Friday, August 19, 2016

In this age of 'pay for what you like' , is the hunt over?

As much as I hate to publicly agree with Sherlock Peoria, occasionally he does make some good points, . . . . occasionally.

His points today have made me stop and wonder.

In this age when things are much easier to come by, even for a price, is being a Sherlockian collector as fun as it once was?

I remember one trip when I went to Maine, for a non-Sherlockian reason, if I would pass a barn or old building selling used books I would pull in an search for authors that I really liked. Sometimes coming away with nothing, sometimes adding to my collection.
Many times I was surprised and came away with several Doyle books I had not come across before.

But it was fun looking in these out of the way places and meeting the proprietors.

I use to drive into small towns, when on trips, looking for used book shops, where now I look for mirco-breweries.
(Well, maybe that's a good thing.)

Now we can just search on-line for things we don't have. I must admit, I have done it. EBAY and other places make it so easy. Almost like a virtual hunt.

But what about that hunt? Was the hunt part of the pleasure we got from our collections?
Now it's not the hunter that gets the prize, but the one with the fastest speed-dial or biggest check book, the most time to search the web.
There have always been 'collectables' that have been out of reach for the working class, and there always will be. But we had our small victories when we would climb up into the hay loft of an old barn and come across a Morley we did not have.

I also find myself buying far less pastiches than before because they are to available. I guess that is probably a good thing also.

Oh, well. I guess I better go check my EBAY bids.

In a few years, this generation will be waxing nostalgic for what we have now. And I guess that is the way it should be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Exclusive! - From our man on the ground in Hollywood. Yea, Right! -SHIN

EXCLUSIVE: After faring so well together in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers,Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are re-teaming in another Sony Pictures comedy. They’ll star in Holmes & Watson, with Etan Cohen directing a script that is inspired by the Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tale, but with a PG-13 comic bent similar to their past collaborations. Ferrell and Reilly have been looking for several years to find another opportunity to work together, and now they’ve got it. Ferrell will play Holmes and Reilly will play his faithful wing man, Watson.

The studio originally bought the script with Ferrell attached to do the movie with Sacha Baron Cohen, who costarred with Ferrell and Reilly inTalladega Nights. That stalled. The project came back together very quickly over the past few weeks under production president Sanford Panitch and chief Tom Rothman; when scheduling slots opened for all parties, Sony seized the moment. They are planning to go into production right after Thanksgiving. The film will be produced by Mosaic and Gary Sanchez. Cohen, whose comic scripts include Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder, made his directorial debut on Get Hard, the comedy that starred Ferrell and Kevin Hart.

Now, this is hardly the only Sherlock Holmes project in circulation. There is the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes franchise with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, the CBS seriesElementary with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu and the Benedict Cumberbatch seriesSherlock. The feeling is those iterations have stoked worldwide awareness for the characters, and hopefully will create an appetite for a full out comic version of the super sleuths, anchored by a couple of stars who are two for two in the hit column together.
Jonathan Kadin is overseeing for Columbia, Chris Henchy and Jessica Elbaum are overseeing for Gary Sanchez. Ferrell, who is coming off the hit Daddy’s Home, is repped by UTA and Mosaic; Reilly, next seen in Kong: Skull Island, is WME and Framework, and Cohen is CAA and Mosaic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Can 'Sherlock' survive without B.C.

Usually I cut and paste pieces at times here and link a credit to the source.
But this one was so badly written I thought I would just post the question brought up in the piece instead.
With all the talk that the principles are all to busy to continue their output for 'Sherlock', the question was asked; "If Benedict Cumberbatch does not return again, can the series survive without him?"

While replacements have at times worked, such as Batman, Jack Ryan and our own Watson from the Granada series, Capt. Kirk, etc., it hardly, to me, seems likely that another actor could take over from the fantastic job Benedict Cumberbatch has done. His performance is so nouanced that I can't imagine a replacement

What do you think?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Oh, . . . that's too bad.

