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56 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

It sounded to me like there were a bunch of other interpretations being proposed, which is why I posted mine (which I agree seems quite clear from context).  But maybe what I took to be other interpretations of that bit of dialog were actually interpretations of one aspect of the entire episode (or one aspect of the entire series).  Sorry.  Didn't mean to confuse anyone.  Goodness knows I'm often sufficiently confused for all of us!

No worries, it wasn’t just you.  I was under the same misapprehension.

 

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Re. JohnLock

Based on the numbers of YouTube fanvids devoted to this ship, a majority of viewers interpret John and Sherl as having romantic attachment to one another, even if it remains unacted upon.  I certainly spent many happy hours enjoying the craftsmanship of JohnLock shipping videos.  The subtext and clues are certainly plentiful if one chooses this interpretation.

It got pretty ugly that last season in the fandom when many fans under the LGTBQ+ banner accused the show creators of gay-baiting by, as they saw it, priming the audience for a consummated gay relationship between John and Sherlock and then pulling back from  providing it.   I think the view of Mofftiss was that the relationship between the two flatmates of 221B is in the eye of the beholder, though it did seem that as the series progressed, more types of 'Are they  . .?/Aren't they . . ' banter and innuendo was inserted.  Mark Gatiss is of course openly gay and he didn't seem adverse to the idea, but both showrunners stopped short of stating outright that it was their intent to suggest a gay relationship at the center of their show.

This kind of speculation around Holmes and Watson was percolating even in the 19th century shortly after their first appearance in print.  There was a rather lively original fandom dedicated to 'lavender' musings about our Baker Street duo.  Of course, in that era and even more recently than that, two single bachelors sharing digs in a very expensive city in order to save money was commonplace, and didn't have any sexual connotations at all.  Females can and do share living accommodation all the time without it being automatically considered Sapphic in nature, but even for them, after a 'certain' age--ie, too deep into the 30s--speculation does arise, and it seems to be even earlier than that for men who have not settled down with a wife much after the 20s. Now that the *majority* of post-Millennials between the ages of 18-34 are living with parents rather than independently or with any romantic partner/spouse, maybe this sort of speculation will die down. 

When our literary pair meet, they are both in the later 20s and already out of step for their time vis-a-vis matrimony.  But seeing as Sir Arthur was a devout Catholic who was himself married, and writing in a time when homosexuality was a crime, it is a surety that he never intended the relationship of Holmes and Watson to be read as sexual/romantic, despite his collegial relationship with Oscar Wilde.  That has, then and now, been inserted by the fans and by other interpretive works, such as this show and TPLOSH.  I really went into TPLOSH expecting it to be 'more gay' than it actually is.  Sherlock Holmes bathes freely in front of Watson and takes umbrage at Watson prying into his romantic history without ever directly answering to his preferences.  He intimates that he is not heterosexual and thus not interested when propositioned by a ballerina diva to be the father of her child . . but that was more a joke to get out of a sticky situation with persons SH does not respect.  If anything, Robert Stephens' version is certified heterosexual by seeming to fall for a woman who betrays him.

I myself read Holmes' and Watson's relationship as that of two freres de guerre--brothers-in-arms--who have an abiding friendship that is not romantic but has the intensity of having each found 'their' person in the world--not for sexual outlet, but as two minds/spirits that complement each other and complete each other in a way that neither had found with anyone else.  As men, and Victorian men in particular, a male friendship of this depth and complexity is really rare.  John, as the more emotional one, is more effusive about what this connection means to him in emotional terms.  Sherlock is always the more reticent one, distrusting of rank 'emotions' and seeming to demean his friend for being too soggy in the emotional quadrant.  But SH is a man of deep feeling as well as deep thought--feeling too deep for words most of the time and kept in check by superhuman self-restraint and discipline.  But when SH lets the feelings out, there is no mistaking the genuineness of them.

