Sunday, 3 January 2016

Review of BBC Sherlock 'The Abominable Bride'

I watched, live, the BBC 'Christmas Special (broadcast January 1 2016) of their highly successful Sherlock series starring the acting 'dream team' of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and produced by the scriptwriting dream team from Doctor Who - of Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

On the one hand it was (mostly) state-of-the-art entertaining, clever, witty hokum - with high production values; on the other hand it was 98% soft-sell propaganda; and 2% a full dress sermon, with an explicit moral message - all combined to promote an asonishingly evil morality based on distorted pseudo-facts.

The whole plot was built on the (false) premise of woman's pervasive and extreme historical oppression.

(In fact, in almost all societies in history, by biological, physical, and social structural criteria women are the privileged sex: obviously! and rightly so, in my view) - just compare the lives, dangers, hardships, mortality rates, life expectancies, privileges, responsibilities, exemptions, supports etc. The mass of men are, and always have been, regarded as disposible...)

In case we missed the implicit message, at the denouement Sherlock stepped out of character, and delivered a (false) historical sermon almost straight to camera to explain this to the audience - illustrated with women characters stepping out of character to illustrate the various types of female oppression (cruelty, violence, infidelity, being marginalised as a servant, not being allowed to qualify as a doctor - all conflated); after which he drew the moral that because oppression women who have experienced oppression are entitled to murder men.

In other words, the episode was constructed - with considerable brilliance, expense and effort throughout - to prove the assertion that oppression of women (self-defined) is the greatest human sin, and (therefore) worse than murder - in the sense that it justifies murder.

Its overall purpose, almost perfectly achieved - although I would regard the sermon as a major artistic flaw - was to provoke resentment and anger among women viewers; and to encourage women to unite and organise to exact revenge and further crush the exploited sex (as modelled by the secret society of women depicted in the episode).

This is, of course, the bog standard, mainstream and high status modern secular morality of The West currently and for about the past half century - in that sense there was nothing at all exceptional about The Abominable Bride except for its exceptionally high quality is entertainment.

But the array of talent and wealth and media hype that was mobilised by this exercise in propagating evil morality demonstrates to me the utter futility of Christians imagining that they can win the Culture Wars by engaging the opposition on their own ground! The fight for Good must therefore take place outwith the mass media, and by invisible and undetectable communicative means - these channels are invisible and undetectable because the enemy think they are unreal, made-up, nonsense.