Lefty Critics Rail at 'Sherlock' Creators for not turning Holmes and Watson into a Gay Couple

By Ian Miles Cheong|3:23 pm, August 12, 2016
The creators of Sherlock, the popular TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, have come under fire from social justice warriors. The show’s main creators, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, have refused to ship its two main characters, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, into a gay romance.
The entire phenomenon rose on Tumblr and Twitter, where a large number ofSherlock fans came up with a hackneyed theory that the intent of its creators was to transform Holmes and Watson, who have consistently been portrayed as heterosexual since their creation by Arthur Conan Doyle in the 19th century, into homosexual partners.
Speaking at the recent San Diego Comic-Con, the showrunners Moffat and Gatissrepudiated the theory. While answering questions about how to address minority representation in shows like Doctor Who, which Moffat also showruns, Moffat said that it is important in his shows to not come across as “campaigning” for homosexuality and simply present it as a normal fact of life.
“You don’t want it to be campaigning. You don’t want to be table thumping about it. You don’t want to essentially tell children that there’s something to campaign about,” he said. “You want to say this is absolutely fine and normal. There is no question to answer. You want to walk right past it, in a way. You don’t want to… If you say, as sometimes other kinds of literature or movies might, we forgive you for being gay. You’re just saying you’re gay and it doesn’t matter. There’s no issue.”
Moffat immediately segued into Sherlock, where he expressed his exasperation with a vocal segment of the fanbase for often twisting his words and insisting Sherlock is gay.
“It is infuriating, frankly, to be talking about a serious subject and to have Twitter run around and say, ‘oh, that means Sherlock is gay.’  Very explicitly it does not. We are taking a serious subject and trivializing it beyond endurance.”
It’s at this point that Gatiss, who is gay, explained that while there’s always a possibility that Sherlock Holmes might be gay, it isn’t what the show is going to run with.
“I’m a gay man. This is not an issue. But we’ve explicitly said this is not going to happen—there is no game plan—no matter how much we lie about other things, that this show is going to culminate in Martin and Benedict going off into the sunset together,” said Gatiss.
“They are not going to do it. And if people want to write whatever they like and have a great time extrapolating that’s absolutely fine. But there is no hidden or exposed agenda. We’re not trying to fuck with people’s heads. Not trying to insult anybody or make any kind of issue out of it, there’s nothing there. It’s just our show and that’s what these characters are like. If people want to do that on websites absolutely fine. But there’s nothing there.”
Gatiss went even further and asked fans not to tell them what to do with the show. “It’s our show, they’re our characters, they do what we want them to do, and we don’t have to represent absolutely everything in that 90 minutes. It’s impossible,” he said.  “And it would kill it. It would be deadly to it.”
Moffat echoed the statements of the show’s co-creator and added that all the demands to make Holmes and Watson gay were detrimental to gay representation. “What they did was scale back that conversation and make it about something extremely silly,” said Moffat. “And that’s not helping anyone.”
After the interview went live, fans reacted in disbelief and claimed it to be a hoax, prompting Gatiss to take to social media and verify that the interview was real. His words were poorly received by self-proclaimed social justice warriors, who called his decision “unkind.” They argue that homosexuals will not have proper representation in media until Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have sex on TV.
This isn’t the first time creators involved in Sherlock repudiated such theories. Last year, actor Martin Freeman, who plays John Watson, said in an interview that the detectives were “not actually fucking. It’s possible for people of the same sex to have a deep friendship without being attracted to each other.”
His statement got him in trouble on Tumblr, where an older post that had labeled him a “potential rapist,” a “racist” and a “homophobe” picked up steam. The post was on the popular “your fave is problematic” blog.

At the end of the day, it’s up to Sherlock’s creators what they wish to do with the story, and it’s good that they’re sticking to their guns instead of giving in to outrage.

Sherlock Holmes in the news - Jeremy Brett

Is celebrated Sherlock Holmes actor too white for a blue plaque? Fears political correctness has robbed star of commemoration

  • Jeremy Brett is regarded as the greatest ever Sherlock Holmes
  • But he has been snubbed for a blue plaque by English Heritage
  • Poet Stephen Spender was similarly snubbed for his own plaque 

His portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is regarded as the greatest ever, and during a glittering 40-year acting career, Jeremy Brett starred opposite legends including Laurence Olivier and Audrey Hepburn.
But it seems he isn’t quite distinguished enough for English Heritage officials to place a coveted blue plaque outside his former home.
The actor failed to make the shortlist of those being considered for a plaque – at a meeting which called for greater racial diversity of those who are honoured.

The same panel also decided against including the poet Sir Stephen Spender on the shortlist, but instead recommended a little-known trade unionist and women’s rights activist be added.
While there is no evidence either Brett or Spender failed to make the cut on the grounds of ethnicity or gender, it raises the question of whether significant cultural figures are missing out on the honour for reasons of political correctness.
The revelation has angered Brett’s fans, who consider his to have been the definitive portrayal of the detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who has his own blue plaque in South-East London.
Old Etonian Brett enjoyed a distinguished career, starring opposite Olivier in The Merchant Of Venice and as Freddy in the 1964 film My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn.
The minutes of the meeting, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, do not give any indication as to why Brett was not thought suitable, but merely record a decision was taken not to shortlist him.

