Jeremy Brett, definitive Sherlock Holmes

Jeremy Brett as the definitive Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes. The name alone (for those whom are aware of it) typically strikes up such words as "mystery," "murder," investigations," and even "daft geek" for those like me whom are contributingly-fanatical, and "I have a tendency to overreact a little, and am often guilty of flippancy" amidst these sorts of things (eg: Pink Floyd, Mary Shelley, Poetry and "Language" in general, &c. --); a bit of a dogmatic-mushroom that grows out of my eyesockets -- the kind that one can step on, exploding plumes of smoke arising about the air afterwards. Perhaps I may be guilty of over-dramaticism, as well, admittedly operant and a bit woundy, but even sometimes the Sharpie "runs out" and becomes like a dormant, dead, clanging watch. In the wafture of my lingering interests, I often find myself in a bit of "dumb amazement," vailing amidst it all like some triumphant zephyr floating away in a roar of ustulation.

Thanks to Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, I've been a regular vignetting aligned in such a masterful collection of delicious tales. I recall the memory of reading my first Sherlock Holmes adventure ("A Case of Identity," I believe it was) and was rather decorum'd with a strangehold of such eccentric-wit and mystique that I haven't turned back since. I discovered The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes "years ago" (which seems like a repetitive phrase in my reach), or, perhaps I shall say that I was "introduced" to it by my wondrously-entertaining uncle, who had been watching the series since the '80's when it originally began airing. I was awe-stucken from the initial beginning with Jeremy Brett's portrayals as the-one-and-only. As one reviewer aptly and gorgeously put it, "Nothing before or since quite matches Brett's mercurial portrayal. It is exquisite. Not only is it the best representation of Holmes, but one of the most consistently mesmerising performances by any actor on any television production. Brett's diction perfectly suits Holmes's precise, logical mind; each word is said so perfectly that we are spoiled by eloquence and we hang on every word, the modulation that suddenly lifts to emphasise one word over another, to make revelations about an investigation or to reach into Holmes's melancholy." And further, "Under Brett, Holmes is arrogant, sly, misanthropic, pondering, but also vulnerable, empathetic and fragile. It is a human Holmes, but one still tantalisingly removed from most of us in his genius for linking disparate clues — ash in an ashtray here, a footprint there — to solve a mystery. It is this ability to hold together all the contradictions native to Sherlock Holmes that makes Brett's portrayal so compelling."

One of my favorite episodes has to be the "The Devil's Foot"; a particular adventuring quip of psychedelic-madness and bizarre events that provides one of the most memorable scenes of the entire show, in my opinion (though only lasting a little over one minute, but well-worth the waiting rabbit's tap) where Holmes begins hallucinating ("In the Granada Television version starring Jeremy Brett, a sequence is added showing Holmes burying his cocaine syringe in the sand during a walk on the beach. Apparently Jeremy Brett had become concerned about his character's drug habit, sought and received permission from Conan Doyle's heirs to have Holmes give up the habit. Also, the Granada version shows Holmes' hallucinations when exposed to the Devil's Foot poison. Holmes has visions of his parents and of Professor Moriarty in this sequence before being brought back to reality by Watson. When Holmes is reveived he calls Dr Watson by his first name "John.""). Naturally, every episode is worth viewing; I tend to want the entire DVD set, but right now the Presidents on the bills of U.S. dollars all mock me with the most insane of laughter, and considering that the "list is never-ending," I have a backlog of cracking walls waiting for a sandbag or two, so time will only tell. Luckily the shows are still televised.

(Other interesting information to note: The phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson" is often abstractly-attributed to Sherlock Holmes. However, nowhere in any of Doyle's books does Sherlock Holmes ever utter these oft-quoted words. As studied, the closest that Mr. Holmes comes to speaking these particular words is in the story "The Crooked Man," where, in the story, Dr. Watson [Holmes' former assistant, of course] has married and no longer lives with Sherlock at his flat at 221B Baker Street, London. When Holmes calls on Watson to ask for his help in solving a mystery, he makes a few deductions about his old friend. He observes, for example, that Watson still smokes the same pipe tobacco [from observing the ash on his coat] and that he is very busy. Watson then asks how Holmes knows this [which you think he would know better to ask such a silly question; this is Sherlock!] in which Holmes replies that Watson takes a hansom cab when he is busy and walks when he is not. Watson's boots are dusty enough to have been outdoors, but not dusty enough to have been out walking. Therefore, Holmes says, he must have taken a ransom. Therefore, he must be busy. "Excellent!" blurts Watson. "Elementary," says Holmes.)

Jeremy Brett, Sherlock Holmes


Pulling From Inout The Brain & Other Daring Voyages

MACRO FUTURE: Into Me, Out of Me

Sometimes my television glows in the night even though it hasn't been switched on for days. Often times, in the same bank of strangeness, my computer printer switches itself on without any regard for my own paranoid jumpiness (nor any actionable splinters), in which case I engage in cooling off after a few seconds; my gradualism in flames of ghastly curiosity. The rock is solid. So, so solid . . .(not "in the flames of withering justice.")

