruser of his crimes can likely recognize the names of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes & Mary Kelly. Jack's crimes have become the basis for myriad films, books and research papers. The most famous film treatment of Bundy's crimes is a 1986 TV film called 'The Deliberate Stranger'. I'm glad Bundy was apprehended and sorry the Ripper wasn't, but in terms of notoriety down the ages, eluding capture is better for a serial killer's legacy. Bundy had sex with the dead bodies of some of his victims. Jeffrey Dahmer ate some of his. Both could be justifiably said to vastly outstrip the Ripper in depravity--and yet, he still tops them all. They were silly enough to get caught.
  18. Good morning, Herlock, Still morning where you are, too. I am very familiar with the Professor Moriarty novels by Michael Kurland, having read four out of the five. I enjoyed them. It's a bit of an intellectual dissonance exercise because Kurland presents Moriarty as a hero, more or less. The Professor cheerfully admits to being a criminal, but his activities are all for the supremely higher purpose (as he sees it) of funding his very expensive astronomical research. He is building his own observatory on the moors and that takes dosh. This 'Napoleon of Crime' has his own network of 'Irregulars' and his own Boswell, an American journalist named Benjamin Barnett. He favors dressing gowns and chemical experiments in his home laboratory on Russell Square. His underlings are devoted to him. Kurland paints a decidedly benign portrait of Sherlock's nemesis; essentially he exhibits all the salient features of Holmes on the flip side. It's very hard to dislike this Moriarty, who is capable of kindness and gentilesse to his social inferiors. He kind of views himself as a modern-day Robin Hood, relieving buffoonish aristocrats of their ill-gotten gains in the service of the higher good of Science. Sherlock Holmes appears sporadically in these stories, oftentimes as a bit of comedy relief. Moriarty views Holmes's obsession with him with bemusement. Holmes's ploys to keep the Professor under surveillance via various guises do not go unnoticed or commented upon. The two geniuses join forces several times at the behest of Whitehall and Brother Mycroft, and when SH can put aside his animosity temporarily, the two make a good team. This Moriarty will likely not appeal to hardcore purists, but Kurland succeeds in making him a fully-rounded human being instead of a mustache-twirling cardboard villain. Kurland has several anthologies as editor. I can also recommend "Sherlock Holmes: the Missing Years" and "Sherlock Holmes: the American Years". Both of these include some of my favorite pastiches I have read so far.
  19. So Walsall is near you? Forgive my lack of geographical knowledge! Violet Hunter turns up in a number of pastiches--she is a very popular client of SH's. In Michael Kurland's compilation "My Sherlock Holmes", Miss Hunter narrates the second occasion she is compelled to consult Holmes. It's several years on from their first encounter and she is a respected and extremely competent headmistress at that academy for young ladies in Walsall. I think if Sir Arthur were alive to see this overheated, obsessive Game that we play, he'd be flabbergasted. Gobsmacked. Because after creating Sherlock Holmes, he got bored with him quite quickly. At best, Holmes was a reliable cash cow. At worst--he was the commercial, blood-sucking albatross 'round his creative neck that was strangling his more 'important' work of being a Romantic novelist (note the capital 'R'.) You and I have invested a lot of time and money in pursuing our hobby, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of folk the world over who have dedicated their entire careers and beings to 'poring over every detail of Holmes's life." I hope they feel that their investment of their life's blood has been worthwhile. As much enjoyment as I get out of Holmes stories, I have to wonder about that. Because in some circles, every (fictional) utterance and move of Sherlock's is scrutinized, studied, debated and written about as deeply, passionately and with much of a sense of import as if he were Jesus Christ. To be honest, I think only the Holy Bible has sold more copies than Sherlock Holmes, and only because it's been around significantly longer. I can't think of another character in all of literature that has captured the worldwide imagination so widely and so long than has Sherlock Holmes. Not even Santa Claus has had so many adventures attributed to him. People don't spend their lives becoming 'Saint Nick' Experts, do they? What a shame, really, that Sir Arthur didn't value his creation as much as other people have . . . he would have given us more Holmes stories, and he would have cherished better his signature creation and realized that Holmes, not any of his other writings, was to be his legacy.