Anthony Horowitz, who was commissioned by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write the Sherlock Holmes follow-up novels The House Of Silk and Moriarty, said: ‘Jeremy Brett was by far the greatest Sherlock. For this work alone, with or without a blue plaque, he will never be forgotten.’
Details of the February 17 meeting also show a decision was taken not to honour Spender, who died in 1995. In 1965, he was appointed as the US’s equivalent of the Poet Laureate – the first non-American to hold the role. And in 1984, the year after his knighthood, the then US President Ronald Reagan quoted from his poem The Truly Great at a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
The documents also note: ‘The question of greater diversity in nominations was discussed. Given it was the public who made the nominations, there was an opportunity to communicate this more widely by linking promotional activity to Black History month.’ The committee also finalised plans to commemorate women’s rights campaigner Mary Macarthur.

Professor John Sutherland, who wrote the authorised biography of Spender, said: ‘It’s unfair he’s been overlooked. His poems of the 1930s are major works. I don’t recognise half of those recognised with blue plaques.’
English Heritage said: ‘The panel felt that, at present, Stephen Spender’s literary reputation was not strong enough for him to join poets such as John Betjeman, T. S. Eliot and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, all of whom have been commemorated.
‘The blue plaques panel considers about 60 suggestions a year. All nominations are taken seriously, but only a certain number – around 12 – can be put up every year.’

A look inside The Sherlock Holmes Museum

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Friday, August 12, 2016


A pocket history of the French badass who inspired Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes seems like a pretty interesting guy, what with the opium addiction, the violin playing, the crime solving, and that long-simmering erotic tension with Dr. John Watson. But Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, despite being a bona fide Guinness record holder for the most commonly portrayed human character in film and TV history, is not one-tenth as interesting as the real-life French master criminal who inspired him. That is the message of a highly entertaining cartoon from Cracked entitled “Sherlock Holmes Is Based On A Real Guy (Who Was Even Cooler).” This brisk, brief bit of animation runs through the life and career of one Eugene Francois Vidocq (1775-1857), a prolific criminal and multiple-prison escapee who wound up as the world’s first private detective and basically jump-started modern criminology. He’s the literal embodiment of the adage that it takes a thief to catch a thief. He’d solve crimes just to pass the time while he was incarcerated, and eventually the cops just let him out so he could do what he did best. Risky as it seems, this decision proved to be a quantum leap forward for law enforcement.
The police in Vidocq’s time were not that successful in solving crimes because they didn’t think like criminals. “Apparently,” says the video, “before Vidocq came along, cops were just kind of guessing.” But the world of crime was one that Vidocq himself knew from the inside out. Among the inventions with which he is credited here: ballistics, crime labs, criminal databases, and footprint clues. By training agents in his methods, he essentially created an 1800s equivalent of the FBI. Like Holmes, his fictional counterpart, Vidocq was a multifaceted man with many interests. In his case, according to this video, he was a swordsman, businessman, author, womanizer, and braggart who embraced his celebrity status. So does all of that make Vidocq more interesting than Holmes? Possibly, but only Holmes will have the honor of being brought back to life in the next century in order to solve future crimes.

Friday, August 5, 2016

I miss uniforms. . .

Uniforms, not the military type, that told you what people do. . or did.
The other night while attending a school open house, several scout type organizations and booths, trying to get new kids to join were set up.
And not one, adult or child, wore their uniform completely. They wore just enough of the uniform to make it clear who they were, but that was it.
Now, while that has been a pet peeve of mine for a while, it goes much deeper than that.
For me it is a matter of respect for the job or organizations one belongs to. First impressions and all.

Even in my own profession, mailman, carriers that are given uniform allowances rarely where the uniform as it should be worn.
And the one's that don't have uniforms, I won't even go into how they dress.

And what does this have to do with Sherlock Holmes?

Well, it kinda got me thinking about uniforms of occupations during Holmes' era.

Holmes often, most of the time to Watson as a seemingly parlor trick, discribes someone's occupation by their appearance as they walked by.

The type of apron or jacket one wore could often tell what one did. Sometimes it was the cut of said garment, or maybe even the direction of the stripes on the apron.