In H.W. Fowler's The King’s English:
"Among other arts and sciences, that of lexicography happens to have found convenient a neologism that may here be used to help in the very slight classification required for the new words we are more concerned with—that is, those whose object is literary or general, and not scientific. A 'nonce-word' (and the use might be extended to 'nonce-phrase' and 'nonce-sense'—the latter not necessarily, though it may be sometimes, equivalent to nonsense) is one that is constructed to serve a need of the moment. The writer is not seriously putting forward his word as one that is for the future to have an independent existence; he merely has a fancy to it for this once. The motive may be laziness, avoidance of the obvious, love of precision, or desire for a brevity or pregnancy that the language as at present constituted does not seem to him to admit of. The first two are bad motives, the third a good, and the last a mixed one. But in all cases it may be said that a writer should not indulge in these unless he is quite sure he is a good writer.

The couch-bunk under the window to conceal the summerly recliner.—Meredith.

The adjective is a nonce-sense, summerly elsewhere meaning 'such as one expects in summer'; the noun is a nonce-word.

In Christian art we may clearly trace a parallel regenesis.—Spencer.

Opposition on the part of the loquently weaker of the pair.—Meredith.


The verberant twang of a musical instrument.—Meredith.

A Russian army is a solid machine, as many war-famous generals have found to their cost.—Times.

Such compounds are of course much used; but they are ugly when they are otiose; it might be worth while to talk of a war-famous brewer, or of a peace-famous general, just as we often have occasion to speak of a carpet-knight, but of a carpet-broom only if it is necessary to guard against mistake.

Russia's disposition is aggressive ... Japan may conquer, but she will not aggress.—Times.

Though aggress is in the dictionary, every one will feel that it is rare enough to be practically a neologism, and here a nonce-word. The mere fact that it has never been brought into common use, though so obvious a form, is sufficient condemnation.

She did not answer at once, for, in her rather super-sensitized mood, it seemed to her...—E. F. Benson.

The word is, we imagine, a loan from photography. Expressions so redolent of the laboratory are as well left alone unless the metaphor they suggest is really valuable. Perhaps, if rather and super- were cancelled against each other, sensitive might suffice.

Notoriously and unctuously rectitudinous.—Westminster Gazette.

Some readers will remember the origin of this in Cecil Rhodes's famous remark about the unctuous rectitude of British statesmen, and the curious epidemic of words in -ude that prevailed for some months in the newspapers, especially the Westminster Gazette. Correctitude, a needless variant for correctness, has not perished like the rest.

We only refer to it again because Mr. Balfour clearly thinks it necessary to vindicate his claims to correctitude. This desire for correctitude is amusingly illustrated in the Outlook this week, which...—Westminster Gazette.

All these formations, whether happy or the reverse, may be assumed to be conscious ones: the few that now follow—we shall call them new even if they have a place in dictionaries, since they are certainly not current—are possibly unconscious:

The minutes to dinner-time were numbered, and they briskened their steps back to the house.—E. F. Benson. (quickened)

He was in some amazement at himself ... remindful of the different nature...—Meredith (mindful)

Remindful should surely mean 'which reminds', not 'who remembers'.

Persistent insuccess, however, did not prevent a repetition of the same question.—Times. (failure)

The best safeguard against any deplacement of the centre of gravity in the Dual Monarchy.—Times. (displacement)

Which would condemn the East to a long period of unquiet.—Times. (unrest)

Mere slips, very likely. If it is supposed that therefore they are not worth notice, the answer is that they are indeed quite unimportant in a writer who allows himself only one such slip in fifty or a hundred pages; but one who is unfortunate enough to make a second before the first has faded from the memory becomes at once a suspect. We are uneasily on the watch for his next lapse, wonder whether he is a foreigner or an Englishman not at home in the literary language, and fall into that critical temper which is the last he would choose to be read in.

The next two examples are quite distinct from these—words clearly created, or exhumed, because the writer feels that his style requires galvanizing into energy:

A man of a cold, perseverant character.—Carlyle.

Robbed of the just fruits of her victory by the arbitrary and forceful interference of outside Powers.—Times."

The inevitable suggestion, a huge mass of puffs and joints that sweep me by never go unlooked. Neologisms have been a part of me since my birth, like Indians in Okie Prisons many years ago. I remember the windows and how words were lead-colored on my tongue, like an "endless grey carpet of seabirds." To be translated into an uncharitably-received message on one side of the coin (Dylan: "The picture you have in your mind of what you're about ... will come true. It's kind of a thing you kinda have to keep to yourself. It's a fragile thing and if you put it out there, somebody will kill it, so it's best to keep that all inside. . .") to find the other coin, with age (with wisdom) comes from a point in ones life where, in my K-grade days, I read repetitively-fast in my circle of fellow classmates, often raising my hand more-so than others. I felt like a beautiful vase on a stone terrace, over-looking a sea of words (especially when the other students were reading; I'd have to often let my mind wonder about, losing my place in the text, because of the certain struggling woes of others, in which I'd attempt to 'correct' more-so than the teacher). Sometimes I wish I were a child again (physically) - a melody of flowing wind . . . a vague break in a dance-move, and a scattering of song (though my stage-fright was terribly phobic-like).