“My friend's wiry arms were around me and he was leading me to the chair.
"You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake say that you're not hurt!"
It was worth a wound -it was worth many wounds- to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay beyond 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.”
--The Adventure of the Three Garidebs

 

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Out of all the ships on this show, probably the most outlier one, given that there is zero textual evidence to support it and the two principals do not, in fact, share a single scene together, though there is a distinct reference to them having met or at least being in communication (cf. The Hounds of Baskerville) is MYSTRADE.

This ship is so bizarre but zany fun, as evidenced by the minority, yet singularly crafted and deeply felt fan vids devoted to the passionate, if clandestine, smokin' romance between DI Greg Lestrade and Mycroft Holmes.  Mycroft is, one assumes, even more rigorously asexual than his Little Brother, who after all, did have at least One Woman in his life.  

But as played by M. Gatiss and Rupert Graves--one can certainly see the attraction of Mycroft for the strapping working-class Inspector.  "I don't just do what your brother tells me" opens up some delicious sub-textual possibilities if one is so inclined.  Personally I think DI Lestrade is as butch as a Yorkie bar and is really into Molly, so there's my ship--Molstrade.  They are the easiest match and I think would be a very harmonious couple.  Molly has a similar skill set to Sherlock, but I think Sherl can only ever view her as a fiesty little sister.  A valuable person to have in his corner, but not a romantic interest.  The Sherlolly videos are cute, though.  Everyone is so very inventive with all the ships.

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4 hours ago, Hikari said:

the *majority* of post-Millennials between the ages of 18-34 are living with parents rather than independently or with any romantic partner/spouse

Really?  Taking a mental census of my friends when I was in that age range -- well, many of us weren't even in the same state as our parents, having moved to attend one university or another, and then stayed.  Of the local people, I think most did live with their parents at least some of the time, and in some cases that arrangement was clearly for the parents' benefit -- one gal's widowed mother would have been struggling to support herself and a teenage son, had her two adult children not lived with them and shared expenses, and another gal's father was in poor health, so she moved back in with him.

So maybe things haven't changed all that much, after all.

 

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56 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Really?  Taking a mental census of my friends when I was in that age range -- well, many of us weren't even in the same state as our parents, having moved to attend one university or another, and then stayed.  Of the local people, I think most did live with their parents at least some of the time, and in some cases that arrangement was clearly for the parents' benefit -- one gal's widowed mother would have been struggling to support herself and a teenage son, had her two adult children not lived with them and shared expenses, and another gal's father was in poor health, so she moved back in with him.

So maybe things haven't changed all that much, after all.

 

Things have changed a lot for the post-graduates since we were in school--mostly economic factors.  I graduated in the late 1980s and, though I stayed with my parents for a bit until I got a job, back then it was generally considered a mark of shame and a Failure to Launch situation to still be living at home with one's parents much past 25, 26-and only THEN if you were enrolled fulltime in grad school . . or if you were a single parent/post divorce or your parents had significant health issues.  Those were all good reasons--but living at home simply because one had not been able or willing to find a self-supporting income generating job by the time one was in the late 20s or beyond . . that was major depression-making stuff.

In fact, I can clearly remember my college commencement day.  After the ceremony and loading the car to come home (a 45 minute drive, so. close) I had no sooner dropped my bags in the foyer when my dad said, conversationally, "So--how long do you think you'll be staying here?"  I had barely spent any time at home during the last three years, owing to 2-3 campus jobs during school terms and full-time summer employment at a resort in another state.

Gee, love you too, Dad. . . .but my parents, frugal Germanic-Lutherans, were perhaps even less coddling than other parents in their peer group.  Today's 18-34 year olds are facing the bleakest job market and the most crushing loads of student debt . . ever . . and the digital SM culture predisposes them even less to get out there and network in the real world, perhaps.  Since most or many of their friends are in the same boat, it's not the marker of shame and failure it used to be--just cold, economic reality.  

 

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3 hours ago, Hikari said:

Since most or many of their friends are in the same boat, it's not the marker of shame and failure it used to be

Oh, it definitely still is.  There are more and more people being forced into that situation, but you can bet they're facing shame and degradation from their family members and/or society at large.

