Table Of Contents
We have some pieces about Sherlock Holmes, plus an interview with a podcaster.
Make sure to check out Jody J. Sperling on his podcast here.
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What I Like About Sherlock Holmes - Op-Ed Piece
There are many things that a modern reader should like about Sherlock Holmes. He is very much a part of the analytical, statistical, neutral world we live in, deeming science and math as the way to the answer rather than any sort of hope or belief. Holmes needs to see the facts before he can make any rational conclusion, just as you must see the stats, or reviews, or words of whatever information you are seeing today. The trust we have in the truth of deduction has become a sort of religion in itself, one that Holmes would subscribe to, no doubt. Some may even credit the man as influencing it, by being the forefather in literature of what a logical reasoning character should look like. I am not going to go that far and say that modern medicine or the process used by a modern detective is because of the British detective, since that seems to be giving the fictional character a little too much of a say. I will say that the best part of Sherlock Holmes is not his mind, beloved by million, but his appearance. In particular his hunting hat, and the obvious contradiction the hat has in his world.
Sherlock Holmes lives in London, also known as a big city, and he walks around with a hunting hat that looks as though a hunter should wear it after his latest deer hunt. His hat is so out of place that it almost adds to the conceived self-centered way Holmes viewed the world. Nobody has the heart to tell him that he looks goofy in the hat. I can’t blame them, since the guy is kind of a weirdo.
Is there a part of England with a large hunting scene that Holmes is holding out on us? Perhaps the great detective deduced that in order to capture everyone’s attention, he is to wear a hat that is contradictory to the appropriate setting. Clever Holmes, always thinking a step ahead of everyone!
Sherlock Holmes walking around the streets of England in a hunting hat is equivalent to wearing a top hat to a baseball game or a red nose around the mall. The appearance leaves us with more questions about the individual’s mental state than it does any actual appreciation for the hat or nose. I know that I would not be happy if the person who sat in front of me at the game had on a hat like he was Abe Lincoln. But, it is a baseball game. You wear a baseball hat. That is fairly obvious to the sane. Plus, I can’t see the pitch! Seeing someone walk around the mall with a red nose as if they were Rudolph would also be strange. What function does that serve you? Who looks at themselves in the mirror and goes, “I need a red nose with this outfit. It is the only sensible thing to do.”
Anyone who knows about Holmes recognizes that he fits in more with the Abe Lincoln man, or the red nose-wearing person, in that he is kind of off. Something isn’t right about Holmes, so much that he wouldn’t view the peculiar fashion selection as anything but normal. This is a man who doesn’t care about modern politics, the astronomical ramifications of the Earth revolving around the sun, or any prominent philosophers or thinkers of his day. He is a drug addict, and he openly defends the act as a way to stimulate the mind, in the same way, that many musicians would do in the 60s and later on when they took drugs. Even today, the drug addict will say that it is harmful to their health but beneficial to freeing their mind so that they can think things they couldn’t. Holmes even had the crazy theory that you should only know so much information, information particularly useful in your life. He didn’t remember stuff; he didn’t have to. That seems very contradictory to our world today, where we are inundated with irrelevant numbers, stats, and articles that don’t affect us directly. The latest Emmy award winner? The advancement in technology? The latest opinion of a profound mind? Who cares? That is what Holmes says! If it doesn’t affect his work, then who cares? You only have so much information to store in your brain, so why put in stuff that has nothing to do with what you are doing? I understand the point that Holmes is trying to make here, but I gotta say, it is a crazy theory still. The man is aloof from the world outside of his own, yet he is the smartest, most rational in his. What else would we expect from an English man who wears a hunting hat?
Interview With Jody J. Sperling - Interview
We interviewed podcaster Jody J. Sperling about his new podcast.
Check him out at the following links for more information.
Who are you? What is your name? Where are you from?
Jody J. Sperling is an author, podcaster, husband, and father. He lives in rural Nebraska and constantly suffers from heavy longings to travel broadly.
What experience do you have in the field of literature?
I began reading with passion at age 11 when my dad lent me his copy of The Hobbit. I went on to read The Lord of the Rings, Madelene L'Engle's time series, C.S. Lewis, and much more. That love of reading stuck with me though I didn't start writing in earnest until my early twenties when I learned there was a Fine Arts college pathway. After earning my MFA I wrote buckets of crumby novels and a few decent ones. Among the decent novels, I wrote one that was good enough to attract a literary agent. But rather than soon signing a six-figure book, multibook deal, three years later I fired my agent. For the last year I've studied under numerous marketers including Robin and Michael J. Sullivan, and my forthcoming Marketing book, The Seven-Figure Marketing Mindset for Novelists, is entering the marketplace to impart the lessons I learned about the publishing process.
What is the name of your podcast called?
My podcast is THE RELUCTANT BOOK MARKETER.
When did you start it?
I published my first 5 episodes on January 4th 2022.
Why did you start it?
THE RELUCTANT BOOK MARKETER exists to help authors who want more readers but have no idea how to market and quickly feel defeated when their efforts don't produce results.