  20. Midwesterners (USA variant) are known for apologizing a lot, too. New Yorkers and other big-city types can spot a Midwestern tourist a mile off by how often we preface every question or remark with an "I'm sorry!" Not that the town I'm in is that polite . . .but maybe out Wisconsin way I'd find it more. Thanks for the etymology of 'penguin'. Makes terrific sense. Yes, poor Bendi--if he'd just drawn a line between the syllables and gotten 'PEN' out, pause, Gwyn, I think he would have been fine. It was the PENGuin that was throwing him, I suppose. I suppose a few others have noticed Ben's charming, very slight speech impediment now and then? Just adds to his mystique. I know we're all about Sherlock 'round here, but if you haven't seen Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game" or more recently, his Richard III for the Hollow Crown, hie thee hither to a video streaming portal and check those out. Sherlock is great, but seriously, *these* are the roles that prove that our Ben deserves to be Sir Ben one day.
  21. Thanks for the tip, T. I am still navigating the features of this site but I will be sure to check that thread out. So where in the world are you? Ooh, fist bump me! I just realized that I have been promoted a rank! I don't remember sitting for my Sergeants' Exam but I must have passed. Now watch me make DI in record time. Well, not quite. I will be well behind the record set by Herlock Sholmes, who achieved DCI rank in 6 weeks. What a career!
  22. I say byoo-ti-ful too. I think. Isn't that the way it's said? lol Okay, everyone, here's a quizzer: COUPON: Do you say "QUE-pon' Or "KOO-pon"? Also, I trust everyone here can say "Penguins". Our Benedict C., bless his heart, for all his poshness cannot. It comes out "PENG-wings". He tried so hard and it was wrong every time. Someone should have done him a favor and written it out phonetically in his script for "PENG-wings of Madagascar". ***** For all you UK-based carbon life forms out there, let me say on behalf of your former rambunctious colony that we find your accents charming. Everything sounds better in a Brit accent. You either sound very intelligent, or at least like a whole lot of fun down at the pub. The Scots are well nae unintelligible but I confess a weakness for Scots men. We've got one of them now, Craig Ferguson, and we aren't giving him back. If you fail to find the dulcet American tones charming likewise, we understand. We can barely stand the sound of our own voices. The British pronunciation of many shared words is notable for how it separates each and every syllable, vs. we Yanks who are too lax or in too much of a hurry to be arzed and just run them all together. Ex. Aluminum--Ha! I just tried it with the extra "I" you Brits insist on putting in and your UK-based spell checking software didn't like it! I love the way Benedict Cumberbatch says "Authoritative". Au-THOR-I-ta-tive. The less attractive American usage is 'Au-THOR-I-TAY-tive. Of course, Bendi says "Jaguar" in an inimitable fashion, too. Over here across the water, we say 'JAG-WAR'. 'JAG-u-Wah' makes me laugh, but it's cool.
  23. View Halloa to my fellow Ohioan, Boton! Ohio is a pretty dull place so we denizens are constantly in search of something for intellectual stimulation, if we incline that way. If we don't, there's always sodding football . . .
  24. Yes, you have an excellent point. Holmes is so much a part of our culture that many people associated with Trek may have been subconsciously influenced by that character as they made successive approximations to the familiar Spock, starting with Roddenberry's first couple of versions. Not that anybody thought, hey, let's make him more like Sherlock Holmes! More like, each time they tweaked the character, it just "felt right" -- until Nicholas Meyer (who wrote both Seven Percent Solution and Wrath of Khan) could have Spock attribute a famous Holmes quote to "one of my human ancestors" and everybody thinks, yeah, that makes sense. Aha! See, you are more of a Trekker than me. I didn't know that Spock reference Sherlock Holmes as an ancestor nor that Nicholas Meyer wrote a ST movie. Then we come full circle, when Benedict Cumberbatch, made internationally famous by portraying the Great Detective became even more internationally famous (in China, as 'Curly Fu') when he portrayed 'KHAAAAAAN!" I think all writers working in this genre in any medium owe a creative debt to Sir Arthur. I'm in the midst of rereading the Tony Hill-Carol Jordan forensic thriller series by Scottish author Val McDermid. In 'The Last Temptation', the novel I'm in now, McDermid has her profiler hero Dr. Tony Hill (memorably played by Robson Green in the TV series) utter this line, verbatim: "It's an error to theorize ahead of the facts." Some people may think that Tony thought that up off the cuff, but we know Sherlock said it first. And Dr. Hill does have very Sherlockian traits. He is partnered with his 'Watson', or perhaps better said, his "Lestrade" in the person of DCI Carol Jordan.
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