December 13th, 2013


on John/Sherlock and Sherlock/Molly: sometimes you just have to giggle

Earlier today, I saw two different versions of this meme:

Something about this particular meme always puts me on edge. It’s the passive-aggressive line of the “So sue me” bit, I think, along with the mean-spirited comments that people seem to put in their own comments when they describe it, usually either attacking the intelligence or the respect for canon of people who prefer a bit of Johnlock. The picture itself gets associated with that feeling of being attacked after a while, I think. Today I saw it twice, as I said. The first was the normal slam: that two men could share a flat without it being romantic, why couldn’t people see the true value of deep friendship, etc. That left me as frustrating as this picture ever does. But the second? It wanted a Sherlock/Molly wedding because that would make the poster very happy.

At which point I started giggling like a giggling thing. The juxtaposition was just too much.

For the uninitiated: Fans of the BBC Sherlock show seem pretty well divided into different subgroups by our “ships,” which are the characters we typically like to imagine being in romantic relationships with. It’s kind of like being an Elvis or Pat Boone fan back in the day. The biggest one by a long shot is Johnlock (John and Sherlock), and it’s so influential that a lot of people who don’t imagine them together feel the need to make that fact plain. Some people view Sherlock as asexual, not interested in romance at all, but with fans of the BBC series, it seems much more common to say Sherlock and John are just friends because Sherlock’s true luv is someone else entirely. Almost always a woman; usually Molly Hooper, the lab pathologist he rubs elbows with quite often at St. Bart’s. (She’s an addition to the Doyle canon, but a much-needed one in my opinion.)

Let’s get it out of the way: Molly Hooper, quite simply, is awesome. [Language warning] This is the woman who saw Sherlock whip a corpse and asked him out. She dumped the world’s only consulting criminal and faked the death of a man whose best friend is a doctor trained in trauma and whose brother is the British government. I have nothing but love and respect for Molly Hooper’s strength and intelligence.

(If you’re looking for an explanation in fic form of just why Molly Hooper is so far beyond awesome, you really should read The Mourning Woman by M_Leigh. It’s fairly short, G-rated, and one of the best character studies I’ve read in a long time.)

And really, if someone wants to pair her off with Sherlock, my response isn’t going to be to wrinkle my nose and question whether you’ve properly understood the characters, much less why you think every woman who crosses Sherlock’s path has to be a romantic interest. (I could; of the female characters in Sherlock, the only two who aren’t often interpreted as head-over-heels for him is Mrs. Hudson.) Rather, I’ll probably say: “Convince me.” It’s the same approach I took with Tolkien-based fic. I could never imagine Legolas and Arwen as an item, or Aragorn and Finduilas – until someone made it work wonderfully for me. And Molly has more than enough redeeming qualities that she’s every inch Sherlock’s intellectual equal. Emotionally, she has a history of being a bit of a pushover and I prefer her as Sherlock’s friend rather than his romantic partner, but I’m also very convinceable on this point.

Personally, I’m a bit of a Johnlock shipper within the BBC verse and prefer to think of him as asexual in the context of the Doyle stories. Like the second meme-sharer who wanted a Sherlock/Molly wedding, it’s not because I think either approach is necessarily wrong; it’s because imagining them making a life together makes me happy. I don’t even necessarily need it to be romantic, much less sexual; it’s just that I get more of that sense of longevity and devotion in the stories that work this as a romantic relationship. So many Johnlock stories live right on the line between deep friendship and romance anyway; quite a few look at the difference between the two types of love as a theme and ask when exacty that line was crossed, if it exists at all. Stories about Sherlock and John in some degree of romantic love simply seem to do a better job of honoring the fact that, at this point in their lives, this is the most important relationship for both Sherlock and John. “I was so alone, and you gave me so much,” indeed.

(Spoilers for series three from this point on, from what I’ve gleaned from the trailers and publicity photos.)

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Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Deja vu, much?

This evening, I went to see both “Hobbit” movies. It was actually a lot of fun. We had a good-sized but not huge crowd for the double-feature, and most of them were mature Tolkien fans: people willing to lay down $30 and not get home until 4 AM, without the privilege of an IMAX screening (which you could get if you just went to the midnight screening at this cinema). I tied for first in a trivia competition, which isn’t nearly as impressive as you’d think when you realize anyone with a basic knowledge of the book and a familiarity with the main actors should have been able to answer them. Being a Sherlock fan is good for knowing, for example, that Benedict Cumberbatch voiced not Smaug (and I use that word “voiced” advisedly – really, it was a truly impressive but DARK role with some really excellent motion-capture acting) but the Necromancer as well.

This was the third time I’ve seen “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in the cinemas, and this time I made two conscious choices. First, I was determined to actually enjoy it. Really enjoy it – to focus on the things I liked rather than the things that irked me. Second, I was going to approach it as a telling of the events around “The Hobbit” rather than an adaptation of “The Hobbit” itself. That meant I didn’t get irked by things like the prolonged race through Goblintown or the whole showdown between Azog and Thorin (with assistance nobly provided by one hobbit-burglar). I would try not *too* hard to chuckle at the rather obvious copying of Gandalf with the map, or the dwarves making their way across country in a long line that copied the Fellowship profile shot in “The Ring Heads South” section. I would focus on the bits that really felt right to me, like pretty much everything in Bag End and with Gollum. And because of that decision, I really was swept up in it. The bits that had always bothered me in the past suddenly seemed necessary to flesh out the characters, to show how they can fight or the enormity of the world. As a retelling of the Quest for Erebor, it really worked quite well.

Next up, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Before we go any further, I’m not holding back, so thar be spoilers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.


fanfic meme, from Juno

Pick any passage of up to 500 words or less from any fanfic I’ve written, and stick that selection in a comment. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place.

The lion's share of myfanfic is available here.

ETA: The 500-word limit is from the original meme. Seems like a decent length, but I'll be a bit flexible.

hilariously bad questions from a home school exam

Trust me when I say this isn't me poking fun at home school. There are many good homeschooling curricula out there; this just ins't one of them. Basically, these are the questions pupils use after working through the unit to show they've mastered it and be evaluated.

ETA: Skip the commentary if you like. That is anti-homeschooling, and is a serious topic for another day. I mainly found the questions LOL-worthy bad.

ETA #2: On rereading this post, I see I may have given a bad impression of the original post. It's not really anti-homeschooling so much as (rightly!) frustrated with what I agree is a bad curriculum. I want to talk more about ACE and some of the concerns raised in this post and by Azalais in the comments - when I find the time. Most likely after the holidays. In any case, if you're interested in this topic, the comments at this blog post, both before and after the actual test questions, are actually very much worth reading. I didn't mean to imply they were of no consequence; rather, they're very much worth talking about but I don't have the time right now to do it properly right now. In any event, I didn't mean to misrepresent the original post in any way.