What do you talk about on it?
Every episode of the podcast aims to build writers' mindsets, to strengthen the writers' resolve, to lenghten the writers' time horizon to success, to challenge the writers' mindset about selling and asking for the sale.
How frequently do you release an episode?
New episodes drop every Monday and Wednesday. Always.
Who is the audience is your podcast?
My audience is any writer who wants to have a seven-figure impact through the books they publish, and I have a special sense of responsibility to novelists.
Where can people go to listen to it?
You can listen to THE RELUCTANT BOOK MARKETER anywhere pods are cast. (Ratings and reviews are the lifeblood of a show and matter so much.)
What do you want your listeners to get from by listening to your podcast?
A review from my listener, summed up what I want. "A lot of creatives hate the business side of the life, but we all want to make a living. A good variety of guests and stories help make this show different than other writing-life podcasts, and there's an acknowledgement that no solution is one-size-fits-all."
Have you learned about podcasting since you started it?
Boy have I! I am not ashamed to admit I've spent five figures on education, materials, subscriptions and alcohol (beer temporarily helps a wounded ego). All that expense has taught me a great deal about podcasting, and given me an unflagging will to make the podcast a smashing success!
Do you have future plans for the podcast?
Twice a day, I write my goals with Ashley—she's the anchor of this operation—and one of my recurring goals is for THE RELUCTANT BOOK MARKETER to be the #1 Podcast overall.
Thanks to Jody for the interview.
Did Sherlock Holmes Have A Point? - Op-Ed Piece
The British detective, who changed how we all examined a crime scene with his deduction reasoning, had a notoriously strange outlook on the world, which puts him at odds with the very world he lives in. So, no, it is not that he is an overall unusual character, one that some may feel behaves like a detached hero more than a noble one, which we should be rooting for in the story.
Holmes thought you should only know what is needed to help the crime. Let’s think about that for a second; only the information useful for his job, in this case, solving crimes. You may not think that presents much of a problem, but closer examination shows Holmes doesn’t know what he is talking about.
The philosophy of Sherlock Holmes’s attainment of knowledge presents a few major issues.
What is considered important to the case? – Holmes doesn’t admit that he is still prioritizing stuff by eliminating them and thus leaving out major potential information. How does Holmes know that something he deems insignificant to his career may not be important later on? The truth is, he doesn’t. He is openly being a hypocrite here, too, since one day he is saying that the insignificant details of the world mean nothing to him, and then when he is solving a crime, he says that the slightest detail can change the outcome of a case. So what is it exactly? Do the details only matter to the case? How can a major detail that relates to the life we live not relate to the case as compared to a minor detail only Holmes knows? How is he prioritizing this thought process?
How does he actually do this in a world full of information? – The idea of Holmes sounds good in theory; only learn what is helpful to you, but anyone who has lived longer than a day knows that is impossible. You get pointless information thrown at you all the time, whether it is commercials on the TV, pop-ups on the internet, or even studies in school you deem useful in your educational advancement. Practically speaking, you learn useless information about our world, whether you want to. There is no way around it. You’ll memorize a jingle you would rather forget. (There is one about cars and kids that always get stuck in my head) You’ll remember internet pop-ups you never intend on using. (We all know these so much there are even jokes about the frequency of these pop-ups) You’ll remember a fact from school that doesn’t help you in life. (For most, it is Pythagorean’s theorem. I have yet to come across any adults who use this on a frequent enough basis where the emphasis on learning it in school is justified. For me, the number one rule in war is never to invade Russia. Hitler did it and lost. Napoleon did it and lost. I guess the school wanted all those aspiring generals to learn their war strategies early in life)
Do we view each other as stupid because we remember these silly things? No. We accept them as a fact of life since we can’t always control the information in front of us, yet our brains always work, receive, and process information. Even though there are many times we want to be unplugged or turned off from the world, our active brains don’t allow it, giving us knowledge in fields we have no interest in.
So what does Holmes do if he hears a catchy commercial jingle? How does he avoid internet pop-ups? Are you telling me in school, Sherlock Holmes never encountered a topic that would be useless to know as an adult?
The intriguing part of the theory is how it is very sensible in one respect, and in another, it is insanity at its finest.
Know what matters to you. Everything you learn should be functional in your daily life. That is good advice to give someone to focus better on accomplishing a goal and not get distracted by the information around them. I tell it to kids all the time. Focus on the assignment ahead of you. In certain regards, the Holmes perspective is great.
On the other hand, the theory completely dismisses the real-world application of its use. How do you live a life where you only get the information you deem worthy of your time? That is not actually living but trying to control the world to your mental will. Not accepting this factoid of life can cause concern for those around you. If you don’t realize that the world will give you plenty of pointless crap to deal with, then what else don’t you get.
It’s part reasonable, part insane.
It makes you wonder if the real case Holmes was trying to solve was about life itself.
We hope you enjoyed this post. We are trying to add some more variety to each post going forward. If you are in literature, and wish to be interviewed or featured, please make sure to contact us.
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About The Blogger
Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.
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