The interesting thing is that the notion of "failure to launch" is more or less an anomaly.  For most of human history, in most cultures, families have shared a roof at all ages.  Children only established their own space once they got married, and even that wasn't an absolute.  Many families just stayed together, the elder helping with little children and the younger taking care of the elder.  "Living with the parents" instead of "on one's own", especially as a young unmarried person, has only really been a mark of shame for the last 50 years or so.

Interesting factoid for you: The word "wife" means "woman", and in more ancient times, boys were not considered "men" and girls were not "women" until they were married.  So in traditional wedding vows, when the officiant says "I now pronounce you man and wife," they are essentially saying "I now pronounce you grown-ups."

 

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3 hours ago, Artemis said:

The word "wife" means "woman"

And in fact, the word "woman" comes down to us from the Anglo-Saxon word wif-man.

Irrelevant (but linguistically related) fact:  Oddly enough, the Anglo-Saxons had a word "hus-wif" meaning (as you might guess) housewife.  But that word did NOT come down to us as "housewife," it exists today as "hussy"!  But then the same combination arose again after Modern English had evolved.

 

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On 9/27/2020 at 5:43 AM, T.o.b.y said:

What I do enjoy however, in fiction and fiction only, are complicated, messed up and often unhealthy relationships. Harely and Joker, like I said, for example. Or Jamie and Cercei Lannister, to list another extreme. Irene Adler and Sherlock.

But not just in a romantic sense. It also applies to fictional friendships and families. Half my movie collection is "dysfunctional family drama" or "disturbed teenagers doing disturbing shit". Don't ask me why. It just seems to be the way my brain is wired.

And those are the last thing I enjoy :D, cold it seems, I have little patience for those who are defending their abusive and troubled relationship, even in fiction, especially (very likely) when others had tried to help or enlighten them. And don't get me started with disturbed teenagers. Yah everyone is wired differently indeed. :D I get you, but remember I'll be on the other side of the ring throwing brick tomatoes at you when you happily watch John kicking Sherlock.

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On 9/26/2020 at 4:59 AM, T.o.b.y said:

Yes, I think he does / did look up to John that way. Which made it even harder for John when he found himself thinking, feeling and behaving differently. 

Imho, series 4 has many faults but what I love it for is the message that a person's worth and worthiness of love (in whatever form) doesn't / shouldn't all come from their abilities or achievements. Sherlock isn't only lovable because he's brilliant and John isn't only lovable because he's honorable. They have intrinsic value just as people and they learn to like each other just as people even if they're sometimes stupid or mean, as people are wont to be sometimes. 

I'm not saying there aren't limits and we should IRL forgive anything and everything all the time and stay friends with people who hurt us. If for you what John did crosses a line, even in fiction, that's really fine and understandable. 

For me, Sherlock's suicide charade, the two year absence and completely inappropriate behavior upon returning was already so appalling that I believe if they were real people, John shouldn't ever have let him into his life again. However, I can tolerate a lot more unhealthy shit on TV than IRL (and really like it there too to be quite honest), so in this case, I think it makes sense that John would have an extreme reaction sooner or later. And I'm not surprised it took the form of violence. Or that he was about to cut ties completely, even if it meant leaving Sherlock to die. 

It's unrealistic that their friendship can mend from all this incredible mess but what else is fiction for if not to make the impossible possible? 

I got the impression that Sherlock kind of knew that John needed to get a lot of anger and resentment out of his system and he kind of volunteered to be the punching bag. Maybe that was even his way of dealing with his own guilt. It's not exactly a strategy that I would recommend to actual living people but in this case - yeah, ok. Pass me the popcorn and the tissues. :P

(Just for perspective, I am a person who enjoys the relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker too so... I'm clearly a bit messed up. But I swear I have wayyyy different standards for people IRL and I do think I can see real abuse and don't romanticise it. I had the good luck to grow up in a pretty happy home, have pretty decent friends and marry a very decent man, so I guess I can afford to enjoy F***ed up fiction. I'm aware that not everyone can or wants to and that's very understandable and ok!) 