Most of the time these distictions were had probably come about for a practical reason like safety or function.

But many times these uniforms came about as a way to tell one occupation from another.

For may reasons; weather, safety, changing trends, the need to look nice for happy hour after work, uniforms have changed and evolved, or maybe disapperared all together.

Would the modern Sherlock be able to make correct observations on our appearance today?
Or do we all wear the same uniform of casualness today?
Don't even get me started on how parents dress to go meet their kids teachers now a days!
I know dear, I am sounding like an old man.

What were some of the uniforms described in the Canon?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

What does the future hold?

Benedict Cumberbatch talks future of 'Sherlock'

Series 4 of BBC show is expected in 2017

Benedict Cumberbatch has addressed uncertainty over the future of Sherlock.

Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman started shooting the new series in May, joined once again by Amanda Abbington as Mary Morstan, as well as by a new villain played by Toby Jones. 

Cumberbatch joined Abbington plus the show's co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss for a panel at Comic-Con in San Diego last month (July 24), when he was asked how long the show could keep going for.

"We’ll see. We’ll see how this series lands," Cumberbatch responded, as reported by Collider.

"It’s been great fun to come back and do it. How it will continue in the future, who knows? It’s not just about what any of us want. It’s about what’s actually right for the show, to be honest, and that has to be judged very carefully."

Cumberbatch continued: "Think about the very limited but classic British output of certain shows, and there aren’t that many of them. It’s a painful thing to say, but maybe Series Four is it. Who knows? I don’t know. I don’t want to say this is it because we have too much fun doing it. But generally, we have to see how this lands."
"And the actors aren’t the only ones who are busy," he added. "Mark and Steven are pretty tied up. Mark is an actor, as well as a producer and writer. It’s all of us being stretched in different directions. Also, this has run longer than most American series. You don’t want to compromise it by continually doing it, just because we could carry it on. There’s lots of stuff to weigh. It’s not just about what we want to do. It’s about what’s right. We’ll see. Really, we will have to see. No one has decided on it, so there’s no yes or no to an end or a beginning."

Steven Moffat went on to say: "We have to take it one season at a time. We don’t know what the future will be, and it’s not entirely down to us. Hopefully, we’ll do more. I find it hard to imagine that we won’t. But in terms of a specific plan, there are ideas that we haven’t gotten to yet."

During the panel, Abbington told fans of the new series: "It's really dark. It's the darkest Steven and Mark have written."

The BBC has previously revealed that series four will begin with Cumberbatch's title character "back once more on British soil as Doctor Watson and his wife, Mary, prepare for their biggest ever challenge - becoming parents for the first time".

Cumberbatch and Freeman returned in a one-off special, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, on New Year's Day this year. The special attracted an audience of 11.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched programme of the 2015-16 festive season.

The show's last series, which also consisted of three episodes, aired in 2014. Cumberbatch and Freeman first played Doyle's iconic characters in 2010 and each actor has won an Emmy for his performance.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What Doctor Strange & Sherlock Holmes Have In Common Will Get You Excited For Benedict Cumberbatch's Next Role

When Collider asked Cumberbatch what people would find surprising about the upcoming film, the actor's answer had to do with some of Stephen Strange's particular qualities. He said:
"Quite how much he suffers and how extraordinary his willpower is. I think that's his main superhero trait, is that the guy is sort of unstoppably stubborn. He won't cease. And that's great, because you see this character really go through the grinder. It's non-stop punishment for this dude. What he has to become and how quickly he's tested in the new arena that he becomes this person is so violent, so sudden, so non-stop, and psychologically brutal as well as physically very very brutal. It's a huge character arc. So I think that might surprise people."
Doesn't "unstoppably stubborn" seem like a familiar characteristic of Sherlock? What about this concept of "not ceasing"? While Stephen Strange and Sherlock Holmes couldn't be more different in terms of how they solve things (Sherlock is ruled by logic, where Strange has mystical, magical powers), I deduce that Doctor Strange and Sherlock Holmes are not so different after all. Which makes Benedict Cumberbatch all the better to nail the role. And the film? All the better for it.

Sherlock would likely laugh at Doctor Strange's source of power. Like the Cloak of Levitation that allows him to fly or the Eye of Agamotto that he wears around to protect himself from illusions. But like Sherlock, Stephen Strange has endured what Cumberbatch calls "non-stop punishment," and that's part of what makes him so compelling. After he injure's his hand in a car accident, his career is over and he must find a way to get his abilities to back. If Cumberbatch is able to bring the kind of pathos to Strange as he brought to Sherlock, then this will be another character of his we soon won't forget.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes - from the Wall Street Journal

By Ralph Gardner Jr.