Stan Brakhage: "Window Water Baby Moving"


The Squabbly-wobby Psyche-"Meridian" & Abstract Quixioms

PINPOINTED: An ancient Chinese acupuncture chart
that shows
some of the positions of some of the 900 needle points on
the network
of "meridians."

I've been reading about ancient Chinese acupuncture and things like "the placebo effect" (low-pain perceptions - do the "meridians" need to be philosphize'd into a debatingly-undebated response for those with "normal" versus "abnormal" perceptors?) and I began pondering several ways to "enhance" my prickled-mind towards the development of several "take-offs" (un-rocketeering, tho, NASA-lipped and crumbled; perhaps more like Tarkovsky's Solaris) on my "screen name," (which, an educated voice would possibly spatter, A Book of Changes!; no confusion on "I Ching") and I have come up with several needle-pointed landscapes to acquaint my opencast reel ("arranged like the layers of an onion"):




If I were like "The Self-Dismembered Man" that Guillaume Apollinaire erupted into (or (...)) then I shabby to think

that the following thoughts would collaborate with a kind of rising vapour into "drinking the youth" of the pain threshold.

Truth is, "The magic pink seashells" (as British UK psychedelic band Kaleidoscope would reverberate many years prior) of my exploding mind

have apparently just been sitting out in the sun of cinema for far too long. KRS-One, in 2003: When asked about the future of hip-hop he said,

“Our day is coming. It's inevitable that the president in another five years will be a hip-hopper. The mayor of Chicago will be somebody

who has grown up on N.W.A., Chuck D, even Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown. All of it will make sense then.” Dora Maar: “Pure as a lake boredom.” (transparent-alert!)—

War empties pockets or does war familiarize itself with knowing? Perhaps the pith of this unbalanced equilibrium would be in the intelligence of KRS;—

Obama? Are you a hip-hopper? Grasshopper? A lesion of deceit? 21st Century Huang Ti? Ol' Yeller or, as stated, the "Yellow Emporer"? It appears as tho

my black, sweet tea isn't going down the drain (something of which could be measured as morbidly-brooding) as swell as

I'd like the operation to go (PJ Harvey said it best: "This Mess We're In"). I'll be the Mummer at the voting booth . . . perhaps I'll find something to boost / er me . . . and in the end,

marwodd yn ddiepil is a hopeful gushing outpour to keep the toezies and fingerzies crossed. The light, "so pretty in white." Yes. Now imagine

the multitudes of individuals whom were quite doubtful in regards to the ancestors of these creatures; Woolly Mammoths that often showcased their strengths

upon the Dicearchuses of the world in those days. Of course, that is, depending on the rotundas of the world in which people

may believe in the world as being "millions of years old," which I don't, but it's the myths that make it all so-very fun and imaginative. Peter Falk could be a dinosaur

for all we know. (He has the anger downpact; revisit his madness as Robert Evans (1962) on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour . . . "Bonfire" ["too much juice of the grape" crackles my insides]).

And, most "embarrassing moments"? An Ugly Man Contest in '57, '61 and '63.

"This Ugly Man was quoted in the 1963 Savitar as saying,
"She said that I wasn't exactly her Rock Hudson image."
(A stab at
Rock Hudson in the brilliant film, "Seconds," as I have showcased before)

Steppenwolf (1974)

"The struggle of the human mind ... against itself."

Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolf"

Herman Hesse's brilliant novel, "Steppenwolf"

Several moons ago, however you'd like to label my past filmic leash of tugging, I was introduced to Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf, which, as most people are quite familiar with by now, is also a popular rock 'n' roll band (that lifted the name from the novel, of course, as if they couldn't be more original!). Unfortunately, the band is far more "known" than Herman Hesse's novel, but if I could take the two and stir them together, there really are no recurring similarities, unless one wants to familiarize the psychedelically-solarized scenes of the "Magic Theatre" from the film (which is essentially a bonus snack at the end of of the flick) with the band's song "Magic Carpet Ride," then that may have some merit, because, all in all, one is most certainly taken on a ride amidst the cinematic gulps and nibbles there, as well as within the book.

Steppenwolf, starring Max Von Sydow

Rarely does a film ever stay true to the contents of the story that it is being created from, but apparently Fred Haines wanted to do it "right" and thankfully for us dogmatic ones, we were served with a delicious feast. From Wiki: "The film made heavy use of visual special effects, which were cutting-edge at the time of its release in 1974." I would suggest reading the book first and then watching the film so that you can compare as you follow. This particular film, along with BBC's 1977 Count Dracula (starring Louis Jourdan), are two of the most faithful adaptions of book-to-film releases that I am familiar with, and both are well-worth venturing into ... of course, if you like this kind of madness as I do.

As The Hitch would spout, I think I'd better be trodding off. I just decided to have my head sanforized. Good night.

Steppenwolf (1974)

This film (starring Max Von Sydow as the Steppenwolf) is in my Top 10. One of the most underrated films of all-time (and the most bizarre, I do say) based on Herman Hesse's great novel.