I'm probably closest to Toby on this issue -- I tend to regard much of Sherlock as a metaphor (or is it allegory? I always get those two confused.) At any rate, I tend to see the show as a commentary on the world around us at least as much as I see it as a story about two men and their friendship. For instance, in this scene I see Sherlock gently chiding John (and himself) for expecting perfection of himself, but I also see it as the writer's way of reminding the world (aka, the viewers) that forgiveness is a virtue. Even if -- maybe even especially if -- it's not deserved. Personally, I think it's one of the most beautiful scenes in the whole series.

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4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

At any rate, I tend to see the show as a commentary on the world around us at least as much as I see it as a story about two men and their friendship.

I would say that's true of all stories (or nearly all).  They're all lessons in some way, shape, or form.

4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I also see it as the writer's way of reminding the world (aka, the viewers) that forgiveness is a virtue. Even if -- maybe even especially if -- it's not deserved.

Is forgiveness ever deserved?  If so, then I might postulate that it wasn't really needed to begin with.

 

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3 hours ago, Artemis said:
3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

At any rate, I tend to see the show as a commentary on the world around us at least as much as I see it as a story about two men and their friendship.

I would say that's true of all stories (or nearly all).  They're all lessons in some way, shape, or form.

I would say you're probably right. Yet I get the feeling that many or most people don't. At the moment I'm thinking of movies I've been to that I thought had deeper messages, only to discover afterwards that my seatmates only saw the flashing lights. So I'm either reading too much into it, or they're not reading enough.

3 hours ago, Artemis said:
3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I also see it as the writer's way of reminding the world (aka, the viewers) that forgiveness is a virtue. Even if -- maybe even especially if -- it's not deserved.

Is forgiveness ever deserved?  If so, then I might posture that it wasn't really needed to begin with.

Interesting point, and I see what you're saying. But if someone makes amends for a wrong they have done, do they "deserve" forgiveness? Or does the act of atonement absolve them of guilt, and therefore they don't need to be forgiven? Or is it even possible to "truly" make amends for a wrong done? Hmmm, I'll have to think on that.

What I do know is that in John's case, we see evidence that he regrets and feels guilt for his actions, but none that suggests he ever apologized or tried to make up for his failings. Yet Sherlock forgives him anyway, which to me is probably the noblest thing we've ever seen him do. To me it's worth it to get through the entire episode just to get to that point. I know he's referring to "being human" as having failings, but  "being human" also means rising above the level of the "dumb beast" and doing good for good's sake. And I do love to see Sherlock being human in the "right" way. 🥰

 

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5 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Interesting point, and I see what you're saying. But if someone makes amends for a wrong they have done, do they "deserve" forgiveness? Or does the act of atonement absolve them of guilt, and therefore they don't need to be forgiven? Or is it even possible to "truly" make amends for a wrong done? Hmmm, I'll have to think on that.

Well, this is kind of how I see it.  Forgiveness is a kind of mercy.  Mercy, by nature, is compassion shown to the undeserving.  If you deserve it, then it’s not mercy, it’s justice.  Justice is the realm of the deserved.  Justice is the paying of debts.  Forgiveness, by contrast, is the cancellation of a debt.  It’s a gift of grace given to you by the one you have wronged, when they feel ready to give it.  It is not linked to your own merit, it is not something you earn or are owed.  It is given to you, or it isn’t.

 

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13 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I tend to see the show as a commentary on the world around us at least as much as I see it as a story about two men and their friendship. For instance, in this scene I see Sherlock gently chiding John (and himself) for expecting perfection of himself, but I also see it as the writer's way of reminding the world (aka, the viewers) that forgiveness is a virtue.

 

12 hours ago, Artemis said:

I would say that's true of all stories (or nearly all).  They're all lessons in some way, shape, or form.


I would say that's the difference between a good story and the other kind, that the good ones make a point.  Or as Gene Roddenberry used to tell the Star Trek: Next Generation writers, it needs to be about something.

And I think part of the point in that scene is that it's often hardest to forgive oneself.