Teel James Glenn portrayed Sherlock Holmes at a gathering of The Priory Scholars of NYC. PHOTO: RALPH GARDNER JR./THE WALL STREET JOURNAl

I don’t believe I’d ever read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories until the day before I attended a lunch held by The Priory Scholars of NYC, a Sherlock Holmes society, on July 16.
Nonetheless, several attendees who gathered at the Churchill Tavern on East 28th Street, where Winston Churchill’s wartime speeches were piped through the bathroom sound system, assured me I’m an honorary Sherlockian through my father.
The Priory Scholars is a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars, an organization of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts founded in 1934 by Christopher Morley, a journalist and novelist. And of which my father was a member.
Indeed, I remember my dad’s pride when he was asked, probably in the late 70s or early 80s, by Julian Wolff, the head of the group at the time, to recite the “Musgrave Ritual” from the Conan Doyle short story “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual.”
To this day, Dr. Wolff’s note, encased in a protective plastic sheath, sits on the shelf of my father’s library.
I also looked up the Baker Street Irregulars website and discovered my father seated in the front row of the BSI 1984 dinner. He was rocking a curved-stem pipe whose bowl he’d carved himself with the likeness of the great Holmes.
Not that I wouldn’t have been welcomed with open arms in any case. And not just because I was a member of the press. Even though that wasn’t held against me. Indeed, someone at my table promptly quoted Holmes to Watson in “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”: “The press, Watson, is a most valuable institution, if you only know how to use it.”
Warren Randall at a Priory Scholars of NYC lunch.ENLARGE
Warren Randall at a Priory Scholars of NYC lunch. PHOTO: RALPH GARDNER JR./THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
My sense was that the Priory Scholars of NYC was a highly inclusive, hyper companionable organization. Indeed, the group’s affection for “the canon,” the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories and four novels written by Conan Doyle, only partially accounts for what brings people to its four-times-a-year meetings.
“The stories are fundamentally about friendship,” explained Christopher Zordan, a chemist and the group’s “Economics Master,” or treasurer. “Everybody likes that underlying theme.”
Added Robert Katz, a pathologist and Holmes lecturer, “There’s a big cluster of groups in the tri-state area. You could literally be going to some Sherlock Holmes event in the eastern half of the United States every weekend of the year if you felt like it.”
The work under discussion at the summer meeting was Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.” It’s a somewhat macabre tale that involves the arrival in the mail of a parcel containing two severed human ears.
I was taken by the economy of the language, which is apparently part of the Holmes canon’s appeal. “If you read other Victorian stories,” Mr. Zordan explained, “they’re very flowery. [The canon] feels like it was written recently. There’s a bit where Watson says, ‘And I blew his brains out.’”
The meeting was called to order with author Elizabeth Crowens reporting on the success of a book signing for her debut novel, “Silent Meridian,” a time-traveling work whose characters include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Next came a series of witty toasts of which Holmes would have been proud. An appreciation for a good Burgundy or even a robust Bloody Mary also seems to attract students of the detective in the deerstalker cap.
“Drinking is a very popular sport among Sherlockians,” attested Judith Freeman, the Priory Scholars’ “Headmistress.”
Among the toast givers, with the help of a picture frame as a prop, were Chelsea Moquinand Finn Upham, young Brooklynites who host “Three Patch Podcast.” Ms. Moquin described it as “Get somebody very inebriated and try to tell one of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories.”
Chelsea Moquin, left, and Finn Upham, hosts of a Sherlock Holmes podcast. ENLARGE
Chelsea Moquin, left, and Finn Upham, hosts of a Sherlock Holmes podcast. PHOTO: RALPH GARDNER JR./THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The picture frame was a reference to a portrait mentioned at the start of “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.” “There’s been a lot of effort to bring together the younger crowd and the older crowd,” Ms. Moquin said.
After lunch was served the group got down to the serious business of the afternoon—starting with a quiz about the reading. “The women come in first more than the men,” reported Priory regular Marc Sawyer. And they did.
The quiz was followed by a discussion of the work, described by someone as the “eeriest case in the canon.”
He sounded quite learned until it was pointed out to me that the gentleman was making a pun. Eeriest was spelled “ear-iest.”
Ralph Gardner Jr's father is center front with pipe.