 

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13 hours ago, Arcadia said:

For me, Sherlock's suicide charade, the two year absence and completely inappropriate behavior upon returning was already so appalling that I believe if they were real people, John shouldn't ever have let him into his life again. However, I can tolerate a lot more unhealthy shit on TV than IRL (and really like it there too to be quite honest), so in this case, I think it makes sense that John would have an extreme reaction sooner or later. And I'm not surprised it took the form of violence. Or that he was about to cut ties completely, even if it meant leaving Sherlock to die. 

It's unrealistic that their friendship can mend from all this incredible mess but what else is fiction for if not to make the impossible possible? 

I got the impression that Sherlock kind of knew that John needed to get a lot of anger and resentment out of his system and he kind of volunteered to be the punching bag. Maybe that was even his way of dealing with his own guilt. It's not exactly a strategy that I would recommend to actual living people but in this case - yeah, ok. Pass me the popcorn and the tissues. :P

I'm replying to Arcadia's post, but the quote above is from t.o.b.y.

Ah, yes, the Return.  If you thought Sherlock was callous toward John in the T.V. show, he's even more dismissive in the story.  Watson receives such a shock to the system, he passes out cold.  When he comes to, there are a few minutes of Holmes airily dismissing the last three years as 'I was in Llasa' and they're off to the races again like nothing happened.  There's no hint of animosity or hurt on Watson's part--but Sir Arthur never got terribly deep with these stories or allowed too much angst to come between the partners.  Watson on the page is so sunny and even-keeled and takes Holmes's verbal abuse with equanimity.  Apart from grousing over missed meals, he generally does not complain about the chaos and disarray and stress of life with Sherlock Holmes.  Sherlock on the page doesn't do guilt or second-guessing himself, even when he should.

TV Watson is far more realistic in terms of his behavior and his emotional baggage.  That SH's 'suicide' was staged for John's protection doesn't make the betrayal feel any smaller, and in fact grates even more--John feels justifiably angered that he was considered too dim or weak to be trusted with the facts.  Hearing that something has been kept from us or done to us for our own good doesn't tend to sit well, especially with adults.  Most especially with adults who are veterans of the Afghan campaign who don't flinch at cutting people open.   TV Watson comes to the same conclusion that his literary counterpart does:  Life with Sherlock Holmes in it, under any terms, is preferable to one without--certainly more exciting--but it comes at a cost.

Obviously those two should have gone for couples' counseling as soon as Sherl returned from the dead, because John of S4 has a rage that is, perhaps not disproportionate to what he has suffered, but he's kept it all bottled up and S4 is the implosion.  Such levels of anger are really toxic to the person carrying them around, as much or more so than the results of that anger on others.  Of course, John isn't dealing with just Sherlock's betrayal at Reichenbach but also Mary's betrayal, and that cut even deeper because John knows that Sherlock's behavior is in keeping with his nature--but the Mary that John thought he married has been a figment from start to finish.  That betrayal is worse.  Then, before he can process all of this and come to a new understanding with the 'real' person he married--if she even knows who that is--she is killed. So--no closure with Mary.  The rage he turns toward Sherlock in that final season is mostly misplaced anger at Mary and himself, too.  

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4 hours ago, Artemis said:

Well, this is kind of how I see it.  Forgiveness is a kind of mercy.  Mercy, by nature, is compassion shown to the undeserving.  If you deserve it, then it’s not mercy, it’s justice.  Justice is the realm of the deserved.  Justice is the paying of debts.  Forgiveness, by contrast, is the cancellation of a debt.  It’s a gift of grace given to you by the one you have wronged, when they feel ready to give it.  It is not linked to your own merit, it is not something you earn or are owed.  It is given to you, or it isn’t.

 

Very well said.  Forgiveness is grace, which is undeserved favor--from God and from one another, to one another.

Forgiveness is not an entitlement . . but actually the real power of forgiveness is in what granting it does for the giver, not the recipient.  Forgiving those who have wronged us is more for our benefit than the person we give it to.  

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3 hours ago, Hikari said:

Forgiving those who have wronged us is more for our benefit than the person we give it to.  

Quite true.  Holding a grudge is slow poison.

 

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On 9/30/2020 at 5:08 AM, Hikari said:

The rage he turns toward Sherlock in that final season is mostly misplaced anger at Mary and himself, too.  

That is why it's hard for me to accept it.

 

About forgiveness, good points all around, I agree with most, but to you guys, does it come with a fine print? Me, Of course! I forgive, at least I try, but only if I think the other party really makes effort and it's genuine effort, however, I DON'T FORGET. What you have done to me will never be erased, and I will remember that and it will affect what I think of you (consciously or not). That is simply survivor mode to adjust with past disappointment, and this is probably why I said earlier, I have little patience for abusive relationship especially one side continues to be the victim willingly. I know it's not that simple, but don't forgive blindly people. Human are not that good. 

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But we should always aim to be the best we can be...

despite what others do or say.

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Hear, hear the beannie!

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1 hour ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

I have little patience for abusive relationship especially one side continues to be the victim willingly. I know it's not that simple, but don't forgive blindly people. Human are not that good. 

They're not that bad, either, at least not most of them.

I read about a study that was done in gaming theory (or something like that).  The question being tested was, which is the better winning strategy, to trust people or to distrust them?  And the answer seemed to be, trust everyone until you see which individuals don't deserve your trust, and then trust everyone except those individuals.

 I think the application to everyday life is pretty clear.

 

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2 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

That is simply survivor mode to adjust with past disappointment, and this is probably why I said earlier, I have little patience for abusive relationship especially one side continues to be the victim willingly. I know it's not that simple, but don't forgive blindly people.

 

1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

.... until you see which individuals don't deserve your trust, and then trust everyone except those individuals.

I believe that is what I tried to say.

 

 

1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

trust everyone

but I'm not on board on this ☺️

 

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You're talking about the "trust everyone" at the beginning of my story?  Well, I was merely paraphrasing an account that I read ages ago, but I would assume that -- regardless of how it was actually worded -- they meant "trust" in some sort of relative fashion.  Within reason, and all that.

 

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On 10/1/2020 at 2:16 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

 

I read about a study that was done in gaming theory (or something like that).  The question being tested was, which is the better winning strategy, to trust people or to distrust them?  And the answer seemed to be, trust everyone until you see which individuals don't deserve your trust, and then trust everyone except those individuals.

I think I meant this.

At work, I used to do that, believing that people are capable of what they are hired to do, but too much dissapointments lead me to twist it around. That I would be skeptical of them unless they prove it. Some people are so good with words that when it comes to action, untrained people could be better job than them, and it's frustrating because these kind of people normally being paid highly because of the deception skills.

 

Anyway, to keep on topic. I think my problem with shipping in any kind of show especially Sherlock, is people usually link shipping to .. ehm, banging, bedroom, sex, blablablah.

I think there is greater beauty in 'shipping' that is more like admiration or feeling for someone because they make you feel that way, not related to blood flow to genitals. Hmm.. example, exactly what I think John and Sherlock are, without the whatever fans want them to do (kiss, moochy moochy, bang ~insert eyeroll). Or other example, what Irene said, when John said, I am not gay! She said something along the line, and I am. To me, it emphasizes that they both have strong feeling for Sherlock that should have nothing to do with anything sexual, in my mind, personally, is more realistic and beautifull.

 

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2 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

Anyway, to keep on topic. I think my problem with shipping in any kind of show especially Sherlock, is people usually link shipping to .. ehm, banging, bedroom, sex, blablablah.

I think there is greater beauty in 'shipping' that is more like admiration or feeling for someone because they make you feel that way, not related to blood flow to genitals. Hmm.. example, exactly what I think John and Sherlock are, without the whatever fans want them to do (kiss, moochy moochy, bang ~insert eyeroll). Or other example, what Irene said, when John said, I am not gay! She said something along the line, and I am. To me, it emphasizes that they both have strong feeling for Sherlock that should have nothing to do with anything sexual, in my mind, personally, is more realistic and beautifull.

 

Amen!

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